Crossdot Digital

A Novice Explains SEO Basics

So, what is SEO anyway?

No, I am actually asking. You see, the writer behind the screen has just been welcomed to the Cross Dot Digital team, and I am green. Previous to this job, I had never thought twice about such a question. SEO? What’s that, and why should I care? It turns out after some research into this mysterious topic, I care a lot.

So, when my boss asked if I could come up with some blog ideas on marketing topics, I figured I might as well write about the beginning of my education in this realm. So, let us begin with some basics.

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of improving your website to raise your search ranking and ultimately increase your organic (unpaid) traffic.

What? Yes, I know; the jargon can be overwhelming. According to my recently acquired understanding, the better your search ranking is, the more people will be able to find your site, products, and or services. This is what SEO is all about.

Think of well-implemented SEO as a gloriously blazing neon sign, hanging at the front of your digital business… catching the eye of the jaded inter-web traveler.

Good ranking can be obtained through the words you use on your site, the makeup of your URLs, the speed at which your page loads, and so on.

For example, if you have a vegan food blog, you may want to rank for “vegan chili and cornbread” searches. Well-managed SEO can ensure worldwide visibility to vegans in the wild.

To sum up, SEO comprises all the steps you can take to ensure Google (and other search engines) is placing you in a position to play. Good SEO equals visibility, and good visibility equals business. And so forth till all your wildest dreams come true! Exciting, I know!

Specific ways good SEO will help:

  • You will achieve indexability, a critical component Google and other search engines use to find you and increase your traffic.
  • Ensuring you have a mobile-friendly site. Most of us conduct our business and manage our lives on our phones. Being mobile-friendly is a no-brainer in this game.
  •  The speed at which your site loads and performs is imperative
  • SEO can help you create an intuitive site. A site’s navigation should be streamlined and organic for the users perusing pleasure.
  • Title tags and meta descriptions have a significant impact on click-through rates. Click through rates equal, you guessed it, upward movement in search rankings. Confetti!
  • Optimizing the images on your site is essential as well! Place simple text below your image to describe it then; if for some reason the image is unavailable, the reader still knows what the picture is. The reduction of file size to images will also reduce the loading time of your site. Faster equals better! More confetti!
  • Next up on the docket in the wonderful world of SEO: keyword research. Keywords are the few core phrases accurately describing the page topic and (ideally) aligning with common web searches.
  • Content Marketing is the next step in the SEO arsenal. Content marketing is desperately important, because even if your site is optimized well, Google and other search engines tend to direct more traffic to sites that will in fact draw more traffic. So how do you generate more engagement? Content marketing! Content marketing is at its core creating content which answers the burning questions of your audience. Content marketing is an art and agencies such as Cross Dot are the artists.
  • A last major element of SEO is link building or creating backlinks. A backlink is a hyperlink on one site which navigates to another website. The goal here is to become linked to more credible and higher trafficked sites. This can be tricky to do manually, and eventually in a utopian world happens organically. SEO is the long-term investment you can make to guarantee this happens.

This is of course a very simplified collection of SEO principles. But hey I’m learning! 

My amazing teammates here at Cross Dot are total pros. They know this stuff backwards and forwards, as well as many other topics I hope to cover soon i.e. social media marketing, copywriting and graphic design.

Bottom line here? SEO is necessary and relevant to the digital business owner. It could be the difference between failure and success for you in this glitzy and weird, wonderful web world.

Cheers, The Novice.