The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

SEO. You’re probably heard of it when it comes to your website design and the success of your business. If you haven’t, then this guide will prove useful when it comes to explaining how and why you should use SEO.

What Is SEO?

SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is a process of using strategies and techniques to improve the organic position of a website in Google’s search results. The higher a website ranks, the more people see it, the more people become users and customers.

SEO requires both technical and creative skills in order to advance and push rankings higher. While the goal might be the same – to be among the highest results in organic searches – the strategies will vary from website to website, as the competitive nature of different industries will alter the process.

Overall, SEO requires work on both the website and off it, while ensuring it adheres to Google’s guidelines and rules.

On-page vs. Off-page SEO

There are two factors that, when worked together, generate the results of SEO.

On-page SEO, also known as on-site, refers to the optimization of everything that is on your website. This includes:

  • Headings and title tags
  • Meta tags and descriptions
  • URL structure
  • Content and images
  • Website size and speed

Off-page (off-site) SEO, on the other hand, refers to all the activities that you do off your website to help build its authority (aka – getting backlinks from other sites). Some examples include:

  • Social media platforms and posting
  • Guest blogging
  • Email outreach
  • Submissions to directories and listings

Only by maximizing both on-site and off-site SEO can you maximize your overall campaign.

Seo diagram with glasses and pencil

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO

Of course, not all SEO techniques and strategies are considered equal. In fact, some are deemed illegal to Google’s parameters, while others are perfectly fine. These are known as black and white hat SEO.

  • Black hat SEO is an unethical practice to improve the rankings of a website in the search engine results page. This includes strategies such as stuffing keywords, making fake links, and web design tweaks that adjust the strategy. While black hat SEO will get high rankings quickly, it will lead to a penalty and a ban sooner or later.
  • White hat SEO is the ethical techniques that follow along with Google’s parameters. It follows the principals of quality and relevant content, website optimization and link building. While it might take longer, it will follow Google’s guidelines, so you have no chance of being penalized.

It is always best to stick to white hat strategies, as the last thing you want is to make an enemy of Google.

Can I Learn SEO Or Should I Get Help?

While SEO might seem easy in theory, in practice, it is an entirely different story. The slightest change can have a massive impact on your SEO campaign and can damage it without you meaning it.

It’s why when it comes to SEO, you should always consider hiring an agency that specializes in SEO. They can run your campaign for you to ensure you get the results you want.