2019 SEO for beginners

Written by Susan Oliver Nelson, OTG co-founder

SEO isn’t rocket science, but search engine optimization can be intimidating for small business owners who may not have the budget to hire large marketing agencies.

Search engine optimization is a process that helps develop online presence and boosts a client platform. Keeping up-to-date on algorithms, publishing fresh, relevant content with researched keywords and phrases and tracking user experience are the best ways to get started.  

Steps to create a successful SEO strategy:

  1. Understand potential client search terms
  2. Create and share interesting content
  3. Monitor site traffic, load times and appearance across devices (user experience)
  4. Identify what works and what doesn’t through analytics
  5. Change, update, monitor, change again

Understanding potential client search terms

One of the first objectives to SEO are the keywords. Don’t assume which keywords or keyword phrases will work better over others. To find the ones that work best, be open to testing various combinations. Today, SEO is about search intent. What’s the reasoning behind the search?

Be practical. Would you search for [restaurants near me] or [Italian restaurants near me]?

Once you identify how your target audience or clients are using search engines, optimizing your site or social media platforms will be easier, and more successful.

Create and share interesting content

Selecting the right keywords or keyword phrases to improve site rankings is great but creating content that engage your audience is also important.

Consider this. How many times have you performed a search, clicked on a result only to find that the information is not what you’re looking for? Frustrating, right?

Content on your site should be interesting and relevant. If the content is relevant to a user, they will read more about it, and stay on your site/page longer. Search bots monitor user sessions. The longer the session, the more relevant the site, the better chance your site will be rendered in higher search results.

If a user is directed to your site by search and finds it’s not relevant to what is needed, they will immediately leave your site, this is called a bounce rate.  Search bots are not happy with bounce rates.

Finding the balance between SEO and quality content is what you’re aiming for to increase search traffic.

Monitor traffic, analytics

One of the first tasks after your site is up and running is creating an analytics account. Real-time analytics help you keep track of search traffic and user behavior.

Which pages are performing best? Which keywords do your audience use to access your content? How long are users staying on your site/page? A close eye on analytics will also tell you the location and demographics of site visitors.

Remember, users are searching for products and services like yours on their phones and tablets. Make sure to test your site’s performance and load speeds across all devices. User experience is everything when it comes to boosting site traffic and SEO.

Stay in the know

Search algorithms are always changing, be sure to keep up to date and follow the latest trends that might affect your SEO strategies. Always ask for feedback, and don’t be afraid to change what’s not working.

Final thoughts

Following these simple steps will have your SEO strategy will be working for you in no time!

OTG offers FREE site analysis and SEO content to transitioning veterans and veteran entrepreneurs! Contact us to get started.