What is SEO? | SEO for beginners

By | March 5, 2020

In this video, we’ll explain what SEO means and we give an example of what that might
look like for a beginning website owner. First things first! Let’s talk about what SEO, short
for “search engine optimization”, means. Search engine optimization is
improving sites to make them appear high in the search results of a search engine,
such as Google or Bing. These rankings are decided by the search engine algorithm
we mentioned in the previous lesson. In this course, we mostly focus on Google, because they’re the most popular
search engine platform right now. But, it’s also good to consider
what optimizing for other search engines, such as Bing, or Yahoo, could offer you. So let’s talk about some factors
that come into play when Google’s algorithm sorts
the order of snippets they present. We distinguish two different types
of factors: on-page and off-page factors. On-page factors are, you guessed it,
elements on your own website, like site structure, content
and speed optimizations. Off-page factors, on the other hand,
aren’t present on your website. They include things such as links from
other websites and social media attention. There’s a lot of discussion about what’s
important and what isn’t important when it comes
to search engine optimization. At Yoast, we believe that it’s best
to create a long-term SEO strategy that is focused on the user
of your website. In order to understand
why we believe this, we have to talk about Google’s mission. Google’s mission is
to “organize the world’s information and make it universally
accessible and useful”. To help Google achieve their mission,
we have to be user-focused. In other words, if your website is awesome,
search engines want to show it to people, because it helps their users
find what they’re looking for. Let’s take a step back. We explained how SEO
is about improving sites to make them appear high
in the search results of a search engine. But, how does SEO work in practice? Let’s take a look at what a beginner
might do when starting out with SEO. Let me introduce you to Linda. Linda is an ambitious potter
who wants to expand her business and start a blog site
about the work she does. This way she hopes to establish
some internet presence, which she hopes will inspire people
to buy her ornate vases, and build a bigger network. She puts in hours of work,
designing a beautiful site. She does it all by herself
and she feels very proud. Yet, she discovers that the site doesn’t get
as much traffic as she would like. Linda wants to improve her site’s ranking
on Google so more people will find it, but she’s not sure how. Linda talks to a few friends
who work in marketing, and she gathers several options
to climb the search platform ranks. 1 – she could write quality blogs
and improve her site’s internal linking. 2 – she could try to join or build a community
that will provide her site with useful links. Or 3 – she could improve her site speed. She decides to start off writing
and publishing a blog about how traditional Dutch pottery
inspires her, because her shop customers have been
asking her questions about that. She also writes a detailed how-to on building your own mini oven
for baking pottery in your backyard. She was about to build
one for her friend anyway! Linda puts relevant links
to her own site in her blog. For her next move, Linda decides
to scour internet forums for like-minded pottery bloggers
and she makes some new friends. By creating a community
they can help each other out. Not only by providing each other
with links that make sense, but also by inspiring awesome new content. Lastly, she texts her tech-savvy aunt
for some help. In exchange for a pottery lesson, her aunt shows Linda how she can optimize
her website’s speed. The load time of her page
decreased noticeably just by downsizing
some of the pictures she was using! Happy with the changes, Linda coaches her aunt in shaping
her first bowl on the pottery wheel. At first, her ranking
doesn’t seem to change much. But, Linda continues working
on her website. She diligently and holistically
maintains her posts and pages. Sometimes it’s hard
to combine with her crafting, but she has a well-organised calendar
to help her out. After some time the search engine
seems to pick up on her expertise and bumps up her ranking. Sweet success! As you can see, focusing on all kinds
of different aspects of your website can help improve your rankability, which is
why we advise practicing holistic SEO. But what does that entail? We’re going to take a look
at holistic SEO in the next video.

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