The Basic SEO Principles Explained: A Guide for Beginners

Did you know that 61% of website owners are interested in improving the organic presence of their site? 

If you belong to this group, you may be interested in using SEO to improve your organic presence. Yet, if you don’t know much about marketing, you may not know what works in the world of SEO. 

This post will teach you some of the basic SEO principles you need to understand should you want to succeed with SEO. If you want to give your business a better online presence, you’ll soon discover how SEO can help. 

Let’s begin!

What is SEO? 

In simple terms, SEO is a marketing tactic that improves the visibility of your website in search engine listings.  

More specifically, SEO allows you to rank highly for terms that are relevant to your business.  

For instance, suppose you own a driveway cleaning company.

You might use SEO to ensure that your website appears at the top of the listings whenever someone searches’ driveway cleaning service.’ 

For the most part, the work associated with SEO falls into two categories:  

  1. Picking the right keywords
  2. Figuring out how you’re going to rank for your chosen keywords

If you want to succeed with SEO, you need to create a strategy that focuses on both of these categories at the same time.  

After all, if you don’t know how to pick the right keywords, you will not rank for relevant terms. This will then mean that your target market will not be able to find you in the search listings. 

However, if you don’t know how to improve the rankings of your website, it won’t matter how good you are at selecting keywords. You will not be able to rank for your chosen keywords, and so your keyword research efforts will count for nothing. 

Picking Your Keywords

In this section, we’re going to talk about keyword research and how you can identify the keywords that’ll produce the best returns.

The fastest way to develop a list of relevant keywords is by using a ‘keyword tool.’

There are lots of keyword tools to choose from, but the best one is generally the Google Keyword tool. This is because it’s free, and the data comes directly from Google. 

When using this tool, all you need to do is provide a ‘seed’ keyword, and the tool will return a bunch of keywords related to your niche. It will also provide some information in regards to search volume. 

The keywords provided by this tool will vary in terms of the ROI that they will produce. Following this, you might be wondering how you can determine which keywords will produce the best ROI. 

Well, whenever you perform a Google search, you’ll notice that there are some ads at the top of the search listings. 

When setting up these ads, advertisers will generally target a keyword, and then ‘pay per click.’ The PPC price is often dependent on how much competition there is for a given keyword. 

The more likely it is that a keyword will generate customers, the more people that will bid on it. All of which means that the most expensive keywords are generally the keywords that will produce the best ROI. 

Fortunately, the Google Keyword tool provides PPC data, thereby allowing you to see which keywords are the most expensive. Thus, if you target some of the ‘expensive’ keywords, you should end up focusing on keywords that’ll deliver a good ROI. 

Should You Worry About the Competition? 

Now let’s tackle the issue of competition and how you should approach this problem. 

The ‘best’ keywords in your niche are probably going to have a lot of competition. This means that it’ll take more time and maybe more resources to achieve your desired ranking for a given keyword. 

In the short term, you may want to avoid going after such keywords, as you might be interested in securing some quick wins. Yet, in the long term, you should definitely think about targeting some of the high competition keywords. 

This is because such keywords often produce the best ROI, and thus if you ignore them, you’re potentially hurting your business.

Ranking for these keywords is going to be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be impossible. Fortunately, if you develop a decent strategy, you should be able to beat the competition in the medium to long term.  

How Can You Improve Your Rankings? 

Once you’ve selected the ‘right’ keywords, you then need to figure out how you’re going to rank for these terms. 

To begin with, you’ll need to create some content that targets these keywords.

When creating content, you need to make sure the end product is better than everything else that’s associated with a given keyword. If you don’t do this, Google will have no incentive to rank your content higher than the competition. 

Once you’ve created content, you also need to think about building some backlinks.

One way you can build backlinks is by securing some guest posts.  

To do this, you just need to approach websites in your niche and pitch them on content ideas. If you want to find guest post opportunities, you can do so by searching the word ‘guest post’ alongside the name of your niche. 

It’s worth noting that building backlinks is probably the hardest part of this process.

Thus, if you’re struggling, you may want to hire a professional SEO company.

They will already have strategies in place that will help you build links. With their help, you should be able to secure some good links in a short space of time. 

Will You Use These SEO Principles? 

If you use these SEO principles, you should be able to create a successful SEO strategy. 

The amount of time it takes for you to achieve results with SEO will generally depend on your niche. The more competitive your niche is, the longer it will take for you to see results. 

This ‘waiting period’ is the thing that stops most people from using SEO as a marketing strategy. Yet, if you can accept this initial delay, you should eventually end up with solid SEO results, and a resultant increase in profits.

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Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.