What is SEO in a nutshell?

In simple terms, SEO primarily consists of two steps:  Optimization and Authority

Optimization ensures that Google can understand what keywords are being targeted, what products and/or services you sell, and where they are offered.

Authority makes sure Google knows you offer the best content for users searching. To develop a website’s authority, high-quality informative content that people naturally share is critical.

An easy way to think of SEO is to consider it “quality control” for a website. As a webmaster, it is my job when building a client site to understand what kind of content your potential customers are looking for, and create a site that contains that content while making it easy for users to share. In other words, to identify your target audience. Witing useful, quality content that uses the keywords you want to rank for in a natural, organic way takes practice.

It is your job to secure links from relevant sites back to your website – called “backlinks.”  Having great content increases your chances of securing natural links from quality relevant pages. These links will help you because they act like a “recommendation” in Google’s eyes, and are the second most important ranking factor after content relevance.

What makes a good backlink?

While many factors are used to determine how good a backlink is, most experts agree it comes down to relevance, trust, diversity and authority.

Relevance relates to how valuable the source is – for example, if you have a non-profit site for Veterans an incoming link from a veteran’s services blog would be more useful than one from a home décor website. The more relevant a link, the more likely it is to be clicked on the site where it resides. Trust relates to the trust Google has for the website where your link resides – so the more popular the site, the more trusted it is. In other words, HubSpot or Yahoo Finance sites have more “juice” in Google’s eyes than a site that gets little to no traffic. Diversity means links from different sites and types of sites. Just having a link to your site in a review or blog or Facebook post with significant juice can greatly affect ranking. Authority relates to how popular a website is using domain authority metrics and other measures.

When securing backlinks to your site, objective is not to ‘make your links appear natural’; the objective is that your links are natural. However, actively targeting high authority websites with content they’d love to link to is easier said than done. This very element is what SEO experts charge the most for because it is tedious and time-consuming, requiring expert knowledge of which sources to target, how to target them effectively, and how often it should be done.

How do you start?

The number one element is understanding your target audience. Next, make a list of the websites that would appeal to that target audience. Your list should contain authority and trust scores, as well as the difficulty level for getting a backlink on each particular domain. Click here to review some strategies for getting high-quality backlinks. Review of these strategies should start to educate even novices of the complexity and time involved for ongoing SEO work.

eBiz Network websites are built with “technical SEO” elements – such as tracking and measurement tools, at least one page configured for a selected keyword or keyword phrase, unique title, meta description, and slug. The Yoast SEO plugin will be installed and configured, ready for use as you move forward with your own ranking efforts. If your plan includes basic SEO configuration, keyword-configured pages created during site build will serve as examples for your ongoing efforts.