SEO Tutorial for Beginners – Step by Step SEO with Downloadable Guides
It’s one thing to explain to someone how to optimize their website. It’s another to provide an actual SEO use case and supporting documentation regarding how to do search engine optimization. Here at Animink, we talk a lot about SEO, and the benefits that come with it for businesses that rely on customers looking for them online. I believe that many people find this information helpful, however I’m a visual learner, so sometimes I think it’s good to have an actual use case that helps people see more of what exactly goes into optimizing their website for Google Search.
I have created a video that walks through a lot of the steps for proper optimization, however in this video I also go through a specific case study for an electrician in Charlotte, NC. This really helps folks that are looking for proper SEO by giving them the process by which we start, and how we continue that process on their actual website. You can watch the video further below, however I’m writing this up for folks that would rather read than watch.
SEO Questionnaire – Determining your Audience
First step, you need to know your target audience. This may sound pretty straightforward, however it’s good to spend some time answering some basic questions about the people that are going to plunk down their hard earned cash for your service or product. That said, we have a pretty extensive questionnaire that we use when we begin working with a client on SEO services in Charlotte. Because we’re so generous (LOL) we have provided a more basic version for you to use for your business. Click the image here for a direct link.
For our case study, we established that the main objective of the electrician website is to generate leads through their form fill and via phone calls. Targeting primarily homeowners (they provide residential, but not regular commercial building work). They also have a great unique selling proposition (USP) – They offer same-day service. This was a big one for us as we can leverage this to promote what they do in a unique way. They would like to focus on Mooresville, NC and work south to Charlotte.
Search Engine Optimization – Keywords
Once you have these answers, it’s time to move to the next step: establishing your keywords. Google is successful because they help people find exactly what they’re looking for. If they aren’t good at providing search results, they lose their authority as the king of search. So they have bots, or small scripts, that run throughout the internet – including your website – looking for relevant content. They are looking at what you’re saying on your site to determine how you fit into their search algorithms. If your website sells jewelry, you don’t want to post content talking about home DIY projects. This seems like common sense, but a lot of folks write blog after blog on their site without actually adding any content with keywords that are targeting their actual products or services, or including the very keywords that people are searching to find them!
OK, so now that you have your ideal audience defined, spend some time jotting down all of the keyword phrases that represent what people would look for to hopefully find your business. We have a spreadsheet linked here for you as a launch point for your keyword ideas. The main goal here is to put down as many keyword phrases as you can think of that are relevant to your business, and then cull them down once you have a big list. These could be short keyword phrases (in our example this may be ‘electrical repair charlotte’) or long tail keywords that someone may use text-to-speech on their phone to search (like ‘a fuse in my fuse box keeps tripping what do I do). Perhaps look at competitor websites for inspiration. Search your keywords and make sure that sites like yours are showing up. You’ll learn a lot in this process. If you are willing, sign up for a service like www.ahrefs.com or www.semrush.com to learn more about your keywords, how competitive they are, and how much search volume they actually have. Animink spends a significant amount of time researching keywords for clients to make sure we’re choosing keywords that are relevant, and we can win with.
Eventually, you’ll need to work your list down to about 10-15 focused keywords, and 15-20 relevant keywords. The focused keywords should be the phrases that you want to include regularly in your SEO efforts. The relevant keywords should be used, but not as often.
You’ve Got Your List – Now What?
You’ve now armed yourself with your target audience, and your list of focused and relevant keywords. To get the wheels turning, it’s time to start writing. But don’t just write anything! Write real, relevant content that people actually want to read, and put it on your site. Google tracks traffic going to your site, and not only the quantity, but the duration. They know if people are actually spending time on your site, and that means – you guessed it – relevance. Think about things that people actually want to know about your industry. What would someone passionate about your services or products really like to understand about your business? Come up with a dozen topics – look at social media and websites of competitors if you have to for inspiration – but don’t copy. Your goal is original content. Include original photography as much as you can. Be detailed. If it’s a blog, shoot for 2000 words of content. And include those precious focused keywords. But not all of them! For a single blog, drop in a couple, include them a couple times here and there. You don’t need to beat Google over the head by keyword stuffing. They kind of frown on that. Just keep it casual and include the phrases where they would naturally fit.
Don’t just stick to blogs on your site, either. You should have lots of pages on your site explaining your products & services. These pages should include additional content explaining things in detail, using those keywords. If you’re a product-based business, you should have product descriptions with plenty of detail. This is an ideal place to drop in some keywords, but remember, keep it readable, engaging, and useful to the user. Don’t just write to write. If you’re a service based business, create pages of content breaking down each service in detail. Include photos, before & after images, infographics, and other great visuals to keep your reader stimulated. Animink spends time with our clients understanding exactly what their business is about, and really digging into content that will move the needle for them organically.
Remember also that you can post plenty of information about your company on external websites as well. When you do, be sure to cleverly insert a keyword phrase from your list here and there. And don’t forget to link back to your website. Your Google My Business profile is a great place to drop some relevant content (Google absolutely indexes this content), as well as your social media accounts. Speaking of social media, any time you write one of those awesome blogs, you should absolutely put it out there on your business Facebook page, LinkedIn, or wherever you have handles. This gives you the opportunity for more eyeballs on that blog, and remember as mentioned above… Google is watching. The more traffic you receive from your efforts, the more Google will reward you through their efforts.
This is a broad overview of the SEO process, but I think you get the idea. We’ve got some additional great tips for you on our Digital Tips page, it’s worth checking out. We’ll keep that page updated as we add new tips. Again, these search engine optimization basics are a great start, but SEO is journey, not a destination.
If you’re struggling, reach out to us for a FREE website audit. Perhaps you have great content on your site, but your site just loads slowly (find out here), or maybe the site itself is simply dated or unappealing. Maybe the majority of your traffic is mobile, and the site is just trash on a phone. In any case, we’ve been around for over 25 years, and we love what we do. Contact us if we can help.
And now, that awesome video I mentioned at the start of the blog…
A final note if you’re still reading.
At Animink, we do a LOT more than Search Engine Optimization. We’re great at building engaging websites, ecommerce stores, developing apps, and writing custom software. We can connect any system you may have to your accounting software via an API, or other required solution. And we support everything we build, so we won’t ever leave you hanging. Our goal is to be a digital consultant to our clients, and provide them with the best possible solutions for their online business needs.