A Novice’s Guide to SEO Techniques

seo 101

If you are anything like me, you dread writing SEO heavy content riddled with keywords or phrases, which sometimes don’t make much sense. In fact, in my estimation, this requirement often times hinders the creative process and creates a challenge for us freelance writers.

However, since SEO is here to stay and is an integral part of content creation, understanding it is vital to a successful writing career. Therefore, I have put together some helpful information below that will give you a basic overview of what SEO is and how it is used on websites and by search engines today:

What is SEO?

Before understanding how to coalesce SEO into your writing, you need to know exactly what it is. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and its purpose is to boost a website to the top of the results page when individuals use a search engine such as Google to find information on a certain topic. The goal of any website owner, and consequently a content writer, is to boost their site to the top of the results page. To begin the process of building SEO knowledge, let’s start with one aspect of a search engine’s searching algorithm, that being keywords.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is also referred to as a search query, search term or key phrase. Even small changes in a keyword can lead to completely different sites appearing during a search. Therefore, using the perfect terminology is required to optimize results. The whole point is to use keywords within the content posted on a site that will be the same as what a potential customer, client or reader might search for in a search engine. In essence, a keyword is a trigger that highlights certain websites, making them stand out above the others.

What elements are part of a search engine’s algorithm?

Google has stated it utilizes more than 200 different signals to determine what websites to show in its results when keywords or phrases are entered into the search box. The goal of Google, and every other search engine for that matter, is to give surfers the most relevant sites in regards to what they are searching for. As mentioned above, only one part of this equation is searching for specific keywords within the content on websites.

What else do search engines use besides keywords to narrow down search findings?

The over 200 factors that Google uses to rank web pages are divided into two main categories. The first is most commonly referred to as “on-site SEO” and the second is called “off-site SEO.”

  • What is on-site and off-site SEO?

On-site SEO sorts websites based on its wording, the domain on which it’s hosted and its background HTML code. Off-site SEO sorts websites based on a site’s inbound or back links. Inbound links are hyperlinks that you put in the content on a website, which will transfer a reader your site to another. Backlinks are links to your site from other websites. In general, the more backlinks your site boasts, the higher it will be in the rankings.

The information listed above is a very basic look at SEO from an elementary standpoint. There is much more to learn if you desire to become an SEO expert. However, everyone has to start somewhere, and hopefully this introduction to SEO has been helpful to point you in the right direction.

Brandie P is an engaging wordsmith who is passionate about creating appealing content that is pleasing to both clients and readers alike. Her interests outside of writing include reading anything she can get her hands on and being the best mom and wife possible to her two kids and husband.


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