Does it sometimes seem that digital marketing boils down to little more than alphabet soup?

You hear a lot of acronyms like SEM, PPC, SERPs, B2B and B2C. But the marketing term you probably hear the most (and understand the least) is SEO.

If you’re wondering how SEO works, you’re not alone. The process of getting traffic and sales from search engines is confusing–even overwhelming–for the average business owner.

To get better acquainted with the world of SEO, here’s a quick SEO for dummies guide to get you started.

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SEO for Dummies: What Is SEO?

Far more than alphabet soup, SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” If you’ve ever conducted a search on Google, you’ve seen the process first-hand.

Let’s say you’re planning a vacation to Jamaica. You open Google and type in “best places to stay in Jamaica.” A second later, you’ve got pages and pages of search results to scroll through listing the best hotels on the island.

Here’s where SEO comes in. How often do you scroll past the first page and look at results on the second, third, or fourth page? Not very often, right?

Neither does anyone else. In fact, almost 92% of all clicks come from the first page of search results.

Now imagine someone is searching for your product or service. If your website doesn’t appear on that first page of search results, 92% of people will never see it–and never know about your company.

SEO is the process of getting your business website onto that all-important first page of search results. It’s so important, in fact, that companies in the US spent over $72 billion for SEO services in 2018.

SEO Tips for Beginners

SEO is complicated and ever-changing, so there’s no way we can list everything you need to know in one post.

But there are some universal rules of SEO that every beginner should know. Here are a few to get you started.

1. Keyword Usage

If you haven’t already, do some keyword research to find out the best keywords for your service or product. 

A hotelier in Jamaica, for example, might focus on keywords like “best hotel in Jamaica” or “where to stay in Jamaica.”

Once you’ve identified the best keywords, sprinkle them throughout your website’s content. Use them in blog posts, page titles, and URLs–without overstuffing.

2. Image Optimization

Speaking of keywords, another great place to use them is in file names and image tags.

Rather than loading an image of a sunset as “image.jpg,” our savvy Jamaican hotelier could use the tag “sunset_in_Jamaica.”

This helps Google to identify the image and improve the website’s SEO.

3. Internal and External Links

A final way to boost your SEO is to include internal and external links throughout your site.

Internal links could go to product or service pages and relevant blog posts. Outbound links should go to relevant authority sites–but beware of linking out to a competitor!

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How SEO Works: Now You Know

Our SEO for dummies guide has given you a brief overview of how SEO works, but there’s a lot more to learn.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Many savvy business owners just like you choose to leave their SEO needs to the professionals so they can concentrate on running their business.

Interested in learning more and taking your marketing efforts to the next level? Contact us today and let’s get started.