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Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Research shows that over 80% of consumers conduct research online before deciding what to purchase or which business to go to for a particular service. So how do you ensure that your business shows up first when people search keywords related to the services you provide?

Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is a digital marketing tool that helps businesses be displayed at or near the top of search engine result pages (SERP) when someone searches for specific keywords. SEO combines technical strategies like backlinks, social media, and mobile optimization to help increase the number of visitors to your website without spending a lot of money on marketing and advertisements.

Basic Principles of SEO

There are three essential components of a successful SEO project, often referred to as the Three Pillars of SEO. These aspects work together to improve a company’s ranking on SERPs. When considering using SEO to market your business, it is important to focus on all three of these elements to maximize your potential for growth. 

First, you’ll want to ensure that the technical aspects of your website are optimized for driving traffic to you. Some common ways of achieving this are to increase your site’s speed by reducing the number of redirects and potentially investing in a content distribution system to further increase speed. With many people browsing the internet on their mobile devices rather than a computer, you’ll also want to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly; if a potential customer cannot easily access your page on their phone, they will likely move to a competitor.

On-page SEO (sometimes referred to as content strategy) refers to the improvements you make on your website to improve its ranking on search engines. One way to do this is to incorporate different types of media on your page. Use pictures, videos, and audio to enhance the experience of the viewer. You can also use exciting and appealing fonts when you’re writing a text post. It is also crucial to use internal links on your website to take your viewers to other pages that belong to you. Equally important are outbound links to other reputable websites that can lend your page additional credibility. 

Off-page elements of SEO are methods you use to increase traffic to your website that don’t stem directly from your own page. One common off-page strategy is backlinks or inbound links. These are links on other popular websites that link to your own; essentially, this implies that your webpage is trustworthy and is worth displaying higher up on a SERP. Off-page SEO strategies also include investments like guest bloggers and promotion of your website on social media via popular influencers related to your product or service. All of these help your website develop a wider reach. 

Why is SEO Important?

SEO is the best tool we have today for keeping search results fair. Sites that rank highly on SERPs are there because they deserve to be. Consumers trust the results they find on search engines, so seeing a page near the top is a signal that the website or business is trustworthy and dependable. SEO is also cost-effective; advertisements and marketing campaigns are costly, especially for small businesses just starting out. SEO can boost traffic to your website without investing a large amount of money. In fact, some research suggests that as much as 50% of marketing experts believe SEO is the most effective way to market digitally

Without SEO, it’s difficult to imagine how we would find businesses and services we need on a daily basis. Search results would be much easier to manipulate and businesses with the most money would be able to buy space at the top of the results, regardless of whether they should be there or not. SEO allows customers to limit the time they spend searching for the information they need.

Career Options With SEO

As businesses continue to grow their online presence, jobs that require expertise in SEO will continue to be in-demand. There are several exciting career paths that you can choose from; it just depends on your other interests and skills.

SEO Specialists are responsible for analyzing a business’s website for potential barriers to ranking higher on a search engine like Google. They conduct research into keywords and tailor websites to certain specifications, ensuring the website is displayed higher in the search results. SEO Specialists can earn an average annual salary of around $54,000 depending on their location and the business they work for. 

Search Engine Managers have a thorough understanding of how search engines work, which helps them maximize the results that advertisements and SEO are meant to produce. A Search Manager position might sound similar to an SEO Specialist, but they require more experience managing paid search campaigns as well. They maintain these campaigns and create detailed reports to illustrate both how marketing is going and what could be done to improve results. These professionals can make around $78,000 per year

A Digital Strategist identifies potential gaps in their client’s marketing techniques and helps develop a plan to fill those gaps and therefore gain new customers. The projects they work on can range from improving websites and SEO to implementing social media marketing campaigns. The average digital strategist in the US makes a bit over $61,000 annually, but this varies depending on your experience level, location, and the size of the company you work for. 

Learn About SEO With Career Centers

Do you want to boost your resume and learn more about SEO? Check out the available SEO classes with Career Centers. You’ll be able to learn in a small group environment from expert instructors, whether you take a class remotely or in-person at their Manhattan campus. Students are also able to retake a course for free within one year of the original class. Career Centers offers an SEO in a Day course that is perfect for beginners. In just six hours, you’ll learn how to strategize with SEO through a combination of labs and lessons. For something a bit more thorough, Career Centers also offers an SEO Bootcamp. This two-day class provides a more in-depth look at digital marketing techniques. 

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