• Tessa May Marr

Beginners Guide: 6 Easy Steps to SEO Success

beginner's guide easy steps to SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) is a mystery to many. And with an acronym like SEO, your automatic thought is "oh no, this is one of those things that's going to leave me with a headache for DAYS". But really--it's simple!

In short, SEO is the process of obtaining website traffic organically (that's right--for free!). It's simply a combo of actively knowing what your visitors are searching for, as well as placing keywords in the right places throughout your page or blog post. But don't be scared--this is easier than it sounds.

If you use WordPress, you can install a Yoast plug-in that will help you evaluate the SEO effectiveness of each blog-- which we have found to be very useful. But even if you're just kicking it old school, these six steps are going to ensure you SEO success!

And don't forget to participate in the fun experiment at the bottom!

Step 1: Pick a keyword.

How the heck do you pick a good one? Well, we're glad you asked. You want to consider what you think people will search to find the information you're providing. What would you search? (Hint: What did you search when doing research for your blog/content? That's a good place to start.) You also want to consider who you're competing with in terms of keywords. If you go too general, you might find yourself competing with really big brands who you're going to have a hard time beating. (For example: Don't try to win the "apple" keyword okay? Even if your orchard has the best darn apples known to mankind. You're JUST not going to win.)

Long-Tail Keywords (three to four word descriptions that are super specific) are often a recommended best practice because they will help drive the kind of traffic that wants exactly what you're offering and more likely to convert. But doing this also means that those who don't know precisely what they want yet, may not find you. In that case, perhaps on certain pages of your site or for certain blogs, you want to keep it a little more general.

Game Changer: It's a delicate waltz, choosing the optimum keyword to get the most traffic and the right kind of traffic--so play with it and see what works best for you. How do you know? Use Google Analytics (your new best friend--if you haven't met already, it's time!) to constantly review what your site visitors are searching, how much traffic you're seeing on varying pages and posts, and how many convert.

Step 2: Ensure keyword is in image files.

You need to consider your keyword (and/or other appropriate search keywords) when choosing your image file name (don't leave it as IMG_4056, you guys!), the image title and the image "alt text" (aka what appears when your image fails to load or when someone visually impaired is using your site).

Aha Moment: Google has no way to read images (yet, anyway) so it has to go off of what you tell it the image is. Think about how much you use Google Image search to find stuff for social posts, desktop wallpapers or hilarious memes for an afternoon giggle. You're finding all of that because whoever uploaded those images used keywords that match what you're searching in the image name and/or alt text. #MindBlown

Want to dig deeper into this? Get more deets straight from the horses mouth.

Step 3: Ensure keyword is in the excerpt.

The excerpt (also known as the meta description) is the little blurb that shows up in the preview when people find your content in a search engine and when they are sharing your link all over their social networks (and you better believe they're going to be sharing--with the good stuff you're creating and how easy it's going to be to find after you follow these steps!). If you don't add your own excerpt, the first 55 words will automatically be displayed.

Sometimes this works, but more than likely you can write something better to grab the attention of