Search engine optimization (SEO) has so many moving parts to it that it can feel impossible to know how to start diving in. As with any intimidating task, it can be helpful to break it down into smaller parts, starting with the basics to build up your knowledge and your confidence. This video from Bing Senior Product Manager Duane Forrester helps do exactly that, starting with the basic principles of SEO to help viewers get a grasp on a complex topic.
The key principle of all SEO advice
When optimizing any website, the most important thing to keep in mind is “How does this impact the user experience?” That’s the main focus of any search engine algorithm – Google and Bing want to help their users find the best, most useful sites to answer their queries. That means the best way to provide what the algorithms want is to provide what the user wants.
There are a lot of ways to do that:
- Provide clear, well-organized and well-written content
- Focus on the keywords your users are actually searching for, rather than company-specific jargon
- Structure your site so that the most important pages are optimized for the most important terms, and design your other pages
- Find your niche and provide something your users can’t get from any other site
- This might involve narrowing your strategy to focus on more specific terms that have less traffic, but also less competition
It’s important to keep SEO in mind right from the start of your site. Understanding some of those basic principles can help you organize your thoughts and put together a coherent SEO strategy.
Patience and practice
Another major emphasis in the video is the importance of patience. Even the best-implemented SEO strategy takes time to bear fruit, and you have to keep working at it constantly in order to both move up the rankings, and hold on to your spot.
Building authority and getting other sites to link your content to their audience is a time-consuming process. Engaging other content producers, being accessible to your audience and utilizing social media tools all help you keep your audience interested and keep traffic to your site (and your keyword rankings) growing consistently.
Give value to your audience
Finally, it’s easy to think of what you want from your site – more clicks, more visitors, more ads or more purchases – but none of that matters if you aren’t giving your audience what they want. If you try to sell things to your audience right off the bat, they’re not going to tune out, and they’re not going to return.
Forrester says that to build SEO, only about 10% of your content should be focused on what you want (directly appealing for sales, leads, etc.). What you want is to become a trusted expert for your audience. Give the audience what they want, and you can more naturally and easily earn leads, business and sales.