As soon as you begin to enter the wide universe of digital marketing , you will come across three letters that will adhere to your head more strongly than your first love: SEO. Together they are the abbreviations of Search Engine Optimization; a term in English that was first published in the late nineties. You read well. Almost immediately after the birth of Google in 1996 … and it changes daily. So before you go crazy, you might want to take a look at the answers to some of the most common SEO questions for newbies.
Several years before social networks were the most popular girls in school, search engines were the only way to guide visitors to a web page. The first positions of a search were then valuable spaces in which all business wanted to appear. Faced with this need was born SEO, a set of efforts to improve the visibility of a website in the organic results of the different search engines.
These actions are transformed as the dominant player changes the board. The biggest one puts the rules. You already understood: if Google moves, SEO moves.
Two mantras should be recorded on your skin if you want to delve into the world of SEO: Authority and Relevance.
Authority: Basically refers to the popularity of a website. How many Internet users visit it and, based on their behavior within it, how useful their content has been. How long do they stay there? How many times have they shared what they find? Do they click on other internal links? All these questions allow Google to measure the user experience and to a large extent define the authority of a domain in front of the search engine.
Relevance: This is the relationship that a specific page saves in front of a certain search. In the beginning it was determined by the number of times a term was repeated within the content; However, with time and technological advances, new elements have been taken into account. The extension of the information, the structure, the diversity in the formats, are just some of them. This is what you know as SEO on page.
SEO for beginners: 10 questions
Yes, you are already clear on exactly what SEO is, what your objective is and the two main mantras, you will still have some SEO questions for newbies who need answers. Next we will answer ten of them.
1. What is the SEO of white hat and black hat?
Right, maybe that’s not the first question that came to your mind. Believe me, it’s worth talking about. The sooner the better.
There is a long list of elements that search engines take into account to define the authority of a domain and the relevance of its content in front of a search. Some are public, others are hidden in the algorithms. Nobody can know them all.
That said, you should know that SEO is not like war or love: not everything is worth it. The search engines define the algorithms and therefore also mark the rules.
Some people in the industry have labeled different practices such as white hat SEO , black hat SEO and even gray hat SEO . Terms that refer to the ethical-normative level of each of them.
SEO for newbies
These three types of SEO have emerged from the Google guidelines on what sites can or can not do to improve their positioning. Unethical practices, also called black hat or black hat, are usually penalized. Therefore it is recommended to stay in the margins of white hat or white hat efforts , which are aimed at helping search engines identify the content and not to deceive the algorithms.
Google has published a very clear guide to help you identify the best way to position your website without risking being penalized. When you read it in detail you will find a detailed description of what is considered acceptable.
Best practices: Describe accurately the content of the page
Choose a title that is natural and effectively communicate the theme of the content of the page.
What you should avoid:
Choose a title that has no relation to the content of the page.
Use default or inaccurate titles such as “Untitled” or “New Page 1”.
Best practices: Create unique titles for each page
Ideally, all the pages of a website should have a unique title, since, in this way, you help Google to know how a page differs from the others. If you use independent mobile pages, remember to use effective titles in them too.
What you should avoid:
Use the same title in all the pages of a website or in a large number of them.
Ignoring these guidelines can be classified as an SEO error for newbies. Nobody beats the algorithm , at least not forever. Believe me you do not want to get a penalty from the search giant in the process. Re-indexing a site after a penalty can be an expensive and arduous process without guarantee of positive results.
The professionals of the white hat SEO use tactics according to the guidelines set by Google and do not risk sanctions. This path, besides being the most ethical, is the least risky. By this point you may have already imagined that few professionals are totally white or black, most are more what is called Gray Hat SEO or gray hat, which means they use a mixture of black and white tactics to position a website … sometimes even by mistake. The important thing is to be out of risk before Google.
2. What keywords to choose?
As you know, the relevance of a content is defined by its relation to a certain search. That search is given through a term or keyword. This means that keywords are the basis of SEO. The research and selection of keywords is essential for anyone looking to improve their results on the pages of search engines ( SERP ).
If you’re a coffee shop you probably will not be interested in being the first result for someone looking for shoes. So you must work with keywords that first align with your business objective. Then you should make sure that those words are exactly what your potential consumer would look for online.
To know these terms, the first thing you should be clear about is the profile of your Buyer Persona , (yes, that tool that appears again and again every time the topic of digital strategy is put on the table). Starting from that profile will facilitate your task exponentially. Once you have it you should be sure to choose long tail or long tail keywords : terms that we use in Google to search for something very specific and that contain at least three words.
SEO for newbies
Let’s think that you own a primary school in Colonia del Valle in Mexico City. Placing yourself in the first results of a simple search as “primaries” will be especially difficult for new sites. The sites with the most dominance against Google surely already have content that meets criteria of relevance that are difficult to unseat. However, if you try to close the search to something like “bilingual primaries in the colony X”, the competition is reduced and the chances of achieving an adequate positioning increase.
If I search “primary school”, the first result after the Google Business listings and the paid ads corresponds to Wikipedia. It is VERY difficult to unseat Wikipedia in a generic search.
SEO for newbies
However, when you search for “bilingual primaries in the Valley” look what happens:
How about you start working with long tail keywords and stop wasting efforts?
3. How often does Google update search results?
Bad news: Google is updating its algorithm all day every day. So moving from finding answers to SEO questions to newbies, to being an expert in the field can be really difficult.
Google uses the real-time comments of the searches to update the ranking and the algorithm. Being minor changes, it is almost impossible to notice them with the naked eye. However, it is possible that one of your contents goes from position four to five in one day. That is normal.
Google SEO algorithm
Of course, Google is not limited to daily updates. Sometimes, the search giant can make changes to the main algorithm, which directly affect black hat practices. These effects result in instantaneous loss of traffic and even of economic flow for companies linked to them.
In contrast, White hat SEO practices allow organizations to have a sustained growth and a more stable positioning.
4. Will SEO work for me?
When we talk about undertaking a new online marketing strategy, it is recommended to select those tactics of this vast universe that best align with your business strategy. However, in the case of SEO, the answer to this question is almost always yes.
Regardless of what type of business you have or what your size is, mastering some SEO techniques will help you position your site better, as long as it includes relevant and useful content for the user.
“… Due to content saturation and overloading, the idea of standing out is difficult. But thinking “I want to be as good as the top 10 search results for this particular term or phrase is wrong.” We have to say, “How can I create something 10 times better than what any of these 10 results are currently doing? ” This is how we stand out. This is how you create content that appears on Google. ”
It is important to note that, although tactics are generally guided by Google’s guidelines, SEO is very useful in front of all search engines, so do not be afraid to implement it the next time you upload a video to YouTube, for example. The video site is, after all, the second most important search engine on the web.
If you create videos, you can implement SEO for your YouTube videos . If you think of an online store, eCommerce SEO is a big business and for local small businesses, it imports the sub-niche ‘local SEO’.
5. How much does it cost to do SEO?
Like many of the tools and tactics employed in digital marketing, the cost depends to a large extent on the level at which you want to work. Large companies may hire agencies to handle the issue. These will make quotes for projects that can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Do not be discouraged. The numbers do not exclude small businesses. Entrepreneurs and SMEs can undertake their own DIY efforts by analyzing success stories, SEO guides for novices and some tools available on the web. This means that with a little study and practice you can advance a lot. Of course there are also formal courses if you are interested.