SEO for Beginners – How to Rank in Search

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is the work that goes into your website. So it’s actual work that you have to do to prove to Google and other search engines that you’re the most relevant answer, and the most trusted for searches related to your products or business. So those two things. Relevance and trust is what Google’s looking for to determine which, which websites it should rank on the first page. And so when I say Google, just so you know, I’m gonna be using that interchangeably for all search engines because 167 billion searches happen on Google a month.

– That’s a ton. Most searches happen on Google, right? – Right, so I’m just gonna use Google interchangeably, I mean, it is the 167 billion pound gorilla in the room, so, we’re just gonna go with it. – I’m scared. All right, so SEO like why, why is it important? Why should we invest our time, energy and money into it? – So search engines, they’re the new Yellow Pages. This is where people go to find answers. Billions upon billions of searches are happening each month, and many of those are for your products and services. So if you’re not showing up on the search results page, you’re missing out on a huge untapped potential of all these customers who literally are typing your products into the search bar wanting to purchase. 88% of people research before they buy, and they’re- where do they research? – [Nealey] That’s huge.

Google, so you need to just- it’s just plain and simple. You need to be there. So instead of me telling you, let me just show you. Let’s go check out a search result right now. – Cool, let’s do it! – All right, so we’re gonna break down the different pieces of SEO by going to the search results page itself. – Okay. – So, let’s dive into it. So let’s go to Google.com and what’s an example business that we should look into? – [Nealey] Um, let’s try lawyers. – [Morgan] Laywers, ahh, that business of yours is getting big time, huh? – [Nealey] Something like that. – [Morgan] Yeah, Phoenix, Arizona you need a lawyer now. So lawyer Phoenix, Arizona. So what I just typed into the search bar is known as the search query, and this is a phrase or a question that you are looking for answers for.

This can contain your keywords, for example, lawyer is a keyword and Phoenix, Arizona is probably a keyword. So now let’s look at the three different pieces of the search engine results page, also known as the SERP Okay, so these first two sections right here, these are the ads – paid ads, and normally you can tell because they have a little ad flag right there. So you can see there are two ads here, and then if we scroll down to the next section, this is the local map listing sections. So these are local businesses only, so if you serve a national audience or you don’t have a physical location that you serve, then you aren’t going to show here.

The way that you appear here is you have to have great SEO on your website, and you also have to have an optimized Google My Business profile. And you can see that only a few businesses appear here, so there’s usually three, this is known as the local three pack, and then occasionally there’d be an ad. So this is an example of someone who’s paying to appear in the local listings, and then these three below it are the ones that are naturally organically showing up here, which Google has deemed for Phoenix, Arizona, these are the best three. You can click on more places, and that’s going to bring you a wider map of all the different local lawyers.

So you can see quite a few, and then you can dig into their Google My Business profile from there. So here’s an example of one. So the next and last piece at the bottom, these are the organic results. This is where you want to be, because unlike the paid ads, you have to pay to play for those, so once your ad budget is out, poof, you’re gone, you’re no longer there. But with these, you prove to Google over time that you’re the most relevant and the most trusted answer, and then you’re gonna stay here for a long, long time as long as you continue to show Google that you’re better than your competition. And people love these. A lot of people, while ads are affective, we’re kind of trained to just skip over the ads and go straight down to the organic results, and so, so many people will just hop down right here, and they’ll click and find their lawyer. So I wanna go back to the top, and I wanna talk about keywords and keyword competitiveness because keywords are things which we’ll be talking about you need to put all across your website.

It’s these search terms that people are looking for and so you need to make sure that you have that on your website as well. Um, however; some are much more competitive than others. So if you look at lawyer Phoenix, Arizona, there’s about 32 million results. It’s pretty broad. Phoenix is a pretty big city. If we change it to something that’s less competitive, let’s say a dog grooming- dog groomer Phoenix, Arizona, only 2.3 million results. So clearly, less competitive business, so there’s not as much competition there, which is great if you’re a dog groomer cause that means you have a- if you’re doing the right SEO, it’s gonna be easier to appear on the first page for that search term.

Unlike lawyers where they put a lot of money into advertising, it’s a very, very, very competitive space. There are people always fighting for those top spots. – Should we only put short keywords? Is there anything else we can use? – So initially, no. With Google, you need to start small with, they’re called long-tail keywords, so they’re, they’re keywords with three, four, five, six words altogether, um, because you need to prove your authority in the small, less competitive spaces before Google is going to realize that you should be ranking for these more broad terms. So, for this example, if I’m a dog groomer, let’s say I specialize in poodle grooming. So, we’re gonna change it to poodle groomer Phoenix, Arizona. And you can see the competitiveness, there’s only 300 thousand search results, so this is great because there’s not as many people who put poodle grooming on their websites, and so for me, this is a great opportunity for me to start building that authority with Google. So remember if I’m a dog groomer and you go to my website and there’s absolutely nothing about dog grooming, it’s just my name, my phone number, and maybe a photo, Google’s gonna look at that and think, this doesn’t talk anything about – It’s not relevant.

Google My Business

– Yeah, it’s not relevant so this person must not be great for this keyword. They’re probably not a dog groomer at all. So our job is to go and make sure that all the content on our website is relevant to those keywords. – All right, so you’re telling me all I need to do is update just a little bit of content on my website? – Not exactly, so remember that we’re doing this not only for our users so they have information, but for Google. – Okay. – So and Google wants our websites to be structured in a very particular way, right? Ultimately it’s a robot that’s scanning the backend of our website, so the backend data of the website Google wants to make sure that we have it formatted in a way that it can easily read and know what our website is about. So these are things like our H1 tag, our meta data, meta descriptions, which I’m gonna go into right now to show you where this is.

– [Nealey] Awesome, let’s see it. – [Morgan] So, for, since we’re here on this poodle grooming website, let’s go to this one. Puff and Fluff Grooming and Pet Sitting. – [Nealey] I’m all about rhyming. – [Morgan] It’s a nice looking website, it has great colors, great branding, but the problem is, Google doesn’t see any of that. This is what they see. Boom. – [Nealey] That’s gross. – [Morgan] That’s not that pretty. And end users, your customers, if this was your way that your website was presented, they would get nothing from this; however, this is exactly what Google looks at when they’re wanting to rank a website. – All right, so you’re telling me that I have to know how to code to do that? – Not necessarily, because modern day website builders already have this built in here. You can see with this website, they’re actually using a plugin for WordPress called “All in One SEO” Where you just put it in and it just makes it super easy for you as a non-technical user to update all of these SEO elements, which is awesome. So as part of this, you need to have your meta title, so this is basically the title of each part of your website that, when you go back to the search engine results page, you, this is what will show up.

So for this example, they set their meta title for Puff and Fluff Grooming and Pet Sitting. And then you can also see right here the meta description, they get to choose what that is. All right, so that’s the basics of SEO, the search engine results page, everything on your website. – We just talked about everything on-site that you need to do to your website, so now let’s talk about the things off-site. – Okay. That shows Google that you’re the most trusted answer for search results. – All right, so explain trust a little bit more for us. – Yeah, so I have an analogy. So let’s say that you get a call one day, and it’s from a fifth grader, and the fifth grader says, “Hey, Morgan is the best basketball player in the entire world.” Are you gonna believe him? – Probably not.

I think you paid him. – Right, all right now what if Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan called you up and said, “Hey, I’ve got the scoop on this new player, Morgan. She’s the best basketball player in the entire world.” What would you say to that? Would you believe them? – Oh absolutely. – Yeah. – They have authority. – They have authority, so you will trust their opinion, and it’s the same thing with Google.

The way that Google can tell if your website, if it should trust your website, cause again, we could toot our own horn all day long. And we see this all the time. People say, “best dog groomer in Phoenix, Arizona,” right? Like people love to toot their own horn, but with Google – [Nealey] Self-proclaimed! – It needs that authority from other people, and that’s where backlinks come in. And so backlinks are links on other websites that point back to your website, and Google uses this as an indicator to see, oh okay this is actually a really good website. Other people are talking about it. Now, with backlinks, it’s quality over quantity.

You don’t just want to go on the internet and go put your, you know, go on every comment, every YouTube comment, like just put your website everywhere cause that’s gonna look spammy. Google’s not gonna like that. It wants really high quality, the Michael Jordan’s, if you will. – What is one thing they can do right now? – The biggest thing that you can do that will give you so much bang for your buck is to put content on your website, especially content that has your keywords. To determine those keywords, you should probably… What are the products and services that you offer, or what are the products and services that you want your customers to know about? For example, using the dog groomer in Phoenix, Arizona, maybe is there certain types of grooming that you do that you’re really well known for? Let’s say you’re the best darn toy poodle groomer this side of the Mississippi.

– (laughs) Okay. – You should have a separate page with content on it about that specific service that you offer. So that’s what I recommend. Go make sure your page just has tons of content so that way when users, and ultimately Google look at it, they know exactly what you’re about, and then Google will start ranking you. All right guys, I hope you found this beginner’s guide to SEO helpful, and that these are actionable things that you can start doing now, so that way your customers can start finding your business online.

If you’re gonna get started and you found this helpful, let us know in the comments below the number one thing you learned about SEO today. – Awesome, and make sure you like this video, subscribe to the channel, and if you wanna see these videos first, ring that bell. But this has been The Journey. Signing off..

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