Seo Basics: What Is Seo?

djbaxter

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SEO basics: What is SEO?
by Marieke van de Rakt, Yoast.com
November 23, 2016

SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the practice of optimizing websites to make them reach a high position in Google’s – or another search engine’s – search results. SEO focuses on rankings in the organic (non-paid) search results....

In order to make web pages appear in high positions in the search results, SEO tries to shape a website according to Google’s algorithm. Although Google’s algorithm remains secret, over a decade of experience in SEO has resulted in a pretty good idea about the important factors.

In our view, the factors in Google’s algorithm can be divided into two categories, which determine the ranking of your website together:

1. On-page SEO factors (structure, site speed, and content )
2. Off-page SEO factors (links)
Read more...
 

azgold

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Yoast is a great site to cite. :D

I doubt you'd find a better authority on SEO. I love their plugin, it really helps with making sure your posts are optimized for the search engines.
 
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SEO or Search engine optimization is the way to increase the appearance of a website on SERP.

There are umpteen free SEO books and resources for every newbie who want to learn SEO, such as-

Moz's SEO Guide
RankWatch's Begginers Guide to SEO
SEO Book
Search Engine Journal
 
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This article is great for a blog beginner like myself, thanks @djbaxter! It's interesting that the "Google Formula" has become the Krabby Patty Secret Formula of web-based businesses. I know the article says SEO works well with WordPress, but does it work better with an individual domain?

How do I make sure I am gaining the right SEO for my website?
 

djbaxter

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I know the article says SEO works well with WordPress, but does it work better with an individual domain?
To be honest, I'm not 100% certain these days. It used to be that it was easier to rank with your own domain that with a domain like stacie.wordpress.com because it was wordpress.com that got most of the link credit. I don't know that this is the case today, with algorithms having evolved to a much more complex and sophisticated level. Also, wordpress.com now allows you to use your own domain name on their platform, I believe.

It also depends on your goals for your site. If it's a personal project or a hobby site, it probably doesn't matter as much (i.e., it's not critical). If you want to run this as a business, though, that changes things. My own bias is that for a variety of reasons any business is better off with their own domain and their own hosting, not the least of which is customer/client confidence in your site.

How do I make sure I am gaining the right SEO for my website?
Tricky question. You either start following the SEO blogs and learn as much as you can about the many variables involved (that was easier to do 10-20 years ago than today) or you consult someone with some SEO expertise. If you do decide to consult an SEO person or company, do your research first. Get recommendations and seek out customer reviews. There are hundreds if not thousands of self-styled "SEO experts" who will offer cheap services or even expert services and end up doing more harm than good. SEO is an ever-changing world and only those who are truly current with ranking factors today as opposed to 5 years ago are worth whatever they charge.
 
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@djbaxter thank you for your advice! I have looked at the WordPress plans, and they even have them recommended "Best for Personal Use"/"Best for Small Businesses" and so on. I might start mine on the Personal Plan, since it's less than $40USD/year. However, I still want to be aware of SEO and how it works!

You either start following the SEO blogs and learn as much as you can about the many variables involved (that was easier to do 10-20 years ago than today) or you consult someone with some SEO expertise.
Do you have any blog recommendations? I love learning everything I possibly can to help my business journey!
 

djbaxter

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If you're using WordPress for your site, start by installing the free Yoast SEO plugin. That will take care of most of the basics for you automatically.

Next, subscribe to one or more of the following for tips, information, and recommendations including for WordPress SEO, what plugins to use, etc. (these are from my personal feedly reader list):
There are numerous blogs about General SEO and Local SEO that may be overly technical, but they do help you to keep up on the latest news - if you read them long enough, they will start to make sense:\
And there are numerous books available on SEO but be careful to get very recent ones only - SEO is a rapidly changing field (I haven't read these personally):
 

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