SEO for Dummies

Caitlyn Kneafsey

January 12, 2015

SEO for Dummies

"Have you checked the SEO?” “Is the SEO updated?” “How’s the SEO doing?” If you’re working in marketing, I’m sure you’ve heard questions like this in a meeting or two. SEO is a phrase that is constantly discussed here at Hudson, but if you’re new to the ins and outs of digital marketing, SEO just flies right over your head. Don’t worry. SEO is a bit complicated but I’m here to share the vital points you need to know and how you can implement them into your marketing strategy.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In simpler terms, it is a process of getting traffic to a certain site, whether it’s paid or organic, from a search engine. While the biggest search engine is Google (taking up 67 percent of the search engine market as of early 2014), others like Bing and Yahoo all contain an algorithm that searches through millions of web pages to find what users are searching for.

Now if you’re like me (and a good portion of Internet users), you rarely ever click to the second page in a search engine. We expect what we want to show up right at the top on the first page. The question is: how do you get to the top of the search?

It all depends on the algorithm. Search engines use certain criteria when they find results for the visitor: words, titles, links between different websites, words used in links, and reputation. When search engine user enters keywords into their search, the algorithm filters through the different web pages to find matching criteria. However, they also check if the website is a legitimate site. With more than 644 million active websites (and counting), the algorithm checks pages’ connections, or links, to major websites. Web pages with these connections end up with higher rank on the search engine results page (SERP).

Why is SEO Necessary?

SEO is a necessary evil when it comes to marketing. It takes a lot of time, but it is important when you are marketing a brand or business. Every time your website appears higher on a search engine, it leaves an impression on users. This draws more traffic to your site and in turn, can turn into more leads and conversions. SEO is also necessary because your competitors know just how important it is too. To stay on top, SEO should be incorporated into your marketing strategy for 2015.

How to Implement SEO

There are a few things you can do to improve your site's SEO, the first being content. Publishing high-quality content helps increase your rank on SERP. What type of content should you create? Whether it is a blog post, an article, a press release or a social media post, all of this content adds up. But where should you publish these links?

This leads to my next point: Google+. Since Google is the leading search engine, Google+ is a great social platform to promote your content. Every time you share a new post, get a new business review, or connect with another company, you are increasing impressions and links.

All of this content is shared with your Google+ followers, which creates leads. In a study by Nielsen in 2012, 90 percent of social media users have said they trust a friend’s shared recommendation, 92 percent of world internet users trust online recommendations from friends, and 70 percent of internet users read others experiences for recommendations.

One last element to keep in mind: keywords. As stated earlier, visitors use keywords in search engines when they look for a specific webpage. When writing content, make sure to include keywords that relate to your company and its products/services. If you’re not sure which keywords to use, there are plenty of great tools to help you, including: Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Rank Checker.

Is that it?

No, there is a lot more to talk about when it comes to SEO, but for those who are just scratching the surface, this is an excellent start. As search engine algorithms continously update, SEO is constantly changing. Therefore, staying on top of SEO will help you in the future as your marketing strategy develops.

Caitlyn Kneafsey

This article was published by Caitlyn Kneafsey.

Caitlyn is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Hudson. She earned a B.A. in Visual Communication with a Concentration in Photography from  the Savannah College of Art and Design. Caitlyn creates blogs, social media posts and images for clients. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and watching a football or hockey game (New Orleans Saints and New Jersey Devils preferably). One little known fact is that she has been to 32 states by car and hopes to visit all the other states (except for Hawaii) by car too!