- by Chris
Getting to grips with SEO fundamentals
I’ve tried to learn many skills in my lifetime, ranging from the creative down to the technical, at one point I thought I would like to be a teacher, so that of course required looking into teacher training and learning how to interact with children and correctly teach them the skills they needed. I quickly discovered I wasn’t cut out for that and instead got my hand stuck into the digital world, first off with programming and working with websites, something that I’ve always had an interest in from a younger age. Learning on the job was always an interesting prospect, and with the ever-changing technology world it was a blast trying to keep up.
Whilst working on websites, I decided it was worth specialising, and that’s where SEO came into the mix. Now, anyone who has tried to learn SEO has probably first of all been overwhelmed by the wealth of information out there, and then secondly, they have probably had to try and figure out which knowledge out there is good knowledge and will apply to them, and of course, which is bad knowledge and is trying to teach them the wrong way to do things. The problem with SEO is that it is such a vast subject that it is impossible to be on top of this when you’re starting out, and I was in that same boat starting out. Where do you begin, and who can you trust for reliable and current information?
Trying to find a great SEO Fundamentals course is difficult, there’s so much to cover, and what parts of it do you actually need to know to get your website ranking? Also, there’s so many tools out there to help you with your job, which tools can I use to make my life easier when optimising my website?
When looking for a good fundamentals course, it’s important that you get a good overview of the industry that you’re learning, and in SEO that means it’s all about learning the search engines (mainly Google) and how their algorithm updates have changed and shaped the search results pages that are being delivered to users. It’s also important to know the continued work that is happening with these algorithms, and how they’re changing for the future. For example, mobile first indexing is becoming more prominent as we get to the end of 2017 as SEO’s and marketing agencies gear up for the change.
Once you’ve learned the history and basic strategy of your SEO marketing campaign, it’s time to get to the good stuff! Now this can include everything from your on-page optimisation (H1 tags, meta titles and meta descriptions) through to the technical information such as internal linking strategy, sitemaps, and how to structure your site. If you fancy delving a little bit further technically, you can see how to optimise your websites page speed, something that has been a hot topic for many years in the SEO world, and something that can be technically challenging, so getting a training course from an organisation that understands these elements is crucial in building your overall SEO strategy.
Finally, we can’t forget about the plethora of things that can be done outside of your website to improve it in organic rankings. These range from gaining backlinks, which are considered one of the most important ranking factors throughout the web, down to citations, and finally, one of my personal favourites. Google My Business and Bing Places. These are areas where you can submit your business details so that users looking for your business or doing local searches will see your business. They’re pretty handy and can have a large impact on traffic, so they’re pretty important!
There has also been a lot of activity recently in regards to Google My Business with an increasing number of updates happening, from being able to add “Posts” to your listing that let customers know of any promotions or news, through to now being able to add gifs and short videos. The technology is always changing, and it’s important that you know you are getting the most recent, up to date knowledge from the person or organisation that you are trusting to teach you the fundamentals.
There’s a lot to take in there, I know. At some point in the past I’ve had to go through this, and I still am. The industry is always changing, and the search engines are always moving the goal posts, so it’s our job to keep on top of that and make sure that anyone that we train is getting the best information available to them, even if it is to just know a bit more about how the web works.
If you’re interested in learning more about the fundamentals of SEO, whether you’re looking to start up yourself, or if you’re a business that is just looking for more information on the wonderful world of SEO, you can arrange a session for our SEO Fundamentals training course where you’ll be equipped not only with great knowledge, but relevant and current knowledge to give your business that marketing edge.