SEO Basics For 2023 and Beyond- Basic Steps To Get You Started Climbing To The Top of Search Engines
SEO Basics For 2023 and Beyond – We have been in the SEO game since before SEO was a word. When we started learning SEO, Yahoo and MSN search were still dominant players among search engines. Google was something only a few tech nerds talked about.
Over the years, we have seen some things that work consistently and have never changed.This article is about a few of those things that will help you rank higher on Google in your local area.
Know Your Keywords to Master SEO Basics
If you are going to get good at the basics of SEO, you have to begin by understanding keywords and how they relate to your business. When we talk to customers about SEO they often say, “but when I search for my company name I am number one, so I am doing pretty well.” Bad news, only the people who already know you search for your company name. This leaves out anyone who doesn’t already know you.
This is how people use search engines:
They search for the names of products or services you provide.
Example: People do not search for Tom’s A1 Camping Tours
Instead they search for: Camping Tours Grand Canyon
Or they search for: Camping Guides, or Camping Guides Glacier National Park
So when you are thinking about keywords you need to rank for you need to be able to identify what people call your services or products, and how they search for them on the internet.
Don’t Guess About Keywords – do Keyword Research:
When you are trying to figure out what keywords you need to rank for, you should never guess. You need to KNOW what your potential customers might be searching to find what you sell. To do this, you need to do keyword research. You should not be writing content for websites or content for SEO until you have first completed keyword research. Trying to do good SEO on the back end of a website that is already completed is extremely difficult and often calls for a website overhaul to accomplish. Don’t do it!
To really do keyword research you are going to need to use an internet tool like Ubersuggest (free) or Spyfu to figure out precisely what the people look for on the internet.
As an example, when we were doing the SEO for our own website, we thought that “SEO Service” or “SEO Company” would probably be the main terms people used to find companies that offer SEO Service in Salt Lake City. But that wasn’t the case at all. “SEO Salt Lake City” gets much more search traffic than “SEO Service” or “SEO Company Salt Lake City.”
But if we had not used the keyword planning tool, we would not have known that and would have optimized our website for the wrong keywords.
Name Your Services According To Your Keyword Research
This seems obvious, but people make this mistake a lot. They figure out what the top searched keyword terms are, and then name their services something else. Bad news, Google will rank someone who used EXACTLY the right keyword string higher than content with some other funky name for their services.
If the top rank keyword you find is SEO salt lake city – then don’t name your service something like SEO service company. This just hurts your SEO. Being precise matters on search engines.
Another Example: If you are doing keyword research and find that the highest trafficked keyword is: Physical Therapy – then don’t name your service something like “integrated health solutions.” This might seem absurd, but we see this mistake every day.
One Web Page Per Service
Search engines do not rank websites any more. They ranks pages. What does this mean? You’ve probably already seen this at work. It used to be that you would do a search for something on a search engine, and you would be taken to a home page of a company that had what you were looking for somewhere on their website. And you had to go search for it from the home page. This doesn’t happy any more. Now, search engines take you straight to the page with the content on it you were looking for.
Not only that, but in 2022, search engines are starting to take you straight to the specific paragraph with the content you were looking for, and highlight the answer to your question. And, if you see the “snippet” – on the Google search engine, they don’t even take you to the website now if they can avoid it – they highlight an answer right on their search engine page.
You see this at work right below the Google Map listings normally – you will see a highlighted paragraph with an answer to the question, then below that, you will see an accordion menu of related questions other people have searched for on Google.
This is why you should only have one topic per web page on your website. So if you want to show up for the keywords Salt Lake City Web Design, then you should have an entire page on this topic and no “other” topics on that page.
People often make the mistake of just making one web page that lists all of their services. They put a one paragraph description underneath the title. Don’t do that!
Instead – make an entire web page for each service you offer, and then write about that service (pro-tip ….900 words minimum).
Remember this SEO Tip – ONE web page PER SERVICE – 900 words per page.
PRO-Tip: People say to me that they don’t want “all of that text on there” because nobody is going to read it.” I have some news for you – Google doesn’t care at all what YOU want. If you want to rank in the #1 spot as the result of your SEO efforts, get ready to get wordy.
How long should they be – in 2023 and beyond, blog posts need to be over 2,500 words minimum to rank well. But the truth is, blog posts that are 5,000 words rank the best most of the time. Source: Neil Patel – the King of SEO
If you want to rank well on search engines, you are also going to need to write well. To learn SEO Writing: See our Complete Guide to SEO Writing
But, one thing that changed about writing content is that you should not longer write specifically for “word count.” This means that it isn’t just the number of words search engines are looking at – it is the quality of the content within those 5,000 words.
If you can write an answer to a problem in 2,000 words, you should do that. But the truth is, most topics worth writing about, if well researched, can easily take up 5,000 words.
Your Tags Need to Match
Make sure your H1 tag, Page Title Tag, Meta description tag, page URL, Alt Image Tag, and Page Description tag all MATCH! And make sure they match EXACTLY.
Page Title – SEO Salt Lake City
H1 Tag on the page – SEO Salt Lake City
Alt Image Tag – SEO Salt Lake City
Page URL – www.staywilddigital.com/seo-salt-lake-city
Page Description: SEO Salt Lake City. Stay Wild Digital offers SEO Salt Lake City.
A mistake I see every day is that people mis-match their meta data and H1 Tags. They write a page title named one thing, then name the page title something else, then name the page url something different than the first two, and then say nothing about their main keyword in the meta description tag.
This is a huge mistake. Remember, I’ve already said you should only be writing one web page per service (or product). You shouldn’t have multiple services listed on one page, so there is no reason your meta data shouldn’t match precisely.
You write a page about a topic, and then you tag that topic with the exact name of the product or service.
Pro Tip: You And”s, Or’s, or Also’s
I see this everyday as well – people have a hard time not using the word and, the word or, or the word also in their meta data. You should NEVER do that. Nor should there ever be any reason to do that if you are only writing about one topic per page.
Here is an example: Money for Plaintiffs and Plaintiff Attorneys —– WRONG!!!!
Page #1: Money for Plaintiffs
Page #2: Money for Plaintiff Attorneys
If you try to rank for both topics on one page, you’ll end up not ranking for either topic. So remember, one topic per page, and make sure all of your meta data and on-page content match precisely without any variance.
SEO Basics For 2023 – Conclusion
Before you go diving into any “tips and tricks” for SEO, get these SEO basics down first. Every page needs to be this way. Do this first, and for most local businesses, this will be enough to get you up in the top 3 spots on Google.
Bonus Pro-Tip – Google loves good content. And they reward companies who put out a lot of it. Write good blog posts, or post good videos, or both. Tag them well (above) and write about topics related to your main site keywords.
Blog several times per week about what you do so you are updating your site.This shows Google you are putting out content. People say to me sometimes, “But Tim, nobody is reads blogs any more.” To this I say, “you’re right. I don’t think anyone reads my blog. But you know who does? Google’s Artificial Intelligence. It is always paying attention to what I am doing. And what you are doing.
If Google is the only entity who ever reads my blogs, that is fine with me.”
Stay Wild Digital Marketing is Utah’s Best SEO Company. We offer SEO Salt Lake City, and have almost twenty years of experience with SEO. Please email us today: email@example.com