Why SEO Feels So Damn Overwhelming and What to Do Instead: Your Beginner's Guide to SEO

Updated: May 30

You’re a small business owner who’s just made their first website — congrats!


The design looks flawless, your services page is boomin’ with clear and helpful offers, and you’re feeling really good about where you’re at.


Once you hit publish though, you may have noticed a lack of external enthusiasm about your website — AKA no one’s visiting it.


The solution to this problem could be a number of different ones — but the most important is your search engine optimization.


You wanna learn about search engine optimization, but there’s one thing you won’t settle for: another article filled with enough techy-jargin to make your head spin.


Hell to the NO sistah. 🙅‍♀️


You’re a small business owner in the holistic health (not tech) space, and you’re trying to create a website that stands the test of time.


You might be wondering if this is even possible to do with the little to no experience you have with creating websites.


I’m here to tell you that it is 100000% possible to create a website, from scratch, that allows your target audiences to find you with ease.


How??? By using a little tactic we like to call search engine optimization or commonly known as SEO.


Keep reading on my fellow small biz owner, because this article is where we talk about the very basics of SEO, and what you need to know to get started on optimizing your website today.



I gotta know… What exactly is SEO?


SEO stands for search engine optimization (as you’ve read several dozen times up until this point of the blog) — and it’s pretty much this magical internet fairy that brings people to your website.


Okay, you got me — it’s not that cute IRL.


In layman's terms, SEO is the practice of increasing your website traffic through non-paid search engine results.(1)


Non-paid results are also often referred to as “organic” results.


It uses specific tactics to increase the quality and quantity of your website traffic, increases your brands’ exposure to the rest of the world, and has the potential to angle your biz as an expert in your niche by viewing you as an authority figure in the space.



Why is SEO important for my website? ( + some stats to back it up)


The biggest benefit to incorporating SEO successfully into your website is it will provide your website with long-term organic traffic.


This just means that the longer your website exists online, the more “authority” is gained in your industry or niche… and the more reputable search engines deem your site to be.


Are you still wondering if you need to bother with SEO?


In short, yes. It’s something that would put you and your business at a huge disadvantage to not implement.


Don’t believe me? Here are some other SEO stats that may make your skin crawl:


  • SEO has ~20X more traffic opportunity than pays-per-click (PPC) on both mobile and desktop (3)

  • 61% of business to business (B2B) marketers stated that SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other marketing initiative (6)

  • 75% of people admitted to never scrolling past the first page of Google (6)

Bottom Line: You need an SEO strategy — and here’s why:


Did you know that less than half of small businesses out there don’t have any SEO strategy in place?(7)


LESS THAN 50 PERCENT 🤯


And I’ll bet you’re part of that shockingly large number (why else would you be reading this blog?😉)


That statistic alone means that if your small business is utilizing SEO, you’ll be ahead of the curve on your online marketing strategy and have a higher advantage over your competitors.


This sounds way too good to be true, I know. But it’s entirely attainable.


So, how do you get the ball rolling with SEO if you’re completely new to the game? You’re about to find out.



Everything you need to know when getting started with SEO


It may seem like the secret to SEO is something that you need to be invited to know about, but here’s the kicker — No one knows for certain how it works, AND it’s changing all the time.


Another important piece of information to keep in mind is that SEO is not an overnight success — it uses the compound interest of time as its ally.


A lot of website hosting servers will have a beginner-friendly SEO space for you to enter in the relevant information you need.

When you log onto this section of your website, don’t be surprised if you start to feel a sudden sense of overwhelm because the terms look hella foreign. Use the guide below for setting yourself up for SEO success!



Defining SEO terminology for beginners


Whether you’re brand new to the SEO world, or you’re a small business owner who has this skill under your belt, brushing up on your SEO terminology is always beneficial for your website and business. Keep reading for an inside look at the language often used within SEO.


Site Index

If you’ve used any SEO helper within your website hosting platform, chances are they prompted you to “get your site indexed by Google”.


This gives search engines permission to access and look over the contents of your site. This lets them match your keywords and content with the words that people are directly typing into their search engine.


Web Crawler

A web crawler is an internet robot that “crawls” or sifts through every page on your website to determine what the site is about. This is what performs your site index and matches your content with the real life questions that people are typing into their search bars.


Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall in a celebrity’s life? Web crawlers are kinda like that — except they’re always looking through your webpages — not just when it’s good gossip.


Keyword

This is probably the word you’ll hear the most often when dealing with anything SEO-related.


A keyword, or otherwise known as an index word, subject term, or subject heading is a word or phrase that dictates to search engines what the web page is about. Keywords are the connecting factor between your website content and the actual words that’s being typed into google. (2)


Longtail Keyword

A longtail keyword is an extension of your main keyword, and also includes additional words or phrases that’re related to the topic of your webpage.


For example, let’s say you’re a yoga teacher in Boston, Massachusetts.


Your primary keyword may be “yin yoga Boston”


Some possible longtail keywords could be:


  • Yin yoga near me Boston

  • Yin yoga instructor Boston, MA

  • Boston yoga studios with yin


…Catchin’ my drift?


Backlink

A backlink is a hyperlinked text on someone else’s website that links back to your website.


Backlinks are an incredibly helpful way to build your authority and relevance on Google because it lets search engines know that “people trust this site and the information on it” and therefore are more likely to recommend your site compared to others without any backlinks.


In fact, when you look at the average #1 result in Google searches, it has about 3.8x more backlinks than results that rank in spots #2-10. (8)


Now if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed that you don’t have any backlinks on your website at all — don’t panic! Here’s a helpful article showing you tons of different strategies for acquiring more.


Title Tag

A title ta, or also known as a page title is the title of a webpage that labels your page for both real huamns and search engines. In search engine results, title tags appear as the blue text that people click to navigate to your page.


They also appear at the tops of browser tabs. (4)


Title tags are what Google’s algorithms use to determine the overall theme of a webpage. This is also where you can strategically place keywords that may differ from the title of the webpage or blog post itself.


Meta Description

This is the 160 character description entered on the backend SEO section of your website.

A meta description is a way for you to summarize what your webpage/content will be about, spark a sense of interest or curiosity within your reader, and is a great place to include more keywords!


Formatting (H1, H2, H3, etc)

Your high school English teacher would be so proud — yes, formatting matters in the eyes of SEO.


When you’re adding copy to your website, your hosting platform gives you the chance to format your words using what’s called headers.


The headers on your website are in a hierarchical order — meaning search engines prioritize some headings over others.


When I explain formatting to my clients, I like to use this chart as an analogy:




Now that doesn’t mean you can make every piece of text on your web page an H1 heading… that’s a big no no. In fact, the opposite — each web page should only have one H1 heading to maximize your SEO efforts.


Your H1 heading should tell search engines what the entire page is about — think: main title on your homepage.


Here’s the main header on my website for an example of what to use an H1 heading for:



If your website contains subcategories within your page, then you’d continue down the list to use H2, H3, H4, etc.


Hopefully by now the world of SEO is starting to feel a little less scary and a little more attainable.



Okay, I think I get the gist… now what?


Now it’s your turn to give it a shot!


Open the backend of your website hosting platform, and locate where your SEO tactics are.

Once you have all of your keywords and backlinks in place, time will do the rest.


Not sure if you did it correctly? Let me perform a FREE SEO Audit on your website! I take the words you’ve written, and give you practical, professional recommendations to increase your organic traffic — all at no cost to you!


(This is typically a paid service, but as a way to help make this knowledge more accessible to small business owners, I'm offering it FREE until August 1st, 2022.)

 

Have a lot to say to your audience but aren't sure how to connect it back to your audience?


Use the power of storytelling.


This guide offers 40 topics you can use when writing your next email that'll connect with your audience on a personal level.



 

References

  1. https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/why-search-engine-marketing-is-necessary

  2. https://moz.com/learn/seo/what-are-keywords

  3. https://moz.com/blog/state-of-searcher-behavior-revealed

  4. https://www.webfx.com/blog/seo/title-tag/

  5. https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

  6. https://inter-growth.co/seo-stats/

  7. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/70-of-small-businesses-do-not-have-an-seo-strategy-as-online-visibility-becomes-critically-important-301033181.html

  8. https://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking

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