Whether you have a new website or you’ve had a website for a while now, every business needs traffic. The thing is, anyone can own their own business, but if no one is able to find them, then there’s no point of owning one.
In this blog post, you’ll learn the basics of SEO and get a rough idea on what it takes to improve the visibility of your website on search engines. We’re gonna talk mainly about Google since it’s one of the best search engines and it’s also the most used search engine around the world.
Beginner’s Guide To SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
1. What Is SEO and How It Works
What Are Search Engines
First, you have to understand what are search engines. You could think of search engines as an online library, where there are thousands of books (websites) you can get information from, including solutions to your answers.
With thousands of new websites being created every single day, the competition to appear on the first few pages of search results are very high. You could either opt for the paid options (SEM), or the free version, which is SEO. That’s where the optimization part comes in.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), in short, is how you optimize your website using certain strategies and techniques to get free, organic traffic from search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
What Do You Mean By Optimize?
Search engines have certain algorithms that analyze your website where certain factors come into play. They will examine and look through all of the content from websites and choose to display the ones that are the most relevant to the user’s search intent. This would also be known by ‘rankings’.
For example, when you type in ‘online marketing malaysia’ on Google, there are over 515,000,000 search results!
The Top 5 search results for this particular search keyword are as shown in the image above. To be able to appear as the Top 5, or the first page, you’ll have to optimize your website with strategies and techniques, which are split into two parts: on-page and off-page SEO. We talk more about this later.
White Hat vs Black Hat SEO
Of course, just like everywhere else, there are certain rules to abide. You could also think of search engines as a political party. For example, search engines represent the government. There will always be bribes and dirty tricks performed by politicians to win votes from the public.
White Hat SEO can be seen as the ‘clean’ way of winning votes, by using SEO strategies and techniques that follow the rules made by search engines.
Black Hat SEO would be the ‘dirty’ way of winning votes, using SEO strategies that are considered unethical or wrong, which is to manipulate the search engines to rank on the first page.
2. Why Is SEO Important
Every day, thousands of people are searching for things online. Want an answer to the best banana leaf places in Kuala Lumpur? Search it on Google. Want to know where’s the nearest gym located near you? Search them on Google.
This is why it’s important to ensure that your website can be seen on search engines. Nowadays, people are searching for answers by typing their questions on google. It’s a simple, quick, and effective way to get your questions answered.
In order to gain traffic, you have to appear on the first page of Google. Why? Because users rarely click on the second or third page of search results if they can instantly find their answer just by looking on the first page. 90% of the time, users will click the websites that appear on the first page because they are looking for fast answers.
3. How To Grow Traffic Using SEO in Malaysia
#1: Know Your Target Audience
Let’s say you run a healthy snack company in Malaysia. Your target audience would be healthy, fit people looking for alternative options for snacks. Ideally, it would be people wanting to lose weight, and fitness enthusiasts. Once you know your target audience, it’ll be easier to identify what kind of keywords you should target.
#2: Perform Keyword Research
The keywords you should focus on are local keywords. Why? If you’re targetting Malaysians, local keywords will have high user intent that could turn leads into sales. For example, keywords such as ‘healthy snacks malaysia’ or ‘healthy food malaysia’ would be ideal.
You could use Google Keyword Planner, a free keyword research tool, to look for the keywords.
#3: Optimize Your Website
You need to have content on your website. Websites that have little to none content have a slim chance of ranking on google. This is also known as on-page optimization.
How To Optimize Your Site Content
- include relevant keywords on your website
- Header tags such as H1 and H2 tags
- Image alt text
- Internal linking on all web pages
Technical Aspects of Optimizing Your Site
- ensure your website loads quickly
- the website design should be user-friendly and mobile-friendly
- ensure your website has a Robots.txt file
#4: Start Building Credibility and Website Authority
This is where off-page optimization plays a part. Link building plays a vital role to show Google that your website is credible and have high authority.
You could think of link building as votes in a political party. To become the president, the candidate has to receive a certain amount of votes. Votes = links.
Link building plays a huge role to dominate your niche by appearing on the first page of google. Every link counts as a vote. The higher your links, the higher you get on the search engines.
How To Build Backlinks
- Email outreach
- Guest posting
- Create quality content to get shares on social media
In conclusion, SEO heavily involves your website and content. These two are the key points that every business should focus on to increase valuable traffic to your website. Once you’ve understood the basics of SEO, you can start planning your SEO marketing strategy, pairing with social media marketing. However, if you simply don’t have the time to plan an SEO strategy yourself, you could always outsource it to any SEO agencies in Malaysia.
Check us out here too – listed by Trusted Malaysia
Read More On Best Social Media Marketing Guide 2020
Gaining more traffic from social sharing with suggested platforms.