Beginner’s Guide to SEO: 6 Steps for a Solid Online Foundation

To help any business meet its full potential or for anyone to successfully build their personal brand, the business or brand must have a strong online presence. In order to get your business or brand the exposure it needs and the long-term community engagement it strives for, you must first ensure that its online channels are optimized for SEO.

1. Choose the right domain name.

Your domain name does impact your SEO, but no longer in the way of the past. Using keywords for the domain name itself (an exact match domain, or EMD) used to be all the rage. For example, if you were creating a site for runners in the Phoenix area, for better search results you would make your domain name something like

Now, however, your main focus when choosing your domain name should be in making it brandable and memorable. Keep it concise and relating to your business name, as well as easy to spell, type, and say so that people will get to it without error.

2. Identify your target market.

Any content from your brand that you are putting on the web needs to cater to your brand’s target market. You want the content to be of interest of them so that they are more likely to find it as a result of the searches that they would most typically be making online.

If you are unsure as to who exactly your audience is, conduct market research to find out. By knowing the makeup of your primary audience, you can better work your chances of giving the people in it what they are looking for online.

3. Learn about your audience and narrow your focus.

Use any market research you conduct to do more than simply identify the demographics of your target market. Learn about who they are as individuals, too. Know their likes and dislikes (pertaining to your brand), and through which channels they typically access information online so that you are able to narrow your focus and make your website and web content more likely to reach them.

4. Utilize keywords and phrases.

The keywords and phrases you use throughout your online channels are what typically directly affect your brand’s ranking with search engines the most. Choose keywords that are relevant to what your website has to offer to searchers.

Also browse the sites of your closest competitors to see what keywords they seem to be utilizing. Including the keywords that they include on their sites will help you to not get left behind in searches that present these competitors at the top of results lists.

5. Use social media to your advantage.

Not only is it keywords and phrases that can help your brand’s SEO, but social media shares as well. The more your brand’s website and web content is shared through social networks, the more exposure it has online and the more likely it is to appear in search results.

Create content for your social media accounts that will engage the social community. Content that attracts people by being beautiful, interesting, entertaining, and/or informative has better chances of being shared by those people it comes in contact with and will lend itself to positively contributing to your brand’s SEO.  

6. Get feedback.

Reviews for your brand are highly important. Similar to the concept of getting your brand’s social media posts shared by your community to boost SEO, reviews left online for your brand give it valuable exposure. Encourage those who buy from or interact with your brand to leave reviews on sites like Yelp or Foursquare. The more reviews your brand is able to get online, the more exposure it has and the better its performance on search engines will be.

Only focusing on whether the content included on your brand’s website and shared on its social media accounts is of good quality and designed well is no longer enough. You must always keep SEO in mind as well. Utilize keywords, cater specifically to your target market, and get your brand shared online in order to boost your rankings within search engine sites.