Did you know that search is responsible for around 64% of organic traffic? Only about 10% of all visitors are from social media. To create a successful digital marketing plan, you must understand how search engines work.
This SEO for beginners guide will introduce you to the concept of search engine optimization and explain how to optimize your website to increase traffic.
What is SEO?
To begin, you must know how search engines like Google and Bing function. How do they maintain their search rankings? There are undoubtedly a lot of sites on the internet that deal with similar themes.
Google, for example, is a search engine that indexes web pages (if not otherwise specified) – Think of it as a digitally formatted yellow phone book.
Search engine bots crawl your website to figure out what it contains and index it appropriately so that it appears in related search results. Search engine bots are capable of understanding contextual information (text, structure, and non-text content) on your website and indexing based on a variety of criteria, including relevance and authority.
This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. SEO is a method for making your website more appealing to search engines. It’s all about optimizing websites so that search engines can comprehend relevance and give them a higher position on search.
Let’s be clear about one thing about SEO:
Even if you have a highly optimized website, your pages won’t be indexed by search engines if they can’t find them. This means that every page on your site must be indexed separately, rather than the whole site.
Why is SEO important?
The preceding section already demonstrates the significance of SEO. Consider how you conduct your own searches.
Let’s assume that you go to Google in order to learn more about a certain issue, such as “the best email marketing tools.” You may type it in simply, or perhaps just enter “email marketing tools.” You are given a list of results right away.
Which one do you click?
Have you ever gone to the second or third page of search results? Unlikely, and if you have, it’s only occasionally.
This example demonstrates why SEO is crucial. Having your sites optimized for search engines may help you achieve a higher overall search ranking.
Your aim is to be on the top page (or even better, the first few listings) of searches that your consumers conduct so that they visit your site more frequently.
How to do SEO for a website
Let’s look at 10 essential SEO for beginners strategies that you can use to enhance your website immediately.
1. Use relevant terms in your content and conduct keyword research.
Keywords are one of the most important elements in SEO. A keyword indicates the core topic of your piece and enables people to discover it once they conduct an internet search for a relevant subject.
What is a keyword? A keyword is what people would search for when looking for something. This is why you should make sure your keyword lines up with the intent of your target audience’s search. It may be a little term like ‘digital marketing’ or a long-tail phrase like “how to create a successful digital advertising campaign,” for example.
Shorter phrases have a higher search volume. This implies they are more difficult to rank for than long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords have a lower search volume, but they are extremely precise in comparison. The benefit of targeting the right demographic is that you may do so much more precisely by doing this. It’s better to include both long and short tail keywords in your plan.
Consider, as well, the competition you may expect to face for each keyword. It’s also important to consider how difficult it will be to rank in search engine results for this term. People are more interested in this subject if there is a lot of interest in it. The rank difficulty, on the other hand, reflects how hard it would be to rank in search engine results.
Strategic methods to optimize your website Now that we’ve looked at some basic ways to improve your site’s performance, let’s look at some more sophisticated options.
Let’s take a closer look at a few key strategies for improving the traffic of your website.
2. Keywords should be used throughout your page.
Different relevant keywords can be found on each page or blog post. The term “SEO for Beginners” may be found in the keyword field of this piece. That’s probably the phrase you searched for that brought you here!
Ideally, your chosen keywords should be included in the following:
- Title of the post
- The URL
- The first and last paragraph of the post
- In the text organically throughout the post
- The tags of images used
Put them in as long as they don’t interrupt the flow of the post! Just be cautious of ‘Keyword Stuffing,’ which we’ll get into later in this article.
3. Permalinks should include SEO, as well.
A permalink is the URL that a webpage displays. The structure and content of your website should be laid out clearly using permalinks. They shouldn’t be too long, yet they should also make it clear what the page is about. For both humans and search engine bots.
Bots in search engines crawl every page on your website to fully understand your site’s theme and correctly index it. In the URL, utilize clear and meaningful terms. If you have an online book shop, for example, use permalinks that inform customers what they are looking at and help contextualize the overall material. It makes searching engines’ jobs easier by making the hierarchy obvious.
This could look like this:
www.lovelybooks.com – is your website.
www.lovelybooks.com/selfhelp – Can be a page where people can find all books in the self-help category.
www.lovelybooks.com/selfhelp/BOOKTITLE – this can be the page where readers will discover information about a specific book in this category.
A permalink, as the name implies, is permanent, so choose them carefully. It’s not a good idea to utilize dates or information that may change.
Why? Ideally, you want to keep updating your website. Playing into better SEO, having a page that has been online for a long time is advantageous. You don’t want to build pages you’ll inevitably delete. Old pages don’t rank because they’ve been up longer than newer ones. They rank due to their ability to provide authority over time through organic traffic, link-building, and other means. Creating a timeless URL structure is essential for being able to include fresh and relevant information on your sites, which implies having a non-temporary address space.
Let’s assume you create a blog post titled “Top 5 Marketing Strategies for 2020.” This is an excellent subject! However, omit the year 2020 from your permalink. You may rewrite the article and subsequently cover the “Top 5 Marketing Tips for 2021” this way.
A good example of a site with excellent navigation is yours. It has everything you need, and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. The same rule applies to sites for particular holidays, such as Black Friday. It takes place every year, and this page should be reused for years to come.
4. Hyperlink your existing content
If you’re writing a new post that’s relevant to an old one, link it! It’s good form to hyperlink your material to other posts and pages on your website. This will help the user navigate to additional content and pages on your site, as well as assist bots in indexing and contextualizing your webpages by linking it.
5. Create high-quality, relevant content. There should be no keyword stuffing!
Of course, your content must be interesting to readers. Make sure you cover all of the important aspects of your subject and don’t forget anything. It’s critical that you provide your audience with an overall view of the topic as well as answers tailored to their demands.
The amount of words in a document is not always indicative of higher quality, but it can help. As backlinko.com notes, there is a link between word count and ranking, as well as the article’s depth and ranking.
Keyword stuffing is a misguided and ineffective approach to increase the keyword density of your article. Search engines are highly intelligent and can detect when you try to game the system by cramming as many keywords as possible into each sentence.
6. Optimize your images
Images are crucial for readability. They aid in the visualization of your material and make it easier to understand for readers. However, images are also important for SEO because they assist in the indexing of your website. The image ALT-text can be crawled and indexed; a picture cannot, but the image description may be searched and indexed.
You must place your keyword as the Image ALT-Text in order for Google to index it for that term.
Have you ever noticed the images that appear over your search results? They’re another excellent method of getting people to your website and, as a result, implying that your website and pictures are relevant to the query. Compressing your photos is also crucial. Website performance is important for SEO, and image size and format can have a significant impact. So be sure to optimize your photographs correctly. You may do so quickly by using image compression tools.
7. Page speed
Page speed is critical for website ranking and has been since 2018. Before deciding whether or not to explore it further, visitors spend only a few seconds on your homepage.
A fast-loading site provides a superior user experience. If your page takes too long to load, you risk losing customers because they are unwilling to wait any longer, resulting in a higher bounce rate. Although bounce rate is not a ranking factor directly influencing your position, it is connected to your page speed indirectly.
8. Don’t forget about your mobile version!
Since people increasingly use their cell phones to access the internet, it’s critical to make your website mobile-friendly. If not, you’ll receive a high bounce rate because let’s face it: no one wants to browse a website that isn’t mobile-friendly. Incorrect formatting may result in aggravating flaws such as buttons that don’t work or forcing visitors to scroll horizontally just to view the entire page.
A good customer experience encourages visitors to stay and browse your website, indicating that the page is relevant for the keyword you selected. In reality, Google will begin indexing websites in a mobile-first manner soon.
9. Technical SEO
In section 3, we discussed the importance of establishing a solid website structure, which is already considered a component of technological SEO.
Technical SEO, on the other hand, includes more than just permalinks and keyword selection. It’s all about creating a responsive design for your website. This is a topic that is both technical and specialized, therefore it isn’t covered in an SEO for beginners’ tutorial. Nonetheless, it is worth noting.
You’ll want to collaborate with a technical SEO expert as well as your team in order to figure out how the ideal website architecture and design should be for your target audience.
10. Update your pages and content
You’ll want to do an SEO audit on a regular basis to refresh your content. Especially because knowledge and trends are changing rapidly, and you don’t want to be penalized for outdated information.
Check over older pages and websites, as well as the material itself, to determine if it’s all properly optimized. If your content has no use anymore, it won’t be well-optimized, which will put you at risk of losing your position in the search engine results page (SERP).
Don’t forget to advertise your posts and content!
Although SEO is an ongoing process, you can improve your rank with time and experience. From an SEO for beginners’ perspective, you’ll go from there to more advanced ground. Consistently producing fresh material on your blog (new content) is one of the most effective methods to increase your search engine ranking. After you’ve created great content, get out there and promote it so that even more people may discover it.
You can do it organically, though I might recommend you invest in some paid social media advertising. Paid advertisement is an option as well. Both are crucial to your marketing plan and should be implemented at some point.
An organic approach allows you to build a meaningful communication connection with your consumers. Paid advertising aids in the exposure of your material to the correct audience and increased website traffic, benefitting your SEO position.