As a website or blog owner, you need your business page to get to the top of Google rankings and reach as many people as possible. One way to gain recognition and reach your target audience is through SEO (search engine optimization). SEO can seem like an impossible mountain to climb, so let me help you on your journey with providing you the basic, must-have yet easily implementable SEO tips.
When you optimize your website or content, search engines like Google will understand them better and rank them in searches. So, if you are looking for ways to boost your site’s position in search results, let’s go through some SEO tips.
Why Is SEO Important?
SEO is the way search engines determine which sites are essential to each search query. Without SEO, new sites will stand in a digital queue, while older sites that offer no value will occupy top spots.
So, SEO techniques distinguish your website from the rest of the pile and establish criteria for Google to rank web pages.
Your potential clients trust search engines, and getting a high ranking on search engines will tell customers that your site is credible. Furthermore, the higher you rank in SERPs, the more clicks and conversions you get.
Additionally, SEO is cost-effective, especially if you are working with a tight budget. So if you can’t afford paid ads, you can start getting organic traffic by building your SEO.
Further Reading: 59 SEO Statistics You Need To See To Believe
11 SEO Tips for Beginners
To help you with your search engine optimization journey, I’ve organized the must-have SEO tips below to guide you in implementing best practices going forward. The more of these tips you can follow before and after publishing every piece of content, the quicker your search engine rankings will improve.
Let’s get started!
Infrastructure SEO Tips
Good SEO begins with your web infrastructure.
1. Improve the User Experience
The user experience encapsulates the user’s entire journey with your content. If the website is slow or full of pop-up ads, the user experience will suffer, thus affecting the SEO. So, you need to make sure that the website is responsive and easy to navigate on multiple devices.
So, you may be wondering about the relation between SEO and UX. The thing is, if the user experience is terrible, your ranking will suffer because people will not visit your website. So, it is essential to pay attention to feedback and improve users’ experience constantly.
To improve your site’s user experience, make your website mobile-friendly. Nowadays, half of web traffic comes from mobile devices, especially smartphones.
Besides, the site’s loading speed affects the user experience as well. If the page takes more than a few seconds to load, the user is more likely to bounce the website for your competition.
Check out this video which shows more of how optimizing for mobile can improve your search results:
Have a Strategic Perspective to SEO
Before you write anything you need to do your research.
2. Study Your Competitors
If you want to succeed in business, you should study your competitors. First, compare their processes to yours, and discover in what areas you are lacking. Afterward, you need to craft a strategy that improves on their existing methods.
For any blog owner looking to boost their website in a competitive niche, competitor research should always be your first port of call.
Firstly, find the keywords related to your niche and search for them on your browser. Afterward, write down the top ten sites that show up — those sites are your major competitors.
Now that you know your competitors, you should analyze their websites using advanced SEO tools. You should also study the backlinks, internal links, and outbound links. After an automated analysis, you should also navigate the website to compare the overall user experience.
3. Conduct Keyword Research
Now that we’ve studied our competition, the next step to positioning your website to rank well is finding the right keywords for your target audience. But this process often requires a meticulous fact-finding mission to find relevant keywords for your content and website in general.
Keyword research involves finding the terms people use when searching for information on different search engines.
But why is keyword research necessary for SEO?
When you use the right keywords, you can declutter your website and organize it to be user-friendly. Keywords will help you segment products and services, and they will also help you develop clear sections or page names.
You can use a keyword research tool to find the right keywords for your niche. You can combine low-volume and high-volume keywords to multiply the impact. And most importantly, optimize your content with keywords relevant to the core of your webpage.
My Favorite Keyword Research Tool: SEMrush
Create SEO-Optimized Content
After checking the infrastructure and strategy boxes we can now work on publishing our own SEO-optimized content using these SEO tips.
4. Publish Unique Content
Search engines are strict when it comes to plagiarism. So, when you copy another person’s content and pass it off as yours, you risk the chance of getting your site flagged or downgraded.
To create unique content, use multiple sources for your research. Then, write everything in your own words and according to your reasoning.
Consequently, unique content will improve your search ranking. It will also give readers a sense of loyalty because they would be getting value. Remember that you can always use a plagiarism checker, and the originality of your content should not be less than 85%.
Also, Google hates duplicate content. If the web crawlers see two identical copies of the same post online, they only index one. As a result, this diminishes your chances of ranking higher in the search results.
So, always make sure that all the pages available for indexing are unique. You can also use SEO tools to find out if your site contains duplicate content.
My Favorite Unique Content Creation Tool: Frase
5. Optimize Titles and Meta Tags
The first thing that draws your attention to any piece of online content is the title or headline. Depending on the nature of the headline, the reader quickly makes a subconscious decision to find out more or scroll to other things. So, an attention-grabbing title or headline inadvertently increases your site’s traffic.
Other factors like the emotional score and relevance of the title affect how people interact with your content. You also need to include keywords and modifiers like “How to” to improve SEO. Overall, the title shouldn’t exceed 60 characters, including spaces.
Don’t forget to optimize your meta tags and descriptions with relevant keywords. Make sure that the meta descriptions contain concise previews of the content on the website. You also need to optimize image descriptions and alt-texts.
Further Reading: 10 Top Tips to Increase Your Blog Post SEO
6. Optimize Your Images and URLs
One thing most SEO newcomers fail to realize is the importance of images. Think about it; we humans are visual animals, and we interpret images faster than words. So, how do you get the best of both worlds? Combine words with visuals.
However, you can optimize the images on your web page to speed up the load time. You can use a plug-in or a script to reduce the file size of images.
And why is that relevant to SEO?
When you upload an image to your website, you have to label the image and add a description. Platforms like Wix and WordPress will bring your attention to these missing alt-texts. But you always need to pay attention to them at all times.
Don’t just add labels to the image; use relevant keywords to describe the pictures. And most importantly, keep the descriptions relevant and concise.
It is also advisable to optimize the length of your website’s URL. When you use shorter URLs, they rank better in search results. Shorter URLs are also easier for users to remember and type out, therefore increasing the user experience. And ultimately, always add keywords to the content’s URL.
My Recommended Image SEO Tool (for WordPress): ImageSEO
7. Use Internal Links
Unlike outbound links, internal links focus on pages and content that exist on your page. Although external links are more effective in establishing site authority, internal links also play a significant role in SEO.
To get the best of internal linking, you can use the topic clusters concept outlined here.
Here is how it works:
When you create content about a topic, you also add links to similar topics from your blog or website. To achieve this, you will have to create different pages that explain various aspects of a broad topic. So whenever you need to discuss another part of the topic, you will link it to an internal webpage that addresses it.
Logically, the more topic clusters or internal links your page contains, the lesser the bounce rate. And at the same time, you will establish your website as an authoritative source on the topic.
Nowadays, Google has upgraded its ranking algorithms to value quality content based on user activity. So, ensure that the content on the linked pages is well-researched, informative, and value-laden.
My Favorite Internal Linking Tool (for WordPress): LinkWhisper
8. Use Backlinks and Outbound Links
Outbound links refer to URLs that lead from your page to external websites. When you use outbound links or external links, you allow readers to learn more about whatever topic you are discussing.
However, ensure that you only link reliable sources to your website. If you connect web pages with poor-quality content, it could damage your SEO ranking. You can also check the reliability score of any site using tools like Ahrefs.
Similarly, when a website links your content, this is referred to as a backlink. In SEO terms, this is like a citation from a peer — a vote of confidence. As a result, you need to invest in high-quality backlinks to improve your page’s SEO. You can also use guest posts on trustworthy sites to establish authority.
However, backlinks from ‘mediocre’ sites can hinder your site’s rating. So, you need to monitor these harmful links and report them to Google.
Post-Publication SEO Tips
Just because you created your strategy and published your content doesn’t mean there is nothing more to do! As I mentioned at the beginning, SEO is a marathon and not a spring, so let’s dive into those things you should consider post-publication.
9. Use Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms directly influence your website’s ranking on SERPs and increase your brand’s exposure. Platforms like Medium, Quora, Reddit, and Facebook help content creators expand their user pool.
One significant way to drive traffic to your site is by creating content. There are different types of content, but the most popular ones are:
- Blog post
However, if you are not sharing your content via the proper means, you will not get recognition. So, this is where social media comes in. When you share your posts, your audience feeds on them and shares them. Thus, it will generate backlinks and high traffic.
In essence, when you leverage social media, you can improve your SEO ranking and increase your reach at the same time.
My Favorite Social Media Dashboard: AgoraPulse
10. Update Old Content
Old blog posts can get lost deep in the archives, but that doesn’t mean that Google has forgotten about them. If you update and refresh existing pages, you can improve your SEO ranking and your site’s overall performance.
Creating new content is tedious and time-consuming unless you are ready to hire a writing service or a freelancer who can write essays for money and create all sorts of other content. More so, if you have a small team or handle everything yourself, it will be hard to stand against your competitors. Hence the reason why refurbishing existing content is ideal.
So, the first step to re-optimizing existing content on your webpage is by gathering information on which content you should refresh. Although, technically, it’s right to edit everything. But to save time, you should start with the necessary ones.
You can find the ones you need to edit by calculating the metrics for each page. For example, it’s best to optimize pages with high traffic but low conversion or low traffic but high conversion.
Whichever metric you choose, adding new keywords will nudge these posts a few places up the rankings.
11. Measure Your Success
The results of SEO strategies can take weeks or even months to manifest. But you need to keep a close eye on these changes regularly to identify chances for improvement.
There is a saying in the SEO world that states that “what you measure is what you move.” Therefore, if you want to know how much progress your SEO process is making, you have to look at the metrics.
Firstly, you should evaluate your organic traffic. Organic traffic is the number of people visiting your website each time they find it on the internet. The more organic traffic you have, the higher your rank in searches will be.
Secondly, you should pay attention to your keywords ranking. You can find your keywords ranking by typing your keyword into the search bar. The aim is to find out which keywords you are strong in and what you need to improve.
Thirdly, you can measure your SEO success by calculating your click-through rate (CTR). This metric refers to the number of clicks each time your site appears on the SERP.
Finally, you can also measure your bounce rate — the number of people who click on your site but leave without performing any action. These key metrics will guide you on the best SEO strategies to adopt.
Further Reading: The 16 Best SEO Tools to Power Your Search Engine Marketing
Did These SEO Tips Help?
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Begin with these SEO tips and I am confident you will see positive long-term change.
Although there is no promise that you will get instant results, rest assured that consistency will increase your chances of moving higher in search engine rankings and generating more website traffic.
This is a post contributed from one of my marketing partners.
Hero photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash