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August 29, 2018
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SEO Tips for Beginners

SEO can be a complex subject. A Google search for “SEO” returns nearly 500 million results. Much more than anyone could hope to read in their life. And a lot of this information is simply out of date or just doesn’t fit the needs of a newbie trying to get simple wins.

In this article, we’re going to outline the absolute SEO basics for 2018. This will be a series of simple, actionable SEO tips that you can use right now to improve your visibility in organic search and rank higher in Google.

For those of you who are hungry after reading this, we also have a more comprehensive set of SEO tips for small businesses with a guide to buying SEO packages to help you effectively outsource your SEO.

Still with me? Right then here are five simple SEO tips for beginners to help you optimize your site and generate more organic traffic:

  1. Relevant keywords for research and use

Keywords are the foundation of successful SEO. When your potential customers use a search engine, what are they looking for? For most small businesses, it will be a combination of what you do and what you do: SEO company in Birmingham or a plumber in Sutton Coldfield.

There are some tools and strategies that we can use here to make sure that we are getting a good selection of keywords.

Brainstorm potential keywords – here we just write down whatever is relevant. What we do, the services we offer and the locations in which we offer these services. Once you have all of these, you can combine what you’re doing with where you’re doing it and form a basic list of keywords.

Use the keyword research tool – there are a number of keyword research tools that can help you identify new keywords. Google has a tool that is part of the AdWords PPC service. There are other tools like ubersuggest and keywordtool.io which are useful in their free and paid variations.

Search for your keywords – when you search for your keywords you will often see suggestions in the search bar as you type and a list of suggested keywords will appear at the bottom of the page. Add relevant variations to your list (and search for them again).

What you’re really looking to do here are clusters of keywords that have the same meaning and intent. For example, if we consider this article on SEO tips for beginners, we could group the following keywords together:

SEO Tips for Beginners

SEO tips for beginners

SEO Basics 2018

Search engine optimization tips for beginners

Search engine optimization tips for beginners

How to do SEO

SEO basics

The intention behind these keywords is quite the same so that they can be grouped together. Any given content can then be optimized for (eg, characteristic) those terms. This then ranks the article for the widest range of terms possible.

I would usually put these keywords in a spreadsheet with approximate search volumes and a relative score for their relevance. Don’t overload this – we’re just trying to give free priority to the language we’re going to use here.

Tip 1: Identify and prioritize the keywords that your potential customers use when they search for the products and services you offer.

  1. Optimize page titles and meta descriptions (Meta description)

Once you have your keyword list, you’ll want to optimize your page title. Note that this is the HTML <title> element behind the scenes, not what is displayed on the page. This is usually editable in your website control panel (CMS) or in your SEO plugin.

What we’re trying to do here is place our keywords in the page title in a natural way. We must remember that page titles are shown in search results. So we aim to make it clear what the page is about and get a user to click on our list.

What I generally like to do is include the what, where, and who if possible. Keywords are the what, location is the place with your business name for branding purposes. In an ideal world, you want the keyword at the beginning of the title to make it easier to click through and improve potential ranking.

Plumber at Sutton Coldfield – Marcus’s Plumbing Service

If we look at the service pages, we can expand this:

Boiler Repair Service – Free Quote | Marcus’ plumbing service

Emergency plumber – available 24/7 | Marcus’ plumbing service

In both of these page titles, I’ve included an element that is more focused on marketing than actual SEO: Free quote available 24/7. These are elements that we put there to increase the likelihood that someone clicks on your listing.

In both of these page titles, I’ve included an element that is more focused on marketing than actual SEO: Free quote available 24/7. These are elements that we put there to increase the likelihood that someone clicks on your listing.

One caveat is not to over-optimize your page titles and just fill them with keywords.

Plumber | Plumbing | Plumber company | Emergency plumber company

Your page titles should include your keywords, but not at the expense of readability or clickability (if it’s even a real word).

When we’re happy with our titles, the other component to consider is our meta description. Again, this should be editable on your website’s CMS.

Page titles can have the greatest SEO impact, however, the meta description acts like the description of the content on your page. Your title should grab people’s attention, but your meta description should convince them to click.

The page title and meta description we used for this article are:

SEO Tips For Beginners – 5 Easy Wins

Five Simple SEO Tips For Beginners. Easily optimize your site, improve rankings, and drive more traffic from Google. By Marcus Miller from Bowler

With the title I detail what the post is and then the meta description is based on the premise which will hopefully get more people to click. I am also including my name and our company name (Bowler Hat) to boost brand awareness.

Note: It is true that meta descriptions do not directly influence rankings. However, the list is only half the battle – you need clicks. And when you click on one result more than another, it can help improve your ranking thanks to the engagement metrics taken into account by Google. More worryingly, a result that will not be clicked will lose its position and disappear from the search results. The point to remember here is that while SEO is important, it should never come at the expense of creating good copies.

Tip 2: Write descriptive titles and meta descriptions and incorporate your key marketing messages to improve your organic traffic and rankings.

  1. Optimize page content

Once our page titles and meta descriptions are optimized, we also want to optimize the content of our page. Our keyword research (# 1) should have provided us with a list of related terms all with the same purpose. We are now looking to incorporate these keywords into our copy in a natural way.

A page has several components, the main elements of which are:

Header tags – H1, H2, H3, etc.

Body content – the text on the page

Images – the images you use to support your copy

First, consider the title and captions on the page. These can be optimized to include your keywords where it is natural to do so.

Second, create copy that accurately describes and promotes your business and aims to use all of your keywords where it’s natural to do so. Don’t worry about keyword volumes or specific instances of the terms – just write naturally and try to use the terms you have identified in your keyword research.

Images can also be optimized with image name, image alt text, and image description as the main factors. If the image is also near relevant text, that can also help.

When you do well, your page will be visible to a wider range of terms and you will be speaking the language of a larger set of customers, which should make it easier to engage (and generate more leads and sales from your website). Win-win.

Tip # 3: Optimize your headers, content, and images to improve visibility across a wider range of search terms.

 

  1. Optimize your business on the web

Your website is at the heart of your SEO efforts. However, this is not the only place where your business is listed. Social media and business directories such as Yell.com will also have details for your business. Search engines use this information along with information about your business to help you build confidence and understand what you’re doing and where you’re doing it.

You will want to update all possible business listings (often referred to as citations) relevant to your business with your correct address and a summary of the services you provide. You want to incorporate your most important keywords into these business listings by mentioning all the key locations.

You can also take a similar approach with your social media profiles. While you can’t add a full address or full description here, you can still cover the gist of what you do and where you do it.

Tip 4: Update company listings and social media profiles with what you do and where you do it.

  1. Build relevant links (Backlinks)

Link building is a crucial part of improving the visibility of competitive keywords. However, link building has a bad reputation – and often with good reason. Links can help and hurt your search engine visibility.

However, developing high visibility requires that you have the right kind of links pointing to your site. These links help Google and other search engines determine your relative importance and rank search results using these metrics.

If there is any confusion, we can follow Google’s own advice, which is to “make other sites link to yours”.

Google develops this point with the following elements:

“Links help our crawlers find your site and can give your site greater visibility in our search results. When returning results for a search, Google uses sophisticated text-matching techniques to display pages that are both important and relevant to each search. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote per page A for page B. The votes cast by the “important” pages themselves weigh more and help make other pages ‘important’.

A good link is therefore always a vote. And the votes help show that you are important and relevant and that you are helping to increase the visibility of Google search results. It’s just that they have to be the right kind of votes.

It goes without saying that link building is the hardest part of SEO, and newbies often get stuck. There are, however, a few simple strategies you can use to get secure backlinks that will help improve your visibility in search results.

  1. Highly credible directory sites

We’re talking about the likes of Yell.com, Thompson, and directories and portals of major companies in your industry here. Google for your keywords and location, and all of the ads on the first page of Google are worth investigating. A good measurement tool is whether your potential customers will find and click on these lists – if the answer is yes, then it is worth looking for a list.

  1. Competitor link analysis

Examining your competitors’ links will often identify link opportunities. When looking at your top 10 competitors in a tool like MajesticSEO, aHrefs, or OpenSiteExplorer, you often find various possibilities for links. You’re not looking to copy every link here, but rather to identify the cream of the crop with multiple competitors. Think about quality over quantity, and again, ask yourself if your prospects are likely to see and click on this link.

  1. Testimonials and existing relationships

Offer to write testimonials for the companies you work with. Your website designer Your social media or your SEO company. These are all sites that work for you, are likely local, and can generate a relevant link.

Likewise, if you already have relationships with suppliers or customers, study these sites to see if there is any connection between these sites.

Tip 5: Build relevant and quality links to your website and content.

Bonus Tip – Sign up with Google Search Console

As a final bonus, be sure to register your site on Google Search Console. This tool analyzes your site and provides diagnostic information that you can use to improve your site’s display in search results. This is information coming straight from the search engine, so you would be stupid not to take advantage of this advice.

Annuaire suisse de l'internet

1 Comment

  1. Vaea says:

    Great content !

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