Search engine optimization is such an important part of online marketing. Content is king yes, but SEO is the key to bring it all together. You may be writing amazing content but if you don’t know how to SEO that content it may get lost online and never reach your potential audience.
Knowing how to implement a few SEO techniques can mean all the difference. Now you don’t have to be some online marketing guru to make this happen. The more you learn about SEO the more you will find that the principles are quite simple.
Here are some basic SEO tips for beginners that every blogger should know:
This really is important and should be the starting point for your on-page SEO. The two SEO plugins that I advise you try out are Yoast SEO and All In One SEO.
Both of them are excellent plugins. I currently use All In One SEO on all my websites but I started off with Yoast SEO which was great for me as a beginner since it has an SEO checklist which will help to guide you if you are a complete newbie to SEO.
However I found that Yoast conflicted with some of my plugins on one of my websites a few years ago and that is when I started using All In One SEO.
Google Analytics is where you can get detailed information regarding all the traffic to your website so I highly recommend that you set up your Google Analytics account and add your websites.
You will need to verify your websites with Google Analytics and the method I used was through my All In One SEO plugin.
When you can keep an eye on all your traffic that is coming in and you know exactly where it is coming from you can fine tune your efforts. Just don’t get downhearted if your new blog is slow to get traffic coming in. This is perfectly normal.
Submit Your Sitemap
Go to Google Search Console, previously known as Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), and add your website. You will then need to verify your website so that Google knows that it is your website. This can be done in a number of ways. I always verify using Google Analytics since that is the easiest way for me.
After verifying your website with Google Search Console you need to submit your sitemap.
Doing this will help Google to find and index your content.
I cannot emphasize enough how important keyword research is, just spending a few minutes on keyword research before writing an article can have a huge impact on the amount of traffic you receive from that post.
Don’t get scared by keyword research, it really isn’t hard. All you are trying to do is find out what people are typing into their search engine to find information about the topic you want to write about. You are going to see how many people are searching for that term as well as how many people are targeting that search term too so you can see how competitive that keyword is and whether you think you can rank for it.
Try and target long tail keywords that have less traffic but also less competition. This is known as a long hanging fruit keyword. Each article you publish in this way may only bring in a small amount of traffic, but over time all those bits start adding up to a nice amount of traffic.
The more keyword research you do the easier it will become until it is second nature to you. I use Jaaxy for my keyword research and I highly recommend using them. Click here to read my article about Jaaxy.
You get 30 free searches in your trial for Jaaxy so have a play around and see how much fun keyword research can be!
Publish Quality Content Regularly
Content is King, but not when you publish low quality, thin content. Make sure that the content that you publish is well written as well as properly researched.
Longer articles that cover a topic properly will rank higher than shorter articles that don’t have much information. Try and aim for articles of at least 1000 words, 1500 or more is even better if you can.
There is a wealth of information on the internet and you need to stand out. Be true to yourself and let your personality show through. Make sure that every article you publish you can be proud of. In addition to that write for people, not for the search engines. I know that sounds like a contradiction but it works.
Put Your Keywords In These Key Places
Putting your keywords in the right places will help your content to rank well. Just keep in mind that it must look natural and not forced. If you cannot include a keyword naturally in these places then leave it out.
- In your url
- In your meta title (this is the title where you fill in the SEO information under your post, not the title above your post)
- In your meta description
- In the first paragraph
- In the last paragraph
- In a heading
- In your file names (image names, pdf names etc) before you upload them to your website
If you can’t add your keywords in those places you can also underline them, put them in bold or italics. All of these will tell the search engines to place emphasis on these words.
Optimize Your Images
Make sure your image files are not too large. You don’t want them to slow down your website. I like to use Canva to create my images for my websites.
Make sure to always use your keywords in your image file name as well as in your alt tags when you upload the images to your website.
Break up your article using H1, H2, H3 and H5 headings. This will make it easier for search engines to crawl your website and to understand what your article is about. As already mentioned using keywords in your headings will also help your articles to rank better.
In addition to that, headings also make it easier for your readers to scan through and read your article since your article will be broken up into sections. This is especially applicable if your articles are long.
Internal and External Linking
Create lots of internal links on your website to other relevant content. This will build up your website strength in the eyes of the search engines. It will also create a way for your readers to move around your website and find other posts that interest them. This will increase your page views and lower your bounce rate (both of which in turn will also have a positive effect on your rankings).
Make sure to use the right anchor text (the text that you link) when you create links. This will tell the search engines what the article is about that you are linking to.
Don’t forget to add external links to relevant articles on high authority websites. This will improve your website ranking.
Share Your Content Socially
Sharing your content on social networks is a great way to gain free traffic to your website and also to rank your website higher. Social networks are high authority websites and these are great backlinks to your website that are easy to get. Google Plus is a part of Google and a place where you just must share your content.
Pinterest is a great place to share your content and one share on Pinterest if done correctly could generate traffic to your website for months to come!