Bogged down by dense SEO guides and high-level tips from experts? Never fear! Here's a simple explanation of SEO and how to get started.
In this post, you'll get some quick tips and easy-to-understand advice that will reveal:
- What SEO is
- Why you need SEO for your website
- Quick SEO tips for beginners
...so that you can get started with SEO fast! Keep reading to learn more.
In order to understand why you need SEO, you probably should first learn exactly what SEO is.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and, put plainly, it helps to organically place your website at a higher ranking in search engines. The higher your website ranks when people do a keyword search in Google, for example, the more likely it is that people will actually visit your page.
And you definitely want people to visit your site, right? Of course!
According to InternetLiveStats, over 3.5 billion internet searches occur each day. So if you're not ranking high, you're missing out on a major opportunity for website traffic.
What's more, the higher your page ranks in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), the more clicks your site will get.
But how do you rank high in search engines? Here's an introduction to SEO...
SEO Step-by-Step: Learn SEO Fast!
Here are four simple SEO tips to get your website in good shape:
- Make sure your site is visible. In order to make sure that search engines are able to find your website, you're first going to want to make sure that your site is visible to them.
For example, if your site is on WordPress, check the back end of your settings to make sure that you've unchecked the box that discourages search engines from indexing your site.
- Make the URL of each subpage SEO-friendly. Many website owners forget that their pages' URLs default to a strange sequence of numbers, symbols and letters.
Instead, make each URL keyword-rich.
For example, change the text in the URL from something like, "http://www.mypage.com/subhead/xyz" to "http://www.mypage.com/SEO-tips-for-beginners".
- Create quality content. Google has little worker bees (or bots) that scour the web for the best content. They then rank the content for quality.
You guessed it. The top quality content gets bumped to the top of Google's search results.
In order to make sure that your website's content is up-to-par, you'll want to not only make sure that your site has some good stuff, but also a lot of it (posted regularly).
Make sure your site is trustworthy. If Google detects malware or other security issues, your site could be bumped down to the bottom of the ranking pile.
- Use keywords. Keywords are the heart of SEO. They are the common words and phrases that people enter into search engines.
Part of your website's content strategy should be keyword research. Make a list of the words and phrases related to each page's content that your audience may be searching for.
Each page should contain a primary keyword, and also a short list of secondary keywords.
Use these keywords not only in the body of the copy on each page, but also the page title and subheaders, meta description and meta tags, and in the URL (as mentioned above).
SEO Resources and Tools
Go the extra mile and use one of these handy SEO resources to make sure that your SEO game is on par with other sites:
- SEMrush can analyze your site and make sure that it's SEO optimized. It can research keywords. It can also help you stay organized with day-to-day tasks related to your digital marketing strategy.
- Google AdWords has a built-in keyword search tool that not only will help you find the best keywords to reach your target audience, but also show you if those words are being used by too many competitor sites.
- Yoast is the #1 WordPress SEO plug-in that is very easy for beginners (if, of course, you're using WordPress). It promises to attract more visitors to your site from popular search engines and social media. Bonus: It has a FREE version!
There's a lot more to know if you want to deep-dive into the SEO waters, but the tips outlined above should get you started with SEO fast so that your site can begin ranking higher in searches.
Once you've learned more about SEO and implemented it into your website strategy, check out our roundup of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) news articles for ways to improve your search engine ranking even more.
Search Engine Marketing Columnist