SEO for Beginners
We’re delighted to share a guest Blog with you from Ali Cogavin at Sage Optimize who we work closely with.
SEO for beginners is, in short, a massive minefield. There is SO MUCH information out there and a lot of it so contradictory that any newcomer is quite likely to end up hiding beneath their desk rocking back and forth in fear of attack from the robots.txt.
Indeed it is a jargon filled minefield. I know that SERPs have always subconsciously made me think about where my next latte is going to come from, and that’s just counterproductive by anyone’s standards, let alone for a newbie to SEO.
But it doesn’t always have to be so confusing. The trick is to start with the basics… ease yourself into this mysterious world of sitemaps and robots. You wouldn’t start a game of minecraft on level 5 would you?!
SEO for beginners should be tackled with on-page optimizing first! So kick back, SERP away on a coffee of your choice and let the below information sink in.
1. Research the bejesus out of relevant keywords. Long-tail keywords (or phrases) are IN so, with the help of Google adwords keyword tool, determine what is most achievable for your business to rank for. If the competition for a keyword is unachievably high then look for a usable variation of the same.
2. Target your keywords between 3 & 6 times within the content of your webpage, the greater the word count the more times your keyword should appear. Aim to have these appear as high up the page as possible but always make sure that your text reads well and remains engaging.
3. AVOID KEYWORD STUFFING!!! You’ve probably heard this before… and for good reason. Google is no fan of unnatural content and will penalise websites for such behaviour. So keep it natural, relevant and generally user friendly and Google will remain your friend.
4. Link internal content.This is a good way to direct a reader to other relevant content within your website whilst also targeting keywords. Keep these short and try to avoid use of generic words.
5. Add Alt text to your images. Google doesn’t understand images so make sure to add Alt text (ideally promoting keywords when appropriate) so that it can crawl the pages of your site with ease.
6. Make good use of Meta Descriptions. The current advice is that they’re not as relevant as they once were but they DO still play a significant role in SEO and they provide an easy opportunity for you to gain higher click through rates, so be sure to word these well.
7. Make sure your website is indexed. Unfortunately search engines won’t always notice your website straight away, so let them know manually by adding your sites URL and XML Sitemap to Google Search Console. This also provides you with some really helpful analytics for your website that are completely free of charge.
8. Connect to relevant Social networks. Keep your networks updated with engaging content to drive traffic to your website. See Social media for small businesses for top tips on how to manage this.
9. Be patient! Organic SEO growth will not happen overnight and is a process that needs to be maintained. Avoid getting frustrated with lack of instantaneous results and focus on keeping your blog and social networks active in the mean-time. Tackle SEO at a slow and steady pace and results will come.
So now hopefully you have a greater understanding of where best to start your SEO campaign. It’s a learning process that will come with time and patience… both of which are essential to the SEO process generally.
Don’t let the Everest sized mountain of information stop you in your tracks. SEO for beginners is an uphill battle but I promise you it will be well worth the climb!