What is SEO? Simple SEO tips for beginners to boost online traffic
Have you ever been in a conversation hearing the terms SEO, CPC or HTML – but have absolutely no idea what your friends are talking about? I’m going to say you probably have if you’ve found yourself reading this article. No stress, you are not alone. SEO is a hot and dynamic topic on the lips of many business owners, marketers and tech heads. If you have heard of the term and are seeking expertise on the subject, then you’re in the right place. So, to the question everyone’s asking:
What is SEO?
Basically, the term SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of capturing customer traffic from search engines and diverting them to a specific website. Simply put, the higher your website appears on search engine results, the more customers will visit your site each day. This is achieved by optimising your website for popular “keywords” or “search terms” relevant to your industry. These are the words or terms people use to generate a desired result from a search engine.
To find the right keywords for your business, you need to first answer the question: What keywords are my customers using when looking for my products or services? For example, if you are a plumber located in the Adelaide area, some popular search terms you may want to optimise for include; “Plumbers in Adelaide” or “Fix my leaking tap Adelaide”. There are a number of agencies and consultants that carry out this process for their clients – including us at Quak Design! However, we’re here to teach you some simple tips and tricks you can do yourself to boost your website’s online search engine ranking.
To keep in mind!
As a beginner in SEO, it is important to understand that there is no magic formula to get your website on the first page of Google, Yahoo or Bing. These search engines use complex algorithms to govern their search results. These algorithms look at certain criteria to determine which websites receive which position in the search engine. The good news is there are certain rules that you can to follow to optimise your website and tick some favourable boxes for these search engines. By implementing SEO, your businesses benefits in many different ways. The purpose of any SEO campaign should be to increase brand awareness and to generate sales and leads.
The pathway from starting SEO to winning new customers can be overwhelming at first. However, we promise that once you start to understand what it is all about, it will be worth it. There are many ways to better your rankings and win customers online. However, the tips presented here are what we have found to be most simple yet effective ways to boost your website’s SEO.
SEO Checklist for Beginners
To give you an step by step action plan for your SEO, we have created an a SEO Checklist available as a free download. So once you have finished this article, be sure to complete the form below to access your copy. If you are already one of those great people who subscribe to our stuff then you should have already received yours straight to your inbox!
Page titles are an integral aspect of SEO, which is why it is the first thing that you should be concentrating on. Here are a few ways to optimise your website’s page titles to increase your search engine ranking:
- Each page title should be unique and include your main keywords or search term.
- Your main keywords or search term should also appear in the first sentence of the page.
- Give a short description of the page’s content and again include the main keyword in the second or third sentence of the page.
- Include other relevant keywords in the body text of your page.
Repeat this across all posts or pages of your website, the main thing is to make sure the language used throughout makes sense and is interesting for the reader.
The page description (Meta Tag is the technical term) is important to optimise as it is what speaks directly to the search engines. The Meta Tag contains a summary of what every page is about. This is a two or three sentence description that appears underneath Google search results. This description should not be more than 150 characters and should include your main keywords or search term. Make sure this description is attractive to the customer and entices readers to enter your businesses website. If you are interested in learning more about the specifics of Meta Tagging, click here.
All great websites are rich in quality images, not only for design purposes, but for SEO also. The use of imagery enhances the user experience and has proven to keep customers on your website for longer. Having quality images on your website is fantastic, however, this can create loading speed issues or slow responsiveness. This can sometimes be a tricky balancing act. Wherever possible, reduce image sizes to make your website run faster. You can do this by making use of free image editing tools online.
Try using keywords in image filenames and make sure that any words are separated with dashes. This could look something like, fixing-leaking-tap-adelaide.jpg. You can also include keywords in the ALT tag of the relevant images HTML.
Content is King
Adding new and interesting content to your website helps attract a wide number of visitors. It’s important to ensure that any content you publish is unique to your website. A great way to implement this is by adding a “blog” section to your site which should be updated regularly. Try to keep the content to what is relevant, new or topical in your industry. Keep in mind that when people search for a topic they are looking for an answer to a question or problem. A post that has good content and answers these problems is looked upon favourably by the search engines.
Key points to remember to create quality content include:
- Have a concise and interesting title.
- Format all body text to the same font and size.
- Break down sections of your post into headings.
- Create links to other relevant posts on your website.
- References other sources to validate your content.
- Share your post on social media platforms.
- Keep posts to a minimum of 400 words (research shows that posts with 2,300 to 2,500 words are most appealing to search engines).
- Spell and grammar check EVERYTHING! Poorly written content will cripple your search engine results.
A sitemap is a list of all pages or posts that have been published on your website. All websites require two different sitemaps. The first is a XML sitemap. This sitemap should be submitted to Google and other search engines. The second is an HTML sitemap. This provides users with links to all important pages of a website. We recommend that you place a link to the HTML sitemap on the homepage of your website. This helps make your website more user-friendly.
SEO guidance directly from Google highlights the importance of page loading speed. Basically, it is important that a visitor on your website receives the information that they are looking for in the fastest way possible. You should always be looking at increasing the page speed of your website. Apart from improving your position on search engine results, fast loading websites also improves the user experience and encourages them to visit your website again.
Here are a few ways you can optimise your websites loading speed:
- Remove any unnecessary or not in use plug-ins.
- Reduce the size of your images where needed.
- Go to http://www.webpagetest.org/ to test your page loading time.
- Use Google’s Page Speed Service for specific recommendations to improve performance.
By utilising all tips outlined in this article, we guarantee it will help your websites SEO. Keep in mind, there are a number of illegitimate ways to temporarily boost your search engine rankings. There are many online services selling instant SEO or guaranteed number one position on Google. Unfortunately, this is not at all possible to achieve without the risk of being penalised and what is called “blacklisted” from search engine results.
To finish up…
As already mentioned, there is no special potion to shoot you straight to number one on any Google search. Doing it correctly it takes time, dedication and plenty of quality content. We are firm believers in conducting SEO in the correct fashion, which is evident in our track record. If you have received the SEO itch after reading this article then we would love to hear from you! To get you started we have created a SEO Checklist available for a free download. Complete the form below to access your copy. If you have already subscribed to our stuff then not to worry, you should have already received yours to your inbox!
Send us your thoughts or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away. While you’re here, check out our article 5 Tips for Building a Strong Brand in the Online World.[wpdm_package id='987']