Even a website with the best functionality and design cannot be successful without search engine optimization. But what to do if you are a complete beginner and don’t know much about SEO?
Don’t worry! Today, the team at InternetDevels explains what is search engine optimization, as well as shares some basic SEO tips for beginners!
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization, or simply SEO, is a set of special techniques and strategies that help increase website rankings in search results. Think of yourself when you google something. You probably look through the first 2-3 pages, if that. If you want your website to be displayed high in search results (ideally the first page) when people look for the information you provide on your platform, you need to dive into SEO and its secrets.
How SEO can benefit my website?
Ranking high in Google can benefit your business a lot. If your site is displayed on the first few pages, the chances that people will see and visit it grow significantly. As a result, you gain more traffic, conversions, increase sales, get recognition, and grow your website!
SEO Tips For Beginners – 12 Ways to Google Boost Your Website
You cannot jump to the top of the list at once. However, there are some essential improvements you just cannot ignore if you want to optimize your website for search engines. Check out these 12 basic SEO tips for beginners!
1. Choose appropriate keywords
The first SEO tip for beginners: pay attention to the keywords. Having the right keywords is the most important element of basic SEO, as they help gain more traffic through organic search. Think about what people write when are looking for services or products like yours. You can also conduct small research and see what keywords your competitors use.
Keywords search services:
2. Optimize meta tags
Meta tags are those crucial elements that describe a page’s content, as well as allow search engine to identify the relevance of the search query to your web page. Meta tags are not visible, they exist only in HTML.
Meta tags include:
- Title Tag: this is a tag visible to users. It is displayed at the top of the browser. Use this tag to help search engines understand what the web page is about. You should use the main keyword in this tag.
- Meta Description Attribute: this is a description users will see when looking through search results. It explains to search engines and visitors what the web page is about.
- Meta Keywords Attribute: add keywords that are most relevant to the web page content.
- Meta Robots Attribute: tells search engines what to do with a web page. Index/noindex tells whether to show this page in search results or not, while follow/nofollow tells the engines whether they should trust and "follow" your links to the next page or not.
3. Create appealing headings and subheadings
Headings and subheadings on your web page are also important for SEO. There are 6 types of heading tags, from H1 to H6. H1 is a page title, we have mentioned it in the previous tip. H2-H6 headings are used to structure the content. We strongly recommend using H2 tags, while H3-H6 headings are not obligatory.
H1-H2 headings influence SEO rankings in a good way, as they give search engines an idea of what a web page is about.
4. Add internal links
Adding linking to your website, both internal and external, is one of the most powerful SEO tips for beginners. Internal, or inbound links, are hyperlinks that direct visitors to the target page on your website. Internal links can benefit your search engine optimization because they keep your readers engaged with your site longer. They also increase the authority of your platform and particular pages. Make sure that all the links are relevant and lead to the existing pages.
5. Provide external linking
External links are hyperlinks that lead to other reputable sources on other websites. When you use external linking to credible websites, Google ranks your platform as having a higher value. Remember that you should only add links to popular and relevant websites if you want this to help you. You should also make sure that links still exist and don’t lead to a 404 page.
6. Create search-friendly URLs
The URL has to be search-friendly and easy-to-read for people. We recommend using the main keyword in the URL.
7. Add image descriptions
Image descriptions not only benefit SEO but make your website more accessible for people with disabilities as well. If the image doesn’t load, or the user cannot see it because of eyesight issues, descriptions help to identify what is displayed on the picture.
In order to create SEO-friendly image descriptions (or ALT text), you need to describe what is displayed in detail. If there is any text, you should write it in the description too.
8. Increase page load speed
Page load speed influences SEO ratings directly, as Google ranks pages that load quickly higher. According to Kissmetrics, 47% of users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or even less, while 40% of visitors abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. The faster website loads, the higher it will be on the search engine results page, as load speed influences traffic, conversions, and more.
You can check website load speed with the help of special services, such as WebPageTest.
Discover how to increase page load speed.
9. Make your website mobile-friendly
More and more users surf the net through their mobile devices. In some countries, the number of mobile users even exceeds desktop ones. However, not all platforms are mobile-friendly. That’s why Google announced mobile-first indexing this spring. This means that Google will use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking:
‘Starting July 1, 2019, Mobile Content Priority Indexing has been enabled by default for all new sites (they’ve just been published or weren’t in the Google index). Pages that have existed for a long time are still checked for compliance with the criteria listed in the recommendations. As soon as the site is ready to switch to a new indexing method, we will notify its owner in the Search Console. Notifications about new sites are not required to be sent, since in their case the new method is used by default.’
Google offers a free Mobile-Friendly Test that will help you identify whether your website is optimized for mobile phones.
Discover more reasons why your website has to be mobile-friendly.
10. Create XML Sitemap and robots.txt
One of the most efficient SEO tips to begin with: create an XML Sitemap and robots.txt file. An XML Sitemap is a list of links to all major pages of a website. It leads search engines to the most important pages on your platform, lets Google know about any updates on these pages and, as a result, improves your rankings. By giving the search engine a sitemap you can increase the number of pages that it indexes.
A robots.txt file gives information to search engines about those parts of the website they are and aren't allowed to crawl.
Sitemap.xml files, as well as robots.txt files, need to be constantly updated.
11. Regularly update your content
Put in some fresh content and update the existing content regularly! The content should be relevant to what your visitors want to see. Don’t forget to add appropriate keywords to make it possible for users to find your site through organic search. If you are writing blog posts, make them no less than 1000 words and include internal and external linking. Remember that Google ranks such articles as being of a higher value.
We recommend creating a special content plan, as well as writing texts for a website in advance. Here you can find information on creating content for a new website.
12. Track key metrics and improve them
One of the most important SEO tips for beginners is to track key metrics. It is crucial to regularly monitor the results of your hard work and see if there are any improvements. This can be achieved by installing Google Analytics. This tool offers valuable data regarding users’ behavior.
- keywords analysis report
- referrals report
- bounce rate report
- navigation summary
- conversion report
Learn more about search engine optimization in the following blog posts:
- Best practices for SEO-friendly website design
- Key SEO tips for e-commerce websites
- How Can I Optimize My Site for Voice Search in 2019?
Follow these basic search engine optimization tips for beginners to reach success!
Improve your SEO with InternetDevels!
These basic SEO tips for beginners will not only help you increase your site’s appearance in search results but also will lead to business development and increase conversions if implemented well. Follow them and you’ll see how your website popularity grows.
If these strategies still seem challenging for you, no worries. You can always contact SEO specialists at InternetDevels!