SEO can be a difficult subject to grasp. A Google search for “SEO” yields about 500 million results. Far more than any single person could expect to read in a lifetime. And a lot of that material is either out-of-date or irrelevant to the needs of a newcomer looking for some simple, easy wins.
In this essay, we will go through the absolute SEO fundamentals for 2020. This will be a series of basic, actionable SEO recommendations that you can follow right away to boost your organic search exposure and rank better in Google.
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Are you still with me? That’s right. Here are five novice SEO ideas to help you optimize your site and attract more organic traffic:
1. Research & Use Relevant Keywords
Keywords are the cornerstone of effective SEO. What do your potential customers look for when they utilize a search engine? This will be a combination of what you do and where you do it for the majority of small businesses: Birmingham SEO business or Sutton Coldfield plumber?
There are numerous tools and tactics we can employ here to ensure that we have a decent selection of keywords.
Brainstorm prospective keywords — in this section, we just put down everything important. What we do, the services we provide, and the locations where we provide those services. Once you’ve gathered all of these pieces, you can mix what you do with where you do it to create a simple keyword list.
Use a keyword research tool – There are a variety of keyword research tools available to assist you in identifying new keywords. Google offers a tool as part of its Ads PPC service. Other programs, such as ubersuggest and keywordtool.io, are useful in both free and paid versions.
When you search for your keywords, you will often get suggestions in the search box as you enter, as well as a list of suggested keywords at the bottom of the page. Fill in the blanks with any appropriate variations (and search them again).
What you actually want to achieve here is to end up with groups of keywords that all have the same core meaning and intent. For instance, in this article on SEO recommendations for beginners, we may group the following keywords:
- SEO guidelines for newcomers
- SEO Tips for Newbies
- SEO fundamentals in 2020 Best SEO advice
- Search engine optimization for beginners
- Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
- How to Perform SEO
- SEO fundamentals
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Because the intent behind the terms is mostly the same, they can be grouped together. Then, each given piece of content can be optimized for (i.e. include) those terms. This then rates the article for the broadest possible set of terms.
Typically, I would enter these keywords into a spreadsheet with estimated search volumes and a score indicating how relevant they are. Don’t overthink it — we’re just trying to give a loose priority to the language we’ll be using here.
Tip 1: Determine and prioritize the phrases that prospective clients use while searching for the items and services you provide.
2. Optimise Page Titles & Meta Descriptions
Once you’ve compiled a list of keywords, you’ll want to optimize your page title. Please keep in mind that this is the HTML that is used behind the scenes.
What we’re attempting to do here is include our keywords into the page title in a natural way. Remember that page names are what appear in search results, therefore we want to clearly identify what the page is about and persuade a person to click on our listing.
If at all possible, I want to mention the what, where, and who. For branding purposes, the keywords are the what, the location is the where, and your business name is the how. In an ideal scenario, the keyword should appear near the beginning of the title to promote click-through and potential ranking gains.
We can expand on this by looking at service pages:
I’ve put an element in both of these page headers that is more for marketing than SEO: Free Quote & Available 24/7. These are elements that we place in your listing to boost the likelihood that someone will click on it.
Remember that a search engine ranking is still an advertisement, thus we must optimize our marketing as well as our SEO. And, as it happens, engagement with your listing can have a beneficial impact on your rankings, so doing good marketing is also good for your SEO.
A word of caution here: don’t over-optimize your page titles by stuffing them with keywords — for example:
Keywords should be included in your page titles, but not at the expense of readability or clickability (if that is even a real word).
When we’re satisfied with our titles, the next thing to think about is our meta description. Again, this should be modifiable in the CMS of your website.
Although page titles have the most SEO impact, the meta description serves as a description for the information on your page. Your headline should pique people’s interest, but your meta description should persuade them to click.
We used the following page title and meta description for this article:
SEO Tips for Beginners – 5 Easy Wins
Five easy SEO recommendations for newbies. Easily optimize your site, enhance results, and increase Google traffic.
I clarify what the article is in the headline, and then the meta description expands on the notion, perhaps enticing more people to click. To increase brand awareness, I also mention my name and the name of our company.
It is important to note that meta descriptions do not have a direct impact on rankings. Getting listed, however, is only half the game; you also need clicks. And if one result is clicked more than another, this might help enhance your position via engagement metrics that Google considers. Worryingly, if a result is not clicked at all, it will lose position and disappear from the search results. The message here is that, while SEO is vital, it should never come at the expense of effective copywriting.
Tip 2: To boost your organic traffic and rankings, use descriptive titles and meta descriptions that integrate your keywords and weave in your essential marketing messaging.
3. Optimise Page Content
We want to optimize our page content once we’ve optimized our page names and meta descriptions. Our keyword research (#1) should have yielded a list of comparable terms that all have the same aim. We’d now like to include these keywords in our writing in a natural way.
A page has several components, the most important of which are:
- Header Tags – H1, H2, H3, and so on
- The text on the page is referred to as the body content.
- Images – the images you use to back up your copy.
Consider the page’s headings and subheadings first. These can be optimized to add your keywords where it makes sense.
Second, write material that accurately defines and promotes your company, and strive to incorporate all of your keywords naturally. Don’t be concerned about keyword volumes or precise occurrences of the terms — just write naturally and try to incorporate the terms you discovered throughout your keyword research.
Images can also be optimized, with the key elements being the picture title, alt text, and description. If the image is also next to relevant content, it can help much more. Alt tags also assist blind people by providing a description of the image so that they may determine whether or not it is relevant to them!
When done correctly, your page will be visible for a broader range of terms, and you will be speaking the language of a greater cross-section of customers, which should increase engagement (and generating more leads and sales from your website). Win-win.
Tip 3: Improve your visibility for a larger range of search queries by optimizing your headers, text, and images.
4. Optimise Your Business Around the Web
Your website is essential to your SEO efforts, but it is not the only place where your company is mentioned. Your company’s information will also be available on social media and business directories such as Yell.com. Search engines use this information, as well as information about your company, to assist develop confidence and a knowledge of what you do and where you do it.
You should update all potential business listings (also known as citations) that are relevant to your business with your correct address and a synopsis of the services you offer. You should incorporate your most critical keywords, as well as a mention of any relevant places, into these business listings.
You may apply a similar strategy to your social media profiles. While you may not be able to include a whole address or description, you can still cover the essentials of what you do and where you do it.
Remember that these ads can rank well, and potential clients can view your company’s information here. Don’t just set it and forget it. Make sure you explain what you do, where you do it, and why they should consider your company. If you can incorporate calls to action or other marketing elements, do so.
Tip 4: Make sure your company listings and social media profiles are up to date with what you do and where you do it.
5. Build Relevant Links
Link building is an essential component of increasing visibility for competitive keywords. Link building, on the other hand, has a negative reputation — and frequently for good reason. Links can both assist and hinder your search engine ranking.
However, developing strong visibility necessitates having the correct kind of connections linking to your site. These links assist Google and other search engines in determining your relative importance and in ranking search results based on these criteria.
If there is any doubt, we can follow Google’s own recommendations and “make sure other sites link to yours.”
Google elaborates on this subject by saying:
“Links assist our crawlers in finding your site and can increase your site’s visibility in our search results. Google utilizes advanced text-matching techniques to present pages that are both essential and relevant to each search when providing results for a search. A link from page A to page B is seen by Google as a vote by page A for page B. Votes made by pages that are themselves ‘important’ carry more weight and contribute to the importance of other pages.”
As a result, a solid, relevant link is still a vote. And votes demonstrate that you are essential and relevant, resulting in increased visibility in Google search results. It’s simply that they have to be the correct type of votes.
It goes without saying that link building is the most difficult aspect of SEO and where many newbies get stuck. However, there are a few basic ways you may employ to gain some safe backlinks that will aid in improving your visibility in search results.
1. Highly Credible Directory Sites
We’re talking about sites like Yell.com and Thompson, as well as the major business directories and portals in your field. Search for your keywords and location on Google, and any listings that appear on the first page are worth investigating. A good litmus test here is if your target customers will find and click on these listings – if the answer is yes, it is worthwhile to seek out a listing.
2. Competitor Link Analysis
Examining your competitors’ links will frequently provide link chances. When you examine at your top ten competitors in a tool like MajesticSEO, aHrefs, or OpenSiteExplorer, you will frequently find a range of link opportunities. You are not aiming to replicate every single link here, but rather to identify the best of the best from a number of competitors. Consider quality above quantity, and again, consider whether your prospects are likely to see and click on this link.
Some programs allow you to enter several competitors and check which sites link to two or more competitors – this might help you uncover links that are more closely tied to high-ranked competitors. Correlation is not causation, but it can help you go through data.
3. Testimonials & Existing Relationships
Offer to write testimonials for companies with which you work. Your website’s creator. Your social media or SEO firm. All of these are sites that perform work for you, are most likely local, and can provide a relevant link.
Similarly, if you already have contacts with suppliers or customers, look into these sites to see if a link could be added to them.
Tip 5: Create high-quality links to your website and content.
Bonus Tip – Register with Google Search Console
Finally, be sure to register your site with Google Search Console. This tool analyses your site and delivers diagnostic comments that you can use to increase your site’s visibility in search results. This is information straight from the search engine, so you’d be foolish not to take advantage of it.
Here are 5 simple SEO methods that even beginners may use to boost their SEO:
- Investigate and employ appropriate keywords
- Improve the page names and meta descriptions.
- Page content should be optimised.
- Optimize your online presence.
- Create relevant links
That’s all there is to it. Implement these fundamental SEO tactics, and you will notice an increase in your ranks and visitors.