SEO [Search Engine Optimization] for beginners: 10 Steps to optimizing your website now!

February 27, 2022

I bet you didn’t know that 64% of organic traffic comes from search. Only 10% comes from social media.

This beginners SEO guide will explain how to optimize your website so that you can increase traffic.

Why is SEO important?

Understanding the reason means thinking about your own habits of searching.

When you go to Google and type in ’tools for email marketing’ you get a list of results.

Which one do you click? 

Did you ever run into the "second or third" search results pages? Probably not, and if yes, not quite often.

In order to make SEO work for you, you need to have a web page properly optimized for search engines.

Google will display you on the first page of search results and get more traffic to your site if you know your competition the best.

The process of how to do search engine optimization for a website.

We’ll look at 10 essentials SEO for beginners to help you get started and to start getting results for your website.

1. Do keyword research and choose relevant terms

Keywords are the most important words used on a page. Search engines use keywords while searching for relevant words and pages. So, if you are using the keywords in your article, you’ll be given a higher page rank, and your odds of search engine success will go up.

Making sure your keyword fits with the purpose of your business makes sense. For example, a keyword like ‘digital marketing’ is a short-tail keyword, while a keyword like ‘how to create an effective digital marketing campaign’ is a long-tail keyword.

In Search Marketing, the key to gaining search volume is to have more words per phrase in order to rank high and bring in the most visitors. If you are writing long-tail keyword words, they also tend to have a lower search volume which will make it easier to rank for them. It is best to have short keywords too, which target the more generic audiences and can be more profitable to bring traffic to.

Furthermore, it’s ideal to consider search volume and ranking difficulty of the keyword intended to be used. The search volume indicates how often people search for that specific keyword. A higher search volume means that users are more interested in this topic. The rank difficulty, instead, indicates how hard it is to rank in search engine results.

Optimize websites by using keywords, but these are not the only factors to consider. You should focus on other aspects as well.

How might we look to optimize our website?

2. Place keywords throughout your page

Each page or blog post has different keywords that are relevant to an article. SEO for beginners is always the first Google result.

Ideally, your chosen keys should be in the:

  • Title of the post
  • The URL
  • First & last paragraph of your blog post
  • In the text throughout the blog post
  • The tags of images used  

It’s a good idea to put short phrases or sentences containing keywords in the main text to keep people aware of them. Just be careful of ‘Keyword Stuffing’, which we will talk about further

3. Include SEO in Permalinks

A permalink is the URL that you use to access a web page. When writing a permalink be aware it should be at least 2-3 words and make sense in terms of the rest of the text on the web page. Permalinks tell bots and readers all about the overall structure of your website.

As you know, search engine bots can crawl your entire site and understand all its main points. This means that it must become clear to the bots and indexed correctly within your site. It is important for you to use clear and relevant words for the permalinks within your site. This will help you to make it easy for search engine bots to read what they are indexing and to help SEO.

This could look like this:  

www.readbooks.com is your website.

www.readbooks.com/selfhelp - is a webpage in which people can find all books in the self-help category

www.readbooks.com/selfhelp/BOOKTITLE  – is the page where you’ll find a particular book in this category.

The permalink is a permanent link on a web page that can be easily linked to and viewed at a later date. It’s not encouraged to use specific dates or information that may change.

In the right direction, the aim is that users will keep visiting your site in the future. Your site should show that you are keeping pace with the latest search engine information and updates through your web design and structure. So, your best effort is to make sure that your pages won’t be deleted and changed regularly. You shouldn’t have pages that will be deleted in the future—it would be a waste of time if only people would go to these pages. Your pages should have a timeless URL.

If you write an article about ‘Top Marketing Tips For 2020’, you can keep the ‘2020’ in the title, but leave the 2020 out from the URL. So you can update the article afterwards by saying ‘Top Marketing Tips for 2021’ next year.

This same rule can be applied to specifics holiday, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving, etc..

4. Hyperlink your existing content

If you want to write the best blog post possible, it is a good practice to link to other posts and pages you have already published within your blog. This would let readers navigate to those pages from reading your current post. In addition, if your page is being indexed by search engines, it would help your posts to be seen in a more relevant and natural context within other internet platforms.

The content quality should be the main focus. Keyword stuffing is not allowed.

Don’t waste time on writing content for your blog when people don’t care for it, and it’s best if your content is engaging. Your audience should have all the related information/questions answered for them to solve whatever problems or concerns you talk about.

Using more words does not necessarily equal higher quality. However, as the search engine optimization expert at GoDaddy, Danny Sullivan has noted, articles with a higher word count tend to have been covered in a lot more depth. Consequently, they tend to show up closer to the top of SERPs.

Writing in full, but, in a clear, yet elegant way, will work wonders. Don’t try to use too many keywords throughout your content in order to increase your search engine exposure, because you’ll get penalized for it.

Search engines like Google can be very clever at recognizing keyword stuffing.

6. Optimize your images 

Alt-text is the text that is read when an image is not found as an image. If an image cannot be crawled, then the alt-text can be a substitute to allow the website to be crawled and indexed by search engines.

You can get extra traffic by optimizing your alt-title text, such that Google will see that website as containing that keyword.

Are you aware of the images that are loaded at the top of your search results? They are a great way to connect with your audience. Compressing them is also helpful as it speeds up your website search rankings (SEO). In order to optimize them, use compression tools. These are available for free and allow you to easily compress your images.

7. Page speed 

A new ranking factor introduced by Google in 2018, the page speed, uses a number of factors to determine the health of a site. A fast site will be easier to navigate and will get visitors to stick around longer.

With web page, a fast loading time is an essential for the users. If your page takes too much time to download, it will lead to high bounce rate. Although bounce rate is not a ranking factor, it is directly related to your page speed.

8. Don’t forget your mobile version! 

Smartphones have become the necessary communication tools that make life easier, whether in school or at the office. The websites we build now have to be easy to read on smaller devices. Making sure your mobile websites work properly is a must. If you mess up the placement of the buttons and format, you're going to drive your annoyed customers away.

For website owners wanting to get more views or increase their traffic, a good user experience makes people want to stay and explore your website. The same is true for mobile websites: a good mobile customer experience makes people want to stick around and look at your website instead of going to another website.

9. Technical SEO 

We talked about creating a good website URL structure in section 3.

But technical SEO goes well beyond just choosing the right keywords and permalinks. It is about creating responsive design for your website. As a technical topic, it goes beyond what a beginner’s guide could explain. Nonetheless, it’s worth pointing out here.

Take time to understand how your website ought to look for visitors from your target visitors.

10. Update your pages and content

Even if an article is recent and has only been posted a few weeks, you still will want to do an SEO-audit, because you don’t want to have outdated information that may hurt your website.

In order to save your old web pages (which you might not actually have a need for anymore), go through them, verify that they are properly optimized, update them if needed, and if there are certain pages that are no longer useful you can delete them.

Keep promoting your posts and content!

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a continuous process; but with time and experience, you move from a beginner’s stage to more advanced steps. The best way to improve your ranking is to write useful and informative posts often. Once you’ve written posts and added them to your blog, promote the post to reach more traffic.

You can use organic or paid advertisements (PPC). Both should be executed at some point in your marketing strategy. The organic approach is by sharing on social networks.

The organic approach creates a lasting engagement with your customers, and advertising methods help you show your content to the right audience so people can view it quicker, thus increasing its exposure.

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