SEO Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

There was a time when SEO used to be awfully simple and straightforward. In fact, in the early days of search engine optimization, all it took was for an SEO Company to stuff keywords everywhere onto a page and get a couple of backlinks (from anywhere) and that was pretty much it. There was nothing known as keyword stuffing and bad/spammy backlinks. There was no distinction between the SEO basics and advanced tactics.

Today, however, the scenario is entirely different.

There are now over 200 ranking factors that Google uses to determine where it will place your website in the search engine results. Moreover, Google now constantly updates its core algorithm throughout the year, which means SEO Agencies will always have to be on their toes if they wish to maintain rankings.

While there are so many ranking factors that Google uses now, it is a well-known fact that some of these factors make a tremendous impact on your visibility, while others make a minor, if any, impact on your SEO efforts

In today’s post, we’re going to discuss some of the factors that carry a high weighted from an SEO perspective. 

1. Easy to Remember URL

People are always short on time and want the name of the website easy enough to be remembered. Following the psyche of the people, the search engines also love websites with easy and simple URLs. Simplify your URL as much as possible and look for finer details. Once you have done that, your web pages will automatically have simpler URLs.

Tip: Google crawler likes URLs and website names with some keywords present in it.

2. Keyword Research

As the definition suggests, Search Engine Optimization is basically the art of using some specific keywords to improve the ranking of the website. Based on the definition, the next step is to search for the keywords that go well with your market of dealing and the keywords used in it. You must be thinking that you already know the phrases and keywords you want to be searched for but that is not enough. You need to learn the way users search and the combinations of words they use.

Tip: You should look for the keywords that have maximum searches and minimum competition. You can find both free and paid websites that can help you perform your keyword research.

3. Optimize the Content

Now that you have the list of your golden keywords ready in your hands, start placing them in the content nicely and naturally. When Google’s crawler comes to pay a visit to your website, it goes through the titles first. You need to play smart by using these keywords in the titles of your website’s pages. Place the keywords in the title tags and heading tags of your website. You can make as many headings on a page as you like.

Tip: Do not overstuff your web pages with the keywords as it will result in something called “keyword stuffing”, a practice that makes Google really unhappy.

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4. SEO Basics: Use Images

Images are an important part of a website as no website looks alive without them. Fortunately for you, images are also used for SEO optimization. Firstly, save all the images you are going to use with SEO friendly names. Secondly, while uploading them add the keywords in alt description text. It might seem extremely time-consuming and baseless at the moment but these small steps work towards the higher Google ranking.

Tip: You can get a graphic designer to get custom images and graphics done for you or you can use royalty-free photos from sites like pixabay unsplash. NEVER use copyrighted images.

5. Make Use of the Body

When you are done with adding keywords in the most prominent parts of the website, it is time to pay attention to the less prominent parts. Crawlers go for the keyword density on the website so it is better to add some in the body as well. Insert the keywords organically in the overall content of your page. You can decide to either place one keyword in each paragraph or once in two paragraphs. Once you are done, make sure to give it a good read to see if the keywords fit properly and nicely.

Tip: “Remember not to stuff your content with keywords. An ideal keyword density is from 2% to 4%.

6. Quality of the Content

While the images and theme are enough to catch the eye of the viewer, the content is the main thing to really keep them on your site. You must ensure that the content appearing on your website is of top-quality. It should deliver what the user is looking for, close to the keywords, and must give a clear idea to the reader about your products or services. If your content is not good enough to be indexed by the crawler, forget about having a good ranking.

Tip: When possible, go for long-form content. Long-form content means anything above 1500 words. Such content tends to rank better in Google and gives you more room for incorporating keywords.

7. Do Not Confuse Your Readers

After you have finalized the content of your website, ask few individuals to go through each page and give feedback. Closely analyze those feedbacks and find out if your website is conveying a clear message to the readers or is it confusing them? In the latter case, you need to have someone else write the content and repeat the same process until it is good enough to not confuse the readers.

Tip: Ask different people to give their feedback. It is always a good idea to choose people that are not from your own team or already have an idea about your products or services.

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8. Get Rid of Redundancies

As explained earlier, it is good to add keywords to the content but stuffing it beyond a safe limit is harmful. You should try not to write the same thing again and again. Read your content and in case you find some words written in the same way, get rid of it as soon as possible. Moreover, do not copy content from other websites as well. If the crawler finds your website is with repeated data, it will not only bring it down but will penalize you for it too.

Tip: The repetition rule is the same for products as well. You must avoid copying the same description for the products as well. Make sure that each webpage has a different arrangement of words to offer to the crawler.

9.  A Strong Sitemap

A sitemap is the tour guide of a crawler that helps it to understand the purpose of a website, provide keywords, and guides it throughout its journey on your website. For the new websites, it is extremely important and suggested by many experts but old websites can also make use of it. You can also prioritize the web pages according to your choice via sitemaps. You must have an XML Sitemap for your website.

10. Optimize Your Blogs

This is the most favourite part of many businesses. Almost every business in the world is aware of the power of the blogs and the magic SEO friendly blogs can do. Now that you have a proper list of keywords and your website is properly SEO optimized too, it is time to add the blogs section and write some blogs. These blogs should have the keywords placed organically in their body and headings. Also, pay special attention to the meta-descriptions as these lines will appear under your URL in the list of search results. This is the place that decides whether the user will open the link or skip it for good.

Tip: It is not necessary to add the same keywords in all the blogs. You can sometimes skip the old ones and try some new ones. Though it is said that the more the keywords, the better the ranking but avoid using same keywords over and over again.

11. The Magic of Robots.txt

You must be thinking that all parts of your websites would not be very pleasing for the crawler and we agree with this fact. Robots.txt file comes handy here. You can the URLs of the pages that you believe must be crawled and indexed. This file will notify the crawler that the enlisted pages are off the limit and should not be crawled. You can check your Robots.txt file and do a lot of other cool stuff with Google Search Console

Tip: In case you change your mind about the enlisted pages or want to add more, do not forget to open the file to update it.

12. Do Not Forget Internal Linking

Customer satisfaction is the goal of every business and ease is what customers look for. To provide your customers with the convenience of doing less effort to open another web page, you must do internal linking. Linking all of your web pages would not only properly guide the customer through all pages but will support a better customer experience.

Tip: To make the customer experience even better, focus on the response timing and readiness of the website as well.

13. Backlinks are Crucial

In the world of the websites, no amount of people visiting each day is enough. You need all the people you can to visit your website and make sales happen. To achieve this goal, SEO alone is not sufficient. You need to provide backlinks to your website from different other websites. For the beginning, you can do guest blogging and affiliate programs with different known websites. This will generate a considerable amount of traffic for you. However, for a long-term solution, you should look for some other techniques that will increase the traffic for you naturally and for the lifetime.

14. Accessibility of the Website

Once you believe that your website is moving towards its final stages, test the accessibility of the website. If you have a list of products mentioned on your website and you aim to use it to make sales, then the factor of accessibility even becomes stronger. Try a theme that opens easily on all the browsers without affecting the loading time. If your website does not support all the browsers, the customer will surely close the tab before the blink of an eye and you will lose a sale.

Tip: Before making the website live, try opening all the web pages on all the web browsers to be sure that the website has a good loading time and does not freeze anywhere.

15. Social Media Linking

While we talk about the global village, social media has become a glue to keep everyone together. No one can deny the hold of the social media on the lives of people these days. Having a website is not enough but having a business presence on social media is equally necessary. Make pages for your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter if not for all social media platforms. Do not forget to mention these pages on your website. Social media can bring customers to your website by promoting it and can increase the number of conversions.

Tip: You can also make different social media schemes to promote your business.

16. Limit the Use of Flash Elements

A lot of web developers and businessmen believe that having flash elements on their web pages is trendy and will increase the traffic. However, it is not true. You can add them if you desire but setting a proper limit for them is the key to the success of the website. People still love to visit the websites that are simple, decent and elegant. If you believe that just people dislike it, think again for crawlers also hate the excessive use of flash elements. These items are ignored by the crawlers and it gives them an idea that you do not want them to see a lot so it plays negative in your favor.

Tip: Flash elements do not support SEO at all. Some people like them but the majority does not so use them sparingly.

17. Be Helpful Every Minute

Once you have launched your website, your work does not end here. You need to stay active for as much as possible. Give people a chat box on the website so they can ask for your help instantly. The conventional way of giving people support through help and support corner should not be ignored. Hire a bunch of people who can always stay online and handle the queries of the people. If you are posting blogs on your webpage as well, make sure to reply to the comments of the people. All these steps will give your user an idea that you care for them.

18. Have Some Patience

This is one of the SEO basics that often gets overlooked. Search Engine Optimization is a magic for sure but it is a slow magic that does not bring results in a few days. You will need to have some patience and wait for the good to happen. These techniques take a lot of effort and so it is clear that one can lose his temper in a few days with no result but know that making a website SEO friendly can take four to six months. You start SEO with a goal of traffic and it will not be achievable in just one go.

19. SEO Basics: Learn and Reinvent

The world keeps progressing each day and the ways of crawlers keep becoming better each day. There is no reason for your website to stay still. You should learn from the feedback of your user and make your website better every second month. With the addition of new products and the presence of some bugs the response rate of the website can be affected as well. Change the whole content, search for new keywords, change the style and give your customers a new website to enjoy with the same results.

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