SEO Tips and Tricks for Beginners
So you’re making your own way into the great unknown, the wonderful world of SEO. For those of you who might be wondering, “What is SEO?” it stands for Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO is the marketing practice of attracting website traffic through optimised copy, and targeted keywords.
SEO combines the technical aspect of keyword research, and the creative process of creating unique content to drive traffic to your site.
Tip #1 – Chose your keywords carefully
When choosing keywords, you need to take into account what your potential customers are going to be searching for in Search Engines such as Google.
You also need to take into account the content that you’re going to be creating around those keywords or phrases. When ranking websites, Search Engines now takes into account the content on each of the web pages and not just the keywords or phrases themselves.
This means that any content has to sound conversational, and the keywords need to fit in organically. Don’t just throw in multiple keywords because you think it will make you rank higher, because it’s more likely to have a negative effect on your Search Engine rankings.
There are lots of free tools available online to help you decide which keywords you should be targeting for your content. Some of our favourites are:
Tip #2 – Create unique content for each of your web pages
The more unique content you have on your website, the more likely you are to be found in search engine results. Unique content can be found in many forms, and these include:
- Animation and videos
- Quizzes and interactive media
- Blog posts
With more unique content comes more potential for social sharing. As long as the content is interactive and holds your readers attention, then they are more likely to share it with their followers on social media.
Tip #3 – Don’t wear your SEO Black Hat
As we’ve already said, Search Engines – Google in particular – now penalise websites that use black-hat SEO tactics.
Online advertising website WordStream explain that black hat SEO refers to “a set of practices that are used to increase a site or page’s rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines’ terms of service”.
Black hat SEO tactics include:
- Keyword stuffing and keyword stacking
- Buying links on external sites that link back to your own
- Over optimising content with internal links
- Meta Description and Title keyword stuffing
- Comment spamming with links back to your site
- Invisible text on web pages
Tip #4 – Pay attention to the layout
Achieving the best possible results through SEO isn’t just about building a website that’s search-engine friendly. You need to make sure that your website is designed for the end user in mind.
When writing for an online audience you need to make sure that your sentences and paragraphs are short. Other aspects of page design to take into account are:
- The correct use of H1, H2 and H3 tags throughout the page
- Short sentences for easily read online content
- Bulleted lists to break up long-form content
- Use images, but only where relevant
There’s so many ways to structure online content, and this holds especially true for blogs. If you’re thinking about starting your own blog, then you might find our post on our top 5 blog post templates.
Tip #5 – Don’t forget the images
Images are equally important as the keywords and phrases that you choose when it comes to SEO. Images bring a new light to your words, and help to make the content more readable.
But how do you make sure your images are optimised for SEO? You need to remember the Alt tag and Title tag optimisation. For example, the Alt tag for a Call to Action button to purchase a product would say “Button for customer to purchase product”.
The alt text allows readers who are visually impaired to fully understand what is on a web page using their screen readers. However, it isn’t just about helping other readers.
Alt text on images help search engines determines the topic of the surrounding text. This means that at least one image on your website should have a keyword included.
Tip #6 – Include hyperlinks
When creating online content, it’s important to have external links included, not just links back to your own content. Remember, it’s the quality of the links you receive, and not just the quantity.
It’s important when linking externally that the website is relevant to the content on your page too. For example, in this article we have linked to WordStream who wrote about Black Hat SEO, as this was relevant for that specific section.
When ranking your website, search engines take into account the quality of your links too. So if you have larger websites with a high domain authority linking back to your site, you’re more likely to benefit in the long run.
For more information on external linking, you might find this article from Moz useful.
Tip #7 – Remember the Title and Meta Descriptions
You might be wondering what and where the title and Meta Description are, and how you can utilise them for SEO. The title and Meta are what a user sees in their Search Engine results. There’s an image below to help explain.
The title is fairly simple, it’s the title of each page on your website. In the image above, the page title is “Web Design and Digital Marketing Blog | One2create”. This is exactly what our blog is about.
The Meta description needs to be written in such a way that it entices readers onto your website instead of one of your competitors. Web users have so much choice available; they need to be convinced straight away that you have the answer to their question.
So there we have it, our top tips for SEO beginners. Hopefully you’ve found it useful, and are ready to start implementing everything you’ve learned.
What advice would you give to those just starting out in the world of SEO? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so let us know in the comments below. You can also get in touch with us on Facebook, or Twitter.
If you think it’s time that your website took that next step up in search engine rankings, then we can help. Get in touch with a member of our team here, and we’ll be happy to talk through how we can help with your own SEO.