SEO Tips For Beginners
In order to begin ranking organically there are several factors to be considered, but I am going to point out some of the basic SEO tips for beginners that can be applied even if you are new to SEO & operating a website. These optimizations will not guarantee that your business is on the 1st page of Google, but there is a possibility depending on how your competitors are operating and the overall competitiveness of your industry.
The following optimizations are easy to complete and will definitely get your website pointed in the right direction. It is very important to remember that Search Engine Optimization takes time. Getting to a position where you are satisfied with may take anywhere from 1 month to 1 year!
On-Page Optimization is everything that you can see on your website including the content, title, heading tags, and meta descriptions. The alt tags are the exception and those can viewed in the HTML. Alt tags are just extra information about images that can help Google and people who use screen readers.
- Content: When it comes to On-Page Optimization the most important thing on your web page is the content. When a visitor comes to your website (whatever the topic or niche) they are looking for complete and detailed information which will answer all of their questions. When writing your content, go into as much detail as possible (without repeating yourself) and aim for a minimum of 1,000 to 1,500 words. If you are the owner of a construction company, DO NOT write a simple bulleted list of your services, rather explain your new home building process from start to finish including the specific types of tools and materials required, as well as the different skills involved.
- Title Tag: A title tag gives a clear description of what a website page is about, and this is what you would see on the search engine results page. According to MOZ (a SEO focused website + tools +blog) suggests that the title tag should be between 50-60 characters and the formatting should be as follows:
- Primary Keyword-Secondary Keyword | Brand Name.
- For my website, MC Web Studio, the title is: Kamloops Web Design & SEO Company | MC Web Studio.
- Heading Tags: Heading tags give information to search engines and let them know what the page is about and the content on it. There are six different types of heading tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6) with H1 being the most important and H6 the least. When following SEO best practices it is recommended that there should only be one H1 tag per page and proper structure with the following tags.
- Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions are what you see underneath the title on the search engine home page. It does not actually help with your website ranking but having some strong copy writing can help bring more visitors in.
- Alt Tags: Alt tags or alt attributes are sections which you can fill in when adding an image to your website. The tags describe what is happening in an image and the main purpose of this is to assist individuals who may use a screen reader. When it comes to SEO, the search engine uses the alt text to figure out what the image is and how it relates to all of the text around it on your website.
You will notice a little bit of overlap between the different categories but it is all relevant as they are interconnected.
Off-Page Optimizations are actions that you can take outside of your website to help increase your overall search engine ranking. The most critical points of Off-Page SEO is link building, EAT (expertise, authority and trustworthiness), and social media accounts.
Link building is the process of obtaining links from other websites and having them point back to your own website. There are many ways to build links but the best way to get them is through solid content. If you create an article, blog, or video for your business website following the EAT principle, other websites will automatically want to link to your website. By providing content that shows expertise, authority, and trust, your website will be more likely to gain a back link.
Social media is another part of the equation to link building, and the best websites to utilize are Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. These social media platforms can generate signals in the form of likes, comments, and shares which include your website URL/link. Out of the five platforms mentioned above, Instagram would be the least important as you can only include a link once you have reached a specific number of followers.
Google Business Profile
If you are a local business, having a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business/GMB) is an absolute MUST! It is a real easy opportunity to get out in front of your audience and it will take you a total of 20 minutes. Here is what you should fill out to have a complete profile.
- The services & products you offer.
- Business category ( choose the one closest to your own business, and then add a secondary category).
- Business description ( be detailed here). This will help you stand out & customers may choose your business because you operate differently. Example: Your coffee shop only uses dairy free cream or if you are an electronics store, small appliances can be delivered in 4 hours.
- Photos of your business (interior, exterior, staff).
- Videos from your business ( news, deals, announcements and more).
- Business opening date.
- Business hours.
- Email address.
- telephone number.
- Google posts ( these are similar to a Facebook post, and you can keep customers updated on everything happening).
Getting Started With Your Own SEO
If you are ready to start trying these SEO tips for beginners, I would start off by writing a good piece of content that will be helpful to anyone who visits your website. Once it is complete, I suggest that you add the title tags, followed by heading & alt tags, and the meta descriptions.
If your content is of high quality, you should start to gain some backlinks and should have to do less outreach for guest posting and blogs.
I will write about these topics and other methods in later articles, but hopefully this is a good place to start!