Beginners Guide to SEO
So you have got a brand new all singing and dancing website but no one is coming to it. You need to think about SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization which relates to tasks that improve your search position or ranking on search engines such as Google or Bing.
A simplified version of the process is to research the best keywords or phrases for your website and then apply these processes.
However there are many different processes to look at, in fact it is well known that there are around 200 factors that affect your ranking on Google! These range from meta tags to backlinks and content to social media factors.
In our beginners guide we haven’t enough time to look at all 200 factors but we have picked out some of the most important ones. If you are not confident about applying these to your website then rather than make your rankings worse you should consider using a professional. Whether that is an individual or an SEO agency you need an affordable SEO strategy. If you do decide to outsource this work then you need to make sure that the person or company that you employ are good at what they do and that they don’t do any back hat SEO that might work short term but might get you penalised in the longer term.
Meta Tag Optimization
There are lots of different meta tags available but here we will go through the main 3. The least important of the three tags is the keyword meta tag and the reason for that is because people crammed in as many keywords as they could which eventually made the search engines ignore this tag.
The most important tag is the meta tag title and the main reason for that is because it is the title of your listing in the search engines. It is the first thing that people see. A well optimised and good descriptive title tag helps your rankings on the search engines and also helps with your click through rate.
Last but not least is the meta tag description which apparently doesn’t help directly with ranking but it can help to improve your click through rate which as we know can help improve your rankings so by having a good description of what the page is about and any calls to action in the description will have a knock on effect on your rankings.
How many times do you hear “content content content” and certainly for search engines content is so important. They thrive on new content so obviously having good content on your website is important but as important is to make sure that you add new content on a regular basis. Probably the best way of adding fresh content on a regular basis is to have a blog or news section.
Separate out your content too rather than trying to cram everything on to one page. Having multiple pages for similar topics helps because you can inter link them. So if you run 4 training courses that are similar rather than have one page with all 4 courses on create 4 separate course pages. It also makes it easier to optimize each page for the exact course.
Make sure that any content you put on your website is your own. Search engines don’t like duplicated content.
One of the most important factors for ranking high on search engines is backlinks from other sites. The reason they are so important is that search engines see these links as a vote of confidence from another website. If the backlink is coming from a reputable site then that is even better and will help to improve the authority of your website.
As well as backlinks from external websites internal links on your own website are also important. This is why blogs are so popular. Whether you call it a blog or news doesn’t really matter but the fresh unique content is seen as good by search engines and adding a few internal links in this content to your products or services is a great way to improve your rankings.
For me the most important SEO tool that you can use is Google webmaster tools. As well as telling you about any issues with your website it also gives you data such as the keywords that people are typing into Google to find you.
This allows you to optimise your pages for these keywords.
Tracking where you rank on the search engines is time consuming if you are doing it manually and can be inaccurate due to search engines using local settings so using some rank tracking software is a great way to save time.
Other tools that I use and can recommend include Majestic or Ahrefs. Both of these offer similar services and allow you to see what your competitors are doing. You can also track how well you are doing by tracking their overall domain score.
Another tool I use is MOZ which is a great resource that is packed full of useful tools and articles aimed at helping you with your marketing and search engine optimization.
We use Social media to help promote any news.