SEO Basics: A Guide for the Beginners
Standing atop Google search engine’s ranking is as difficult as climbing at the top of the Mount Everest. But, like the latter, it can still be done if you know the basics of what you’re doing.
So, in this article, we’ll talk about that only, and add some of our own experiences of fumbling with Google’s algorithm. Let’s get this journey started, then.
What is SEO?
Alright, so before we begin, let’s answer the most obvious question – the term ‘SEO’ is an abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization. In Layman’s terms, it usually refers to the process of optimizing a blog, or online content to make it more appealing to search engines.
But, why do you need to do that?
Well, think about how you search for things online.
You type in a few keywords, hit enter, and voila! A huge list of relevant results appears on your screen. Now, imagine if your content could appear at the top of that list. That’s what SEO can help you achieve – better visibility and higher rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).
So, in a nutshell – SEO helps you rank higher than usual on the SERPs, which, in turn, makes a lot more people find you. The more visibility you get, the higher your chance of converting the visitors into your client becomes. That’s how SEO indirectly helps out your business.
The Key Aspects of SEO
Now, when it comes to SEO, you can’t simply start working from the ground. It’ll take you a lot of time and resources to make your website competitive this way.
So, instead of working hard, you should work smart and focus on its key aspects. For example –
Identifying and using relevant phrases and keywords that users are likely to search for. These keywords should be integrated naturally into the website’s content, headings, meta tags, and URLs. It might be a little difficult to get all of these done at the very first time, though.
Hence, it’s best to take some help from a Singapore SEO company. They will have a clear idea on how to optimize your website’s keyword structure and assist accordingly.
Creating high-quality, relevant, and informative content that addresses the needs of the target audience. Such content can include articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, and more.
Optimizing various on-page elements such as meta titles, meta descriptions, headings, image alt text, and internal linking to improve the search engine’s understanding of the page’s content.
Ensuring that the website’s technical structure is search engine-friendly. This includes factors like site speed, mobile-friendliness, crawlability, and proper HTML markup.
Providing a positive user experience through easy navigation, fast load times, and a responsive design, all of which contribute to higher user engagement and longer visit durations.
Backlinks (Off-Page SEO)
Acquiring high-quality backlinks from other reputable websites. Backlinks serve as “votes of confidence” for your website’s authority and relevance.
Optimizing a website to appear in local search results, particularly relevant for businesses targeting a local audience.
Analytics and Monitoring
Continuously tracking and analyzing website performance using tools like Google Analytics to understand user behavior, traffic sources, and areas for improvement.
Note: SEO, in essence, is an ongoing process that requires regular updates and adjustments to adapt to changes in search engine algorithms, industry trends, and user behavior.
It’s an essential strategy for businesses and individuals looking to improve their online visibility, attract more organic traffic, and ultimately achieve their online goals.
So, make sure to be attentive to what you are doing and take note of everything. Otherwise, it might be difficult for you to sustain the performance you thought about doing.
How Should You Make a Basic SEO Strategy?
Making an SEO strategy isn’t something that you can do overnight, without having any kind of prior plans. It has to be done calmly, even if you are working on something basic.
Now, if you are working on a fundamental SEO strategy, it has to be done through five specific steps. The planning will include the SEO aspects we’ve talked about before, so be wary of that.
Step – 1: Creating a Plan.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use complex algorithms to determine which web pages should be shown in response to a user’s search query. These algorithms take into account a wide range of factors to assess the relevance, authority, and quality of web pages.
SEO involves optimizing both on-page and off-page factors to improve a website’s chances of ranking higher in search results.
However, you can’t do all these without making a plan. Hence, focus on creating one and make sure that you are also including a roadmap into your strategy.
This will help you complete the project at the earliest and help you save a lot of resources.
Step – 2: Keyword Research
Try to identify good and relevant keywords and phrases that users might search for when looking for content related to your website. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs can assist you in finding high-volume and low-competition keywords.
You must also check Google’s search suggestions to understand how people are actually trying to search on something. That could be used as a part of the research as well.
Step – 3: On-Page Optimization
When it comes to on-page optimization, there are two things that you need to do. The first one is all about tackling the keyword you’ve researched in the right way.
Here are some tips that can help you out.
Include the focus keyword in the headings (H1, H2, etc.), page title, and throughout the content naturally. Forcing the keyword might push your article below the usual ranks.
Write high-quality, relevant content that addresses user intent and provides value. Make sure that the articles are being written in a simple yet informative manner.
Use descriptive and compelling meta descriptions to entice users to click on your link in search results.
The second thing that you need to do in this regard is focus on the technical part of your site. It will help the website’s structure become much more SEO-friendly.
The following are a few things that you can do in this regard.
Optimize site speed for fast loading times.
Create a user-friendly and responsive design that works well on all devices.
Implement a clear URL structure with descriptive URLs.
Use header tags (H1, H2, etc.) to structure your content logically.
Step – 4: Mobile-Friendly Design
Given the prominence of mobile devices, your website should be responsive and provide a seamless experience on various screen sizes.
Step – 5: Content Quality
Focus on producing high-quality, original, and valuable content that addresses your target audience’s needs and interests. Regularly update and expand your content to keep it fresh and relevant.
Step – 6: Internal and External Linking
Utilize internal linking to connect relevant pages on your website. Additionally, build quality external (back)links from authoritative websites within your niche to improve your website’s credibility.
Step – 7: User Experience (UX)
User experience (UX) is more important than anything else, no matter what type of SEO you’re working on. Here are some strategies that you can follow in this aspect –
Organize content logically and make navigation easy.
Use clear calls-to-action (CTAs) to guide users through your site.
Ensure your website is visually appealing and easy to read.
Step – 8: Follow the Social Signals
Maintain an active presence on social media platforms to encourage user engagement and sharing. While social signals may not directly impact rankings, they can indirectly influence traffic and visibility.
Step – 9: Monitor Analytics
Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your website’s performance, user behavior, and search rankings. Analyze the data to identify areas for improvement.
Step – 10: Regular Updates
SEO is an ongoing process. Regularly update your content, monitor your rankings, and adapt your strategy based on performance and changes in search engine algorithms.
Step – 11: Local SEO (if applicable)
If you have a local business, optimize your website for local searches by –
Claiming your GMB (Google My Business) listing
Maintaining consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information
So, how does local SEO help you out?
Well, in essence, it tries to make your website more ‘local-friendly.’ This helps you stand out in the Google Map whenever someone searches for something that’s relevant to your business.
And if your site has been optimized perfectly, it’ll be easier for you to rank at the top and prompt you to get more customers. Yes, it’s that important!
The Bottom Line
There you have it, a whirlwind tour of SEO basics for beginners. SEO might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but remember that it’s all about understanding how search engines work and tailoring your content to meet their requirements.
By focusing on creating valuable, engaging content and following best practices for on-page and off-page optimization, you’re well on your way to improving your online visibility and ranking. So go ahead, experiment, learn, and adapt.
And make sure to take your time. There’s no need to be impatient.