Search Engine Optimization is the art of crafting the pages of your website to gain more traffic from search engines. There are many factors that affect your search engine ranking, but the main key is to create interesting and informative content that will keep your website viewers on your website for longer and gain a following of repeat visitors. With basic knowledge of search engine optimization it is possible to obtain high rankings for high traffic keywords. Below we have listed 10 Tips for Search Engine Optimization Beginners that will get your SEO campaign off to a good start.
1. Perform Keyword Research – The first step is to ensure that you know exactly what search terms and phrases you want to rank for. This step if often overlooked as people assume that they understand the business without realizing that people do not always search in the same manner that they speak. Many times search engine users are uneducated on the subject and would not search the same way that a professional within the field would search. There is often a discrepancy between an industry’s buzzwords and the most popular search terms.
2. Create Keyword Rich Content – The most important element of your page is the text content.. Many designers do not include enough text content to allow a search engine to properly understand what your page is about. Create your content to naturally include your main keywords for that page. Write an amount of text that will provide enough information to a search engine so that they know exactly what the page is about. There is no magic number but many in the Search Engine Optimization field say that 300-500 words is best.
3. Incoming Links are Key – Search engines view a link to your website as a vote of confidence. It works much like a word-of-mouth referral. If you have something worth linking to on your page, then search engines view this as a reason to rank your page higher. Link building is the most tedious part of optimizing a website for search. The only real, natural way to gain links is to create content that is worth linking to. There are many link building strategies that you can use. Do a Google search to find some tips on how to run a successful link building campaign.
4. Create Unique Meta Tags for Each Page – Search engines do not place the same amount of value on meta tags as they have in the past, but that doesn’t mean that they are no longer important. Your page’s title tag is the first thing that a search engine will read on your page. It should contain your most important keywords. You should create unique page titles and description tags for every page on your website.
5. Market Content with Social Media – Use social networking websites to promote the content of your website. Social media marketing is a business in itself, but understanding that the internet’s most popular websites should be taken advantage of is the key. Most people spend the majority of their internet time surfing social networking sites. It is crucial that you direct some of this traffic to your website.
6. Submit Your Site to Directories – There are tons of directories on the internet that will allow you to submit your URL to a specific category. These can help increase your links and pass some traffic to your website.
7. Employ a Writer – Many people do not have the time or the skills to continuously keep creating fresh and relevant content for search engines. Hiring a writer will do wonders for your website and its rankings. Many writers these days have basic SEO knowledge and will be able to create keyword rich content that will boost your rankings better than any other technique possible.
8. Web Design Matters – The actual coding of your website matters. Create clean code or use a Content Management System that does this for you. Your navigation structure should be text, or use search engine friendly image replacement techniques. Broken links within your site will hinder your search engine rankings.
9. Use Third Party Tools – Search Engine Optimization tools and websites to help you out with the major aspects of SEO are available in abundance. Be sure to test out a few as some are better than others and you generally get what you pay for. Most free websites and applications provide the service in their own interest and not necessarily in the interest of the user. That being said, you can get the information you’re seeking much of the time. Use tools to help with keyword research, rank tracking, building links, and gathering statistics.
10. Gather Statistics – It is always useful to have numbers to back up your work. Web services such as Google Analytics can provide all of the stats, graphs, and charts you need to in order to gauge what is and isn’t working about your Search Engine Optimization campaign.
The 10 tips above are just scratching the surface of the things involved in gaining high rankings within the search engines. Be sure to spend some time researching how search engines actually work before jumping right in to it. Search Engine Optimization can be a long process and results do not come immediately. It takes a while for search engines to trust changes to your website so do not become discouraged if you do not shoot up the rankings immediately. The key to becoming a good SEO is to always continue to learn about the business. There are a number of blogs, forums, and websites that are worth subscribing to so that you are always learning the latest within the industry.