SEO or Search Engine optimization is a term that new bloggers hear but don’t know what it is or why they need it. I am here to tell you the very basics of SEO with my 5 SEO tips for beginners. Essentially the purpose of SEO is to get you noticed by search engines like Google, Firefox and even Pinterest so that people find you. Ranking higher in these search engines will drive more traffic to your site and ultimately result in more sales from your marketing efforts.
1. Know your Target Audience: 5 SEO Tips for Beginners
While SEO serves to drive traffic to your site, traffic alone is not enough. It must be the right kind of traffic. You want readers that are engaged in your content and are on your site for the right reasons and not just because some key words pop up. In other words you want the traffic to convert to sales. If your audience is engaged the likelihood of sales goes up and so does your conversion rate.
2. Keywords: 5 SEO Tips for Beginners
The second of my 5 tips is to find the right keywords that will attract audience members who are engaged enough to result in conversions. You need to be including the keywords that will bring in the type of reader that you want. These keywords should be sprinkled throughout your content without being overly sweet.
How do you find keywords that are going to work for you and your content? Search for them. You want to find keywords that people are looking for but have a small amount of competition. There are many free tools out there that will help you to find keywords. Here are a few:
Where should you put these keywords? There are 4 primary places to put these keywords. The first should be in your blog post title, meta description, subheadings and images. They should also be sprinkled into your post but in a way that is readable. You do not want to just have a post filled with keywords because no one will read it.
The Long Tail: 5 SEO Tips for Beginners
The long tail key word is now considered the best way to get higher rankings in SEO. What is it? The Long Tail keyword is based on the notion that many low-traffic keywords taken together can drive more traffic than a few high-traffic keywords. For example instead of using the word blog throughout your post content use a phrase such as “how do you blog for money” to stand out in the crowd. Long tail keywords generally have low search volumes. This means that if you use a specific set of words as a key word and someone searches for that phrase you will rank higher in search results.
Therefore, when you are researching keywords, don’t forget to consider low traffic words that can be combined for a high traffic result.
3. Create your Content: 5 SEO Tips for Beginners
Search engines automatically crawl your website to determine what it is about. It then decides which keywords your pages should rank for. By sprinkling keywords throughout your content you can help search engines to rank you higher for those words.
Keep in mind that you should still write for your readers and not for search engines. One of the ways you can do this is by using the free Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. This plugin will help you with readability and keywords. It is not a perfect and you should still use the keyword tools listed in section 2 but it goes a long way in making SEO easier. Yoast advises you to pay attention to:
- Titles – Create a title that will draw your readers in.
- Keywords – Pick keywords that will bring people to your site for the right reasons.
- Links –Use both external and internal links when possible.
- Headings – Use headings to break up an otherwise long post
- Images – Use images and describe them completely so they will be found by search engines.
4. Optimize your Code: 5 SEO Tips for Beginners
Yoast can help you with this issue but you should be mindful of the following:
- Meta Tags – Specifically the “meta description Tag” which describes what your site or post is about using keywords.
- XML Sitemap – Directs the search engine to the different pages of your site. There are free XML sitemap plugins for this. but once it is created you must submit it to Google Webmaster Central and Bing if you want to be found.
- URL Structure – Keep your URL’s simple. Only numbers and letters should only be used in URLs.
- Alt Tags – Helps search engines index images. Search engines can not see images they can only go by the description.
5. Website Speed: 5 SEO Tips for Beginners
Google and other search engines use site speed as one of the metrics in ranking a site’s content. Site speed primarily relies on good web hosting, blog theme, and compressed Js and CSS files and many more. For this I recommend Godaddy for web hosting and Studiopress for a good fast loading theme. You can’t get better than these two options. Just click on the links to get these great products.
These 5 SEO tips for beginners will help you to drive more traffic to your site but ultimately it is up to you to figure out what people are looking for and how they are doing it and creating a site that provides what they need with SEO that works specifically for you.
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