If you are a beginner in SEO, you need to understand that there is no magic way to rank your website on Google, Bing or Yahoo. Search engines work on complex algorithms and it takes a considerate amount of times and effort in order to be in their good books and convince them that your website or web page deserves one of the top spots.
SEO involves different practices in order to improve your position in the organic search results in search engines. SEO is all about running the right website for the right people. For beginners, practicing SEO can be intimidating sometimes since the information overload and too many tactics are quite overwhelming when you’re just starting with SEO.
Nevertheless, there are certain practices that you can follow in order to optimize your website and provide the search engine bots with the necessary signals to rank your website. So, here are the key SEO trends for you and what they mean to someone who’s just getting started with search engine optimization –
Page Titles and description
Page titles are an important aspect of SEO. The most important characteristics of an optimized page title include the following –
Each page needs to have a unique page title that describes the content on the page.
Be brief and descriptive.
Help the user understand what the page is all about.
Home page title:
The title for your homepage can include the name of your website and other information like the physical location of your company etc.
Post/other pages title:
The titles of other posts/pages should attract the searcher and it should accurately describe what the page is about.
The page description meta tag gives users, Google, and other search engines a summary of the page. Google might display what you type in the description as a snippet for your page which would tell the searcher about your website and entice them to click on it. The guidelines for writing a good meta description are:
Provide a unique description for all pages of your website.
The size should be between 140-150 characters.
Avoid adding too many keywords.
Keywords are the basic foundation of successful SEO
Your potential customers use a search engine mostly to search for a combination of keywords on what you do and how you do it. Fortunately, there are some tools and strategies that can be used to get a good selection of keywords together.
- Brainstorming the potential keywords: Simply write down everything that is relevant. What you do, what services you offer, etc. And you can form a basic list of keywords.
- Use keyword research tools like ubersuggest, keyword everywhere, etc. that can help you identify new keywords.
- Search for your keywords and look for the suggestions in the search bar and at the bottom of the page. Add any relevant variations to your list and search them again.
What you really want to achieve with these practices is a group of keywords that have the same basic meaning and intent behind them.
Tip – Identify and prioritize the keywords that your potential customers use when they are looking for the products and services you offer.
Write for humans, optimize for search engines
A successful SEO practice does not ignore the “human” element while optimizing their website. The goal is not just about picking the good keywords and improving website rankings, it is to pick out the right keywords that your audience finds relevant. The content you put up on your website should be engaging so that people want to read more about it. Once you understand what kind of content is working for your audience, it is time to focus on optimization to reach higher in the SERPs.
There is no use adding keywords in your content simply to appeal search engines because Google has become way too sophisticated to fall for these techniques.
On the contrary, the quality and relevance of your content can help you increase your search traffic. Find the right balance between quality content and search optimization for the best results.
Permanent link structure
The permanent link structure is used to describe the format of URLs for page) or individual posts of a website. It is displayed in the browser address bar and in the search results.
Guidelines for SEO Friendly URLs –
Keep it simple and easy to understand for search engines and users
Use hyphens ‘ – ‘ to separate the words
Avoid lengthy URLs with unnecessary information
Avoid keyword stuffing
Here are a few examples of bad URL structures
Examples of good URL structures
Build Relevant Links
Link building activities can help and hurt your search engine visibility. Yet, SEO practices include building the right kind of links that point to your website.
Links help search engine crawlers to find your website and give your site greater visibility in the search results. Google uses text-matching techniques to return the search results, and displays pages that are both important and relevant to the search. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves ‘important’ are heavier and these votes make other pages ‘important.’”
So, votes help show that you are important and relevant and help drive greater visibility in Google search results.
To improve your visibility in search results, here are a few techniques –
- Highly Credible Directory Sites
- Competitor Link Analysis
- Offer to write testimonials for companies you work with
So there you go. SEO doesn’t have to be intimidating, you just need to know how to work with it. Implement these basic SEO tips and you will see an improvement in your rankings and traffic.