If you’re setting out to build a website for the first time, you’ll need to learn a little bit about SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is defined as the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to your website or page via “natural” search results instead of employing paid search. The theory is that the higher a site is in a search result, the more visitors it will get.
While SEO can get very tricky and complicated, below we include a few tips on the basics for SEO beginners.
A keyword is a specific term that users will search for in order to find your site. You want to make sure that the pages of your site are peppered with your chosen keywords so that prospective customers can find you easily. Make sure these keywords are not vague or generic.
For example, if you’re optimizing for a web development site and you’re located in London, England, use keywords such as “web development London” or “web development services England”.
To find out how many websites are competing with you for your keywords, do a search on Google and note how many results are returned. The more sites that are competing for your keywords, the harder it will be to get on the front page.
Use Your Keywords Wisely
Once you’ve got your list of keywords, you want to use them correctly throughout your site. Use them in the following:
- The title tag
- The h1 and h2 headings in the page
- Link text (in links within the page, and in links from other pages)
- The page URL
- Image alt text
- Bold and italicized text
One of THE best places to use a keyword is in the page’s URL. For example, if you’re going after the word blue widgets, a good page URL would be:
This way Google can easily register your site for that specific term.
Also, make sure that that you spread the love around. Have your homepage target one or two keywords, another page target another two keywords, and etcetera. Just don’t overdo your keyword density. Try to get your keyword density between 7% and 10%. You can download plugins like SenSEO to help you figure this out.
Use Title and Heading Tags
A title tag is the text that appears in the top bar of your browser. Typically it’s the title of the article you’re reading or the name of the website. Make sure to utilize title and heading tags to convey to your visitors (and the search engines) what the pages on your site are about.
Watch Out for Duplicate Content
Search engines don’t like pages that contain exactly the same content and will rank your pages lower. So avoid duplicate content pages on your site.
Don’t Forget the Description Tag
A description tag is used to display a summary of your page in the search results, so make sure your description tag is targeted for a keyword and includes a call to action. It should be useful and compelling.
Get Other Sites to Link to You
Backlinks are websites that link directly to your website. The general thought is the more backlinks you have, the higher your page will be ranked because your website must be good if so many other sites are linking back to it. These sites must be well-respected sites, so target a few relevant sites that are ranked well on search engines and try to get them to link to your site.
Ways to get backlinks include:
- Writing good content. This will take a while to produce backlinks, but it is a great long-term strategy to build your site. You must produce unique and fresh content on a regular basis.
- Create a “link to this page” function on your page so that bloggers can easily link to your content.
- Strike up a relationship with other site owners and get them to backlink you. A happy client would be a great solution here.
Also, don’t forget to include links on every page that links back to your homepage or other landing pages with distinct calls to action. Some readers may have landed on a specific page, such as your About Us page or Contact page, without hitting your homepage first. You want to make sure they visit other pages.