SEO Tips for Beginners: If you’re just starting with SEO, it might seem overwhelming given that Google’s algorithm considers over 200 factors when ranking content. But don’t worry! By concentrating on the fundamental aspects of SEO, you can establish a solid foundation to eventually become an SEO pro.
Begin your journey into the world of SEO by following these 15 top tips designed for beginners. If you’re eager to dive deeper into SEO, you can explore our free SEO guide, or explore our resource hub packed with valuable information to help you become an SEO expert!
Table of Contents
1. Claim (and complete) your Google Business Profile
One of the first things you should do for better SEO is to claim your Google Business Profile. You’ve likely come across these profiles when searching for a brand, a place to eat, or directions. They are those info boxes that pop up on Google’s search results. Getting ownership of your profile is easy and free.
Once you’ve got it, be sure to fill it out with essential details:
- Your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP)
- Operating hours
- Your website URL
- Categories that describe your business, like “Restaurant”
- A short description of what your company does and what makes it unique
- Some good photos
- If you have any events, you can add them too.
To make the most of your Google Business Profile, stay active on it. Respond to user reviews, post updates about your company, and enable features like text messaging. Keep it up to date with special holiday hours and other important information. This will help you get noticed and attract more potential customers.
2. Target long-tail keywords vs. short-tail keywords
In order to enhance your website’s presence on search engines, our next piece of advice is to target long-tail keywords. These specific keywords hold significant value in search engine optimization, as they aid in directing users to your site and improving its ranking in search results. Prior to jumping into keyword research, it is crucial to grasp the distinction between long-tail and short-tail keywords.
Generally, long-tail keywords are lengthier phrases, ranging from three to four words, such as “how to roll sushi.” Conversely, short-tail keywords are brief, usually consisting of one or two words, such as “sushi rolls.” If you are new to optimizing your site for search engines, it is wise to prioritize long-tail keywords. These lengthier phrases have less competition compared to shorter keywords, allowing for a more straightforward process in boosting your site’s visibility.
3. Understand the 3 different search intents
To boost your SEO, it’s crucial to grasp the three main reasons people use search engines:
- Navigational: This is when someone simply wants to reach a particular website, like Apple or Facebook.
- Informational: In this case, a person seeks knowledge about a specific topic, like learning how to make sushi.
- Transactional: When someone is ready to make a purchase, such as buying a sushi roller.
Understanding these user intents is vital because they shape the keywords you should focus on. For instance, if you’re creating a product page, aim for transactional keywords, whereas a blog post should target informational keywords.
One way to figure out the search intent for your chosen keywords is to do a quick Google search before crafting your content and optimizing your web pages.
4. Research relevant keywords with the right tools
Our fourth essential SEO tip is to ensure you’re equipped with the right tools to delve into keyword research tailored to your website. Once you’ve pinpointed the keywords that align with your goals, it’s time to investigate them further using handy tools such as:
|KeywordTool||$89-$199 / mo.|
|Google Keyword Planner||Free|
|Answer The Public||$0-$99 / mo.|
5. Choose core (and related) keywords for every page
Before diving into optimizing your website , the initial crucial step is to identify the most vital keywords for your pages . For instance , imagine you have a page dedicated to teaching how to roll sushi . In such a case , your primary keyword could be ” how to roll sushi ” as it is a frequently searched term . Along with this main keyword , it is essential to gather two to three correlated keywords that are significant .
To uncover these keywords , utilizing keyword research tools like Google is recommended . By browsing through the ” Searches related to [ keyword ]” section at the bottom of the search results , you can discover other relevant keywords . Another useful method is to utilize the autocomplete feature to find additional keywords related to your main keyword .
You can then enter those keywords into Google Keyword Planner to get the following data :
After you ‘ve gathered a bunch of important keywords , it ‘s time to start making your content better for search engines . To do this , you can use a tool like Google Sheets . Just make a simple spreadsheet where you list your web pages and the main keywords that are most important for each page .
Also, don ‘t forget to include any related keywords . This sheet will be a handy reference for you and your team to keep everything organized .
6. Optimize your title tags — and make them spicy
Think of your title tag as your very first encounter with a stranger. It’s essentially the make-or-break moment that determines whether someone decides to click on your page or keep scrolling. So, what ingredients contribute to a stellar title? Well, first and foremost, it needs to be informative. A great title should clearly convey what your page is all about without resorting to cheap click-bait tactics. It should offer real value and set the right expectations for the reader.
Next, your title should be optimized. This means keeping it concise, preferably under 55 characters, and incorporating your primary keyword to help search engines understand what your page is about. Last but not least, your title should have a touch of pizzazz. We’re talking about a dash of spice to pique the reader’s curiosity and excitement, luring them in to explore your page and its content.
Keep in mind that your title tag plays a crucial role in leaving a memorable impression, so make sure it checks all the right boxes.
7. Create informative and optimized meta-descriptions
If you’ve checked out a few beginner’s guides on SEO, you might have come across the term “meta descriptions.” These are the snippets of text that show up beneath the title of a web page in search results. Unlike title tags, meta descriptions don’t directly impact your website’s ranking in search engines.
However, this doesn’t mean you should overlook the importance of meta descriptions in your SEO efforts. They play a crucial role in attracting clicks and enticing users to visit your site, making them a valuable part of your overall SEO strategy.
Including keywords, and even related ones, in your meta descriptions is crucial for a user-friendly approach. When someone searches for a keyword found in your meta description, Google tends to highlight it. This makes your page appear more relevant to users, potentially leading to more clicks.
It’s worth noting that Google may sometimes rewrite your meta description, even if it’s well-crafted and within the 150-character limit. That’s okay, it happens.
Nevertheless, it’s a good practice to write a meta description because if Google does use it, your core and possibly related keywords will be featured. Bolded keywords can encourage users to click on your site, sending a positive signal to Google about your content’s relevance to the search.
8. Use keywords in headings and paragraphs
Here’s a more human-friendly version of the paragraph:
Here’s another essential SEO tip for beginners: incorporating keywords into your content. While Google aims to move away from strict keyword reliance, they remain a crucial element in its ranking algorithm. Keywords assist Google in understanding the relevance of your content to specific topics or queries. That’s why it’s important to integrate your keywords into two key areas:
- Headings, such as H1, H2s, and H3s.
- Paragraphs, lists, tables, and so on.
For instance, try to include your main keyword in the opening paragraph. If it doesn’t fit naturally, ensure that it appears within the first 100 words of your content. Additionally, using headings, like H2s, to break up your content can enhance both SEO and the overall user experience. Headings make your page easier to skim and read, aiding both human visitors and web crawlers that help search engines index your content.
Depending on your relevant keywords, you can also use headings to target those specific terms. For instance, if your page revolves around sushi-making, you might target keywords like ‘How to roll hosomaki,’ ‘How to roll futomaki,’ ‘How to roll uramaki,’ and ‘How to roll temaki.’
This approach not only helps you optimize for these keywords but also organizes your content for a more user-friendly experience. Visitors can quickly find the information they need, making them more likely to stay on your page and reducing bounce-back rates, which is a positive signal to Google.”
9. Write for humans first, then search engines
Many beginners in the field of SEO often fall into the trap of creating content primarily to please search engines rather than catering to the needs and interests of actual users. This misguided approach can result in content that is stuffed with keywords, filled with robotic language, and feels disconnected from the people it’s meant to serve.
Instead, it’s crucial to prioritize your audience when crafting and writing content. You should take a moment to think about what your target audience is searching for, what problems they are trying to solve, and what they aim to learn from your content.
Once you have a clear understanding of their needs, consider how you can enhance their experience by structuring your content effectively, designing your pages thoughtfully, and incorporating multimedia elements where it can be helpful.
For instance, take a page about how to roll sushi, for example. Including images as a visual guide can significantly enhance the user experience. Learning how to roll sushi through text alone can be confusing and might leave users feeling uncertain and anxious at each step.
Remember that writing for your audience is paramount because the ultimate goal of SEO is not just to attract visitors via search engines but to convince them that your content is valuable and that you are the ideal choice.
If you focus solely on pleasing search engines, you miss out on the opportunity to connect with genuine leads and potential customers.
So, always prioritize your audience, and then apply SEO optimization techniques as a secondary step to maximize the value of your SEO efforts.
10. Optimize content for featured snippets
If you want to boost your website’s visibility, it’s essential to focus on optimizing your content for featured snippets. These snippets are special highlights that appear at the very top of certain search results, earning you the coveted “Position Zero.” This prime position can significantly increase your site’s clicks and traffic.
When conducting keyword research for your content, be sure to check if there are any featured snippets in the search results. Take note of them, as this will help you tailor your content for these snippets.
Here are some beginner-friendly SEO tips to start claiming featured snippets for your website:
- Craft concise answers using tables, lists, or paragraphs ranging from 46 to 84 words.
- Consider expanding your lists to include eight or more items, as this can entice more clicks if it’s valuable to your audience.
- Create tables with three or more rows when it benefits your readers, as this can also help drive clicks.
- Develop dedicated headings that directly address the featured snippet query, like “Is sushi healthy?”
- Use the core or related keyword that triggers the featured snippet as your heading to align with search intent.
It’s important to note that your content should typically rank on the first page of search results to have a good chance of becoming a featured snippet. While occasionally a featured snippet might come from a site on the second page, this is quite rare. Most featured snippets originate from one of the top five pages in the search results.
11. Go ahead and link to other sites
Links play a vital role in SEO, being a fundamental factor in Google’s ranking criteria. However, newcomers to SEO often feel apprehensive about linking to external content or websites. While it’s essential to avoid linking to competitors or sending visitors away from your product or service pages, completely shunning external links is not the solution.
Google values a website that incorporates both internal and external links as a sign of authenticity and health. So, when crafting informative content for your audience, don’t hesitate to include links to other websites. These links can bolster your content by providing supporting information such as statistics, studies, guides, and more.
However, when linking to external sites, exercise caution and opt for reputable, high-quality websites. Sending your readers to a suspicious or untrustworthy site can negatively impact their perception of your brand. It may also lead Google to question the credibility of your own website. To ensure the safety of your readers and the reputation of your brand, only link to websites you’d feel comfortable recommending to your grandmother.
12. Develop longer content
Numerous studies consistently demonstrate that longer content, often referred to as “long-form,” tends to excel in terms of search engine rankings and social media sharing. This is why it’s crucial to incorporate long-form content into your SEO strategy.
Just to clarify, when we talk about long-form content, we mean pieces that are 1200 words or more, whereas short-form content typically ranges from 500 to 800 words. Long-form content offers you the opportunity to provide readers with comprehensive insights into a particular subject.
Imagine someone looking into the various types of sushi; chances are, they have additional questions on their minds. Questions like which sushi options are the healthiest, where to find these diverse sushi varieties, and the typical costs associated with each type.
However, it’s important to note that while long-form content tends to perform well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are instances where shorter content might rank at the top of search results. Therefore, it’s essential to analyze the search engine results pages (SERPs) before you start writing.
Above all, remember that your primary audience should always be your focus when crafting your content. Tailor your content to their needs and preferences first, and then optimize it for SEO.
13. Include keywords in URLs, but keep URLs short
Optimizing your URLs is a crucial aspect of SEO that can greatly benefit both search engines and your website’s users. A well-crafted URL should be concise, descriptive, and well-organized. This type of URL offers valuable context to web crawlers regarding your content and site structure, while also helping users navigate your website more intuitively.
Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when creating URLs for your site:
- Incorporate your core keyword: Including your primary keyword in the URL can boost its relevance and help search engines understand the content of the page.
- Keep it short and sweet: Whenever possible, aim to keep your URLs under five words. Shorter URLs are easier to remember and share.
- Use hyphens for word separation: Hyphens are preferable for separating words in your URL, as they make it easier for both search engines and users to read and interpret.
- Go lowercase: Always use lowercase letters in your URLs to avoid confusion and ensure consistency.
- Avoid special characters: Steer clear of characters like apostrophes and hashtags, as they can lead to technical issues and may not be interpreted correctly by search engines or cause problems for users.
Here are examples of both good and bad URLs to illustrate these principles:
Good URL: www.yoursite.com/seo-tips-for-beginners
Bad URL: www.yoursite.com/page123?ID=987&category=SEO_Tips
In summary, crafting user and search engine-friendly URLs is a fundamental practice in SEO. By following these guidelines and creating clear, concise, and well-structured URLs, you can enhance the overall user experience on your website and improve its search engine visibility.
Optimizing your URLs can make a big difference in your user experience and even rankings.
14. Establish a site structure now
When it comes to the fundamentals of SEO, it’s crucial to address the concept of site structure. Your site structure, often referred to as information architecture, essentially deals with how you organize and arrange your website. This includes decisions about which pages appear in your site’s navigation, how you categorize various types of content such as blogs, products, or resources, and how all these pieces of content interconnect.
Designing an effective site structure is a bit of a puzzle, but it’s immensely important for SEO success. To get you started, here are some user-friendly tips for brainstorming and shaping your site’s structure:
- Establish a Hierarchy: Think of your website’s hierarchy as a family tree. The homepage acts as the parent, and from there, you have children, like /products/, /about/, or /blog/. These children can further have their own offspring, like /products/sushi-rollers/.
- Curate Header and Footer Pages: Your website’s header and footer play a crucial role in helping both users and search engines navigate your site. Choose which pages or links to feature in these areas. Typically, these should represent your most valuable pages or sections of your site.
- Incorporate Breadcrumb Menus: Breadcrumb menus are a handy tool for users to explore your website seamlessly. Moreover, they can serve as structured data, improving how your site appears in search results. Collaborate with your design team to implement breadcrumb menus on your pages.
Creating an effective site structure may require teamwork with your design and development experts, but it’s a fundamental aspect of SEO that even beginners should consider. So, start thinking about it now and integrate it into your overall SEO strategy. If you’re partnering with a reputable SEO service provider, they can offer valuable assistance in this regard too!
15. Link your site to Google Search Console
Google Search Console is an invaluable tool for any SEO professional. This free platform, generously provided by Google, offers you immediate insights into how your website is performing in Google search results. It not only gives you a glimpse of how Google perceives your site but also provides actionable suggestions for improving your website’s SEO.
To put it in perspective, Google Search Console allows you to:
- Track page impressions and clicks for various search queries.
- Identify and rectify crawl errors.
- Address mobile-friendliness issues to enhance user experience.
- Monitor rich results markup for enhanced search visibility.
- Keep an eye on page indexing to ensure all your content is in Google’s database.
- Check your page rankings to gauge your SEO efforts.
- Assess page speed ratings for better website performance.
Moreover, Google Search Console permits you to submit individual URLs or even your entire website. With its multitude of features and insights, it’s a must-have for every SEO enthusiast. Setting up Google Search Console for your website is straightforward; just follow Google’s “Get started with Search Console” guide.
Get more SEO Tips for Beginners from an experienced SEO consultant
Are you excited to dive into some beginner-friendly SEO tips? If you’re feeling a bit unsure or overwhelmed, don’t worry – Tap for Tech is here to assist.
Our highly-regarded SEO agency is ready to offer you SEO consulting services that connect you with a skilled SEO expert. We also provide ongoing SEO services if you’re in search of a reliable partner to oversee and enhance your company’s SEO efforts.
Reach out to us online today or give us a call at 9794949327 to discover how our tailored strategies can boost your business. We’re eager to help you succeed!