SEO: A Beginners Guide


Did you know that over 31% of internet users will just visit the first result returned on Google and won’t need to look any further? The chances of getting a hit on any search engine diminish the further away from that coveted number one spot you are. 


For this reason, it is essential that you optimize your website and content so that others may be able to find it easily through search engines. 


But how do you make sure that your website is optimized?


In this guide, we’ll talk you through some of the basic principles of SEO to give you an idea about what you or your digital marketing provider could be doing to increase the organic traffic to your website. 


What Is SEO


When search engines come to rank websites, they will need to compare over 1.7 billion different sites. The likes of Google and Bing will have powerful algorithms that have several ranking factors, These factors decide on your position in the search engine results page. 


To make sure that your website is going to rank in these searches you should put some effort into your search engine optimization. 


There are several different types of search engine optimization. These include:

  • On page SEO- which is related to the content that you have on your site. 
  • Off Page SEO – Relating to the steps you take outside of your own website to promote your site. 
  • Local SEO – This relates to the practices that are used for driving business websites within the area that you are based. 
  • Technical SEO – This relates to the technical aspects of your site and how they can be improved to raise your ranking. 


Improve Your Page Loading Times


How long would you wait for a webpage to load? On average, people will only wait for three seconds before giving up on a slow-loading website. After this time, your potential visitors will head back to the search results page and they will find a competitors website that will load up in less time. 


The likes of Google know this fact and as such, if your website doesn’t load fast enough, then it will get relegated to a lower position in the search engine results pages. 


To avoid losing out to your competitors, you need to speed up your site and improve your page loading times. There are a few things that you can do to improve this. 


Firstly, make sure that you have lazy load images set up on your site. Lazy load images only load up when they are in view on the screen. That means that the entire site doesn’t need to load all at once, just the visible parts


You should also look at compressing your images. This will make it easier to load.


Use Google’s Page Speed Insights to find out how your site stacks up in terms of the speed in which it loads.   


If you have any plugins running that you don’t really use, think about removing them to help speed up your site. 


Tailor Your Content To Humans 


Your position in the search engine results is decided by powerful algorithms. Many people will focus on this fact when optimizing their site. They will try and give the search engines exactly what they are looking for in terms of the content that they create. But writing content for machines to read is not a great idea. It will be almost unreadable to humans. 


Practices like keyword stuffing are very common but can end up with you getting penalized by the search engines. 


Instead of writing for machines, create natural content that is designed for humans to read. 


Have a Banklink Strategy 


In all of your content, you should make sure that you use high-quality internal backlinks. That means that you should link back to content elsewhere on your site. 


In addition to creating internal links, you should also use external links to relevant and valuable sources that will complement the content that you have created. 


You will also want to try and get as many other sites to link back to your content. This will show the search engines that your content is authoritative. To get your links featured on other sites, work on building relationships with bloggers and social media influencers. You could also provide guest posts on sites with good standing.


Use Keywords Wisely


If you want to appear on searches for specific words or phrases, then you will need to optimize your keywords. This means inserting keywords naturally throughout your posts. It shouldn’t be obvious to your reader that you are trying to rank for these particular phrases.


Do some research into relevant keywords using tools like Google Keyword Planner. This will give you an insight into whether it is worth including this keyword in your posts.


Make Sure You Use Meta Descriptions 


Each piece that you create for your website must have its own meta description. This is the information about the page that the user will see when they find your site on a search engine, Make sure that your meta descriptions are well-written and will entice your visitors in.


Produce In-Depth Content 


You should think about the number of words that you are including in each post that you create. Long-form posts tend to have more meat on the bones and as such provide a better response to users search questions. 


You should aim to create posts that have at least 1,000 words in them. 


Keep Up To Date With SEO Practices


Search engine optimization is forever changing. As people’s habits surrounding how they use to search and the type of technology the uses changes, so too will SEO. 


An example of changes in SEO is that voice search is on the rise. This is due to more homes getting devices like Google Nest Home or Amazon Alexa. As a result, website owners now need to adapt to these changes because search engines are looking for sites that are optimized to work with voice search. It is therefore essential that you keep an eye on the shifting trends in SEO.