SEO for Beginners: Actionable Tips You Can Use Right Away

SEO is one of those buzz terms you hear all over the place – but is it actually something you need to be concerned about? In one word: yes. SEO can make or break a business.

In a nutshell, SEO is Google’s way of determining how to rank your webpage (or where to position you in search results). And, since 75% of people will never look past the first page of results, it’s important to rank high.

We know that SEO can be confusing (especially if you’re not familiar with search engines or how they work), so we’ve put together a list of 5 basic tips you can implement right now. Whether you run a small business, or you’re part of a big corporation, these pointers will help you show up in results right away.

Do Keyword Research

When it comes to SEO, keywords always have been – and still are – the gold standard. Here are a couple of rules to keep in mind:

  • Optimize for the right keywords. One easy way to do this is to make a list of topics you often write about. For example, if you run a mom blog, it might include things like “parenting,” “working moms,” or “crafting with kids.” Next, come up with a list of keywords that naturally fall into each of those buckets. Lastly, go to Google and research related search terms for each of those search terms. Voila! You have a keyword list.
  • Don’t use keywords just for the sake of using keywords. Using too many keywords is just as bad as not using any at all. In fact, keyword stuffing (or the practice of jamming as many keywords as possible into your content) will get you docked bigtime with Google. Instead, your keywords should enhance your content and seem natural.
  • Find out what your competitors rank for. If something is working for the competition, it only makes sense that you should be doing the same thing, right? Sites like Google AdWords make it easy to find out what keywords they’re using and how much traffic they’re getting from them. Simply go to find new keywords > search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category > your landing page and then enter your competitor’s website info.  

Publish Quality Content

You know what they say. Content is king. There’s a reason for that: you literally can’t rank if you don’t have content. For SEO purposes, content is anything that you create and publish online: blogs, articles, white papers, case studies, and even social media updates.

The key is to post things that your audience will actually find useful and informative. Google has ways of knowing if you’re posting garbage or fluff just to rank, and they don’t like it. They want to see people engaging with your content by commenting on it, sharing it, or liking it – and that’s what’ll help you get up there in search results.

Write an Engaging Meta Description

So many people ignore this crucial step, or they just allow WordPress to autofill something – but it’s a great idea to always write your own meta description and really put some thought into it. Why? Because the meta description tells search engines what your blog is all about.

More importantly, it’s what your audience will see first when your work pops up in a Google search. A good meta description might get them to click through . . . but if it’s boring or worse –  just not there – forget about it. They’re going to keep scrolling.

Optimize for Mobile

Every year, people spend more time on their mobile devices. There’s a fairly high chance that if someone does encounter your website, it’s going to happen on their smartphone or tablet – so doesn’t it make sense to make sure it works well and looks great?

Some easy tips to make sure your site works great on mobile include:

  • Minify code
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Reduce redirects
  • Don’t use flash
  • Make sure buttons are big enough to push and text is large enough to (easily) read

If You’re Running WordPress, Install an SEO Plugin

WordPress is pretty SEO-friendly to begin with (that’s part of why so many people choose to use it), but an SEO plugin can really take it to the next level. We always recommend Yoast for several reasons:  

  • It’s super user-friendly
  • It will help you create SEO-friendly post titles, meta descriptions, and meta keywords
  • You can preview the meta description and see exactly what your audience will see when they search for you on Google
  • You can use it to create and customize XML sitemaps
  • And much more!

We’ve been helping clients customize their WordPress websites for years. If you need assistance with creating a website, or you want to talk about how to improve SEO on your current site, please reach out today. Our friendly customer service staff are always ready to help. Did you know that you can increase the speed of your website with WordPress Hosting? Get all of the details. 

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