SEO Basics for Beginners
In this article, I’m going to lay out the SEO basics for beginners in online marketing. While you may have studied business and/or marketing in school, the online world is very different than what books say AND it changes all of the time. They can’t keep up with the printing of educational materials in regards to search engine optimization, but let’s go over the basics since you are probably just a beginner.
The success or failure of your business relies on traffic. If you have a brick and mortar store, then this means literal traffic coming through your door every day. You have to be able to attract them to come in the first place. Then, you have to keep them coming back. While that isn’t an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination, online marketing is even trickier. You don’t get the luxury of being right down the street from customers. You have to make your presence known and there is a lot of competition. All of the search engine optimization material out there can be overwhelming and you’ll never know who you should be listening to. The good news is, the SEO basics never change so being a beginner, you should be able to soak up the following information and have it stick with you for the long haul.
The Basics of SEO: A Beginners Guide to On-Page Optimization
When creating a website, you have to write content that is understandable to the reader AND the search engines. It should be able to be read clearly without too many words being repeated. However, certain words SHOULD be repeated, but only sparingly. Search engines have a fine line between understanding what your content is about and considering it spam due to too many keywords stuffed into the paragraphs. For instance, if you are trying to rank an article on your site for the term ‘Seattle Sounders,’ you can’t just write a two hundred word article and put ‘Seattle Sounders’ in it a hundred times. Your audience won’t read it and the search engines will deem it spam due to keyword stuffing. So, the most important SEO basics to understand as a beginner is keyword density and thin content. If your article is too short, the search engines know that it isn’t very informative for readers, and you will not have a high ranking. Running an SEO firm, I’ve found that our articles need to be at least 700 words to rank well and have to have a keyword density in between 1% – 2%. This post is 901 words.
Making sure that you have this correct keyword density is important, however there are other things to consider as well. The next thing you should look at is header tags. I see a lot of people doing this wrong. You want to be sure that your keywords are in you header tags without repeating the same combination again. For instance, if I would like to rank this page for “Basics of SEO for Beginners,” then I would put that as my title – which is often an h1 tag depending on your blog’s settings. I would not repeat the same phrase for my next tag which would be the h2 tag. My h2 tag would be something like “The Basics of SEO.” I would repeat this until I reach h3 or h4.
In regards to on-page optimization, you should also consider adding media on your article or website. The search engines love pictures and videos embedded in the content because it increases the overall user experience. This is actually pretty in a CMS system like WordPress. It’s pretty much just drag and drop. Before you upload an image though, rename it as your keyword(s). Then once it is uploaded, put your keyword phrase as the “alt tag.” Again, WordPress makes this very easy for you to do.
More SEO Basics for Beginners: A Guide to Social Media Signals
One of the hot topics on the internet marketing forums right now is social signals. There are all sorts of search engine optimization “gurus” out there who say that social is the end-all-be-all for internet marketing. They say that search engines like Google pay more attention to it than anything else when it comes to ranking on the first page.
I probably am not the only one to tell you that they are important, but they are not king. The most important in all of these SEO basics for all beginners out there is your on-page factors. After that, comes backlinks. However, since you are just beginning your journey in SEO, the basics described on this page won’t cover that…yet. My next post will. Trust me, we’ll need a full post for it. In the meantime, you can see what Google says about beginning SEO.
Getting credibility and building buzz are the precursors to backlinks. It’s sort of like the water in soup where the meat and potatoes are the backlinks. The latter doesn’t mesh together well without water or a base liquid. Social signals are just that. They tell the search engines that your article or website is popular. So here’s what you do. Get some social signals going for you first, then do some backlinking. This is just the natural progression of things. With any luck, you might even gain some rankings from just these super simple SEO basics for beginners on this page alone.