Although the term search engine optimization (SEO) is used everywhere, it is surprising that many business owners and marketers don’t truly understand how it can help them. Starting with these basic SEO tips for beginners will undoubtedly make your decisions more accurate and save time and money, improving your return on investment in the future.
We all know that search engine optimization is vital in garnering exposure for your business, and knowing how to use it effectively can prove to be beneficial for your products and services.
Before we begin with basic SEO tips for beginners, we must be sure everyone knows what it is.
What is SEO?
The term search engine optimization refers to techniques you can do to help your website rank higher in organic or natural search results.
For example, if someone goes on google and types in “business card printing in NYC,” how quickly is the user exposed to your printing company?
It is widely known that those businesses that appear on the first page of search terms generate the most sales from that researching.
For this specific article, we will focus on quick tips to market your business with search engine optimization using organic or natural techniques. We will provide you some references if you want to go deep in the SEO studies.
There is the option to create paid search engine optimization techniques, but we won’t go into those here simply because they are generally costly and more importantly, over 80% of search engine users never click on paid search ads.
What does it take to rank on search engines like Google?
Three factors go into determining where a search engine places your business: Rank, Authority, and Relevance.
Rank is the position that your website is listed on the search page when a user types in a keyword.
If your website is number one when sometimes types in “business card printing in NYC,” then your rank is one and so forth. Tracking where you rank over time is the premier way to judge how your search engine optimization efforts are materializing.
Authority is mainly determined by how many inbound links (links from other web properties) lead to your website.
Alternatively, how many other people have linked to your website when it comes to “business card printing in NYC.”
You can find several indexes that determine authority. Moz, for example, has the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). Majestic has the Trust Flow and Topic Flow, and Ahrefs has the Ahrefs Rank (AR) and Domain Rating (DR).
All of the authority ratings consider the quantity and quality of the links, the number of different unique domains that link to your site, among other metrics.
One thing to note is that the number of inbound links does not necessarily determine your authority but rather the quality of these websites referring to you counts the most.
Finally, relevance is determined as the search engine crawls your page to ensure your website or company does specialize in the keywords you are targeting.
Imagine a comparison of a business blog writing about basketball, while a sports blog is writing about the same topic. Of course, Google will consider the article in the sports blog more relevant for this topic.
The topic flow from Majestic is an excellent index to measure the relevance of your website.
We are sure that you have heard it before, but when it comes to how to market your business using search engine optimization content is truly king.
However, before you dive into your search engine optimization strategy, it is a good idea to divide your techniques into two parts: on-page search engine optimization and off-page search engine optimization.
For this article, we will give quick and structural tips for the on and off-page search engine optimization. It's a complete guide with basic SEO tips for beginners.
On page SEO
It refers to the SEO that is on your website.
As we mentioned before, content is most important when it comes to on-page search engine optimization. Every article or story or webpage you create should have a through-provoking headline that will push your user to click on the page.
1) One of The Most Important Basic SEO Tips For Beginners: Find The Right Keywords
One of the first basic SEO tips for beginners is about finding the right keywords for your website. Without doing that, you will never be able to develop an SEO strategy. Is suggest you follow this checklist:
- First, your keyword has to be relevant for your target user.
- Second, it has to be according to your goals.
- Third, it has to have a competition according to your Domain and Page authority indexes.
Use free resources to see the competitiveness of your target keyword. I recommend Google Adwords to have an idea of competitiveness and volume of traffic.
Think about "long tail" keywords; they can be easier to converts since users have more knowledge about what they want.
For example, there is less competition when you try to rank for "business card printing in NYC" than the keyword "business cards."
Besides that, the person who is looking for "business card printing in NYC" is much more willing to convert than someone who is looking for business cards, which can be looking for examples, or the definition of a business card, or just examples of design.
Also, again, don't forget to choose keywords that make sense to your business.
2) Keep Your URL Simple
One of the most basic SEO tips for beginners is about you can bold specific keywords and phrases to emphasize their importance. Your URL structure is also highly relevant as you want to keep it consistent.
For example, if your website is www.howtouseseo.com and you write an article named "101 SEO tips to rank your website high: a beginners guide to digital marketers", it's much better to use a URL like:
Instead of an URL like:
Or even worse:
3) Fix Your Tittle Tags And Meta Description
For on-page SEO, it is also essential to understand the concepts of title tags & meta description.
Every webpage you create has a title tag. The title tag is the text description that appears in the upper left corner of your web browser. It should have no more than 54 characters.
Meta tags are snippets of code you can include within your webpage’s HTML; it’s a short description of what your specific website is about.
Meta descriptions usually are the first place search engines look to find a text to put under your blue link when it lists your website. The meta description is limited to 160 characters.
In the example above the title tag is:
"Business Cards | Printing New York | Rush Printing in NYC."
Also, the meta description is:
"Business Cards printing in New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey. Choose from Printing New York's variety of business cards and print on the same day."
4) Use Internal Links
Another on-page SEO you can focus on is called internal linking in which you can connect individual sections of your website with one another via hyperlinks.
For example, if on one page you happen to touch on a keyword that you dedicate copy to on another of your website’s section, you can hyperlink to that section.
Like the overall marketing and advertising industry, search engine optimization is continuously changing.
5) Make Your Website Mobile Responsive
Responsiveness shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone reading an article on SEO.
The mobile trend was moving to the foreground in years past, and smart marketers have already made every effort to prioritize mobile-friendliness.
However, since a few years ago did mark the first time we saw Google make a concerted effort to prioritize it in its own rankings system.
While “mobilegeddon” wasn’t the rankings disaster that some analysts predicted, it did signal a search engine’s intent to provide users with a quality mobile experience.
If search rankings aren’t being effected mainly by mobile-friendliness now, it’s only a matter of time before older, non-responsive sites start losing ground in both mobile and desktop searches.
Off Page SEO
While you can unquestionably control your on-page search engine optimization efforts and results, off-page SEO is often seen as more complicated, and with good reason.
Off-page search engine optimization consists of building relationships with other websites through engaging and exciting content, reaching out to individuals who have high ranking sites.
This process of building relationships for your website is called link building: who is linking to you, how they are linking to you, how often they are linking to you, and how your content is shared on social media.
All of these factors have an impact on your off-page SEO efforts, and your overall SEO strategy and future. In this article, we discuss how to market your business with off-page search engine optimization.
6) Who is linking to your website?
There is a myriad of tools that help you determine websites that already link to yours, which is an essential factor in how you are ranked.
Many times 10-15 links from your friend’s blog/websites are worth less than a link back from a major publication or website – so aim high!
Links from significant websites are treated with more priority from search engines because they receive millions of visitors each day.
When reaching out to other websites from link banks ensure to focus a more significant percentage of your efforts on more extensive publications as they have a higher ability to provide your website’s awareness increases.
Frequently, SEO teams have been working with directories, classified ads, and bookmarking submissions. Although this can be an old practice, some directories still can worth the time, especially those that are related to your website topic.
Even not being well ranked on the Search Engines, some of them may be necessary to increase the number of links to your website. Just be careful with the quality and the excess of submissions on those websites.
7) How are others linking to your website?
Similar to the on-page, the anchor text is relevant when trying to rank your website for specific keywords.
When asking other websites to link to your website, try your hardest to ask for a keyword-rich anchor text link which means that they will link to your site via a keyword they use in an article.
For example, if your website focuses on selling blue paint and you reach out to a home décor website, ensure that in a blog post or on a page whenever “blue paint” is used they link to your site.
’It’s also good to have anchor text related to the name of your website as well. Much better if the name of your company is related to your keywords. For example, in the case of the company that prints business cards in New York, the anchor text has a keyword-optimized name, which is also the name of the website.
That being said, if the website cannot guarantee a keyword-rich anchor text link than any backlink works. What is the website getting out of linking to your website?
A common practice among websites is what is called reciprocal links. If a site links to you, then it is common practice for you to link back to them.
If you are thinking of merely paying for backlinks, this practice is severely frowned upon from the search engine community and could get your website blacklisted if caught.
8) Using Social Media to spread your content counts?
Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to disseminate your content is very popular.
As a matter of fact, according to SEO Moz, the number of social followers and activity that a webpage has is a relevant factor in the page’s ability to rank on search engines.
Search engines have smartly concluded that content shared via social media (especially if the channel is popular and has plenty of followers) is highly influential. To take full advantage of sharing your content via social media, be sure to add social media sharing buttons next to your content.
Google has denied using social media as part of their ranking factors. However, there is strong evidence that points to a correlation between social signals and SERP positions.
While they might not be built into algorithms now, things like brand mentions and implied links could begin to move the needle on site’s rankings.
We can see movements in this direction with the agreement between Twitter and Google to begin indexing individual tweets and even including them in rich snippets in mobile results.
As Facebook continues to grow into a behemoth itself, trying to get into the search game, it is possible that Bing and Google will respond by incorporating social signals more directly into its results.
What form that integration will take is yet to be seen, but the power of social sharing in determining the quality of content will be too much for search engines to ignore.
9) Using email to spread your content
The email has consistently been used to generate new leads for online businesses, but even the power over the off-page SEO being questionable, sending daily or weekly emails to your email subscription base can generate constant traffic to your website, and they can indirectly help your SEO.
According to the Search Engine Journal, the qualified traffic from emails can increase the time in your website and reduce the bounce rate. Although there is no proof that this impacts your website's authority directly, there is a positive relationship between low bounce rate and better rankings.
Another significant advantage of email marketing is that if you have become an experienced email marketer you have probably curated your content to your audience. You optimized the best headlines, articles, and topics which your audience will open and spend time.
This quality content will affect the rankings since it will also reduce the bounce rate and increase time on your website.
Managing this routine has never been so easy if you use platforms such as MailChimp.
Remember, before embarking on an email campaign, ensure that the content is exciting and engaging, test it, and clean your email base often. The worst thing one can do is driving readers to weak content.
In the end, utilizing off-page SEO tactics are vital to your overall strategy of marketing your business. Also, please, ensure that you are pairing them with high on-page SEO tactics.
10) Content is King
It’s all about pleasing Google, which is the prevailing sentiment of search engine optimization.
It’s a short-sighted view. There are so many factors that go into how a page ranks, but the overarching goal for Google is—will the user be getting something useful?
Elements such as click-through and bounce rates go into a page’s rank. Technical factors and keywords ’don’t control those pieces; they’re driven by the experience your users receive.
A searcher on Google doesn’t want to see a meta description stuffed with keywords.
Give them a reason to click. When users get to the landing page, they want to see something useful—something that answers their question or piques their interest more.
That will keep them on the page longer. That positive experience will signal to Google that your page is relevant and that your page should be rewarded with a better position. SEO isn’t just for crawlers anymore; it’s becoming a much more human experience.
11) There is no Cheating The System
SEO is about providing relevant information to users.
That’s it. Attempting to figure out a way to trick Google into ranking your site higher isn’t a long term solution. With Google’s regular algorithm updates and refreshes, it’s only a matter of time before the search engine realizes you’re not providing relevant information and punishes you for it.
Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have affected a large percentage of websites’ traffic—with only periodic updates.
In the future, however, these updates will move closer and closer to real-time and sites applying tricks, and black-hat tactics will have nowhere to hide (real-time updates will also mean a quicker recovery from penalties).
Short-term SEO tricks will become more and more short-term.
Quality, relevant content will be the only long-term solution to increasing search engine visibility.
Recommended resources to find more relevant basic SEO tips for beginners
The best way to keep on top of industry trends is to read and pinpoint authoritative resources on professional and basic SEO tips for beginners. Some of my favorite resources are:
It can take time to see a return on your SEO efforts, so knowing these basic SEO tips for beginners is already a great start.
There have been times when backlinks ruled supreme, and others when keywords were thriving. So much of SEO work has been an effort to stay one step ahead of Google and search engines.
Lately, search engine optimization is less about finding tricks to beat the system and more about standing out from within the system.
The future of SEO is, of course, unknown, but the transparency of search engines and current case studies are providing a viable road-map to follow.