I’ve written about SEO, or search engine optimization topics before without taking into account that many of my readers might not know what SEO fully means. In this post I’m going to cover some SEO basics and give you tips on how to implement best SEO practices into your website or blog, so your content will be highly discoverable by search engines.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization encompasses a broad range of practices and techniques to make your site/blog visible to search engines. It also makes your content discoverable in general on the Internet, such as on social media networks and other online venues. The concept and practice of search engine optimization constantly changes, and is mostly dictated by the algorithm of the world’s largest search engine: Google. (Watch the video at the end of this post from Google on how their search algorithms have developed.) But most of the recommended SEO tips apply to all search engines.
There are many on-site and off-site SEO methods that will help your site become more visible and rank in search engines. On-site SEO deals with what you can do with your Website or blog to help it be found on the web, and rank in search results. Off-site SEO involves using other Websites or online portals to increase the presence of your Website or blog. Guest blogging, social media networking, forum posting, directory submissions, and bookmarking are a few of the possible Off-Site SEO tactics you can use.
We are going to delve into some on-site SEO basics that deal with images, keywords, page speed and content.
While search algorithms will constantly change, the fundamtental SEO concept does not. In order to find information, services or products, people either type words or phrases into a search engine bar, or request information by speaking to an app like Siri or OK Google.
Therefore, your SEO strategy needs to start with keyword research. You need to know what your target audience is looking for online, and what terms they are typing into search engines to find this information. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to help you find the main keywords that will work well for your niche.
Once you have your main keywords ready, you should keep this list handy as you will need to use these keywords in many SEO tactics that will come your way.
The cornerstone of on-page SEO basics is creating great content. It’s got to be informative, useful, and original. Duplicate, or regurgitated content will not fly in Google Search. Whatever subject you write about, it’s got to be from your perspective, giving your unique insight to the subject matter at hand. Freshness and relevancy is also important: which is why you should publish content on your site at least twice a month.
Shows the latest news and information. This includes gathering timely results when you’re searching specific dates. — Google InsideSearch
When you write your content, make sure your keywords are used in the title, first paragraph, and throughout the body content at a density of at least 1.5 percent. If you use WordPress, a great plugin that will help you optimize your content is Yoast SEO. Here’s a screenshot that shows the basic layout of their tool in WordPress:
Along with reading and crawling your website, search engines will also crawl your images. I wrote about best practices in optimizing images, which you can read here, but will recap the important information.
The images you insert in your blog posts or Website pages should be optimized in the following ways:
- The title should reflect what the image is about, and contain your main keywords
- The alt text or tags should also contain your keywords
- Images should be captioned whenever possible
Visitors who come to your Website will want information quickly. If you have a slow site, your visitors will likely take off and head over to another site in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, if visitors to your site leave right away, this will affect your bounce rate. Your bounce rate is the percentage at which visitors come to your site through an entrance page, and leave right away without interacting with the page. If you have a high bounce rate, the search engines will not give your site as much authority as a site with a lower bounce rate.
A few things you can do to increase your page speed are:
- Make sure your images are compressed before you upload them
- Choose a great website theme, or build one, that is search engine friendly
- Avoid too many sliders or videos as they take longer to load
- Make sure you choose a great host with a quick server response time
It’s important to understand the SEO basics and take these SEO tips into consideration when marketing your business online. With properly implemented SEO, your site will rank higher in search engines, and your business’ overall Web Presence will increase.
Here’s the video about Google Search:
What do you think?
Did this article help? Do you have anything to add? Let me know in the comments section below. Thanks!