SEO, or search engine optimization, can be very complex, or very simple. It all depends on your reasons for doing it.
If you’re trying to get your website into the top 3 results on Google for a popular search term, it’s probably going to be fairly complex, and you may need to hire an expert.
But if you’re just hoping for a little extra traffic, you can keep things simple.
Here are a few SEO basics to help you start optimizing your website for search engines.
Use Your Keywords Frequently, But Not Too Frequently
You’re probably already using your keywords naturally in your writing. What you want to do is try to bump it up a notch.
If you’re talking about websites, you want to try to use “website” most of the time, instead of the shortened form “site”.
If what you’re writing about is centered around a phrase, you want to use the full phrase without any alterations as much as possible.
For example, this article is about the basics of SEO.
If I were trying to optimize this article to show up in a search on Google or another search engine, I would pick a phrase that I think (or know from keyword research) that people are likely to search for, such as “SEO basics”, and use it as much as possible.
HOWEVER, you are writing for people, not search engines.
It’s ok to use the shortened form of a word or slightly alter your phrase sometimes.
If an article is too keyword heavy it will be tedious and awkward to read. And many people won’t bother to finish reading.
How do you tell if you’re using the keyword or phrase too much?
The WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin helps with this. If you tell it what keyword or phrase you’re focusing on, it will analyze your post and tell you if you’re using it a good amount, too frequently, or not enough.
Also use keywords in the titles/tags/captions of your images.
Titles Are Important
A good title is what gets people to click or start reading.
Titles are important for SEO too, but this is one area to optimize for people over search engines.
Your title should show how reading your article will benefit the reader.
In this case, by calling this article SEO For Beginners, I’m indicating that this article will contain some SEO basics and be easy for beginners to understand.
This is why you see a lot of articles with titles like “How To __________”, “5 ways to __________”, and “3 Mistakes you’re probably making with __________”. They entice people to click and hopefully learn something useful by reading your article.
Check out 10 Sure Fire Headline Formulas That Work on Copyblogger for more suggestions.
Link To Your Other Posts
When you have the opportunity, you should link to other posts you’ve written.
Not only is this good for SEO, it also helps keep people on your website by making it easy for them to find other articles they may want to read. And the more people read, the more they get to know you and see that you give good advice.
Get Links From Other Websites
Another important part of SEO is getting links from other websites. One good way to do this is guest posting.
Hopefully, as you gain readers some of them will start linking to your articles in their posts as well.
You also want to include your website link on your social media profiles, and share new posts on social media as well.
There’s a lot more to SEO than the things mentioned here of course. But keyword frequency, attention getting titles, and using/getting links are some important SEO basics that are easy to implement right away.
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