Search Engine Optimization (SEO) represents the things you can do to improve your website’s visibility to the search engines. In other words, SEO is what gets a website noticed by the search engines. Search engine optimization techniques focus on increasing the organic (free), or natural traffic that visits your site.
The goal of search engine optimization is to ensure your site is pleasing to the robots or search engine crawlers. If so, search engines will take note of your site and its content, making it appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages) when users input certain keywords.
Below you will find the beginner’s guide to search engine optimization.
How Search Engines operate
Search engines are designated to crawl and build an index, as well as provide search users with a ranked list of the websites they have verified are the most relevant. One way to get started for a new site is to visit Google Search Console – it’s a free tool by Google which would help you manage your site’s search functionality.
Once you get there, you have to verify ownership of your site before Google can crawl the site. Here is how to do that:
- Open Google Search Console
- Login with your Gmail account
- Click on Add Property
- It will bring out a space for you to put in your domain name
- Then Google will provide some choices for you to verify ownership of domain.
- Once this is done, your site will be indexed.
How do people interact with Search Engines?
It all starts with an enquiry. Users type words in a box to represent what they are looking for. When you are empathetic towards your target audience, determine what they are searching for, you can more effectively reach and retain those users.
As a website or blog owner, you want your site to be appealing to your audience so that they will be satisfied with what they find. User engagement is all about providing relevant and high value content to your subscribers. One way to make this happen is to ask yourself what your target audiences are searching for and deliver it to them.
Why Search Engine marketing is necessary
An important aspect of SEO is getting your site seen by users. No one wants to build a site that nobody can find. That’s why it is important to optimize your website so that not only can the search engines determine what every page on your site is about, but people as well. You also want to make sure that the content you are generating is being shared or talked about.
The bottom line is, if you don’t have traffic you won’t make sales.
Confirm that your URLs are search engine friendly because it will make sure the correct audiences are led to a specific website for the information they are seeking. Ideally the URLs should contain the appropriate connecting information in a brief fashion.
Example of search friendly URL is www.ikejamen.com/mens-formal-shoes
Compare that with this: www.ikejamen.com/la/product/B8473/105-854555/CDE343/m=kkbv2322/&y=wtyw23221
URLs are used to describe a page to a searcher and to the search engines. Keep them short, relevant and accurate for better rankings
Don’t forget to add descriptions to your images as this will supply the platform for the SEO optimization as it will also ensure your website gets positioned at a higher level due to the higher interest in the site’s content.
In addition, be sure to make use of the alt tags for your photos since it will help the search bots know what the content of the images and its related matter is all about. Alt tags are what we see on our pcs and mobile phones when an image doesn’t load. This aids your seo via image search, it also provide directions to customers when your images don’t load as expected.
Keyword research remains necessary for all SEO campaigns and every exercise targeted at the site should be aware of this. Impending audiences might not be able to locate the person’s site if the connective keywords are not used. Make use of Google’s Keyword Planner to search for keywords.
Do Usability, Experience, and Content affect rankings?
Yes, they do. What do you need to do to be ranked higher than your competitors?
Avoid the following:
- It cannot be emphasized enough the importance of the right terms necessary for driving targeted traffic to your site. High valued keywords will generate the highest amount of clicks which one after the other will supply the increased traffic to the site. One way of knowing the amount of value a Keyword has is by looking at the number of searches it generates monthly which can be achieved with Google’s Keyword Planner. Once that is done, you might want to check for long tail keywords and the competitiveness of these keywords so you are well informed before you start optimizing for results.
- Don’t forget to include “alt” tags for all photos and images otherwise the search engine will not be able to detect and understand any presentations that contain photos.
- Duplicate content is another thing to avoid. It does not benefit in anyway and may even result in some sort of penalisation from Google. In the same vein, don’t copy and paste content. It’s terrible. Your site will never grow like that.
- To get online users to venture further into your site, don’t forget to use anchor tags.
- Don’t stuff keywords. In other words, don’t overuse keywords because it will cause your site to appear boring and spammy and you could get penalised as a result. Write great content but include keywords where necessary.
Growing popularity and links
Most seasoned internet marketers know only too well the benefits of using internal links. Such efforts enable useful and quick access to information on the site without overly difficult practices.
Provided that the terms in the internal linkages are related to the ones of the home page, Google search will rank your site higher and as a result, it will be much easier for your audience to find your website.
Instead of using ‘click here’, use the terms that describe what you are writing about or what is relevant to your site. As such, it will effectively inform viewers of where to go for further information that are related to the material about to be viewed.
Measuring and tracking success
If at all possible, be mindful of how every traffic source contributes to your site, and keep an eye on conversions and the following:
- Direct Navigation: Email links
- Referral Traffic: Links across the web
- Search Traffic: Queries that send traffic from any key leading search engine
Calculating the amount along with exact figures will assist you in identifying limitations, plus offer you a center for comparison over time. Google Analytics is a great tool to track all of these. It can also assist you in knowing the exact keywords that is driving the most and least traffic to your website so you can adjust for growth.
This is not an exhaustive list of SEO basics; however, it will help get you started especially for small business owners.
What are your thoughts on SEO the beginner’s guide to search engine optimization? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Jimi Akinleye is a digital marketing professional who writes from Lagos. He has experience writing articles for brands and using content marketing and SEO to grow businesses online. You can connect with him on LinkedIn