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Do you think SEO is hard?
If your answer is yes, you must surely read further as SEO is easier than you think.
As a beginner to Search Engine Optimization(SEO), it’s essential to know that it takes time to rank on Google.
So, how long can you expect to get a ranking on Google?
It’s a complicated question to answer as SEO is influenced by complex algorithms.
Most industry experts say that it takes a new website around 6-12 months to start getting traction.
But, instead of waiting for that long, you can do things that will definitely help you have an edge and get results faster.
This is why I have prepared this guide to help beginners have an advantage in the Search engine.
Let’s start with the most essential things. Shall we?
1.Claim your Google Business profile
It’s a free listing provided by Google. I am sure you must have seen some business profiles when you did a Google search.
With Google my business account, you will get more than just a business listing.
Actually, your free business profile will help you to connect with potential customers more efficiently through Google search and maps.
Once you have claimed your listing, you can do the following to optimize your profile:
- Add your name, address, and contact number.
- Add your operating hours.
- Add your website URL.
- Add a category to your profile.
- Add relevant pictures to showcase your business.
- Add a good description of your business.
It’s important to stay active with Google My Business to reap its benefits.
So what should you do to stay active?
You can respond to reviews, share relevant posts about your company, share promotions, update company hours for holidays, etc.
Once you have claimed your business, the next step is to connect your website to Google Webmaster and Google Analytics.
2. Use Google webmaster tools and Google analytics
Google webmaster tool is the place where you register and submit your website to be indexed.
Why is it essential to submit your website to Google webmaster?
Well, the most important reasons are:
- You will want Google to know what your website is all about. Google must understand your website so that it can give you ranking on its search results. (This is usually done by submitting your sitemap).
- You will get feedback on the number of pages that are being indexed.
- You will get all the keywords that your website is being ranked for. You will also get the number of times your website appeared on search results and the number of clicks you are getting for all those search queries.
- If ever your website has any issues, it will notify you of those issues and suggest what you can do to resolve them.
- You will be able to see all incoming and internal links. You will get data such as the top linked pages to your website, the top sites that link to your website, and the pages that bring the most traffic to your website.
And what about Google analytics?
Google Analytics is the best free tool you can use to get insights on your website’s performance.
Why is it essential to use Google analytics?
Google Analytics will allow you to track all important metrics that you will need to improve your website.
Some of the most important benefits of using Google Analytics are:
- You will be able to find how your visitors found your website. You will get insight into the number of visitors per day, their locations, age, gender, traffic source, etc.
- You will know exactly how much time they are spending on your posts and which posts perform better. This will give you an idea of the important post to create similar content to boost your traffic.
Claiming your website and registering for Google Webmaster are the first steps that will ensure that your website is discovered and indexed on Google.
Now it’s time to dive deeper to ensure that your content is optimized to get a higher ranking on search engines.
3.Use long-tail keywords instead of short-tail keywords
Keywords are the foundation of Search Engine Optimization. If you want people to find your content, you should target keywords you can potentially rank for.
You must be wondering what the difference is between a Long-tail keyword and a Short-tail keyword.
- A long-tail keyword is a keyword that has three or more words. For example, “What is content marketing.”
- A short-tail keyword is a keyword that has one to two words. For example, “Content Marketing.”
If you are a new blogger, you will have to focus on Long-tail keywords for your blog posts.
Why am I saying so?
Well, Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for because of their lengths. The shorter the keyword, the harder it will be to rank on the search engine(This is due to high search volumes and competition).
4.Do keyword research
Now that you know you have to focus on long-tail keywords, it’s time to do keyword research.
There are a lot of tools available for you to do your keywords research. Some of them are free, and for some, you will have to pay.
Since you have many options as an SEO beginner, I will suggest you try some of them and see which one you like.
But if you want to know how to find keywords for which you can get ranking from Google, I have a blog post on “How to find keywords for free,” which can help you.
You can also use Google planner to find keywords that will bring massive traffic to your website.
Related article: How to use Google keyword planner to find keywords for free
5.Create SEO friendly URLs
The URLs of your post are very important for SEO. The way you structure your permanent links can either make or break your SEO efforts.
Usually, a short and descriptive URL helps your audience and search engines as it will tell them precisely what your post is all about.
These are the things that you should keep in mind when creating your URLs:
- Your URL must include the keywords you are targeting for the post.
- The shorter the URL, the better it is. Usually, it’s good to keep the URL up to four or five words.
- Use hyphens to separate your words in the URL.
- All the alphabets in the URL should be lowercase.
- Avoid any type of quotation marks or hashtags in the URL.
Let me give you some examples of good and bad permanent links(URLs).
Examples of Bad URLs:
Examples of Good URLs:
6.Optimize your Page Titles and Tags
Now that you know how your permanent links should be, it’s time to structure your blog post for SEO.
The most important thing that Google and your audience will look at when deciding to read your blog will be your page title and meta description.
Therefore, the crucial characteristics for an optimized page title are:
- Your page title should be unique that describes what your blog post is all about.
- It should be very brief and descriptive.
- It should help your audience know what they are about to read.
- The title should be spicy, so to entice your readers to click on the link.
- It should be 55 characters or less.
You should know that your page title appears on search results, and when your audience clicks on the link, they will expect the content based on what they saw in the title.
And what about your meta description?
Your meta description is as important as your page title, and it should be closely related to your Page title.
I am sure you must have heard of “Meta Tags” when you read about SEO. It gives search engines a summary of what your post is about.
Usually, Google will choose this description as a snippet for your post or part of your content.
Therefore, it should be descriptive enough to increase the click-through rate.
A good “Meta Tag” should have the following characteristics:
- Have a unique description for your posts or pages.
- The length should be between 180-200 words.
- It should include the keywords for which you are targeting your blog post.
- The description should be compelling enough to make your audience click on the page and visit your blog post.
7.Use Headings and Formatting options
The next step will be to use “Headings” and “Formating options” to increase your SEO efforts.
You just can’t write content without proper formatting. Your blog post must be formatted so that it makes your readers want to read more.
There are some important things that you can do to make your content more user friendly:
- You must use “H1 Tags” for your page or post title.
- You must use “H2 Tags” for the main headings of your posts.
- If you have other subheadings, you can use “H3” or “H4” tags.
- Use Bold or Italics to emphasize important points.
- Use fonts that are easy to read.
- Use small paragraphs ( 2 or 3 sentences long) so that your audience can read your content easily.
- Include your primary keyword in your first paragraph if you can. Usually, a good rule is to include the keyword in the first 100 words of your content.
Having a properly formatted post will help web crawlers rank your post better.
Your audience will benefit from a properly formatted post, as they can skim through your article and read only the information they require.
If you are curious to learn about blog structure, then this post is a must.
Related article: How to structure your blog post for higher ranking.
8.Add Internal and External links
Since links are vital for SEO, you should always have a couple of links in your blog post or page. This is because having both internal and external links show Google that the website is genuine and healthy.
Internal linking is when you add a link to the pages or posts of your own website.
There are a few things you should bear in mind when adding links. Some adequate internal linking practices are:
- You should link to related articles only, either by using the keyword or the full article title.
- Links should be added to help your users navigate your website correctly. You should never add links just for the sake of Search engines.
- Don’t add too many links on a single page or post.
- Once in a month, go back to your old post and link it to your newest posts.
What about external linking?
Well, a good blog post will have a combination of both internal and external links.
Essential things you should avoid when adding external links are:
- Don’t link to your competitor’s website.
- Links to high-quality websites only.
- Don’t add links to a product page or service. Your readers will want more information from your links. It may look spammy if most of your external links are linking to product purchases.
- Don’t add too many external links. Two to three external links should be enough.
9.Optimize all your images
Did you know that every day there are hundreds of millions of people who use google images to find and explore new content?
This is an essential statistic since you have a high chance of driving traffic to your website by optimizing your images.
I am sure you must have done a Google search and seen images pop up.
Did you know that these images contain a link to your website?
Therefore, you should not miss this opportunity and always optimize all your images.
Here are some essential things you should do to optimize your images:
- Use ALT Text to describe your image. This is most important for your featured images. It will tell Google what your image is all about.
- For all your other images, make sure to add a suitable description instead of using “01jpg”.
- Compress all your images so that you don’t have any speed issues with your website. You can use the Smush plugin to help you with image compression.
10.Optimize your content for the featured snippet
A Snippet is a short text that appears at the top of a google search. It usually answers the query for a user who is doing a Google search.
If you do a Google search on “What is SEO and how it works,” you will this result.
A featured snippet contains these following pieces of information:
- Information from a website
- A link to the webpage
- The page or post title
- The URL of the page or post
Usually, a blog post must be on Page one of Google’s search to become a featured snippet.
If you want more information on optimizing for Google’s featured snippet, this article from Ahrefs will help you.
11.Get backlinks from other websites
Backlinks are links from other websites that link to your website. Since Off-page SEO is a crucial part of the Google ranking algorithm, you will definitely need backlinks.
A post or page which has more quality backlinks tend to rank higher on Google.
When you earn a backlink from an authority website, it sends Google a signal that your content is valuable and useful.
Think of it as a vote. The more vote you get, the higher your post or page will rank.
There are three things that you should know before you start building backlinks to your website:
- Backlinks are one of the three most crucial search engine ranking factors.
- The quality of a backlink is more important than quantity.
- Natural links are more beneficial to your ranking than unnatural links.
- The backlink you should try to get must be a “Do follow” link as “no-follow” links do not affect your ranking.
You must be wondering how you can build backlinks to your website.
Since this is a very huge topic, let me outline some important things you can do as a beginner:
- The most important thing you can do is to write quality content. This will definitely attract other blogs to link back to your website.
- Link out to other bloggers and inform them that you have added a link to their website. If ever they like your content, they will return the favor.
- You should get links from websites that are related to your niche only.
- You can try Guest-posting and get a link to your website.
- Connect with other bloggers on social media platforms.
- Make sure to get links from different websites.
12.Improve page speed
Page speed is the amount of time it takes for a webpage to load. It is quite apparent that a website that has a low speed will have more bounce rate.
Have you ever visited a website that takes a lot of time to load? I am sure you have experienced that.
So what do you do if the website speed is slow?
You will hit the back button and exit the website. Right?
This is what the bounce rate is all about.
If Google notices that people who enter your website are hitting the back button, it will drop your ranking as it is a signal that the website is not meeting people’s expectations.
Therefore having a website that loads fast is very important for both Google and your audience.
This is because Google aims to provide its users with the most accurate result in the fastest possible way.
Usually, a website which loads within 3-4 seconds will have the following advantages:
- The webpage will rank better in search results.
- People will visit the website more often as they won’t have to wait too much to get the information they need.
- Your website/blog will get more conversions, as your audience will trust your brand.
If you want to know your website’ss page speed, enter your URL in Google’s page speed insight.
You don’t need to be an expert in WordPress to increase the speed of your website.
There are a few things that you can do to increase your page speed quickly.
Some of the most important things you can do as a beginner are:
- Don’t use too many plugins for your website. There are only a few essential plugins that you will need to have a successful blog. If you want more information, you can read this article on smart ways to set up your WordPress blog.
- Optimize the size of your images( I have discussed this above).
- Use a caching plugin to speed up your website (you can use W3 Total Catch).
- Use a good web hosting.
13.Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly
The amount of Google searches done on mobile has increased a lot from the past years. Google processes around 3.5 billion searches per day, and 63% are from mobile devices.
Nowadays, users want content that is easy to consume. Therefore it’s a must for you to have a mobile-friendly website.
What is a mobile-friendly website?
It is a website that is optimized to be viewed on mobile browsers. It is also optimized to be viewed on tablets and Ipads, and it makes it easier for users to navigate by zooming in.
Some of the benefits of having a mobile-friendly website are:
- Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites on their search results.
- It will help your brand build credibility as a mobile-friendly website is a norm nowadays.
- You will have a greater reach with countless people who are doing Google searches from their mobile phones.
- You will have a better mobile conversion rate.
If you are searching for mobile-friendly themes, you can head over to Themeisle and browse their themes. They offer both free and paid themes.
14.Create XML sitemap
A sitemap acts as a roadmap for all the pages and posts of your website.
If you want Google to crawl your important pages and posts, then you must submit your sitemap.
If you are using the Yoast plugin, it will create a sitemap for you.
You can click on “See the XML sitemap” and submit it to Google Search Console.
15.Improve the quality of your content
If you have followed all the above tips, it’s time to focus on making your content better.
As we are in an oversaturated market, content quality will determine your success in this industry.
What I mean by quality content is:
- To make sure that you deliver what you promised in your post title.
- Check your spelling and grammar mistakes. You can use Grammarly to help you with that.
- Write for your audience and not for search engines. Avoid keyword stuffing in your posts.
- To write long content of more than 1200 words.
- To provide useful and essential information for your audience.
- To provide information only from trusted sources.
- To structure your blog post in a way that will help your readers to read your content and increase your ranking.
- Use relevant images in your content. If an image is not making sense, don’t try to force it.
16.Publish new content constantly
When you are creating content regularly, it will give your readers a reason to come to your blog, and Google bots will crawl your website more often.
So, how often you must publish a new blog post?
This is a question many new bloggers have on their minds.
Usually, publishing 2-3 blog posts are recommended by most people in the industry.
Does it mean you should do it?
Of course not. If you can create only one blog post per week, then it’s completely fine. Just make sure you follow all the above tips and focus on creating quality content.
You must never sacrifice quality for quantity. This is the only way you can succeed in this competitive industry.
Final thoughts: 16 Seo tips for beginners to get more traffic from Google
Now that you have followed all the above tips, you must be wondering what you will do.
Well, you will have to wait for your website to get authority and traction. As mentioned above, you will start to see results from 6-12 months.
But implementing the tips mentioned in this post will make sure that you get results faster.
If just waiting for traffic from Google drives you crazy, you can use social media to drive traffic to your new blog to start to build authority.
These are some blog posts that might help you in your journey:
- How to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog
- How to name your Pinterest boards to get more clicks
- Pinterest manual pinning strategy
- How to use Twitter to promote your blog for free
If you liked this post, please don’t forget to share it with others so that they can benefit from it.
See you soon!