Look, we get why you want SEO recommendations for beginners…
Finding SEO success as a beginner can be a daunting task. With hundreds of people recommending different tactics, finding what works for you can seem like a long shot. Luckily, in this article, we will look at five top SEO recommendations for beginners you can implement today.
Let’s dive into some top, practical SEO tips and tricks.
1. Use the right keywords
To rank for specific search queries, you need to use keywords relevant to those topics. Keywords define your content intent hence enabling search engines to index your website properly.
While it is important to use keywords for indexing, you must keep in mind the search intent of your visitors.
As such, you need relevant keywords that will also resonate with the searchers’ intent. Luckily, you can use many keyword tools. Some of the most popular SEO recommendations for beginners include AnswerThe Public, Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Moz. Here, you need to keep your budget in mind since there are free and freemium packages.
As such, you need relevant keywords that will also resonate with the searchers’ intent.
As a beginner, you can use the free versions as you learn the ropes. Metrics to consider when researching for keywords include competition score, search volume, and others.
In addition, there are different types of keywords. They include:
- Long-tail keywords: This is a four-word or more keyword. For example, “how to choose a smartphone.”
- Short-tail keywords: This is a one or two-word keyword. For example, “cheap smartphones.”
- LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords: This is a keyword related to the primary keyword.
It is therefore recommended you target long-tail keywords since there’s minimal competition. Besides, they are more specific. While you might get minimal traffic, the conversion rate will be high since you are providing a solution to a searcher’s intent.
And for improved ranking, you should use LSI keywords. Currently, most search engines are looking for a topic match and this is where LSI keywords come into play.
For example, if you have a software development company, related keywords could be:
- Top software development companies
- Software development consultants
- Software development services
One of the most crucial SEO recommendations for beginners is to avoid using short-tail keywords. As you’d expect, behemoth companies in your niche are already using them, hence ranking for them will be a daunting task.
2. Publish quality content
Among the top SEO recommendations for beginners, is to write and publish quality content. But who sets the bar for quality content? Well, it’s your visitors.
As such, you need to create content with your visitors in mind. So, writing for your readers rather than yourself or search engines should be your top priority.
For example, if you run an online store, you want visitors to learn more about your business and products. However, it is recommended you consider your users’ interests.
What products interest them? What type of content gets them hooked? Are they into images and videos? In short, ensure your content resonates with their pain points and interests.
In short, ensure your content resonates with their pain points and interests.
The main three search intents are:
- Transactional: When a person wants to buy a product or service.
- Informational: When a visitor is looking for information about a topic.
- Navigational: When a user wants to go to a specific site.
Understanding these intents enables you to decide which content to publish. For example, a landing page should target a transactional keyword while an article on a certain service or product should target informational keywords.
Among other SEO recommendations for beginners is to make your content engaging and readable. There’s nothing that turns potential clients away like poor content. Here, you should focus on content structure. Use headings, subheadings, and visual content to spice up your articles.
Also, avoid using lengthy sentences and difficult words. They make it hard for readers to understand your content. While at it, add a personal voice, since it helps you outshine your competitors.
And as always, update your content regularly. This helps build trust with your visitors and they will keep coming back for more.
3. Optimize the title, headings, and sub-headings
As mentioned, engaging content should be subdivided into sections, such as headings and sub-headings.
The title tag makes the first impression on the user and search engines. It allows search engines to know what the content is about.
For the user, it determines whether they will click on your page or opt for your competitors. It is for these reasons that your title tag needs to be spicy, optimized, and informative.
That is, it should summarize what the content is about, should use the primary keyword, and elicit curiosity. If possible, let it be at most 55 characters.
Optimizing the Meta Tag is one of the most popular SEO recommendations for beginners. It is the text snippet under the title tag and URL. It gives a summary of what the content or page is about. As such, you should use the main keyword which should be less than 160 characters. When a user searches for the keyword(s) Google will bold it, making your page relevant to the searcher’s intent.
Headings and subheadings
Another crucial SEO recommendation for beginners is to use headings and subheadings. They are the <h1> to <h6> tags. There should be only one <H1>. Search engines check this tag to identify what your page is about.
As such, you should use the main keyword. You can use a variation of keywords in your subheadings, but keep in mind you are writing for people, not search engines. So, if your primary keyword doesn’t fit, avoid it. The key focus is to help users navigate through your content.
So, if your primary keyword doesn’t fit, avoid it. The key focus is to help users navigate through your content.
4. Generate quality backlinks
With quality content and optimized tags, it is time to generate quality backlinks. These are links from authority websites in your niche. For example, if yours is a tech site, you can look for links from sites such as TechCrunch and PCMag.
Create sharable content
If you want to fuel more backlinks, you need to create engaging content. One of our SEO recommendations for beginners is to generate content that is geared towards netting backlinks.
To do this, you need to create content backed by data, publish guides, and interview leaders in your niche. This way, other sites might link to the interview or your ultimate guide about certain software.
Guest posting is arguably among the top SEO recommendations for beginners since it is easy to do and generates numerous backlinks. Besides, it’s a sure way to build trust and credibility among your users. You also appear an expert in your chosen niche.
You can reach out to websites offering guest contributions and you can spy on your competitors’ backlinks using tools such as Ahrefs. Chances are if they accept a guest post from them, they are more likely to buy into your idea.
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is another great option to get quality backlinks.
Reach out to influencers
By consulting influencers, you can generate quality backlinks while reaching out to a new audience. Influencers can significantly bolster your credibility in your niche market.
This is the main reason top brands use influencers to market their products and services. For example, you can offer commissions for a backlink on their social platforms or website.
One of the most ignored SEO recommendations for beginners is to link to yourself. Internal links are as crucial as backlinks. For example, you can link a general article to a pillar page. This creates cohesion within your site, allowing for easier navigation on the users’ part.
5. Optimize site speed and design
Site speed and design are crucial SEO recommendations for beginners that most people overlook. You can have the most informative content, but if your site looks amateurish and loads slowly, then people will opt for other sites. The bounce rate increases while your ranking decreases.
You can have the most informative content, but if your site looks amateurish and loads slowly, then people will opt for other sites.
To mitigate this, ensure to optimize the loading speed of your site. Among top SEO recommendations for beginners are to:
- Minify your code by removing spaces, comments, and other unnecessary characters.
- If possible, avoid redirects.
- Optimize images. For example, you can use JPEG or Webp files rather than PNG.
- Use CDNs. Content distribution networks (CDNs) distribute copies of your site to several servers significantly improving the loading speed.
Top SEO recommendations for beginners to improve the design of a site include:
- Having an organized navigation bar.
- Including calls to action on every page.
- It’s best to use three font families.
- You can use two to three colors.
- The shorter the URL, the better.
- Ensure to consult W3C standards.
Conforming to these SEO recommendations for beginners will set you on the right footing. Not only will your ranking improve gradually, but you’ll also build trust and credibility among your visitors.
Ensure to keep the user first since they dictate how well your site will do. So, which of the five SEO recommendations for beginners do you plan to use?