SEO tips for beginners

Getting to grips with SEO can be tricky, and you may be wondering why do we use SEO at all? Using good SEO practices on your sites boosts your visibility online, improving your search engine rankings and allowing more people to find you through search. We’ve put together a few of our favourite SEO tips for beginners to help you on your journey.

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The right keywords matter

Planning ahead is important. Make sure you’re putting in the time to do some keyword research before you even begin writing your content. Find keywords that are relevant to your content and then find out if people are searching for them.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a keyword such as volume (how many people are using searching for this term), difficulty (how hard it’ll be for your content to rank), and your site domain authority (how likely it is your site will rank at the top). There are many useful sites such as Ahrefs which you can use to research, track, and compare keywords.

A keyword doesn’t have to be a single word, either – long tail keywords such as questions or statements do well on Google too. Once you have a good focus keyword and a few related keywords, you can sprinkle these through your content – Google will appreciate it!

Optimise your meta information

Which one are you more likely to click on?

MetaInformationGoodExample

Meta Information Bad Example

Optimising your meta titles and descriptions is simple but often overlooked. Don’t overcomplicate it – stick to the point of the page. Make sure the information is informative, straightforward and, most importantly, useful to the consumer.

Meta information is an easy step towards SEO success that is often overlooked. Think about the following when writing your descriptions and titles.

  • Have you described what your page offers?
  • Is there a catchy and welcoming message to encourage users to click?
  • Have you explained what your website offers without the user having to click?
  • Does your page include the keyword?

Don’t forget to look at your page URL, meta title, and meta description. And, while you’re at it, make sure you’ve included a relevant alt tag on any images.

If you use WordPress, try the Yoast SEO plugin – it makes optimising your content a breeze and the handy meta information previews exactly what your content will look like in search engine results.

Example of Yoast SEO tool in action

We love their handy traffic light feature that keeps us right every time.

Yoast SEO Traffic Light System

Create fresh content, regularly

Search engines like sites which are regularly updated with relevant, engaging content. Regular updates will keep your readers coming back for more and give you something to shout about on other channels like social media.

Creating a content plan for your business is key to making sure you’re targeting the right keywords and uploading the correct number of posts. Planning in advance what keywords you want to target and how often you want to schedule your uploads helps keep your site fresh and up to date – everything that a reader loves.

Make sure to add CTAs and link to other pages on the site to keep your readers engaged, and guide them towards important pages on your site.

This will let you work out a posting schedule that works for your business, so that fresh content is always just around the corner.

Check your site speed

We’ve all been there – you pull out our phone to search for something and need an answer quickly, but the site won’t load. You hit the back button and make a mental note to avoid in future.

A slow loading website can have huge consequences for your users, and your business may suffer as a result. Not only will you deter customers from returning, but search engines will rank your site lower than one that loads quickly. A faster website will benefit from higher page views, more business enquiries or sales and a higher number of returning customers.

Try Google’s handy PageSpeed Insights to test the speed of your pages and find out if there’s anything you need to improve. Think about checking your image sizes, choosing an optimised hosting platform, or reducing your redirects.

Is your site mobile friendly?

More often than not, you’ll find that most of your web traffic comes from mobile. It shouldn’t surprise you, given that nearly 60% of searches are completed from a mobile device.

Why does it matter? Well, having a website that‘s optimised for mobile is key to SEO success. If consumers using a mobile land on your site and can’t navigate, access the menu or view incorrectly-sized images, they probably won’t stick around.

Google favours mobile-first indexing. In simple terms, this means that sites which are optimised for mobile and follow best practices will be indexed higher in the rankings than those that aren’t. If you’re not sure how your site performs on mobile, try the Google Mobile-Friendly Test which will provide recommendations on how to improve.

Useful links

Now you’ve got your SEO tips for beginners. Looking for next steps? We’ve rounded up our go-to tools, blogs and websites for SEO tips – bookmark these for next time you need a helping hand!

  1. Ahrefs – their blog is full of valuable tips and advice.
  2. Moz – their Whiteboard Fridays are always worth a watch!
  3. Yoast – we recommend signing up for their email newsletter.
  4. Screaming Frog SEO Spider – free downloadable software to help crawl all pages of your site.

Still feeling a little lost? Drop us a message – we’ll be happy to steer you in the right direction or manage the process for you.

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