Chances are, you didn’t start your business because you were an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) whiz. You started it because you had a great idea or product, and you knew it was profitable or you wanted to make a difference.
But, in order for a business to be successful, SEO is practically a requirement. Digital marketing is incredibly important in today’s business culture. According to 61% of marketing experts, improving SEO should be a business’s top priority.
Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to know much about SEO to use it to benefit your business. Hiring the right SEO company for you can make a big difference in how effective your marketing techniques are. Doing so can keep your business from failing, and help to take you to the next level. But, there are things you can do to get started on your own with SEO that can also make a big difference. The good news? You can start using some of these strategies right away to see results.
With that in mind, let’s cover five SEO tips for beginners that you can start implementing today.
1. Add Fresh Content
If you have content on your website but it’s been sitting there without any changes for the last several months, you’re probably not going to gain much attention from Google or other search engines.
It’s important to keep your content as fresh as possible, and that means adding new, relevant pieces regularly.
If you’re having a hard time consistently coming up with new content, go back and look at some of the things you’ve already written. Could your content be better? Are you really getting your message across? Is it easy to read, and captivating?
You don’t always have to create something new just for the sake of creating something new. Instead, don’t be afraid to go back and make your existing content even better. The search engines will still recognize it as fresh content and you’ll boost your SEO ranking, as a result.
2. Use the Right Keywords
Even if you’ve never done anything with SEO before, you’ve probably heard of keywords and how important they are.
People try to overcomplicate the use of keywords, but the basic idea is quite simple; you have to ask yourself what your target audience might be searching for.
For example, if your business sells t-shirts, you’ll want to consider what questions people might have when they’re looking for t-shirts, and base your keywords around that. In this case, some of the most common keywords might include:
- Comfortable t-shirts
- Unisex tees
- Order t-shirts
- Custom t-shirts online
If you have a brick and mortar store, it’s also a good idea to use location-based keywords to hone in even more on your target audience. You might use keywords like, “affordable t-shirts Chicago,” or whatever location you’re choosing to target.
You don’t have to come up with creative keywords on your own. Using services like Google Ads can help you to think of relevant terms, put them to use, and then see which keywords are working and which ones you might want to change based on your analytics.
3. Optimize Your Title Tags (and Others!)
Once you’ve got some fresh content on your site and you’re comfortable with keywords, one simple way to give a boost to your SEO is to optimize the titles, headings, and sub-headings throughout your site.
What does that mean?
The title of a particular page is what people will see on Google. Using the t-shirt example again, if someone were to search “custom t-shirts online” and your page comes up in the search engine results, you’ll want to make sure whatever people see is relevant to you and relevant to what they’re searching for. A good title for your homepage might be something like “Organic, customizable t-shirts for Men and Women”.
There are a few things you should do to optimize the title of each page, including:
- Make sure every title is unique
- Don’t use more than 60 characters
- Use target keywords within each title
In addition to optimizing your titles, you should also optimize headings and sub-headings on your site in the same way. There is only one main heading per page, but sub-headings help to break up content and make it easier to read. Your sub-headings should also use keywords and be relevant, but they need to naturally fit in with the flow of the content.
4. Link to Yourself
We’re talking about basics here, so we won’t get into backlinking just yet. If you’re just getting started with SEO, one of the easiest things to do is to link to yourself!
Using internal links helps to promote your own content by sending people to other pages within your website. Simply put, they’re multiple links under the same domain.
So, the content you write on your homepage might include a few internal links (that naturally fit in with the content) to send people to other relevant pages on your site. Again, it promotes different things that you offer, boosts your rankings, and makes it easier for people to navigate through your site so they’re more likely to stick around, rather than looking at a different website for more information or another product/service.
5. Make Sure Your Site is Speedy
Speaking of people sticking around on your site, it’s important to make sure everything on your website loads quickly, both for people viewing it on desktop and on their mobile devices. According to MunchWeb, 75% of Internet users won’t visit a website again if it takes more than four seconds to load.
Four seconds might not seem like a long time, but consider your own expectations when you’re looking for something online. When was the last time you went to Google and had to wait for the page to load? Chances are, that’s never happened because it’s a company that understands the importance of speed.
Thanks to ever-changing advancements in technology, people have gotten used to things moving quickly. On the downside, it has made everyone a little impatient. So, your website has to be able to keep up. It’s not just major corporations that need to keep this rule in mind. Small businesses are especially susceptible to competition. If your competitor’s website runs smoothly and loads faster than yours, people are more likely to go there for whatever they might need.
How can you make sure your site loads quickly?
First, check out your actual site speed using a tool like PageSpeed Insights. If your website is running slowly, doing things like optimizing your images, enabling compression, and improving your server response time can all help. But, if you’re not used to working with that side of things, it can be worth it to hire someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.
Using SEO to Your Advantage With No Experience
Hopefully, these beginner tips can get you started on boosting the ranking of your website. They’re all relatively easy to put in place and can be done in a short amount of time, so you can start seeing results right away.
Keep in mind that these are just “starter” suggestions. There are so many things you can do to boost SEO, but a lot of it involves more back-end work that might benefit from an SEO expert. But, if you’re looking for a way to get your foot in the door of search engine optimization, you’re trying to get your website noticed and boost business by increasing your digital presence, you can start here and learn a lot from the hands-on experience.