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If you’re new to search engine optimization, SEO can seem only slightly less intimidating than neuroscience. Keyword targeting? Meta tags? Landing pages? Where do you even begin?
True, advanced search engine optimization can be pretty complicated. However, beginner SEO is actually pretty simple. It all comes down to one concept: helping people find your site on search engines.
Here are five tips to help get you started in the world of SEO.
Search engine users find your site by typing in a certain phrase: “Boston flower shop,” for example, or “red rose bouquet.” These are your keywords– the phrases your customers are using to search for you.
Select keywords and keyword phrases that your customers are actually typing into search engines—but don’t choose keywords that are already overused by other websites. Tools like Google’s Keyword Tool can help generate keyword ideas while showing you the amount of competition you’ll face.
Search engines use your site content to learn what your website is about. The searchbots pick up on the density of repeated words and use those densities to try and figure out what your page is about. The trick is to not get hung up on the word density: since your keywords should directly relate to your website, it should be pretty easy to use those keywords organically in your content.
Write your content first, then slip in those keywords. If something sounds forced or awkward, reword it. Never keyword-stuff—both search engines and web browsers view keyword stuffing as spam.
Search engines view links to your site as “votes” from others. The more links you get from respected and trustworthy sites in your field, the better you’ll do in your search rankings.
The easiest way to build links is to put out content that’s worth sharing. People will naturally link to engaging, useful, or humorous content. However, if you’re just starting a site or you’re trying to take your search engine rankings out of the #30s, you’ll need to start a serious linkbuilding campaign. Marketing process outsourcing companies like Hua Marketing can help you develop a tiered linkbuilding strategy to help you build those direct links from trusted, well-established sources.
What on Earth does starting a blog have to do with search engines? You ask.
The best thing about blogs is that they produce a constantly changing stream of steady content. Users have a new reason to visit your site (and link to your site) every week. Higher traffic and links means a higher search engine ranking. As an added benefit, search engine bots will have constant reasons to revisit and crawl your site.
Too many sites get hung up on optimizing and keyword targeting and densities that they forget who their site is designed for: humans. The only reason to use SEO in the first place is so those humans can find you via search engines, right? If those human visitors leave your sites immediately, what good is SEO?
Search engines aim to please humans by showing them the most useful, popular, and trustworthy sites on the Web. Make your goals the same as the search engines’, throw in a little SEO, and you’ll be sailing to the top of the search rankings in no time.