Search engine optimization is a must if you want to boost your website’s ranking in Google (and any other search engine). There are a lot of questions about where to start, and tips online that are extremely old. If you want to get started with SEO now, these are the 10 basic tips to help.
#1. Be In It for the Long Haul
This isn’t going to be something that you can achieve overnight. Anyone who says you can is lying. Those that look like they’ve come out of nowhere spent months (and in some cases years) to reach the results you dream of reaching. If you really want to succeed, you need to be in this for the long haul. It’s essential that you put in the effort to learn, adapt, and advance. If you don’t, you’ll become stagnant and your competitors will rise above you.
#2. Avoid the Guarantees
Anybody who tells you that they can guarantee you a top spot on Google is most definitely lying. They want your money and that’s about it. In some cases they will get you that top spot, but what they don’t tell you is they’ve done it with black hat techniques. After a few days or maybe weeks, you’ll drop back down and likely lower than you started. That’s if Google hasn’t blacklisted you!
#3. Watch Out for Keyword Stuffing
Write for the humans. Long ago there was a practice of stuffing the keyword phrases in everywhere and anywhere. That doesn’t work anymore, ever since Google cottoned onto the game playing at the turn of the decade. Avoid keyword stuffing with a passion. If the content doesn’t flow when you read it, you’re not going to rank well.
#4. Make Sure the Site Is Responsive
No, this doesn’t mean it needs to respond to voice commands or interact with the user. A responsive website is useable on mobile devices. Most of your traffic is going to come from the likes of smartphones and tablets. If your website requires a lot of horizontal scrolling, you’ll lose them. Get a theme that makes your website adapt quickly to the mobile devices and search engines will like you more.
#5. Make Sure You Have a Sitemap
If you just want to create one page today, make sure it’s your sitemap. This is essential for the search engines. Your traffic isn’t likely to pay much attention to it, but the search engine robots use it to determine your pages, the type of content you offer, and where you’re relevant. Don’t worry; this isn’t something that has to take you forever to create. There are plugins to help!
#6. Utilize “DoFollow” Backlinks
Not all backlinks are made equally. You want to get “dofollow” backlinks to your website. However there are rules to follow. You can’t pay for the “dofollow” backlinks. That’s a big no-no and site owners won’t allow you to have a “dofollow” link for pay. You want to create good relationships and encourage your customers or fans to create content that links back to your own site.
#7. Research the Keywords to Use
Don’t just go in with blind faith that you have the right keywords. You wouldn’t just start a research paper without some background knowledge first, would you? Keyword research is essential. This doesn’t just tell you which keywords your ideal reader is using, but any other relevant keywords. You’ll also find out more about the keywords your competitors are using and the ones they’ve overlooked.
#8. Diversify Your Traffic Sources
While Google is an important source of traffic, don’t just rely on it. You don’t want to rely on any single traffic source. You never know when that traffic source will blacklist you or shut down. If you relied solely on Google, what would you do if you were suddenly blacklisted? That means your content doesn’t show up in the results. Where would your traffic come from then? If you have another source or two, you won’t have to panic as you look for a replacement for Google.
#9. Increase Your Website Speed
A slow website isn’t just annoying for you. It’s annoying for your traffic. More people are likely to click the back button if your website doesn’t load in the expected time, usually under five seconds. Your competitors with faster websites are likely to get your prospective traffic. Google will also push you down in the rankings if your website is considered slow. Take steps to improve the speed of your site.
#10. Accept There’s Always Something to Learn
While you’re done with the SEO for now, you’re not done forever. Just because you’ve learned all there is to know right now, doesn’t mean there is nothing else to ever learn. There are always new things happening in the world of SEO. Google constantly changes its algorithms, new search engines are created, and people change the way they search and read. There is always something new to further improve your website. Keep an eye on your ranking and the lessons to learn.
Now is the time to start using SEO. Make an effort to push your site ranking and you will start to see an influx in customers. While Google isn’t your only traffic source, it’s remains one of the best as long as you do SEO right.