Want tips for SEO as a beginner? You are at the right place.
One thing I regret not doing when I first started my blog was SEO.
But I am glad I was able to find out about it soon enough thanks to my curious personality.
They say curiosity killed the cat but this time it saved my SEO butt.
Immediately I started implementing SEO strategies for optimizing my posts in my other blog, my pageviews quickly shot up.
Well, after a month but all the same it worked.
Take a look at the following analytics images
I heard of SEO In August 2019, which at that time my blog had been around for 4 months.
From the image, it shows I had 400 organic search page views before I started doing SEO.
Heyy! come to think of it 400 was not that bad right?
After implementing the strategies all through the month of August, in September 2019, my organic search page views moved from 400 to a whopping 2,115.
That was the power of the basic SEO strategies I implemented.
In this blog post, I will be explaining what SEO is and the basic strategies you can use to improve your organic traffic reach.
RELATED POST: 3 Types Of Keywords Every Blogger Should Know
I will also give realistic and easy tips for SEO which you can start implementing immediately.
Make sure to jot important notes down to help you plan your SEO strategies
- What Is SEO and how does it work?
- Is SEO difficult?
- So what are the best practices for SEO?
- Target a specific niche
- Easy site navigation
- URL structure
- Keywords Research
- Use of LSI keywords
- Longtail Keyword
- Quality Content
- Content length
- Use of appropriate heading tags
- Table of Conents
- Link Building
- Internal linking
- Anchor Text
- Image optimization
- Alt Text
- Optimize for search intent
- Mobile Responsiveness
What Is SEO and how does it work?
SEO is an acronym that means Search Engine Optimization.
It simply means using words and following strategies that search engines recognize in your posts or on your blog.
The words you use in writing your blog topics can be read by search engines.
What the search engine crawlers does is that, it scans your site to understand what your site or blog is about.
Therefore including words that search engine crawlers are familiar with, with regards to the particular topic you are writing about will help push your blog site or blog post rankings.
Is SEO difficult?
Ummm….. this is kind of a tricky question to answer but all the same, I’m going to be really honest with you.
SEO is simply not a lazy man’s work.
If you want to excell with your blog then making SEO a part of your blogging life will make it easy to do.
With the help of SEO tools, you can follow the best practices for SEO and you are good to go.
So what are the best practices for SEO?
Google has 200 ranking factors. That is, in order to rank your blog and blog posts on page 1 in Google’s search results, your blog or blog posts must pass if not all the ranking factors, then most of it.
I’m perfectly sure I don’t follow all the 200 Google ranking factors.
Because let’s face it I’m not an SEO expert to be able to implement all those technical factors.
If you will want to do it then good for you. You can as well hire an SEO agency to do the work for you.
Here are some basic best practices for SEO you can follow if you are an SEO beginner
- Target a specific niche
- Easy site navigation
- URL length
- Research on keywords
- Use LSI Keywords
- Write quality content
- Content length
- use of appropriate heading tags
- Table of contents
- Link building
- Internal linking
- Anchor text
- Image optimization
- Optimize for search intent
- Alt text
- Mobile responsiveness
I will be picking all these points one after the other to explain.
Target a specific niche
What is a niche?
A niche is targeted area that you perform particularly well in.
If you are a weight loss expert, then your blogging niche will weight loss where you target people who are seeking to lose weight
This is the least important of the best practices for SEO but it sure does help to boost your blog.
When I talk about targeting a specific niche as a good SEO practice, what I mean is that your blog should be serving a particular group of internet searchers.
If you blog about anything and everything (which is what beginner bloggers do most of the time by the way), search engines will have a hard time understanding what your blog is about.
In my start a blog post, I talked indepth on how you can target a niche for your blog.
You can read more on how to choose and target a specific niche.
Easy site navigation
There is no way I’m saying search engine crawlers are humans but seriously those spiderly things are darned smart.
I’m not kidding here.
They are so smart such that if it pays a visit to your site and they don’t find a door to knock on and enter (told you they are that smart), it will just kick your page down the ranking books and mark your site irrelevant.
Having a homepage, contact page, About page, categories and other pages for your blog topics , should all be easy to access through out the site.
Let’s just say the crawlers are lazy and they hate looking for things. Make sure you have your pages, categories and tags well structured for easy navigation.
A good site structure includes
How to create and structre your site pages
As I said early on , structuring your site pages and optimizing it for SEO. To create a page in wordpress, follow these steps to create one.
- Login to your wordpress dashboard
- From the menu on your left click on pages>>add new
- Give your page a title and hit publish
Additionally, when giving your page a title, include your keyword in it.
One important trick I have learned when it comes to creating blog pages is that you should always write your pillar posts in pages you have created and include the link to that page to any post that is related to the topic of that page.
For instance, this post is my SEO tips page. Every post that I will write which is related to SEO will be linked to this page. So this post is my pillar post for SEO tips.
One thing that can be a huge penalizing factor for SEO is the structure of your url.
Consider this URL: yoursitename.xyz/p=?347.
But in actual fact, this blog post is about 10 fitness tips. How the blazing hell is the crawler going to understand what your blog or blog post is about?
Tell me if you have a URL link looking like that, do you, yourself as a site owner understand what it means?
Ummm… Probably not I guess.
You should have descriptive keywords in your URL link that will make search engines and humans understand what your blog is about.
So your URL should be looking like this instead: yoursitename.com/fitness-tips.
If you have an ugly URL, you should change it to a sexy one. Follow these steps to change your permalink structure.
- Login to your wordpress dashboard
- Go to settings>>permalinks
- Select post name as your permalink structure
There you have it. You now have a sexy url structure.
Tip: Remember to Install a 301 redirect plugin to redirect your previous permalink structure URL to the new permalink structure if you decide to change it.
I can’t stress enough how important this is to the success of your blog. Everything you write on your blog must heavily be based on Keywords.
Keywords are seed words your post or page is based on.
For instance, you want write about 10 ways to drastically lose weight.
The keyword you are targeting is “lose weight” therefore you will research the keyword to see other keywords people are searching for in order to guide you to write your post.
You should always aim for at least 10 related keywords for one blog post.
Avoid using one keyword all throughout a post. Your site will be heavily penalized for doing that because it will know you are only writing to rank for that keyword and not for the reader.
Overusing the same keyword several times throughout your post is known as keyword stuffing. Google hates Keyword stuffing.
Tip: Make sure to drop your keyword in the first sentence in your post.
How to do Keywords Research
There are several keywords research tools to help you do thorough keywords research. Some of these tools are paid others too are free.
You can use a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest to search for keywords.
When searching for keywords, there are two things you should be looking for. The search volume and SEO difficulty.
A search volume is the number of people who use a particular keyword to search for information every month.
The SEO difficulty shows how difficult your blog or post will be for it to rank on search engine for a particular keyword.
Looking at the keyword ‘lose weight’, it has a search volume of 201,000 and an SEO difficulty of 66.
So, this should tell you that targeting the keyword ‘lose weight’ is not the best.
But when you scroll down and click on the view keywords button in Uberssuggest, you will see loads of keywords that are related to the ‘lose weight’ which you can target.
Take a look
You can see that ‘lose weight with Apple Cider Vinegar‘ has a good search volume and an SEO difficulty of 25.
This will be quite easy for you to rank for; if you put in the right SEO strategies.
Avoid keywords that have search volume that range from 10-100.
They are low and easy to rank for but it will definitely not do any good for your search traffic.
Ideally, you should aim for keywords that have 1000-100,000 and above searches.
Again, keywords that have a high search volume like a million should annoyingly be avoided. You should only aim for these keywords if only the SEO difficulty ranges from 1-30.
TIP: Highlight the keywords you will use in your post by making it bold. This makes it easy for search engines to understand what your post is about easily.
Use of LSI keywords
Another SEO etiquette we, as blogging humans need to follow to maximize our search engine reach is to use LSI Keywords.
What is an LSI keyword?
LSI simply means Latent Semantic Indexing. Jeez, I know… The SEO bible has loads of terms in it for you to keep up with.
I promise you I will make it easier for you to understand.
Search engines are not humans like us to understand words immediately as we do.
In order for it to particularly understand what your blog post is really about, you need to use words that are related to the main keyword in your blog post.
Those words that have a similar relation to your keywords are known as the LSI keywords.
Using our ‘lose weight’ keyword, lets find LSI keywords for that word. And oh…. there is a tool for that too. I will use the free Keysearch LSI keywords research tool for that.
From the image above, those words will be the keywords search engines will expect to find in a post or blog about ‘lose weight’ to really conclude that your page should be ranked for that keyword.
TIP: Avoid using grammatically incorrect keywords.
What is a longtail keyword?
A longtail keyword is a combination of 3 or more keywords or phrases. This type of keyword is mostly used by people who want specific information on a topic.
You as a blogger, can use this kind of keyword to target specific people.
An exmple of a long tail keyword is ‘how to lose weight in a month‘. This keyword here is long but targets specific internet search intent.
You can use most Keyword suggestion tools to find long tail keywords.
But the real trick here is to put yourself in the users mind and think of how you will actually search for the topic you intend writing on if you were to be the one searching for that topic.
TIP: Always aim for related long tail keywords and use them as your post title and through out your post.
Don’t write for the sake of just writing. Although it is good to rank on search engines, remember you are writing for us humans to read.
Your blog post should be in-depth and not just copy and paste content.
Google really hates copy and paste content. It pronounces judgment with an iron fist to sites that are found to have stolen contents.
Don’t be a lousy content thief!
Do thorough research on the topic you intend to write on. Preferably, one you have real experience with and write in your own weird language on how you understand that topic.
Search engine crawlers frown heavily on low content length pages.
They want you to have as much as 600 words to believe that your page has quality content.
That does not mean you should fill your page with non-related stuff just to get enough words.
As an SEO beginner, you should totally avoid that.
TIP: Make sure to have spaces in your in your content. Your post should also be readable and easy to scan through
Use of appropriate heading tags
What are heading tags?
Heading tags are fancy technical way of structuring your site contents from an SEO point of view to help search engines to understand your website or blog contents.
There are 4 main types of heading tags.
- H1: Your blog post title should be written with this tag to help the crawler know what your page topic is about from the beginning.
- H2: Subheading for H1. It should be related to your H1 title.
- H3: Subheading for H2
- H4: Subheading for H3
The truth here is H1 and H2 are the most important heading tags you should be using. Headings written in H3 and H4 are deemed less important.
Be careful not to have more than one H1 tag in all your pages.
Table of Conents
I hope you saw that weird-looking list that had all the topics on this page listed there when you were scrolling through the post from the top?
That is what is called a table of contents.
What you didn’t know you could have done was that you could have clicked on any topic in the list that was of great interest to you to skip all the contents you didn’t want to read.
Sorry for not telling you earlier.
But on the whole, a table of contents provides site links under search results to make it easier for a visitor to navigate through to your site.
You can install easy table of contents plugin to help you with that.
What is link building?
Link building is the process of getting links from other sites.
That is, when a site with a good domain authority refers to your site by adding a link your site in their posts.
This is a great Search engine optimization tactic as it signals to search engines that your site can be trusted for quality content since your content is being linked to from other sites.
You can build your site link by submitting your site to blog directories and guest posting for high authority sites.
Read this post by Search Engine Journal on the best blog directories you can submit your sites to help build your links.
What Is internal linking?
This refers to linking to relevant posts and pages within your blog.
Linking to relevant posts within your site adds structure to your site. It helps search engines to understand what your site is about.
When you link to other pages and posts within a blog post, it sends a signal to search engines telling them how important those links are in relation to your site.
When linking to other pages in a post, make sure to use keyword rich anchor text.
I will explain what anchor texts means soon.
One of the most confusing things for SEO beginners is this term. Trust me I had a hard time understanding this SEO tactic.
Alas! your girl finally got to understand it. Hallelujah
What is anchor text?
Anchor text is a keyword or text that links to another post or page in your site.
If you highlight a text with a link in it, the text you have highlighted for the link is the anchor text.
See the awkwardly drawn yellow arrows pointing to the texts in blue ?
Those are the anchor texts. They are actually pointing to a privacy page and a free policy generator site.
Anchor texts are used by search engines to understand what the link in your text is about.
Avoid using generic terms like here and click here as a way of linking to pages.
Use a keyword in the link you are referring to be your anchor text.
For instance, I used the text ‘start a blog’ to refer to my page that has the URL link as ‘start a blog’.
As easy as that right?
TIP: DO not use the same anchor text to refer to the same page or posts. Use other related keywords or phrases to refer to the same link.
One of the important tips for SEO that SEO beginners normally forget to do is optimizing their images for search engines.
Always name your image file using your blog topic before uploading them in WordPress.
Search engines read everything on your page including your images.
Apparently, if you don’t tell them what your image is about, they won’t understand the purpose of the images in your blog post or site.
Google is gradually including images on top of search engine results. If you want to rank in the image gallery then you should have your images optimized for SEO.
Naming your file before uploading it to your media and describing the image using Alt text is a good way of optimizing your image for SEO.
What is An Alt Text?
Alt text means alternative text for images. Alt texts are used to describe images.
Blind people who use the internet depend on this alt text to read the images on web pages.
If it’s possible, include your keywords naturally in your alt texts.
Do not include it if it does not fit.
Read this post on how to write effective alt texts to grasp the science behind describing images for web pages.
Optimize for search intent
What is search intent in SEO?
Search intent means analyzing search results pages to identify what people are searching for when they type in a keyword.
There are four types of search intent. They are:
- Informational: This is the type of search that seeks information. Informational searches typically start with who, what, when and how
- Navigational: This is where internet searchers seek for information from a specific brand or site. They type the brand name or URL in the search box. Example, Nike, Instagram, Snapchat, etc
- Commercial Investigation: Here, the searcher’s main intent is to draw a final conclusion on something they intend to buy. They want to do comparisons before they finally decide on one product to probably buy or invest in it. Example; Tik Tok vs Instagram, best keto recipe book, etc.
- Transactional: This obviously talks about a purchase. The searcher intends to buy a product therefore they will include transactional keywords in their search. Example: Cheap HP laptop, Namecheap coupon code, etc.
Always understand the search intent behind the keyword you intend to target.
Take a look at the search intent for our earlier keyword ‘lose weight’
The 4 results here show that people who search using this keyword are looking for information in a list form.
This should tell anyone targeting this keyword to write their post in an informational form with lists.
Be honest with me here, between your laptop and your phone, which one do you use most?
Your phone right?
Great. That is why search engines are prioritizing websites that are mobile friendly first on search results pages.
In fact, research has shown that over half of internet users search using their phones.
Make sure the theme you choose for your website is mobile responsive as well as responsive to all screen types.
I hate this part of SEO . Mainly because of the technical changes that i have to do, But it is what it is.
I call it the holy grail of SEO.
If your post pages load slowly, your dream of ranking on page 1 of search results will be flushed down the drain.
You can use the following site speed checkers to check your pagespeed to determine how fast your page loads.
Anything above 3s is slow.
These site page speed tools will give relevant recommendations to help decrease your site speed if it loads slowly.
Having these tips on SEO with you as you start optimizing your posts for SEO can help improve your site rankings.
Never downplay the power of organic search traffic because that is where you get to have high purchasing conversion rates.
Make SEO a part of your writing habits and I promise you that you will love it .
I hope this post was helpful to you. Is there a problem on SEO I didnt touch on? let me know in the comments section.
I feel shy to ask this favor off you. But will you be a sweetheart and share this post? I will really appreciate it.