Top 10 Basic SEO Tips That Every Beginner Should Know

scramble pieces seo

seo chart

Are you new to search engine optimization and don’t really know where to start? I’m going to tell you my top 10 basic SEO tips for beginners. There are other topics that affect SEO, but I am only going to cover the most important ones here.

1. Keywords

person holding seo sign

Keywords are topics that define what your content is about. Using relevant keywords in your posts and sites can help you rank higher on search engines. This is because if your keywords are relevant to what people are searching for, search engines will do their best to make sure those people see your web page.

Using long-tail keywords and LSI keywords can help improve your site’s ranking and give more information to search engines to figure out what your content is about. Long-tail keywords are terms that are more specific. The more specific keywords you add to your product or website, you are likely to get more qualified customers visiting your site. LSI keywords (latent semantic indexing) are keywords that are related to your primary keyword. They are not synonyms but homonyms (similar in meaning).

2. Backlinks

link of chains

A backlink is when one website mentions another website by linking to it. High quality backlinks are major deciding factors that help your website increase its rank in search engine results. In addition, these backlinks should be on sites with related content. Search engines believe that the more relevant and high quality backlinks you have, the higher usefulness your site must be.

Building backlinks helps with brand recognition/exposure, new leads/relationships, promotion, referral traffic and organic ranking. Some vocabulary you should become familiar with are link juice, no-follow link, anchor text and low-quality links. Learn more about these terminology with my article on backlinks.

This should be one of your main priorities for your site’s SEO because of the importance of search engine ranking. Having some backlink tools can help you get started. You can read more about how backlinks affect your SEO ranking.

3. Sitemap

world map

Having a sitemap makes it easier for search engines to find and rank your webpages. Sitemaps let search engines know when changes have been made and pages that they may have missed. It doesn’t hurt to have a sitemap and it also improves your SEO. It helps by having pages updated faster than when there is no sitemap on the website.

 

 

 

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More details about tip numbers 3-6, 9 and 10 can be found in How to Audit Your Website for Free. I have also listed some tools that might be helpful for some of these tips there.

4. Image Tag Alt Attribute

polaroids

Why should be label our image tag alt attributes? The alt text describes what the image is or what is in the image. Every image should have a description in their alt attribute. These descriptions are important mainly for the blind or visually challenged because they require a special computer or software that reads text aloud. In addition, if the image is not seen or loaded, the description is still there letting them know what the picture was.

For example, if you right click on the image to the left, you can inspect it to check if there is a description for the alt attribute. The HTML tag looks like this <img src=”photos.png” alt=”polaroids”>.

5. Avoid Flash

camera flash

Adobe Flash is an app within a web page that allows multimedia streaming and user interaction. Having Flash on your webpage can be a good and a bad thing. For instance, your page is made up mostly of Flash, the page will run slower than normal and it will take time to load. It also decreases the usability of most websites because some websites run mostly on Flash and cannot be accessible on mobile.

Jakob Nielsen found about 99% of websites that used Flash had lower usability and a major hindrance to good design. There are many websites, tools and plugins that can check if you are using Flash or not.

6. Social Media

social media tree

Having multiple social media accounts can be a powerful tool for your webpage. Having a Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and an Instagram account is one of the basics of promoting your website.

Customizing you shareable links can help in promoting your product or service. Adding code for a Twitter card could be beneficial to your website in where promotion for products would be more noticeable through social media. A tool that can help you keep track of multiple social media accounts is called Hootsuite. Through this tool you can mange different accounts one one single platform.

 7. Link to Others

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Linking to other websites can be beneficial to both you and your competitor. What do you get in return when you are giving them free link juice? When linking to other webpages you’re sending out a trackable link to your page. When traffic starts going into the page you linked, the person managing those pages will wonder where the traffic is coming from and may end up looking through your website.

In addition, your site becomes more valuable in a sense that you are linking to good quality and relevant information. You never know, someone might include you in their post because you included them!

Last but not least, the internet is called the interNET meaning connected.

8. Google Analytics

google searcg

It is a good idea to have a tool that analyzes and keeps track of your data. Google Analytics not only tracks where consumers come from but also how they are getting there, what they are looking for and what keywords they used to get to your page. This tool also creates custom reports for you when analyzing your data.

Google Analytics allows you to measure the results of your webpages via real-time data. Data is shown from different channels like organic search, paid search, referrals, social media and direct traffic.

Having Google Analytics will help you make business decisions on where you should invest your resources and guide you on your SEO efforts.

9. Title, Meta, Heading and Sub-Heading Tags

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The title tag should contain keywords that are relevant to the webpage. This tells search engines what the website or page is about and helps it index your site according to keywords. The title tag should contain keywords that are relevant to the webpage. This tells search engines what the website or page is about and helps it index your site according to keywords.

A meta description is the text under the URL which is used as a preview in the search results.

Headings and sub headings are <h1>, <h2>, and <h3> tags. There should only be one <h1> tag per web page. It should be about the page and contain a keyword related to your topic. The sub headings can also include some of your keywords.

10. Robots.txt

robot Robots.txt files tell search engines web crawlers what pages to include in their index and what not. For example, if you do not want a certain page or image being crawled by a bot, then you can restrict or “disallow” that bot from having access. This keeps test pages and pages not meant for humans from being included in search results.

You can make a robots.txt file from scratch but there are many tools out there that can make it for you if you do not have time.

Was that A Lot of Information?

These are just some of the main topics for starting search engine optimization marketing. Start fixing up your webpage and compare your before and after results. See what works best for you as all pages and industries are different.

Always keep this in mind: Google’s top goal is to provide the best experience for their users. That means the most relevant and of the highest quality are the ones that will rank high. The tips I have listed above are signals that search engines rely on to indicate to themselves if a page is worthy and of high quality.

Tell us your experience with your research! If you have any suggestions, questions or recommendations, feel free to leave a comment down below.

Mahum Ali
Mahum Ali
Marketer at Twinword, Inc.

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