Before starting this article, we ran a quick Google search on SEO, to see what it is that people find when they try to find out what SEO is. We were shocked to see over 500 million results, but the sad part is that most of that information is either irrelevant or very out-of-date, and definitely not something that really encourages people to continue their search for good and current SEO practices. SEO can be a rather complex topic but within it, we have the key to a strong online presence, and it is an essential process at many stages of Website Design.
This Blog is about coming to a natural understanding of SEO basics, without forgetting that SEO evolves and develops very rapidly, just like many other aspects of the internet, so let’s rephrase and make this: A Quick Guide to SEO Basics in 2018. We present you five tips, but not any out-of-date, complex or irrelevant suggestions. We have simple, actionable SEO tips that genuinely enhance online positioning with search engines and result in higher ranking every time.
Let’s get started with SEO basic tips for 2018:
1. Relevant Keywords and doing your Research
One of SEO ´s fundamentals is keywords. Do you have a clear understanding of what it is that your potential customers may look for when they use search engines? The rule here dictates that it is usually a combination of the two central aspects of your business: what you do and where you do it. So, for instance, it could be Data Entry Services in London or Customer Service in Northampton. Next, you´ll see some things you can take advantage of, to make sure that you optimise your keyword selection big time:
Keyword Brainstorm: Start thinking about everything that is relevant or related to your business – what it is that you do, location, and offered services – and write it all down. When you finish the list, start combining keywords to get a more precise combination of “what you do”, with “where you do it”. This will produce a list of keywords that can be used for SEO purposes in a positive fashion.
Keyword Research Tools: Try looking for some online tools that are a real aid when it comes to finding keywords. In fact, Google has a useful tool available for that purpose, and in general, you can see both paid and free options that are equally useful.
Do your keyword research: Usually, when you search for something through a search engine, you see keyword suggestions while you type, so you can use such ideas to include in your keyword list.
The critical element here is to come up with words that mean the same (in essence) and have the same intent. Let’s explain this with an example:
Imagine a brand that competes in the Home Automation market, with smart smoke alarms so that a good keyword list would be one with all related terms included; something like this:
- -Smart Smoke Alarms
- -Smart Home Smoke Alarms
- -Home Automation Alarms
- -Intelligent Alarm Devices
- -Smoke Alerts for Home Automation
- -Smart House Alarm
- -Smart Smoke Alarms UK
You can go the extra mile and actually create a file with relevancy statistics for each keyword, but if you choose not to make things too complicated, that’s ok. The whole purpose here is for you to focus on the details and impact of each keyword. An excellent additional tip is always to put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes. That way you can get a clearer vision of what they want and how you can provide that.
2. Meta Descriptions and Page Title Optimisation
Ok, your keyword list is ready, so now it’s time to do some Page Title optimisation. It is essential to understand that this is not the webpage title that can be seen on the actual webpage. This “Page Title” is a vital element of Website Design and it involves the HTML element. It usually can be found as part of the website´s control panel, or if you have an SEO plugin, you can also see it there.
Keywords should smoothly and naturally fit into your page´s title. Keep in mind what Page Titles mean in this context: they are what users see as search results. Remember that to avoid any confusion with the actual Title that can be seen on the webpage. This tip is to enhance the website’s choice of words, so users can’t help but click on your link.
A good mixture of “what” and “where” should suffice, but if you manage to include a “who”, so much the better. Keywords are all about the “what” and hopefully your relevant SEO keywords are at the very beginning. Here’s an example again using Home Automation:
-Smart Smoke Alarms in Guilden Sutton / Cheshire – Allender´s Smoke Alarms Service
We can add a little bit more to be included in other types of searches.
-Smart Alarms for Smart Houses / Allender´s Smoke Alarms Service
-Home Automation Solutions in UK / Allender´s Smoke Alarms Service
Depending on the nature of your business you can include other terms geared more towards marketing than SEO. Such words can be: available 24/7, free quote and things like that. These techniques strive to improve the chances of the user clicking on your website. In the long run, SEO must meet with marketing because SEO is all about advertisement. So a good relationship between your SEO and marketing is a definite must. Marketing is good for SEO but must be used (not overused) wisely.
Once satisfied with the Title, we can move on to Meta Description. Regardless of how important the impact of page titles is for SEO, you cannot afford to overlook meta descriptions because they back up the accuracy of the info contained in your page title. Meta descriptions act like the final push potential customers need to click on your website.
We can easily use this blog as an example. The title: Five SEO Tips for Beginners gives you a pretty good idea of what I´m going to be discussing. Using a good meta description tells readers that the text that followed the title was created according to the central premise. Include all information possible to help your brand to look more professional in the eyes of your viewers.
Although meta descriptions don’t actually contribute directly to search engine rankings, they do help to get clicks from users. Remember that getting ranked and listed is just a tiny part of the whole process of turning SEO content into something that translates into revenue. Getting many clicks is relevant in terms of search engine logic. SEO is very important, but so is your website´s meta description to make it click-worthy to customers.
The 2nd tip here is: Blend descriptive titles and meta descriptions with a hint of marketing included to assure better positioning and potential customers.
3. Page Content Optimisation
Now that you are past the meta description and page title optimisation stage, you can move forward to Page Content Optimisation. The keyword list you generated should give you plenty of related terms with the same intentionality, and now you need to incorporate such keywords into your writing in a natural fashion. The first thing to do is to identify the different elements that comprise a website: Header Tags, Body Content and Imagery.
Headers and subheadings can be sufficiently enhanced by including useful and effective keywords. Remember to let them flow naturally; don’t push terms unnecessarily.
In the best way possible create the content that best describes your brand and services. Again, use as many keywords as possible, just make sure that you include them naturally. Don’t overthink this, just come up with SEO content that uses as many keywords as naturally as possible. Don’t trouble yourself with keyword numbers or specific terminology. Keep it simple and natural.
Imagery can also be fully enhanced with SEO. You can optimise an image and the alt text description for it. SEO is definitely a win-win situation for both the consumer and the merchant. Many leads can come from well-planned SEO.
The 3rd tip here is: Keep optimising your headers, text and images to be able to hit a much broader market and a whole lot more potential customers.
4. Enhance your business’s online presence
Every SEO tip and suggestion is implemented on your website, but this is not the only place where your brand can be found. Remember that the internet still has business directories that can also have details of your company. Now what most people don’t know is that web search engines do take data from these sites in order to determine how trustworthy a website can be.
Make sure you constantly update your information on those business directories and ensure that your address and contact info is accurate as well as the summary of your products and services. It is crucial that you include as many keywords (the very relevant ones) in those business directories as you can, and it wouldn’t hurt to also include keywords about locations.
Social media can be used similarly. Use social media profiles to show the online community the basics of what your company does and where its located.
The 4th tip here is: Keep your information updated on social media and business. Make sure you explain what the nature of your business is.
5. Build useful links
Building links for SEO purposes is not an easy task, but it is vital to drive the visibility of relevant and competitive keywords. It does have a downside though which is why it’s so important to do it wisely because it can positively or negatively impact your rankings depending on how it’s done.
Being strongly visible in search engine results does require a number of links that are continually pointing to your website. Website search engines (like Google) do use links to determine how relevant a website can be. But don´t take it from us, take it from the giant itself. Here´s Google’s take on link building:
“Links help our crawlers find your site and can give your site greater visibility in our search results. When returning results for a search, Google uses sophisticated text-matching techniques to display pages that are both important and relevant to each search. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves ‘important’ weigh more heavily and help to make other pages ‘important.’”
So Links are okay as long as they are indeed relevant, and that is the way in which Google’s search engine algorithm works. Evidently, Link Building is one of the most onerous parts of good SEO, and it’s something that constitutes a real impediment for website owners trying to begin with SEO. Below you´ll see some useful strategies for successful link building that will enhance your website’s visibility in the search engine rankings.
Renowned directory sites: We already covered directory sites or business listings, like Yell.com. Do your research on your keywords and locations that rank first and focus your attention on those. See the market in which you develop your business. If customers are likely to see business directories and such, then it is advisable to pursue listings in them.
Competitor´s links: Look at your competitor’s links and seek link opportunities there. We´re not telling you to copy every link there, but try to figure out the strategies being used by the big brands in your industry. Try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes here too.
Testimonials: Add testimonials of companies that are involved in the development of your website and SEO. The company in charge of doing the design of your website, the company in charge of your SEO – they all work for you, are local and can become positive, relevant links.
The last SEO tip here is: Quality links are tough but help you develop engaging SEO for your website.
There you have it, five useful and relevant tips for SEO in 2019. Next year, some things considered valuable here might be replaced by others. We don´t know. SEO evolves very quickly. Right now these are the tips that every website designer or business owner should read if they want to know the basics of highly successful SEO practices. Start right now to give your brand the SEO it deserves in a clear, concise and successful manner.