How to Do SEO
You want to earn a spot on the first page of Google — and for that, you need SEO. Beginning SEO (search engine optimization) can be an overwhelming task when you are first learning. However, do not worry. There are tons of industry resources to learn from. In addition, there are many action items you can implement yourself that will help you get hands-on learning experience, which will also help you have more success with your SEO.
Why Learn About SEO?
It is a great idea to learn about SEO whether you are part of an internal marketing team at a business or you have plans to work with an internet marketing agency on behalf of the workplace you are currently at. In the case that you are a part of an internal marketing team, you could implement some of the more basic items on a site and still gain some impact for the business. If there are plans to work with an internet marketing agency, having background knowledge of SEO will help you understand your future phone calls with them and help you ask the right questions on behalf of your business and team. Talk about being prepared for calls!
Where You Can Learn From
- YouTube: As the world’s second largest search engine, there is a variety of quality sources to learn SEO from that publish frequently. This is a great resource especially if you have a question because there is likely someone on a video answering it step-by-step! Did we mention YouTube is free if you did not already know? Yes, you can access learning basic SEO knowledge for free here! The one obstacle is some YouTube channels can be a bit unorganized. However, often you can find channels that are very tidy and well thought-out.
- Online Learning Platforms: Online learning platforms are fantastic because they provide a teacher to walk you through organized instruction. You pick your learning path or courses (which would be digital marketing, or classes in SEO). Since these platforms are so organized and high quality they charge a subscription or a form of payment. For example, the videos are produced well, lessons come with additional resources, and transcripts are written out for each class. To name a few of the many popular online learning platforms are Linkedin Learning, Udemy, Yoast Academy.
- Industry Leading Blogs: Industry leading blogs are another great place to learn for free. You can find industry blogs at small industry leading companies or large and very well-known companies. Take for example, WebFX and Moz. WebFX may not be as well known as Moz but both have great SEO blogs that you can learn from. WebFX may even have blog posts that relate more to small and medium size businesses since they work with that type of clientele whereas Moz might be more concentrated on different topic areas. Never pigeonhole yourself to one company or one blog when there are so many to learn from! You can also subscribe to your favorite blogs, making information easy to get to and delivered right to your inbox. Some of the best SEO blogs out there that a very popular among SEOs are Search Engine Land, Yoast, and HubSpot.
On-Site SEO Items with Great Impact for Beginners
Here are some ways to upgrade the quality of your SEO strategy and improve your SEO metrics.
- Keyword Research & Keyword Mapping: This is a basic and important need of all SEO strategies to understand. We will not cover everything there is to know about it right now, however, we can go over some of the most important things to remember about keyword research. When you perform keyword research know that “long-tail” keywords are still valuable although they may not be as popular as “short-tail” ones. This is because people who are searching “long-tail” keywords are further down the buying funnel or marketing funnel, ready to make their decision! In addition, when you are creating your keyword map, include your main pages that you would like ranking in the search results. These will be the pages you strategically find keywords for during your research.
- Optimize Title Tags: The title tag is on every page of your site. This tag tells users and search engines a quick summary of what the specific page’s content is about. Google uses this area of the page to help rank it in search engine result pages, so it’s definitely a place to put your keyword for the given page that you have planned. In addition, users use this to decide if they will click on the page from the search engine result pages, so optimizing it to look as attractive as possible for user experience and search engines is always important for SEO.
- Optimize Meta Descriptions: This area of a page shows up in the search engine result pages underneath the title tag, blue clickable link. It is a description of what is on your page and an opportunity to encourage people to click onto your site rather than your competitors listed in the result pages. Meta descriptions are not a ranking factor like title tags are, however, they can sway users into clicking on your site. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action, for example, “Learn more today!” or “Visit us now!,” at the end of this description.
- Ensure You Have Headers: Another important on-page element that search engines check for are headers. Make sure you have header tags throughout the content on every one of your pages. Headers can also help you make the content on your page look nice in terms of formatting. If your content if formatted well, visitors will be able to read your content easier and have a better user experience. This also means they will likely come back to your site (which also sends a great SEO signal). Header 1 and Header 2, or H1 and H2 tags, are a good place to put your keywords on the appropriate pages. Never force keywords or put too many per page as this can be seen as spammy and hinder you from ranking with search engines.
- Write Quality Content: Google likes to see at least 1,000 words of content per page if you want a page to start ranking. The more content, the better. Always remember to not “keyword stuff” a page because Google will look at this as a black hat or spammy SEO tactic. Sprinkling your keyword phrase variations throughout the content, for example, three times per 1,000 words, can be just enough.
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