If you’re reading this, I’m assuming it’s because you want to dip your toes into the world of SEO. You’ve heard about it but maybe steered clear from it. This SEO beginners guide will help you get over that fear!
What is SEO?
When you Google, SEO you get the following Wikipedia result: “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.”
But what does that even mean?!
SEO is Google’s way of processing what you see when you search for something. For example, if I type “Makeup artist in Pasadena” into a search engine, I’ll see some ads, and under these ads, I find that your site is #11 in the search result.
It wouldn’t be ideal for your business as most people don’t scroll down the first page unless they’re desperate.
This is where SEO comes into play.
If you can optimize your site and articles for SEO, it will affect the visibility of your website on Google’s search rankings.
You could go from the 11th spot to the 3rd, and this happened without you having to pay for an ad!
Getting Started: SEO Beginners Guide
Before you get started, you need to answer the following questions.
-Who is your audience?
-What point are you trying to get across to your audience?
Choosing a Title
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of clickbait titles.
For example: “Selena Gomez And Bella Hadid Aren’t Friends Anymore.”
Of course, I’m going to click this link; I need to read the hot gossip! But after reading the article, I learn that they weren’t even friends, to begin with. GREAT!
Although titles like these are irksome, they do get people to click on them. I’m not saying you have to follow this approach, but if your goal is to get as many hits as possible, it’s key.
Keep in mind that your title should draw your reader in and encompass the message of your post. You don’t have to lie about the content to do this.
The title should be informative, concise and entertaining. The more concise the title, the better the chances are of people finding your page.
Be specific with keywords to narrow the scope. And make sure that the main keyword(s) describing the piece is in the title.
Here are two titles:
1) “SNL’s Latest Donald Trump Sketch”
2) “SNL’s Version Of Donald Trump’s Press Conference Was, Well, About Pee”
Which title would better optimize your site for SEO? Which of the two draws readers in?
I hope you said the second one, because if so, you’re correct!
Need other examples? Check out my BuzzFeed profile for more title examples (shameless plug)!
For this beginners guide to SEO, you only need to know that you should add at least one link in your article.
Here’s where things get a bit tricky.
Google has a Nofollow and Dofollow link system that affects what gets a boost in Google’s search ranking, versus what doesn’t.
Dofollow/Normal outbound link(s)
This is a standard link. It passes on Google’s ranking system from your page to the targeted web page. By default any link that you copy and paste is dofollow. So, you don’t need to do anything to the link.
Nofollow links don’t get promoted by Google’s search engine. You would have to add a Nofollow code to your link.
It’s not useless to add these links to your page, as anyone reading your content can still click and access them.
For my SEO beginners guide I won’t go into detail. If you want to learn more, here’s an in-depth explanation to help you better understand Dofollow and NoFollow links.
Don’t create links using the following phrases:
-Click To Read More
-Read More Here
-Check This Out
Search engines will use link text as a summary of the destination page. A title like “read more” would make Google think the page is about those specific words.
Any information about the content of the page you’re linking to would be lost. Your link should use text that describes the page you are linking to.
It’s recommended that your post have a minimum of 300 words. The more words your post has, the better it is for SEO.
But don’t feel the need to type out 1,500 words if your content doesn’t call for it.
I wouldn’t suggest sacrificing the quality of your content for SEO.
Take what you’ve learned in part one of this SEO beginners guide and start implementing it into your writing.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the handbook where we’ll go over what else you need to add to better optimize your site for SEO!