Where to start with SEO if you’ve never done it before

SEO (search engine optimisation) is a process of improving the position of a website in organic, non-paid search, particularly in Google. The reasoning behind this, is that the higher your website places in a search means the more likely you are to gain traffic.

As a marketing strategy, SEO has gained a lot of momentum. It offers free exposure to your audience, can increase conversions and traffic and ultimately can improve a multitude of areas in your business including sales and profit.

Getting Started with SEO

When starting with the SEO basics, think about how most people use search engines. They go to find solutions to a problem, answers to a question, advice and information for any of their needs. This is why SEO is important, your website is most likely to be found on a search engine for your audience’s problem.

Here are some of the basics to get your started with SEO for your website and begin implementing immediately.

1. Keyword Research

Keyword research is an essential part of SEO as it is the starting point to rank within a search engine. Without keywords, your content is very unlikely to be found at all. Therefore, investing time into keyword research can really pay off to increase your website ranking.

There are different types of keywords: seed keyword and long-tail keywords. Use seed keywords in your research by gathering suggestions from search engines and other similar platforms: Youtube, Pinterest or Wikipedia.

This research leads you to relevant long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords have lower search volumes but they provide an opportunity to rank higher and should be a focus in SEO as they lead to a more specific audience and can improve overall performance.

2. Link Building

Link building is seen as one of the most important areas of SEO as it contributes highly to your search engine ranking. Do-follow links from authoritative websites send the bots through the link, adding to your own authority. The more links you have sending ‘link juice’ to your website, the more authoritative you are and the higher ranking you will receive in search engines.

Therefore, using techniques such as guest posting, social sharing, email outreach and sponsorships can gain excellent links to your website. Ensure the links are relevant, from good authority websites and avoid any black hat link building.

3. Site Optimisation

Site optimisation is an essential feature of SEO and concerns the way your website functions. Therefore, make sure your theme is mobile optimised, has fast loading times, images load efficiently and error pages are limited. This aids SEO as the search engines recognise a website that functions correctly will be best for their users and will rank it higher.

4. Content Itself

The content is the basis of SEO, your website will not rank at all without any content. Ensure your content is relevant and helpful to your audience, this means you need to write for your audience and SEO simultaneously.

Therefore, use keywords, outbound and internal links and do your background research so that the content is appropriate for SEO as well as being informative and targeted to your audience. There is a balance needed for content creation, so also include keyword focused headlines, images and unique content in order to fulfil both requirements.

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