If you have a website or blog, you will definitely need to do SEO. SEO will help you get organic traffic to your site. It means, without paying to anyone, you can get adequate traffic if you are careful about SEO.
If you do SEO correctly for your site, it’ll greatly affect your ranking and your site can get top rank in Google search results without any advertisement.
This is a beginner’s guide to effective SEO practice. Along with basic SEO set up, in this guide, you will learn 16 top SEO tips that will help in increasing the organic traffic of your blog or website.
First of all, you need to properly set up SEO for your site. You need to set up some basics tools as follows.
Google Search Console (GSC)
Google Search Console (GSC) is a very useful and powerful SEO tool that is completely free to use. This tool can help you in learning how your site is performing on Google search and how can you improve your search performance.
The top SEO tasks where GSC can help you are as follows:
- Submitting your site to Google
- Submitting XML sitemap for better indexing of your pages
- Fixing crawl errors
- Inspecting individual URLs for crawl issues
- Removing certain URLs from Google index
- Targeting on the basis of country and language
- Inspecting security issues in your website
- Knowing if there is a manual action
- Finding backlinks and internal links
- Learning about search enhancement of your sites
- Learning about complete search performance of your site
We have a complete guide on GSC. In order to learn SEO properly, you must read the guide.
Bing Webmaster Tools
After Google, Microsoft’s Bing is the second most popular search engine that also powers Yahoo. You may set up Bing Webmaster Tools so that you can optimize your site for both Bing and Yahoo searches. If you have already set up GSC, you can import your site to Bing Webmaster from Google.
Bing comes with many features that are not available in the Google search console such as the built-in keyword research tool.
Set up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is another free but very helpful tool that can help you get complete statistics of your website traffic. Although Analytics is not only about SEO, it’s a great tool to get insight into the result of your SEO activities. You can also integrate GSC to Analytics and vice versa.
It’s easy to set up and use Google Analytics. Google provides a complete step by step guide on how to use Analytics.
Use an SEO Plugin (for WordPress Users Only)
SEO plugins can help you improve your search performance of your sites. There are a number of SEO plugins for WordPress sites and blogs, but All in One SEO and Yoast SEO are highly popular. Both the plugins have both free and premium versions. For beginners, a free version of any of the above plugin will be adequate.
Top 16 SEO Tips
Now that you have setup the basics for SEO best practice. The next step is to follow
1. Publish Quality Content
The first step to search engine optimization is writing and publishing adequate quality content on your site. If you have a business website, add a blog section to the site, and publish articles regularly on relevant topics. If you are site is for blogging purpose only, you need to publish posts on a daily basis.
All search engines including Google love new and fresh content. The more content you publish, the better will be chances that your site will appear on search results.
2. Do Keyword Research
Keywords are the search terms and phrases that people use while searching for something on search engines. If your site contains those keywords, it’ll have chances of appearing for the search queries. SEO depends mostly on proper keywords.
Keyword research can help you find out what keywords search users use to search the content of their requirements. So it’s important that you should do keyword research.
There are many tools and technique for keyword research. A beginner may be confused with the lengthy list. So I’m providing you with most helpful techniques and tools of keyword research.
a. Use Google Suggest
This is the easiest and best way to get the right keywords. Just search for keywords related to your topic in Google search box, it will start suggesting according to previous searches.
From here, select a good keyword and further inspect the keyword’s search volume by using a good keyword research tool.
These keywords can be very good for optimizing your article as it comes directly from Google search data.
b. Use Related Google Search
After searching in Google, you will see some related Searches below your search result which you can use as a keyword.
c. Use Google Keyword Planner
If you have a Google Ads account, you can use the Keyword Planner. It is one of the highly popular keyword research tools and easy to use. This tool will help you in finding the search volume and competition for a certain keyword.
d. Find Question Keywords
Question keywords make your content more attractive and help in achieving high CTR. Such keywords are very useful for blog posts. For this, you can use Answer The Public. This tool is completely free and suggests keywords using Google and Bing search. Its interface is very easy to use which comes with a unique proposition and great visualization.
e. Use Google Trends
Google Trends is another free but one of the best keyword trend finder. This tool helps in finding the trendy search terms and topics in a certain region at a certain period of time.
3. Include Main Keyword in URL
The URL helps search engines understand what your blog post is about and when we add our main keyword to the URL, the search engines can easily find out what the content is about. This is why you should add keywords to your URL.
4. Start Your Title With Keywords
Similarly to keywords in URLs, keywords in post title help search engine to understand your conten’s focus. So your post gets better optimized.
5. Use Main Keyword in First 150 Words
The first 150 words of your post are very important to SEO. Google summarizes your content from these words. Therefore, don’t forget to include your main keywords in this section of your post.
6. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
In the early days of SEO, keyword stuffing was a common practice. Webmasters were using heavy amount of keywords in their posts and pages instead of original content. Although their pages were getting good ranks on the basis of the number of keywords, search engines are more starter these days. Now you can be penalized for unnecessary use of keywords in your website.
Instead of using the same keywords repeatedly in your content, use LSI keywords and synonyms.
7. Use Heading Tags Correctly
Heading tags help search engines to understand the structure of your content. So use these tags properly.
There are six HTML heading tags. While H1 should be used for the title of the page or post, H2 is for main headings. Similarly, use H3 to H6 for subsequent level headings.
Mind it that you should use H1 only once in a page or post.
8. Optimize Images
Although images are an important component of any webpage, search engines can’t read your images. Google can know about your image only from the alt text. So use proper alt text for the images used in your post. When possible, use your keywords in the alt text.
9. Use External Links
External links make your content more useful. Those are also work as refference for both search engines and humans. So you need to use external links in your content when required. But the linking sites must be trusted and reputable. Otherwise, your site may be penalized..
10. Use Internal Links
In the context of SEO, internal links perform multiple useful tasks. Such linking makes your content relevant for both search engines and users. Internal linking makes your post informative. In addition, visitors spend more time on your site which reduces the bounce rate. Apart from this, Google considers your content as quality content.
11. Fix Broken Links
Broken links adversely affect your search engine ranking. Moved or deleted URLs and URL misspelling create broken link problems. Therefore, regularly keep checking for such issues. You can use a tool or plugin for the purpose.
12. Check Crawl Error
Sometimes it happens that Google can’t crawl your page and shows Crawl error for that page. As a result, your page is not able to be indexed by Google.
If you are using Google Search Console, you’ll be notified for any type of crawl error.
13. Perform URL Inspection
Many times it happens that Google does not crawl your page completely and as a result, your content is not able to rank well in Google. This is why to use the URL Inspection option in the Google Search Console tool.
14. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
More than half of the searches are done by mobile. Therefore ‘mobile-first’ is Google’s one of the primary ranking signals. If your site is not mobile friendly, it will not rank well in Google.
Google has also developed a mobile-friendly testing tool to check whether your site is mobile-friendly. If you have any issues, read our guide on mobile usability to fix the problem.
15. Secure Your Website with SSL Certificate
The security of a website is one of the primary ranking criteria of most search engines. So keep your website secured with an SSL certificate.
16. Fix Website Loading Speed
If your site is pretty fast, it will rank well in Google. Google loves fast loading site. This is why Google has created the PageSpeed Insights Tool so that you can determine the loading speed of your site.
If your website is slow, fix the issue as soon as possible.