• Bunjy

SEO Beginners Guide

Updated: May 4

Building a website that pleases the eye, may do little to achieve the desired ranking and search traffic. As the popular saying goes, ‘It’s what’s inside, that count.’ Optimizing your website for search engines is one of the key factors to be considered while building it. An SEO-friendly website can help you garner a higher search result rank and gain the expected results. Though it is possible to make changes on a website after it has been created, it is always better to make the right start.


As a beginner, you need to understand that there is no magic way to rank your website on the first page of Search Engine. Search engines are governed by complex algorithms and it takes tons of your time and effort to ‘convince’ them that your website deserves one of the top spots.

Nevertheless, there are certain rules that you can follow to optimize your website and providing the search engine bots with the necessary signals.

“The best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of the Google - A tacit tale





SEO helps you to stand out in the sea of options available and grab the attention of your potential clients.

If you dive deep into SEO, you should be ready for some creative, technical and analytical work. There are many techniques with different goals; however, the Bullseye will remain the same – ‘To be among the top-most results in organic searches”.

Simply said, SEO is about providing the right content for the right people.

What is SEO?


We have bandied about the term SEO quite a bit, but what is SEO? A quick Wikipedia definition of the term, will give you the understanding that SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine's unpaid results”

But what is more important than simply a definition, is how well you get to understand a few important questions like,

● How could you optimize your site or your company’s site for search engines?

● How long to spend on SEO?

There are few important tips for the beginners to know a brief about SEO which will make a big difference in Google ranking

1. Optimize your page titles and meta descriptions

2. Create SEO friendly URLs

3. Add a breadcrumb menu to your internal pages

4. Add internal links to your content

5. Use headings and formatting options to make your pages easier to read

6. Customize your 404 page

7. Optimize your images

8. Improve your page speed

9. Get backlinks from other websites

10. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly

11. Create an XML sitemap and a User sitemap

12. Improve the standard of your content

13. Update your website with fresh content

14. Use Google analytics

1. Page Titles and description


Page titles

Page titles are a very important aspect of SEO and this is why it is the first item on the list.


The most important characteristics of an optimized page title are:

● Each page needs to have a unique page title that accurately describes the page’s content.

● Be brief and descriptive.

● Help the user understand what the page is about

Home page title

The title for your homepage can include the name of your website/business and other bits of important information like the physical location of your business or even a couple of its main focuses or offerings.


Description

The page description meta tag is also additionally vital. It gives users and search engines a summary of what the page is about.

Google may prefer to show what you type within the description as a snippet for your page or it can decide to use a part of your page’s content.




In other words, it doesn’t mean that what you write as a description will show in the snippet.

The guidelines for writing a neat and good meta description are:

● Always provide a unique description for all pages, posts, products of your website.

● Keep the meta description length between 180-200 characters.

● Avoid repeating the title in description

● Don’t add too many keywords

● Try to use the description as a way to ‘advertise’ your page to the reader so that they click on your title and visit the page.

2. Create SEO friendly URLs

Creating an SEO friendly URL is initially to create a Permanent Link Structure. The term used to describe the format of URLS for pages (categories/tags) or individual posts of a web site.



It will be shown in the browser address bar and search results

How to make a SEO friendly URL’s

● Make Url’s simple and easy to understand for search engines and users

● Use hyphens ‘ ‘ to separate the words that make up a URL

● Avoid lengthy Url’ s with unnecessary information

● Use words that describe what the page is about but avoid keyword stuffing

3. Add a breadcrumb menu to your internal pages



Breadcrumb act as a secondary navigation to the internal pages within the website. Make sure that you have the trails on all your internal pages. If you are a WordPress user, then there are many free plugins to create a breadcrumb

4. Add internal links to your content



Internal linking is a significantly important factor for website SEO, but still, many website owners aren’t using it correctly. When we mention internal links we mean links in the page that point out to other pages within the website. The rules to follow for internal links are as follows:

● Link related articles together either by using keyword anchor text or by using the full article title.

● Make sure that the links are useful both for the user and easy to understand by search engines.

● Don’t make links for search engines only.

● An internal link should be as helpful, that the user can navigate the site better.

● Do not use terms like ‘click here’ or ‘[..]’ for internal linking.

● Don’t overdo it. A Less in internal links per page is always better (create more if necessary)

5. Use headings and formatting options to form your pages easier to read

Don’t just publish pieces of text on your website without first performing some basic formatting. This leads to works against your SEO efforts and results in bad user experience.

The following are the guidelines for formatting a post or page on your website:

● Use H1 tags for the title of your post

● Use H2 tags for the main headings of your post.

● Use BOLD and Italics to draw users attention

● Don’t use H2 tags for all your headings

● Write small paragraphs

● Use a font size that is easy to read


While formatting your posts always have one particular thing in mind “the user experience”. Can the user identify the main sections of your post (H2 tags) just by looking at the page? Is that the text easy to read on all devices (smartphones, Apple Ipads, Android tablets, etc)?

6. Customize your 404 page

SEO is mainly about improving the user experience and a proper 404 page contributes to that goal.


The 404 page is shown when a user is trying to find a page on your site that doesn’t exist or mistypes a URL or follows a broken link.

This is not useful for the user and turns to become negatively impacts the user experience.

A properly configured 404 page should:

● Give some info to the user of what happened rather than displaying “Not found”

● Have a design consistent with the rest of the website

● Give options to the user to navigate to other pages of the site.

7. Optimize your images

Images are necessary to reinforce the user experience but care should be taken mainly, not to create other side effects like problems with page load speed or slow response.


A Few Things to keep in mind, if you decided to use images:

● Keep all image files in a dedicated folder in your site i.e. www.mydomain.com/images/

● Optimize the image size. The smaller the dimensions of the image the faster your website will load.

8. Improve your page speed



Fast loading websites results in improving the user experience and it is an element to encourage the visitors to come again. In addition to that, a website that loads in less than 4 seconds is more likely to:

● Rank better in search results

● Get more page visits per user

● Get more conversions

Google frequently mentioning that page speed may be a ranking factor and yet many webmasters don’t optimize their websites for speed. Google aims to provide the searcher with the most accurate results in the fastest possible way.

9. Get backlinks from other websites

There is no possible way to avoid mentioning link building once we mention about SEO. The reason is simple: Off-Page SEO factors play a critical role within the Google ranking algorithm.




Incoming links counted as ‘votes of trust’ and this had a positive effect on a website’s ranking position. The more incoming links pointing to a site there will be higher-ranking position.

Introduction to link building involves understanding 3 aspects:

1. Links are still a very important aspect of SEO.

2. It’s no longer a matter of quantity (how many links are pointing to your website) but of quality (from where these links are coming).

3. Natural links are good for your rankings, artificially generated links can get you into trouble.

Link building mistakes to avoid:

● Don’t buy links (avoid any sort of link building packages)

● Don’t do any form of massive link building

● Don’t add your link in low-quality websites

● Links from comments or forums can sometimes do more harm than good (unless they are genuine and from well-trusted sources)

10. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly

A significant number of searches performed every day are through mobile devices. Many studies identified that the number of searches using smartphones is steadily increasing especially when it comes to making online purchases.




If you take a look at your analytics data you will see a good percentage of your daily visits coming from mobile.

A mobile-friendly sites are optimized for viewing on the mobile browser (i.e. Chrome on android or Safari on iPhone).

A native android (iPhone or Windows Mobile app) is an application which will be downloaded from the mobile markets (Google Play or Apple Store).

Many people fail with their mobile strategy because they are not getting understand this difference and since they need not yet realized the huge potential of mobile markets.

11. Create XML sitemap and a User sitemap

A sitemap is usually a list of all posts/pages of your website. You should need 2 types of sitemaps. First, an XML sitemap to submit to search engines and second an HTML sitemap is to help visitors find your content easier.

It’s better to place a link to your sitemap from the main menu

XML Sitemap - for Search engines

Based on your blogging platform you are having options to use plugins to create and update your web site’s sitemap.




HTML sitemap - for Users

The user sitemap should provide links to all or any(or to the foremost important pages of your site). It can be a group posts by author, date, category, etc. Its purpose is to assist the user find information on your site easier and quicker.

12. Improve the quality of your content

Content remains king and a website with good, original, quality content can do better in the shorter period (with or without SEO) than a website optimized in SEO but with not so good content.





When people search on Google, Yahoo or Bing they’re essentially looking for an answer to a question. Good content should be the post or page that answers this question.

There are two simple ways to know if your content is worthy.

First, you may check your analytics and particularly the time users spent on a page. A reader will stay longer on the page if the content is really good.

Second the number of social media shares (Facebook likes, tweets, etc.). This is a great way to know what users want and what sort of content should be on your website or blog.

13. Update your website with fresh content




Having fresh content is an incentive for visitors to return back and for search engine bots to crawl your website more often.

This is true once you have something fresh to say about the niche or topic your covering. Avoid publishing pages with similar content only for the sake of updating your site or blog.

14. Use Google analytics

It is vital to use Google Analytics (or some other traffic analysis tool) to:

● Find out how visitors find your site (direct visits, search, referrals, etc)

● How much time they spend on your pages (and on which pages)

● What keywords they used

● How many pages they view per visit

There you go now start learning from doing...

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