It’s extremely valuable to get your website to perform better, whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to increase sale through your website or a blogger just looking to build an audience. SEO is all about earning more relevant traffic without needing of paid advertisement.
In this SEO explainer for beginners, we’re going to cover what’s SEO all about and explain how you can do SEO for your website, step by step. If you find yourself interested in learning even more once we’re done, you can proceed to a comprehensive SEO course. Let’s get started.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engines like Google, Bing and Baidu crawl the internet to discover and categorize websites, then store them in search indexes. When you search on Google, the Google algorithm interprets your query, goes through its index to find the most relevant pages and presents you with pages of search results (also known as SERPs).
SEO work is all about configuring websites to make them more likely to appear prominently in those SERPs. It isn’t as flashy or immediate as something like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, but it has excellent long-term results when done effectively.
Do you need to do any SEO?
This depends on various factors, including what is your aim to achieve with your website, how much-improved rankings would be worth to you, and how good your website currently is. It doesn’t take long to greatly improve a poor website, but it needs a bit of research and great content to develop a good website
May be in the past you may not have thought much about SEO but now you need to check and be aware of SEO basics at the very least.
What SEO steps should you take for a new website?
If you’ve just set up a website, or you have an existing website that has never had any SEO work done on it, you need to carry out the following SEO tasks:
1. Check that your website has been indexed
As noted before, search crawlers store website information in indexes, but sometimes they may miss webpages or even the websites. Certain settings or technical issues can prevent a page from being indexed, meaning it can’t appear in search results at all.
To check if your website has been indexed, search directly for its URL and see if it comes up. If a new site doesn’t appear, it most likely just hasn’t been indexed yet — give it time. When a website that has been live for several months doesn’t appear in SERPs, it means the webpages or the whole website has not been indexed due to some issues.
Issues can be like:
- Crawlers not being able to find your website due to a lack of links leading to it.
- Links to your site is set to ‘noindex’, preventing crawlers from following them.
- The server file that instructs crawlers (robots.txt) being set to block them entirely.
- Your site not being up to the search engine’s quality standards.
An SEO expert can help you solve this issue. A good SEO expert will help your site get indexed and then move on to on-page factors.
2. Review your website’s on-page SEO
On-page SEO concerns all the factors on a webpage that affect how that page ranks — factors such as how quickly it loads, how much content it features, and how the information is structured. If your on-page SEO is only mediocre, search crawlers will consider the page less useful and/or relevant than more optimized pages, causing it to be ranked below them.
- When reviewing your content, we also need to take care of content as perceived by a bot.
- The page structure should be clear.
- Page title should be clearly defined.
- Page sections should be clearly defined.
- The page content can be broken down into digestible chunks and the entire thing should make sense.
To get the most out of your on-page SEO, try to use various standard structuring elements such as the following:
- Numbered or bulleted lists
- Headings and subheadings
Like one can see how this page has been broken down into sections, each with subheadings that makes it clear with subsection topics defined clearly.
3. Provide relevant metadata
Every page must have a meta title to help search engines understand what the page is all about. Every page title should explain the content of the page.
Remember the chunk of text that appears just below page title of each search result. Yes, that’s called a meta description. Now, meta description play a vital role in luring your potential users with a catchy description. Search engines don’t use Meta descriptions for ranking purposes
Moreover, the image-heavy sites should have each image with some informative alt text (a picture of furnace creek might simply be described as “Furnace Creek in Death Valley”). This makes your images more accessible as alt text is used for people with visual impairments and important for general SEO. Crawlers are not good at understanding images.
As noted in the introduction, there’s a great SEO course elsewhere on this site that will give you a lot of additional information. You can also make an effort to start extensive SEO studying and go through marketing content, as it will give you a lot of essential contexts. Make a habit of checking out the rest of this blog and other SEO-targeted blogs.
SEO is neither that easy nor that tough, so don’t get overwhelmed by the jargon and the mountains of advice available online. Absorb as much knowledge and information as you can and gradually move to more advanced SEO concepts and start taking steps to turn your website into a crafted performer.
Well there you go, a guide to how SEO is done for anyone totally unfamiliar with the industry! There’s a lot to wrap your head around, but everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s something that’s absolutely worth pursuing if you have any website-related ambitions. Good luck!