More Tips for SEO Novices (Start Learning Now!)
With search engines driving the bulk of direct online traffic and queries, few brands, blogs and businesses can hope to ignore their presence. While email marketing, social media and other forms of digital marketing can create exposure, many of these options are either equally organically challenging or require large sums of money to generate results.
Ultimately, the appeal of search engine optimization lies in its relatively passive, long-term ability to drive traffic without spending money. Yet SEO is an immensely complex topic filled with pitfalls and challenges. For those who are new to SEO or who are still struggling to learn the basics, we’ll look at a few (more) tips that can help start building a successful SEO enterprise.
Take Advantage of Google My Business
Google My Business is an essential component for any brand or business competing among Google’s search results. By using GMB, the search engine can seamlessly correlate basic information about your business and recommend it in locally-relevant searches. Furthermore, pinging to Google a fully-fleshed GMB profile signifies additional trust and authority that can improve search rankings over time.
Pay Attention to Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
While some may be confused about these concepts, meta descriptions and title tags are the first things audiences and search engines will see related to your pages. Title tags must be optimized using keywords and persuasive yet simple language, ensuring that audiences find your content relevant enough to click on (and that search engines see your content as being relevant to audiences).
Meta descriptions are the summaries shown in search results below each link and title. While not directly relevant to SEO (particularly for Google), meta descriptions give context to users and increase the chances of earning those clicks. That behavior in turns sends good signals to search engines, thereby further boosting your rankings in select SERPs over time.
Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
Lots of people search using short and simple phrases. These are often referred to as short-tail keywords, generally consisting of three or fewer words. While these terms generate tons of traffic, they also generate tons of competition – and highly-established, longstanding brands are already solidified within these SERPs.
Instead, targeting smaller yet more relevant audiences with long-tail keywords and phrases is a better goal for novices. Generally speaking, the more words in a query, the fewer people there are searching for it. However, there are also fewer brands targeting it, meaning your website is far more likely to drive traffic from these SERPs than from other more prominent ones.
Put People First
While the term SEO literally implies focusing on search engines is the end-all, be-all strategy, it is ultimately important to write for people rather than algorithms. Not only is this crucial in ensuring that audiences actually resonate with your content and marketing efforts, but search engines now are focused on delivering content that people enjoy. This means even most search engine algorithms are designed with user appeal in mind.
As such, don’t be pinging to Google a bunch of overly-technical, stuffy content optimized for machines: write for your audience and you’ve won half the battle!
SEO takes years to fully master, but novices can begin harnessing its potential immediately. Take these tips into account when optimizing content for search engines and you’ll be making progress in no time!