If you are new to online advertising, than this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners like yourself will take your marketing to the next level. Which exact level? Well, more than you know right now. So, lets look at this as more of a phase one of several.
The fundamental idea of SEO (search engine optimization) is to outrank your competitors. When you get further along in the subject, you will also be able to look at other aspects like planning and proper keyword research that will help you pick out a profitable niche. For now though, let’s just stick with the basics like on-page optimization. This alone won’t get you first page rankings, but without it, you’re doomed.
Search Engine Optimization Tutorial: A Beginner’s Guide
If you are new to internet marketing, than you probably have a lot of enthusiasm, but very little knowledge. I remember back when I was at that stage. I was really wanting to get my website to the first page of the search engines with optimization techniques that I had learned from a beginner’s guide much like this one. That guide has since been taken offline – I guess the webmaster didn’t want to keep up with it – but the algorithm of the search engines has change since then anyway. Here are the basic things you need to keep in mind when optimizing your website for the search engines.
Thin vs Thick Content
If you want your article or website to rank well, then make sure that you have some meat and potatoes in the content. Your one page blogger website is not going to rank well with just one post. Any article you create should be at least 700 words filled with relevant content.
The search engines know if you are adding valuable information to the online conversation surrounding a niche or industry. They also know if you are just mimicking what someone else says. So along with making sure you have a lot of great content, be sure that it is unique and original.
It used to be that if you wanted to rank your website or article for a certain term, all you had to do was make sure that you stuffed that keyword as much as possible onto the page. It didn’t really have to read very well and the search engines would rank it because OBVIOUSLY, that’s what your page was about.
Since then, the algorithm has become a little bit more elegant and refined. Therefore, your keyword should be no higher than 2% of the words on the page. There were several updates over the last couple of years that penalized sites and articles with a keyword density above 2%. Some internet marketing “gurus” had a super high keyword density, upwards of 10%-25%, and their sites got smacked to the 100th page of the search results. Don’t do that. Keep it in between 1% to 2%.
Emphasize Words for SEO
The search engines look at optimization as a way for readers to have the best experience with your site. In order for this to happen, your audience has to know what is important. No one really reads through an entire article. They simply skim the information to find what they are looking for. A lot of search engine optimization tutorials miss this one, but be sure to BOLD or ITALICIZE your keyword just once. This not only tells your readers what is important to look at, but the search engines as well.
In order for the search engines to know what your website is about, you targeted key phrase must be in the site’s TITLE. Just like readers need to know what an article is about, so do the search engines. Regardless if you are trying to rank a website, article, Facebook page, etc. this is a constant. It is one of the strongest signals that you can give both your readers and the search engines regarding what you website or page is about.
After you have made sure that your targeted keyword is in the title, you also want to make sure that it is in your HEADERS. Headers are used in articles to designate sections of text or information. Instead of one long run-on article, headers make it easier for your readers to navigate to the sections that they are mainly concerned with. It also allows your readers to dictate whether your article or website will give them the information that they are looking for. In SEO terms, the search engines scan your page for the same reason. Header tags help establish what your website or page is actually about.
In WordPress websites, these are very easy to apply. Just hit the drop down menu that is defaulted to ‘Paragraph’ and you will see the headers options pop up. Proper search engine optimization techniques imply the use of only one H1 tag. Followed by H2, then H3, and finally H4. There are many different ways to use these tags, but this is the most basic.
SEO Alt Tags in Images
Instead of just copying images from Flickr and popping them on your site, do one better and rename your image. Heck, do two better and make your own images. If you are trying to optimize your site for the term “Widget Makers in Australia,” then rename your image to that on your hard drive before uploading it to your website. Then, add that as an ‘alt tag’ in the image.
This is actually pretty easy to do and there are a lot of technical reasons to do it, but the long and short of it is search engines can’t see images, they can only read file names and html. So, let them know what your image is by using a descriptive name and alt tag.
Hopefully you’ve learned a little something from this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners and you are now on your way to creating the perfectly optimized website that has the potential to rank on page one.