You can have the most amazingly beautiful, usable website but it won’t matter two hoots unless people actually visit it.
This is search engine optimization for a beginner. That’s not to say that this is somehow a basic and amateur guide. The basics of SEO are often forgotten as people try to find an easy solution to make a quick buck. That never works. SEO, backlinks building, and traffic generation always involve a lot of legwork and patience. If you’re not doing that; you’re not doing it right.
Choosing The Right Keywords
An important first step is to choose the right keywords to base your optimization around. Hugely popular keywords (like “health” or “money”) are too competitive and therefore not the best approach. It’s better to aim for more specific, niche keywords relating to your website.
Targeting a more suitable keyword phrase means competing with fewer websites. The average search phrase contains 3-5 related words. Hearteningly, the “long tail” contains more searches and converts better.
For example, if you’re optimizing for a web design site and you’re located in Mumbai, India, use keywords such as “web design Mumbai” there will be less competition and therefore easier.
Do a search on Google to find out how many websites are competing for your keywords – you can see how many sites are returned. More sites, more competition.
Try to optimize a few different pages on your site for a different search phrase. Each search phrase should contain 2 to 3 highly targeted keywords.
Your URL and Title Tag
The domain name and title tag are the two most determining on site factors in Google’s ranking. For example, a domain name like
webdesignmumbai[.]com will get ranked higher than web2logo[.]com, assuming that they had identical content.
Similarly, it is also important to add your keywords into the names of your pages. So, in WordPress make sure your permalinks have the post name in them. webdesignmumbai[.]com/freelance-web-designers is better (and prettier!) than web2logo[.]com/p?=345
The title tag is equally or even more important that the domain name. Using keywords in your title tag, therefore, can improve your Google ranking significantly.
Going back to our example earlier, a good title tag would be:
<title>Web Designer Mumbai – B. Fernandez</title>
The closer to the front of your title tag the keywords are placed, the better.
H1 Tags and Keyword Density
Further down the scale of importance lies the heading tags (h1, h2, and h3). Google assumes that the text in between an <h1> tag is more important than the content on the rest of the page. So put your keywords in your headings.
After URLs, titles and headings are considered, sprinkle keywords throughout the rest of the content (in paragraphs, bolded words and alt text for images). Keyword density means the ratio of keywords to the other text content. As a percentage, it should be between 1% and 2.5%. But don’t get hung up on these least important areas. Here it is probably better to concentrate getting the content to be readable, interesting and informative. Because the next part of SEO is all important:
And this leads us to the toughest part of the SEO process – backlinks. Backlinks are websites that link directly to your website. Links back to your website are vital because they are the ‘popularity contest’ on the internet. Google assumes a backlink is a ‘vote’ for a page or a site saying ‘this is good’. The general principal is the more backlinks you have, the higher your pages will be ranked.
However, not all backlinks are created equal. Backlinks from authority sites that are relevant to the site they’re linking to are better than links from less linked-to sites that are about a different niche.
Common practices to increase backlinks include: submitting your site to directories, submitting articles to articles sites, guest blogging, blog commenting, participating in various social media sites and even asking for them.
The process of getting links could fill the pages of a large book and you would need to update that book every six months or so. So I will attempt to create more articles in the coming days and weeks about this.
SEO is not as complicated as SEO companies like to make out. There are only a few central principals outlined here and they are all you really need to know. Remember, though, the best SEO is good content. Content is King. Bad content makes good SEO very difficult. Good content makes SEO easy.
To you success!