14 Effective SEO Tips for Beginners That Will Boost Your Web Traffic
If you run a medium-sized business or larger and are wondering what kinds of SEO strategies will net your organisation the most value, you’ll want to read this article. In it, our team discusses foundational SEO tips for beginners that will skyrocket your web traffic!
Launched a new business site?
Without efficient SEO, people won’t find it. You won’t be able to increase customers visiting your website. Your site will get forgotten and lost in the sea of websites.
That said, SEO can seem daunting. There’s a lot of information to digest and monitor over a long period. How do you start and what should you focus on?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are 14 essential SEO tips for beginners to get on the right track:
1. Keep Your Site Fast
The longer it takes for your site to load, the higher the chances are of visitors leaving. According to Google’s own research, you should aim for a page that takes no longer than 3 seconds to load. Any longer than that and you risk a bounce rate of 90% or higher.
It’s for this reason you should aim for a website design that is beautiful and elegant but also quick and easy to load. You can achieve this by focusing more on the text.
However, images and videos are important! Compress data like images but hopefully without ruining their quality. Use caching plugins as well to make the site even faster when appropriate.
2. Prioritise Mobile-Friendly
Did you know people use their smartphones to access the Internet more than desktop computers? The era of traditional desktops and laptops comes to an end and if you want to keep up, you have to shift your focus to the mobile crowd.
Google itself followed this trend when it released its new algorithm, favouring websites with a mobile-friendly design. This means a site that doesn’t utilise a responsive design or touch-screen friendly features will not fair well in terms of SEO. You either need a site that adjusts to the user’s platform or re-route to a mobile version of the site.
Always make it a habit to A/B test your site. Check how it performs on a desktop then test it on multiple mobile devices. This will help ensure it performs well and garners the fastest SEO results regardless of the platform people view it on.
3. Google My Business
A common mistake people make is ignoring Google My Business. Don’t follow their example and make it a habit to claim this spot as soon as possible. In many ways, Google My Business is like the yellow pages of yesteryear.
Why take time to do this?
Google My Business helps with local business SEO efforts. Filling up your Google My Business profile not only puts you on Google Maps but it also gives searchers your address, contact number, and a view on recent reviews. It will also link people to your social media pages and official website.
Another advantage is you get included in the local pack listing. If you own a cafe and someone does a search for “best cafes in London,” you can expect your business site to appear in the list of local establishments. Keep in mind that the local listing appears above the organic search results, which is why you’ll want to target a spot there.
4. Invest in Voice Search
More than 50% of searches in 2020 will rely on voice technology. This includes modern innovations like Alexa and Siri. It’s a rising trend and one that can heavily affect both local and national SEO efforts.
How can you prepare for this?
One important step is to utilise long-tail keywords. When people use voice search, they tend to use full sentences and your keywords should target this habit. In comparison, people searching by typing tend to use short phrases that often don’t form a proper sentence with a grammatical structure.
You’ll have to find a means of balancing the two different styles. You may have to dig in closer in terms of your audience and how they found your content.
5. Maintain a Consistent Blog
Some of the most common SEO tips for beginners all involve maintaining or launching a blog. “Content is king” is a popular saying and despite all the innovations and algorithm changes that Google undergoes, this saying still holds true.
A blog is a must-have. There’s no way working around this.
Having a blog ensures your site gets new content posted on a regular basis. Google loves sites that post new content because it signifies there’s an activity, new things to discover, and more links that build your site’s visibility. Blogs also help educate your visitors, enhancing the user experience (UX), and it directs them to places they may want to go like a product page.
Keep in mind that blog content is where you’ll spend a lot of time on SEO. This is where you can pour time maximizing the keywords you want to use. Blog content is also what you’ll likely share on social media pages, giving it even more function.
6. Use Evergreen Content
Don’t blog about anything under the sun. Each page has to work towards the same positive goals: a higher SERP rank, more traffic, thus more conversions and profits.
One good piece of SEO advice to achieve these goals is to use evergreen content.
What is evergreen content? It’s the type of content you can share again months after you first posted it. This is the kind of content that remains relevant and timeless.
A great example of evergreen content is a blog post explaining different kinds of links. What is a backlink or an external link? Informative, educational posts will remain important regardless of the changes to Google’s algorithm.
This is useful because it means your blog posts have a higher chance of getting shared all throughout the year. Evergreen content has a higher likelihood of generating backlinks and social media mentions too.
7. Get Familiar with Google Analytics
If you haven’t used Google Analytics before, hop onto it as soon as possible. The data you can study from Google Analytics will reveal the weaknesses and strengths of your SEO efforts and web design.
From this data, you can see what time people visit your site the most or how high the bounce rates of your landing pages are. You can check which posts generate the most subscriptions or which pages people avoid the most.
Google Analytics lets you check the location of your audience, allowing you to tweak future posts to cater to that local niche. You can monitor mobile traffic behaviour and social media mentions as well.
Why is this important?
There is no such thing as easy SEO – it always requires a good amount of research and tweaking. That said, using Google Analytics cuts down most of the work for you. Using the tool visualises the source of traffic and the kind of traffic that works for your site, giving you a better chance of catering to your strengths.
8. Take Advantage of WordPress Plugins
There is a high chance your site uses WordPress as its base. As a matter of fact, 30% of today’s websites utilise WordPress and it should come as no surprise. The CMS is popular for its wide range of functions and ease-of-use.
However, you can only take full advantage of WordPress by using some of the best plugins available on the market.
Some of the most popular plugins include Yoast SEO, which helps you monitor the SEO-efficiency of your posts, and WP Smush. The latter helps you compress images without ruining their quality. This is crucial if you want to keep pages loading fast.
Other popular plugins include WP Super Cache, Google XML Sitemaps, and All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets. These all focus on speeding up your pages or helping Google index the content of your site.
Keep in mind some of these plugins are freemium tools. This means you can install and use them for free but you won’t get the most out of them until you pay for the full package.
9. Content Structure
Never post new blog content without considering how you structure it.
There are simple things to remember, like how you should break paragraphs down into shorter pieces. People don’t like looking at big blocks of text because that wall looks boring and intimidating to digest. Break it down, making it easier and quicker to read.
You can also use images or videos to add variety. Avoid using long, complex sentences too. You’re not writing a thesis paper; blog posts should be easy and fun to read while maintaining the goal of educating the reader.
There are some blog structures more successful than others. Listicles are among the most popular ways of structuring content. It lets readers know beforehand how long the content is and it builds anticipation for each new segment.
10. Always Consider UX
A common misconception about SEO is that it exists only to increase traffic.
That’s not the case. The real goal of SEO is to generate profits. Amazing SEO not only draws more traffic but it ensures that each visitor subscribes, purchases, or does some other beneficial action while in your site.
You can only achieve this high level of efficient SEO by improving user experience (UX).
Does it take one click or six clicks for a visitor to find your contact page? Do they have to backtrack through multiple pages to find the product page menu or is there a convenient drop list at the navigation panel? Does your blog post have links leading back to the top of the page or to a contact page?
All of these questions can influence the user experience. Take time to A/B split test different versions of your site and see which ones click with visitors.
11. Mix SEO with PPC
SEO is the king of the hill but this doesn’t mean you should halt a PPC campaign entirely. Instead, let your SEO and PPC efforts help each other to achieve a common goal: more traffic, more profits.
12. Break the Monotony
As mentioned above, people will bounce out of your site if all they see are big walls of text. However, you can’t rely only on shorter sentences and smaller paragraphs. You need to break the monotony.
One good way is to insert images. These not only refresh the experience but they also inject a good amount of visual variety. You can keep consistent with your theme, inserting graphs, or you can simply insert an image meme for much-needed relief.
Videos are great too but don’t post long videos often. There’s the risk that visitors will leave your site and focus entirely on the video page, especially if they can watch it on YouTube. Short videos are easy to digest and they ensure the viewer goes back to the written text.
13. Don’t Go Black Hat
Whatever you do, don’t go black hat.
Don’t attempt to cheat Google by buying backlinks or using invisible keywords on your posts. Sooner or later, Google will discover these cheats and penalise you for relying on them. Not only will this lower your SERP ranking but it may blacklist your pages in the long run.
Other black hat techniques to avoid include using duplicate content, cloaking, bait-and-switch pages, and keyword stuffing. Cloaking and page swapping not only cheat Google but they also cheat your audience.
14. Hire Experts
When in doubt, hire the experts. Calling professionals to do the SEO work for you is one of the smartest decisions you can do. It allows you to focus on what you’re good at – offering your product or service – and gives the SEO team freedom to help you optimise your site and content.
It also means you don’t have to waste resources to train new employees for SEO purposes. The professionals already have the training and experience, ensuring they can get the job done quickly and for a more affordable price too.
You also don’t have to waste time studying which plugins work best for your site or which tools you have to pay license fees for. The experts already have a better list and you can rely on them to educate you regarding the ones they’ll implement on your site.
Discover More SEO Tips for Beginners!
With these 14 SEO tips for beginners, you can design your site and content to rank higher on SERP. You’ll increase traffic, engage better with your audience, and increase profits.
But why stop here?
Discover more tips and tricks by visiting us today. If you need more than that and want professional help to improve your website, don’t hesitate to contact us now. We’re available to help you achieve your online goals!
Martyn Lenthall is the Managing Director at Digital NRG.
In 2012, from his back bedroom, he launched his first SEO company (SEO Company Bristol). A rapidly expanding client base of small businesses, national companies and international organisations, as well as adding more diverse digital marketing products to the portfolio meant a new, more internationally recognised and all-encompassing brand was required, and so Digital NRG was born.
Martyn is considered one of the UK’s leading experts on search engine optimisation.
He has 17 books published on website optimisation and lead generation for business websites.
Website and SEO consultant to multi-national brands.
Public speaker on subjects of SEO, digital marketing and lead generation.