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Search Engine Optimisation

SEO Tips and Tricks for Beginners – 17 Ways to Make Google Notice You

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SEO can be intimidating for new bloggers, but it doesn’t have to be. Below I am going to share with you 17 SEO tips and tricks for beginners that you can easily use to get your content ranked on the first page of google.

When you start a blog, you are very excited to get started and you just start publishing posts because you have a lot to say.

I remember this well. I was the same way when I started. The problem with that approach is that nobody is searching for what you’re writing about.

I’m sure many of you remember the movie “Field of Dreams”, unfortunately, build it and they will come does not apply to blogging and websites.

Before we get into the SEO tips and tricks for beginners, lets make sure that you understand the meaning of SEO

What is SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process of optimizing your blog post or web page with the proper factors so that the search engines will find your content highly relevant and will list your content in the top search results.

It sounds pretty simple, but doing these things correctly can literally be the difference between a thriving blog with tons of visitors and a blog without any visitors that dies a slow, agonizing death.

Now that you know what SEO is, let’s take a look at the SEO tips and tricks for beginners and how easy it is to implement them into your blogging routine.

SEO

1. Keyword Research

This is one of the SEO tips that most beginners often overlook, and unfortunately, it is one of the most important.

The first tool that many beginners turn to is the google keyword planner. The google keyword tool is very valuable if you are doing a pay per click campaign, but for the kind of in depth keyword analysis that we need, the google keyword tool does not have the capabilities.

You need to choose keywords for your post or article that are not only searched for, but are fairly easy to rank for. The second part of that sentence is the most important.

You must have a reasonable chance to rank for the keyword.

That means long tail keywords and the best tool for finding and analyzing long tail keywords that a beginner can easily rank for is Long Tail Pro.

Let’s take a look at Long Tail Pro.

seo tips and tricks for beginners

This is a look inside Long Tail Pro. At the top you will see the keyword “best pocket knife”.

Continuing across the top, you will see that this keyword gets 9900 monthly searches and has an average keyword competitiveness score of 26. Anything under 30 deserves further analysis.

Clicking on the keyword will show the top ten results in google and this is where we can gain more insight into the keyword.

The keyword that each page is targeting is in bold in the results. We can see in this example that many of the results are not targeting “best pocket knife”. That is a major weakness that we can exploit.

Next we look at the keyword competitiveness column. I like to see at least 3 scores under 20 and we have that here.

Now look at the juice links column and you can see multiple results with 0 juice links.

If you were in a niche related to knives or camping, or the outdoors, you could very easily rank on the first page of google for this keyword.

You can’t get that kind of information from the google keyword planner.

Now that we have our keyword, let’s look at how to use it on our page. I like the Yoast SEO Plugin to help with on page SEO.

2. Use Your Keyword in the Title

You want to optimize your title by including your exact keyword, preferably in the beginning of your title. Use the rest of the title to convey exactly what the page is about.

use keyword in the title

This is a great example of a perfectly optimized title.

  • The keyword is at the beginning of the title.
  • The title is between 40 and 60 characters long.
  • The title accurately describes what the page is about.

3. Use the keyword in the page URL

Use the exact keyword for the page URL.

For example – www.mysite.com/best-pocket-knife

If you are using WordPress, you can go to settings/permalinks and choose post name. WordPress will automatically use the post name as the page URL.

4. Use the Keyword in Your Meta Description

You should use the keyword in your meta description. Also make sure that your meta description is an accurate depiction of the content of your page.

Write your description with an active voice and use a call to action.

For Example – Looking for the best pocket knife? We’ve got the latest reviews and ratings from the top sources in our ultimate guide to pocket knives. Check it out today!

Try to keep your meta description between 150 and 156 characters.

5. Use the Keyword in the First Paragraph

Use your keyword in the first paragraph of your page. This helps to make the content of the page clear to the search engines and shows the correlation between the title and the content.

6. Use Proper Keyword Density

You should strive for a keyword density of 1-2%. I like to keep it closer to 1%.

That means in a 1000 word article you should use your keyword 10 – 20 times.

7. Use the Keyword in Headings

Use your keyword in at least one heading and more than one if you can.

Proper use of h1, h2 and h3 tags will also help with the readability of your page.

8. Highlight the Keywords Throughout your Page

Using bold and italics to highlight the keywords on your page will help with SEO and will emphasize your focus to your reader.

9. Only Use the Keyword for One Page Or Post

Never use the same keyword for more than one page or post. If you have an idea for a post, but you’ve already used the keyword, take the opportunity to improve the original post.

10. Use the Keyword in the Alt Tag of at Least One Image

Use images in your post and use your exact keyword as the alt tag for an appropriate image.

Also use names for your images that are relative to your post. The name best-pocket-knife.jpg is much better than img1234.jpg.

11. Content Must be High Quality

Your content must be high quality, easy to read, and 100% original. Google is very good at finding duplicate content and will not rank your content if it is copied.

  • Keep your content easy to read.
  • Use one thought paragraphs of no more than 3 or 4 sentences.
  • Break up your content with sub headings.
  • Use bulleted and numbered lists.

12. Size Does Matter

Publishing longer blog posts is good for SEO as long as it is quality content presented in an easy to read format.

Research has shown that google loves long posts, as long as they are high quality.

length of posts
As you can see in this chart, the average length of the top 10 google results is in excess of 2000 words.

You should strive to produce in depth informational posts consisting of 1800-2500 words.

13. Use the Keyword in the Last Paragraph

Always write a good conclusion and include your keyword in the last 100 words of your post.

14. Link to External Content

You should always have at least one link to related external content. You may use more as naturally fit your content.

15. Internal Linking

Internal linking is linking from one page or post on your blog to another. This trick has the advantage of not only benefiting SEO, but also can help with your bounce rate.

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your site after visiting only one page. The lower your bounce rate, the better for SEO.

Here is a strategy that I use to pre-plan for internal linking. This is a little more advanced, but I will share it in my SEO tips and tricks for beginners.

When doing your keyword research, make a list of 10 – 20 related keywords.

Then create 5 – 10 related posts, each one focused on one of the keywords.

Use the related keywords in the post and link from the related keywords to their respected posts.

I try to use at least 4 internal links in each post. I make sure to use the exact keyword in the link to the post using that keyword.

Let’s look at an example to clarify.

Keywords to Target

  • SEO Tips
  • SEO Tips and Tricks for Beginners
  • Image Optimization Tips
  • On Page SEO
  • Off Page SEO

We could write a post for each of the keywords listed above.

We will use the other 4 keywords in the content of each post and link the keyword back to the post it is targeting.

We will end up with 5 articles, each with 4 internal links to the other posts.

While it is not as valuable as quality backlinks, it is very important to SEO. I wish that I had this SEO tip when i was a beginner.

That’s a pretty thorough look at on page SEO.

Now let’s look at some off page SEO tips and tricks for beginners.

16. Be Active on Social Media

Social media is becoming more and more of a factor in SEO and you need to be actively engaged in the major social media channels.

You need to have a Facebook account with a Facebook page dedicated to your website or blog. You can find instructions for creating a Facebook page here.

You should be sharing every blog post on your Facebook page. Also share posts and content from others that may provide value to your followers.

You need a Twitter account so that you can build a following and you should be tweeting regularly about your content, as well as other things that may interest your followers.

You need a Google+ page for your website or blog and you should be sharing your content on your page.

You should have a Pinterest account and share your images and infographics. Pinterest is often overlooked, but people love to share images and infographics and that equals links back to your blog.

Make sure that all of your social media accounts are linked to your website or blog.

17. Backlinks

This is another more advanced strategy, but I wanted to include it in the SEO tips and tricks for beginners because the earlier you learn to implement back linking, the faster you will climb the google ladder.

Here are some methods that you can use to generate backlinks to your website or blog.

  • Blog Commenting – Blog commenting can be a great way to build backlinks. Focus on blogs in your niche and make sure that you are providing value with your comment. You can do a google search for commentluv or keywordluv blogs to find blogs with do follow links.
  • Forum Posting – Forum posting can be another good way to get backlinks, but you should establish yourself first as a regular contributor and strive to always provide value in your posts.
  • Guest Blogging – Guest posting is a great way to build backlinks. Make sure you are providing real quality content and target authority blogs in your niche. Here is a list of sites that allow guest posting.
  • Infographics – People love visual data and more importantly, they love sharing visual data! Create high quality infographics and share them on Pinterest and other social media. If you would like to have a professional infographic created for your site, check out MarketingInfographics.org.

Conclusion

Successful bloggers know that their content must be optimized for search engines so that their pages appear on the first page of google.

If you implement the 17 SEO tips and tricks for beginners outlined in this article, you will begin climbing up the google ladder and it will only be a matter of time until you are dominating your targeted keywords in your niche.

Please leave your comments 17 SEO Tips and Tricks for Beginners below.

John VanDerLaan is a blogger and Internet Marketer with a passion for helping others. His favorite tool for SEO is Long Tail Pro. You can follow him at JVanderlaan.com and LiveaWellBalancedLife.org.

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Search Engine Optimisation

How to Create More Clickable Google Search Snippets

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Google search results are becoming ridiculously competitive. Plus, Google’s search results are becoming incredibly engaging: Many search users prefer to use search results (open “People Also Ask” results, clicks image and video carousels, etc.) that getting a click from search results is getting harder and harder.

With the introduction of new and flashier ways to be seen, you still have to learn how to creatively and dynamically exploit those offered tools. Being seen with so many others attempting the same technique is just as hard as it was when visibility relied only on ranking.

How to get more people click your search listing in SERPs? Here are three really effective ways:

1. Monitor Your Click-Through

The first step to improving your search snippet visibility is to set up monitoring of how your pages are performing right now and get alerted if anything changes.

Finteza is an advanced analytics platform allowing you to keep a close eye on your site performance in search and all the various channels.

To monitor your click-through from organic search:

  • Register an account at Finteza
  • Add their tracking code to your site and give it some time to accumulate some data
  • Click “Sources” and there choose “Search”
  • Go to “Pages” to see how your top landing pages are performing in search:

Finteza

This gives you bird’s eye view on your site organic performance in organic search. It’s a great way to analyze and evaluate your old content. Using Finteza, you can also set up a retargeting campaign to target those search referrals better if they choose to return to your site.

Repeat steps above at least weekly to see if any of those pages start losing clicks from search: These might need some work. Here’s exactly what you may want to do:

2. Use Semantic Analysis

Google uses a variety of analysis methods to identify high-quality content that meets their users’ needs. One of the key components of Google’s content evaluation process is semantic analysis.

Basically speaking, semantic analysis is about clustering your key topic into subtopics and concepts that constitute it. To give a quick example, if we were to apply semantic analysis to [hiking], we’d come up with a variety of underlying concepts including, National Parks, Mountains, picturesque trails, being outdoors, and even birdwatching.

All of those concepts relate to hiking in some way or another.

Broadly speaking, semantic analysis helps machines understand natural language – the way that humans communicate – including context, goals, etc.

When it comes to search optimization, semantic SEO helps:

  • Create more indepth and richer content that meets Google’s expectations
  • Optimize for intent (what’s the end goal behind each search)
  • Give Google enough context for them to create a more clickable search snippet for your listing.

Another example of semantic analysis in action is Google’s results for [where it was filmed]. While the query is seemingly absolutely generic, Google is able to understand this question relates to the movie “It”.

Semantic SEO

Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis tool that goes right to the source, i.e. Google search snippets. For each query you type, it would collect Google’s search snippets and apply semantic analysis to them to come up with the list of underlying concepts:

Text Optimizer

[TextOptimizer’s results for [where it was filmed] – as you can see the tool got the actual context of the query and clustered it into related topics]

Including 20-25 of these concepts into your content will help Google better understand your text, and create richer more clickable search snippets. Here’s a more detailed review of the site I did previously.

3. Optimize for Rich Snippets

Rich snippets have become the new keywords. These little details are what causes your listing to “pop” in a search, catching the eye of the user no matter what place on the first page you occupy. Proper use of rich snippets are a requirement for being seen.

“Rich snippets” are search results providing the user with more answers right within SERPs. To qualify for rich snippets your web page should have rich markup:

Here are the supported types of rich snippets:

Reviews

If you have reviewed a tool or a product, use Aggregate Rating structured data for your search snippet to look like this. This will populate stars in search that definitely draw an eye!

Reviews

Recipes

Recipes will have some nutritional and preparation information, like how long it takes to cook and how many calories are in each serving.

recipes

Events

Events will show dates and times for each event for quick reference. Every event name is linked in search results giving you more clickable links in search.

Event schema

Business

There’s a number of structure data types that allow you to add more details to your brand knowledge graph (NOT for local businesses though).

These include: Official social media accounts, logo, and the corporate contact:

Corporate Contact

Movies and Books

Movies and books will also show off a ranking system, and some product pages have a star rating alongside price.

HowTo

HowTo markup will help Google to locate more information from your tutorial, for example, number of steps, time to complete, etc.:

HowTo

HowTo Schema shouldb’t be used for recipes though. Other than that there are no official restrictions to certain types of tutorials that can have it.

One word of caution here: Only use structured data when it absolutely makes sense. Google frowns upon using Schema just for the sake if rich snippets. If it is not an actual review, don’t use the ratings markup, as it could backfire. Google actually sends manual penalties for a structured abuse, so read the documentation properly to make sure you follow all the rules!

Optimizing for rich snippets relies heavily on whichever website builder and/or CMS you are using. For most of them there are lots of plugins and addons allowing to quickly integrate structured markup.

The above tips will hopefully help you generate more clicks from your current organic positions without having to invest in improving it. See it as a low-hanging fruit opportunity to improving your traffic!

Do you have a tip for optimizing search snippets? Let us know in the comments!

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Search Engine Optimisation

Top the Charts! 5 Must-Know SEO Solutions to Promote Your Managed IT Service

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According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s 3.5 billion searches a day.

When someone searches for your managed IT service, you have the opportunity to attract them straight towards your website.

All you need is search engine optimization or SEO!

Here are five SEO solutions that can help drive traffic to your website. With these techniques, you can attract new customers and grow your business!

Let’s get optimizing.

1. Topics & Keywords

An effective SEO strategy starts with a list of keywords. These keywords reflect the content your customers are searching for online. Using these keywords, you can create content that matches their search intent.

To start, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. These tools will show you the popularity of each keyword.

Once you have this list, you can create pillars and clusters. Pillars give your website visitors the main page of collective content. Then, the clusters break this content into sub-topics with specified information.

This strategy can help boost your SEO plan and attract people to your Managed IT Services.

That way, you’re attracting new website visitors while providing them with an easy, efficient user experience, too.

2. On-Site SEO

Your website needs optimization as a whole as well as on a page-based level. To start, make sure your website’s content hierarchy is well-structured.

Then, there are a number of areas that require review to ensure these SEO solutions work.

Once you’ve studied your target audience to determine your keywords, you also need:

  • Descriptive URLs
  • Keyword-optimized page titles
  • Compelling meta descriptions
  • Content optimization (includes keyword placement in headers, body text, etc.)
  • Good user experience
  • Structured data markup
  • Effective call-to-action language

As part of your overall SEO strategy, on-page SEO is an important component of attracting visitors.

3. Off-Site SEO

An off-site SEO strategy includes local SEO. This strategy helps you attract local customers to your website and business.

To start, make sure your listings are updated with the correct content information.

This includes your Google My Business listing as well.

4. Technical SEO

Technical SEO ensures search engines can find your content. These areas include:

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Mobile-optimization
  • Website speed
  • Hierarchy

Technical SEO solutions are essential for success. Otherwise, how will customers find your website?

5. Content

According to Fit Small Business, search is the number one driver of traffic to content sites. In fact, it beats social media by over 300 percent.

Your content should consider customer search intent. That way, you’re giving visitors content that answers their questions. This can include service content, credibility content, and marketing content.

This content should also add value to your business.

Consider writing blog posts or white papers. You can also post videos or add testimonials to your website.

That way, your SEO content shows visitors you’re a valuable resource.

Bring It in: 5 Must-Have SEO Solutions

With these five must-have SEO solutions, you can attract new visitors to your website. The right techniques will then turn these visitors into leads, then leads into paying customers!

That way, your company grows, one SEO strategy at a time.

Check out our latest posts for more effective tips and tricks!

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Search Engine Optimisation

SEO 101: The Essential SEO FAQ for Bloggers

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I don’t provide SEO services and I am self-taught – which hardly makes an expert. But I’ve been blogging for a lifetime and for all these years I’ve been reading about and implementing SEO practices – which means I know more than an average blogger.

With that said, I’ve decided to put together this SEO FAQ for those who want to quickly understand the concept without going too indepth:

What is SEO?

Simply put, SEO is about making a website easy for search engines to discover, go through and understand.

This includes:

  • creating content (based on search engine users’ needs),
  • making your content “link-worthy” (i.e. attract backlinks),
  • using HTML and structured data to make content easier to understand for the machine, etc.

SEO is NOT trying to “fake” any of positive signals search engines use to rank web pages. Search engine friendliness should be authentic and SEO professionals should work together with website owners to achieve that.

Do Bloggers Need to Know SEO?

Yes!

SEO aims at helping a page rank on top of organic search results, and search engines are known to bring the most qualified leads (people turn to Google when they know what they want).

No traffic source is as effective as search traffic. Unlike driving clicks with ads (PPC), organic search is NOT interrupting user’s surfing the web. Instead, it serves them content exactly when they ask

This makes SEO one of the most important digital marketing channels. It can drive highly targeted traffic and pre-qualified leads to your site on a continuous basis (no need to keep investing in ads)

How Has SEO changed over the years?

SEO is maturing fast and it has been exciting to watch. The biggest driving force behind this evolution is Google that has been working hard on their search algorithm to understand natural language and search intent, as well as penalizing any manipulating tactics.

The result: SEO has become more integrated into other marketing channels. Furthermore, SEO is more about focusing on long-term goals rather than quick traffic gains

If ten years ago SEO was all about creating fake signals (keyword stuffing, link buying, etc.), these days it’s all about creating linkable assets that rank and engage potential customers.

The future of SEO is in voice search, artificial intelligence, more diverse content types and channels.

Can SEO Be Handled “At Home”?

WordPress bloggers generally don’t have to worry about getting SEO help. WordPress is pretty well set up and there’s a variety of free plugins to help.

Here’s a detailed guide to get yourself educated: Google SEO: Should it be your only priority?

What is The Most Important SEO Element?

Content… by far! Content is the foundation of any SEO strategy. Content ranks, attracts links, spreads, engages customers and turns them into believers.

Content is not just an article or a blog post. By content I mean any kind of text you put on your site, from a landing page copy to your “About us” page or a product description.

Many businesses jump into digital marketing without willing to invest in content, and this strategy is doomed to failure. Building on-site content should be everyone’s SEO priority.

Text Optimizer is a great tool that helps you create better content by providing you with the mindmap of associated concepts and questions. It uses semantic analysis to process Google’s search snippets and break any keyword into subtopics.

Text Optimizer for content creation

While it’s primarily search intent optimization tool, it’s also helpful for overall content research showing which topics to cover and how to structure your article.

You can read my own Text Optimizer case study here.

What Are the Most Dangerous SEO Myths?

  1. Keyword density… This is one of the most persistent SEO myths out there. Why I dislike it so much is because it fills the web with trash content. Keyword-density focused strategy spoils the brand image and creates lots of problems which take lots of time to fix.
  2. On-page SEO alone will get you to #1. There are so many SEO agencies there that are happy to keep “optimizing” your website but rankings won’t come. The reality, you still need outbound tactics to gain backlinks and external visibility (branding) to achieve higher rankings
  3. SEO is dying… SEO death has been predicted for years now. These days with Google’s new SERPs features that aim at keeping the user using Google, and the fast growth of voice search, SEO is predicted to die soon again

The truth is, SEO is full of ingenuous tools and people. It is evolving together with search engines and it will survive Google’s death one day.

What’s the Best SEO Advice You’ve Received?

There’s a real human being behind each query.

Really if you stop thinking of keywords as “word strings to optimize for” and start seeing them as a real person’s question, SEO becomes much clearer (and more fun).

This mindset helps build more helpful content, optimize for search intent better (why would anyone type this into the search box? What are they willing to do once they find the answer?)

On top of that, by looking at keyword research as something that helps you serve your customer will help you understand your audience better and come up with better products and offers, on a higher-level.

Answer The Public is a nice free tool that turns keyword research into question research helping you to clearer see your readers’ struggles behind their search queries.

answerthepublic

On top of that, the tool also mind-maps the retrieved keywords / questions helping you in brainstorming.

Where Does a Blogger Start with SEO?

As stated above, there’s not much a blogger can do to start with SEO except for creating useful original content.

Here’s also a nice clutter-free introduction into SEO: SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization . Here’s a much easier guide but also one that lists the most essential step: 3 Basic Steps to Making Your New Blog SEO-Friendly. Here’s also a helpful writing checklist that will help you handle the basics:

writing checklist

As you may have noticed, I am not listing a ton of tools here as I don’t want this guide to overwhelm the reader. Those mentioned are a good start!

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