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10 easy SEO tips for beginners

AD| It’s been a while since I’ve shared any free SEO tips for beginners, but over the past few weeks, I’ve had a few comments…

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AD| It’s been a while since I’ve shared any free SEO tips for beginners, but over the past few weeks, I’ve had a few comments on my blog tip posts where people have said they know nothing about SEO. So I thought it would be helpful to share some easy SEO tips which will be useful for small businesses and bloggers.

There is so much to blogging. It’s much more than just writing a few words and hitting publish. Espcially if you want to have success with it. Success means different things to different people. But if you want to make some money blogging or get traffic, it’s time to start learning about SEO.

If you are just a hobby blogger and those things don’t matter to you, then it’s fine to focus on the things you love about blogging rather than the technical things like SEO! Unless you have a message that you really want to get out there – in that case, read on! SEO will help you get your message in front of more eyeballs. If you get it right…

Related post: SEO tips 2020

Text: Digital marketing - 10 easy SEO tips for beginners with image of a laptop, coffee and note book

What is SEO

SEO is a term that stands for search engine optimisation. It is the process of optimising a website to rank higher in search engines, like Google or Bing.

SEO includes many different techniques, but the goal of all SEO strategies is to improve the visibility of a web page in order to drive more traffic to the site.

The most important part of SEO is creating content that informs, entertains or educates your target audience. This will help you rank higher in search engine results pages for relevant keywords and phrases.

Is SEO hard?

With Search engine optimisation, there are many techniques that help you improve your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPS) by modifying its code and content, improving its usability, and optimising its performance.

Some SEO techniques are very easy, such as editing alt text in images, or the title of a blog post. Other SEO techniques are more complicated and require knowledge of coding.

There are over 200 factors that Google’s algorithm take into account when ranking websites. So whilst there are some easy SEO tips and tricks we can learn, some techniques can get very complicated.

laptop, coffee and notebook and small business big dreams' sign

How long does SEO take to work?

SEO is different from other marketing channels – you don’t see results instantly like you would if you were posting to Twitter – for example. It can take a while for Google to rank a page and for it to settle into its position in SERPs.

It can take between 2 and 12 months to see results! So SEO really is a long game to play. You have to stick with it and stay consistent but the results will come!

In a world where we love to see instant results, it can be disheartening to have to wait so long. Especially when SEO can be quite a time-consuming process and feels like extra work for no results – once you start ranking, you will start seeing the traffic and conversions!

How do beginners do SEO?

The simple SEO tips in this post should be what your focus on. They are things you can do without technical SEO knowledge and coding skills. Once you have understood and started implementing these easy techniques, then you can start looking at more advanced SEO techniques.

How can I improve my SEO fast?

SEO is a slow game – you won’t see results overnight. It can take months for your articles to start showing on Google The fastest way to improve SEO is to start doing it as soon as possible and learn about keyword research!

The importance of Keyword research

Before we get into the easy SEO tips, I want to talk about keyword research.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a word (or words) that a person types into the search engine to get results. It might be something like ‘blog tips’ or ‘scone recipe’

Once you have your keyword, you then write your content in a way that will tell Google/search engines that your article is a great match for that keyword.

So why do we need to do keyword research?

Let’s take the ‘scone recipe’ example again. When you search that, the top result is BBC, then Jamie Oliver’s website pops up next.

These are well-established brands with very successful websites that are hard to compete with. It would be almost impossible to outrank the BBC on anything!

Keyword research allows you to see how competitive a keyword is, as well as how many people search it each month. This gives you a better idea if you have a chance at ranking for it and lets you explore different longtail keywords to see which is the best to target.

In the case of scones, you probably have a better chance at ranking for something such as ‘cheese and chive scones. It may only have 2400 searches a month vs 605000 that ‘scone recipes’ have (I checked!), but what’s the point if you aren’t going to rank on the first page?

We all know what 0% of 605000 is, right? Because that’s how many page views you’ll get if you try to target words that are too difficult for your website to rank for.

I have a full post here on how to do keyword word research and about long-tail keywords if you would like more details.

You can sign up to Keysearch here and use the discount code KSDISC to get a 20% discount if you want to do keyword research – learning keyword research was the best advice to boost my traffic I had ever gotten!

laptop, coffee, phone and note book

Easy SEO Tips

In these SEO tips, I’m going to assume that you’ve done a bit of keyword research and know what your keyword your content is about. It also assumes you’ve already submitted your sitemap to Google and Bing.

1. Write useful content

Quality content should always come first. The aim of Google is to be the best search engine out there. To do that, Google wants to rank the most useful and relevant articles to the top of the SERP’s. This means that Google pays a lot of attention to what content is useful!

This is why longer content is usually better. The top 10 searches on a search enquiry have an average of 2,000 words! It’s not because having more words jusr ranks them better, it’s that a longer article is usually more detailed. So when you write something, don’t be afraid to go into detail.

You really want to be aiming to make it the best piece of writing on that subject!

2. Consider the searchers intent

This is something that I’ve only just started doing. I’d try to rank for things like ‘winter dresses’ (for example). But think about what type of websites a person who searches winter dresses wants when considering a keyword.

Probably a website that sells dresses. So Google will most likely display online shops before blogs. Instead, it’s better to search for something like ‘5 dresses for a winter wedding’.

example of SERPS

3. Have a strong and accurate title

The title tag is how the title of your article is shown in search. The one in the snippet above is shown as ‘5 first date idea for York – skinnedcartree’.

By default, this will be the title of your blog post followed by your blog name. You can change your title tag so it is different too how it’s shown on your blog if you wish, but I just use the same for both. The only thing I ever change is I sometimes take my blog name out if my title tag is too long.

The optimal number of characters is 60 and this should contain your keyword.

Strong titles often have numbers in ‘5 first date ideas’ for example. This title could have been made better with a power word such as ‘the best’ or ‘stunning’

The content should always deliver what the title promises though, if not, your bounce rate will be rubbish and it will have a negative impact on your rankings overall.

4. Use your meta descriptions

Generally, the meta description is the first few words of your article. But you can edit this to be whatever you want and. It’s a good way to use this to describe what the post is about to entice people to click.

snippet and SERPs for SEO blog tips post

In the above snipper, the meta description appears after the date. I’ve edited this to explain more about the post and why people should read it. It often is a bit better and gives more information than the first few sentences of the post.

The meta description has got 160 characters, so use them wisely as they can help you get more clicks when used well!

laptop, coffee and note book

5. Resize your images

Cameras and phones take huge images! Bigger than what you need. Your blog will automatically display the image the right size for your blog, but as it’s got the full image uploaded, it can really slow down the loading time.

Ensure to resize it to the width of your blog page to save on load time. Also, use JPEG over PNG if absolutely necessary. I use Pixlr to edit mine for free. It even allows me to reduce the quality!

You can install plugins to reduce the size of images automatically, but that’s a whole different post!

6. Alt Text For Images

Alt images tell search what the image is about and it can boost your ranking in search, as well as help them to show up in Google Images.

Back in the day, I would just cut and paste my keywords into the alt text and be done with it. But this isn’t the right way to do it.

When putting alt text in your images, think accessibility as well as keywords, alt descriptions are also used by e-readers to describe an image to people who are unable to see it. So describe the picture – what is it of? what brands are featured? What’s in the background? Do not keyword stuff!

Also – there’s no need to start with ‘this is a picture of’ or ‘image of’. They know it’s an image, just dive right in!

An internal link is when you link to one blog post to another. You should aim to have at least one link to every blog post. You can use software like Link Whisper to help you with this.

Internal linking is a long-standing good tradition. There are sooooo many benefits to this. It boosts your ranking overall, make your site easier to crawl, you have control over your anchor texts and internal linking spreads that link juice about.

As you are writing new posts, link around 3-4 of your new posts if they are relevant. Also, consider if you have any old posts that you can update with a link to your new one.

8. Structure Your Blog Posts

Having a good structure to your blog posts headings, bullet points and pictures are great for two reasons:

  • It makes your blog post more user friendly so people will stay on your page for longer improving your bounce.
  • It’s easier for people to read and find the information they need.

If you are writing a long, detailed post, breaking it up so it’s easy for the reader to locate exactly what they want is the best plan of action.

9. Audit your site speed

As the core web vitals update that Google released last year relies heavily on site speed, running a check on your websites speed is more important than ever.

You can quickly check the speed of your website using Google’s page insight tool. This then gives you the points that you need to work on. Some of these are really simple but you may need to do a bit of research or get some help from a professional SEO agency.

10. Don’t keyword stuff

Keyword stuffing is when you just put the keyword everywhere to try and get it to rank. It can be tempting to keyword stuff as it’s much quicker than putting the real work in, but it often results in poor blog posts that are awkward to read and you can get penalised by Google for doing this. You can use a tool like Rank Math to track your on-page SEO and ensure you are using the keyword in the most effective way. I have a full review on Rank Math here.

laptop, coffee and note book

More advanced SEO

If you are wanting a bit more help with SEO, it might be worth consulting someone who offers professional SEO services such as herdl.com.

Services like this will be able to help you with your SEO strategy, audit your website and help out with those more complicated tasks, such as coding issues, building links, helping with core vitals, analyse competitors and help you figure out what keywords would work for you. It can be one of the more important things you do for your blog and company, and the best thing you can spend some of your marketing budgets on as it will help you to get targeted traffic for years.

What’s your top SEO tip?

21 comments

  1. You’ve got some great tips here. If you’d have asked me about SEO 6 months ago, I wouldn’t have a clue, but I’ve been really concentrating on it since October, and it’s really paying off. I didn’t realise how important it was until I went self hosted. However, I’ve only really started with Alt Text for images, so this is definitely somewhere I can improve.

    Lindsay

  2. Corinne, this post is going to help SO MANY bloggers for such a long time. I’ve worked in SEO for years and this post has everyhthing a blogger would need to know all in one place. Well done you for putting this together
    Rosie

  3. Still very much see myself as a beginner in a sense – so this is really helpful! There are thousands of blogs about learning SEO and they all raise similar points, but you’ve broken them down simply for a novice like me! I’m enjoying using Rank Math for my on-page SEO but my keywords are non-existent.

    That’s my focus! I’ll be pinning this post to refer back to 🙂

  4. Thank you for the handy tips! The alt image thing though do you do this when you’ve edited on PicMonkey for example or once you’ve uploaded the picture?! Hope that makes sense. Thanks x

  5. I try my best with SEO, but it’s definitely the first thing that falls by the wayside when I don’t have time, would really love to up it this year!
    Amy x
    callmeamy.co.uk

  6. Fab tips. I rely on Yoast quite a bit and I used to use Keysearch which was really helpful. I know the basics but find it so boring so I do struggle to implement it all the time. I don’t always want to write content which is heavily SEO focused, so I’m trying to find a balance!

  7. Loved reading this! I’d like to think there’s lots of these that j so already, however there are some that need some work still. Especially alt tagging images. I do do it, but can be pretty lazy and just type in key words and a bit of fluff, not really giving much explanation. This post is going to help so many people I’m sure!

    Claire.x

  8. I’m still new to this, but happy to know that I’m on the right track. The absolute hardest thing about SEO is waiting to see if it worked. You do the work today and it takes months to know whether or not you made the right call. It’s madness! You’re right though about doing it sooner rather than later. It would be a nightmare to change everything down the road. I know that I still have work to do, but appreciate posts like these that can help me check myself along the way.

    ~ Cassie

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