SEO For Dummies
Did you know that there are more than 1.7 billion websites floating around on the internet right now? Are you looking for the guide to help you through the struggle of getting SEO for dummies. However, even if you did know that, you might not realize that many of those websites exist without any visitors or any business. This is because it takes more than creating a website and letting it sit around in order to make a business out of it.
SEO is one of the most important tools you can use for growing a website, and without it, your website will fade into obscurity. Fortunately, this SEO for dummies guide will teach you everything you need to know about SEO from the basics to the more advanced details. By learning more about SEO, you’ll have no problem giving your new website the fuel it needs to get more traffic and more business.
Before we dive into the more convoluted details of this topic, let’s first take a look at the basics. One of the most important things you need to know off the bat is what SEO is exactly.
What Is SEO
SEO is also known as search engine optimization. As the name suggests, it has everything to do with how search engines can find your website. There are many things you can do to improve the way a search engine like Google might find your website.
For example, keyword research, on-page SEO, backlinks, and more can all help to boost the popularity of your website. Of course, if you are completely new to SEO, you might not know what any of these concepts are yet. Keywords are the most commonly understood concept in the realm of SEO since they are not much more than strings of words.
For example, if you were to type in “best houseplants” into Google, that would be a keyword in itself. Your search results would be websites that rank highest for that keyword and thus are the most popular. If your website manages to hit the first page of Google, you’ve hit the jackpot.
This is because the majority of people never bother to hit the second or even third page of Google. Usually, the first page has everything one might be looking for. Since “best houseplants” is a popular keyword, there will be a lot of results when you search for it.
You might think if you write about houseplants that your website will quickly become popular. Unfortunately, however, it’s not that simple. New websites might have trouble competing with large and established websites for the same keyword.
So, even if you wrote a very similar article to one that has landed as the first result on Google, this doesn’t mean that your article is going to end up on the first page on Google. This is because there are many other factors you need to consider for improving your website’s SEO content.
More on SEO Keywords
Keywords are indeed a very important aspect in the realm of SEO but you do need to consider how other factors come into play. When it comes to SEO, there is no one aspect that works entirely alone. Rather, many different aspects come together to ultimately optimize your website and allow more people to see what you create.
As mentioned before, a popular keyword will not necessarily give you a popular blog. This is because of competition. When there are thousands, if not millions, of other bloggers all writing about the same thing, you most likely won’t have a chance to compete.
This doesn’t mean you should give up, however. Consider less popular keywords, for example. “Industrial sealant” is a keyword that is nowhere near as popular as “best houseplants.” Fewer people will be searching for this keyword, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Instead, “industrial sealant” is a much more niche keyword. If your website has anything to do with this product, you could actually have a lot of success. This is because, with a bit of effort, you could become one of the top-ranking websites for such a niche keyword since there are far fewer websites to compete with.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should never write about more popular keywords out of fear of being buried under the competition. You should always write what you feel is best for your business, but you should keep basic SEO practices in mind as well.
You could also target long-tail keywords such as “best houseplants that are impossible to kill.” Long-tail keywords are much more specific than shorter keywords. For that reason, they are more niche and have less competition, making them great to write about.
All about Keyword Research
In this last section about keywords, you will discover that keyword research is of utmost importance when choosing a well-performing keyword. Of course, picking a few words at random and writing about them won’t get your website very far. Instead, you will need to do a bit of research.
As you’ve already seen, keyword popularity, as well as competition, are both very important aspects to consider. You also can’t go without knowing about search volume for keywords. Search volume is how much a certain term has been searched for month to month.
A tool that allows you to analyze the search volume of various keywords is very helpful because it will allow you to see what keywords might be increasing or decreasing in popularity. Many common keywords such as “pepperoni pizza” tend to have relatively stable search volumes because people are always interested in pepperoni pizza.
However, there may be other keywords that may get suddenly popular due to an internet trend. Of course, you will never be able to predict whether or not a certain keyword will get outrageously popular. However, with search volume, you will be able to see if a keyword is slowly getting more popular month by month.
Building a keyword list is also a great idea if you want to build your business on your website. A keyword list is a list that includes all the keywords you might want your business to cover. For example, if your business sells skincare products, you will want to have a keyword list filled with related keywords.
This way, you won’t waste time trying to figure out what keywords might be good to write about SEO-wise. You also will save time coming up with blog ideas since a keyword list will be a skeleton for future blog topics.
All about Backlink Building
When learning about SEO for the first time, many people make the mistake of getting too focused on keywords. Of course, keywords are undoubtedly important, but they should not be the only thing you consider when optimizing your website. While focusing on one aspect of SEO may help you grow your website to a certain extent, it will not bring your website as far as it can truly go.
Backlink building is another SEO aspect that you need to learn all about if you want to ensure that your website will be a success. But what is backlink building exactly and what makes it so important? Backlinks are also known as inbound links and have everything to do with linking your website to another website.
You might be thinking that linking your website to another website might be a bad idea. Won’t people simply leave your website to go visit the other website? However, the result is not so simple.
The first thing you need to know about backlinks is that you shouldn’t think of them as links but rather as “votes.” The more votes a website has, the more Google will see that website. And when Google sees a website with so many votes, the Google algorithm will be compelled to promote that website more.
The concept of backlinking may still be confusing to you. Why would connecting your website with other websites get you on Google’s good side? Why is it so beneficial to connect your website with another?
The trick behind it all is that backlinks are what Google looks for when it ranks a website. So, if you really want to get your website on the first page of Google, you won’t have much choice other than using backlinks.
How Backlinks Work
Since backlinks are so important when it comes to the way Google ranks your website on the internet, you might be compelled to fill all of your website’s content with backlinks. However, like most things that have to do with SEO, it’s not so simple. This is because not all backlinks are created equal.
Because of that, you will need to be more careful when choosing backlinks as you would be when choosing the right keywords. But what should you look for when choosing backlinks? Quality!
If you don’t have quality, your backlinks aren’t going to get you very far. For that very reason, your website’s content might be filled with hundreds or even thousands of low-quality backlinks and those links wouldn’t get your website anywhere. On the other hand, one or two high-quality backlinks could get your website far.
But what determines a backlink’s quality in the first place? The key has to do with trustworthiness and authority. Your backlinks should always link to websites that are trustworthy.
The Google algorithm already knows that which is why it prefers to promote websites with backlinks. It knows that most websites use trustworthy backlinks, so the ultimate result will be the promotion of more trustworthy websites in contrast to untrustworthy or dangerous websites. This is another reason why you should steer clear of low-quality backlinks even if they might be easy to obtain.
For example, a backlink from a trusted website such as Johns Hopkins would be ideal. On the other hand, some shady website full of suspicious popups would not be the ideal backlink for your website. While it may be more difficult to get higher-quality backlinks, the result of such backlinks is worth much more than the result of low-quality backlinks.
The Details of SEO Backlinks
So far, we have seen how trustworthiness is very important when it comes to choosing high-quality backlinks. However, another factor that you need to consider is the authority of the backlink. But what is authority in a website anyway?
Trustworthiness and authority go hand-in-hand for building backlinks. Website authority may also be called domain authority. As with trust, the more authority a given website has, the more Google will favor it and be interested in raising it up the search engine ranks. A website’s authority has to do with how relevant a website is for a certain topic.
For example, if you had a website that was one of the most popular and well-known websites for the sale of houseplants, your website would have great authority. This is because your potential customers, as well as Google, will be able to see what your website is highly trustworthy and reliable. More than that, whatever your website does in its niche may have an impact on smaller websites in the same niche.
Such a large and authoritative website will always create an impact of some kind. This is especially true if you have a smaller website and you manage to get a backlink with the more authoritative website. People reading content on the larger website will see a link to your website and might be tempted to click since they already know the website they’re on would only provide trustworthy links.
Through this maneuver, your smaller website would be able to get an influx of traffic and potential customers. Of course, you should always try to get backlinks to websites that are related to your own. You won’t get very far if your plant website tries to get a backlink with a motorcycle manufacturing website.
How to Blog for SEO
By now, you have seen how keywords and backlink building are both very important for building your website. However, the magic of SEO doesn’t stop there. The next thing you will need to consider is how to blog for SEO.
Of course, many people want to write about whatever they feel like. While this can be fine if you have a blog as a hobby, it’s not ideal if you’re trying to actively grow your website and your business. While you can still make blogging fun and entertaining for yourself, you will need to put in a little extra effort in order to optimize your blog content.
When you blog for SEO, you will need to write content that incorporates all the aspects of SEO you have learned such as keywords and backlinks. You will also need to build your website in a way that allows for SEO. This is because there are many SEO factors for websites that have very little to do with the actual writing.
However, let’s first focus on how you can write to improve your ranking on search engines. One of the first things you need to do is figure out how to incorporate your main keywords into your writing. Most importantly, you will want your primary keyword to appear in the title of your blog.
After all, if you’re writing a blog about how to find the best houseplant for you and your title doesn’t have the keyword, “best houseplant,” it will be harder for your blog to rank for that keyword. And of course, your potential readers will be looking for that keyword as well since it is likely what they typed into Google in the first place. But the science of incorporating your keywords doesn’t stop there.
How to Incorporate Your Keywords into Your Blog for SEO
While it is certainly very helpful, it isn’t enough to call it a day after you put your main keyword into the title of your blog. Instead, you will need to carefully sprinkle your main keyword throughout your blog. You must be careful about doing this because if you use your keyword too much and too often, your readers will see that you are keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing can be annoying to potential readers since it is essentially repeating the same string of words very often throughout your content. Instead, try to use your keyword sparingly but not too sparingly. The more times your keyword is found in your content, the more the Google algorithm will see it and promote your website for that keyword.
However, using a keyword too often won’t do much to help you and might even deter some traffic from your website. You should also keep in mind that you should target more than one keyword when writing content for your website. It is important to have a primary keyword that overarches all the other keywords such as “best houseplants.”
However, you should also have a few more related keywords. This will help to encompass very similar topics that your potential readers may be searching for. For example, someone might not search for “best houseplants” but instead for “low light houseplants” or “types of houseplants.”
Since these additional keywords are more or less as popular as your main keyword and closely related, they can be of great help to your website’s content. A few extra keywords make it easier to find your website’s content when they search for those keywords or keywords that are very similar. But remember to always write for humans rather than for search engines alone.
Make Sure Your Content Is Scannable
Many website writers make the mistake of writing up huge chunks of text. While all that text might be highly informative and entertaining, most readers find that large chunks of text can be quite intimidating. More than that, these chunks can be hard to read, especially if the font is small and closely spaced together.
If your readers immediately get the impression that your website’s content is convoluted and hard to read, you won’t get much success with your website. This is true even if you put a lot of energy into using the right keywords, building backlinks, and so on. Luckily, however, making your website’s content more scannable and accessible isn’t all that difficult.
One of the main things you will want to try is using headers. You can think of headers as mini-titles or chapters that are scattered throughout your blog. They can help break up long masses of text with their larger font size.
More than that, they also give you another opportunity to use more of your keywords. Headers also give your readers the sensation that they are making progress as they read through your blog. For instance, your first header might be, “How to choose the best houseplant,” followed by, “the types of houseplants you can choose from,” then followed by, “how to care for your new plants.”
Headers give you the chance to organize your content in a way that makes sense. If you need to shift topics in your blog and you don’t use a header to mark the change, you could easily confuse your readers. More than that, they make your content especially scannable.
All your reader has to do is scroll through your blog until they find the section they want to read. SEO blogging has never been so easy.
Don’t Forget about Internal Links
While we have already discussed backlink building, it is not the same as building internal links. Backlinks connect your website with another while internal links connect your site with itself. You might be thinking that internal links sound pretty useless.
After all, if a reader is already on your site, why should you provide them with another link of the same site? Of course, you would not want to link your blog to the same page. Instead, you would want to use an internal link to link to another one of your blog posts, for example.
This is especially true if you have some old blog posts that don’t have a lot of views compared to your newer posts. By adding some internal links in your newer posts to your previous posts, you will be able to direct your visitors to content that not many people have had the chance to see.
But the benefits of internal links don’t stop there. They also give your readers the chance to stay on your website for a longer period of time. The longer your readers stick around the better because they will have more time to discover products or services on your site that might interest them.
After all, you wouldn’t have much luck if your readers clicked off of your site a few seconds after they clicked on. You should also keep in mind that your internal links should be related to whatever content you link them to. This same rule applies to backlinks.
By linking to a similar post on your blog, your reader will have the chance to read more about a topic that interests them. For example, if you write about the different types of plant pots available, you could link to product pages for plant pots.
Be Sure to Choose a Good Title
As mentioned before, it is important to include your main keyword in the title of your blog. However, putting a keyword in the title isn’t enough to make it a good title. A good title is one that potential readers will want to click on.
But what can you do to make a title more interesting? Taking a look at the top-ranking website results on Google for a certain niche will help. More often than not, a good title will not only include the main keyword but also numbers and something to stir the emotions.
For example, the title, “Top 5 Cooking Secrets That Will Shock You” has great potential for being a successful title. The keyword would be “cooking secrets” and it would obviously target those who want to know some special details about cooking. Then, the “Top 5” bit is catching to the potential reader because it insinuates that the content is brief and manageable.
On the other hand, a title like, “Top 35 Cooking Secrets That Will Shock You” may not attract as many people. This could be that 35 cooking secrets are far too many and potential readers might get bored before they can finish the article. For many top-ranking websites that include numbers in their titles, they usually don’t go beyond the number 20.
Finally, using the word “shock” in the title can be very attractive to potential readers. This is because titles that use words to elicit emotions tend to be more effective. Readers want to know what makes something shocking, amazing, breathtaking, and so on.
You should also be careful not to let your title go on for too long. A title that is too long can be as unattractive as a title that is too short.
Make Sure Your Website Loads Quickly
What many people don’t know is that blogging for SEO goes far beyond the writing aspect. You also need to consider how your website functions. As it happens, how well your website works is as important, if not more so, than whatever you write on your website.
This is because no one wants to struggle with a malfunctioning website. If your website takes forever to load or if some of the buttons on the menu don’t work, your readers will quickly be frustrated and go visit a competitor site instead. This, of course, is not ideal, so what can you do to make sure your website runs as well as it can?
Website speed is very important. When someone clicks on your website for the first time, the website should show up within a second or two. Also, when someone explores the different pages of your website, those pages should load equally fast.
This is because people have very little patience when it comes to the internet. Most things online work very fast, so if there is a website that runs a little slower than average, people will quickly become impatient with it. Junk code is one of many things that can make a website run slowly.
If you remove junk code from your site or hire a professional to fix it for you, you should find that your website will run faster at once. Having too many plugins on your site may also be an issue, and you’ll see an improvement by removing them.
There are many tools you can use to measure your site’s speed. If you find that your site’s speed is slow, you should take the measures to clean it up so your viewers won’t be left waiting.
Improve Your Site’s Mobile Responsiveness
It might be hard to believe, but more than half of the traffic on Google comes from mobile devices. Mobile devices can include phones, tablets, and more. Mobile devices are, of course, mobile, people can surf the web anytime they feel like it.
However, many websites make the mistake of not optimizing themselves for mobile devices. If you’ve ever clicked on websites on your phone, you’ve undoubtedly seen this problem yourself. Websites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices tend to be formatted strangely on phones and can be very hard to read and explore for various reasons.
The text might be too small to read, the menu is too difficult to click on, and the whole mobile experience is a frustrating mess. If this is the case for your website, people will quickly click away to find a site that is easier to navigate on mobile. Even if your site is built great SEO-wise, people won’t care to explore your site if it’s too hard to deal with on mobile devices.
Fortunately, it’s not usually too hard to tweak your website so it’s mobile-friendly. Many websites have themes that are already compatible with mobile devices. You could try switching your website to one of these themes or you could dive into the code to fiddle with the font size and other factors.
By making the font size a bit larger, it will become much easier to read on phones and tablets. By making the different pages and menus easier to interact with, you will have far fewer frustrated viewers.
You should also keep your website speed in mind. Your site’s speed is as important on mobile devices as it is on the computer. Once you fix these issues, you should see an improvement in your site’s mobile traffic.
All About Guest Posts
Guest posting involves writing an article that will appear on another person’s website. You might be wondering what the point would be of putting in the effort to write something only for it to appear on a website other than your own. However, you shouldn’t discard the idea of guest posts yet because they can be very beneficial to the growth of your website.
Allowing your blogs to appear on other websites can bring a lot of traffic to your website. This is especially true if the website on which your posts appear is a website larger than your own. However, before you start typing away and start creating as many guest posts as possible, there are a few things you will need to consider.
The main thing you will need to think about is what you want your guest post goals to be. Guest posting without any goals will not get you very far. You need to plan ahead and set up milestones that you want your website to reach.
A great goal to have is to make your website an authority figure among your competitors. For example, if your website sells houseplants, you will want to make sure you are one of the most trusted houseplant sellers on Google. By getting your name out on different websites, more and more people will see that your site is the one people should go to for houseplants and information about houseplants.
Establishing yourself through guest posts will help you to attain this goal. However, you shouldn’t expect success overnight. As with anything, you might need to try guest posting for a while before you start to see an increase in your website’s traffic.
More Guest Post Goals You Should Consider
While establishing your website as an authority on other websites is very important, it’s not the only goal you should keep in mind. Another big goal to work for is getting your site more exposure. In order to accomplish this, you will need to find the right websites to put your guest posts on.
As with building backlinks, you should never choose websites at random. You should also refrain from posting on low-quality or untrustworthy websites even if it might be easy to submit your guest posts to them. Remember that quality is almost always better than quantity in the realm of SEO.
You will want to look for websites that are not only larger than your own but also those that have engaged audiences. Some websites have a lot of traffic but not a lot of engagement which means those viewers most likely won’t be interested in clicking on links or even reading your entire guest post. More than that, you will also need to find websites that are in your same niche.
Otherwise, you won’t see a big improvement if your guest post doesn’t line up with the other person’s website niche. There are a few ways you can tell if a website gets a lot of engagement. Comments, likes, and shares on social media are great indicators.
They show that people have read the content and like it enough to share it with people they know. You should also make sure that the blog owner is engaged as well.
Beyond getting more exposure, one final goal you should keep in mind is building backlinks. Building backlinks should not be your main goal for guest posting, but it is much like killing two birds with one stone.
Turning Your Guest Posts into a Reality
You can’t make your guest posting goals a reality unless you know how to start guest posting. As mentioned before, you need to find high-quality sites for your posts, but how do you find those sites in the first place? As it turns out, all you need to do is search for opportunities on Google.
For example, if you search “websites that accept guest posts” you’ll likely find a large number of results. Of course, not all of the results will be ideal for what you want to write about, but it doesn’t hurt to look at what kind of opportunities might be available. If you don’t have any luck at first, don’t worry.
The next thing you can try is taking a look at well-known guest posters. By examining what other guest bloggers do, you can take notes for yourself. Do those bloggers have a certain style or do they utilize SEO tactics in a certain way?
By learning from other guest bloggers, you can better your skills before you jump into the guest posting pond. There are also communities of guest bloggers that you can join. By joining these communities, you can stay up to date with the latest news in the guest posting realm and learn new information to better your own guest posts.
In the end, the results will pay off with increased traffic and exposure for your own website.
SEO for Dummies
In this SEO for dummies guide, you’ve explored everything from keywords and backlinks to guest posts and blogging for SEO. With this information, you shouldn’t have any trouble improving your website’s SEO.
If you want to know more about SEO or SEO services, contact us here.