SEO Tips for Beginners

We get a lot of startups and businesses building their first website here at ServInt. Search engine optimization isn’t something most people think about when they’re just starting off. Having a high ranking on Google and other search engines is obviously beneficial, so it pays to get your start early instead of having to go back through and redesign your content for SEO. These tips will help you with your early SEO efforts.

Monitor Your Efforts
Make sure you’re signed up with Google Analytics to track your traffic. See which pages receive the most hits. More importantly, see where your traffic is coming from. Who links to your site? What keywords are people searching when they find your site? These are both important factors to help inform your future efforts. Speaking of keywords…

Use Quality Keywords
Keywords should appear naturally in your content, in the titles of pages, URLs, image names, and of course in the content itself. Don’t force keywords in; this can look like stuffing and might also cause your content to read awkwardly. When considering which keywords to focus on, don’t go too general. If you specialize in handmade toys for infants, then “handmade infant toys” will be more likely to lead to your site (and generate far more conversions) than the more generic “toys” or even “baby toys” would.

On-page tags
Title tags, meta tags, and heading tags are all important aspects of SEO. These tags should include the relevant keywords for the page. The title tag is the page’s title, which should be short and descriptive. The meta tag should be a somewhat longer description of the content. Heading tags are used inside the content itself to set up separate sections. Only ever use one H1 tag, at the top of the content, for the main header of the content.

Plain language URLs
Using the following URLs, which makes it easier to determine what content will be on the page?

Search engines pull information from URLs. The first URL lays out the content precisely, the second gives no information whatsoever. Using plain language makes it very easy for search engines and browsers to understand what the page they’re visiting contains.

Create a sitemap
A sitemap can help search engines search your site for its content easier. It also makes it easier for browsers to find things on it as well. A sitemap includes internal links to your content, linking it together and requiring fewer clicks to get through.

Internal links
When you have new content that can relate to older content, make sure to link to it! Linking to your archives refreshes views on your content, driving people to take an additional look at older articles that may still be useful.

Optimized speed
A faster website is much more appealing to visitors. If they come to your site and it doesn’t start loading near-instantly, they’ll quickly grow frustrated and look elsewhere. Search engines take this into account and if your site loads slowly while they are crawling it, your rankings will suffer. It’s always easier to start off making sure your code, images, and other assets are optimized rather than go back and make changes later. Use tools like Pingdom or PageSpeed Insights to give you ideas on where you can improve your site’s speed.

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