Host: Jen Spencer

 

On today's episode I want to talk about SEO basics.

That’s right, we’re talking search engine optimization.

SEO is the practice of improving and promoting a website in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines.

I've actually found that a lot of people can get a bit confused about the basics of SEO.

There's so much information that we could cover on the topic of SEO. But, I'd like to share 4 beginner SEO tips, just to help you get started.

Tip #1: Create Truly Amazing Content for Your Audience First

Make sure you’re creating great content for your audience first, before you focus on your SEO content.

Why?

Well, search engines are smart—they only want to show their audiences the most helpful and relevant content out there.

They can tell when you're just trying to please them as opposed to being genuine. In fact, you'll actually get penalized for working the system which can decrease your page rank.

And you don't want to sound like a robot to your audience. You want to be helpful and sound human.

So, make sure you're writing content for your audience first and for search engines, like Google, second.

Creating educational and helpful content will increase traffic to your site, build trust with your audience, help establish you as a thought leader, and attract inbound links and social shares to help your content spread.

Great content is the most important tool that you have for SEO.

Tip #2: Focus on Keyword Placement

Make sure you have one keyword around which to focus your content.

Not only will this help you with structure and thought consistency throughout your post, it will also make it easier for search engine crawlers to understand what your content is actually about.

To help with this, make sure you take your keyword and place it verbatim in the following six places:

  • The URL—If you're using a long tail keyword, make sure you place hyphens between each individual word.
  • The page title—this is the copy that appears when you scroll over tabs in your browser.
  • Page headers—this helps with page consistency.
  • Image alt tags—these get skipped a lot. If you have an image in your post, which you should, including your keyword in the image alt tag can help tie it to the post.
  • In the page content—be sure to include your keyword in the body of your post. But use it naturally. Don't overload your page with a keyword just to try to get tracked. That can, and will, work against you.
  • The meta description—this is the copy that shows up in the search engine results page under the page title that describes what the page is about. Make it clear so your page gets selected out of all of the other results.

Tip #3: Create Internal Links for Your Website

Internal linking is when you position hyperlinks throughout your site that link to separate pages within the same domain.

For example, here at SmartBug Media we might link from our Inbound Marketing page to our Case Study page.

Why is this important?

Internal linking increases the time people spend on-site as they click from one page to another. It also allows users the opportunity to more easily navigate your site.

And, from an SEO perspective, creating those internal links is sort of like voting for yourself—and letting everyone know that you're voting.

As you know, whoever gets the most votes in a competition wins.

Tip #4: Build Relationships

Search engines recognize when other websites have links that direct to your site. That tells them that your site is important, which increases your ranking.

Building relationships, online and off, with industry influences and other well-respected sites can increase the odds of getting inbound links to your site. And it will ensure you get valuable visitation.

This can set you apart as a thought leader and bring you more followers.

So, those are four beginner SEO tactics you have to know to get going on your SEO journey.

What are your favorite SEO tips that are working in your own business? Tweet me or SmartBug at @jenspencer or @smartbugmedia.

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Jen Spencer

About the author

Jen Spencer leads SmartBug's sales, marketing, and brand strategy. Over her career, Jen has built several demand generation and sales enablement programs from the ground up and has experience working within tech startups, publicly traded companies, mid-market organizations, and the not-for-profit space. Jen subscribes to the notion that “we’re all in this together,” and great communication leads to great partnership. She loves animals, technology, the arts, and really good Scotch. Read more articles by Jen Spencer.

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