Best SEO Training Tips
As a business owner in this digital age, your business or brand needs an online presence. A large fraction of the world's population is now online, and many look to the web to buy products, seek services, and find information. Moreover, your business's website must be able to keep up with the competition and, in order to do so, search engine optimization (SEO) is a must—as is SEO training.
Affecting how well your website ranks on various search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), SEO ultimately improves the visibility of your business online. This way, when people get on the web to purchase an item or find a service provider, your website will rank high on top search results pages, increasing the likelihood of web users clicking to your site and ultimately converting to a sale. Of course, in order to implement a strong SEO strategy for your website, you'll need some basic SEO training. With this, let's take a look at some essential tips for SEO training.
If you'd like to move forward in your SEO training, check out the pages provided below:
SEO Training: The Basics of Search Engine Optimization
While SEO is a complex process, as are the individual strategies therein, there're a few basic aspects of SEO that are a must for any business looking to improve their website's performance within search engine results. As part of our SEO training, we've laid out the basic strategies every business should employ for their website. The topics to be covered in this article are as follow:
- Keyword Research
- Content Writing
Before we get started, allow us to paint a clearer picture: imagine you're seeking a pair of men's shoes online. You enter “men's dress shoes” into Google, and it pulls up a list of websites to buy shoes from. Naturally, you'll scan the list looking for specific terms and types of shoes you want, such as “leather loafers”. As you continue to scan, you can assume those sites at the top of the results pages are credible and relevant to your search term. But how do they appear at the top of results over other sites? The answer is basic SEO. The first and most important strategy therein is keyword research.
Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO, if not the most. Any content on your site, including static web pages, blog posts, product descriptions, among other areas, should all be optimized around keywords. However, before you can optimize your site for such, you'll need to perform extensive keyword search. While there are plenty of keyword research tools you can use to find an exhaustive list, you'll first need to start with keywords you know apply directly to your business and industry. Then, you can use these ideas, with a keyword research tool, to find relevant and high-volume search terms. For further information on keyword research, view the pages provided below:
As you begin your keyword research, one good (and free) practice within is using search engines. For instance, when you search for any term on Google, the bottom of the search results will suggest related searches, which you can use for keyword ideas. Of course, you can also use the search results provided for each term to get an idea of what type of content ranks for the keywords you type in.
Creating Keyword-Based Content
As mentioned, once you've developed a solid list of keywords, you'll then need to employ them across your website to start ranking in search engine results. However, creating content based around your keywords isn't so clear cut. Not only do you need to focus the content around appropriate keywords, but you've also got to keep your audience in mind—the consumer. In creating content with your keywords, keep the following tips in mind:
- Write for your audience: Keeping keywords in mind, and using them where appropriate, you should first strive to ensure the content meets the searcher's intent. Consider what they would like to find with each keyword.
- Headlines are of utmost importance: Before anyone clicks to your site or a specific page, they need to be drawn in by the headline. Make it appealing and ensure it's telling of the page's topic.
- Maintain a solid structure: As with any page or document, you need to make sure it's well structured and organized. Strive for cohesiveness and ensure each section of the page is labeled appropriately.
- Add in images: A large chunk of plain text is rarely appealing to web users. Liven up your content with relevant and meaningful images to not only make the page more aesthetically pleasing, but also to give users something helpful to look at.
- Include links to other, relevant pages: Internal linking is important for any site. By linking in relevant pages across your site, you can help users click through your site, find more information, and ultimately get them to convert to a sale.
Building Strong Backlinks
Backlinks, commonly referred to as inbound links, are also an integral part of SEO. In fact, you could say a website won't have much of a chance to rank in search engine results without a decent backlink portfolio. In essence, backlinks are any link directing to your site from another, external website. So, if a website mentions your business on one of their pages and provides a link for users to click to your site, your website has acquired a backlink. Backlinks help search engines determine how strong and credible your website is. So, as you might assume, the more authoritative a website is that links to your site, the more credible your site will appear to search engines.
Though the idea of backlinks is quite simple, acquiring such is not—at least when acquiring meaningful backlinks. You see, there are a number of black-hat SEO techniques to acquire backlinks, but they often result in a penalty from search engines and will only hurt your rankings. To avoid penalties and acquire strong, credible backlinks to your site, try these suggestions:
- Reach out for backlinks: Consider any friends or relatives you have that may run a site and ask them to link to your own website. It's a great place to start and get some initial backlinks.
- Visit blogs, forums, etc.: Submitting insightful comments in blogs and forums is a great way to communicate with others in your industry and acquire backlinks. However, you should only leave your URL in a comment if it directly relates to the content and brings something to the table for others commenting on the blog or forum. Otherwise, it'll be removed instantly.
- Create your own blog: Creating a blog and linking to your site is also a viable option in acquiring inbound links. However, you'll need to update the blog regularly, or else it'll come off as a poor backlink and could even hurt your site.
- Write great content: Of course, you should always strive to create content on your site that will acquire backlinks itself. If people like what they see and think it's useful for others, they'll share pages of your site on their own.
Additional Search Engine Optimization
side from finding appropriate keywords, writing keyword-based content, and acquiring backlinks, there's a few other strategies you can implement with some basic SEO training. For the most part, these tasks will involve your selected keywords, so again, you'll need to have completed extensive keyword research to ensure you've selected the best keywords for your business and website. Some basic SEO strategies are provided below:
- Title Tags: A title tag is the text you click on any given search results page, which is followed by a meta description (explained below). These tell users and search engines alike what each page of your website is about. You should strive to include a keyword or two, as well as your business name in title tags, while providing insight as to what the page covers. Keep in mind, you typically have 60-70 characters for a title tag.
- Meta Descriptions: Sitting below the title tag in search results is the meta description, which allows for approximately 160 characters. These should be short descriptions further telling what the page includes. Work in keywords and include a call-to-action in your meta description for every page.
- Header Tags (Htags): Within each page of content on your site, you'll need headers, just as you would with most documents. Not only do header tags help guide users through your content, but they also help search engines determine what the page is about. Header tags should always include a keyword, but also be in accordance with the content of the page.
- Image Alt Text: The image alternative text is hidden on site, but it tells search engines about that image (for image searches) and is a great place to work in additional keywords. Be sure not to stuff the alt text with keywords, however.
In essence, a solid SEO strategy comes down to the keywords you select and employ across your website. Of course, your backlink portfolio, among other factors, will also affect your website's ability to rank in search engine results. So, in creating compelling content based on keywords and acquiring strong backlinks to your website, you'll have a better chance of ranking. Keep in mind, however, SEO and the strategies therein are constantly changing—so be sure to stay up to date with current SEO trends and other means to marketing.
Track Your Stats with StatCounter
As you complete your basic SEO training and begin to delve into SEO for your website, it's essential you track your results to ensure your SEO strategies are performing as expected. With StatCounter, you can view numerous metrics to find out where traffic to site is coming from and how users are interacting on your site. This way, you can then make educated decisions as to where to go next with your SEO strategies and ultimately improve your website's rank within search results.
If you have any questions, you can get in touch with StatCounter support by filling out the form provided below.
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