Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of using tactics to improve the quantity of targeted traffic on the internet knowing about your company, and it is impossible to overstate the importance of SEO.
Learning how to optimise your website and practising good SEO are two of the best ways that you can improve your company's marketing because it greatly affecting your company's bottom line. With the help from Noria, a digital marketing agency who excels in SEO, we bring about a step-by-step beginners guide to SEO to get you headed in the right direction.
Step 1: Learn Your Current Position
You need to have a baseline to know if your efforts are being successful or not. While you can use many different tools, one of the best is Google Analytics and it is free. When studying your analytics, pay particular attention to:
• Traffic - You can easily see the amount of traffic that is coming to your website along with the location of that traffic. Pay attention to your unique monthly visitors as this tells you the total number of people your website is reaching along with repeat visitors as this can tell you if your marketing efforts are reaching repeat customers.
• Traffic Sources - You will want to know how people are arriving at your website. Trying to achieve a balanced approach allows you to stay more profitable if you hit trouble in one area.
• Referrals - This lets you know what inbound links are generating traffic.
• Most Popular Content - This section lets you see what page is seen by most people on your website.
• Behaviour - This lets you see what buttons viewers are clicking while on your website.
• Bounce Rate - This lets you know how many people are arriving at your site only to leave again.
You will want to create a spreadsheet, circle diagram or another way to illustrate these numbers so that you can see them at a glance. The great news is that Google Analytics has some of these charts done for you. In the beginning, you may want to watch them on a weekly basis, but you may discover that monthly is often enough eventually.
Step 2: Get Out of the Penalty Box if You Are There
Google and other search engines can put sites or pages into penalty boxes for a variety of reasons. Webmasters get an email when these occur and you can also find the information listed in your Google Analytics report.
• Sneaky redirects where users are sent to one web page while the search engine crawls another.
• Hacked sites where someone has hacked the site. When discovered, the entire website is removed.
• Hidden Texts are pages that are stuffed with keywords to the point where they make no sense to the viewer coming to the site or contain messages meant to be read only by computers.
• Not following rich snippet instructions with the intent to spam the system.
• Shallow pages are often auto-generated and add no real value to your viewer's life.
• The unnatural linking scheme is the penalty given to sites that are buying links to content that does not add value to the viewer's life.
• Expired jobs are pages listing jobs that have been filled or that never existed in the first place.
Once you get the penalty fixed, then you can request a reconsideration from Google and other search engines. Then, the search engines usually send their crawler to your site in a few days to make sure that the problem has been corrected.
Step 3: Improve the Technical Side of SEO
The next step is to improve the technical side of your SEO game plan if needed. After all, your organic search engine rankings cannot improve if Google and other search engines cannot use their bots to crawl your website. The great news is that many of your technical errors will be outlined right in your free Google Analytics report along with information about the date your website was crawled last.
• Duplicate pages making it hard to decide which page to rank
• Noindex tags that have never been removed where great content is living
• Pages that load slowly
• 4xx error codes indicating your server is inaccessible
• 5xx error codes indicating your server is not able to perform the required action
• Hreflang code errors
Having any of these mistakes can cause Google and others to rank your website poorly. You should get them fixed as soon as possible.
Step 4: Create Site Architecture
You are finally ready to start working on your site as you have taken care of the technical side of your SEO. With about an equal amount of searches being done on mobile devices where it is harder to click than on desktops, creating a shallow site architecture helps users get where they want in a hurry. Remember that readers normally look at websites in an F pattern, reading across the top of the website first, then down the left side and across the middle. Place key buttons allowing them to find the information that they are looking for in these areas.
Step 5: Create Good Content
Good content is and always will remain king. Google and others are starting to be able to teach their ranking machines to find great content and rank it without using keywords. Therefore, it is essential to create content that resonates with your target audience. Think about enticing someone to click on your page by using strong titles and meta descriptions to encourage your click-through rate.
When you follow these simple steps involved in how to do SEO for your website, you will see your website start to rise through the rankings because it is how SEO works. Remember that it is not a one-time and your done process, so you will need to keep working on your website on an ongoing basis.