SEO Fundamentals

If you aren’t having much success getting traffic to your website or online business it could mean that your site isn’t properly optimised. Without proper search engine optimisation (SEO) you won’t have much luck in search rankings or site traffic.

Here are some of the basics of SEO to get you started.

Keywords keywords keywords

Keywords are the foundation of search engine optimisation. Basically what you’re doing with keywords is integrating words or phrases that people search for into your website content so that your site shows up when people search for those words or phrases.

Using keywords is a bit of an art. More is not necessarily better, for two reasons. First plugging your written content full of keywords can make the writing sound unnatural and stilted:

Get more hits with search engine optimisation. Effective search engine optimisation means you will rank higher in searches compared to sites that don’t use search engine optimisation. Search engine optimisation will get more content in front of more people and search engine optimisation is a great online marketing strategy.

In addition to the resulting bad prose, the other reason to avoid excessive use of keywords is that search engines will actually penalise you in search rankings if they think your content is just packs of keywords.

The trick with keywords is to use them effectively. You should be doing things like:

  • Using your primary keyword in the title of the content (webpage, blog post, video, etc)
  • Using keywords in the description
  • Using keywords in the first 50 words of text

Front-end the keywords, don’t keep repeating keywords and don’t litter them throughout the content. You’ll get much better results this way.

Choosing keywords

Keywords that have the highest frequency in search engines are the most popular searches. You might think that these are the best keywords to integrate into your content, but this isn’t always the case. Competition for top results with these popular searches is fierce and you may not have much luck.

Instead, try looking for mid-range or long-tail keywords (i.e. less popular keywords) that may have less popularity but also less competition.

Optimise your images

Any good website has more than giant blocks of text. Did you know you can change the alt tags, image tags and file names for your images? When search engines like Google crawl your website they pick up not only written content but also data about the images on your website.

A well-optimised image can show up in search results and lead to more traffic on your website. Use the same principles as for written content if you start renaming images on your site.

Use an SEO tool

There are may SEO tools you can use to make sure you’re using the right keywords and doing everything right to increase your visibility in search engines. Some are paid and some are free, like Google’s various tools. You should spend some time finding out what will work best for you.

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