SEO Basics 101: How to Quickly Optimize Your Website for Search Engines PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 June 2017 09:55

Fail to optimize your website for search engines, and thereby fail to get new leads, customers and traffic to your site. That’s how it goes in today’s modern world of SEO and digital marketing on the web.

Are you ready to master SEO basics
Are you ready to master SEO basics? (graphic source)

SEO stands for search engine optimization—it’s the process of making your website and all its webpages easier for your customers to find on search engine results pages (SERPs). Your business will rank for a keyword—let’s say “dog food”—and successful SEO aims to make your site rank as high as possible (at least the first page of the SERPs) for said keyword.

This process can be very complicated and involved, but there are basic things you can do right now to make your site rank higher for your specific keyword. This applies if you’re a startup, a small business, or even a Fortune 500 company.

Here are 10 SEO tactics to get you there fast:

Tactic 1. Understand Your Business Model

SEO won’t help you unless you’re 100% clear on your business model. 

You need to decide on a few important things before beginning any SEO project and set attainable goals. This is true whether you're a startup looking to launch a new website, a small business in need of a redesign, or a Fortune 500 company aiming to focus your site better. 

First, determine your target market and your target audience. Settling on these two important issues will streamline your keyword selection for your SEO process. Begin by learning everything you can about the market you're competing in and who your target audience is: their wants, needs, and desires that will drive them to purchase your products. 

Once you arrive at greater clarity on whom you want to sell to and what sorts of conversions you’re after, you can brainstorm your keywords accordingly.

For instance, if you’re selling fine Italian suits for men, then your keyword would have to be more specific than just “men’s suits” for it to really bring your site more qualified leads. After all, you want conversions from people really interested in buying fine Italian men’s suits (and who’d likely spend a lot more money) instead of just people looking to buy any men’s suit in general.

Tactic 2. Find Your Keywords to Target

This is where your SEO process becomes super-crucial: Here’s where you settle on the long-tail keyword that you firmly believe your customers are searching for on the web. If they’re looking for this keyword, you want your site to be at the top of the list in the SERPs!

Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to find the keyword that suits your business model best. Or research a set of related keywords to target. 

Google Keyword Planner - Basic SEO keyword research tool
Google Keyword Planner - Basic SEO keyword research tool.

After you’ve decided on your target keywords, that’s not enough to stay on top of your SEO game. You have to make a concerted effort to constantly track the rankings of your most important keywords if you want to maintain their positioning. Keep in mind that your keyword rankings will fluctuate as time goes on and may not be as strong as they once were. It's important that you take action when needed to maintain their positioning.

A tool like Tiny Ranker is just the solution you’re looking for to ensure that your visibility on search engines is always the best it can be.

Tiny Ranker - Powerful Google rank tracker and easy-to-use SEO tool
Tiny Ranker - Powerful Google rank tracker and easy-to-use SEO tool.

Tactic 3. Monitor Your Keyword Rankings

Monitoring your keyword rankings is critical since they never stay the same. SEO is in constant flux. There is no guarantee that just because your site ranked highly for a specific keyword last month, it will be the same story this month.

Tiny Ranker - Google rank tracking
Keyword rank tracking.

Tiny Ranker offers a great rank tracking tool that lets you get around this uncertainty and figure out exactly if your keywords are still performing for you the way you want them to. Once you know this information, you can keep tweaking your keywords to improve your search engine rankings to get better business prospects visiting your site.

Tiny Ranker gives you up-to-the-minute SEO data, such as:

  • Daily updated Google rankings
  • Keyword ranking comparisons with the previous day, week, or month

There’s also the ability to track your SEO keyword rankings on mobile devices and even in several different languages, meaning that there’s a lot of depth to what you can do with this tool in order to always keep your SEO rankings as strong as they can be.

Tiny Ranker keyword tracking
Tiny Ranker keyword tracking.

Tactic 4. Publish High-Quality Content

High-quality content gets rewarded by Google’s algorithms in terms of ranking factors for SEO. That’s why you should make it your mission to publish only high-quality content on your site, if you have a blog, for example.

There’s a direct link between longer content (2,000 words and up) and what Google considers “high-quality.” There’s even research that confirms this:

Neil Patel looked at what lengths of content Google puts on its top 10 results in SERPs—unsurprisingly, it was content that was at least 2,000 words. Neil even suggests 3,000 words; why not go for broke and create even super-long content? It can’t hurt, according to SERP results for content for any given keyword.

So the next time you’re feeling like just publishing short filler content of 500 or so words on your site, think twice. Your search rankings could seriously be penalized by Google and other search engines for creating inadequate content that they don’t consider high-quality.

Tactic 5. Manage Your On-Page SEO

Every page on your site can and should also be managed effectively for proper SEO. Remember, it’s not just your entire site that you want to surface highly in the SERPs; it’s also individual webpages, which also appear on search engines.

To achieve this, have one of Tiny Tracker’s main features come to your assistance. Its on-page SEO analysis/optimization tool is ideal for giving anyone from startups and small businesses to Fortune 500 companies deep insight into how exactly they can optimize their landing pages for increased, overall Google visibility.

On page SEO optimization tools
On-page SEO optimization tools.

Here’s how it works: Straightforward icons in its user interface tell you specifically which of your keywords require improvement and which are already optimal the way they are. 

Vital SEO ranking factors like title tags, meta descriptions, and texts are carefully checked through this analysis, and helpful suggestions are offered, so you can optimize your pages and get the rankings you want.

Tiny Ranker SEO suggestions
Tiny Ranker SEO suggestions.

Tactic 6. Make Your Site Fast

Today’s average web user (read: your potential customer) is accustomed to fast experiences, whether on desktop or mobile. This expectation has led Google to recently announce for the very first time that page speed is now going to be a ranking factor for mobile in its index.

This is a double whammy: 

  • First, visitors are going to bounce from your website if your site’s slow because they don’t want to wait. 
  • Second, your SEO rankings are now also going to get penalized if your site’s speed isn’t up to par!

But what is fast enough for today’s users and visitors?

According to SEMrush, nothing slower than 2 seconds. I’ll stress that again: If your site loads at an average page slower than 2 seconds, chances are great that your visitors will bounce and your SEO rankings will take a hit.

Here are some tips to make your site faster:

Tactic 7. Don’t Use Disapproved SEO Tactics

Steer clear of the SEO tactics that Google frowns on, and your rankings will be a lot healthier. Not everything that looks as if it can help your SEO rankings will actually do so, especially since Google is the final arbiter on what constitutes SEO tactics that are legitimate for ranking in its search results.

Not every SEO tactic is legitimate. Let’s look at the ones that are condemnable as "black hat" and that you should avoid:

  • Keyword Stuffing: This is when you excessively use your keywords in your content in a way that hampers natural readability.
  • Aggravating Ads: Too many ads on your pages are a problem. They're intrusive and ruin the user experience for your audience.
  • Buying Links: When you buy a link that’s likely not relevant to your content just to get a backlink, it’ll hurt your SEO rankings. 

Tactic 8. Surveil Your SEO Competition

You’re not the only business in your industry. In fact, you’re probably not the market leader in your industry, which further heightens the need for you to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing, SEO-wise.

Competitor surveillance feature
Competitor surveillance feature.

Another very useful feature of Tiny Ranker is its competitor surveillance option, which lets you see whom you’re competing against for rankings on search engines. You aren’t the only business competing for your target keywords.

By checking your competitors’ rankings, you’re empowered to figure out who your strongest competition is. This means you can make adjustments and improvements to your own keywords to more positively affect your rankings.

This feature also allows you to add your own competitors, if you know of a specific competitor in your industry that you should follow really closely.

Tiny Ranker competitor rankings
Tiny Ranker competitor rankings.

Tactic 9. Tag Your Images Properly

How you tag your images can have a dramatic impact on your SEO rankings. 

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses simply neglect this vital aspect of SEO by completely forgetting to include the all-important ALT attribute as they upload various images for their content. However, search engines can’t effectively see your images; all they can do is actually read the ALT text in order to understand exactly what the image is about!

When you accurately describe your images, it’ll go a long way to having them surface in Google Image searches, thereby helping your entire site’s SEO visibility.

For example, an image of a juicy and mouth-watering steak shouldn’t merely be tagged as “food.” That’s nowhere near specific enough for SEO visibility. Tag an image like this with something quite descriptive like “a big steak with butter served on a white plate.”

Tactic 10. Optimize Your Site and Page Design

It’s 2017. No one wants to navigate a site that looks as if it was built with GeoCities from the late 90s.

Another significant SEO ranking factor is your web design because web design impacts important factors like the user experience, overall usability, and the information architecture (read: how logically and efficiently a page’s information is laid out to support the goal of said page).

Plainly put, if your site is hard to navigate, makes it difficult for visitors to find what they want, and looks unaesthetic, it’ll drop in the SEO rankings.

To create a site with great design, do this:

  • Be minimalistic.
  • Use good information architecture.
  • Use white space.
  • Chunk your content for easier reading.
  • Use color contrast to highlight calls to action.
  • Display your contact info where it’s easy to see.
  • Create usable navigation.
  • Prioritize the user experience.

When you incorporate all these design elements, you’re designing a site that’s up to date with what people expect when they visit any site on the web today. As a result, you’re only helping your own cause of optimizing your site's SEO!

Creating an SEO-Optimized Website Is Easier Than You Think

If you’re completely new to SEO and the web, then it may seem daunting to look after all these specifics to ensure that your business gets found on the Internet. In reality, it’s not all that challenging to optimize your business site for search engines.

Simply prioritize what your business is about and who your target audience is, get a smart tool like Tiny Ranker to do some of the heavy lifting for you, and be meticulous in your SEO monitoring and improvements.

Over time, you’ll see real, beneficial results of your site climbing in the rankings for your chosen keyword(s)—the palpable fruits of your SEO labor!

Read more: Envato Tuts+ Business