Search Engine Optimization 101: The Fundamentals For True Beginners
Description: This article breaks down the major factors of search engine optimization on Google. If you’re a beginner to SEO, you must read this article before you do anything else.
If you’re a beginner to SEO, this is the place to start. In this article, I’m going to explain everything you need to know to get started with SEO on your website.
SEO is broken down into two major components: “on-page” and “off-page” SEO.
The way I like to look at it, on-page SEO is the way you get your site into the game, so to speak. It’s how Google will know what keyword you want to rank your site for. They won’t always oblige, but the on-page elements will be your jumping off point and you need to tend to these factors correctly so that you give you site the best possible chance to make it onto the first page.
Before I get into the specific factors, I want to point out that you should target ONE KEYWORD per page of your site, whether that’s a home page or inner page. If you try to target more than one, you’ll confuse Google and your site may not rank. So if Google decides to rank your page for multiple keywords, consider it a bonus. If you intend for your site to rank for multiple keywords, then plan to make multiple pages and target individual keywords with the following principles in mind.
In on-page SEO, you will need to pay attention to the following factors:
1) Keyword in your title – you want to make sure it’s somewhere in there. It might be best if the title IS your keyword.
2) Keyword in the URL – again, just make sure it’s in there. If the keyword is an “exact match” URL, that is best. However, that is not a necessity to rank, whatsoever. Google probably only gives a small boost for this. The next best is to have http://example.com/keyword.
3) Keyword in the “description” – this is the part that comes up underneath your title tag in the search engines. It is super-important to Google because it is all about delivering relevant results.
4) Keyword in your “H1” header – In html coding, there is something known as headers, H1, H2, etc. Make sure your keyword is in the H1 tag and it’s best if your keyword IS the H1 tag.
5) Keyword used on page – Use it from 3-10% density. No reason to nitpick over this.
6) A note on meta keyword tags – they don’t matter. But put your keyword there anyway… why not?
So once you’ve figured out “on-page”, you need to start “off-page” (“backlinking”), which is an enormous topic on it’s own. Keep in mind, that you will not CONSISTENTLY rank for keywords without doing backlinking. It is considered to be 90% of SEO. I look at it like “reputation building.” Google judges the backlink quality, quantity, and methods of your site and from that, gauges how much people like your site. Ultimately, your “reputation” will determine how high you rank.
So my advice is to start with what I’ve given you and then learn all you can about backlinking. It really is the quickest path to higher rankings!