SEO, or search engine optimisation, is absolutely essential when it comes to developing a high-quality website which will stand up to the test of time. SEO refers to the process of creating a website which can be easily found by search engines. There are many components of SEO, from the on-page inclusion of keywords to off-page backlinking and social media sharing.
Here, we will go through the basics of SEO for beginners, showing the importance of certain aspects to the development of a healthy website.
Why is SEO important?
If you are a real beginner when it comes to website design and creation, you have probably never heard of SEO. However, you need to learn as much as you can about it, and fast, if you would like to create a successful site.
You should be aiming to get between 50% and 70% of your website traffic from organic sources – that is, from search engines. The only way to do this is to make sure that your site is visible to search engines, clear and concise, and performing well in search engine page rankings.
Ideally, you want your site to appear in the top five search engine results for a number of keywords. Some of the best ways to do this include:
Identifying and including keywords:
It doesn’t matter if you are writing home page content or informational blogs – keyword implementation is extremely important. The first thing you need to do is identify the purpose of the content that you are going to write. Once you have done this, determine a number of keywords which are relevant to your post.
A great tool here is a keyword planner. This will allow you to identify an effective keyword to focus on, and will also give you a number of variations. Try and choose keywords which have an average number of searches, but not too many.
You now need to include the keywords in your content. A good rule of thumb is to include 60% of keywords in the first half of a piece. Try and use at least one in the main heading, and a couple more in other headings. Make sure that your keywords are included in your page meta-description.
Name and identify images:
The way you present your page’s images is another thing which search engines look closely at. Instead of uploading images titled something like ‘A-54773’, try and choose a descriptive title. It is also extremely important to give your image an alt text which explains what your image is. This tells search engine bots what they are looking at, and helps to rank your page.
Both internal and external links are extremely important when it comes to improving your search engine rankings. The first thing that you need to do when writing content is to include links to other pages on your website. Secondly, you need to include external links – links to relevant pages from other sites.
SEO can be difficult and confusing. However, with a little bit of practice, you will find that you are becoming better and better at it. The most important thing is to learn as much as you can about SEO before you start building your website.