Search engine optimization (SEO) sounds complicated to most people unfamiliar with the concept. However, it is fairly simple once you come up with a smart learning plan. The difference between your understanding of SEO – and other factors such as the time taken to learn – depends on how you approach it.
SEO is a broad topic, but understanding certain key concepts will give you a solid footing and make future operations easy. Here are ten tips to get you started.
1. Start with the Foundation
SEO is built on certain tools and frameworks that determine its entire structure. Familiarizing yourself with these frameworks makes it easier to learn more about SEO and takes out the confusion in SEO jargon. The tools that make up the foundation of SEO are Google Webmaster tools, Google Adwords, and Google Analytics.
2. Perform a Site Audit
You will have to implement the SEO tactics you learn on your site at some point. To do this, you need to have an understanding on where your site stands with respect to optimization. As such, perform a comprehensive site audit and highlight its shortcomings – you can alternatively start from scratch by building a new site. You will find numerous tools for performing site audits online.
3. Understand the Importance of Content
There is a popular phrase that “content is king” when it comes to SEO. The content enables you to send the desired message to your visitors. It is for this and other reasons that Google and other search engines tie great importance to content. As such, it pays to learn what content is, its importance, and how search engines analyze the content.
4. Learn about Keywords
Keywords are an important aspect of SEO. In fact, your usage of keywords plays a big role in determining how well your site ranks on search engines. As such, it is prudent to take the time to learn about keywords – find out what they are and how they work.
5. Learn about Navigation
Navigation refers to the ease of accessing different pages on your website. It is very important in SEO as it enables search engines to find an easy connection between the different pages on your site, thus giving it favorable ranking. It also plays a big role in determining your visitors’ user-impressions.
6. Learn about Meta Tags
SEO is not all about search engines – visitors make up traffic and, as such, are of significant importance. Meta tags go a long way in determining your site’s appeal to visitors. They should have a certain structure and nature that you need to understand to get a firm grip on SEO.
7. Learn Basic Coding
Coding is not absolutely necessary in SEO today – it is, however, beneficial to know basic coding concepts. There is one area of coding that is particularly important in SEO: robots.txt. Your ability to code in robots.txt will enable you to grant or deny authorization of search engines on certain pages on your site.
8. Take Online Courses
There are thousands of websites dedicated to teaching SEO. These websites teach SEO in diverse formats including learning blogs, podcasts, and even video tutorials. Some of these courses are effective and will expedite your learning process. It is also advisable to network with other website owners familiar with the concept, as everyone has some information to share.
9. Practice, Practice, Practice
As is the case with most other practical concepts, practicing is the best way to improve your skills and knowledge is SEO. Everything you learn is worth putting to use no matter how simple or basic it may seem. As such, try implementing your knowledge on your site and assess its effects on your rank – you can also try building an entirely new website for experimental purposes just to be cautious.
10. Stay Updated
Google and other search engines prioritize their users’ experiences over everything else. They have been refining their products and services from the very beginning in a bid to overcome any shortcomings, and they are still doing it today. Websites that do not keep up with developments in SEO either get left behind by ranking lower in search results or get penalized by indirectly breaking new regulations.
As such, it is important to keep up with Google updates and integrate them into your SEO knowledge and skills – this is the best way to become an expert in SEO.
SEO is indispensable when it comes to operating online. A firm understanding of SEO increases your chances of ranking higher on search engines, thus giving you a competitive edge over thousands of other websites just like yours. These tips will get you on your way to becoming an expert in SEO.