Whether you're a budding business owner or an aspiring digital marketer, the practice of search engine optimization is something you should understand and consider.
If done right, SEO can be a lucrative part of your business growth. After all, SEO efforts can improve your online visibility through higher rankings in search results, which gives you access to a larger audience and more business opportunities.
Looking to get started with SEO in 2023?
Here are 7 essential SEO tips for beginners to jump-start your online growth:
1. Use Long-Tail Keywords
Keywords are the foundation of on-page SEO. If you want people to find your websites, you need to use the right set of keywords and incorporate them into your titles, meta tags, and content.
Long-tail keywords are keywords that consist of three or more words, like “SEO tips for beginners.” Short-tail keywords are one to two words, like “SEO tips.”
For new sites and gaining traction as a beginner SEO, long-tail keywords should be your focus. They are less competitive than broader 1-2 word keywords and topics.
Here's a list of reliable keyword research software tools:
- Google Keyword Planner (free)
- Google Search Console (free)
- Keyword Surfer (free)
- AnswerThePublic (freemium)
- KeywordTool.io (freemium)
- Semrush Keyword Magic Tool (paid)
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer (paid)
- Surfer SEO (paid)
These tools generate hundreds of relevant broad and long-tail keyword ideas for just about any topic, which can help improve your content to rank higher on Google.
Although you'll generate less traffic through ranking for long-tail keyboards, you'll get more targeted visitors that are interested in your content, products, and/or services.
This isn't to say that you should ditch short-tail keywords entirely. People search for the same thing in multiple ways, so use related broad keywords throughout your content.
Google Search Console is a great keyword research tool for understanding the keyword, click, and impression trends identified by Google for your content over time.
You can also find alternative keywords by sifting through Google’s People Also Ask section and Capterra's main product and featured in categories.
Likewise, use Google's autocomplete function to find relevant keywords being searched to incorporate into your content.
2. Publish Long-Form Content
Here's the thing: Google's Panda update in 2012 made it so that long-form content is deemed more valuable than short-form or thin content.
But even without the update, long-form content generally receives a lot more shares, likes, and repeated visits, due to more knowledge and value added to the topic.
Longer articles are a brilliant way to increase user engagement and establish your authority. Indirect benefits are longer times on your site and business opportunities.
While word count isn't a direct ranking factor, aim to write complete pieces of content around the main keyword phrase and topic you're targeting. In doing this, you'll probably find the content builds up to 1,000 or more words.
With that said, your page or blog post shouldn't contain fluff or derail from the original topic to reach a specific word count. The information should provide value to the topic.
3. Write High-Quality Content
Your website won't perform well with poorly written or “refurbished” content. It must be 100% original and fresh because unique, fresh content informs Google that your site is authoritative and active compared to other sources online.
Don't just post for the sake of posting; your content should add value to your target audience. This could be in the form of education or entertainment. This way, page visitors will want to return to your business for information and products or services.
In addition, high-quality, original content is more likely to be linked to, earning you backlinks which are one of the top Google ranking factors to take into account.
4. Post Regularly & Consistently
There's no getting around publishing content. To achieve higher search engine rankings and gain a wider reach in search engines, you must post regularly and consistently, especially if you're managing a new website.
You don't necessarily have to post multiple times a day or every day. However, it's best to follow a consistent posting schedule to keep your website active.
Depending on your competition, if you're only posting once a month or less, you risk losing rankings as more active and helpful sites move up the Google search results.
If you're a small blog or site, try to publish at least one or two posts every week. If you're managing a larger site, invest in being able to publish content 3+ times a week.
Every single one of your posts should have a purpose. Don't just publish content for the sake of it. Publish content relevant to both your target audience and your business.
5. Understand Trends
Depending on how early you're able to publish quality content on a trending topic and the competition, trends can help jumpstart your SEO and traffic from search engines.
Regardless of where you stand, it's always a good idea to take advantage of trending topics as part of your SEO strategy if they're relevant to your business.
If you're able to publish a quality article on a new topic before others, you might gain a first-mover advantage in rankings and attract natural backlinks to your site.
Use the trending momentum to drive more organic traffic. Consider other pages and resources on your site you can link to and share on your content that gains momentum.
Gain insight into which pages users engage with most with Google Analytics.
Google Trends is a free and easy way to explore trending topics and phrases being searched on Google.
You can also check the trending now section of Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, and Instagram for more insight.
6. Consider On-Page SEO
Before publishing a piece of content, make sure to consider its on-page SEO.
Here are some basic aspects of on-page SEO to keep in mind:
- Use simple, clean web page URLs that include your target keyword.
- Search title, meta description, and H1 header include the topic and target keyword.
- Write clear, concise, and actionable meta descriptions with a call to action.
- The content looks good and is readable on desktop and mobile devices.
- Avoid long paragraphs and make your content easy to read and scan.
- Add internal links and external links that are helpful to the topic.
- Incorporate multimedia like images and/or video to improve the content.
7. Invest in Local SEO
Some businesses are too focused on gaining international or national visibility that they forget about their local visibility. Local SEO, or local search optimization, improves your search visibility in front of potential local customers when they search local keywords.
To get started with local SEO, it's important to create a free Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) to increase visibility in local search engine results.
Then, optimize your profile to include up-to-date information about your business, including categories, contact information, business hours, descriptions, and photos.
Encourage customers to leave reviews on your profile to inform Google's algorithm that your business is trustworthy and worth ranking higher on Google Maps.
The basic SEO tips for beginners above should help you establish your brand visibility on Google and other search engines and increase your business growth.
Once you're familiar with the tips above, check out these additional SEO strategies covering site structure and topic clusters, technical SEO, link building, and more.
Looking for SEO services? Check out the best affordable SEO packages here.
More SEO Resources:
- What is SEO?
- What is Local SEO?
- What is Rank Tracking?
- What is SEO Reporting?
- 10 SEO Tips to Increase Site Traffic
- 50 Keyword Research Tips for SEO
- 10 SEO Content Writing Tips
- How to SEO-Optimize Content
- Local SEO Packages
- The Hoth vs SEO Reseller
SEO Software Guides:
- Best All-In-One SEO Software
- Best Rank Tracking Software
- Best Keyword Research Software
- Best SEO Reporting Software
- Best Local SEO Software
- Best SEO Audit Software
- Best SEO Writing Software
- Best SEO Automation Software
- Best On-Page SEO Checkers
- Best Small Business SEO Software
- Best Semrush Alternatives
- Best Ahrefs Alternatives
- Best Free SEO Software Tools
- SE Ranking vs Semrush
- SE Ranking vs SEO PowerSuite