SEO for Beginners
Many people think Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is too hard and not worth the effort. This is not true. The basics of SEO are actually really simple. With 57.8% of all web traffic coming from Google, it is certainly something worth learning about if you have a website. SEO is defined as the process of improving the quality as well as the quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets “natural”, “organic” or unpaid traffic as opposed to direct or paid traffic. You can learn about SEO from websites that feature digital marketing courses in Singapore.
If you think the basics are not enough to get you ranked, then you are mistaken. Most people running websites have a very limited understanding of SEO, so knowing the basics can definitely help you succeed.
Why is SEO important?
Most web traffic comes from Google’s organic results. Put simply, organic search accounts for more traffic than all other sources put together. Google and other search engines choose which pages to rank based on hundreds of signals. SEO is important because it is the process of boosting these signals to rank higher in the organic search results.
What are the benefits of SEO?
Ranking higher is the most sought-after benefit of SEO, but rankings are really just a means to an end. A lot of the real benefits of SEO are traffic-related.
1. SEO leads to more traffic
Since most people tend to click one of the first few search results, ranking higher usually drives more traffic to your website. Ranking position correlates strongly with overall traffic to a page.
2. SEO leads to consistent traffic
Ranking in search engines typically leads to both consistent as well as passive traffic. This is rarely the case for media such as email marketing and social media that usually results in traffic spikes that quickly fade to nothing. This happens because social media networks are designed to surface fresh content. Emails often get marked as read, forgotten, or land in the spam box. However, since the number of searches performed on search engines is usually consistent every month, the traffic tends to be both consistent as well as passive as soon as you rank.
3. SEO leads to free traffic
Unlike paying for ads, search traffic is free. This is a big deal because ads on search engines could be quite expensive. For example, according to Ahrefs, the Ahrefs Blog gets an estimated 390k monthly visits from search engines monthly. If we paid Google for that traffic, it would cost us an estimated $1 million every month. Of course, making content that ranks in Google is not free but it’s usually cheaper than paying for ads.
How do you get your website on Google?
SEO helps you to rank higher, but you can’t rank higher if Google doesn’t even know your website exists in the first place. Google will eventually find your website on their own, but there are a couple of key benefits to manually submitting your site. The first benefit is faster discovery. Most new websites do not have any backlinks from other websites, so it might take a while for Google to discover them. The second benefit is that it improves your website. Google Search Console provides recommendations on how to improve and optimize your website.
The first step in submitting your website to Google is to find your sitemap. Sitemaps are files that list all of the significant pages on your website. You can usually find yours by typing one of these URLs into your browser:
If it’s not there, go to website.com/robots.txt, where it will usually be listed. If it’s not there either, you probably do not have one. You can check the internet on how to create a sitemap.
The second step is to make a free Google Search Console account and submit your sitemap.
Succeeding in SEO
Getting your website indexed by search engines means you are in the race, not that you are likely to win. This is where SEO plays a role. SEO is an ongoing process, that, if done well, increases your chances of winning through time.
- Get a good domain
When choosing a good domain, don’t worry about including your keywords. Your domain doesn’t need to include keywords for search engines to understand what it’s all about.
- Use a website platform
Most people do not code their website from scratch using HTML and CSS. They use a website platform. These are pieces of software that allow people with little or no coding skills to create a website, manage content with ease and take care of boring technicalities.
- Use a good web host
Web hosts store your site on a hard drive that anyone with an internet connection can access. If you’re using a hosted platform for your website, you have very little control over your hosting. But if you’re using a self-hosted platform such as Wordpress, it’s up to you to find somewhere to host it.
- Make a positive user experience
Google wants to rank pages that give visitors a positive experience. There are a few ways that you can do this. First you can use https. Nothing is worse for visitors than their personal data being vulnerable to hackers. Always encrypt your site with SSL/TLS. Second, you can choose an appealing design. Nobody wants a website that looks like it was designed in the 90s. So, even if there is no need to redesign your website every 6 months, it should at least be visually appealing and reflect your brand. Third, make sure it’s mobile-friendly. More searches now are being done on mobile than on desktop.
- Make a logical site structure
Both visitors and search engines must be able to navigate your site easily and intuitively, which is why it is very essential to create a logical hierarchy for your content. The easiest way to do this is to create a mind map.