SEO Basics: A Guide for Beginners - Part 2

Basics of SEO

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the technical and creative process of improving a website's ranking in search engine results. By using different methods and tools, web owners and marketers can optimise their website to attract more quality traffic. It's not just about getting more visitors; it's also about getting right visitors who are more likely to convert into customers or users.

Why is SEO important?

SEO is important for several reasons. First of all, it helps to increase the visibility and credibility of a website. When your website appears on the first page of Google, it is considered a trusted source. This in turn can lead to higher click-through rates (CTR) and more quality traffic. In addition, SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy compared to paid adverts, and it offers long-term benefits.

The benefits of SEO

  • Increased visibility: Being on the first page of the search results increases the chances of people visiting your website.
  • Better quality of transport: People who find you through a search engine are often more engaged and interested in what you have to offer.
  • Cost-effectiveUnlike paid adverts, most SEO methods are free and offer long-term ROI.

How is SEO carried out?

SEO usually starts with a keyword analysis to identify which keywords or phrases are most relevant to the service or product you offer. You then optimise your website's content, meta tags and captions for these keywords. It is also important to improve website load times and user experience to reduce bounce rates.

Preparing for SEO success

Choosing a good domain name

The domain name is often one of the first things a visitor comes into contact with, so it should be easy to remember and relate to your business or content. A relevant and memorable domain name can not only help visitors quickly identify your website, but it can also positively impact your SEO. Try to include keywords that are relevant to your business and avoid numbers or hyphens if possible.

Using an appropriate web platform

The choice of web platform can have a big impact on your SEO performance. Platforms like WordPress are known to be SEO-friendly, thanks to their many SEO plugins and ease of use. But there are also other options like Joomla and Drupal that also offer good SEO features. It is important to choose a platform that is not only user-friendly, but also flexible enough to adapt to your SEO needs.

Choosing a reliable web hosting service

A reliable web host can have a direct impact on your website's speed and accessibility, two factors that are critical to good SEO. Make sure your web hosting service has good customer service, high uptime and fast load times.

Create a user-friendly experience

User experience, or UX, is another important factor for SEO. A website that is easy to navigate and has an intuitive layout will not only engage users longer, but it will also improve the site's ranking in search engines. It is important to have a mobile-friendly design and fast loading times to meet users' expectations and needs.

Install an SEO add-on or tool

Finally, it is a good idea to install an SEO add-on or tool that can help you monitor and improve your website's SEO performance. Tools like Rank Math for WordPress or Yoast SEO can give you concrete advice and feedback on how to improve your website's visibility in search results.

Table: Things to consider to make your SEO successful

Good domain namesEasy to remember, relevant to the contentName generators such as NameMesh
Suitable web platformSEO-friendly, flexible and user-friendlyWordPress, Joomla, Drupal
Reliable web hostsHigh uptime, fast loading timesBluehost, SiteGround
User-friendly experienceMobile-friendly design, intuitive navigationUX design tools such as Adobe XD and Figma
SEO add-ons or toolsTo monitor and improve SEO performanceYoast SEO, Rank Math

Appearing on Google

Finding or creating a sitemap

A sitemap is an XML file that lists all the pages on your website, making it easier for search engines like Google to index your content. Most modern CMSs, like WordPress, will automatically generate a sitemap for you. If not, you can use tools like Google's Sitemap Generator to create one.

How to submit your sitemap to Google

For Google to effectively index your website, you should submit your sitemap via Google Search Console. This is a simple process:

  1. Log in to your Google Search Console.
  2. Select your website from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on "Sitemaps" in the menu on the left.
  4. Paste the URL into your sitemap and click 'Submit'.

By doing this, you can be sure that Google will quickly become aware of new or updated content on your website.

How to measure SEO success

Increase in organic traffic

One of the most direct ways to measure SEO success is by monitoring the increase in organic traffic to your website. You can do this by using tools like Google Analytics. Here you can track which keywords generate the most traffic, which pages are visited the most, and how long visitors stay.

Monitoring of keyword placements

Monitoring rankings for specific keywords in search engines can give you an indication of how well your SEO strategy is working. There are several tools for this purpose, such as SEMrush and Ahrefs. These tools can show you where you are ranking for certain keywords and how you are performing compared to your competitors.

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