Written by Andrea Rowland
Ready to tap into the power of search engines to drive traffic to your website? You don’t need a fancy tech degree, or to shell out big bucks for an SEO expert, to get started. Anyone can learn the basics of search engine optimization.
“This is understandable stuff,” said Moz founder Rand Fishkin. “There’s no mystery here; there are no secrets; it’s just a matter of finding the resources you need and putting them into practice.”
Here are five SEO pointers to get you started:
1. Use Search-Worthy Keywords
Take the time to identify the words and phrases people use to search for your type of products or services online. Then use a tool like Google Keyword Planner (it’s free) to research how many monthly online searches those terms generate. Pick a target keyword for each page of your website. Now, go back through your website’s content and weave the keywords naturally throughout each page of your site.
Pro tip: Be sure to include the target keyword in the main headline for each web page.
2. Create Unique & Relevant Content
Valuable, relevant and unique web content is the No. 1 SEO influencer. To attract the attention of search engines (and boost your ranking on the search results page), it’s important to fill your website with text, images and videos that will provide real value to your customers. What sets your business apart? Make sure you call attention to that differentiator in your website content. How can your products or services solve customers’ pain points? Call your solutions out, too. And be sure to use images and video, when possible, to illustrate your awesomeness in way words alone can’t touch.
3. Add Meta Tags
Certain tags and web page elements help tell search engines and site visitors what that page’s content is all about and what they can expect to see and/or read. You can make each page of your website more search-friendly by adding Title Tags, Meta Description Tags, Header Tags and more. To learn all about adding meta tags to your site, see “Meta tags and the head section of a website.”
4. Optimize Images
In addition to the text on your website, search engines look for keywords in your image filenames — so be sure to include keywords when you name your images. Be descriptive but not flowery. Also use keywords when you add the appropriate alt tags to the images on your website.
5. Build Links
The more inbound links you have leading to your website from outside websites, the more traction you’ll gain from search engines. But how to get people to link to your website? One great way is to establish yourself as a thought leader by blogging. You’re an expert in your field, so create remarkable content and share it on your social media channels. Read “How to get backlinks to a small business website” to learn more.
Put these SEO tactics to work — then measure your success
You can track the effectiveness of your SEO efforts by using a tool like Google Analytics. By taking the time to measure results of your search engine optimization work, you’ll be able to do more of what’s working and less of what’s not — both saving you time and improving your business’s visibility in search engine results.
Want to learn more about SEO for beginners? Head over to the GoDaddy blog to download your free copy of our SEO eBook.
A former small business owner and newspaper journalist, and a published nonfiction author, Andrea Rowland helps craft compelling communications for small businesses through her work as managing editor of the GoDaddy Blog. When she’s not writing or editing, she likes to experiment with baking, travel, read, and dip her toes in the ocean.