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SEO for beginners - What is it and how do you do it

Search for SEO in Google and you’ll find thousands of blog posts, websites, and companies all devoted to SEO.


If you’re just getting started with SEO, this can get very confusing and overwhelming, very quickly!

And that’s where this blog post is perfect for you.

By following these three easy steps, you can optimise your site in about 5-10 minutes per page, without facing that frustrating SEO learning curve.

But first…

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, in its simplest form is the process of improving your website so that it gets found in search engines for words and phrases that are relevant to your website without having to pay for advertising.

But SEO is not just about search engines. It’s also about how you can make your website better for people.

This is done through optimising your website in a variety of ways.

SEO is a more affordable and long-term strategy that requires time, patience and consistent analysis but, once established will reap huge rewards based on value and trust rather than how deep your pockets are.


How do you 'do' SEO?

Google, the number one search engine used by more than more than 72% of people worldwide, uses over 200 ranking factors (algorithms) when deciding which websites to show first in their search results.

Netmarketshare.com
These algorithms are constantly changing.

What may work now, might not work a few months from now.

However….

SEO is not hard, nor is there some ‘secret’ formula that will instantly rank your website first in search engines.

It’s often about making small changes to parts of your website to make a bigger impact.

Follow our basic SEO tips below to get started on improving your website’s ranking within the search engines.

Step 1. Find your keywords

How do you know what words or phrases your potential customers are using to search online and find businesses like yours?  How do you research keywords without paying for it?

Often what we, as business owners, think our customer search for is completely different from what they’re in fact using.

Remove the guess work with Google Trends.
Google Trends

This handy free tool allows you to research what your potential demographic searches for.

The way it works is like this – decide what you want to focus on (e.g. truck seats), enter your chosen keyword in, then trends will tell you how this keyword has been trending in Google for your chosen Country. It won’t tell you how many people have searched for the term, but it will show you a percentage out of the states in your chosen Country.

You can choose whether you want to see what’s trending within a given time period eg the past hour, day, week, month, year etc

Add comparison search terms to see which words or phrases perform best, compare a breakdown by region, interest and discover related queries that people are also using.

UberSuggest is another handy free keyword tool developed by marketing guru Neil Patel.

It provides info on keyword overview, keyword suggestions, keyword difficulty and competitive intelligence.
Ubersuggest

Step 2. Metadata: Meta Title and Meta Description

You’ve got a list of at least 10 keywords (that you collected from the previous step) that you know trend well (at least 80% in your Chosen State or Country), it’s time to utilise them.

Now comes the fun part, where your inner wordsmith will roam free.

Time to write your meta title and meta description.

Give each web page a unique title and description. Found in the admin section of your content management system (eg Cpanel), it is essential that you write both for your main pages, whilst ensuring you add your keyword into the mix.

The Meta Title tells people and search engines what your page is about.

  • Put your most important keywords first
  • Keep to approximately 50-60 characters in length (includes spaces)

Keywords closer to the beginning of your title tag may have a greater impact on search rankings. It’s also been found that people will usually scan just a couple of words of a headline rather than read the whole title.

For product-based pages, your title would look something like:

[Product name] – [Product Category] | [Brand Name]

For service/information websites

[Primary Keyword] – [Secondary Keyword] | [Brand Name]

In most cases, unless you’re a household name, like Coke or Apple, your Brand Name should go last, unless it’s your home page or about us page where you may want to be more Brand focused

The Meta Description, if written well, entices visitors to click through to your website from the search results. Top tip – don’t stuff your meta description with your keyword. 

  • Again make sure the most important keywords are nearer the front
  • Ideally 150 – 170 characters in length

The description should match the content on the page and read like a normal, human-written sentence.

Top tip – don’t include a price in your meta description unless you’re competitive on price.

Here’s an example of effective implementation of metadata. As you can see, for this keyword – the homepage of Seatsrus is #1 in Google results.

Seats R Us metadata

Step 3. Website content

Creating compelling content (words, images, blog posts and video) is crucial to win over not only the search engines but your end user as well.

  • Add fresh, unique content to keep your website visitors coming back.
  • Write in easy-to-read text that is well written and easy to follow.
  • Check grammar and spelling for any mistakes.
  • Break up large blocks of text with short paragraphs and clear subheadings that allows the reader to skip ahead if they want.
  • Add relevant, high quality images that help create context around your product/service.
  • Help visitors navigate through your website by using relevant words to link directly from your on-page content to inner pages such as product or service pages

It’s important that your keyword is included within your page’s content – preferably at the beginning of your first paragraph.

Your metadata and content need to work like a well-oiled machine.

If you don’t supply the product that you’ve included within your metadata, you’re not only destroying your ranking but you’re turning away possible customers as they ‘bounce’ away from your site.

Is there more to SEO than this?

We mentioned that Google has over 200 algorithms that it uses to rank websites in their search engine.

Once you’re comfortable with the basics of finding the right keywords, creating meta titles and meta descriptions that people want to click on and writing great content, you can explore other optimisation techniques that will improve your users experience and help them do business with you.

You might find our Beginners Guide to SEO  and More Handy DIY Search Engine Optimisation Tips helpful.

Something you’ll have to remember is, minimal SEO won’t bring you a lot of business but will help you SHOW up in google for keywords that match your business or business offerings.

FatGalah provides SEO packages that free up your time, are results focused and take the worry and stress out of getting your message in front of the right people, at the right time.