SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Basics for the Beginning Blogger

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SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is optimizing your website for search engines, so that it is easily found by people searching for the products and services you offer. The right SEO strategies place your website near the top of the search results page and increase the chances of conversions and sales.

SEO is a vast field and specialized SEO companies can help achieve your specific SEO goals. However this post is for any of you wanting to try a hand at SEO yourselves.  I am discussing here basic SEO strategies helpful for beginners.

Four Powerful SEO Tips for Beginner Bloggers

  1. Identification of the Right Keywords

Your keyword is the search term that you want people to use to find you. Some keyword research tools you can use for this are:

Choose keywords that have low competition and high search volume. (Yes, that is a tough combination; hence intensive research is called for).  One way to get around this problem is to choose long tail keywords or niche terms that are specific to your product or industry. Click here to know the benefits of long tail keywords.

  1. Content Creation

Your content needs to appeal to both search engines and readers. The former, so that your website is found by searchers and the latter so that your searchers find what they want and buy from or sign up for your membership or take an action you want them to. The challenge is therefore to integrate the two parameters seamlessly by creating content that is:

(a)  Suitably keyword optimized (keyword density of 3-5% is ideal).

(b)  Contains keywords in the title (for search engines), which (the title) in turn is attention grabbing (for your readers).

(c)  Offering something of value to the readers so that they keep coming back.

  1. Building Links

Search engines consider the links to your website as ‘votes’ by others and links are therefore an important factor for SEO.  But here is the catch – the number of links is not as important as the quality and relevance of links. 5 links from relevant, authoritative websites will have more impact than 50 random links.

Some simple link building tips that make SEO impact include:

(a)  Linking from within the content rather than the side bar or footer.

(b)  Anchor text linking

Some link building strategies that you can follow:

(a)  Social media presence can increase your chances of getting linked to.

(b)  Guest blogging on sites more established than your own will earn a valuable back link from there.

(c)  Get listed on popular directories– both industry specific and others.

Click here for some other simple link building tips.

  1. On Site Optimization

You also need to make sure all your internal pages are linked to each other and to the home page. Broken links cannot be crawled by search engine bots and can lower your rankings.

This post by no means is complete or comprehensive, but is hopefully a helpful SEO guide for beginners. I recommend the SEOMoz Beginners Guide to SEO for further reading.

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Yasir Khan, Quantum SEO Labs. Yasir is a compulsive blogger and SEO enthusiast.