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Ten Top Tips on the Basics of Website SEO for Beginners

Getting a slick, professional-looking website up and running quickly is something that anyone can manage these days, thanks to template tools and coding software that take the hard work out of taking care of your site’s back end.

However, fine-tuning your website so that it meets your audience’s needs, performs properly, and is intuitive to use can take rather longer – as can ensuring that your website performs well in search engine results.

SEO or search engine optimisation is the key to getting your website ranked well on Google and other search engines, which in turn, helps to increase the number of visitors that come to your site. Without visitors, your site won’t do anything to publicise what you do or make sales – and so paying some attention to getting your SEO spot-on is well worth the effort.

In this article, we will provide ten top tips for the first-time website writer or anyone new to SEO to help you to ensure that your website has the best possible chance of ranking well in search engines.

1. Understand the basic principles of SEO

SEO or search engine optimisation is the process of creating or editing your website content so that it performs well in search engines, as well as providing everything that your visitors need. Internet search engines such as Google use automated tools to crawl the web indexing website content, which feeds into the search engine’s results algorithm to provide the information the search engine needs to return the most relevant search results for every browser enquiry.

How you create and present your website content, and how you promote this content on other platforms forms the basis of SEO – and knowing how to create content designed with SEO in mind at every stage will give you an edge over the competition.

2. Be original

Originality is the buzzword when creating a well-performing website, and this means that your content should be totally unique and not duplicated from elsewhere on the web. Not only will duplicated content place you at risk of infringing someone else’s copyright, but search engines penalise duplicated content, and may even hide your listing entirely if your website content isn’t unique.

3. Know your audience

In order to ensure that people who want to find your website can do so, you need to know your audience. Your audience are the demographics of people who you have identified as being potentially receptive to wanting what you offer, and every stage of your website development from the design to the text should be created with these demographics in mind.

Every website has a goal or a job to perform – whether that be selling your products, or publicising what you do. In order to achieve this goal, you need to create content that your target demographics want to see.

For instance, if you work with an affiliate scheme such as TopOffers Affiliate Network to promote third party products and services, create website content that is designed to appeal to the people who might want to buy these things.

4. Use the right keywords

Keywords are the backbone of SEO, and using them wisely ensures a strong search engine performance. Deciding on your website’s main keywords is the basis from which you should write your website text and optimise your site, and so choosing the right keywords is a highly loaded endeavour.

Select around five relevant, popular keywords that describe or explain what you do and what is on offer, and intersperse these into your written content and the titles, tags and meta data that you use for your site.

You can also integrate additional secondary keywords throughout the interior pages of your website, but concentrate on your main, core set of keywords above all else. It is also important to remember that your keywords should fit naturally within your site’s content, and overusing them in order to improve your SEO might have the opposite effect, as search engines penalise keyword stuffing.

5. Create strong meta descriptions and titles

A meta description is the small paragraph of text that search engines return as a description for your website when it appears in search results. Not only does your meta data make it easier to find your website, but it also gives people who search for it an at-a-glance insight into what you provide, which can help them decide whether or not to visit your site.

Your meta data text should not exceed a total of 150 characters (including spaces) and should incorporate some of your main keywords.

The meta title that you give to any website page is hugely important too, and your page titles should not exceed 65 characters (including spaces) and should once more be short, to the point, and integrate some of your main keywords.

6. Integrate good titles and headers

Using the right H1 and H2 tags within your website content helps to improve your SEO and boost your website’s search ranking, so again, integrate your keywords naturally, and use sub-headers where relevant to further improve your performance in search results.

7. Add image alt text

When you incorporate images, graphics, or videos into your website content, provide image alt text for them, as this once again helps to improve your ranking and shows visitors a description of the content in question if for any reason it doesn’t load properly.

8. Seek out inbound links

Getting inbound links back to your website from external sites helps to improve your SEO ranking and reinforce your authority in the field, but these links must come from good quality websites rather than link farms or poorly ranked sites and content.

Integrating internal links into your content across different pages of your own website helps too.

9. Build authority

Adding a blog to your website, producing whitepapers and advice articles and generally, looking for new ways to show the world what you do and how you do it all help to build authority and improve your chances of having search engines rank your website well.

Apply the same principles to this type of content as you do to the rest of your text, including using strong titles and integrating keywords naturally.

10. Remember that your human readers come first

Finally, never lose sight of the fact that you are creating website content to appeal to a human readership first and foremost – don’t sacrifice the performance or readability of your content to SEO, or your traffic won’t convert into sales or actions.

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