Full disclosure: SEO is not just for experts. Presenting our top 5 SEO hacks for beginners, to get you seen by Google, other search engines, and your customers.
Yes, SEO can be big and overwhelming. Yes, there are some very technical elements to building a killer SEO strategy that are better left to the experts. But there are also some easy, DIY, SEO hacks to get even the most technophobic of troglodytes on the right path to getting the Google recognition you need to stay relevant (and afloat) in 2020.
And make no mistake: you do need Google’s recognition. With more than 63,000 searches conducted on Google every second (about 5.4 billion searches per day) (Internet Live Stats), and 92.78% (StatCounter) of the search engine market share worldwide, Google demands excellence if you want to be found in search results.
This is why SEO is not a nice-to-have: it’s a must-have.
Now we’ve got good news and bad news with regards to getting your SEO into shape.
- The bad news is: there are no magic tricks when it comes to SEO. It takes time, patience, ongoing work, and some know-how to get you on the path to Google greatness.
- The good news is: there are a few fairly easy things you can do right now, today, to improve your SEO standing almost immediately.
The best news of all? We’ve laid out our top 5 SEO hacks for beginners for you below. And go.
1. Optimize Your Google My Business
Given that you’re trying to get your business seen by Google, Google My Business is one of the most obvious ways to improve how your business performs in Google’s search results. Fortunately, optimizing your Google My Business listing is also one of the easiest ways to hack your way to some SEO success. For a step by step guide to getting your Google My Business picture (and search) perfect, check out our beginner’s guide to optimizing your Google My Business.
2. Do Your Keyword Research
Keywords remain key to being found in search and your SEO efforts. How you use them though is also, well, key.
Long gone are the days where you could choose a couple of keywords and shove them into all your content across your website willy nilly and be rewarded for it. Today, Google and their search engine cronies will punish you for that kind of keyword stuffing.
So how do you use keywords, and how do you use them right? Enter keyword research.
For a comprehensive look at keywords, keyword research, and how to do it effectively for the current market, you can read our blog ‘Keyword Research For SEO In 2019 – How To Do It And How It Has Changed’.
The short version? The key to effective keyword research in 2019 is to find keywords that work for your niche, your industry, your business, and your customers. And the best way to do that is to use a keyword research tool or tools (why do it yourself when there are so many great tools out there that pretty much do it all for you #justsaying #gottalovetheinternet), in conjunction with our 3-step keyword research process:
- Find keywords. Check out AnswerthePublic.com to find questions your public are asking about your industry to isolate some key phrases.
- Analyze keywords. Check out the free Moz Keyword Explorer tool to review search volume, clicks, and traffic potential of a potential keyword phrase to see how well it might work for you.
- Use keywords. Go ahead and use your keywords and keyword phrases in relevant content on your site. Remember though: use them, don’t abuse them. If necessary, modify your content so that your chosen keywords and long-tail phrases fit into it naturally. It should flow well, make sense, and be relevant.
3. Make Your Content Great
Ensure that any content you put out into the great big world wide web is:
(b) relevant to your business,
(c) relevant to your customer, and
(d) useful to your customer.
Think about what your customers are really looking for. You built your business around that very thing, now you need to build your content around that same thing.
Bonus content tip: Once you’ve written/produced that great content, be sure to spread it around all your content channels. Share that content on social media, in enewsletters, and so on. By posting your content to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc you are spreading the word to a wider, more engaged audience and humanizing your business.
Bonus bonus content tip: Ensure that you include some internal links in your content. You will have noticed that throughout this blog we are linking to other blogs we have written on topics that are relevant and useful to you in the context of these SEO hacks for beginners. Internal linking allows you to continue the customer journey through your website to relevant products, blog posts etc. In a double helping of usefulness, it will also inform Google that your website has more great content to offer on a particular topic.
4. Get Good Hosting for Your Site
Some things are worth paying a little extra for. A good hosting site for your website is one of them.
Why? Because speed matters. Your website needs to load fast. Or else. As these Kissmetrics stats show:
- 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less;
- 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load; and
- A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
A good hosting site can not only guarantee this speed, their superior customer service means that the likelihood of your site ever going down (also known as the kiss of death) is almost zero percent.
To find a good hosting provider, you can go ahead and test them to find the fastest one. Find out where your competitors place their sites and compare the loading speeds. Here again, you can use a free tool like WebhostingHero to do that.
5. Use Free SEO Tools
So many great, free SEO tools out there. So many. Free. SEO. Tools. Use them.
Brian Dean at Backlinko (who’s a real legend in the world of SEO) has listed his ‘25 AMAZING Free SEO Tools [2019 Reviews]’ to make finding a tool that works for you and your needs even easier. You can also check out our personal favourite SEO tools here.
Bonus Hack: Stumble Upon StumbleUpon (Now Called Mix)
Submit your site to Mix.com (once upon a time StumbleUpon) to get your own content discovered. This is a community-submitted group of websites that are categorized and presented to others who might want to “stumble” upon them.
One final tip – or warning really – to anyone just starting out in SEO: if it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is. Do not pay anyone to do your SEO for you if they are promising magic tricks and quick fixes. SEO is not quick. It’s an ongoing labour of love that requires you to start at the beginning with these 5 hacks, and then keep monitoring, updating, improving, changing and searching for the best ways for you to win at search.
For a more detailed look at SEO for beginners, read our blog ‘SEO for Beginners: 9 SEO Tips for 2020’. Still overwhelmed? Contact 1st on the List today for SEO help by calling 1-888-262-6687 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.