A pretty important aspect to focus on when starting a new site is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is because the vast majority of your traffic will be coming from the search engines. Now I know many people struggle with SEO when they first start out, which is why I thought I’d put together a list of some helpful SEO tips for you to use.
1. Learn About SEO!!!
Yes, it may sound obvious but it is VITALLY IMPORTANT (I can’t stress that enough) that you spend time learning about how SEO works. If you understand the fundamentals of how SEO works and how a site can attract more traffic through it, then you will save yourself a lot of work in the long run.
I get the sense (from readers, comments, emails, etc.) that many new bloggers think that they can put off learning about SEO until later. Something along the lines of “…oh, I’ll build up my site first and gain a following before I read up on SEO” is what comes up a lot. This is just the wrong way to look at it. You may as well say “…oh, I’ll jump into the ocean and splash about for a bit before I learn how to swim.” That’s not going to go well!
Traffic is essential for any site, so if your plan is to build a successful site, then SEO is one of the first things you need to learn about. Putting it off will only slow you down. Start by learning the basics about both on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques.
2. Think Long-Term, Not Short-Term
SEO is certainly no “quick fix” for a site and can’t instantly make a difference to your traffic. Instead you need to think of SEO as a long-term strategy for your site (which is another reason why you should learn about it sooner rather than later).
When you first start out online, your site will likely only have a handful of pages. Whilst you can (and should) optimise those pages for the search engines, they can only make so much of an impact. The real value of SEO comes when you have built a much bigger site with hundreds, if not thousands of pages, all optimised for the search engines. This creates a snowball effect – as your best pages help to raise the rank of your site, which in turn helps to attract more traffic to your other pages, which helps to raise your rank – and so on.
Always try to think “long-term” with your website. After all, the tortoise always wins the race in the end.
3. Always Write For Your Readers
As important as SEO is for a site, readers should always take priority. Again, this may sound obvious, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of just writing content purely aimed for search engines. That may help attract traffic to a site, but you want them to stay when they get there.
Search engines have gotten a lot better at spotting the fake sites who are only interested in manipulating their traffic. They wised up to them and now heavily penalize sites that abuse this practice. Instead, it is much more beneficial to write quality content for your readers and attract traffic that way. That doesn’t mean you can’t use SEO techniques, just not to overuse them and spam keywords just for the sake of it.
4. Don’t Fall For The Scammers
There are plenty of individuals and “companies” online that will happily scam you out of your money when it comes to SEO. The sad thing is that it is easy to get fooled by them when you are just starting out.
Stay well clear of ANY adverts that claim to be able to “get you to the top of Google in X days/weeks/months” or that suggest that they have “the secret to ranking highly”. In most circumstances they are simply talking out of their ass.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of legitimate SEO companies online and the only real way of knowing is by talking with them. You see, SEO is a very specific service that has to be tailored to a specific site’s needs. That is why you should avoid doing business with any that make promises before you have even spoken to them. How do they know what business you are in, where you are from, what keywords you are aiming for? All that information is key to planning out your SEO strategy. Again, this is why you should learn about SEO, even if you plan on outsourcing the actual work.
What other SEO tips would you like to add to this list for new bloggers? What helped you out when you first started? What SEO questions do you have? Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below.