6 Helpful SEO Tips for Beginners (That Actually Work)
Success in search engines, as with most things in business, comes down to understanding SEO basics.
With that in mind, here are 6 SEO tips, and online marketing essentials that nobody wants to believe, but everyone should follow.
Put these ideas to work and you will see targeted traffic to your website over the life of your business.
While most people debate the endless options of search engine optimization, all you really need is to focus on these simple concepts and you’ll see results.
1. Commit for the long-term.
Most businesses start SEO with a short-term goal in mind. I like looking at marketing in a different way.
The goal is not to get to page one in the next 12 weeks. The goal is generating targeted traffic to your website for the life of your business.
The goal is not to triple your website visitors. The goal is to have visitors with a higher conversion rate.
The goal is not to sacrifice everything to get your website on page one immediately. The goal is to be better next year than you are today. And better two years from now than you will be next year.
Ignore the short-term results. If you commit to the long-term process, the results will come anyway.
Furthermore, stop compulsively checking your website analytics. Your traffic didn’t double.
What’s funny is that when you commit to being consistent over the long-term, you end up seeing remarkable improvements in the short-term. That’s the power of compound results.
2. Set a schedule for your SEO.
Most people never do SEO consistently because they are always wondering what they are going to do next.
They are always wondering…
- “Will I be motivated to write new content?”
- “Will I have enough free time to research back links?”
In other words, most people do SEO when they feel motivated or inspired.
Here’s a better idea: stop treating SEO as something to do when it’s convenient and start setting a schedule for yourself to follow. This is what makes the difference between professionals and amateurs.
For example, I check sites every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10am. I don’t have to think about when I’m going to do it. I don’t sit around and wonder which days I’ll feel motivated to analyze traffic. I don’t hope that I’ll have some extra time today. Instead, I put it on the schedule and then organize my life and responsibilities around it.
Setting a schedule for your SEO tasks becomes even more important when life gets crazy. There will always be occasional emergencies that prevent you from checking your stats. It’s part of life. The problem is that most people miss one task and before they know it, they haven’t completed a task in 4 weeks.
But when you have a schedule, you have a way of pulling yourself back on track as quickly as possible.
Top marketers make mistakes just like everyone else. The difference is that they get back on track quicker than most. Miss your traffic review on Friday because you were traveling for work? Guess what? Your next traffic review is already scheduled for Monday at 10am.
Let your schedule dictate your actions, not your motivation or inspiration.
3. Focus on the best keywords.
Great search results come from great focus, not scattered thinking.
Too many people waste time on SEO because they bounce around without any real goal, doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Thankfully, there is a simple rule that will always guide you toward the best results: focus on keywords that make your business money.
Here’s a short list of what quantifies as most profitable. In my opinion, at least one of the six tips should be included in every SEO plan.
- Location – Jobs closer to your office tend to be more profitable because it cuts down on travel and fuel expenses.
- Profit – Determine what makes your business the most money the fastest.
- Competition – How many local competitors are competing for the same client?
- Niche – Do you offer something that nobody in your community does?
- Seasonal – Are there spikes in your business due to seasonal changes in weather and local population
- Experience – Are there services you offer that you excel at versus your competition?
4. Don’t burn out.
It’s great to push yourself to write lots of content, but the biggest mistake that most people make is not building a solid foundation. Everyone wants to jump in and start writing without focus. That’s exactly the wrong way to do it. Your SEO strategy should be easy in the beginning.
Busyness without focus is a good way to wear yourself down, and burn yourself out.
Just to be clear: doing 2x as much does not necessarily mean your site will rank 2x as fast.
5. Make progress each week.
What got you here won’t get you there. If you want to see more results, you have to do something different. If you want to see progress each week, then you have to progress each week.
This is actually very simple to do. If you are consistently writing new content, take the time to write a little bit more each week, reach out to other sites who might find your website content useful in their posts.
6. Record your SEO changes.
What gets measured, gets managed. If you can’t even tell me how many tasks you performed and what you updated, how can you guarantee that you’re actually making progress?
Tracking your progress is simple: get a small notebook and write down your SEO updates. (I use the 80 page Steno Book by Field Notes .)
At the top of the page, write the date of your updates. Then, simply write down what you are doing. This can also be done in Excel. But honestly I like to keep quick notes on paper. It limits toggle time on your computer.
Recording your SEO progress is especially important because it brings all of these points together.
You can look back and see how you’re making long-term progress (point #1). You can see on which dates you performed a certain task and relate it to a boost in traffic (point #2). You can verify that you did the best job you could (point #3). You can see how you are slowly building up a foundation of solid search engine optimization tactics (point #4). And you can prove that you’re making slow, methodical progress each week (point #5 and #6).
Bonus Tip: Spy on Your Competitors
SEMrush is one of the top competitor analysis tools for digital marketers. Even the free version allows you to capture useful data.
Although SEMRush performs an SEO audit of your website, it’s good to know what the competition is up to. Their audit shows you where you stand, in regards to competitors, while also providing insight you may be able to use to your advantage.
What You Should Do Now
You could spend your entire life mastering SEO but these are the basics that will make a real difference in your website traffic.
If you have a favorite SEO truth, share it with me and everyone else in the comments below.