SEO Basics: How to optimize your content to increase your traffic

In this world of digital marketing, strategies and tools change regularly. But one thing that stays the same is the importance of having a rock-solid SEO.

Haven't heard of SEO? Let me give you the Spark Notes version!

The magical three letters that can make or break your website’s stardom! SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an art as much as it is a science for getting your website noticed by search engines like Google, Bing and even Yahoo (yes, it still exists! I know, I was shocked, too). Think of it as giving your website a backend and frontend makeover so that search engines find it irresistible.

The goal? To boost your site’s visibility and attract a flood of visitors. The more eyes on your content, the better your website performs on Google. Easy peasy... ish.

Let me explain. Imagine your website is a charming little tea shop in the bustling London ton (you better believe there will still be Bridgerton examples in my content). Without SEO, it’s like being tucked away in a hidden alley. The courting pairs don't even know it's there and never go. With SEO, you’re located right on the main street, right across from the Mondiste, with a welcoming vibe that beckons, “Come on in!” Essentially, SEO helps your website rank higher in search engine results (placing you in a more advantageous location), making it easier for people to find you when they search for related topics.

Importance of SEO for Website Visibility and Traffic

Why should you care about SEO? Because it’s the secret sauce that drives traffic to your site. Good SEO means better visibility on search engines, which translates to more clicks, more visitors and potentially more customers. In a nutshell, SEO is your best friend for online success. It’s like having a 24/7 marketing team working tirelessly to ensure your website gets the attention it deserves... Without having to pay for the pro marketing team. Win-win.

So, how do search engines work?

 Ever wondered how search engines like Google and Bing seem to know everything and be everywhere? They’re like the Sherlock Holmes of the internet, constantly snooping around to index and rank websites. When you type a query into a search engine, it’s like asking a super-smart librarian to fetch you the best books on a topic. And just like that, the search engine delivers what they feel are the best options for your search.

So, how do search engines perform this seemingly magical trick? First, they send out little digital spiders (not the creepy kind, I promise) to crawl the web and index all the content they find. This process is called crawling and indexing, if you couldn't guess.

Once they’ve gathered all the info, the search engines use complex algorithms (think of them as super-secret recipes) to rank the websites based on various factors like relevance, quality and user experience. The higher your site ranks, the more likely it is to be seen by the masses.

What are the components of SEO?

For fear of losing you, I'm going to give you the briefest of overviews on the components of SEO.

On-page SEO: Content, HTML Elements, Site Architecture

On-page SEO is like decorating the inside of your cute little tea shop to make it inviting and easy to navigate. It involves optimizing your website’s content (your copy matters!), HTML elements (like title tags and meta descriptions) and site architecture. High-quality, relevant content is key—think of it as stocking your tea shop with the best teas and pastries. HTML elements are the signs and labels that guide visitors around, while a good site architecture ensures everything is well-organized and accessible. People love a shop that is well laid out, organized so things are easy to find, and aesthetic.

Off-page SEO: Backlinks, Social Signals, Online Reputation

Off-page SEO is all about building your shop’s reputation in the broader community. It involves getting other websites to link back to yours (backlinks), generating chatter on social media (social signals) and maintaining a positive online reputation. Imagine other shop owners in the London ton and customers singing your praises—that’s what off-page SEO does for your website. The more reputable and popular your site appears, the higher it will rank in search engine results.

 

Top SEO Tips for Beginners

Optimize Your Website Content

The key to an optimized website is having high equity and relevant content. Know the keywords that are relevant to your business and add them naturally to your copy while you're writing.

Make sure your messaging is engaging and speaks to your customers' pain points, dreams and the results they're looking for. It should also be professional and well-laid out.

For more great website copywriting tips, check out my blog on transforming your website copy with stories.

Ensure you use headings (H1, H2, H3) and proper formatting throughout your website. A mass block of text is difficult to read and follow. Make sure it's easy for people to navigate. Also, include your keywords in your headings.

Improve Website Loading Speed

Have you ever gone to a website to look for an answer and sat there waiting for it to load? Getting more and more annoyed the longer it takes. Did you eventually leave and go and find another website that loaded much quicker? Yes, that's the thing. If your website is so full of stuff (for instance, if you host your memberships or courses on it), it will slow down. The slower it loads the worse your SEO will be.

Things that can help. You can try compressing your images. If you find you are uploading a lot of images to your site, try loading more compressed ones using platforms like TinyPNG. You can enable browser caching so some of the elements on your site download to your visitor's device, so when they visit those elements don't have to reload every time.

Also, ensure you're using efficient web hosting. Choose the right host that offers fast servers. One that's known for its speed optimization features is SiteGround.

Mobile Optimization

Nowadays, the majority of people visiting your site will be on a mobile device. Therefore, ensuring your site is optimized for mobile is imperative. Most website platforms make it fairly easy to optimize for both desktop and mobile, but before you put your site out into the world, make sure you test it on both. If you notice it loads slower or some of the elements look weird on mobile, go to your builder and work on making it look great on a phone.

Internal Linking

While backlinks are super important for your site, internal linking is also important. The longer your visitors stay on your site, the better your SEO will be. If you include links to other areas of your site, not only will it be easier for them to find what they're looking for, but they might also find other parts of your site beneficial. 

Include hyperlinked text and buttons on all of your website pages. Keep them clicking and keep them looking at what you have to offer. Make it super easy for them.

Use of Meta Tags

Here's the big one: Meta Tags. Think of meta titles as your website’s opening line as you meet a potential suitor at one of the London tons balls (yes, another Bridgerton reference. Sorry, not sorry). It’s the first thing search engines, and users see, so it needs to be catchy, relevant and irresistible.

You wouldn't introduce yourself with "I have a lot of things to say" (boring!), so don't let your meta title be "Homepage." Instead, spice it up! Make sure it accurately reflects the content and includes your main keyword.

Best Practices for Meta Titles:

  • Be Concise and Clear: Aim for 50-60 characters. Think of it as your website’s elevator pitch—short, sweet and right to the point.
  • Use Keywords Wisely: Include your main keyword near the beginning or end. Search engines and humans both love that.
  • Stay Unique: Each page should have its own unique meta title. It’s like having a new gown for every ball—no repeats!

Example: Instead of "Welcome to My Site," try "Amazing Widgets - Buy the Best Widgets Online."

 

Meta descriptions are your chance to charm visitors before they even click on your link. It’s the little blurb that appears under your meta title in search results. Think of it as a movie trailer for your webpage—it should be full of intrigue and give just enough information to make people want to click.

Best Practices for Meta Descriptions:

  • Keep It Short and Sweet: Aim for 150-160 characters. It’s like writing a tweet that persuades people to click. Any more, and it'll get cut off.
  • Include a Call to Action: Use phrases like "Learn more," "Discover" or "Get started" to encourage clicks. Just like a salesperson saying, "Don't miss out!"
  • Incorporate Keywords: Sprinkle in your main keywords naturally. This helps search engines understand what your page is about and can improve your visibility.
  • Make It Relevant: Ensure it accurately summarizes the content of the page. No clickbait tactics—nobody likes being tricked! What you say is what they get.

Example: Instead of "We sell widgets," try "Discover high-quality widgets at unbeatable prices. Shop now and transform your projects!"

 

Meta tags are like the backstage crew of a theater production. They might not be in the spotlight, but they make sure everything runs smoothly. Properly optimizing your meta tags helps search engines understand your content and improves your chances of ranking higher.

Best Practices For Meta Tags:

  • Title Tag: Ensure your title tag is unique, descriptive and includes your primary keyword. Think of it as your show’s marquee sign.
  • Meta Description Tag: Write engaging, keyword-rich descriptions that entice clicks. Remember, it’s your show’s teaser trailer.
  • Header Tags (H1, H2, etc.): Use header tags to structure your content. It’s like having clear scene breaks in your script.
  • Alt Tags for Images: Always include descriptive alt tags for your images. This is like providing a visual description for the audience who might miss the finer details.

 

SEO is a heavy topic, and there's so much to it. While it might be dry as dirt to learn about, getting a good handle on it will make your website shine and rank. 

Part two will be next week, teaching you the slightly more interesting part of SEO: keywords!

Having this background knowledge is incredibly important, but the stars of the show, or the diamond of the season, are the keywords. 

 

Are you an introvert who's looking to create more income from home that doesn't require you to expend any more of your precious energy than you already have to dish out at work? Grab my guide on how to start a digital marketing business selling digital products!

Learn more now!

 
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