SEO might seem confusing and complicated when you are first starting your website. But to get it up and running, you need to follow the basics and best practices that will be covered in this guide.
Many students find college a perfect opportunity to start their business or blog as it is pretty easy to set up a website without any coding knowledge today. But the main struggle they deal with is that they do not have enough time.Making the #page optimized for a search engine can be time-consuming, especially if you do not know the fundamentals. Click To Tweet
And students have to navigate the college curriculum, a part-time job, and social life as well. It all comes down to time management and prioritization. Endless written assignments can take up all the energy, even if they are unrelated to the core curriculum.
Fortunately, there is a solution: one can hire a quality paper writer at WritePaper to do their homework. Whether you’ve forgotten about a deadline or simply need more time for other projects, it is a great option to get an excellent result with no effort.
Students can also learn from expert writing help and better understand how academic writing is done. And while your papers are taken care of, you can set up SEO basics to run your website.
Why SEO Is Important
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a practice of optimizing your website and individual pages to rank higher on a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. The higher the ranking is, the higher your page is in search results.
The main goal is to drive more organic traffic. Here are some statistics that illustrate how essential SEO is for a website’s success.
- According to Hubspot, 75% of people never even open the second page of search results.
- According to Google, the majority of traffic comes from searches, not from ads, social media, or other sources.
- According to a Statista report, Google owns 87% of the search engine market share. This guide will focus on Google SEO.
The main factor is that SEO drives organic traffic, which is free and consistent.
How Google Ranks Pages
Google doesn’t tell all inner secrets, although it publishes and updates Quality Guidelines regularly. But based on patents and official statements, it is possible to narrow down several key factors. The website gets ranked according to the following criteria:
- relevancy – how relevant the content is for the search;
- authority – how credible it is (Google figures it out based on backlinks);
- usefulness – how useful it is, whether it aligns with search intent and signals;
- performance – load speed, security, mobile-friendly interface, etc.
Overall, Google analyzes both technical and content SEO, as well as users’ activity on the page, to rank the platform.
SEO Basics to Start a Website
Now let’s cover the steps one needs to take first of all.
Choose Effective Domain
The domain name shouldn’t be very long. The best practice is to choose something short and memorable. It is also better to avoid hyphens.
Top-level domains are .com, .org, co.uk, co.au, etc. It is perfect if you can get one of those. Try to avoid something like .info or .biz, as they are associated with non-credible pages.
Choose Platform Wisely
Overall, there are two ways one can go – a hosted platform or a self-hosted one. A hosted platform, for example, Squarespace, does everything at once, like hosting and content management. It is the easiest and fastest way to set a blog, but you’ll get little control of it.
Self-hosted platforms, like WordPress, give much more control over the site. And you still get to manage everything without coding; you just need to install and set it up yourself. Another great benefit of platforms like WordPress is that it is easily scalable: one can add new features and plugins as the business grows.
Decide on the Host
Go for a reliable hosting provider that offers
- security protocols SSL/TLS;
- great speed;
- full support.
Get It on Google Yourself
Of course, it will find it eventually, but there is no need to wait. Only when Google finds it can it be ranked. To do that, you need to submit the website map to Google.
A sitemap can be found by the URL like blog.com/sitemap.xml
After that, one needs to create a Google Search Console account and submit the sitemap there.
Master User Experience
It is all about users and how they interact with a page. Even if your content is extremely well-crafted, it will not go well if the page is outdated, slow, or uncomfortable on a mobile screen.
The major factors in user experience that influence SEO are:
- security, HTTPS (provided by the hosting);
- mobile-friendly interface;
- comfortable design;
- readable fonts;
- no intrusive pop-ups;
- great loading speed.
Make it usable, and it’ll naturally attract more viewers.
Work on the Structure
It is essential both for visitors and Google. They need to be able to navigate the site easily.
Create a content hierarchy with a mind map. Like “main page – services, about, blog, products.” Then make subcategories for them and so on.
Always add interlinks between internal pages and use keywords for them. Not “click here” but “organic skin products,” for example.
Give URL Names Properly
A URL helps Google and people to understand what the page is about. For a new website, it is better to go for a post name in the URL, for example:
or add categories if there are many pages
Install SEO Plugin for WordPress
Without a relevant plugin, there is almost none one can do in terms of SEO while using WordPress. The best ones are Yoast and Rank Math. Go to plugins – add new – Yoast – install – active.
These are the basics to get the website running. But SEO is a constant process, so let’s go over some other things to know.
Ongoing SEO Basics
Do Keyword Research
It is the best and only way to find what customers are looking for, what information they need, and what their search intent is. It also gives a lot of perspective on possible content topics.
There are product keywords (related to a specific product when a user is in buying mode) and informational ones (related to the information when a user is in learning mode).
Not all keywords are the same. Some are very hard to rank high for as they are very popular and have tons of content on them. A good idea for a new platform is to go for LTK – long-tail keywords that are much easier to rank for.
To find keywords, you can use the following:
- Google Autocomplete;
- Answer the Public;
- Keyword generator;
- Keyword difficulty checker;
- Google Keyword Planner;
- Paid keyword research tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, etc.
Pay Attention to On-Page SEO
The content you post should also be optimized. The main considerations are:
- meeting users’ search intent;
- good URL;
- great title with keywords, as well as meta description;
- optimization of images – proper names, alt text, and compression.
Build a Backlinking Strategy
This one might be hard as it takes others to link to your page. One way to do it is to guest post and leave the link there. Or reach out and provide excellent content to link to.
Remember that it is important who links to you. It should be a trusted page.
There are all fundamentals one needs to know to set up their website for success. Of course, SEO is never over, and there are things one can do to get better. But these tips will be enough for a start.