Do you think you don’t know much about SEO? You think SEO and search engine traffic is only for the pros? Well, I am going to show you how you can do it.
I decided to share a few basic things, the important ones that every website owner, every blogger should know, irrespective of their level of interest in the term “SEO”.
I chose this topic based on the number of comments and emails I received against my earlier post when I shared about SEO experts who I follow, from so many people indicating that they do not have any insights into the subject yet.
Now, running a website and not paying attention to SEO is just like having garage sale and not putting a sign on the roadside so passersby can see it. I mean, why would you create one great content after another if people couldn’t get to it?
And, as I see it, SEO is not just about Google, it is about your readers, your every visitor as well. If your visitors like what you do, search engines will as well sooner or later. As Moz suggests, this is what SEO really means:
Search Engine Optimization isn't just about "engines." It's about making your site better for people too. [Tweet This]
So, let’s get started with some basics.
A Decent Website Layout Plays An Important Role In SEO
You don’t need to have a spectacular layout that will dazzle your readers right off the bat. But, you do need to have a decent, clean design that will not make people run away from your site as fast as possible.
So, what are a few basic components of a decent design?
- The color combination used on your website plays an important role. It has to be pleasant to your visitor’s eyes.
- A left or right sidebar with less advertisements and more helpful information is very helpful so people can explore more on your site.
- You need at least a decent opt-in form in your sidebar so people may subscribe to your newsletter (or your blog updates). This gives you a professional presentation.
- Do not confuse people with a cluttered design with a lot of information scattered across multiple sidebars.
- Last but not least, make sure the size of text on your pages is pleasant to the eyes. Too small or too big font size can hurt your SEO. To me, a decent size is 16, not too big, not too small.
Good SEO Practices While Publishing Posts/Pages
Most bloggers without SEO focus are not only losing search engine traffic, they are also losing the loyalty of their casual readers because of ignoring these simple best practices.
Yes, these things are helpful for search engine rankings. But these are even more important for your readers.
Let’s see what are some of these things:
1. Write Small Paragraphs
I prefer to have a maximum or 2 to 3 sentences in one paragraph. When a paragraph gets longer than that, people feel like skipping it unless this is really something they want to know.
Longer paragraphs tend to make the posts uninteresting and probably, painful for eyes of your readers.
2. Use White spaces To Your Advantage
White spaces (also known as negative spaces) are proven to add value to your overall presentation of the layout and your text. Make sure you have enough space between your lines and paragraphs.
Do not try to use every space on the page to show something. Leave blank spaces wherever appropriate.
Eye tracking studies have found that whitespaces tend to increase the overall value of your page and people are able to better consume your content with it.
3. Make Use Of H2, H3… H6 For Sub-Headings Within Posts/Pages
Can you imagine how difficult it would have been for you to go through this post if I did not highlight the bullet points to emphasize each point in this post?
Right now, even if you aren’t reading every single word on this post, you are able to skim through my page and know what I am talking about. Isn’t that right?
Doesn’t it make sense that your readers should also have the same experience? And when you do this for your readers, even Google and Bing love to rank your pages higher.
Yes, it is very important to highlight main points and sub-points of your every post/page using H2, H3, H4 etc. tags. Make these sub-headings slightly larger than rest of your text and let them stand out.
This helps your SEO tremendously and your readers begin to see you as a better blogger, better writer and a better content marketer.
4. Use Images On Every Post/Page
Whether or not you know or like it, images are way more valuable than a thousand words. A blog post with an appropriate image is 100 times more attractive than a post with a great value but no image.
There is ample evidence of this on Facebook. Just look at your newsfeed. Do your eyes pay attention to the posts with images more than just text?
So, your readers will also love to see a good sized, well-done image (related to the subject of the post). People love to share more blog posts with images on social media than those without any image.
Besides, when you have an image, Google/Bing will index your images separately and that means a lot of good traffic can come to your website through image searches. Double bonanza!
5. Share Your Posts On Social Media
Many bloggers have a website but no have no presence (or active presence) on social media platforms.
If that is you, you aren’t getting many visitors from Facebook, Google+ or Twitter like channels. And on top of that, if you do not have traffic coming from Google (search engines) because you don’t focus on SEO, I wonder… who will read your post?
Search engines take cues from social media about what you publish and when you don’t share your own posts on your social media platforms, it is obvious than others won’t share it either.
Also, if you think about it, Google is moving towards becoming as natural about ranking websites as possible. And if the author of a blog post isn’t sharing his/her own content, should Google give any value to that post? I wouldn’t think so.
A lot of experts think that Google is moving towards that kind of evaluation using the Authorships mechanism.
Page Load Speed Of Your Website Affects SEO
Yes, Google does take your website’s page load speed into consideration while ranking your pages. There is no question about it.
But again, is it really about search engines alone? Don’t you get frustrated when you visit a website and it takes 30 seconds or more to load?
Ideally, your webpage should load in about 2-3 seconds or less. I just tested my website’s performance using Pingdom Tools and here is a screenshot of the results from all their three test locations:
There are other webpage speed testing tools like GTMetrix.com and WebPageTest.org you can use to evaluate your website. You can find more about these on my earlier post about website speed. Check this one out:
Now, before you begin to think I have done some spectacular work to get my website’s page loading time down to under 1 second in most cases, let me clarify – I have not done any major work.
I’ve used the same techniques I outlined in the above post. Plus, I am no longer in a shared hosting environment.
My websites are hosted by Krishna World Wide where my team is ready to implement the next cutting edge technology every day. I checked a few of my clients website’s as well and they all load in less than 2 seconds. So, yes, when you are on a premium hosting plan, it does make a difference.
Steps You Can Take Do To Speed Up Your Pages
There is nothing more than those 12 action points I have shared with you at this point that I will recommend. If you take action now, you will see a definite improvement in your website page load timing.
Other than that, there is one thing I would like to talk about in particular which is very tempting and at the same time not very rewarding for new bloggers. That is the topic of advertisements.
What About Advertisements?
Unless you are really making money from advertising (I mean more than about $20 a month), stay away from running advertisement banners. It’s not worth it. I would rather recommend you to promote affiliate products if you are in it for making some quick bucks.
Google doesn’t like pages with too much advertisements anyway. And I don’t think your readers love clicking on your advertisements either.
So, if you aren’t making a killing and it is hurting your SEO, why would you keep advertisements up and running? Get rid of those Java scripts and build your audience first.
Integrate Your Social Media Profiles With Your Website
You do want others to share your posts on social media. In fact, we all want that to happen as much as possible.
But, have you also given a way for your visitors to connect with you on social media?
First of all, make sure your social profiles are complete and in line with your website’s main theme. At least, get yourself a good profile on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. These are the most popular ones as of today.
The next step is to make sure you have provided social connection icons on your website prominently. This will allow people to interact with you on social networks, improving your engagement levels in social media space.
What is good for your visitors, is also good for Google and other search engines as well. Make sure you are keeping your visitors happy and you will be pleased to know that search engines will be happy with you as well.
Yes, there are more advance SEO topics such as link building, nofollow, dofollow and guest blogging and strategies around these. I understand that those things may not be of interest to you at this time.
But, these things which we discussed in this post, are very basic things which are just simple, good practices to make your visitors more comfortable with you and your website.
However, interestingly enough, these simple things are also very important aspects of your website’s overall SEO and every SEO expert pays attention to these fundamentals first. So, if you are taking care of these things, I am confident that you are already doing good SEO work on your website!
Over To You – Share Your Thoughts
How many of these things you have taken care of for your website? How many of these things have you been ignoring so far?
However, if you already are doing all these, would you like to suggest a couple more things which people with no SEO background can do to ensure better SEO for their sites?
I look forward to your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you kindly!
Great information. It will help the newbies. I recently published my SEO course.
Here you again came up with an awesome article. All the tips that you have mentioned above are very helpful and useful for SEO beginners and play a important role to be a SEO expert.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you John! Thank you for taking time to share your appreciation!
Hello Kumar! This is just the kind of information I was looking for this morning! Were you reading my mind? LOL Have a Great Easter My Friend and Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
Aha! Yeah, looks like we think alike 🙂 You thought of the topic and here I am with the content 🙂
Very amazing article for newbies. I truly agree with you that page loading time has a huge impact on SEO as well as product sales. Amazon loses 1% of its sales if its page load time increases by 100ms. We should keep optimizing our database to remove post revisions and other unwanted data.
Thanks for delivering this awesome article.
Have a great week ahead 🙂
That is a great point Nikhil! Thank you for pointing that out. I think I have mentioned about it in the post with 12 tips as well. However, it is a great reminder for everyone.
Personally, I do not store revisions at all. I have disabled them since I do not write posts inside WordPress. When everything is ready, I just copy paste and for that, I don’t need revisions. Much cleaner and easier to deal with 🙂
Also, amazon’s statistics are amazing. Where did you get that? Imagine making/losing millions of dollars die to a few milliseconds!
Have a great day Nikhil!
I was going through this list, reading point by point, realizing that I’ve been following all these tips myself! Glad that it is an all check for me, when it comes to this to-do list. 🙂
I’m sure, newbies will benefit reading this article. It covers the fundamentals, the basics of SEO each WordPress blogger must address. One thing I’d like to add here is ‘mobile friendliness’. This aspect will soon find its way into the basics of SEO.
We find the more clean a blog is, the better. You have to stop putting so much ads being placed all over the place. People come to gain knowledge on subjects that may help them through some challenge. When people use their blogs such as a Billboard, per say. This takes everything away from it.
Thank you for sharing this excellent way to create a blog.
I’m a hundred percent with you on this…many bloggers fail because of a gross misunderstanding of what SEO is and how exactly to implement it.
As a serious adherent, there isn’t anything I have personally missed though if I had laid my hands on this entry earlier, many challenges would have been avoided.
Absolutely Akaahan! These are the mistakes I had committed in my earlier days and in fact, on some of my websites, I am still fixing some of these issues 🙂
Have a great rest of the week! Thanks for dropping by!
This blog post is for beginners, isn’t it? Well, then you should add to “4. Use Images On Every Post/Page” a phrase or two about the ALT tag. Otherwise… 😉
You are right. And I am going to alter the post to add this. I guess this is something I missed 🙂
An important point! Thank you 🙂
I am sure that you article contributed a lot not only for me but also for many people who are new on blogging like me. Thank you for for sharing this an an awesome article!!! HAppy Easter,
Dear Mr. Kumar,
Awesome post for bloggers and small business owners. This will surely help people to become seo master 🙂
Have A Great Time!
In the past SEO meant keywords and tags only… I think that’s what freaks a lot of people out because they immediately think of that and most of us find that confusing. That’s what was explained to me when I first got started so when someone comes by my blog now and starts lecturing me on not concentrating on SEO I’m going to point them back to this post and say what the heck are you talking about! SEO is NOT all about keywords my friend!
Granted, when I set up my blog I did go after certain keywords and I do the basics like my descriptions for my site and my posts so I know that’s an important factor for the search engines to even find us. I don’t do the keywords for my posts though although in the future I will concentrate on some of that when promoting my upcoming product.
But thank you for clarifying that SEO isn’t just about keywords anymore. That’s why I keep telling people that things are always changing so what you learned last year you may have to relearn this year! 😉
Great share Kumar and thank you for clarifying this. Enjoy your weekend.
That’s right Adrienne! SEO is no more just a bunch if tags and anchor text. SEO is no more about dropping some links here and there and trying to manipulate Page Rank.
True SEO is about giving the best experience to your visitors, earning their trust and credibility and when that happens, Google will follow 🙂
Thank you for the words of appreciation and have a HAPPY EASTER weekend!
Wow, what an action packed post with info I needed to see and hear. As you know I just recently reformed by blog with a new theme and wanted to definitely figure out how to get more traffic. You are an answer to my prayer and it’s all laid out so well and easy to understand.
Great job and thank you. I think this will be invaluable to me as I re-do my blog.
Have a great week-end.
I am sure you are already using some of the SEO techniques already, don’t you?
There is a little bit of attention to pay to small little details while publishing your blog posts and that will make a huge difference.
Yes, changing what is already published, is a time consuming job. But you know what? It’s worth it. I will recommend to take time to start re-working one blog post each day and you will be done with all of them and they all will be optimized much more for search engines and also for people 🙂
Thank you for your kind words of appreciation and wish you a Happy Easter!
These simple steps seems really simple and easy but it’s really essential to get traffic to a blog. I think using of seo plugins like all in one seo and yoast is the first step for seo as it would make seo optimization easier. Secondly On-page seo is really important for easy indexation of blog/website in search engines.
Your content is always inspiring and quite educative…believe me, many newbies hardly understand the concept of SEO and how best to leverage it for success online.
This post has proved to be a concise guide to the very basics every blogger ought to know. My only regrets are that I never did stumble across such material when I was starting out!
Those are great tools.
Wow, I just ran my sylvianenuccio.com site in the ping, and I have to say this thing is incredibly detailed, but don’t understand much about it though.
Maybe you could write a post to help us with that 🙂 Unless you’ve already did?
One thing that I do know is that my blogs are NOT top performers, but when I have the extra money I can hire someone to help me with that. Since there’s isn’t much I can do myself, for now it would have to wait. Just spent lots of money on other emergencies since the beginning of the year, my sites are just not one of them for now 🙂
Thanks for this great post, again.
I checked your website as well and for a 1.7MB of page size, 3-4 seconds of load time is not bad after all. However, there is always a room for improvement which you can make when you make up your mind to work on it.
Although it depends on our priorities obviously and we all need to balance our finances. You can fix these things when these do become a priority. Obviously your website will never complain to you just like our body never does until something breaks 🙂
But, just like our health, it is also important to pay attention and service our websites so they don’t break for when they do, it causes much more pain to recover than just maintaining a good health. The way I manage is, I allocate my budget each month which I can spend on garnering some traffic, or hiring a resource to do some things for me or even to join a new course that will help me take my online ventures to the next level.
I know that if I don’t do it, there is not going to be a time coming anytime soon when I will have some surplus funds which I could use for things like these. I need to be intentional about it.
Hope this helps a bit while I hope things work out very well for you and your website income feeds your business and way more than that 🙂
I practice all of these steps here and they have helped a lot. I have shied away from Social Media for the past couple of weeks, and my shares haven’t looked that attractive, but I will get back into the swing of things.
One thing that I would add is that make sure that the first sentence describes the Title of your blog post more with the keyword in it also. This does helps optimize the blog posts for both search engines to make sense of the post so it can rank it accordingly and also your readers so that they’ll have a more descriptive summary of what the rest of the post is going to be about.
Thanks for sharing Kumar and have a great weekend!
Sorry for stopping by a little late – just been busy ending a project, though glad I made it 🙂
I agree with Adrienne here, things about SEO have changed a lot over time and it’s not just based on using the right keywords. In fact with just doing a little you can achieve a lot, because the search engines see the over all way you manage your blog, noticing each thing, just as you mentioned.
I agree, these are the very points every beginner needs to pay attention to if they want the posts to rank and show up in the search engines. Page speed and loading time is so essential, something I wrote about in detail in one of my earlier posts as you already know, as no one really has time to stop by and would move to the next blog if yours is slow. Also, a catchy title is what attracts a person first to your post, so it better be a good one 🙂
Besides the usual formatting and putting up the H2, H3 etc – you also need to connect your social media profiles with your blog as you mentioned, and not forget to add the Twitter handle on your tweet button (something many newbies forget)
Thanks for sharing these tips with us. Have a nice weekend 🙂
I don’t worry too much about paragraph length, at least now now. Just go with the flow…write and keep the paragraphs as they are 😀
I think I am good with all others…hmm, maybe not with the headings. I do use them, but I rely mostly on H2 tags. I don’t use the others tags very much. I use bolded subheadings more often, perhaps I should give it a try (It will help with the presentation…plus, SEO, right? So, I should definitely pay attention to that).
Promoting my blog posts…well, I do know the how and why, thanks to my older blogs…I do promote my posts, but not enough (not on enough sites, I mean). It doesn’t hurt to submit posts to other sites, right? Takes less than 5 minutes, but might get more visitors.
I tend to forget to do it..but, I am working on it right now. Created a post checklist to help me out 😀
Anyways, thank you for the wonderful tips, Kumar 🙂
It’s has been a while since I have been here..busy with studies and so forth (well, I am going become even busier in the coming days, finals are next week. Let’s get them out of the way!).
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Good luck with your exams Jeevan! Yes, I understand how important it is to pay attention to studies during exam days. Side activities can wait.
I hope you come out in flying colors when results are out 🙂
Am first very time at your blog and feeling very Impressive.
Indeed A Great Article with elegant SEO tips.No doubt Link building ,do follow, no follow has great importance in SEO.
Thanks for your valuable tips.
Glad to meet you and also to know that you enjoyed the information. Thank you for your kind words of appreciation.
You are most welcome !!!!
Nice post!!!! I am looking for the post which is addressing the same information. You provide it to me with a well resourceful information. Thanks for sharing it here. 🙂
Thanks Bhavesh! Glad you found it useful 🙂
Your always welcome Gauraw. 🙂
Hi Kumar Gauraw,
You had posted valuable article. i am agree with your strategy.Its very resourceful information.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for this great post. Woot! My site meets either your suggestions and I’m often complimented about the look and ease of use. I do have a question for you, Can you share a bit more about what the H2, H3, H4 tags do for Seo? I would like to rank better in my field and would like to try this.
H tags are helpful because search engine crawlers look for those when they crawl your pages.
When those tags are found on your pages, keywords found within H tags help them rank your pages against those keywords.
Basically, H tags help your visitors understand your content better, right? Same way, it also helps search engine crawlers understand your content and then rank it appropriately.
Hope it helps?
Very helpful! Thanks Kumar 🙂
Hi Kumar, some great tips there. I would add to use a SEO plugin like Yoast or the WordPress one if Yoast is too complicated for one. I would also add about the nofollow attribute on many links as you may have heard I got penalized by Google for that on my blog recently. It surely is a job to keep up with the latest Google SEO updates and changes. What once worked well now can get you penalized and what once did not work – now works. The one thing consistant I think is good quality content. That always seems to stay ahead of the game with websites and blogs.
I’m also wondering about ads, if you should not use them and you are in a place where affiliate markting is not allowed what other avenues do you have today?
Hi Kumar, Wow your load speeds are really impressive. But I wonder why you didn’t get a higher score on your speed test. With speeds under 1 second, you should have received a top score of a 99 or so, I would have thought. What does it take to get a score in the 90’s?
Great run down of SEO tips for beginners, Kumar!
The score of 90’s is based on many factors such as:
2. The lesser the images (and if there are some, are they highly optimized?), the better
3. The lesser (and combined and minified) the CSS, the better
And many other little criterias. Sometimes WordPress and other times it’s a plugin or a theme that drags the score down. Also, different tools show different numbers.
So, the report is not accurate estimation per se. However, it does give a sense of “How am I doing?” 🙂
I think we’re on the same wave length 🙂 in regards to SEO and keywords this week. I’m glad to know as I read down your list of things to do for good SEO that I was using most of the items (not all) but a good portion of them. That made me feel like I’m on the right track.
Thanks for providing this valuable information and how SEO is so important! I’m trying to understand it all and you provide everything we need.
Some common fact but good explanation. Today I spend at least 2 hours in your blog. As many post I read, I just surprised. And more things i wanna add with this post it, link building guide. I think this post will help: http://woojournal.com/find-a-perfect-sites-to-create-back-links-for-your-blog/
Hey buddy, another great post!
Literally, I don’t like SEO even though I do it on my blog. I decided not to study it too much because I know if I’m able to learn and practice more of SMO and all those other stuffs, Google will have no choice than to list my site in the first page of SERPs.
I make sure my post get much tweets and likes, G= and all other social networks stuffs and I do a lot of marketing. I make sure I drive comments to my blog by visiting at least 10 blogs per day and leave my thoughtful comments on such blogs and when I do all these things the result are always very great.
I think it’s a no brainer, right?
Thanks for the share boss!
Nice seo tips for beginners. This article gives come complete explanation about SEO and also its important. Everyone must be aware of it. Useful article.
Now Google is trying hard to kill SEO , so it is better to just focus on the Quality of your Content.Rest of the job will be done automatically.
Your post was really helpful.
Thanks for Writing 🙂
Great content and yes, loading time really plays an important role in blogging as if loading time of our blog is high, it may cause to switch our reader from our blog to any other blog. Social media sites also plays an important role as it helps in promoting our business and drives traffic to our blog. Image also helps in attracting reader and make our post interesting.
These tips really gonna help many newbies. Thanks for sharing this post.
Hi kumar, Great post again.
I read entire post and most of point are, I am using like Adding subhanding, image etc. If WordPress blogger want to check most of these point are working or not. they use Seo by yoast. this plugin will help wordpress blogger to optimized Good post.
Thanks for providing these great tips for doing SEO. Using image in each post and use of h2,h3 heading s in post is also very helpful. Social media also plays an important role in seo of blogs.
Thanks for such an amazing post i really like it and the point a really like it that is don’t write long paragraph it effects the readers eyes this is really helpful to me thanks for sharing this