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The Newbie’s Guide to On-Page SEO

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There’s a simple reason why some newbie marketers and startups avoid using SEO in their marketing strategy. They find SEO very intimidating; for them, it seems like SEO demands a lot of hard work and technical knowledge.

Many startups and newbie online marketers perceive SEO to be an extremely complex process. So they choose to avoid it entirely.

Well, I ain’t gonna lie to you: hard work is a constant . . .  but tons of technical knowledge to succeed at SEO just isn’t necessary. Some of the basic tactics are pretty simple.

And if you are a startup who chooses to keep SEO out of the picture, you will miss a huge opportunity to gain prospects for your business from Google — one of the best sources of unlimited customer traffic on the Internet.

To prove our point about how easy SEO can be, and why it’s crucial to include it in order to foster your startup, consider the following points.

You can choose whether to focus on narrow or broad SEO
It is crucial to determine right at the start whether your SEO campaign will focus on broad or narrow key terms. If you focus on both, you’re probably going to have a hard time ranking in search.

Sites that target broad match keywords have the potential to rank well for common terms that attract thousands of searches per day, such as “how to lose weight fast.”

On the other hand, sites that focus on narrow key terms, or long tail sites, can rank well for specific and uncommon searches. You just need to choose long-tail keywords that receive a reasonable number of searches per month to maximize your efforts.

Let’s say you are a local pediatrician. You can concentrate on one or two keywords for your business, such as “Topeka pediatrics” or “Topeka pediatrician.” If you want to go after a wider national reach, you can choose hundreds or even thousands of keywords, including Seattle pediatrics or Seattle pediatrician.

In one of my affiliate marketing campaigns, I targeted the keywords “wholesale electronics” for a time. I did well at first, but the competition eventually beat me, and I eventually abandoned my campaign.

After trying a few other strategies, I identified “china gadgets” as an ideal long-tail keyword for my campaign . . . which now dominates YouTube for videos showing gadgets made in China.

You can use bread-crumb navigation to organize your content
One of the best ways to get your site to rank well in searches is to make it easy for Google to get access to your site and determine what it’s all about.

Google and other search engines send crawlers or spiders to check your site for updates. These crawlers follow links on every page. If you help the crawlers to navigate your site easily by leaving links for them to follow, Google can index your entire site more swiftly.

One of the best ways to achieve this is by utilizing bread-crumb navigation. You leave a kind of trail for your content, to let users easily see where a page fits relative to other pages on the site.

Below is an example of a bread-crumb navitagion:

Price Guides > Mobile Phones Price Guide > Nokia Price Guide > Lumia Price

Keyword optimization of titles gives your site extra fuel
The title is perhaps the most important part of the page that needs to be properly optimized with keywords. When creating titles, you need to consider effective copywriting elements to attract readers, but it’s equally important to make them appeal to the search engines.

Ideally, you should use keywords very early in the title. This quickly alerts the search engines to the nature of your content.

Also, include headers and subheaders in the post. Be sure those are also optimized with keywords. Since they are the next most important piece of content to be optimized, headers and subheaders should also feature the main or secondary keywords you are optimizing on your site.

If you always deliver unique content, search engines will love you
Even before the days of Google Panda, Google advocated the promotion of original and unique content.

A lot of webmasters didn’t seem to care. They posted and re-posted duplicate content everywhere. They got away with this until Google unleashed its Panda update, a fierce algorithmic program that rid the Internet of spammy, duplicate content.

Your goal when you create original content isn’t just to satisfy Google and avoid getting punished. Your ultimate mission is to keep users pleased by supplying them with valuable and relevant content.

Attracting inbound links will score you points
Inbound links point to your site from other people’s websites. The more inbound links your site gets, the higher your ranking. Think of inbound links as a vote of confidence from other sites to your site.

However, there’s more to inbound links than random connections that just happen to direct traffic to your site. You must ensure that each inbound link comes from an authoritative and relevant site.

The higher the authority of the site that links to you and the more relevant that site is to your topic, the better your chances of scoring a high rank in Google.

But how do you attract inbound links? Ultimately, that too boils down to consistently offering great content that people would want to share. Always provide value that people crave to get their hands on.

You can also create high-quality inbound links by guest posting on other people’s blogs. If you decide to give guest posting a go, be sure to secure a spot on a blog that has higher pagerank and authority than yours.

If you’re a newbie online marketer, don’t be intimidated by SEO. Honestly, it does involve some hard work, and there are many other aspects of SEO to master, if you care to. But if you stick to the basics outlined above, you will see significant results in your ranking over time.

If you need help optimizing your business for search, talk to us. We would be happy to show you various options. We’ll also give you a free site assessment.

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Charlie Solanor

I am a Content Writer, SEO and Social Media Marketing Specialist and a full-time coffee lover.

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