Top Ten Tips for SEO Beginners
Entering the world of SEO as a beginner can be very daunting, making it difficult to know where to start. With so much information available about learning SEO, it can feel as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day to read and absorb it all.
Here is my manageable list of top ten tips for SEO beginners to help you find your feet in the fast-paced world of Search Engine Optimisation.
1 – Read, read and read some more
Anywhere you look you will see that reading up on the wide world of SEO is an essential starting point for any SEO beginner. There are countless resources to dive into but I’ve collated some of the best in my new SEO Resources section. These include news sites and blogs that I read every day.
2 – Learn Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools
In SEO there are hundreds of really useful tools available, but some are more essential than others. To get started, make sure you’re comfortable with both Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. There are tons of beginners’ guides on the web for these, so dive in and play around with the many reports, graphs and tables available.
3 – Read through Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
While this might sound pretty boring, you can learn a lot through reading through Google’s own definitions of webmaster best practice.
Start here and take a look around to learn some of the basic requirements laid out by the major search engine.
4 – Use a good, comprehensive Beginners’ Guide
The best way to learn is with a good and comprehensive guide and there are plenty available out there for free.
My favourite is The Beginners’ Guide to SEO from Moz (formerly SEO Moz) which guides you through ten detailed chapters and allows you to learn at your own pace.
5 – Follow SEOs on Twitter
You can learn a lot and say a lot in just 140 characters. Twitter is a great place to learn from the best in any industry and SEOs tend to be very active on there, sharing some great tips, news and resources with their “followers”.
To get you started, here is a good list of “100 top SEOs on Twitter”. Get following!
6 – Embrace Google+
Google+ can feel like an alien world if you’re only used to Facebook and Twitter, but you should embrace it. There is a great deal of value to be had with Google+, both for learning SEO and for SEO value for your website when connected to a strong Google+ page.
Sign yourself up, follow SEOs and big brands and join some relevant “Communities”. See how it’s used and read up a little more if you get stuck. Don’t give up though; when the time comes to optimise your site you’re going to want to make the most out of Google+.
7 – Attend industry conferences and local meet-ups
There are dozens of major industry conferences across the UK each year and hundreds of local meet-ups. The best thing is that most of them are completely free and are great opportunities to learn from and network with top professionals.
To find meet-ups local to you, register with a site like MeetUp.com and browse through local SEO and digital marketing events. You can even check the guest lists before you head out and make a note of anyone you’re particularly keen to meet and network with.
You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from these sorts of events, so take a tablet or notepad!
8 – Set up a feed for SEO news and blogs
If you’ve been following this list you should have already started reading a number of other industry blogs and news sites including (but not limited to) Search Engine Roundtable, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, Moz and the official Google Webmasters Blog.
The best way to stay on top of all the latest posts and updates from a wide range of sites like these is to set up a feed using a feed reader such as Feedly. Once set up with all your favourite blogs you can easily see at a glance all of their latest posts and read only the ones you are interested in:
9 – More Tools
A lot of the tasks you’ll be doing in SEO cannot be done without a number of different types of tools. From keyword research and site crawlers to backlink analysis and duplicate content tools, there are dozens of different tools and tool types to wrap your head around. Here would be my top list of tools to get you started and become familiar with:
- Majestic SEO (backlink analysis)
- Copyscape (duplicate content checker)
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider (site crawler)
For a more comprehensive list of tools to get started with, please see my DIY SEO section.
10 – Create an SEO Strategy
When you’ve got your head around the basics, think about creating a detailed strategy for your site that sets out goals, targets, tactics and time-scales.
Be reasonable and realistic with your expectations; if there’s one thing you should learn about SEO it’s that it is the long game and results take time. It is also important that you don’t aim too high and punch above your weight from the word go. Make sure your goals are achievable and if they’re not, head straight back to the drawing board.
Comment, contact and connect!
If you have any comments or feedback on this list please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch with me to learn more about SEO and about my specialist search engine optimisation consultancy services. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest industry updates, news and tips.