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SEO Basics

Congratulations on taking the first step towards improving your website’s ranking in the search engines! In this article, we’ll be covering the basics of SEO (search engine optimization). After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of how the search engines work and how you can improve your website’s ranking.

Set up GSC and Bing Webmaster tools

Google Search Console (GSC) and Bing Webmaster Tools (BWT) are essential for any site that wants to rank in organic search. They provide valuable insights about your website’s performance and how it appears in search results.

To set up GSC, you’ll need to verify your website with Google. You can do this by adding a meta tag to your site’s home page, uploading an HTML file, or connecting your site to a Google Analytics account.

Bing Webmaster Tools works similarly to GSC, but you’ll need to verify your site with Bing instead of Google. You can do this by adding a meta tag or HTML file, or by using the Bing Site Authpack tool.

Once you’ve verified your site, you can start using the features of GSC and BWT to improve your website’s SEO. Some of the most useful features include:

-Submit sitemaps: Sitemaps are files that list all the pages on your website. Submitting sitemaps can help Bing and Google index your pages more quickly and thoroughly.
-Keyword research: Both tools provide tools for researching keywords that people are using to find websites like yours. This information can help you choose the right keywords to target in your SEO efforts.
-Monitoring search traffic: GSC and BWT both provide data about how often your website appears in organic search results, and which keywords are driving that traffic. This information can help you fine-tune your SEO strategy.

Set up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you track and analyze your website traffic. The first step to using Google Analytics is to set up an account and install the tracking code on your website.

Installing the tracking code on your website is simple: just copy and paste a piece of code into the header of your site. Once the code is installed, Google Analytics will start collecting data about your website visitors. This data can be used to track things like how many people visit your site, where they come from, what they do on your site, and more.

If you’re not sure how to install the tracking code on your website, Google has a helpful guide that will walk you through the process. Once you have the tracking code installed, you’ll be able to start using Google Analytics to track your website traffic.

Install and configure an SEO plugin (wordpress)

Many WordPress themes come with built-in SEO features, but you may want to consider using a plugin to get more granular control over your SEO settings. Yoast SEO is a popular option that lets you customize things like your page titles, metatags, and social media integration. Another popular plugin is All in One SEO Pack.

Once you’ve installed and activated your plugin of choice, take some time to familiarize yourself with its settings and make any changes that you think would be beneficial for your site. For example, you may want to disable the plugin’s auto-generated descriptions in favor of hand-crafting your own, or you may want to adjust the format of your title tags. If you’re not sure what changes to make, doing a bit of research on basic SEO principles should help point you in the right direction.

Keyword Research

Why waste time on something you hate? If you want to kill yourself, do it quickly and efficiently. Don’t waste your time on things that don’t matter, like keyword research.

Identify your competitors

Competitor analysis is one of the first and most important steps in any SEO campaign. By understanding your competitors, you can identify areas where they are weak and capitalize on them to improve your own ranking.

There are a few different ways to identify your competitors. The most obvious is to simply Google your keywords and see who comes up first. You can also use tools like Majestic or Ahrefs to find the most linked-to websites for your keywords. Another option is to use Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner tool to find websites that are bidding on similar keywords.

Once you have a list of potential competitors, take a look at their website and see what they are doing well and where they could improve. Some things you might want to look at include:
-On-page optimization (keyword density, titles, metatags, etc.)
-Site structure ( navigation, internal linking, etc.)
-Content (quality, quantity, originality)
-Social media presence (Facebook likes, Twitter followers, etc.)
-Backlink profile (number of links, quality of links)

By understanding what your competitors are doing well, you can create a plan to target those areas and improve your own ranking.

Conduct a keyword gap analysis

When you’re ready to start planning your content, you need to make sure you’re focusing on the right topics. Keyword research will help you identify those topics. This process involves looking at the terms your competitors are ranking for and identifying opportunities for your own site.

A keyword gap analysis is a great way to get started with your research. This type of analysis looks at the keywords your competitors are ranking for and compares them to the keywords you’re targeting. By identifying gaps in your coverage, you can prioritize new content that will help you close the gap and better compete in search.

Find your main ‘money’ keywords

There are a couple ways to go about this – Brainstorm with yourself or your team, or look through your Google analytics account to see what words people have used to find your site.

Once you have a list of about 50 potential keywords, it’s time to start researching. Start by plugging them into the Google Keyword Planner. This free tool from Google will give you information on that keyword, including how difficult it would be to rank for it and how many people are searching for it every month.

Technical SEO

If you’re not investing in technical SEO, you’re missing out. Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website for the search engines. This includes optimizing your website’s code, structure, and on-page elements. Technical SEO can be a bit technical, but it’s worth it because it can help your website rank higher in the search engines.

Leverage “Inspect URL” feature in GSC

Google Search Console’s “Inspect URL” feature enables you to submit a specific URL from your website for Google to crawl and index. If you’re facing any issue with the crawling or indexing of a particular page on your website, this feature can be very helpful in troubleshooting the issue.

Here’s how you can use this feature:

Step 1: Sign in to your Google Search Console account and select the website that you want to inspect.

Step 2: In the left-hand navigation, click on “Crawl” and then “Inspect URL”.

Step 3: Enter the URL of the page that you want to inspect and click “Submit Request”.

Google will then show you if the page has been indexed or not. If the page is not indexed, it will also show you why. This information can be very helpful in fixing any issues that are preventing a particular page from being indexed by Google.

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly

A mobile-friendly website is one that is accessible and usable on a mobile device. Mobile devices include smartphones, tablets, and other devices with small screens.

There are several factors that you can check to ensure your website is mobile-friendly:
-View your website on a mobile device to see how it looks. Is the site easy to navigate? Can you find the information you’re looking for? If not, make changes to the site so it is easier to use on a mobile device.
-Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your website is mobile-friendly. This test will give you a report of what needs to be fixed on your site so it is more accessible on mobile devices.
-Google also offers guidance on how to make your website more mobile-friendly in their Mobile Guide.

Check your site’s loading speed

One of the most important ranking factors for a website is its loading speed. Users are impatient and will leave a site if it takes too long to load, which will hurt your conversion rate. Google knows this and uses site speed as a ranking factor, so you need to make sure your site is fast if you want to rank well.

There are a few ways to check your site’s speed. Google has a free tool called PageSpeed Insights that will give you a report on how fast your site is and what you can do to improve its speed. Another option is to use Pingdom’s website speed test tool. Both of these tools will give you a good idea of what areas you need to work on to improve your site’s speed.

Once you know what needs to be fixed, there are a few things you can do to improve your site’s speed. One is to optimize your images for the web by reducing their file size. Another is to minify your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files so that they take up less space and load faster. You can also use a content delivery network (CDN) to improve your site’s loading times for users who are far from your server.

Making sure your site loads quickly is important for both users and search engines, so it’s something you should definitely work on if you want to rank well in search results.

On-page and Content

Fix duplicate, missing, and truncated title tags

Duplicate title tags can be caused by a number of factors, but the most common is when a single piece of content is accessible through multiple URLs. This can happen when your home page can also be accessed at www.example.com/index.html or when product pages can be accessed with or without trailing slashes (e.g., product1 and product1/).

If you suspect you have duplicate title tags, the easiest way to check is to use a crawler, like Screaming Frog, which will list all the title tags it finds on a given website. Once you have the list, you can manually review each one to see if they’re identical or similar enough that they could be considered duplicates.

If you find duplicate title tags on your website, there are a few ways to fix them:
-Choose one URL as the canonical (preferred) version and use 301 redirects to send traffic from the other URLs to the canonical URL.
-Use paramaters in Google Search Console to specify which URL should be used for each piece of content.
-Use rel=”canonical” tags on your webpages to specify the preferred URL for each piece of content.

It’s also important to make sure that your title tags are not truncated in search results by using too many words or characters. If your title tag is truncated, it’s likely because it’s too long or because you’re using special characters that are being ignored by search engines. The best way to avoid truncation is to keep your titles under 60 characters and to avoid using special characters like & or <.

Find and fix duplicate or missing meta descriptions

When it comes to on-page and content, one of the biggest issues you can have is duplicate or missing meta descriptions. This can cause problems with your SEO, as well as your click-through rate.

Here are a few tips to help you find and fix duplicate or missing meta descriptions:

  1. Use a tool like Screaming Frog to crawl your website and look for pages with duplicate or missing meta descriptions.
  2. For each page with a duplicate or missing meta description, try to figure out why. Is it an old page that needs to be updated? Or is it a new page that was never given a meta description?
  3. Once you know why each page has a duplicate or missing meta description, you can start to fix the problem. For old pages, simply update the meta description. For new pages, add a unique and keyword-rich meta description.
    Find and fix multiple H1 tags

    If you have multiple H1 tags on a page, it’s a good idea to find and fix them. Here’s how:

Check the HTML of your page to see if there are multiple H1 tags. If there are, remove all but one of them.

Once you’ve fixed the HTML, make sure your content reflects only one main topic. If it covers multiple topics, consider breaking it up into separate pages.

If you’re not sure how to fix your H1 tags, or if you need help with your content, contact a web developer or designer for help.

Off-Page SEO

There are a lot of things you can do to improve your website’s ranking in the search engines. One of the most important is off-page SEO. This includes things like link building, social media, and other factors that are not on your website.

Analyze your competitor’s link profile

One of the most important aspects of off-page SEO is link building. In order to build links, you need to first analyze your competitor’s link profile. This will give you an idea of what kind of links they have, where they’re coming from, and how strong their link profile is.

There are a few different ways to do this. One is to use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer. This tool allows you to see the links that are pointing to your competitor’s website.

Another way to do this is to use a tool like BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo allows you to see the most popular content on the internet, and you can use this information to find out which websites are linking to your competitor’s content.

Once you have a good idea of your competitor’s link profile, you can start building links yourself. There are a few different ways to do this:

  1. Guest blogging: Find blogs in your industry that accept guest posts and write a blog post for them that includes a link back to your website.
  2. Directory listings: Find directories that list websites in your industry and submit your website to them.
  3. Social media: Share your content on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and include links back to your website.
    Conduct a link intersect analysis

    A link intersect analysis is a great way to find link building opportunities. You can use a tool like Ahrefs to conduct this analysis, or you can do it manually.

To do it manually, start by making a list of your competitor’s backlinks. Then, make a list of the websites that are linking to your competitor’s websites. Finally, intersection the two lists to find websites that are linking to your competitor’s websites that you could potentially get links from as well.

Target your competitors’ broken backlinks

A backlink is a link that points from one website to another. If somebody links to your website, then you have a backlink from them. If you link to another website, then they have a backlink from you. Backlinks are also called “inbound links” or “incoming links.”

The number and quality of backlinks pointing to your website are some of the most important ranking factors in SEO. That’s because Google and other search engines view backlinks as votes of confidence—the more votes (i.e., backlinks) your webpage has, the more Google will trust your site.

Unfortunately, not all backlinks are created equal. That’s why it’s so important to target your competitor’s broken backlinks.

Broken backlinks are links that point to webpages that no longer exist. They’re essentially wasted votes that you can claim for your own site by creating similar content on your own site and reaching out to the websites that are linking to your competitors’ pages, letting them know that you have a similar (or better) piece of content available.

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