SEO basics: search engine optimisation tips

The article was written by Markestic

SEO

2021-11

SEO basics

An SEO expert walks into a bar, bar, pub, tavern, coffee shop…

Anyone who’s seen SEO will get the joke, but if you haven’t, you’ll get it by the end of this article.

SEO

Let’s start at the very beginning.

What is SEO? An exercise that can help us increase not only the quantity but also the quality of visitors to our website. We can achieve unpaid search (organic) results that can enhance the value of our brand. Search engine optimisation in short.

Search engine

But what is a search engine? A system that searches through billions of pieces of content, evaluates them based on thousands of factors, and then determines which specific pieces of content are the most valuable to us based on our search.

Much has changed on the search results page in recent years. While advertising and organic search used to be very distinct, nowadays search results pages are much more dynamic and hide ads much more inconspicuously. For example, answer boxes, which immediately display the answer to your question, so you don’t even need to click on the link to be taken to a predictably relevant page.

How to create content for your website?

Write for your users first, not the search engine

    • Don’t cheat your users
    • Don’t use tricks for the search engine. Ask yourself: Is this information useful to my users? Would I do this even if there were no search engines? If the answer is yes, then do it
    • Think about what makes your website unique and valuable.

How NOT to create content for your website?

    • Do not use automatically generated content
    • Do not post non-original content
    • Show the search engine nothing but the users
    • Do not hide text and links on the page

How do search engines work?

Crawling: this is the discovery phase, when the search engine uses robots to find new and relevant content.

Index: a huge data set where the information found is stored by the search engine

Ranking: when someone searches, the search engine ranks the information in the index and tries to show the best possible solution for the search term.

IMPORTANT: If you want your website to appear in search results, be sure to make it “crawlable” and “indexable”. If you don’t enable these, any good content you produce will not be available to the search engine.

+ 1 tip: Although search engines nowadays recognise more and more images, the technology is not yet fully developed. If you want to be really good, always give your image a text description in your web editor. This helps the search engine to better define what the user can find in the image.

Keyword research

Now that we’ve got the basics of how search engines work, let’s look at how to use the right keywords on your website. But before we get started, it’s important that we don’t arbitrarily define our keywords, but think with our users in mind and try to figure out how someone will search for our product or service.

Search volume

We start our keyword research by looking at the most basic search terms. These usually give a higher search number. For example, if you sell pizza, you could see thousands of searches for pizza per month. But we don’t necessarily want to be seen by everyone who Googles pizza. If we only deliver pizza in the city centre of Budapest, we are much more likely to be available only to those who live in the city centre of Budapest and are looking for pizza delivery. These are called long-tail keywords, i.e. more specific search results. In general, people who are already searching for longer, more complex keywords convert sooner, as they are already in a more informed part of the shopping funnel.

Online tools for keyword research

    1. Google Keyword Planner
    2. Google Trends
    3. AnswerThePublic
    4. SpyFu Keyword Research Tool
    5. Google Correlate

On-page SEO

A simple formula for content production:

  1. Search for the keywords you want to apply for
  2. Identify the pages that appear at the top of the list for the given keywords
  3. Identify what values these sites have
  4. Produce better content than them

Format your content

While it’s impossible to predict how many people will read your content, there are a few basic rules you should follow to enhance the user experience.

Text size and colour – Never choose a font that is too thin, and make sure your font size is 16 or above. With this size, we can now minimise the need for zooming in on your phone, for example.

Heading – It helps our readers a lot if we organise the text with headings and subheadings. For example, if someone is only interested in a certain part, it is much easier to find it.

Listing – Helps our readers find the information that’s relevant to them.

Breaks between paragraphs – This helps us to reduce the number of people leaving our site and encourages our readers to read more.

Supporting media – If appropriate, be sure to “soften” the text with images and videos.

Bold and italic highlighting – Not always and everywhere, but proper use also helps the reader to find their way around

7 things to remember about SEO

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation

Don’t use tricks for the search engine.

What your users value, Google will value.

Crawl – Index – Rank

Always define your image with hashtags.

Top keywords: high search volume, low competition

Get inspiration from your competitors.

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