Connect with us

MARKETING

SEO Step-by-Step Tutorial: 8 Easy Basics for Beginners to Master

Published

on

SEO Step-by-Step Tutorial: 8 Easy Basics for Beginners to Master

If you’re just getting started with search engine optimization (SEO), then a step-by-step SEO tutorial is in order. By this point, you’ve likely heard of a few basic terms, such as keyword research and on-page optimization. But how do you apply all the knowledge you’ve gathered thus far?

We’ll walk you through it step-by-step. No matter how new you are to SEO, anyone can get started with the below SEO tips and get their website to rank in no time. Well — some time. Maybe a year or more. SEO, you should know, is a long game.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to walk away with a list of actionable steps to get your SEO strategy off the ground.

1. Find keywords.

Keyword research is as simple as picking a list of words and phrases relevant to your business. Think about which words are most likely to get people to do what you want them to do (visit your website and submit a form) and focus on those words.

You can use a dedicated keyword research tool, but as a beginner, it’s wise to choose your keywords intuitively at first. For instance, if you sell roasted coffee, you might opt for “roasted coffee,” “Colombian coffee,” and “local coffee roaster.”

Advertisement

List these keywords out in a spreadsheet or document for you to keep track of. Then, pick one word or phrase to use on one page of your site. In other words, you don’t want to target different keywords on one page. You want to target one keyword, as well as any keywords it’s semantically related to.

For instance, you might write a page for “local coffee roaster.” In this page, you can target semantically related terms such as “local coffee,” “coffee roaster near me,” “coffee roaster [city name],” and “locally roasted coffee.”

Here’s an example of what that looks like:seo step-by-step tutorial: keyword variants

Image Source

You can see a few keyword variants: “CRM software,” ”CRM solution,” and “free CRM.”

2. Put keywords in the page title.

Once you’ve chosen a keyword, it’s time to put it into action. First up, you want to put in your web page’s title.

The page title is one of the most important things that Google and other search engines evaluate to determine what is on a web page. It’s what appears on top of your web page’s result in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Notice how the following brand put its keyword, “Atlanta Coffee Roaster,” on its page title:

seo step-by-step tutorial: keyword in page title

Don’t forget to keep it short. We recommend 65 characters or fewer to ensure that search engines don’t trim your title, like in this search result:

seo step-by-step tutorial: truncated page title

Keep in mind that your brand name is part of the character count of your website’s title.

Advertisement

3. Put keywords in the page URL.

Google and other search engines also use the text of the URL of the page to determine the content of the web page. You should use your keyword or phrase specifically in the slug.

seo step-by-step tutorial: url slug

Image Source

Don’t overdo it, though. If you sell coffee, for instance, don’t create a slug as follows:

mycoffeecompany.com/coffee-atlanta-near-me-fulton-county-greater-atlanta-area-coffee

Keep it short, descriptive, and simple. One effective example would be:

mycoffeecompany.com/atlanta-coffee-roaster

If you’re using WordPress, here’s how to change your web pages’ slugs in the backend.

4. Put keywords in your meta description.

Your page’s meta description can further tell search engines and users what your page is about.

Advertisement

seo step-by-step tutorial: meta description

While metadata is not nearly as important as it used to be, it still counts. Take advantage by putting your keyword or phrase there. The description should be readable by a person and make sense, and the keyword metadata should focus on your keyword or phrase. Don’t make it long — less is often more.

5. Put keywords in your H1 text.

The H1 text is usually the title of an article or some larger bold text at the top of your page. Google and other search engines can see this, and they put extra importance on the words in the H1 text. Make sure your keyword or phrase is there.

Here’s an example from a local coffee roaster company:

seo step-by-step tutorial: h1 heading example

Image Source

6. Use keywords in the page’s content.

Using your target keywords in your content is an essential part of your on-page SEO strategy.

Why? Because doing that signals to search engines that the page is actually about the keyword and should show up in search results. I have heard from “experts” that you should use your keyword anywhere from 4-6 times to 10-12 times. My advice is to just write naturally, but to carefully avoid black-hat practices such as keyword stuffing.

In other words, don’t write something like this:

“We are Atlanta Coffee Roasters, the best coffee roasting company in Atlanta, GA, where you can find Atlanta locally roasted coffee roasted by hand in our coffee shop serving the greater Atlanta area.”

Advertisement

That’s simply unreadable. Compare that with the content from the local coffee roaster company:

“At Peach Coffee Roasters, we’re passionate about single-origin coffees and carefully crafted blends. We have three licensed Coffee Q-Graders who select the best coffees from around the world and roast them to perfection. This obsession with quality extends to every step of the process, from green coffee sourcing to small-batch roasting and using only the best brewing methods every time. “

7. Build links to your website.

Once you signal relevancy to search engines via your keywords, it’s time for the hard work to start: building inbound links to your website from authoritative sites in your industry or niche.

This is arguably one of the most important SEO steps you have to take. The number and quality of links pointing to your website are quite important to Google and other search engines to evaluate your rank on different terms. If people are linking to you, then that means that your site offers authoritative, trustworthy information on a certain topic.

For instance, check out the backlink HubSpot received in this Digital Trends article (anchor text: “Accruing inbound links”):

seo step-by-step tutorial: backlink example

You should also externally link to websites related to your industry, which further demonstrates your relevance for that keyword.

8. Monitor your rank.

Last but not least, it’s time to check on the results from your efforts. Give the search engines some time to do their thing (from a couple of weeks to a few months), and then keep checking your rank to see what happened and track your progress.

If you’re just getting started with SEO, you can check this rank manually by searching for your target keyword in Google. We also recommend using Google Search Console to see your rankings for free. Since GSC can be limited in some respects, you can upgrade to an official SEO monitoring tool to track the most relevant keywords and consistently come up with strategies to improve your performance.

Advertisement

On that same vein, you should monitor your Google PageRank. Google uses your Page Rank as a measure of how “important” your website is on the web. Having a higher Page Rank means you have a better shot at being one of the top results for search terms.

Use a free tool such as Check Page Rank to get an estimate.

seo step-by-step tutorial: page rank analysis

During the monitoring process, you should also grade your website. Use a free tool such as Website Grader to evaluate the SEO effectiveness of your site.

seo step-by-step tutorial: website grader

This SEO Step-by-Step Tutorial is Just the Beginning

Don’t let your learning to stop here. With the above steps, you can get started creating an effective search engine optimization strategy, but keep in mind that SEO has countless moving parts that warrant care, attention, and tenacity. That’s why some companies have entire teams dedicated to their SEO efforts.

The good news is that you don’t have to guess about your next steps. Use our starter pack to ramp up your SEO plans and boost the likelihood of your website ranking on the first page of the SERPs.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2007 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

marketing



Source link

Advertisement

MARKETING

6 martech contract gotchas you need to be aware of

Published

on

6 martech contract gotchas you need to be aware of

Having worked at several organizations and dealt with many more vendors, I’ve seen my share of client-vendor relationships and their associated “gotchas.” 

Contracts are complex for a reason. That’s why martech practitioners are wise to lean on lawyers and buyers during the procurement process. They typically notice terms that could undoubtedly catch business stakeholders off guard.

Remember, all relationships end. It is important to look for thorny issues that can wreak havoc on future plans.

I’ve seen and heard of my share of contract gotchas. Here are some generalizations to look out for.

1. Data

So, you have a great data vendor. You use them to buy contacts and information as well as to enrich what data you’ve already got. 

When you decide to churn from the vendor, does your contract allow you to keep and use the data you’ve pulled into your CRM or other systems after the relationship ends? 

You had better check.

Advertisement

2. Funds

There are many reasons why you would want to give funds in advance to a vendor. Perhaps it pays for search ads or allows your representatives to send gifts to prospective and current customers. 

When you change vendors, will they return unused funds? That may not be a big deal for small sums of money. 

Further, while annoying, processing fees aren’t unheard of. But what happens when a lot of cash is left in the system? 

You had better make sure that you can get that back.

3. Service-level agreements (SLAs)

Your business is important, and your projects are a big deal. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a prompt response to a question or action when something wrong happens. 

That’s where SLAs come in. 

It’s how your vendor tells you they will respond to questions and issues. A higher price point typically will get a client a better SLA that requires the vendor to respond and act more quickly — and more of the time to boot (i.e., 24/7 service vs. standard business hours). 

Make sure that an SLA meets your expectations. 

Advertisement

Further, remember that most of the time, you get what you pay for. So, if you want a better SLA, you may have to pay for it.


Get the daily newsletter digital marketers rely on.


4. Poaching

Clients and vendors alike are always looking for quality people to employ. Sometimes they find them on the other side of the client-vendor relationship. 

Are you OK with them poaching one of your team members? 

Advertisement

If not, this should be discussed and put into writing during the contract negotiation phase, a renewal, or at any time if it is that important.

 I have dealt with organizations that are against anti-poaching clauses to the point that a requirement to have one is a dealbreaker. Sometimes senior leadership or board members are adamant about an individual’s freedom to work where they please — even if one of their organization’s employees departs to work for a customer or vendor. 

5. Freebies

It is not unheard of for vendors to offer their customers freebies. Perhaps they offer a smaller line item to help justify a price increase during a renewal. 

Maybe the company is developing a new product and offers it in its nascent/immature/young stage to customers as a deal sweetener or a way to collect feedback and develop champions for it. 

Will that freemium offer carry over during the next renewal? Your account executive or customer success manager may say it will and even spell that out in an email. 

Then, time goes by. People on both sides of the relationship change or forget details. Company policies change. That said, the wording in a contract or master service agreement won’t change. 

Make sure the terms of freebies or other good deals are put into legally sound writing.

Read next: 24 questions to ask ABM vendors before signing the contract

Advertisement

6. Pricing factors

There are many ways vendors can price out their offerings. For instance, a data broker could charge by the contact engaged by a customer. But what exactly does that mean? 

If a customer buys a contact’s information, that makes sense as counting as one contact. 

What happens if the customer, later on, wants to enrich that contact with updated information? Does that count as a second contact credit used? 

Reasonable minds could justify the affirmative and negative to this question. So, evaluating a pricing factor or how it is measured upfront is vital to determine if that makes sense to your organization. 

Don’t let contract gotchas catch you off-guard 

The above are just a few examples of martech contract gotchas martech practitioners encounter. There is no universal way to address them. Each organization will want to address them differently. The key is to watch for them and work with your colleagues to determine what’s best in that specific situation. Just don’t get caught off-guard.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


Advertisement

About The Author

Steve Petersen is a marketing technology manager at Zuora. He spent nearly 8.5 years at Western Governors University, holding many martech related roles with the last being marketing technology manager. Prior to WGU, he worked as a strategist at the Washington, DC digital shop The Brick Factory, where he worked closely with trade associations, non-profits, major brands, and advocacy campaigns. Petersen holds a Master of Information Management from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brigham Young University. He’s also a Certified ScrumMaster. Petersen lives in the Salt Lake City, UT area.

Petersen represents his own views, not those of his current or former employers.

Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

Entireweb
en_USEnglish