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SEO Basics

Simple Steps to Approach SEO in 2020

Most people think that SEO is complicated. It isn’t. It does require study and research and time and effort. But if you just focus on the basics, you will easily be able to create a website that gets ranked. So, let’s look at the simple steps you need to follow to get SEO right in 2020.

The Fundamentals of SEO

There are 5 simple steps that you need to follow in SEO that will get your website the visibility it needs on searches.

  1. Find out what your customers search for.
  2. Optimise your website for searches.
  3. Ensure Accessibility to both search engines and customers.
  4. Create backlinks to your website.
  5. Measuring and tracking success.

Exploring the Fundamentals Let’s go into more detail on each of these steps now.

1. What Do Your Customers Search For?

The first thing you need to do to optimize your website is know what your customers search for on a search engine (let’s use Google since 86.86% of all searches take place there!).

Here are a few steps you can follow to get that information:

– Common Sense
Think about the keywords you use when you carry out a search on Google. For example, if you are looking for a pharmacy in London, what will you type into the search box? Probably something like this:

  • Pharmacy near me, or
  • Pharmacy in London.

– Analyse the Keywords and their Popularity
Once you have listed the keywords that you feel that would be most used to search for your product (in this example – a pharmacy), then you need to verify that list – and expand it. After all, you cannot use a small set of keywords again and again on your webpage – it’s the best way to get penalised and not have your page ranked at all.

Remember, this is the most critical part of any SEO, so take your time and make the effort to ensure that you have identified the right keywords, including long-and short- tailed keywords.

You can use a keyword explorer to see which keywords have the highest search rankings. There are many keyword explorers you can use – Ahrefs is a good option for this purpose.

Whichever app you use, the idea is to identify the most used keywords (along with their long and short tails). The key to success here is to choose only two or three of the top-ranked websites and then use them in a keyword explorer to see which are the ones that common among all of them and have the highest rankings.

2. Optimise Your Website for Searches

Once you have your keyword list, it is time to optimise your website. This means creating well-structured, relevant web pages. The first step is designing a webpage that your target audience will enjoy scrolling through. This means omitting all those annoying pop-ups, opt-in boxes and so on.

Next, create URLs that are simple, yet descriptive. And don’t forget the meta titles and meta descriptions. This is the first thing that a searcher will see about your website on Google. When creating a title, use the keywords for the webpage you want to rank for. And ensure that it is catchy enough to get people to click on it.

When you create content for your web pages, use headers as well as sub-headers to make the information more digestible.

Using images is also a good way to get a higher ranking but ensure that these are images that Google is able to identify them correctly.

And finally, always ensure that the content on your page is informative, relevant, verifiable and grammatically correct!

3. Ensuring Accessibility

There are two targets you have when you optimise your web pages – the web crawlers in search engines and your target audience. Here are a few things you can do to target both:

  • Ensure that your web pages load quickly.
  • Create mobile-friendly web pages. Remember, most people today search the internet on their mobile devices.
  • Secure your website with an SSL certificate. Unsecured websites are a security risk and most people – and Google – will avoid them.
  • Create a sitemap so that the search engines find your content and also understand how the various pages on your website are connected.
  • Have a robots.txt file so that the search engine knows which pages to index and which not to index. Remember, web crawlers have a limited budget on how many pages they can check on each search.
  • Create internal links so that it increases the speed of a web crawl. This will also help these bots find the pages you consider most important.

4. Create Backlinks

There is evidence to prove that one of the main ranking criteria that Google (and other search engines) use to rank a web page is backlinks. The premise is very simple: if there are many websites recommending your page, it must be good, therefore it should be ranked.

Creating a backlink – like your keyword search – takes time and effort. You start by checking the kinds of websites promote your kind of content. Here are some ways in which you can get websites to backlink your content:

  • Reaching out to the page owners and letting them know about your content.
  • Asking site owners to replace broker links with yours.
  • Guest blogging – as long as your posts are informative, relevant, and helpful to the website.

5. Measuring and Tracking Success

It’s no use spending all this time and effort creating a website that is optimised for SEO. You also need to check whether the work you have done is effective.

Therefore, the final step in SEO is tracking and measuring the success of your website or page.

Conclusion

The effort of this article has been to point you in the right direction for approaching SEO in 2020. But if you take the time and make the effort, the reward will be getting your webpage ranked on a search – which means that you effectively reach your target audience.

September 22, 2020