8 Essential SEO Tips for Beginners

8 SEO Tips That Still Matter

Details matter in proper search engine optimization, as does consistency in doing the same right thing on every page every time.  Search engines like Google or Bing use complex algorithms to rank websites. As an owner of a website, you’ll need at least a basic understanding of search engine optimization in order to get anywhere. You can maximize your WordPress website and get the most out of your investment. These eight SEO tips are risk-free and should be applied to every website you make.

1.Improve your permalinks

Permalinks make it easy for users to navigate your site. A good permalink structure is well organized, easy to understand, and descriptive. Bad permalinks use dates and numbers instead of descriptions. Good permalinks, on the other hand, allow visitors to understand where they are from a glance. Avoid using numbers, dates, and lengthy URLs; instead, make use of hyphens and straightforward keywords that describe what the page is about.

seo tips2.Optimize page titles and description

Seems like a real no-brainer here, take advantage of each and every SEO tactic that adds relevance to a web page. A good page title and its succeeding description can do wonders for SEO. Strong page titles for low-competition keywords can give you a leg up on your competitors. A page’s meta tag in particular is displayed on search results, allowing visitors a glimpse of what your content is about.  Give each page a unique page title that accurately describes its contents.

More importantly, don’t forget to give your homepage its own title and description. Don’t just give page titles and descriptions to blog posts. Remember to keep titles and descriptions brief. Avoid using too many keywords and repeating the title in the description.

3.Practice proper formatting

It may seem minor, but proper formatting can make your pages easier to navigate and easier to index. Remember to use H1, H2, and H3 tags in your content. Use H1 tags for post titles and H2 tags for headings. Don’t forget to use bold and italics to emphasize points across your content, and use a font size that is easy to read. Short paragraphs can also make content more digestible. Remember to check if your formatting is mobile-friendly. Most people use their phones or tablets to view blogs. Make sure that your content can be properly scaled across multiple devices.

4.Create a sitemap

A sitemap is a list of pages on a website. You’ll need to create two types of sitemaps: an HTML sitemap for visitors and an XML sitemap for search engines. While HTML sitemaps are useful for improving user experience, the XML sitemaps that you submit to search engines can make indexing your site faster. This inevitably gives a boost to SEO.

5.Images should be optimized and compressed

Images are necessary to improve user experience. Use high-quality images across your site. Use high-definition images but make sure that they don’t take forever to load. Images should not exceed a megabyte in size. Using alt text to describe images can also provide a boost in SEO. Don’t forget to use keywords in your descriptions as well.

6.Properly configure a 404 page

A 404 page appears when a user arrives on a page on your site that doesn’t exist. You can improve user experience with a properly configured 404 page that explains to visitors what went wrong. A 404 page should also match the design of the website and give visitors an easy way to navigate back into the website.

7.Use breadcrumbs for easy navigation

Breadcrumbs are navigational links that usually appear near the top of a page. Breadcrumbs are descriptive in nature and follow a hierarchical structure.

“Category > Subcategory > Current Page Title” is an example of a breadcrumb. Use breadcrumbs in all your internal pages if possible. CMSs like WordPress have plugins that make adding breadcrumbs easy.

8.Use more internal links

Link sculpting is way old school, but still has a place when done correctly and in moderation. Don’t forget to link to your own content. Internal links can contribute a lot to SEO. Link related articles and content together. Make sure the links stand out for both visitors and search engines. They should be brief and unobtrusive. Remember to keep links relevant; a blog post about weight loss shouldn’t randomly include links about gardening, for example. Avoid using too many links; three to five links are good enough.

Ideally, newer posts should link to old content. But the reverse can be just as good for SEO. If you have the time, revisit old posts and link to newer content. It can be time consuming but the returns are worth it.

Whether you’re building your first website or your fifth, remember these 8 fundamental SEO tips. Content is still king, but if you want your site to get noticed, you’ll need to do the hard work behind the scenes.

content marketing

Duplicate Content Is Bad For SEO

Why Copied Content Is a Big No-No with Google

In today’s online business environment, your web design and SEO strategies have to be top notch to remain competitive. Previously ignored issues like copied content can no longer be taken for granted and failure to take immediate action can mean a long and arduous road ahead for your online business. Duplicate content is bad for SEO.

You already know how important good content is to your site. It drives visitors to your site and converts them into leads, thereby bringing in huge profits. There are many helpful tips available out there for anyone who wants to write quality content. Nonetheless, many people still assume that copied content is good for their website. But the truth is that copied content is a big no-no with Google and the content world as a whole.

Why Duplicate Content Is Frowned On By Search Engines

There are numerous reasons why you should avoid posting duplicate content on your site. One of the main reasons is that you will never be a trustworthy source for clients who are always looking for unique, high quality content. Your readers want to see that you are an authority in your niche market, and if you are regularly copying your content or articles, you will be hurting your reputation.

Other reasons duplicate content is bad include:

Google Wants High-Quality Unique Original Content

Plagiarism is a big word with bigger consequences in today’s content world. The work of Google is to index and provide as much unique content as possible, presenting a variety in the results. For example, imagine searching for a business such as a plumbing service. If the plumber serves many locations and all the locations had a single web presence with the same content, then you won’t get variety within the search engine results when it comes to business services. What you are actually searching for is a variety of plumbing services that you can choose from.

Duplicate Content Will Put Your Site on Google’s Naughty List

Google will actually reward your site for having high quality, original content. However, it will punish it accordingly if you have duplicate content. Using the same article from the internet throughout your website, or even copy-and-pasting content from another website can greatly hurt your Google rankings. It is true that a website can have good rankings throughout other search engines, but still not reach anywhere in Google results. A search using a reliable plagiarism checker can help determine whether the content on your site is being used on other online sites or directories.

Copied content will make your website look like an illegal business, even if you’re a legitimate one. This is because that’s something trolls and spammers are doing on a daily basis. They copy and paste everything on a website in an attempt to stay relevant.

Google has been at the forefront of the fight against duplicate content and any content that looks deceptive or manipulative is penalized. When writing content, your aim should be to stand out from your competition and gain trust in the market. You want to write content that is helpful and engaging for your visitors to attract clicks, interactions and sales.

When you use duplicate content, however, you run the risk of losing even your most loyal visitors and not converting your leads. Copied content will keep your site hidden and your competitors will be seen by potential customers, instead. Duplicate content does not only harm your authority on Google, but it also harms your domain value, so don’t be cheated into thinking that it is a way of saving some money.

Avoid Duplicate Content And Enjoy The Benefits Of A Trusted Site

You may have tens or even thousands of pages on your site and just thinking about writing content for each other them can be frightening. However, the truth is that you have to do it if your seriously want to rank well in Google. If you don’t know whether or not your site has duplicate content, you can use a reliable plagiarism checker to make the job easier and faster. You should make sure there is little or no copied content on your site.

If you are looking for high quality, original content to replace the existing duplicates, then it may be time to hire a copywriting service. This will help you get professionally written articles that you can use to get rid of duplicate content on your site.

Meta Data Optimization For Professional Services Websites

Generally professional legal service websites are heavily Google centric and do not receive much organic search traffic from other search engines like BING or Yahoo. Another KPI, conversion rate of organic traffic, was also lower than expected. Reviewing the top performing attorney websites in several major metro markets in diverse practice areas, from many competitors websites like Justia, iLawyer marketing and SLS marketing, highlighting the use of unique meta data to maximize their organic audience and improve search engine indexation and page relevance to search user queries. The websites that showed up well in SERP’s page with greater visibility and frequency had a common characteristic of unique Meta keywords, unique Meta descriptions and unique title tags.

paid-search-marketingHow Search Engines Use Meta Data

While it is common marketing knowledge that Google does not read meta keywords for use in their algorithm as stated frequently by Matt Cutts from Google, there are 1,00’s of other search engines that do use this information to help establish page relevance and better indexation. Consider these two points about how search engines use Meta data.

  • While Google may not read Meta data, why do they stress it in their webmaster tool? In Google Webmaster tools under HTML improvements, WMT commonly lists and shows duplicative Meta data. Google actually recommends through their Webmaster tools to go “old school SEO” and improve your website by remove duplicative Meta data and provide unique titles, keywords, and descriptions for greater relevancy to user queries.
  • Recently Google has gone back to indexing news sites with Meta data.  Google recommends news sites and news articles identify story topics with by using unique Meta keywords to gain better relevancy and topic clarification.

Professional search engine marketers that used consistent quality guidelines to build websites, have continued to include unique Meta content in every site build. Many SEO’s focused on rank tend to ignore quality guidelines while reacting to the latest SEO trend. All the domains that ignore the practice of building page relevancy now have to play catch up, and here’s why.

Algorithm Changes In Google

In April 2012 Matt Cutts in one of his blog posts mentioned Google’s upcoming efforts to improve the site quality and user experience.  At that time, Google was looking to increase the quality of SERP’s by penalizing sites that were openly over-optimizing their domains with questionable SEO practices. This particular algorithm update was called Penguin. Penguin 1.1 was launched around April 24, 2012 and adjusted search results for a number of spam factors including non-diverse back link profiles, aggressive redundant anchor text, keyword stuffing and over-optimized title tags to name a few. This “over-optimization” of title tags includes titles that well exceed the standard character limitations. One common misdiagnosed SEO problem from Penguin is that it’s only link problem, when in fact it might be an poor optimization or over-optimization problem.

Most Meta data has a standard number of characters that will be displayed across the search engines. For example, title tags of 70 characters or less will show up in a Google search and 72 characters or less will show up in a BING or Yahoo search. When you research top performing sites you will see that many of these sites use no more than 70 characters to identify what each page is all about. Most websites that exceed 70 characters and use an abundance of keywords in the title tags tend to perform at a less than optimal level along with being poorly indexed.

SEO Industry Standards “Old School” Style

When it comes to keyword usage in the Meta keywords, the general rule of thumb is 3 to 5 unique keywords that support the relevancy of the page. A common SEO “black hat” tactic is to stuff a bunch of keywords in the string, repeat keywords in this string, or simply ignore the keywords because “Google doesn’t read it”. All of these are bad ideas. The Meta keywords help explains what the page is about, especially when the primary keyword of the page topic being the first phrase listed. The remaining keywords need to be relevant and non-duplicative to the primary keyword. Semantic indexing further reinforces the quality of the on page topic and improves the search engines understanding of what the page is truly all about. The outcome is that this page is easier to index because it is easier for search bots to understand. The byproduct of helping the search engines identify and understand the content on the page is with correct and consistent basic optimization is better placement in the results pages.

Internet Marketing Basics


Here’s some old school information on internet marketing basics, or grassroots seo 101. Online advertising offers advertisers, both online and offline, an opportunity to reach very specific niche audiences and target markets that wasn’t previously possible outside of perhaps the niche and trade magazine market. The biggest difference between niche online advertising and niche print advertising is often cost. Online advertising options are often more affordable, and with new niche websites launched every day, online advertising opportunities are almost endless.

There are many different types of online advertising, from blatant advertising to subtle, seemingly natural links. Here are several common types of online advertising currently used:

1. Banner Advertising – Banner ads are image ads with a company’s or website’s logo, slogan, and advertising message (or something similar) included. Banner ads come in many different sizes, which would be determined by the space available on the publisher’s site where the advertising space is being purchased. Some banner ads are animated.

2. Sponsorships – Advertisers regularly gain exposure in online sponsorships, whether that’s sponsoring a site blatantly for a site-wide text link or banner ad, sponsoring online videos (or even limited commercial sponsorships with major TV networks offering videos online), or sponsoring something such as a free Web template, where the sponsorship link stays in tact every time a template is used.

3. Text Link Advertising – Text link ads can work similarly to banner ads, they can be site-wide links in the sidebar, footer, or other area of a publisher’s website, or they can be a text link worked into the content on one particular page on a publisher’s site.

4. Video Advertising – Video advertising can be done similarly to banner advertising using various video screen sizes, or can involve blatant advertising in essentially Web commercials released with some kind of entertainment value to video sharing sites, hoping for a viral effect of the video being shared to increase exposure.

5. Email Advertising – Email advertising is essentially purchasing banner or text link ad space within email newsletters reaching a certain target market.

6. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising / Search Engine Advertising – Pay-per-click advertisements can be purchased in text or image / banner formats, often through search engine advertising (to place in sponsored results for certain keyword phrases) or through ad publisher networks such as Google Adsense, where ads appear on publisher sites relevant to chosen advertiser keywords.

7. Online Classifieds – Online classifieds advertising works much in the same way as offline classifieds, where products, jobs, and more can be advertised to a more general market.

8. Pop-up / Pop-under Advertising – These are online ads that open a new window on a browser’s computer screen when they enter or leave a Web page or click on something. They’re often considered intrusive, and blocked automatically using pop-up blockers by many users.

Find An SEO Mentor

SEO Mentor

Tips for Discovering Your New SEO Mentor

  • A mentor acts as a teacher or trusted guru
  • If you can not get hold of a mentor on your own, there’s online mentor services available
  • Look for mentor groups on Linked In or Meet Up in the most relevant industries for you
  • Begin by getting to understand yourself and what you want out of life and your business, how can your mentor help you grow and improve
  • Ask around, who has inspired others that you’ve met on your way to the shops
  • Search the right places, where would someone do what you want to visit
  • Has a purpose and make it clear to mentor what you want to achieve
  • Think about the properties of your mentor or teacher should have
  • Do not be afraid to approach a person, even if you think they are not interested in mentoring, many people are willing to help and glad to find that they inspire others
  • A mentor does not necessarily have to be older than you, that’s a common misconception peers are great mentors
  • Makes the relationship a chance for growth for both you and mentor, to find ways to cooperate and help each other and learn together

Target Your Website for High Performance

Target Your Website for High Performance

Whether you are launching a single site or a large e-commerce venture, identifying your target market from the start is an important step in grassroots SEO. Successful websites put their efforts into reaching a very specific target market, sometimes without even knowing it. A well planned SEO strategy can increase your chances for success by identifying your site’s target audience before you jump into a specific SEO tactic or online campaign to drive traffic to your domain.

How do I define my target audience?

The core audience or group of visitors (or buyers) that you want to visit your website is your primary target market. These visitors can and should be identified and described in detail before you start designing your website. This is tailor the web site marketing plan and marketing tactics to help those around the target return on investment (ROI), which basically means that you get the most for your time and money to maximize.

A target is described by the demographic and or defined user behavior profiles. These key metrics include many personal and social information, such as:

  • Age Groups
  • Genders
  • Nationalities or ethnic
  • Income levels
  • Marital status
  • Education levels
  • Location
  • Either they have children
  • Social or occupational groupings (jobs, industry, social class, etc.)
  • Interests (a hobby, musical preferences, favorite sports, etc.)

5 SEO Tactics

In choosing a site or target market for your grassroots SEO efforts, here are some ideas to keep in mind:

  1. The size of the audience.
  2. Are they are growing or shrinking.
  3. Whether there is a demand for the website or online business in that audience.
  4. Whether is would be easy to make money target market. (For example, you would not sell high-end electronics for a low income target market and you would not run a content site exclusively on ad revenue if your audience is traditionally “ad blind.” )
  5. Things that affect members of the target market. (For example, they would be more responsive to paid advertising on other sites, or they would be more affected by a referral from a friend, while focusing on viral marketing would be best?)

After having identified a site targeted, specific marketing tactic can be modeled around their interaction and behavior. Using the best SEO tactics and SEO tools increases your chances for success. This helps you to consolidate your grassroots SEO efforts, which saves time and money when the market a website or online business.