Whether you’re building your own website from scratch or are just getting a little more hands-on with its creation, entrepreneurs new to search engine optimization must figure out how to rank first (or at least high up) in search results. This project can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, though, a few key rules will help you to get started.
Below, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council list the most important rules for those new to SEO and explain why they’re so vital for generating traffic.
New to SEO? 10 Rules to Follow as You Get Started
- Add content consistently.
- Write for humans first.
- Research what keywords your audience is using.
- Secure high-quality inbound links.
- Broaden your SEO goals.
- Prioritize low-hanging fruit.
- Focus on long-tail keywords.
- Use the right tools.
- Think about your customers’ needs.
- Consult a specialist.
1. Add Content Consistently
Consistency is key. You have to show search engines that your website is active by adding new content regularly. Not only does this help improve your rankings, but it will also help you retain readers and build an organic following for your blog, hopefully leading to shares and organic backlinks. — Jack Perkins, CFO Hub
2. Write for Humans First
Write for humans first, and do so as though you’re answering a question. Searches on Google are typically phrased as questions. When you answer them, you’re providing value and, therefore, will be ranked higher as long as you have beneficial and valuable content. — Nicole Smartt Serres, Star Staffing
3. Research What Keywords Your Audience Is Using
I founded an SEO agency, and keyword research is crucial. The more your site is aligned with the keywords and phrases your audience uses, the better your performance will be. The days of word stuffing are over, and valuable content that answers questions is reigning supreme in the SEO game. — Matthew Capala, Alphametic
4. Secure High-Quality Inbound Links
Make sure not to include too many links, and especially spammy ones, on your website, or Google can penalize its rankings. Securing high-quality inbound links is the only way to enhance organic search rankings. — Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
5. Broaden Your SEO Goals
When doing SEO for the first time, many people focus on using keywords and data that are directly associated with promoting their business. Instead, broaden your SEO goals. For example, if you're selling cosmetics, don't just do research on ways to rank for your product. Instead, look for ways to rank for self-care, wellness or confidence. You can link these things to your brand and build a long-term strategy. — Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
6. Prioritize Low-Hanging Fruit
For immediate results, prioritize the low-hanging fruit first. In other words, although “dream” keywords may have 5,000 searches per month, it could take your site years to rank first in results. Keywords with 50 or so searches per month are generally less competitive and you can begin ranking first tomorrow. Work your way up to the highest searches, but get customers now with lower-rank keywords. — Bill Mulholland, ARC Relocation
7. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
Write content focused on low-competition keywords, also called long-tail keywords. They have less competition, are easier to rank in Google and are enough to get your first traffic and conversions. —Maksym Babych, SpdLoad
8. Use the Right Tools
For those new to SEO, it’s important to use tools that are beginner-friendly and make it easy to understand how to optimize your website. Improving your site’s SEO and boosting visibility in search doesn’t have to be difficult; the right software makes this possible. — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
9. Think About Your Customers’ Needs
Search engine optimization has come a long way since the early 2000s where one could just stuff certain important words in a webpage and rank on the first page of Google with that jumbled mess. Things are different now. The search engine algorithm is smarter and still gets smarter by the day. To win in the long term, focus on your customers’ needs. Everything else works out with time. — Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
10. Consult a Specialist
Consult an SEO specialist before choosing a designer. I see so many companies who build websites with terrible on-page SEO. Your site will require title tags, description tags and header tags to rank in the search engines. An SEO specialist will also ensure you choose the best framework, such as Shopify or WordPress. The consultation should cost between $250 to $1000, depending on the SEO experience. — Brian Greenberg, Insurist