SEO Tutorial for Beginners
Though some try to categorize SEO as a science, the reality is that SEO is as much art as it is science, perhaps more so. If you already know the basics of SEO, or would like to dive in with a comprehensive beginner’s guide, then study our free and beginner-friendly, yet comprehensive, SEO Guide. The guide can also be downloadedPDF in PDF format. If you are a bit rusty, you can brush up on your SEO jargon by reviewing our SEO Glossary. Regardless of your experience or where you decide to start with your SEO studies, it is important to note that SEO is an ever-evolving discipline, and it takes time to get a good grasp on how the intricacies of the process of optimization work. For further studies, you can also check our list of recommended SEO books.
Fixing SEO Problems
Optimized websites must not be plagued with basic issues that can negatively impact the search engine friendliness of the site. To accomplish this, there are some basic guidelines to follow in order to address the most important of these issues.
Fixing Duplicate Content
Many sites suffer from lackluster rankings because of duplicate content and the mistaken belief that any content is good content. Good content may be king, but duplicate content is poison to the health of a website. Eliminate all and any duplicate content you may have on your site, whether the content was generated intentionally or it is just a function of bad information architecture design.
Short, yet descriptive URLs which are free of session IDs
URLs are a good way of telling visitors what the page is all about (if nothing else). A URL such aswww.example.com/article.php&id=48887464579876412 tells the user nothing about the page. Why not use something like www.example.com/blue-widgets.html? There is no good reason for not using the short and descriptive URL. Aside from making the site more user-friendly, the short descriptive URLs will also be search engine friendly. The keyword in the URL will contribute to improved rankings.
Customizable titles tags
As the most important element of the on-site optimization process, the title tag should be utilized to the fullest extent, and this cannot be done unless each and every page on your site has an independently customizable title tag.
Independently customizable description and keyword meta tags
Even though the meta tags are the (much) weaker of the title tag, it is still advisable to customize the keyword and description meta tags. If for nothing else, the description meta tag can be used to provide the search engines relevant and optimized marketing text for the snippet displayed on the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Complex and non search engine friendly navigation
The search engines must be able to index your pages before they can rank them. So if the architecture of your website is a roadblock to the indexing of your pages, no amount of content optimization will help the ranking potential for your website.
Before doing any search engine optimization for your website, it is necessary to set goals towards which you can strive. The most basic of these goals is ranking for a particular set of keywords. Though you may think the most popular keywords in your industry are the ones for which you should rank, it is important to keep in mind that quality (like in many other things), as opposed to quantity, is what is important.
To illustrate, let’s say you have a website that sells blue (and only blue) widgets. Your first thought, when it comes to rankings and keyword selection, may (and most likely) will be that your site has to rank for the word ‘widgets’ in order to be successful. So let us see if that is in fact true.