In todays article I want to share with you some strategies for SEO Basics because it is an essential part when you start an online business.

Optimizing for Search Engines will help your customers to find your product more easily.

Therefore it is important to put some time and energy into this, so you can increase the likely hood of Google or any other Search Engine finding and recommending your business.

In today’s very noisy world, SEO is far more important than ever and everyone with an online business MUST have some sort of optimization in place.

When I started my first business, I learned how important it is to optimize for Search Engines.

This doesn’t matter what product you sell or which platform you use:

  • Sell products on amazon – you need to optimize your listing and your keywords
  • For Drop Shipping – you need to optimize your website for Google
  • Make money on YouTube – you need to optimize your videos and keywords as well to maximize exposure

Once you grasped the basics of SEO, it will be much easier to transfer the knowledge to any kind of business you want to build. And this certainly doesn’t hurt.

For the sake of this article I will focus on SEO for websites for Google rather than a specific platform.

Google is the biggest player in the market of search and if you know how to optimize for Google, you will be able to optimize for any other platform.

Alright let’s get started.

1. Create content that is valuable and answers questions


Search Engines are getting smarter day by day and it is not enough anymore to just stuff your website with all kind of keywords.

While it was possible in the past to rank higher on Google with simply putting thousands of keywords into the meta description of a website, today a lot of other metrics are used to determine the usefulness of your content.

By using different metrics such as Dwell Time (more on that later) it is possible for Search Engines to predict how much value you provide.

Today, great content can even rank on top, even if it’s not optimized for a specific keyword, but still provides great answers to visitors.

Therefore the first and most important rule for SEO is to create content that is valuable for people and that answers their questions.

When creating content, you should also make sure to structure your content properly, so it’s better digestible for your readers.

Most people give a page a very quick glance before they make the decision to read it.

For that reason you should make use of headings, subheadings and a mix of paragraphs, quotes or lists to give your content a diverse structure.

No one wants to read a boring 3000 word paragraph, right?

2. Think about the KEYWORDS you want to rank for


Any website has some form of text. Text is the most useful information for Search Engines.

When spiders crawl your website, they try to figure out what the content is about by looking for keywords.

A keyword is a word or a phrase that you repeat throughout your content to give Search Engines a better understanding what the content is focused around.

Therefore, you should spend time creating content that contains the keyword you want to rank for.

 

Example:

Let’s say you create a business about drones (because drones are cool).

Using only the word “Drones” on your website, however, is too generic and doesn’t help you to stand out from any other website that contains Drones.

Therefore you need to look at long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are keyword phrases that consists of multiple words.

Most people don’t look up single keywords. They search for phrases because they get more specific results. I’m sure you do the same.

In our drone example, a long tail keyword could be “Best drone equipment for starters“.

For that reason you should think of keyword phrases your customers would look for first.

After doing some keyword research and estimating the search volume for it, you can start to create content around your keyword phrase.

But refrain from using all kind of keywords because it could be seen as spammy which impacts your SEO negatively.

The following tools are essential when it comes to do Keyword Research:

 

3. Optimize your images


When you upload images to your website, make sure to optimize your images beforehand. To optimize my images, I usually go through the following steps:

 

Step 1 – Deciding between PNG & JPG

In Web, PNG and JPGs are the most important file types for images. JPGs are compressed images and usually have a smaller file size because of the reduced quality. If you have a great image as a foundation, you don’t need to worry about quality and can go with JPGs. However, if you want to use transparent images, you will not get around using PNGs. In all other cases, I recommend to stick with JPGs.

 

Step 2 – Optimizing the Image resolution

Depending on the purpose of the image, I optimize the resolution accordingly. This means that I don’t upload 2000x2000px images if they are only shown in the footer. Optimizing the resolution will have impact on the image size. This should be as small as possible in order to reduce download time (important for mobile). Think about where you want to display an image and set the resolution accordingly.

 

Step 3 – Reducing the Image file size

After optimizing the resolution, I use a tool called Imageoptim to reduce the file size. This tool works with simple Drag and Drop and you can even pull entire folders into it for batch optimization. It will show you exactly how much an image was compressed. Here you can also play around with PNG and JPEG to decide which fits better.

 

Step 4- Naming the image properly

Before uploading the image to the server you should make sure to give it a proper name. Images that are called DC1992IMG.jpg are not helpful for Search Engines. Instead, use names that are descriptive and potentially relevant to the topic, e.g. Lose-weight-fast-eat-sweatpotato.jpg.

 

Step 5 – Editing “Alt”-Tag

Last but not least, add some description for the Alt-tag of your image. Search Engines cannot see the image and the Alt-tag helps to recognize the content of an image.

4. Create a logical Site - Structure


A Site-Map is an important piece of information that helps google to understand the structure of your website and how to prioritize content.

A Site-Map contains all your pages, links and content and helps Search Engines to understand the hierarchy and how content is related.

For Wordpress, I recommend the YOAST plugin which not only creates a Site-Map, but is also useful in any other aspect of SEO.

5. Use a descriptive URL


Having a clear and descriptive url helps people to navigate.

A URL is like a street address. You need a clear and consistent naming so people won’t get confused. This also helps when people share your content. It makes it easier for others to understand what they can expect when clicking on the link. It creates trust and increases conversion rates.

With most content management systems, you can customize the url for pages easily.

Refrain from having urls such as

www.droneaction.com/page345/post2739746.

Instead have something like

www.droneaction.com/halloffame/best-entry-drones-2018.

6. Improve Website Speed


Choosing a great host is the most important decision that you have to make at the start to ensure great website speed. You can optimize the hell out of your website, but if the underlying system is slow, your entire website will be slow.

If you select a cheap hosting service, you will get what you pay for. Most hosting services use shared hosting. This means that your data is on the same hard drive with other members.

If all members have a high traffic business, then the speed is divided between each and with cheap hosting services, the slow hardware will contribute to the slow speed even further.

This results in slow server response times and long page loading times. I personally switched to Inmotion a while ago and can only recommend it. Inmotion is tested as one of the best hosting services out there. I certainly noticed the difference after switching from Strato:

As you can see, the download time of a page almost cut in half after switching from a cheap hosting service to Inmotion.

7. Optimize for Mobile


Optimizing for mobile should be a no brainer in 2018.

A lot of people look up content on their smartphones nowadays and with this tendency, Google puts even more attention to Mobile optimized websites than ever.

For that reason, you have to make sure that your content is easy to explore on a small screen.

If you use Wordpress and a premium theme, chances are high that it is already optimized.

Nevertheless, always double check your content on your smartphone before you put it out there.

Googles AMP Project (Accelerated Mobile Pages) was brought to life to help website owners improve their mobile experience even further.

8. Change to HTTPS


Security and data privacy becomes a more important aspect of Online businesses and increasingly become more valuable for SEO.

Google prioritizes websites that treats security serious to protect their own customers.

Websites that use the HTTPS protocol receive more love from Google. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol SECURE and is an adaption of the normal HTTP.

To enable HTTPS, you need to acquire a SSL Certificate. Check your hosting service for enabling HTTPS because it’s different with each hosting service.

Many hosting providers will provide free SSL Certificates, but you should acquire a dedicated SSL Certificate which Google prefers.

I even received a message to switch to a dedicated SSL Certificate to improve security:

9. Maximize the time people spend on your website


Content that captures the attention of customers and keeps them engaged for a long time is a great indicator for Google that there is value.

To increase the time a customer spends on your website you can

  • cross-link content so that people keep exploring (See 10. Internal Links)
  • use different types of media such as Video
  • engage users with interactive modules such as questionnaires

To find out more about session duration, checkout this article to understand the Dwell Time better.

10. Create Internal Links


To help spiders with crawling your website, you need to make sure that your content is linked internally.

Don’t create content that sits in a silo, but always provide references to other content in your archive.

Imagine your website as a big city where all districts need to be connected. A city can only flourish if all parts are connected.

Most of the time customers will probably not access your Website via the homepage but through other piece of content.

By creating a web-like system, older content can be discovered and prevents customers bouncing from your website. You help them to find more valuable content.

In the end, you made all the effort writing these articles and it would be a shame if customers wouldn’t find them, right?

11. Backlinks


Linking your content internally is helpful for onpage SEO but off-page SEO is equally important.

By sharing content with the world and having people link back to your website, Google will get a hint that the content is valuable for others and rank your page higher.

Taking the metaphor of a city with roads, imagine backlinks as the highway that connects cities with each other. The more highways are leading to a city, the more importance it gets.

But not all links are considered as backlinks and not all backlinks are valued equally. If you link your content on your own facebook page, Google will not consider it as a backlink. If someone links your website from his sidebar, it is less powerful than from the main article.

To dive deeper, here is great article from Neil Patel about how to build backlinks even no one knows your name.

Summary


With all these tips above, you should be good to go and have a solid foundation of SEO in place.

I know that SEO is not the most exciting topic in the world, but it is essential if you want to build a successful online business.

If you put in the effort, it will feed your business with organic traffic for years.