SEO tips for beginners

Here is a list of my SEO tips for beginners. I will add to this list so keep revisiting this page for more tips. This list will help you get started with search engine optimisation. Beginners tend to look for the quickest way to rank their website (I know I did) but the best strategy is to think long term and be patient.

  • Long-term SEO not short-term (have a three-year plan)
  • Content is king, write great content (this is essential)
  • Keep visitors on your page as long as possible (lower your bounce rate)
  • Use social media to drive traffic to each page (The quickest way to rank a page)
  • Stop building backlinks (an advanced technique that is not for beginners).
  • Start a blog today and add content slowly (one keyword/topic per page)
  • Only build fast mobile-friendly websites (mobile-first approach)
  • Give away valuable content to keep visitors returning (look after your customers)

If you are just starting to learn about SEO you will probably start watching YouTube videos and reading every SEO article available on the internet. There is a lot of information out there and it can be very daunting.

The best place to start is with one of your competitor’s websites (the website you choose should be ranked near the top of page one of Google). Look at their content and try to work out why they are so successful. Are they really doing SEO or just writing lots of great content? It may look like they only have a few pages, but check they don’t have lots of content spread across a number of pages.

richard barley seo tips for beginners

Think long term not short term

This is one of the most important SEO tips for beginners. If you take a look at the best websites on the internet, that are ranked on page one for many of the top search terms you will notice one thing.

The domain names and the websites have been around a very long time.

Most beginners think that they will be able to start a website write a few pages of content, sit back and wait for the pages to go to the top of page one.

It doesn’t quite work like that, The webmasters who succeed are the ones who think long term and build a website over a long period of time.

Content is king and always will be

Keep writing great content, add pages and blog posts that will be useful to people. Share the posts and pages on social media. Plan the topics you are going to write about. My main focus topics are WordPress Websites and SEO and I mainly write about these two subjects. Search engines will see what this website is about and start ranking the pages. Be specific and narrow down your topics.

If you don’t like writing then pay someone else to do it for you. After analysing a lot of websites over the past few years, I can tell you that content is definitely king, large websites with lots of content always win.

planning a wordpress website in a team

Keep visitors on your page as long as possible

If visitors come to your website and leave very quickly then this will signal to the search engine that your content is poor. Write good descriptive titles and descriptions that are accurate.

Don’t promise something in your title and then deliver nothing when they visit your page.


Title. (this will be shown on the search engine results page)

FREE WordPress Template For Ever – Unlimited Use Get It Now

when they visit the page the first paragraph reads…

Get your free WordPress template for thirty days then only £10 per month….

People will click through from the search results page, which is great because search engines like to see a high click-through rate, but as soon as they read the first paragraph on the landing page they will probably exit the page quickly because they wanted a free WordPress template for ever.

This is the last thing that you want. You need to keep visitors on your website and encourage them to return.

Stop building back links it may hurt your SEO

If you don’t know what you are doing don’t build any back links at this stage. If you write great content then hopefully other people will share and link to your pages.

Good backlinks will improve your ranking but you need to learn what a good backlink is first.

Start a blog today to improve your SEO

Adding content to your website in a natural way is very important. A blog is like a diary, when you add content on a regular basis search engines will think that you are an expert who wants to share content.

Search engines like to see that you are adding content that is valuable to people. Its quite simple really, add great content that people find highly valuable they will come to your site and stay around a while, this will signal to search engines that its great content if you can make the visitor carry out an action like download something or visit another useful page on your site that’s even better.

Fast mobile friendly websites

This is something that most beginners will miss. If your website takes a long time to download then it will not be mobile-friendly. Focus on building a website that will work on a mobile phone first then scale up to a large screen. Google take this approach when they are ranking your webpage.

The best SEO tips for beginners this year

Give away valuable content

Think of the one thing that one of your customers would love to download from your website and give it away. Make sure that you collect their email address in return. Use an email autoresponder like ConvertKit to set up a series of emails that will share different pages of your website with even more valuable content.

The download could be literally anything as long as it is valuable to the web page visitor. I give away a link to a resource page on my photography website and have collected hundreds of email addresses from people who are interested in one particular camera.

I don’t spam their inbox with lots of emails, I send one or two a month and share my content on YouTube. If you try and sell your services in every email people will unsubscribe quickly.

SEO is not magic, it is a process of analysing your competitor’s website and reverse engineering their success. Start by auditing their website (I can do it for you if you like)

  1. Technical On-page SEO – The technical aspects of on-page SEO are essential. The user experience should be top of your list. A great title that people will want to click is essential, a good description, add as much detail as possible using your focus keyword throughout your content. Structure your content starting with an H1 tag and include a few H3 and H4’s. Link out to other high-quality websites.
  2. The best content – You need to make sure that your content is better than your competitors, and that there is more of it. High quality and high quantity. Content should be a mixture of text, images, and videos. Use your competitor’s websites as a guide. You are not trying to beat every website on the internet, just your competitors in your industry.
  3. High-quality backlinks – You do need other websites to link back to your web pages, think of a link as a recommendation. The problem is that most beginners think of link building first and it should be last. If you think of it logically, why would anyone link back to a brand new website? Search engines are not stupid (well the clever people that design them are not). Great content first then build links when you know what you are doing.
note book showing the stages of planning a website

Internal links

  • Internal links help search engines crawl your website. Make it easy for search engines to find all of your content.
  • Internal links improve user experience. Internal links help visitors find relevant content easily. Linking between pages in the text you write is a great idea.
  • Internal links can improve your search engine ranking. By using the keyword in your anchor text when you link to another page you are telling search engines what the page is about. Internal links are an important part of any website audit and I would start to focus on improving your visitor’s experience first.

Some resources that I recommend

Website Audit

This is one of the best guides that I have found.

SEO Guide

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