SEO basics you'll want to know to rank your blog high on Google!
To a regular person, search engine optimization (SEO) sounds like a formidable subject, if they ever heard of it at all. I know of website operators who still get intimated whenever this matter comes up.
The fact is, SEO is not as frightening as it sounds, and basic search engine optimization is easy to learn even for those who are not too familiar with it.
Since SEO service is expensive to contract, due perhaps to it being a specialized skill, it would serve you well to learn the basics of it, especially since it impacts ranking and sales conversion rate.
You will be surprised how many myths are floating around about it and some of these have even been regarded as generally accepted practices.
To level up your knowledge, I suggest you refer to some online tutorials or references that provide you with functional knowledge about search engine optimization.
The more you familiarize yourself with how it works, the lesser you get intimidated by it.
SEO Basics You'll want to know
So, in this post, I shall be talking about my time-tested SEO basic practices which I have proven to be effective in spurring traffic and ranking for my affiliate website.
For your convenience and easier understanding, I’ve knocked them down into 10 simpler and digestible portions, supported by examples for some of these techniques. So, let’s begin.
1. Start with your keyword.
Use your keywords in the beginning of your article title.
For instance, if your keyword is ‘portable induction cooktops,’ you’ll do well to use the following title, ‘Portable Induction Cooktops for Energy Efficiency’ since your keywords are all located in the beginning.
In comparison, the following title will fare less because of the keyword placement: ‘Choose Portable Induction Cooktops to Save Energy.’
Both still work but because of the position of the keyword in the first illustration, your article will get indexed and ranked by Google better than if you used the second one. The reason is relevance.
The more you prioritize your keyword by mentioning it first, the more Google understands it to be your foremost priority in the article.
The recommendation here is to put your keyword upfront. That is actually one of primary SEO basics rules.
2. Match your keyword with your URL
Again, it’s all keyword centric. Your URL should also be your keyword but take note to cut the unnecessary block words. See the following as an example:
Keyword: Homemade Jam Recipes for Diabetics
Title: Homemade Jam Recipes for Diabetics – Absolutely Sugar Free!
3. Optimize your image title.
Part of your visual hook is to use an interesting image that connects with your subject matter, or at the very least, the essence of your article.
In doing so, it is best to include a title to let your search engine understand the relevance of your image to your article.
Image SEO basics requires that you use your keyword in strategic places but be mindful that you do not overdo it. Here are the best places to consider when locating your keyword in relation to your image: your image file name and meta data, image title, alt text, caption, and image description.
My suggestion is that you choose two locations first and find out how it impacts your rank. In your other five locations, you may opt for your LSI keywords which also builds relevancy.
Try other combinations as well and choose the combination that generates the best SEO results. Use your LSIs for the rest.
In fact, when you add other images in the body of your post, you are advised to use LSIs so that you do not overoptimize and be demoted on the basis of keyword stuffing.
4. Avoid keyword stuffing.
Keyword overdose is just as bad as under optimization.
Both can affect not only your website ranking in a negative way, but also niche authority.
Here are the following locations where you can put your keyword optimization to good use.
- Title or H1
- URL or your web address
- Image SEO locations as previously mentioned
- H2 Heading
- Introductory Paragraph
- Stylized Text (Text in Italics, Boldface, Underscore)
- H3 Heading
- External Links
- Internal Links
- Video SEO locations
To avoid keyword stuffing, you need not position your keyword in all of these places. In fact, there are penalties in place to discourage overoptimization.
There are no hard and fast rules to determine which places works best. It all depends on a lot of factors, so my suggestion is you test the best combinations first and use your LSIs for less result-driven locations in your website.
Also, search engine optimization is underestimated by a lot of online marketers but based on my experience, it does keep the traffic coming.
You do not have to learn everything about SEO basics. You do not have time to do that. Learn your fundamentals is what I recommend and apply those techniques that boost your rank and traffic the most.
With a few of these effective strategies up your sleeve, you’ll be able to outrank your competition and top the search engine results pages (SERPs).
5. SOMETIMES, breaking SEO basics and rules works.
Affiliate marketing is built upon effective content.
There are instances when going with what you believe works rather than following SEO basics rules to the letter is the best way to go. Sometimes.
I’ve had some of my un-optimized articles dominate the SERPs and defeat well-established sites. I wrote the articles out of a gnawing desire for spontaneity and authenticity.
I perceived a need then in the market and followed my gut.
Sometimes, search engine optimization is not always about statistics but value proposition.
My philosophy is that SEO basics is at times achieved by being knowledgeable about your subject and sharing that knowledge to the ones who need it.
If you are an expert in your subject matter, you can leverage this to fortify your authority and brand equity. The more relevant and valuable your content is to your niche, the more traffic you’ll be able to attract.
On the other hand, if you attack SEO based on rules, tools, and statistics, you’re likely to burn out especially if you do not get the results you expect.
If you’re here for the long journey, my advice is to be the best information source for your subject matter and the rest will follow – content, traffic, sales conversions, and income.
Of course, just relying on your expertise will not always land you on the first page.
This is why I’ve highlighted ‘sometimes’ in this portion because continuing to equip yourself with effective tools and knowledge is still better than stagnating and keeping to what works.
Markets change and needs change. So, must you. Stay relevant and keep growing your knowledge and expertise, both with your subject matter and optimization.
6. Learn to use LSIs.
What are LSIs?
These are keywords that are not exactly the same as yours but related in topic.
See the following example to understand what LSIs are.
Keyword: excellent homemade flour
LSIs: sugar, yeast, wheat flour, butter, egg, bread, pastry flour, kitchen, starch, mills, grain, baking, DIY cooking, homemade flour tortillas, healthy flour
If you take a look at all these LSIs, you’ll notice their connection with your keyword although they are not the same. When you talk about your keyword, most likely these LSIs are going to be taken up as well.
This is why, Google will rank these as being related to your article as well because search engines have stored data that are organized in such as way that the application can determine related keywords. It uses this relation to establish your websites’ relevance and authority with regard to your niche.
By now, you may have known that getting ranked has a direct relation to a site’s niche authority and relevance.
So, what are the best ways to use your LSIs? Write naturally but use them with real purpose. In other words, do not just use your LSIs just because you need to get ranked even if they do not necessarily fit the flow of your ideas.
That said, instead of keyword stuffing, adopt your LSIs instead and the search engines will recognize these as one corresponding to your niche.
For example, when you upload three images in your article, you will be guilty of overoptimization if you use the same keyword consistently for all your image titles.
It’s not just SEO unfriendly but also overkill. Keep your keyword use in moderation and enlist the help of your LSIs instead for your other two images.
Another example regarding the use of LSI is as follows:
Alt Text: ‘Image of customized automatic gate system that’s built to last for many generations’
Caption: ‘Top-notch bespoke automatic gate system caters to unique needs of every home.’
In this example, note that instead of using ‘bespoke; in the Alt Text, I replaced it with an LSI, which is ‘customized.’
In search engine optimization, such practice is not often used although is generally known among webmasters.
7. Internal Linking
Most think that internal linking is done from your front page to the succeeding pages of your article or from your current article to the past articles in your website.
However, internal linking can also be done from your back page to the front or from your past articles to the current one.
Both ways can get your content ranked by Google, especially that your former posts have already been indexed. This signifies that your old articles are capable of directing traffic to the new posts and hopefully result in sales conversions.
Internal linking is also applicable between tags and other article elements that carry your keywords. There are so many possibilities of interlinking one element of content to another, no matter small.
Remember to always add the proper anchor text on menu images.
I’d like to compare interlinking as just like weaving strands of threads together to create a cohesive and beautiful fabric, where each thread matters and contributes the overall fabric’s character.
So, it is with your interlinking. The more you utilize it with purpose, the stronger your content and more functional to the reader.
8. Duplicate successes.
As soon as you notice your visitor traffic coming in but not in increasing number, find out what attracted these visits. If it’s a specific topic in your niche, then write more of it in the succeeding days but add more value by deepening your treatment of the topic.
There are free Google tools to help you determine what caused your inflow of visitors. One of these tools is Google Analytics.
Through this tool, you’ll be able to find out which of your website content generated this interest and what did not rank well.
Focus, then, on your success and repeat the same formula with slight variations according to how you can further improve it to match your market’s demographic or need.
9. Skip the ‘Buy This’ type of article.
When I convince my readers to purchase my products, which are related to running the affiliate marketing business, I start with a search engine optimization advice first. Then, I introduce them to the product in relation to my advice.
My 9th SEO basics suggestion, then, is to drop the straightforward ‘buy this’ keywords for your articles. Sure, some SEO basics experts may advise against this but when you use these words alone, majority of the time ecommerce sites will dominate Google’s first page.
Of course, you need to urge your audience to purchase your product but add more value besides telling them to snap it up.
Here are some examples to illustrate my point:
- 7 Best Marketplaces to Check Out for your Lighting Fixtures with Free Returns
- 5 Shops to Buy Energy-Efficient Cooktops with Free Delivery Anywhere in the US
- 3 Cautionary Tips on Purchasing Pre-loved Handbags Online
If you take a look at these articles, it does not sound like a hard sell. In fact, these articles are offering its readers much more value than a sales pitch could. These are not even just a rundown of suggested websites but a discussion to help your audience in their purchasing decision.
That said, the probability of your article being ranked for your actual product is low. Instead, you will most likely figure in the SERPs for the:
- Free Returns Lighting Fixtures
- Energy-Efficient Cooktops Free Delivery
- Pre-Loved Handbags Online Scam
10. There is no such thing as an immediate and effective SEO technique.
I wish there is, but there is not one sole SEO basics technique that is going to be your magic bullet. Markets keep evolving and so are their behavior.
There are hundreds of ways to optimize your website and many technique combinations for your unique situation. Google has more than hundreds of algorithmic aspects and it is constantly evolving.
What may be effective SEO basics now may not be in many years hence. Knowing the fundamentals of SEO will provide you with much headway but you’ve got to figure your remaining race as you go along.
Listen to tutorials or be updated by enlisting in SEO courses such as Affiliate SEO Mastery. There’s a part in this course that’s entitled, ‘the Secret to 1000 plus percent increases,’ and it’s one of my preferred sessions.
SEO is often likened to an art. It is dictated by imagination as well as skill. You’ll need to figure what techniques work for your unique case.
Search engine optimization also involves a lot of experimentation for you to find the right combination for your keyword, niche, and website. Its mastery does not come with just one swoop.
In building an empire, you need a king. That’s your content, but alongside is his powerful queen. That’s your SEO. Without skill in optimization, there’s going to be a lot of collateral damage along the way.
On top of these ten SEO basic practices I just shared with you, I’m certain there are so many other strategies that you’ll find as you continue to operate your affiliate website.
Do let me know if there is anything that you’d like to ask me about any of these suggestions.
Also, feel free to share your SEO journey with us. I’m sure you also have some success stories or challenges that you’d like others to learn from.
Before I go, I hope you’ll apply these tips I just shared with you. May they support you in achieving rank and traffic together with value-adding content, just as they supported me in my daily operation.
I’ve written many other articles on content writing if you’ve not gone through them yet in this website and I recommend that you also pick up some tips from there. All the best!
I made 2 free courses for you to learn Affiliate Marketing and to drive Free Traffic To Your Website From Pinterest: