What’s up guys,
Learning SEO was one of the most complicated aspects when I became a full-time copywriter. I spent hours, and days, and weeks trying to understand SEO basics.
While I am no SEO-expert, I have figured out the answers and basic strategies for SEO that anyone can apply to their online business content.
There are tons of awesome apps and software that help with SEO, but they can have a hefty price tag.
Thus, this blog has free SEO tips for beginners that are easy to understand and applicable right away.
As an additional attempt at demystifying SEO, I’m going to show you where and how I’ve used SEO in THIS blog.
So let’s do it!
Side note to my freelance/creative business owners: Wanna know how to quickly pick a writing niche and find high-paying clients dying to work with you? Click here (don’t worry, it’s free).
Prologue: What Is SEO?
This was one of the harder questions for my brain to understand, so for anyone is struggling to understand:
What is SEO?
Why do people use SEO?
How to use SEO
… this little section is for you.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO is using specific words (called “keywords”) or phrases (called “key phrases”) to make your online content easier to find on the internet.
Why Do People Use SEO?
So that more people find your content. Whether that be a website or a blog- even a social media profile- optimizing content with SEO can help drive traffic and earn more business. The better you use SEO in your content, the higher your content will rank in Google (i.e., showing up on page ONE instead of page FIFTY).
How To Do SEO?
Along with all of the tips below, I’ll use this exact blog post you’re reading right now to show you how to use keywords in a blog. If you see any words underlined, those are keywords/keyphrases. You’ll see exactly where I place them so that my content is SEO-optimized, but the writing still sounds natural.
Now, onto the SEO tips!
SEO Tips # 1: How To Find A “MAIN” Keyword
Before you even write a word of content (whether that be a blog, webpage, landing page, etc.), decide EXACTLY what you want your content to focus on. Using this blog as an example: my main goal was to share “SEO Tips For Beginners”. My MAIN keyword is “SEO”, so “SEO Tips For Beginners” became my MAIN “key phrase”.
SEO Tips # 2: How To Find A “MAIN” KeyPhrase
A key phrase is really where SEO comes into play. This was the easiest way for me to understand what a “key phrase” is and how to pick one: whenever you go on the internet and search for something, you type in your question or phrase.
You do that because you know that your web browser will scour the far reaches of the internet to find content related to your “key phrase”.
So when you’re thinking about what keyphrase will get a lot of traction, think about what YOU TYPE into search engines to find something.
SEO Tips # 3: Find 2-4 SECONDARY Keywords/Phrases
Secondary keywords and phrases are meant to complement your primary keyword/phrase. This blogs secondary keywords/phrases are:
- SEO TIPS
- SEO BASICS
- WHAT IS SEO
- HOW TO DO SEO
Notice how all of these phrases easily fall under my Main keyphrase: “SEO Tips For Beginners”, and how I wove them into the first section of this blog?
SEO Tips # 4: DON’T “Keyword Stuff”
Now that you understand keywords better, you might be tempted to cram as many relevant words and phrases as you can manage. That’s called “keyword stuffing”, and it’s actually a terrible idea for 2 reasons:
- Your writing will start to suck and have readability issues (which ALSO impacts SEO success)
- More keywords don’t guarantee a better ranking in google. Don’t jeopardize your writing quality by trying to fit fifteen keywords phrases (that usually sound very similar but for one or two words) into your content.
SEO Tips # 5: Put Your Main Keyword/Keyphrase In The Title
Putting your main keyword/keyphrase in your title is a standard SEO practice. Web browsers look to headers to help them determine what your content is.
For example, my target audience was narrowed down to folks learning about SEO. Since I want them to see my post, my title “SEO Tips For Beginners” helps Google recognize that my content is for people interested in that topic.
Learn more about how to optimize blog content for SEO Here.
SEO Tips # 6: Put Your Main or Secondary Keyword/Keyphrase In Sub Headers
There’s not much to explain, as this is the same basic principle as SEO tip number 5, it just gives your other keywords/keyphrases a chance to get some love from Google.
As you can see, in all of my subheadings, I’ve included the phrase “SEO Tips”.
SEO Tips # 7: Pay Attention To Word Count
Aside from what words you use, you have to make sure you have an SEO-optimized word count.
Optimized word count varies. 700-800 words are optimal for a webpage, whereas a blog(currently) is most effective between 1,700 and 1,800 words. However, blogs can come in many different lengths and can still be SEO-friendly.
If trying to write a 1,700-word post intimidates you, start with 1,000-word articles.
Here’s some more info on SEO-optimized word-counts for different styles of copywriting [Backlink].
SEO Tips # 8: “Optimize” Images For SEO
Optimizing images for SEO comes in three basic parts:
- Include your keyphrase in the NAME of your actual image file. I.e., “seotipsforbeginners_coverimage.jpg”
- Make sure your images are high-quality. Do NOT get lazy and just slap a low-rez image on your website or blog. It won’t matter WHAT your content is about if the pictures look bad. Visitors will leave before they even read your opening paragraph. Bad images = poor content in a reader’s brain. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a world-class photographer. You can find THOUSANDS of free images here on [pixabay.com].
- Make sure your images aren’t too big. I’m not just talking about visually as far as formatting. Make sure that your image files aren’t so large that it slows your website down. Holy HECK can poorly-optimized images, and long loading times negatively impact your Google ranking. So be careful with that.
SEO Tips # 9: How To Keyword Research For Free
The simplest way to conduct keyword research is just by using Google. If I get inspired by a topic I want to discuss, I go to Google and start typing in relevant words and phrases to see what comes up.
I take note of what content is ranking well in my search results… but there’s also another excellent feature of using Google for keyword research.
After typing in a key phrase in the search bar, go ahead and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
You’ll find a section that says:
“searches related to [insert the keyword/phrase you typed in originally]”
Underneath that phrase, you’ll see similar search questions and phrases people used when looking up your topic!
This is super helpful when you are researching secondary keywords or keyphrases.
SEO Tips # 10: Using SEO In Social Media
SEO isn’t just for blogs or for websites. You can take what you’ve learned from this post and apply it to your social media accounts.
Platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter all have algorithms. And these algorithms work just like any other search engine.
So when you choose to post on social media or create an SEO-optimized social media profile, include relevant primary and secondary keywords, look up word-counts, and optimize your images.
Bonus SEO Tip: Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly
My Favorite FREE SEO TOOLS
To save you a bit of leg-work, here’s a list of some of the free SEO tools I use and enjoy. Once you follow the links, the apps are pretty straight-forward and easy to understand. 🙂
One Last Thing… That Is Important… To Me
I hope this post saved you time in your SEO education. As I said, I am not an expert, but I tried to answer basic SEO questions that I had, in an effortless and applicable way to understand them.
If you did find my post helpful, I have a big favor I’d like to ask you.
Would you mind subscribing to my email list? I promise I’m not going to spam or sell you stuff, I’m just like you, trying to build a fun community where we talk about my favorite thing: writing.
You can just plug your info below, and that’s it.
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I totally get that giving your email away to anyone is irritating, so I’ll never take you for granted. My main goal with my email list is to grow and build an actual relationship with you. I wanna chat with other people who love writing.
The only emails you’ll get from me will be:
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- And Just Little “Check-ins” To See How You’re Doing
I don’t have anything to sell. I’m not a coach. I’m just a writer. I’m just a business owner like you.
I took a risk on a dream, and I’m now trying to grow my business… just like you.
So I just want you to know that I really do appreciate your support by subscribing.
No matter what, thanks so much for checking out this post, and feel free to share it if you think another SEO beginner might find it helpful!
If you have questions, post them in a comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer them!
For any writers new to a freelance writing career, check out my post about How To Pick A Writing Niche. I go over why picking a writing niche can help you get high-paying clients. Also, how to find a writing niche if you don’t know where to start!