Getting Started with SEO

Hello everyone and thanks for the help in advance. I am an experienced web developer, mostly back end, but need desperate help with SEO. Several of the websites I have built have been up for several years, yet are constantly beat out by newer sites which seem to always have a high ranking. I have run these sites through so-called optimizers and compared them to the higher performing sites with little difference. I know this is an incredibly larges and complex topic, but really need to find some resources that can make a difference for me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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As one experienced web developer to another, I know you probably don’t like to read a bunch of guides on the matter, but SEO is just one of those topics you need to do reading on because it is often addressed from those guys named “marketers”.

One guide that looks pretty good to start off with is this one…

It talks about all sorts of things but I find the following things really the basis of good SEO…

  1. Content is king. Write page content using great writing grammar, spelling and be authoritative. It does matter. Good content draws more readers who quote your stuff, link to your content, talk about your content all which drives interest. If your content sucks, then no one talks about it and why would search engines recommend it?

  2. Great labeling and titling. Title your pages after what your pages talks about, keep them around the 70 character mark and use labels for images, charts etc. Search engines see alt tags on images so that is free keywords to latch onto.

  3. Link juice! Get more popular and authoritative sites to link to your content. If Apple is saying your content is awesome, then Google takes notice too. Especially if Apple’s friends Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon say you are awesome too.

But read that guide and really take things to heart and implement well. One thing you should NOT do however is over optimize! Yes, I know us developers love to squeeze out every ounce, but it is just not worth it. You optimize now, but the next day Google changes the algorithm and boom, time wasted. If you stick to making great content, that usually survives. Also realize you won’t always be at the top of the rankings, it is just the nature of the beast. :slight_smile:

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I tend to believe in taking things straight from the horse’s mouth, so I’d recommend Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

I have a lot of reservations about Google, but I can’t fault them on their documentation.

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The following steps will help any website in raking SEO:

  • Use Long-Tail Keyword
  • Optimized your Video Content
  • Optimized images
  • Optimize Your URL Structure
  • Optimize Your tile
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These steps will help you to rank in any website

  1. Social bookmarking
  2. classified ads
  3. image submission
  4. directory submission
  5. use long tail keywords
  6. Answers the question on forum sites
  7. Meta title with description
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To all posters:

Please do not post lists with no explanation. The OP has stated they are a beginner in this area, so how are they expected to know what these tasks involve?

It is much more helpful to pick one or two tasks you believe to be most important and provide detailed information.

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Good Answer

It’s actually a rather poor and generic answer.

how? Use it where? What benefit does it give?

(all of the remainder get the same response)
HOW?!
What defines ‘optimized’?
How does optimizing a URL structure in any way help or improve SEO?
What’s a “tile”? (Did you mean ‘title’? If so, again, HOW, what defines optimized, and how does it help SEO?) (Though on that note, one thing that will help your “SEO”, even if for no other reason than confusing your website with a home improvement one, is spellchecking your website… just saying.)

  1. Nope.
  2. Possibly, though are we talking your local newspaper here?
  3. How in any way does that help SEO?
  4. This actually usually is ineffective, because directory sites are completely discounted by search engines due to their nature as trashbag dumpsterfires of self-reported links.
  5. Again, how? What benefit does this have?
  6. Not if by ‘answers the question’ you mean copy-pasting a generic list of “SEO tips”.
  7. Meta tags are helpful for humans reading search engine results; long, long gone are the days of keyword-stuffing your metadata. Please stop recommending this.

Long-tail keywords have low competition and they also can fulfill the voice search query of the users. Moreover, long-tail keywords are more specific they are more specific to the searcher’s need.

You can follow various ways to optimize the video like:

  • Decrease the dimensions of video files without effecting the image quality.
  • Choose the Right Keywords
  • Try to use a combination of keywords in Title, Description and Tags of your video
  • Keep an attractive custom thumbnail.

Keeping in mind the goal is to help SEO here… a search engine does not see your video’s thumbnail, nor to my knowledge does it care about the dimensions of your video.

Long tail keywords have low competition. That’s great, but how does saying “use long tail keywords” turn into an action item. What do you do with a long tail keyword? It’s potentially a metric of success, but I fail to see how it’s an actionable improvement.

You can keep throwing buzzwords at me, but i’m not a search engine for you to appease with phrases that dont actually mean anything.

First, I want to thank everyone for their input. I am reading the various guides and resources suggested, but I am also at a more basic place. I am trying to improve the rankings of a physician’s site. This site and its competitors are generally not content heavy and typically have an about page, contact, basic stuff. The site that rank high have no better content yet are consistently ranked in the top 5 results. I have played around with tags and URLs with no appreciable change. I realize content drives rankings, but in a space where there is only basic content, I’m not sure what to do.

Try to optimize the meta title and include the keywords that you want it to rank for also include physician schema on the about us page. It will help google to understand better about your site. You can find detail about physician schema here https://schema.org/Physician.
Also see backlinks of your competitor’s and try to acquire backlinks from same site.

As a beginner myself to SEO, I found the free ahrefs plugin for Google pretty useful, yes it gives SEO info that may change when Google changes its algorithm but I find it great for identifying broken links, canonical errors, slow pages, missing tags and much more. It has good analysis and explanation and if you don’t understand something it suggests - you can google it

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