SEO for Dummies: A Small Guide to SEO for Beginners

Search Engine Optimization
Jun
17

SEO for Dummies: A Small Guide to SEO for Beginners

06/17/2021 7:00 PM by TheChiefHustler in Seo


Are you an aspiring SEO professional or a beginner who just started a website or blog? Then this is the guide you must read.

 

You will learn all about how to find your page on the first page of google. You will also learn the basics of how SEO works and why it’s so important, plus:

  • to continue your SEO education. Discover the top SEO Techniques and tips for good SEO. How

  • Key ranking factors. Why links, keywords, and high-quality content are all especially important for SEO success.

  • The basics of search engine optimization. What is SEO now, why it’s essential, how people search and what they search for, how long it takes to observe results, and some big challenges you might face in your career.

  •  

 

At the gist, search engine optimization (SEO) is about increasing your website’s visibility in the organic search results of major search engines especially, Google.

To get that visibility, you must know three core components:

  • What types of content users want or need.

  • How search engines work at the backend.

  • How to properly promote and optimize your website for a higher ranking.

While search engines and technology are always evolving, some underlying foundational elements have remained unchanged from the earliest days of SEO.

We have created this in-depth sketch and tutorial – to define SEO for aspiring SEO professionals and website owners to explain how search engine optimization works now.

What is SEO?: The Basics

What is SEO? Although it sounds like flashy tech-lingo, it’s actually a very simple concept or technique that will instantly increase your social capital at parties and kick-start your website’s traffic. SEO stands for search engine optimization, the process which includes tactics, techniques, and strategies to increase a website’s traffic through gaining a high ranking in the search results page of a search engine such as Google. Basically, SEO makes the website more visible on search engines. You can improve SEO through many strategies and techniques of keyword searches, page optimization, meta descriptions, content marketing strategies, link-building both internally and externally, and many other small concepts. The higher you rank, the more likely you are to attract users/customers to your website. SEO is the process of receiving this traffic from “organic” search results or search engine results that are unpaid and generated naturally on their own. Through SEO we target people who are already interested in our content, and this ensures greater visits, clicks, and shares of that content.

But, Why Bother Learning SEO?

As I said in the intro, SEO is one of the absolute best ways to create organic traffic which results in automated income and business growth.

Why?

Because once we rank on page one for a keyword, we tend to keep those rankings for a very long time (assuming that we keep the pages up-to-date and relevant).

In other words, the SEO efforts and strategies will bring you targeted, high-quality traffic consistently with very little maintenance... for free!

Technical Explanation of how SEO works at the backend

So now we know why search engines work so hard to provide us with great results and why we should care. Now, we can talk about how SEO works in a little more detail.

Basically, search engines have spiders or crawlers — not the creepy kind, but the automated robot kind.

These crawlers collect all kinds of information about our website and the pages that make up our site. The crawling allows them to easily determine when to serve users a page on our site. They also collect little information like page speed, title tags, social signals, internal linking, backlinks, and so on.

Google has over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm to observe while ranking a site. Therefore, there are so many things to consider, and actions that we can take to try to optimize a website. There are on-page and off-page ranking factors that determine how well our site is optimized, and therefore how well it will rank.

The on-page factors are, yes you guessed it right, the things that are actually on the page. This covers title tags, content, site speed, page URLs, image alt tags, internal linking, and more. Off-page factors, meanwhile, are almost completely based on links to our site from other sites.

It’s important to keep in mind that these bots or crawlers are automated computer programs and not actual humans, which means they have some limitations.

The constraint is that they can’t access a site like you or I would because they don’t actually see the website: they crawl the code of the website. This implies they can’t see images or videos, nor are they impressed by flashy designs or audio clips.

In fact, they can’t even perceive content as we do!

 

Types of SEO

There are principally three types of SEO techniques used to achieve a high ranking in search engines.

  • On-page SEO

  • Off-page SEO

  • Technical SEO

Let's learn about all of these types and techniques one after another:

On-Page SEO Optimization Techniques:

In the On-Page Optimization SEO method, we need to put the keyword phrase in the title tag and the meta description. We also need to have keywords phrases included inside our main content in all our webs-pages.

The on-page SEO Optimization method mainly focuses on website content, keyword usage in titles, headings, site structures along with internal and external links.

 

Here are some Essential On-Page SEO Tasks:

The title tag on pages of your site tells search engines what the page is about. It should be 70 characters or less and must include your business or brand name and keywords that relate to that specific page only. This tag is allotted between the <HEAD> </HEAD> tags near the top of the HTML code for the page.

The meta description on pages of your site gives search engines a little more insight and description into what your page is about. You should write your meta description with a human audience in mind that includes the page’s main keywords, as the meta description does show up in search results.

  • Anchor Text

All links are made by using anchor text. Always put a title on anchor text. We usually use broad keywords as anchor text. Also, we must never use exact keywords as anchor text.

  • Image Optimization

The image filename should be descriptive. You can use keywords in the filename. All images on the page must have an alt tag. You must use keywords in the image alt tag. We must not use a large-size image.

  • Internal Linking

We must create internal links using anchor text. You must link all important pages to your home page. Kindly note to include two to five internal links per page.

  • Content Optimization

The content on the website has to be fresh and unique. It needs to be written in small paragraphs and use H3, H3, H4, and bold, italics style appropriately. The content must have the proper inclusion of primary and secondary keywords. Also, note that the length of the content should not be too large or too small.

An XML Sitemap is a way of organizing and arranging the URLs of a website, identifying the URLs and the data under each section. You must create an XML sitemap of your website and must mention all public URLs inside the sitemap. The XML sitemap is included in the root folder of your site.

You must create a robots.txt file to authenticate and stop the crawler from crawling anything apart from your home page.

 

Off-Page SEO Optimization Techniques:

To increase your website position, you need to perform a specific task outside of your web pages.

Off-Page Checklist is the combination of SEO factors that cannot be directly handled by the owner or creator of a website because he/she has created a backlink, post content in other related and thematic websites.

Given below are some essential off-page tasks which help you to achieve your goal.

  • Guest Blogging

Guest blogging or guest posting is the act of writing content for another company's or owner's website. It helps website owners to increase their brand credibility and awareness.

  • 404 Link Building

404 link build is a white-hat, efficient, scalable, content-focused link building method. It allows site owners to replace broken links with a correct link.

  • Resource Link Building

A resource page is a page on a website that places helpful links and resources for a particular topic. In the resource link building process getting your website included on the page as one of the resources.

  • PDF Links

PDF links are links provided in your upload PDF document. You can add links to your email address, web address, and reference to other pages.

  • Forum or Q & A sites

Q&A sites and forums are an excellent method to engage with your specific community. This activity helps you to build and optimize, develop your business brand, and increase your site traffic.

  • Slide and Video Creation & Sharing

You need to create slides and videos related to your website niche or subject. 

  • Link requests

It sends link requests to search websites that offer free content manually. Moreover, a user or visitor also benefits from the information available on your site.

 

Technical SEO:

Technical SEO optimizes your site for the crawling and indexing phase. It does not concern the actual content of the website or with the part of your website that is why it is known as "technical".

The main purpose of technical SEO is to optimize the infrastructure of a website. Famous eCommerce sites like Amazon, Alibaba use this method to get the highest search engine ranking.

Here are some essential tips/checklist for Technical SEO:

  • You need to designate a preferred domain in Google Search Console and WordPress.

  • Must optimize your robots.txt, 404 pages, and URL Structure.

  • You must rethink your navigation and website structure.

  • Must add schema markup for breadcrumbs, structured data to your homepage, structured data to your posts and other pages

  • Also, check all your canonical URLs and analyze them with the help of Google analytics. 

  • Submit your XML sitemap to search engines.

  • You must also check the loading speed of your website, the mobile-friendliness of your website, and your pagination and multilingual settings.

Kindly note that directory submission, social bookmarking, article submission is not recommended off-page methods.

What are a Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO?

 As with any industry as large as SEO, we come across many different opinions about the most effective ways to approach site optimization techniques.

  And though many of these strategies can work, and the idea of which is “best” is largely subjective, there’s one difference you need to be aware of White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO.

 Now in this SEO for Dummies tutorial, we will learn about Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO.

White Hat SEO

 In short, White Hat SEO refers to the correct, ethical way to optimize a site. A white-hat strategy meets the following three criteria.

  1. It follows all search engine guidelines

These are the rules that search engines have laid out to define the proper way to optimize a site.

  1. It focuses its content on a human audience.

White hat SEO involves making changes to the site that are beneficial to its visitors.

Strategies like publishing high-quality content and minimizing page load times improve the value that users get from a site, and the ease with which they can navigate it.

  1. It takes a long-term approach

Strategies that follow search engine’s guidelines and create a positive user experience take often more time- and work-intensive than black hat methods.

This means that it will take time to see the results you want for your site. Since it involves investing in content that can generate results for years to come and using strategies that don’t put you at risk for consequences from Google and other search engines, white hat is a more long-term approach.

 

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO is the opposite of white hat SEO techniques.

If a technique meets the following criteria, it can be classified as a black hat.

  1. It violates guidelines laid by search engines

Black hat strategies violate guidelines by search engines, and in many cases, are directly referenced in these guidelines as practices you shouldn’t use.

  1. It relies on manipulative tactics to rank its site

While white hat SEO requires looking for ways to improve user experience, black hat SEO relies on manipulating Google’s algorithm to improve rankings.

To put it, if a tactic is designed to make Google think that a website provides more value to users than it does, it’s deceitful — and it’s black hat SEO.

  1. It focuses on “quick wins” in ranking

Many of the approaches involved in black hat SEO are focused on exploiting loopholes in search engine algorithms that can lead to improvements in rankings without much work.

And while some of these strategies can produce results, they are almost always short-lived as Google is constantly improving its algorithm to provide the best results to visitors, and to prevent site owners who don’t provide a great user experience from ranking well.

This also implies that sites using black hat strategies are at risk of losing their rankings every time there’s a new algorithm update.

 

Learn some SEO Optimization Techniques

Now, let us learn the SEO optimization techniques in this SEO tutorial:

Here are some essential SEO optimization techniques:

  • You should research keywords related to your business that the user might search for.

  • Also, Identify your competitors, utilize benchmarking techniques, and recognize the level of competition.

  • Add descriptive title tags for each page.

  • You must use appropriate keywords in your content and internal hyperlinks.

  • Try to use text links whenever it is possible in the content.

  • Obtain inbound links from related websites.

  • Learn more and more about search engine marketing techniques.

  • You should avoid JavaScript and Jquery for your website as it increases the Load Time.

  • Avoid Extensive usage of Images Organized Navigation.

  • Try to apply web search on your website.

  • You must also implement a quality link-building campaign.

  • Don't forget to continue checking rankings/or targeted keywords and keep your content updated.

  • You must leverage platforms like Quora to indirectly rank your content.

  • Also, do continuous monitoring of rankings for targeted search terms.

  • And lastly, you should always look for adding quality content.

Let us discuss, what is Quality Content?

If you are someone who keeps up with the latest in online marketing news, then you have likely read about content development and content marketing. Content is great for both your website visitors and search engine rankings. The more quality content you have, the more likely your visitors will stick around on your website and the more likely search engines will be to put more of your website’s pages in the search index rankings.

The key to pleasing both search engines and your visitors is to have quality content on our website. Quality content can cover a variety of things including, but not limited to, the following.

  • Blog Posts

  • Industry Articles

  • Tutorials & How-To Guides

  • Infographics

  • Videos

  • Podcasts

  • News Articles, etc.

Creating quality content for your site can be a huge investment, but it is worth it. Search engines will love quality content, and visitors will love it so much that they will share it on social media, leading to even more traffic. You can start out by simply creating blog posts on your website, and as your audience expands, you can expand your content inventory to additional types of other media.

 

Why is it important to have Quality Content for your site?

Here are some reasons why quality content is unquestionably essential for your website.

  • Duplicate content can be a low-quality sign from a quality page point of view.

  • Boilerplate, which is mostly spun content, is another low-quality indicator or sign.

  • Always add something unique to your site, so other people suggest it to their friends.

  • Quality content also inspires other webmasters and site owners to create a link of your site on their sites.

  • If your site visitors start trusting your site and the content in it, they look forward to the next content update and keep repeatedly visiting your site.

  • Net users mostly click only that page whose content index looks unique, trustworthy, and interesting.


 

Conclusion

So if you’ve gotten this far, we have discussed a lot of information about how search engines rank websites and about how you can position and optimize your own business and site to generate more search traffic from search engines like Google. Now, What should you do next?

You must Prioritize. Remember, no site does a perfect job of executing against every single aspect of an SEO. Think about the things you do well, have budget and resources for, and that will give your business the best return for your investment – this will be slightly different for every business and site.

If you’re excellent at creating and promoting content, determine which keywords to go after and focus your energies there.

If you have a large and complex site, focus on making the technical SEO right (or hire someone who can).

If you’re a small website that would benefit from ranking for very specific geo-focused terms but not much else, shore up your local SEO efforts (and then maybe focus on other marketing strategies once you start to see diminishing returns from your efforts there).

Always remember that the ultimate purpose with any search engine optimization efforts is to get more exposure and traffic for your business or your website’s content. Look for ways that search engine traffic can help your business and website: don’t just hunt after the latest SEO buzzwords or jump every time Google makes a recommendation that might improve your search rankings while harming your overall business.


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