What Is Search Engine Optimization, Best Beginners Step By Step Seo Guide

If you’ve ever thought, “What is SEO?” on Google, I’m available for help. SEO, or “search engine optimization,” is a marketing strategy that raises your site’s natural visibility in search results pages like Google and Bing. But that is only the very beginning. If you want to get more people to your website, you have to be able to do much more than just define the word. I made this broad beginner’s guide for this purpose. This is a helpful table of contents to get you started if you want to jump to a specific section:

You will learn from this guide.

  • SEO: What Is Its Meaning?
  • Why does SEO matter?
  • Comparing White Hat and Black Hat SEO Techniques
  • Fundamentals of SEO Marketing:
  • Selection and Research of Content Keywords
  • Site Construction in HTML
  • Protection Connections
  • Individual Local Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO?

It stands for search engine optimization, as I mentioned in the introduction. Furthermore, what is search engine optimization in reality? It’s a collection of procedures that raise a website’s position in Google and other search engines’ organic results.

The main difference between paid marketing, such as PPC, and SEO is that the former involves “organic” ranking, in which listing positions occur naturally without the need for payments. Instead, you rank, meaning that you have the best (or best optimized) content related to that subject.

Conversely, paid advertising, such as PPC ads, enables businesses to pay to rank highly on Google. Every time someone clicks on your advertisement, you have to pay instead of receiving traffic for free. Using PPC advertisements is not incompatible with SEO. To guarantee they receive the most traffic possible, the majority of businesses decide to run both SEO and PPC—and they really should.

You need to know how Google works better and understand how you can make your content rank higher in search engines. That is this article’s main objective. You will have a thorough understanding of search by the end, enabling you to optimize your content for increased Google ranking and blog traffic.

Why is SEO so important?

This is the first important marketing channel. Firstly, 53% of all website traffic comes from organic search. This is a major factor in the prediction that the global web optimization market will grow to an amazing $122.11 billion by 2028. For companies of all sizes, brands, and businesses, internet marketing produces real commercial results.

People usually start their journey with a search when they want to go somewhere, do something, find information, do research, or buy a good or service. However, search is very distributed these days. Users can search via social media sites like YouTube and TikTok, retailer websites like Amazon, or traditional web search engines like Google and Microsoft Bing. 61% of American internet shoppers begin their search for products on Amazon, while 49% begin on search engines like Google. 

Every year, millions of searches are made. Being “search engine friendly” is important on any platform where customers can look up your brand or company. This is because search is frequently the main source of traffic for websites. 

All of this suggests that increasing your visibility and outperforming your competitors in search results can have a positive impact on your income. Because search engine results pages, or SERPs, are so competitive and stuffed with search features (as well as PPC ads), it is also important Features of SERPs include:

  • Panels of knowledge.
  • Highlighted excerpts.
  • Videos and pictures
  • Top news stories.
  • People find out as well.
  • Carousels.
  • Maps.

For businesses and brands, it is especially important because, in comparison to other marketing methods, quality work has a long shelf life. Traffic stops when a supported campaign does. Social media traffic is, at best, unplanned and much less than it formerly was.

It is the foundation of holistic advertising, meaning everything your business does counts. Once you are aware of what your users desire, you can apply that understanding throughout your

  • Ads (both supported and organic).
  • content of websites.
  • properties on social media.

One way to get the traffic you need to meet important business objectives is through SEO (e.g., conversions, visits, and sales). Additionally, it supports confidence because highly ranked websites are typically seen as reliable and authoritative—two qualities from which Google actively wants to benefit

How Search Engines Work

It’s time to learn the internal workings of search engines such as Google. How did you arrive at this decision? Most likely, you typed in a search term like “What is SEO?” or something similar, and the search engines took care of the rest. A system operates in real-time to present you with what the search engine considers to be the “best” result when you search on Google (or any other search engine).

How SEO works

A web page will only rank highly if it is measured and the search engine determines it to be the best result for the search, given the way search engines operate. It must also provide a smooth user experience and load quickly.

In light of that, the SEO procedure is as follows, in brief:

  • Discover what people are looking for.
  • Produce content that is optimized and important.
  • Find backlinks.

Find what people search for

It is useless to rank for terms that no one searches for. If you rank #1, you will not receive any traffic. You’ll need a keyword research tool, such as Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, to discover what people are searching for. This is how it works:

  • Put in a few general “seed” terms.
  • Visit the report on matching terms.

For instance, if you type in “coffee,” 3,740,238 keywords that contain that term will come up, arranged according to the volume of monthly searches.

After that, it’s just a matter of selecting the keywords that will be most helpful for you.

If you manage a coffee blog, for instance, you could view only keywords presented as questions by switching to the Questions tab and getting ideas for instructional content. Moreover, you could set a low Keyword Difficulty (KD) score to begin with the easiest targets.

Create relevant, optimized content

Content that is most consistent with the searcher’s intent is considered relevant.

It can be difficult to understand what this is and how to make it, but creating the correct type of content is half the battle.

Here are some examples of common content types:

  • for entry: Interactive feature
  • Page of Videos Categories
  • Product Listing

Although determining which result users are searching for is not scientific, the top-ranked results are typically a decent estimation.

For example, the first page of “Excel for Beginners” is dominated by videos, but the first page of “Days Between Dates” is dominated by interactive features. This gives you a clear idea of what search engines are looking for and what content is most suitable for each keyword.

The basis for search engine optimization is relevant content, but you also need to optimize it by following its best practices. To give searchers what they expect, you must first ensure that you cover the subject thoroughly.

You can manually accomplish that by comparing the headings, FAQs, visual aids, and depth of subject matter of the top-ranking pages.

To discover the keywords that top-ranking pages rank for, you can also use tools. Several keywords suggest useful subtopics or points to cover in your writing. This is how it works:

  1. Use Keywords Explorer to find your desired keyword.
  2. Choose a few of the highest-ranking pages by scrolling through the SERP overview
  3. Choose Content Gap by clicking Open in.

Here’s an example of the search term “content marketing.” People searching for the term might be looking for a How are we aware? After exploring nearly one billion web pages, we discovered a strong link between organic search traffic and referring domains or links from different websites. definition and useful information on how to formulate a plan or strategy.

We are adding some “optimizations”—internal links, user-friendly URLs, alt text for images, etc.—while keeping the content coherently organized and written in an approachable manner. Our guide to on-page SEO for beginners has a comprehensive list of optimizations along with practical advice.

Get backlinks

Links and points to other websites are known as backlinks. Pages that have more of those “votes” typically rank higher because they work as votes.

How are we aware? After exploring nearly one billion web pages, we discovered a strong link between organic search traffic and referring domains or links from different websites. In general, there are three approaches to getting backlinks manually adding backlinks to well-known resource pages and directories.

Build backlinks by reaching out to individuals who can link to your pages on their website.

Earn backlinks by producing attractive material with backlink-attracting assets like information graphics, free resources, original research, or different points of view on a topic.

Building backlinks is a major concern for the web optimization sector. That’s the only area of experience for many internet marketers and agencies. Here’s a brief rundown of some well-liked backlink-building strategies to help you understand how this operates.

Locate a “dead page” and request that link builders change the links to a working page on your website. This will fix broken link building.

Compose a blog post for another website as a guest blogger to get a link back to your own.

Applying the Building Method: Once you have identified high-quality content that already has a lot of backlinks, make improvements to it and ask all of the sites that link to it to link to you instead.

Building backlinks from resource pages that link to helpful industry resources is a good way to get exposure

          PRO Find pertinent journalist requests for quotes by using services such as HARO. Generally, if your quote is published, you will receive a link back to your website.

It’s not just any backlinks that you might want, however. Five factors are generally accepted in this field to determine the quality of a backlink:

  1. Authority
  2. Relevancy
  3. Anchor text
  4. Placement
  5. Destination

what is search engine optimization

Types of SEO

1. Content Optimization

When it comes to search engine optimization, your content must be optimized for both human readers and search engines. This implies that you optimize both the content search engines will see (the code) and the content your audience will see (what is actually on the page).

Publishing excellent, useful content is always the goal. Understanding the needs and desires of your audience, combined with Google’s data and advice, will help you achieve this.

When it comes to optimizing content for users, you should ensure that:

  • includes relevant subjects that you are knowledgeable or experienced in.
  • includes the search terms that users would use to locate the content.
  • is distinct or original.
  • has been written correctly, with no spelling or grammar mistakes.
  • is accurate and up-to-date with its information.
  • includes multimedia (pictures, videos, etc.).
  • is superior to rivals in your SERP.
  • Is readable and designed with simple reading in mind (consider subheadings, paragraph length, bolding, italics, ordered and unorganized lists, reading level, etc.).

Some important parts to optimize for in search engines are:

  • Meta description
  • Title tags
  • Header tags (H1–H6)
  • Metadata for Twitter cards 
  • Image alt text

Creating Content for Product and Service Pages

Sites showing products and services should continue to have excellent content. You don’t, however, want your product pages to read like blog entries.

Your product pages’ primary objective should be to turn browsers into customers and buyers. Because of this, you should highlight the features and advantages that your product has on its product pages.

 For example, Check out the homepage of Baremetics.

This isn’t a blog post or article, but it’s still excellent content in multiple ways. The page is well-designed and highlights important features of the product.

Accordingly, this page would be very helpful to someone looking for a Product Keyword like “revenue forecasting software.” even though the page’s primary objective is to entice you to register for a trial.

In conclusion? Make the content on your product page as informative as you can. Remember, though, that your primary objective should be conversions.

2. On-Page SEO

Getting your web pages found by Google so they can appear in search results is known as on-page SEO. It also entails having content that is pertinent, in-depth, and helpful for the search terms you want to show. Google carefully searches your page for certain words and phrases. Moreover, Google determines that a page must be related to a keyword when it repeatedly encounters the same term. It’s crucial to use your target keyword on your page without going overboard because of this.

(More about it afterward.)

Install Yoast

If you use WordPress for your website, I strongly advise you to use the SEO plugin Yoast.

Yoast isn’t a magic button that will optimize your website for you automatically.

However, Yoast makes setting up the title and description tags for your page very simple.

Yoast’s features are bundled with other platforms if your website is hosted on them (such as Shopify or Wix).

Use Your Keyword In Your Title Tag

What makes this significant?

Your page’s title tag is the most crucial component in terms of on-page optimization.

Consider it like this: The main points of your page are encapsulated in your title tag. Utilizing your keyword in your title tag informs Google that the topic of your page is that keyword.

Optimize Your Meta Description 

Your title tag is much more important than your meta description.

Google has stated that they don’t care about your description or meta keywords.

Which begs the question, why should you write a description?

For people to decide whether or not to click on your result, they read your description first.

Take a look at this description from one of my site’s key pages.

See how I effectively market my content? Clicks from websites ranking higher than mine are “stolen” by that captivating description. It increases the number of people who visit my website.

Optimize Images

Search engines find it difficult to understand what’s inside images, as opposed to text articles.

Hence, for them to identify an image, they rely on its filename, alt text, and title. Also, picture search is crucial if your website has a lot of images. Google won’t be able to comprehend what’s on your page otherwise.

Now, let’s look at how to make your images more optimized: Create a meaningful filename for your image first. Consider this screenshot, which shows how many comments one of our guides received.

Give a title to your image at the end. This step wouldn’t worry me as much. Here, I simply copy and paste my alt text.

Off-page SEO

Even though they might not technically qualify as “SEO,” several actions can support and indirectly aid in SEO success.

The most common off-site SEO activity is link building, which is the process of obtaining links to a website. Obtaining a wide range of links pointing at your website from pertinent, reputable, and authoritative websites can have a positive impact on your website’s rankings and traffic. High-quality links outweigh high-quantity links, and having a lot of high-quality links is the objective.

How did you obtain those links, too? Many techniques for promoting websites exist that work in concert with PR efforts. Among these are:

Methods wanted to increase reputation and recognition is known as brand building and brand marketing.

PR: Public relations strategies intended to obtain links from editors.

Creating videos, ebooks, research studies, podcasts, and guest postings (or guest blogging) are a few common forms of content marketing.

Social media marketing and optimization: Take ownership of your brand’s handle on all pertinent platforms, make all necessary optimizations, and distribute pertinent content. 

Listing management is the process of claiming, validating, and improving the content on any website or directory where your business may be listed and discovered by search engines (e.g., directories, review sites, wikis).

Reviews and ratings: obtaining, observing, and replying to them.

Typically, when one discusses off-site activities, they are discussing things that won’t have a direct effect on their ranking from a technical point of view. 

But once more, everything your brand does counts. Some of you want people to be able to find your brand wherever they might look for you. To redefine “search engine optimization,” some have attempted to rename it “search experience optimization” or “search everywhere optimization.”

Technical SEO

A huge topic is technical SEO.

Making sure that search engines can find, crawl, and index every page on your website is the primary objective of technical search engine optimization

However, the scope for technical internet marketing has grown recently to cover more ground, including mobile optimization and site loading speed.

To tell the truth, most website owners don’t need to worry about this

However, this does not imply that you should completely disregard technical. If you make a single mistake, your entire website might be deindexed.

Here is a summary of how to organize your technical SEO without the need for knowledge of coding.

Verify Your Site With The Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a dashboard that shows you how well your site performs in Google, from indexing to rankings.

(Interesting fact: Bing Webmaster Tools is their version of this tool.)

You must confirm that you are the owner of your website before using Search Console (Google refers to websites as “domain properties”).

When you do, a fantastic tool that displays the number of people who view and click on your website in Google search results will be available to you.

With the many useful features available in the GSC, you can see how many pages are indexed, submit your sitemap directly to Google, and much more.

Use an SEO-Friendly URL Structure

The majority of people don’t give their URLs much thought. It also results in strange-looking URLs like this one: Poor URL illustration It turns out that URLs play a crucial role in your site’s SEO, much like your domain name.

In terms of URLs, confirm that:

You have a consistent URL structure. In this manner, Google is aware of the category that your pages are in. Make sure that any pages about coffee fall under the designated category, such as website.com/coffee/french-press, if your category URL is something like website.com/coffee. You can have just website.com/page-name for all of your URLs if you don’t use category pages.

Make use of keywords in URLs. There’s no need to spam keywords. Simply ensure that your URL contains at least one instance of your target keyword. Take website.com/your-keyword, for instance.

The question being asked is:

Should you go back and update the URLs you currently have?

The choice is yours. But even if a person’s URL isn’t perfect, I usually advise them to keep it that way. Just concentrate on making SEO-friendly URLs for the pages you publish in the future.

Make sure to 301 redirect the out-of-date pages to the new URLs if you do choose to optimize the old ones. Additionally, use authoritative URLs if this new structure leads to several pages with comparable content.

Site Architecture and Internal Linking

The architecture of your website is less important when it is brand-new and only has five pages.

However, the way your site architecture is organized can have a significant impact when it reaches hundreds or even thousands of pages.

Firstly, you should arrange your pages into categories using an orderly framework, commonly referred to as an “order.”

Site architecture with interlinks makes indexing simpler.

Next, you should use internal links that point to your website’s high-priority pages.

That is all in all. The only other thing to remember is that you should use keyword-rich anchor text for your internal links.

Therefore, avoid using anchor text like “click here” when linking to a page on your website about cold brew coffee. As an alternative, make sure the anchor text includes a keyword, such as “this cold brew coffee guide.”

Pro tip: Strategic and methodical link-building is required. It is essential to continuously perform a backlink audit, whether done externally or internally, to identify any problems that might cause your strategy to fail.

Track Results in Google Analytics

How can you tell whether all of your SEO-related efforts are paying off?

You can use Google Analytics, a free tool, to get a good answer to most questions like that.

How Google Analytics can support the success of your SEO campaigns is as follows:

  • The changes in organic traffic over time are easy to monitor and visualize. You’re most likely walking in the right direction if you see a chart like this.
  • You can find out which pages are most popular with search engines. In this manner, you can build on what is successful.

Monitoring how website visitors interact with your site is made simple with Google Analytics. You can determine whether your content is meeting Google searchers’ needs by looking at metrics like pageviews and bounce rate.

Additionally, GA allows you to set up conversion tracking. In this way, you can determine whether the traffic resulting from SEO is truly generating sales or inquiries.

Link Building

Link building aims to increase the number of other websites that mention and link to your website. “Off-page SEO” is another term for this.

Even though backlinks have always been the foundation of Google’s algorithm, their importance hasn’t diminished.

Actually, since 2016, Stone Temple Consulting (now Perficient) has been analyzing the same collection of search results.

They also found that there is still a strong correlation between links and Google rankings on the first page.

Effectiveness of Links as a Ranking Element

In summary? A crucial component of search engine optimization is links. And it’s unlikely that this will alter very soon.

Here’s a brief overview of everything link building.

Link Authority

Not every link is made equally.

Links from reputable, authoritative websites will specifically give your site a higher page rank than links from tiny, unreliable websites.

High Authority Pages’ Impact

Domain authority and page authority are the two primary statistics used to measure authority.

The overall authority of the website is its domain authority. Therefore, a page’s domain authority indicates that it still has some authority, even if there aren’t many links pointing to it.

The authority of a particular webpage is known as page authority.

For a more in-depth exploration of link authority metrics,.

Naturally, links from authority pages on websites with a lot of authority are what you want. There is only one problem.

White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO Techniques

The first thing you’ll notice;

When I first started in SEO in 2009, black hat SEO was the norm. Because they were effective, shady link-building strategies were widely used.

Now? These doubtful link-building strategies don’t function nearly as well as they formerly did. They also completely ban your website from Google’s search results.

I therefore do not advocate using black hat SEO. The risk is not worth it.

How can you tell if a particular link-building tactic is ethically sound or unethical?

Examine Google’s list of “link schemes.” This is an updated list of items that Google deems dubious.

You paid for the link, right? In any case, it is always against Google’s policy to pay someone directly for a link. Was there an “earned” link? Put differently, was your website linked to it because the person thought it was worthwhile to link to it? You’re good if that’s the case.

To be exact:

Building links isn’t the only aspect of black hat SEO. Many other black hat strategies (such as doorway pages) don’t involve links at all. However, the majority of the time, when someone refers to “black hat SEO,” they mean black hat link building.

Let’s now discuss a few white hat link-building techniques that I employ and suggest.

Backlink Audit

Backlinks that are low-quality, fraudulent, and irrelevant can occasionally make their way to your domain and hurt your ranking. To improve your site’s search ranking, you can track, manage, and filter backlinks to it with a backlink audit.

Explore Backlinko’s broad guide to backlink auditing to gain more insight into the links pointing to your website and whether they are hurting your search engine rankings.

The Skyscraper Technique

The Skyscraper Technique is a great resource if you’re new to SEO and content marketing because it removes a lot of the uncertainty associated with producing content that bloggers and reporters are likely to link to.

That being said, this procedure is not simple. Not at all. This method requires a great deal of effort.

However, the ease of creation and promotion of skyscraper content is the reason I suggest beginning here.

Guest Posting

The use of guest posting as a link-building tactic is highly contentious.

This is due to the ease with which guest blogging can transition from a respectable traffic and exposure source to a black hat strategy.

  • However, guest posting is a fantastic way to gain some early links and visibility for your website when done correctly.
  • Having said that here are some pointers to keep in mind when you begin guest posting:
  • Post as a guest only on relevant websites. A major red flag is publishing a lot of guest posts on unrelated websites

Keep your link’s anchor text simple and free of keywords. Use a link (such as Backlinko) that has your brand name as the anchor text instead.

Avoid scaling. About 5% of your link profile should consist of backlinks from guest posts. Anything beyond

Search Intent

The main reason someone searches is known as search intent, or sometimes “user intent.” It turns out that search intents fall into four primary categories.

User Intent Types

Moreover, a key component of being successful with SEO in 2021 (and beyond) is comprehending search intent. Let’s take an example where you want to go get some Thai food for supper. You could look up “Thai food Boston” online. You have a transactional intent. You’re trying to find somewhere to eat.

However, suppose you decide to prepare a chicken curry at some point. Most likely, you would look up a recipe for Thai chicken curry online. Then, the purpose of your search is informational. You are looking for the recipe for that dish. Moreover, I created none of the links to that page. I was able to achieve a 219% increase by better aligning my content with search intent.

How is SEO different from SEM and PPC?

Search Engine Land and the broader search marketing community frequently discuss two other terms that are commonly used: SEM and PPC. 

Continue reading to find out more about these two concepts and how internet marketing relates to them.

SEO vs. PPC

PPC is an acronym for pay-per-click, which is a type of digital marketing in which marketers are charged whenever one of their ads is clicked on.

Advertisers simply bid on specific keywords or phrases for which they want their ads to appear in search engine results. When a user searches for one of those keywords or phrases, the advertiser’s ad will appear near the top of the search results. 

So, if we consider search marketing to be a coin, PPC and SEO are two sides of the same coin – SEO is the unpaid side, and PPC is the paid side. 

Another important point is to never think about “SEO vs. PPC” (i.e., which is better) because these are complementary channels. It’s not an either-or situation; always choose both (if your budget allows).

As previously stated, the terms SEM and PPC are used interchangeably in the industry. That, however, is not the case on Search Engine Land.  When we use the term “SEM,” we’re referring to both web optimization (organic search) and PPC (paid search).  If you’re curious about how “SEM” came to mean “PPC” at the expense of internet marketing, you can read the following articles:

SEO vs. SEM

SEM is an abbreviation for search engine marketing, also known as search marketing. Digital marketing includes search marketing. It is a catch-all term for the combination of SEO and PPC activities aimed at driving traffic via organic and paid search.

Simply put, search marketing is the process of increasing traffic and visibility through both paid and unpaid efforts on search engines. So, what is the difference between SEO and SEM? They aren’t technically distinct – search engine optimization is simply one-half of a scanning electron microscope:

  • SEO is the process of driving organic traffic from search engines. 
  • SEM is the process of driving organic and paid traffic from search engines. 

 This is where things become a little perplexing. 

SEO specialties

There are a few subgenres of search engine optimization. Each of these specialties differs from “regular web optimization” in its own way, generally requiring additional tactics and posing unique challenges. 

The following are five SEO specialties:

E-commerce SEO: this includes optimizing category pages, product pages, cut navigation, internal linking structures, product images, product reviews, schema, and other elements.

Enterprise SEO: it is on a grand scale. Typically, this means dealing with a website (or multiple websites/brands) with 1 million+ pages – or it could be based on the organization’s size (typically those making millions or billions of dollars per year). Doing enterprise typically entails delays in getting search engine optimization changes implemented by the dev team, as well as the involvement of multiple parties.

International SEO: it is global search engine optimization for international businesses, including multilingual websites, as well as optimization for international search engines like Baidu or Naver. 

Local SEO: The goal here is to optimize websites for visibility in local organic search engine results, for example, by managing and obtaining reviews and business listings.

News SEO: When it comes to news, speed is everything. Make sure you get into Google’s index as quickly as possible and appear in places like Google Discover, Google’s Top Stories, and Google News. There is a need to comprehend best practices for payment barriers, section pages, news-specific organized information, and other related topics.

Emerging SEO Trends

Let’s wrap up this beginner SEO tutorial with a few emerging digital marketing trends. To be clear, I only recommend working on these things after you’ve mastered the fundamentals of SEO. However, if you’re ready to move on, this section is for you.

Schema Markup

A study of search engine ranking factors discovered no correlation between the use of Schema markup and first-page rankings. Availability of schema markup Some interpret this result as “Schema doesn’t work!” And, yes, if you believe that adding a Schema markup to your page will improve your organic rankings, you will be disappointed. Keep in mind that using Schema correctly can increase your organic click-through rate. Even if you don’t get a ranking boost, Schema can help you generate more organic traffic.

Voice Search SEO

It’s no secret that the number of people searching with their voices has increased by leaps and bounds in recent years.

According to Google, nearly half of all adults use voice search daily. Phone conversations And it’s expanding quickly. Many people ask me when I talk about voice search, “What’s the point of optimizing for voice search?” Even if I ‘rank’ first in Google Home, no one visits my website.” And it’s an excellent question.

My response?

Voice searches aren’t limited to smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa. According to Conclusion Search Engine Land, one in every five mobile phone searches is a voice search.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction to SEO. I wanted to go beyond a simple definition of search engine optimization in this guide. And provide you with a few concrete steps to get started.

As you can see, it has a lot to teach you. However, given the amount of targeted traffic SEO can generate, it may be well worth the time and effort.

So I recommend starting with the fundamentals: ensure that search engines can fully crawl your site. Then begin producing keyword-optimized content. Finally, make use of outreach to obtain backlinks.

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