SEO for beginners is an easy tutorial guide for beginners. I can say it loud and clear that the secret of bloggers’ wealth is the power of SEO. That is the reason many professional bloggers will never joke with you whenever there are slight changes in the Google algorithm that displace their position in the search engine result. Top based companies and bloggers are paying huge amounts of money to hire SEO experts just to help make their website and blog reach Google’s first page. Well, it is good to hire us for your website Search engine optimization but it is better to learn and do it by yourself. This is the best guide for beginners and the course will cover all you need to become SEO savvy.
Table Of Contents
2.0 Introduction To SEO.
2.1 Search Engine Behaviour.
2.2 On-page SEO.
2.3 Technical SEO.
2.4 Link Building and Authority Builder.
2.5 Keyword Research.
2.6 SEO Content writing
2.7 Tracking SEO performance.
2.8 Black Hat SEO.
2.9 White Hat SEO.
Introduction To SEO For Beginners
This is a basic introduction for SEO for beginners that will refresh and prepare you for other SEO topics. You may skip this if you already have the idea of SEO but I will advise you to read every part of this course for you not to miss any important info. Search engine optimization (SEO) can be defined as the method of increasing the quantity and quality of your website traffic. Not only that, but you also expose to branding using the organic search engine results. Well, SEO is different from a paid Google Adword! However, the practice of search engine optimization is a free way of getting your website to the top of search engine results without paying Google for Adword.
The concept of SEO is all about knowing the problem of people based on what they are searching for on the web, with the answers they really need at that particular time, the exact keywords they are using. Finally, the particular type of content they are willing to check for consumption. For you to know this concept will make you provide the right solution to get your targeted audience. Well, for you to know what your audience need is one aspect and for you to optimize your website in a way search engine bot can recognize and present it to your targeted audience is another aspect entirely.
The search engine is modeled to serve as a problem solver, designed with different factors that can identify the most relevant answers to a user query. This is possible by crawling and indexing the newly discovered web pages, videos, PDF, images, and many more web elements that can profer a solution to users’ queries. However, the search engine doesn’t only crawl and index the web elements(web pages, images, videos, PDF, e.t.c), but also ranked them base on how they match the user query. If you may ask yourself, why do I need to consider SEO instead of the paid advert? Though paying for advertising on social media, Adwords, e.t.c can also bring traffic to your website but it can’t be compared to the organic traffic. Whenever we are talking about the best practice that brings traffic with high conversion rate, then working tirelessly on your website SEO should not be tiresome. No doubt, the conversion rate for organic traffic is higher than the paid adverts. So, it is good for SEO experts to know what his or her clients want, then set KPI to measure SEO performance. Your KPI can be centre on the conversion rate such as the number of email subscribers, downloads, phone calls, users signup, sales, and many more depending on your client’s needs. Your page can rank well and traffics are driven to your page but if there is no conversion then your organic traffic is not meeting the goals. This is why you need to read all the entire chapters for a better SEO practice that can bring you high lead.
Search Engine Behaviour
Search engines crawler behave differently and they all have different factors they consider for crawling, indexing, and ranking. However, you must understand the behaviour of crawler bots for different engines. For simple practical to justify this, open three tabs on your browser for Google, Bing, and Yandex; and You can search this keyword “musician” on the three search engines. Check vividly to see the difference in their SERPs(search engine result pages), you will find some sites making the first list on Google but not on Bing’s first page and Yandex. Truly, the search engines behave differently based on their algorithm and we must learn and understand each of them individually to get the best out of them. Well, we all know that Google is the giant of all search engines but we can’t miss out thousands of audiences waiting to read what you have in the package for them on other search engines. So, being a professional SEO savvy you should understand the algorithm for different search engines most especially Google, Bing, and Yandex. Just relax, this crash course will help you to understand them better as you read each line of this chapter carefully.
Although they behave differently, they still obey similar bots principle while interacting with your web pages or web elements. Let us start with generic behaviour of the search engine bots: Crawling And Indexing: It is necessary for Search engine bots to crawl your website for new or updated pages. However, this will be stored in a huge database that is known to be indexing and users(searchers) are serve with this indexed data whenever they input their query. So, if your pages are not indexed by the search engine it won’t appear on the search result. There are two ways to check if your website is an index or not, open any of the search engines and type this query in the search bar “site: yourdomain.net” all the indexed pages and posts for your website will appear on the result list. Secondly, you can log in to your Google webmaster tool popularly known as search console and use the URL inspection tool to check if the URL of page/post is indexed or not. You can also do the same on other search engines (Bing and Yandex) using their webmaster tool to check if your website is indexed.
Google search engines use a particular formula or model to retrieve their stored data, arrange the information according to relevance. This particular formula is known as the algorithm and the process is called ranking. Google is improving its algorithm every day so as to deliver relevant information to users’ queries. However, we also have the Google core algorithm and one component of the core is the RankBrain. This component is also known as the learning machine, the RankBrain monitors the ranking and how well the search results solve users’ problems. For example, if the RankBrain observes that particular content with low ranking provides a better result to users, the learning machine will adjust the result and rank the URL of the content higher.
Google has provided some basic principles that can help webmasters to implement a better search engine ranking without violating the Google search engine rules. It is very important to obey those rules for your site in good health with the Google search engine. Below are the principles:
- Always consider a valuable, engaging, and unique content as your first priority. Invaluable content or pages such as automatically-generated content, plagiarized content, copy scraped content, and pages with no or little content are highly prohibited.
- The Google search engine always aims to provide a quality search result to users and they expect you to consider users as well. Always ask yourself can what you are writing solve the problem of users? Note that you are not writing for a search engine but a human being(users).
- Do not trick or deceive your users as Google is against it.
- Avoid cloaking.
- Avoid Doorways pages.
Obeying the following rules is your first journey to a better SEO ranking.
Bing search engine is different from Google search engine as we have said earlier, Bing has it’s own algorithm that controls how their search engine retrieves and arrange data to users based on their relevance to users queries. However, we also need to know about their algorithm for a better ranking. This can be centred on the four factors which include the following:
- Content Maturity: Bing will like to rank content that is older higher than the fresh content. Newly published content is likely to appear on bing the first search result page after 3 months.
- Bing Bot: Google will always crawl your entire site or content before it can rank your page. However, Bing only crawls the 100kb of your page or content before ranking it. So, your first paragraph should explicit, quality, and contain the keyword.
- Multimedia: Unlike Google that focuses on rich and quality text, bing also preferred and ranks content having enough pictures, graphs, videos, and any other visual that explains more about your content.
- Social Media Signal: Bing doesn’t rely so much on quality backlinks from an authoritative domain, unlike Google. But bing will rank content with many retweet, likes, shares, pins, e.t.c.
- Page Speed: Bing will also rank a page having a blazing speed over a slow loading page.
The Yandex search engine is a little different from Google and Bing. The Russian top search engine has two main algorithms that check for duplicate content and analyze the website authority. So, to have a better ranking on Yandex, you must write quality content for your users. Content is king when it comes to Yandex SEO and they are even stricter than Google as far as rich content is concerned. Well, Yandex doesn’t consider backlinking as a means of ranking higher. So if you are spamming other websites it won’t help your page to rank well even though you get traffic from those websites. Lastly, the mobile-optimized page will also rank higher on the Yandex search engine, it will be better to optimize your website to be mobile-friendly.
Google Vs Bing Vs Yandex
Google search is the leading search engine worldwide having market shares of 91.54% and Bing is the second leading having a market share of 2.44%. Yandex is the fifth leading search engine with a market share of 0.54%.
On-page SEO is one of the chapters in SEO for beginner and it will remain relevant in SEO practice. Whenever we talked about on-page, the first thing to think of is how we can optimize our content, pages, keywords research, meta description, sitemaps, and more. However, On-page SEO goes beyond all these down to meta tags and schema. Well, we are going to discuss all you need to know about on-page and how you can optimize your website(on-page) for better ranking.
Content Making: There is no doubt, content is king for all search engines! Pages with enough content have the chance to rank better on a search engine, and for you working on your website SEO; you must avoid scraped content, thin content and duplicate content. What is a scraped, thin and duplicate content? Truth be told, everyone wants something easier and this is what makes some people engaging themselves in duplicate, thin, scraped content. As their name implies, duplicate contents are contents that are being shared by multiple pages of a different domain, thin contents are contents with little or no value, while scraped content is the republished content copied or generated from another website without permission. In most cases, these particular contents are not original and they are regarded as stolen contents. Some will rewrite this and assume it to be original, Google classified it as scraped content from other sites. You must avoid the use of auto-generating software for content as it will not help your website SEO. Instead, write better content on a particular keyword that you want to be rank for and ensure it can offer a solution to users’ problems.
Cloaking: The SEO practice in which different URLs or contents are presented to users and search engine crawl spiders. Users see a different version of your content or URL on search results but show another different content when they visit the URL from the browser. However, this practice is against Google Webmaster guidelines and there is a penalty for it.
Keyword research and Keyword stuffing: It is true that keyword research is important and using a targeted keyword in your content is quite brilliant! Google and another search engine will always look for content having mention of the keywords or related key phrases in the user query. So, many people now believe their content may rank better if they use a particular keyword in X times. However, it is good to use keywords but if it is used wrongly then Google penalized you for keyword stuffing. Outside keywords, your content should be able to offer a solution to problems as your keywords will fit in your content naturally without stuffing your page or content with too many keywords with no value.
Header tags: We have some HTML elements that are majorly used for headings. There is H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 respectively. The H1 element is meant for the page title or content title and the H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 is used for sub-headings.
The main purpose of the heading is to explain what a page or content is all about.
Internal linking and Outbound link: Internal linking can be defined as an SEO practice in which you are linking to other pages on your website. The reason for this is to allow a search engine robot to craw it and gives ranking power to the pages. Take, for instance, you created a page “A” and inside the page, there are quality contents in which you can use anchor text with the link within the content to link any of your pages. You might have seen something like “Read more: How To Create An Ecommerce Website With WordPress” on this our page! Whenever Google or any crawlers crawl on page A, it will also craw the pages that are connected to the page. In fact, it can even make your visitors stay longer on your website because they navigate to check the links if it is something that can solve their problems. Sometimes, it may be necessary to link to another external website if you see any external information that can be helpful to your visitors. Ensure that the external link is having a quality authority. It will help to improve your page credibility.
Note: You should be careful with the usage of links, too many links on your page can be annoying to your visitors and can make the search engine penalize you for violating Google webmaster guidelines.
Image Optimization: It is good to add images to your pages as it makes your page nice but at the same time many don’t like too many images. The speed of your website can be reduced if there are too many images or any other media. However, you can manage this by using the compressor and if you will add images to your pages it must be optimized. Adding Alt text within your images will make search engine robots to understand your images after crawling.
Format For Good Readability: It is SEO friendly and user friendly if your content is well arranged! Using bold, bullet points, italics, headings, good text size, text color, and paragraph where necessary will enhance readability.
Title Tags: Title tag is the descriptive element usually HTML that explains what your web page is all about. It should not be too long between 50 – 60 characters and it must contain your targeted keywords.
Meta description: The meta description is the element that describes your content. It is usually between 150 – 300 characters and it must contain your keywords.
Technical SEO For Beginners
Schema is known as structured data while markup is the process in which your data is being structured. In this process, your content is marked up using the organized code. If you want to use or learn better on how you can implement Schema for your page or content, it is best to check Schema.org for better understanding.
Link Building And Authority Builder
Google has made it clear that quality content and links will make you rank higher on Google search engine. Having quality content doesn’t guarantee your page to be rank higher than others because most of the contents appearing on the first-page offer quality content like yours. So, the factor that will give your page an edge is the authority. This is why you need to know how to build authority by getting inbound or backlinks from authoritative sites. The search engine assumes if your page is trustworthy and problem-solving, then websites having similar qualities will link to your page as well. So, you must be careful while getting your inbound links. Backlinks from low authority sites or from spammy sites will make search engines assume your page to be spammy as well. Truth be told, your Domain authority is important in the ranking process! However, the best way to increase it is by getting an online reputation(backlinks from trustworthy and authoritative sites). Branding your business, and encouraging your audience to spread the good news about your content or business page will also go a long way.
Now, I will explain how you can get an inbounds link without violating Google terms and conditions.
- Guest posting: Look for the authoritative blogs in your niche and write to them for a guest posting. It is likely your request is accepted or declined. Perhaps, it is accepted you can include your dofollow backlink to your own site. If you can earn 10 quality do-follow backlinks from authoritative blogs through guest posts, it is better than 100 do-follow backlinks that you earn through spam.
- Encourage Those Using Your Resources To Give You Credit: If you offer valuable resources, there is no doubt people will want to use it or mention you in their post. However, encourage them to give you credit(backlinks).
- Grow Your Authority Naturally: This is the best way recommended by search engines. There is no doubt, the quality post will attract backlinks naturally even though it may take many years but really worth it. However, many webmasters won’t like this because they can’t wait so long to start getting tons of traffic from search engines.
Keyword Research For Beginners
We have mentioned earlier that the keyword is necessary for your title tags, meta description, and content. The question is how can we get keywords that can rank well with little or no competitors? This is where keyword research comes to play. Obviously, you can’t just predict the number of people searching for a particular keyword, or predict other questionable factors such as: Where is the location of those searching for the keyword? What is the difficulty of being rank for the keyword? All these are questions you will ask yourself before creating content around your keywords. Besides, your keyword can either be a short tail or long tail and most times you will see your short tail keyword having many search volumes compared to the long tail keyword. Take, for example, your short tail keyword is “Cars”. In your keyword research, you will see this particular keyword having monthly search volume like 100,000 monthly whereas the long-tail keywords like ” top 10 cars”, “buy the best cars” may have monthly search volume between 500 – 1200. No doubt, you will prefer to go for the short-tail keyword having a large volume of monthly visits. But, it is better to use a long-tail keyword having just 300 monthly visits than a short-tail keyword having thousands of monthly visits. However, it is advisable to use long-tail keywords for easy ranking.
Tools For Keyword research
Before you use your long-tail keyword, ensure that you analyze that particular keyword using any of the keyword research tools.
- Google Keyword Planner: This is a free keyword research tool for beginners. The only issue with this tool is that it doesn’t reveal the search volume for each keyword.
- SemRush: SemRush is another powerful keyword tool with many features. It has the free and premium package, for you to enjoy all the features subscribing for the premium option is the best choice.
- Ubersuggest: It is another popular powerful keyword research tool commonly used by bloggers. It is free!
Other keyword research tools include Google Trend, SpyFu Keyword Research Tool, and Moz Keyword Explorer.
SEO Content Writing
We have learned that quality content is highly important during SEO practice and at the same time if your content is not written well it may not be readable to users and search engine crawlers. Below are steps to follow for you to write better content that is SEO friendly.
- Get your keywords ready after research.
- Create videos, images or graphs that better explain the keywords.
- Assigned Alt to those images and the Alt should be your targeted keyword.
- Write your content and use the keywords in the content. It will be an advantage to also include related keywords in the content. E.g if your keyword is “most expensive cars”, you can also use related keyword “most expensive vehicle” in your content.
- Add the images, videos, and graphical pictures within your content.
- Arrange your content appropriately with headings where necessary.
Tracking SEO Performance
SEO for beginners ain’t as easy as you think. You will like to monitor your SEO performance, isn’t? Absolutely, everyone will like to track and monitor the number of traffic they are getting from the search engines(organic traffic). There are different tools that will help you to monitor the health status of your website SEO. With these tools, you can examine the time on page, bounce rate, page per visit, and backlinks of your website. These tools are :
Google Analytics: You can use this to monitor your website bounce rate, page per visit, and time spends on a page.
Google Search Console: You can use the Google search console to monitor your website SEO performance.
Bing Webmaster Tools: It works similarly with Google search console but this will make you see your performance on Bing.
dmoz authority checker: You may want to check your domain authority or page rank, Dmoz is the tool that can work well as far as it is a concern.
Black Hat SEO For Beginners
Black hat SEO is an SEO practice that violates Google webmaster guidelines and Bing Webmaster guidelines. Well, it is not encouraged to involve in black hat SEO but practicing black SEO can be easier and produce fast results. The black hat as the name implies describes the bad ways of handling a particular task. The major Black hat SEO activities include:
Content Automation: This is the major practice of the black hat SEO, there are many auto blogging software such as news-o-matic. With the software, you can be having content on your page automatically without writing it. The practice is against the search engine guidelines and it can get you penalized.
Doorway Pages: There are some pages created by the black hat to manipulate the search engine to rank the page higher for a particular query. The doorway pages are mainly created to deceive visitors, the black hat uses the doorway to get rank and trap visitors from the search engine into that doorway page. Inside the page, there is a click now button that leads the visitors to the final destination. Most times, the final destination is usually different from users’ queries.
Keyword Stuffing: Using keywords in the wrong way by loading a page with many keywords can be termed as keyword stuffing. Most times, the keywords are not relevant to the content on the page.
Reporting a Competitor: The best way to outrank your competitor is to do better than your competitor but black hat SEO will report their competitor for them to rank higher than their competitor.
Cloaking: It is a black hat SEO practice to present different content to search engines and other content presented to the visitors entirely different from each other.
Buying links: Link building is not easy! So, the black hat method of getting backlinks is by buying links that are against Google webmaster guidelines. In fact, most of those links are not quality and it can make the search engine penalize your website.
Article Spinning: Article spinning is the act of using a software called spinner to rewrite a copied content from another source. These articles are of low quality with poor human readability I.e the articles are junks that can’t be read by a human.
There are many other black hat SEO practices. But we have listed the major practice above. However, if you will like to build long term business or you want to build a brand, don’t ever involve in black hat SEO.
White Hat SEO For Beginners
White Hat SEO is the technique that obeys the search engine guidelines to improve SEO ranking and completely focus on their visitor’s interest. This is the best way to improve your SEO ranking if you are running a long time business. White hat SEO is different from the grey hat SEO. However, the grey hat SEO seems to follow the search engine guidelines but in a dubious way. Below are the techniques for white hat SEO for beginners:
- Optimize Your Mobile View
- Make Your Page to be user-friendly.
- Carry out Keyword research.
- Write Quality Content.
- Make Your Page To Load Faster.
- Make Use Of Schema.
- Focus On Guest Posting To Get Backlinks.
Conclusively, we have completed our SEO for beginners course! Make sure you implement what you have learnt in this tutorial accurately to get perfect results. You may contact us if you need a better explanation or drop your question in the comment section.