An Expert Guide to SEO for Beginners

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“An Expert Guide to SEO for Beginners” written by Mike Marko.

Are you looking for an easy guide to SEO for beginners?

Search engine optimization or SEO can help your brand become more noticeable online. It’s one of the best ways to get more traffic and leads, and higher sales and conversions.

Unfortunately, it can also be frustrating, especially if you’re relying on outdated tactics that no longer work.

Perhaps you’ve been searching for guides to SEO for beginners, but struggled to understand them.

If so, look no more!

Today, I’m sharing with you my expert guide to SEO for beginners. By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a strong understanding of what SEO is, why it’s important, and how to get great results in an ever-changing SEO environment.

Let’s begin with a quick overview of SEO for beginners

Quick Overview of SEO for Beginners

Every guide to SEO for beginners should start by explaining what SEO is. SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s results pages.

Another way of looking at it, according to Wikipedia, is to see SEO as a group of strategies and techniques used to boost the number of visitors to your website. This is done by achieving a ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.

The most popular search engine, Google, processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day.

Now imagine getting even just a small portion of that traffic to your business website — traffic made up of people searching for products like yours and with high intent to buy.

That should show you why SEO is so important. It can get you more website traffic and more leads,  possibly more sales, and even more profit for your business?

But first things first: let’s talk about how SEO for beginners increases your website traffic.

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How SEO Increases Your Website Traffic

As I said earlier in this guide to SEO for beginners, SEO helps websites rank higher in the results people get when they look for something using a search engine. The higher up you are on that list, the better.

That’s because only the highest-placed results are shown on the first page. The placement of results (how high they are in the list) is based on a lot of factors — factors that are the focus of SEO.

As a business owner, what you want is to get more customers. To get those online, you need visibility and easy access.

Being on the first page of the SERPs gives you both of those. You’re easy to see and easy to access (all they need to do is click on the link!).

High SERP placement also builds authenticity and trust. It tells online consumers you’re legitimate enough to be suggested to them by Google for their search query. That can help further with leads and traffic.

But remember, to get all of these things — higher visibility, more leads, etc. — you need to optimize your site first. That brings us back to our guide to SEO for beginners.

Some Basic Factors That Affect SEO

There are essential terms that should be explained in any guide to SEO for beginners. As a website owner, you must pay attention to these… because they’re also Google ranking factors.

The following is a list of basic terms you need to know when doing SEO for beginners:

Keywords

Keywords are topics that help you define the content of your website. Relative to SEO, they’re also search queries — the words or phrases people type into Google’s or Bing’s search bars.

The basic strategy to keyword usage in SEO for beginners is to target a high-traffic keyword that’s relevant to your business. This makes it easier for your target audience to find you.

For instance, let’s say you run a piano tuning business. Your website should focus on keywords like “piano tuning”. That makes it easier for Google to find and suggest your website to people searching for “piano tuning services” or even “piano tuners”.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t make sense for you to focus on keywords like “pumpkin carving” in the same scenario. People looking for “pumpkin carving” on Google aren’t likely to be your target audience, after all.

Keyword relevance is one of the key elements of SEO for beginners. So is judicious usage.

That means you should never write awkward-sounding content to cram them into content. You can use a very close variant once or twice within a page: that’s usually enough for Google to take the hint.

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Content

Any guide to SEO for beginners will tell you that content is the heart and soul of your website. You should write unique and relevant content to engage, entertain, and inform your website visitors.

Keep your blog posts and website copy relevant to your product or service, and share new content as often as possible. Use social media platforms to keep your customers informed of new material.

This way, your customers can share your content within their social networks. You should also use images and video to supplement content and break up text-heavy pages.

A good guide to SEO for beginners will tell you to consider the length and value of your content too. The average piece of content that Google shows in the top search results is more than 2,000 words.

This tells you to aim for longer, data-rich content. Don’t forget about the people actually reading it, though, so try to make it as easy-to-read as possible.

Metadata

Finally, when learning about SEO for beginners, you should know about metadata. It summarizes a lot of information about your website and its many elements.

That’s why it’s called “meta”-data: it’s basically data about (other) data.

Metadata exists to make finding data easier. For whom, you ask? For the search engines, which read it to get information about websites. They consider it too when trying to determine if you should be one of the results returned for a search.

That’s why having your metadata organized is such a big part of SEO.

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Tips to Rank Higher in Search Engines and Bring in Traffic

There are a lot of SEO techniques and tactics, but since this is about SEO for beginners, we can start with the basics. I’ve compiled some of the most important (and most beginner-friendly) SEO techniques to get you started.

SEO Do’s

There are many simple things you can do to stay on top of your SEO strategy. The ones below are good tips on SEO for beginners.

 

  1. Write well-researched and engaging content – Your articles should be well-researched and encourage engagement from your readers. Make sure to ask people to leave comments on them and share the articles with their friends on social media.
  2. Use keywords in your titles and metadata – Put your main keywords in your titles, meta descriptions, and article bodies to improve your ranking on Google.
  3. Monitor your backlinks – Backlinks are links from another webpage that lead to yours. Keeping track of your website’s backlinks is as important as building them. For SEO success, it’s important to maintain a clean backlink profile. You can use utilities like the Monitor Backlinks SEO tool to be up to date with your site’s links.
  4. Write long content – Write content that’s valuable to your readers. The longer and more informative your articles are, the more keywords they’ll have and the more chances to rank for new search phrases.  I personally try to write at least 1,000 word blog posts, and I’ll write blog posts as long as 5,000 words (Do You Know How Long a Blog Post Should Be ).
  5. Add internal links – Internal links are links that lead from one page on a website/domain to another page on the same website/domain. Making them is one of the easiest ways to build links to your content. Adding an internal link is also a Google ranking factor. Search engines can find and index your content quickly with these.
  6. Create a sitemap – A sitemap gives search engines an easier way to find and index all your site’s pages. You can make one manually. However, with SEO for beginners, I’d recommend using a tool like the XML-Sitemaps generator.
  7. Make your site user-friendly – Your website has to be very easy to navigate. Ask different people to test it for you and get their feedback on its user-friendliness.
  8. Remove and disavow bad links – You have to regularly analyze your site’s backlinks and remove the suspicious ones to make sure you won’t suffer a Google penalty. If you can’t remove the links, create a disavow report and submit it to Google’s Disavow Tool.
  9. Make your website mobile-friendly – Google has released a mobile-friendly algorithm that gives an advantage to sites that have responsive design or a mobile version. That means today’s guides to SEO for beginners all have to recommend spending time on your site’s mobile version.

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SEO Don’ts

It’s actually possible for SEO for beginners to backfire if you do it wrong. To avoid negative results for your SEO,  here are some of the things you shouldn’t be doing.

  1. Don’t use irrelevant links – Most guides to SEO for beginners will warn you about this. Links from irrelevant sites will get your website penalized. Why should a real estate website link to one about sketching lessons, after all?
  2. Avoid using too many keywords – Remember, you write for your audience, not for the search engine bots. Stuffing keywords all over your articles just to please the latter may look weird (and even irrational) to the former. That’s why we mentioned judicious keyword usage as a must earlier in this guide to SEO for beginners.
  3. Don’t get links from just any blog network – They may be tempting, but avoid using just any blog networks in your first attempts at SEO for beginners. They’re often a spammy way to increase your search engine rankings. It might work for a few weeks, but eventually, you’ll get penalized by Google.  Only really established, reputable blog networks work.
  4. Don’t over-optimize anchor text – You should use your brand name instead of your money keywords in most of your links.
  5. Don’t trust everything you read about SEO – Some guides to SEO for beginners will encourage you to use black-hat or gray-hat SEO techniques for fast results. These are methods that technically try to “cheat” the system. If a technique looks suspicious to you, it probably is… so do research on what you read first!

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Final Thoughts on a Guide to SEO for Beginners

In today’s blog, I talked about SEO for beginners. I also gave you tips and techniques that can help you begin optimizing your own site.

Learning SEO for beginners means understanding terms like “keyword”, “content”, and “metadata”. It also means learning how to write content that’s to your advantage, organizing backlinks and internal links, and more.

Good SEO for beginners also means steering clear of certain shoddy SEO practices. For example, you should avoid keyword stuffing and linking to irrelevant domains.

Following the SEO do’s and don’ts I listed above should do a lot to get your business’s website off the ground. With the things you’ve learned in this guide to SEO for beginners, you can build the foundation for higher-level SEO strategies… and higher-level results.

If you still have questions about SEO for Beginners, though, don’t be shy about leaving them in the comments below!

Also be sure to learn how Google My Business can help you with local search marketing.

You should also check out the blog post, Common Website SEO Mistakes Made by Consultants and Small Business Owners.

If you need help with your SEO, be sure to check out the SEO services offered by IM Consultant Services.

If you need help in getting traffic to your website or ranking in Google, then feel free to contact me and we can talk about the different consulting options we offer.  Or use the link below to apply for your “Results in Advance” free consultation and let’s get started right away:

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P.S. – If you like this post, feel free comment down below and/or share on Facebook.

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Suggested Articles:
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3. Effective and Simple SEO Tips for Beginners

An Expert Guide to SEO for Beginners - Mike Marko

Author: Mike Marko
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Article: An Expert Guide to SEO for Beginners

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