SEO for Beginners: Understanding the Basics

If you are searching for the best SEO for beginners' guide you have come to the right place. This is an easy to understand guide that will explain to you the ins and outs of SEO writing, even if you have no experience at all.

If you are starting a blog, or want your blog top preform better, SEO is a must. The best thing about SEO is that it is essentially a set recipe and once you start mastering it, you are set.


What is SEO?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It is a digital marketing practice that grows an online platform (blog, website, etc) through organic traffic.

It simply means optimizing your blog or website so that it ranks (or shows up) higher in Google search. This is turn will result in more clicks from Google and more visitors on your content.

SEO is used for all types of search engines – Google, Bing, Yahoo – however, most people focus on Google because it dominates the game.


Why do we use SEO?

SEO is the key driver of traffic for most websites. The higher you rank in the search the more clicks you get. The number one post gets significantly more clicks than the second and third, and after the first page, the clicks are almost non-existent.

Starting with an SEO strategy early is the best way to set up your website for success.

Before we discuss how to rank #1 on Google and all the little tips and tricks that go into it, it is important to understand how search engines work, what they are looking at, and what exactly we need to optimize.


How do search engines work?

Search engines go through 3 phases when looking at your website's SEO and determining your ranking.

  1. Crawling – The first thing search engines do to rank content is to read all the content on the web. This is done by online bots "crawling" or reading all the information on every page that is indexable. Indexable means that a certain page is set to be crawled by Google (your pages are indexable unless you set them to not be).
  2. Indexing – After the bots read all the content they organize all the information into relevant categories so that when users are searching for something they are presented with relevant results.
  3. Ranking – Following the crawling and indexing Google then ranks the content based on various factors. All of the factors Google takes into account when ranking are presented in the following section.

Other Factors that affect SEO & Ranking

Keywords

One of the main and most important SEO factors that determine how search engines ranking and categorize your content is keywords. Keywords are the topic or main idea of your post or website that you want to be recognized for and show up in the search results.

Ex. This post is about SEO for beginners, so when people type in "SEO for beginners" on Google I want my post to show up because this is the keywords I am trying to rank for.

The basis of SEO is keywords that need to be implemented with care and very strategically.


I highly suggest you get the plugin Yoast SEO as it will guide you along with these factors. Below is a screenshot of what the YOAST SEO plug-in shows under each post. The details are incredible!

Post title

Be sure you have a relevant post title that holds your Keyword. You want to explain what your full post is about and make sure it is user-friendly

Body Text

Ensure your text is not only bot friendly but also human-friendly. In recent times Google has put a higher value on high-quality content. Use keywords the optimal amount, you don’t want to stuff keywords in as google will see that as spammy content. If you use the Yoast plugin it will tell you the optimal amount for your length of text.

Headings

The headings or subtitles (H1, H2, H3, H4) are very important to use within your posts. Not only to help guide your readers but to also structure your post and help the bots crawl and see the most important headings.

Images

Images are great to use in your blog posts and a few are highly recommended. Images need to be an optimal size (900x600 is good) so that they load quickly and don't slow down your page speed. With images, you need to also add an image title, caption and ALT text. The ALT text is just a short description of what the image is.

Permalink

The permalink is the text that comes after the / in your URL. It is best to have your permalink include the relevant information about the blog post and your keywords.

Links

Links internally to other posts on your website are great because they keep users on your website longer. Links externally to other websites bring you to another domain that is relevant.

Some SEO Insight

SEO is not an overnight process. A good SEO strategy takes months for you to see results so don’t get discouraged. Just be sure to avoid blackhat SEO strategies & Read How to rank #1 on Google for more detailed and actionable information.