This is an information-rich beginners guide to SEO. So be ready to learn a lot since it covers every angle of SEO that a beginner must know about. Thus fasten your seat belt and grab a notepad for it’s going to be a thorough guide with lots of SEO tips and tricks.
What is SEO?
The concept of SEO started back in 1991. It is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization which refers to the process of ranking a site by adjusting and developing it as per the Algorithm updates. That helps to make your site not only search engine friendly but also user-friendly. SEO-friendly sites have better chances of visibility in SERPs that come along with thousands of other benefits too.
Why is SEO important?
Knowing the importance of SEO for beginners is a vital thing. Based on this you can decide what exactly you want to do with it. Whether you’ll become an expert yourself or you will hire an expert from the outside to rank your website.
In recent years, having an online presence for businesses is essential. Since the internet is serving us as another route for marketing and business. That nobody wants to miss. With the help of the internet, you can list down your business without any difficulty in the SERPs. However, the search engines are places crowded with a number of websites. Thus you may find huge competition in your respective field as well.
This is exactly where SEO will come in handy to you. It is like a tool that will help your website make its way through the crowd and stand on the first page of search engines. No matter how huge the competition is, but if you have optimized your site perfectly well, it is going to outrank all. Moreover, it will have a great impact on your sales and return on investment.
Adding on stats for the beginners guide to SEO
This is an age of technology, where people look to the internet as a solution for all of their problems. Be it a math problem, a trending topic, shopping, or a search for products review, they do it all on the internet. Google being the most popular search engine deals with 3.5 billion searches per day. Thus users or buyers are always there, it is you who need to rank a website higher in SERPs so that it is visible to all.
As per the analysis of average click-through-rate, the first search result receives over 25% of clicks. After which the second and third results receive around 15 to 11% clicks, which then keeps decreasing by the end of the first page. Anyone rarely goes for second or third pages results unless they are researchers.
Chunks that complete the beginners guide to SEO
I have broken down the content of SEO into easier chunks for the beginners to understand completely well.
Thorough keyword research
Now, most beginners might think they can rank their websites on any chosen keyword or key phrase. But the reality is different. Keyword research is the base of SEO. Without extensive keyword research, you may never achieve the results that you are trying to get. It is basically about searching and finding those specific phrases that people type in the search engine bar.
In this regard, you can use various free tools or perform manual research also. This research will let you know how people are searching for your services or products that you are trying to sell out. So make a list of those keywords and make it a part of your content in the most natural way. These keywords will play a vital role in the on-page setup, backlinks and guest posting, etc. Thus you can think of a keyword as the core element of SEO.
Tip: To perform manual keyword research, you simply type a keyword or phrase into a search engine bar. Then wait for the drop-down predictions. These predictions will be the keywords or phrases that people mostly search for; hence you can make use of them for optimization purposes.
On-Page SEO and some technical factors
On-page SEO is about optimizing the content for each page of a website to rank higher in search engine results. Besides, there are a number of factors involved that a beginner must know about. These factors have a direct effect on your ranking in the search engine results. Thus do give them a read right away under the subheading of Page-level factors.
In On-page SEO, you need to set up your site’s design and its content in a way that a crawler could easily crawl down. Another thing is the quality of the content and the use of keywords in it. Both the content and keywords must be used in a way that should reflect your intent and topic quite clearly. The reason for including keywords in a content is that it could rank for that specific keyword. Besides, never use duplicate content on your On-page, for it can badly affect your ranking.
Tips: Know the amazing 14 tips to rank a content higher in the search results.
Other than making your content valuable and presentable for the reader, you have to take care of the link as well that you embed in it. Thus it’s time to explore the technical side of the beginners guide to SEO as well. Which are as follow;
A site does not index in the SERPs until the bots crawl it. There are only two things that crawlers understand; one is the text and the second are the links placed in it. So whatever content you will set up your web-page with, make sure to add links to it. Since it is a good and systematic way of letting the crawlers know about the other contents on the same site. You might want to link up a blog with two other relevant blogs, and the crawlers would crawl both and give them ranking as well.
Tip: A good internal linking structure helps to improve the conversion rate of a site because when users stay more they buy more.
Another technical factor to keep in mind is the length of a URL. Search engines do not support lengthy URLs. Since such URLs are neither user-friendly nor search engine friendly. Thus you must create a short URL that is easy to read and digest.
Tip: Always include your keyword or synonym in it so that it reflects the topic of your content.
A site map is a separate file that contains all links to your site’s pages. It is made for the search engines to crawl your site in an orderly manner. A site map helps to crawl and index your pages in the search engine results.
Tip: It is in your control to allow search engines to crawl specific pages only. You can include and remove page URLs as per your wish.
Page load speed
Page speed counts as a quality factor for your website. It is usually heavy images and coding that slows up the process of page loading. Thus choose layout and image size for your website that do not affect the loading speed.
Tip: Whenever you feel the need to uploading pictures on site. Make sure you use a plug-in like “Smush” that compresses images and makes them suitable for your site.
Off-Page SEO and related factors for the beginners guide
Off-page SEO is also known as off-site SEO. It is about creating brand awareness, trust and gaining visitors to visit your site. People call it off-site SEO too since it is done outside your actual website. It is a complete strategy that includes linking to other trusted relevant sites. It is important for your ranking mainly. When you link your site to other relevant sites it signals trust and relevancy to search engines as well. You can do that in a number of ways, such as:
Backlinking strategy for Off-Page SEO
Backlinking refers to the process of embedding your site’s URL on someone else site. It is extremely important to create quality backlinks only. Because taking a backlink from a spammy site might signal distrust to search engines. That results in affecting your ranking as well. Backlinking can be done in the form of business listing, forum links, comment links, etc.
Tips: Embed links on the keyword you want to rank for.
A guest posting is a good strategy to get a link back from an authoritative site. In the guest posting, you post a blog on someone else site. And in return, you get a link back to your site. That increases the chances of getting more traffic to your site.
Tips: Explore the guest positing site and think of a blog post topic that could attract more readers to read it.
Use of social media sites
Social media platforms play a great role in building brand awareness. It is a great source to earn visitors to your sites. However, having a huge following on your social media handles does not affect your ranking. But if you keep posting engaging short posts and images that link to your site, you might turn them into regular visitors for your site.
Tip: You can add a link to your site with each relevant post.
Guide to Local SEO
Local SEO is beneficial for those businesses that have a physical existence, such as an on-ground working store, office, or company. It is highly dependent on keyword research only. Search for the keywords that might help you rank in the local results. Which are shown even above the organic results in the search engine. Thus having an appearance in local results also helps to boost the sales of a business.
Local SEO is quite helpful for people like restaurant and salon owners. Because people always mention their location or write near me while searching for a restaurant and salon. Thus a search engine would show the results that are near the user’s location. So if you have your business name listed on top of the local results it will go in your favor.
Guide to White, Grey, and Black Hat SEO
Experts in the field of SEO are well aware of these terms and their uses. But beginners might not know about these terms and their effects on their sites. Thus let’s explore this area of SEO as well, which is going to complete the beginners guide to SEO in 2021.
White Hat SEO
It refers to all practices that are per the updates and rules provided by search engines themselves. White hat SEO is the most preferable way to achieve a ranking in SERPs. Though it is time-consuming, it will never harm your site’s ranking.
Black Hat SEO
It is the type of SEO that can lead you towards disaster. It refers to the process of developing your site in a way that is against all standards of search engines. Which includes keyword stuffing, invisible text on a page, redirects, Ad pop-up, etc. Thus, it’s always advised not to go for any such SEO tactics that might cause a permanent ban on a site.
Grey Hat SEO
Grey hat is a mixture of both white and black hat SEO. It is less risky than black hat SEO and does not cause a permanent ban at least. But it does affect your site’s ranking, which takes a long time to recover back. You have rare chances of getting back on the first page results after being caught applying grey hat SEO to a site.
It’s time to wind-up the beginners guide to SEO in 2021 in a few words. So we can say that SEO can be broken down into three main parts, on-page, off-page, and local SEO. And a higher ranking is always a result of a proper website structure, its content quality, and the amount and quality of backlinks. Thus it depends on the amount of effort you put into achieving the desired results. Besides, white hat SEO is always preferred over any other SEO tactics, thus stay away from the grey and black hat SEO tactics.
It is also advised to join or enroll in an SEO course so that you can take guidance from an SEO expert. SEO is all about practice and patience. Thus practice whatever you have learned in this article and comment below to tell us which tip did you find the most useful.