11 min readWhat is SEO? A Complete Step-By-Step Beginners Guide

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what is seo

Are you just getting started with SEO? Perhaps you’ve heard that SEO can assist increase traffic to your website and help you rank higher, but you’re not sure how it works or what areas to focus on. You’ve definitely come to the correct spot.

Continue reading to learn what SEO basics every digital marketer should be aware of.

What Exactly is SEO?

SEO is a search engine optimization process in which you optimise your web page or website using SEO tactics in order to rank on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.

Ultimately, SEO is about meeting consumers’ search needs by developing relevant, high-quality content and offering the best user experience possible.

On-page and off-page SEO activities are also possible. As a result, SEO is frequently separated into “on-page” and “off-page” categories.

In practise, SEO usually entails:

  • Keyword research
  • Creation and optimization of content
  • Technical optimization
  • Link building

Starting Beginners SEO Guide

Before we discuss the precise actions you must do to improve your Google ranking, let’s go over some fundamental SEO procedures.

By doing these actions, you’ll make sure Google can correctly crawl and index your website. And that you’ll be successful using the following tactics.

First, examine if Google has already indexed your website.

Do a Google search for “site:yoursite.com” in particular.

Starting Beginners SEO Guide

This will demonstrate whether Google has already indexed and crawled your website. If yes, how many pages have they now indexed?

Great if your website appears in the results! You are prepared.

If not, it might just be that your website is brand-new. And Google hasn’t yet located it.

It might also imply that you accidentally prevented search engines from indexing your website, which is surprisingly common! In either case, you need to fix this right away.

Second, link Google Search Console with your website. It specifically informs you of information like:

  • How frequently your site shows up in searches
  • what search terms you rank for
  • the number of pages on your site The Google index
  • problems with your pages being crawled, indexed, or rendered

So, if you want to be successful with SEO, Google Search Console is essential.

Finally, make a sitemap and submit it.

A sitemap is exactly what its name implies: a “map” of your website.
Sitemaps are used by Google and other search engines to find every page on your website.
Which makes it possible to make sure that all of your critical pages are being crawled and indexed.

The platform that your site uses will determine exactly how you construct a sitemap (WordPress, Shopify, etc.)

It is worthwhile to create an XML sitemap in either case.

additionally sending that sitemap through the Search Console to Google.

How Does SEO Work?

Google leverages very complex methods known as “algorithms” to rank pages. To determine where a certain website should rank, these algorithms consider a large variety of ranking parameters.

You don’t have to understand how search algorithms function. (Actually, no one does with complete certainty.)

However, understanding the fundamentals of SEO can help you better grasp how it works and what it takes to optimise your pages for Google rankings.

#1 Establishing Relevance

Your primary responsibility in SEO is to provide relevant content.

Why? Because Google’s primary responsibility is to provide people with relevant results.

Relevance entails far more than simply displaying pages about smartphone rather than laptop when someone searches for “smartphone.” It’s also about satisfying the user’s search intent—the reason they employed a specific search query in the first place.

There are four types of search intent: 

  • Navigational (e.g., “wordpress login”)
  • Informational (e.g., “what is wordpress”)
  • Commercial (e.g., “wordpress review”)
  • Transactional (e.g., “wordpress pricing”)

Fortunately, Google takes care of everything. All you have to do is analyze the search results and evaluate what you find.

Consider the following when creating relevant content:

  1. Topical relevance
  2. Type of content
  3. Content freshness
  4. Location

1. Topical relevance

Google identifies the topic of a page by looking at the keywords that occur on the page. Optimize your pages for keywords, but don’t go overboard.

2. Type of content

Look at what kinds of results rank for the term to ensure that your website offers the appropriate type of content for the search (e.g., landing pages, product pages, informational posts, reviews, etc.).

3. Content freshness

Some topics, such as news updates or product reviews, necessitate fresh, regularly updated data. If the search query is time-sensitive, you must guarantee that your material is also kept current.

4. Location

Google may return different results depending on the location of the searcher. If this is the case, you will need to modify your technique (e.g., if you run a local business, follow local SEO best practices).

Every SEO strategy relies heavily on keywords. They assist you in identifying the topics that your audience is looking for so that you can target those topics with relevant content.

#2 Creating Quality Content

Finding the appropriate keywords is only the first step.

You must also generate content that ranks for those keywords. SEO is impossible without both content creation and optimization.

To rank well on Google, you must develop content that is literally in the top ten on a specific topic.

There are 10 organic results on the first page of each SERP, and you want to be one of them.

Here are a few important differences between high-quality and average content:

  • Authenticity: Cover the subject matter in detail and respond to any queries that visitors may have. It’s not about the number of words. Ensure that each page provides searchers with a comprehensive resource.
  • Uniqueness: Your content should not be a collection of the top results. It should always bring value, whether through a unique perspective, relevant facts, instructive examples, or original images.
  • E-A-T signals: Google values Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). You should supply accurate and dependable information, be an expert in your field, and exhibit it both on and off-site.
  • Readability: Make sure your text is simple to read. This involves rationally arranging your content, writing short sentences, avoiding passive voice, maintaining a constant tone of voice, and so on.

#3 Offering Excellent Usability

Google favours websites that are user-friendly. Again, technical SEO plays a vital part.

SEO ensures that your website is crawlable and indexable, as well as that it meets usability criteria.

These include things like:

  • Website security: Your website should fulfil industry standards for security, such as having an SSL certificate (using HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP).
  • Page speed: Google prioritises quicker pages in search results because they offer a better user experience.
  • Mobile friendliness: Google examines your material based on how well it performs on a mobile device, a practise known as “mobile-first indexing.” Mobile SEO ensures that mobile users can effortlessly consume your information.
  • Ease of use: Your website should have an easy-to-follow layout that allows users to quickly discover everything. And travel through your site without any issues or impediments.

#4 Building Website Authority

Off-page seo are used by search engines to judge whether your site is trustworthy.

Backlinks – links from other websites leading to your site – are one of the most powerful signals and ranking criteria in general.

Backlinks essentially serve as votes of confidence to search engines.

In general, the more high-quality links your page obtains, the more authority it has in Google’s eyes. This can result in higher rankings.

As a result, link building – the activity of obtaining backlinks to your website – is an important component of SEO.

There are numerous link-building tactics. As an example:

  • Creating linkable assets entails creating material that is both valuable and organically draws links (e.g., original studies, interactive pages, free tools).
  • Guest blogging entails writing articles for other websites in exchange for a link back to your own.
  • Finding broken links on other websites and offering links to your pages as replacements is known as broken link building.

When creating links, focus on the quality rather than quantity. More authority will be passed by a single backlink from a high-authority page than by 100 backlinks from unrelated, low-quality pages.

You do want to have as many links as you can. But those links must come from reliable, pertinent pages that are related to the subject of your website.

Finally, keep in mind:

Despite the fact that Google ranks pages rather than websites (i.e., it assesses page authority), the total number of backlinks pointing to your website might still have an impact on how well-ranked a given page is.

How? Internal linking allows you to convey authority between pages on your website in the same manner that authority is sent from external pages to your site.

When making internal links, bear this in mind. And make sure there are enough internal links pointing at your most crucial sites.

Why Is SEO Important?

Every day, Google users do billions of searches for information and goods. It comes as no surprise that one of the main sources of traffic to websites is typically search engines.

You must rank among the top search results for your target phrases in order to fully utilise the potential of this traffic source.

The relationship between the two is straightforward: more people will visit your page the higher you rank.

A page ranking in position No. 10 has a 10x lower chance of receiving a click than the top organic result.

Additionally, more than half of all clicks go to the top three organic results.

This is where SEO comes into play.

Your ranking positions can be significantly improved by search engine optimization. More traffic results from higher ranks. And greater traffic translates into more new clients and brand recognition.

In other words, ignoring SEO would mean ignoring one of the most significant traffic sources, giving your rivals full control of that market.

Top 5 Free SEO Tools

A search engine optimization (SEO) plan should go hand in hand with your content strategy when developing online material. Your postings will be as optimised as possible if you follow our advice. You can find techniques to increase your site’s discoverability with the aid of SEO tools.

For beginners, SEO can seem intimidating, but there are a number of free SEO tools that are equally as effective as their more expensive equivalents.

Here is a list of the top 10 free SEO tools available.

  1. Google Search ConsoleGoogle Search Console (GSC), formerly Google Webmasters, assists you in understanding how Google crawls and indexes your site. Create an account within the Google Search Console and add your website as a property in order to use it. You must first authenticate your ownership of the domain after adding it in order to use all of its capabilities.
  2. Bing Webmaster Tools An often overlooked tool, Bing Webmaster also has a full suite of analytics to help you analyze your website and search analytics. Create your free Bing Webmaster Tools account, add your website and verify your ownership of the site. Then create or upload your sitemaps. Once complete, you’re able to start optimizing your site and its content using Bing Webmaster Tools’ features and suggestions.
  3. Google AnalyticsYou must examine your site’s findability to determine where your traffic is coming from in order to determine whether your SEO efforts are effective. After making post adjustments, you can notice an increase in traffic, but that traffic might actually be coming from social media. Google Analytics gives you comprehensive information on the people who visit your website as well as live activities. Connect Google Analytics to your website using an already-existing Google account. Pair it with your Google Console account to get the most useful SEO information. You’ll be able to view the terms people are using to reach your site, as well as your click-through rates for those keywords, when you link the two tools.
  4. Ahrefs Backlink Checker The Ahrefs Backlink Checker is a free version of their complete product that displays the top 100 backlinks to any website you search, much like their Keyword Research tool does. Enter a URL into their search field to use this tool, and you’ll get the domain rating, number of backlinks, and number of referring sites for the given site.
  5. SERP Similarity Want to quickly determine whether two keywords should be targeted on separate pages or on the same page together? With the use of Keyword Insights’ SERP similarity tool, you can easily determine how similar two terms are to one another: You can rapidly compare the SERPs for two distinct keywords using this tool, which is free to use once you register with it (although we’ve heard from the proprietors that you’ll soon be able to check more than 2).

Final Thoughts on SEO

First of all, congrats on entering the sphere of SEO for the first time!

One of the most effective digital marketing platforms available is SEO. Where else can you find a consistent flow of relevant visitors to your website?

Once you’ve completed reading this SEO for Beginners tutorial, explore our other articles to learn more: SEO Tutorials

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Iftikhar Qureshi
Iftikhar Qureshi

IFTIKHAR is a Website & SEO Developer, who also blogging addict, WordPress, HTML, PHP fanatic. Check out his social profile to contact him and view his past work.

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