Want to learn SEO but don’t know where to start? You have arrived at the right place! This SEO Guide for Beginners brings all the information you need to optimize your website and place it on the first pages of Google.
After reading our Complete Guide, you will be able to increase your organic traffic and be prepared to compete with other sites for the long-awaited top of Google.
Here you learn techniques that you can apply alone and free of charge, obtaining real results with relevant and quality content.
What is SEO in digital marketing?
For you who are a beginner SEO is an acronym of the English term Search Engine Optimization.
Therefore, SEO are optimizations and activities performed on a website in order to direct quality organic traffic to it through search engines.
That is, this optimization process improves the ranking of a website in the search results, making it receive more traffic from people who are really interested in the content presented there.
It is worth mentioning that this process focuses only on organic traffic . Google also presents on its first page 4 sites that invest in advertising and paid ads.
These results are not directly linked to the use of SEO techniques.
So, in a clear and succinct way, SEO are all the optimizations and actions that you perform on your website so that Google finds it and classifies it as a safe and quality source, placing it organically in a superior position in your search page.
How SEO works in a nutshell
To be able to rank your site in the search, you do not need to know in depth all the exact factors considered by Google in its engines. What is going to be fundamental is to know the basic requirements.
For good SEO, 5 ingredients that are essential for any beginner or SEO services in Frankfort:
- EAT – Expertise, Authority, reliability – Behind the content it is important to have someone with proven authority to pass reliability and security.
- Technical – the technical aspects will compose the environment where everything else will be applied. They will serve to support and support the content of the site.
- Quality content – After using the technical parts to serve as an apparatus for your content, it’s time to work on it. It is important to deliver the best possible, to satisfy the public and make Google rank the site well.
- Authority backlinks – Now that you have good content and good techniques, you need to gain authority among the other sites. It is through the backlinks that this happens. Have big names talking about you.
- Citation / Brand – The brand creates a relationship between your website and the user, it passes a guarantee of quality and safety when it is strong and well structured.
If it was not clear each “ingredient”, do not be discouraged, in the course of the text everything will be explained in detail. Proceed.
What does it take to perform well in SEO?
For a direct question, a simple and objective answer. As discussed above, your website basically needs:
- Be search engine friendly
- Present quality content about the topics you were willing to talk about
- Have authority in your niche
On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO
As the names already suggest, SEO On-Page and Off-Page are optimizations that can be done on and off your page respectively. It is not a different strategy than what has already been said about SEO, but it divides it into two activities of different orientations.
Understanding each one, of course you can see what the differences are between them.
What is On-Page SEO (within the site)?
Let’s consider here the most basic search engine optimization techniques:
- Use keywords in the post title and page tag
- Optimize meta description
- Using HTML code and alt tags
Considering the basics, this is the basis for on-page SEO.
Therefore, SEO On-page are all measures taken directly on your website with the aim of improving your position in the search rankings, facilitating the work of search engine robots, so that they interpret the page, and give end users a preview than they are clicking on the SERP.
But this is just the basis, SEO On-page also takes into account the overall quality of the content produced, the performance of the page and the structure of the post. For a better understanding, let’s explore all the factors considered:
As we said, content is king. And that means that even if you’ve done optimization around keywords, descriptions and internal links according to what search engines consider in the ranking, if the page content is bad, your results will be even worse.
So always have the best content possible. Complete, well done and updated. Whenever you can, from time to time, give a good review, adding and removing information to keep the content up to date.
Currently, keywords share their importance with other factors, but they are still the basis of a good SEO strategy. What has been updated recently is the length of the term considered by the crawlers.
Search engines have prioritized the words Long tail, or long tail in English. This type of keyword has been better suited to users’ search patterns. People stopped searching for “SEO site techniques” and today look for “what are SEO techniques” or “how to apply SEO techniques to my site”.
This change in the search pattern is due to several factors and one of them is the possibility of searching by voice command. Which leads the user to ask a more complete question.
The title tag is the main title of your post, the one that will appear on the search page. This is an important SEO factor and should receive attention. Some say that the length must be between 60 and 65 characters, but this can be relative.
Ideally, it should contain the keyword and be of a reasonable size that says exactly what the content will cover.
The meta description is, as the name says, a short description about the content of the post. It should be said succinctly and completely what the reader will find in the content.
As this description appears in the SERP, it is important to write a persuasive text in order to win the user’s click.
Google’s crawlers can’t always see the images, but the captions, titles and alternate text he can access. That’s why you can help index your site by placing alternative texts on the body cover images of the posts.
Having a good URL structure helps search engines to crawl all pages more easily, as well as improving user navigation.
The keywords must appear in it and reflect the content of the page to which it is directed. This lets the user know what the page is about and improves the chances of clicks.
In addition to containing the keyword, the URL must be short and contain no numbers or special characters. The more objective and simple, the easier to rank.
As the content of your pages must always be updated, the URLs must be well planned so that it does not interfere with the content. For example, if you made content with the title “10 digital marketing tips in 2021”, the URL should be “tips-digital-marketing”, or something like that.
That’s because afterwards you can increase the list, decrease it, update the year and make any changes without compromising the URL structure.
This step is simple, but very important in the SEO of your page. The idea is to use links from other posts on your site to increase traffic within it. These are the internal links.
It basically consists of directing the reader to other content on your site so that he can walk through your pages and stay with you for a longer time. The more he accesses your posts, the better it is for your ranking.
Your page needs to load quickly and display relevant content. It needs to be responsive and intuitive. If the user sees that he will wait too long to open the content, he loses interest and looks for another source.
So make sure your website is fast and easy to access. The more people leave the page, the less chance you have of ranking for that keyword, as search engines classify your content as irrelevant.
Most users today access websites via smartphone or IOS. Therefore, it is important that your website works perfectly on these devices to guarantee points with the search engines.
What is Off-Page SEO?
While on-page SEO refers to factors that you can control on your own site, off-page SEO refers to page ranking factors that occur outside of your site, such as backlinks from another site. It also includes promotion methods, taking into account the amount of exposure something receives on social networks, for example.
The biggest off-page SEO factor you can guarantee is the quantity and quality of the backlinks to your website. The more authority links you have pointing out to your site, the better your reputation will be.
With authority domains pointing at you, Google understands that your content is as reliable and secure as your partner’s. Therefore, setting up a good strategy to get backlinks is fundamental to your ranking.
Appearing as a guest
Your content needs to be very good, to the point that you become a reference and start appearing on blogs, columns, podcasts and other people’s content. You can appear in:
- Commercial publications
- Reference Podcasts
- Forums and communities
- Parties and events.
The search engines determine the strength of your site, evaluating on a scale of measures ranging from 1 to 100. The higher the “grade”, the more authority your site has and the better it will be ranked.
The domain is evaluated according to its age, the history of its name, the number of 404 that it presents, the number of backlinks and other factors. So, the longer and more quality you offer your domain, the better it will be.
It is not an SEO technique directly, but an interesting device to increase your traffic. Having posts on social networks talking and linking can attract people and generate very interesting traffic.
What are search engines?
Search engines are an online tool that helps Internet users to find information all over the internet. It is based on the keywords entered by the user that searchers go in search of content on the internet.
The best known example of a search engine is Google, but there are infinite other search engines. So many that it is difficult to list. Among the most popular, we have Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo.
How do search engines work?
Search engines are constantly looking for sites through robots that we call “crawlers”. They are able to find pages, attach them and present them to the user.
Let’s talk about each of these steps:
It is the process by which the searcher continuously examines the web pages. Crawlers or bots are small pieces of programs used to follow all existing hyperlinks and discover new pages and updates to existing pages.
The next step after crawling is indexing. It is at this stage that the sites are indexed. The search engines analyze the pages found and try to understand them in order to be able to classify them and put them in the index.
It works as a kind of cataloging. Search engines scan each page to organize them in the index and make the material available to users.
When the user types (or speaks) his search, the search engine will present the results according to:
- the interpretation of what the user is looking for, in order to show the best results;
- the relevance and quality of the content of the crawled pages;
- the security, legibility, speed, operation and other aspects of usability of the page;
- Location information and history from previous searches.
These results appear on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), which is the Search Engine Results Page. Only those pages that invest in SEO achieve good organic placement.
The Google search algorithm is a term that refers to a set of individual algorithms, systems and technologies used by Google to rank websites and to define ranking.
In a practical way, the algorithms emerged (and improved) in order to improve the user experience in their searches on the internet. It scans the sites, classifies them and decides how it will rank it.
To ensure that the best results are provided, it will take into account factors such as:
- Research analysis – Google needs to understand and interpret the user’s search
- The relevance of the pages – based on the keyword, he decides what the relevance of that page is in the user’s search.
- Quality of content – among millions of pages, Google will prioritize those that deliver better content.
- Page usability – the algorithms prioritize responsive, fast and secure pages.
- Context and settings – the user’s location, settings and search history are taken into account when presenting the results.
10 Success Ranking Factors
- Well-targeted content – identify what people are looking for and deliver content that meets their needs.
- Track able website – Use the right techniques to make your website crawl by search engines.
- Quality and quantity of links – Build relationships with other sites. The more sites pointing to yours, the better ranked it will be.
- Satisfaction of the user’s intention – Much more than writing well and using the techniques correctly, it is necessary to be aware of the type of content being offered.
- Exclusive content – produce unique content that is not the same as others outside or inside your site.
- EAT: Experience, authority, trust – Prove to Google that you have enough authority and experience to be a reliable source.
- Up-to-date content – keep your content up to date, with accurate and correct information.
- Click – through rate – optimize your title tags and meta descriptions to improve your page’s CTR
- Website speed – Visitor does not like to wait. Constantly improve the usability of your website. He needs to be quick and responsive.
- Works on any device – your website should work perfectly on any device and screen size (remember that most Internet users come via mobile devices!)
Content is king and quality is essential
Caring only about the techniques to put your page on top of the Google SERP is not a good deal.
So invest in quality content , with really relevant information. Make sure that the user will find on his page everything he needs, preventing him from returning to search pages with the same keyword.
It is important that the user who clicked on your page remains there for some time, as this way the searcher interprets that your page contains relevant information.
For example, if a user finds your site on the first page of Google, clicks on it, but doesn’t find the content they expect, they leave and look for another one.
When this is repeated a few times, the search engine understands that its content does not meet the needs of those searching for that keyword.
This way, it stops classifying its content as relevant and starts giving priority to other sites that use that keyword.
But, after all, what is a keyword?
What are keywords and why is it important to choose the right one?
Keyword is a term composed of one or more words that guide a user’s search on search engines. That is, it is what the internet user tells Google when doing some search on the internet.
It is important to use the right keyword in order to reach your right audience and succeed in your strategy. Therefore, it is necessary to do a search to find the most suitable one that will bring the best results.
In this research you can:
- Knowing the interests of your niche or persona – Through keyword research you have an overview of subheadings that may interest the people that make up your niche or audience.
- New and more complete content ideas – You will find more profitable keyword options that bring more complete content, keeping the user longer on your page.
Where to find keywords?
There are some good ways to find quality keywords. We will cite the best known and with the best result.
Google’s own SERP is an excellent keyword research tool. You simply write a word in the search as it provides some good keyword options.
There are many free keyword tools that show you different options and possible combinations. But, if your website has financial returns, it is interesting to invest in paid tools, as they have better indicators and results.
How to use keywords in content?
First, you must map the keywords, looking at the competition and its relevance to your niche. Get to know your persona well to learn how to choose the best keyword.
Then, you must define how you will incorporate it into your content. In general, shorter content, with just over 500 words, can be optimized with one or two keywords.
This number can go up to 5 or 10 when the content is more extensive.
The distribution of keywords and their synonyms can be done as follows:
- Meta description and title
- Title tag
- Headings or subtitles
- Text body
It is worth noting that there is no exact density for the keyword in the content. An important tip is that it is also replaced by synonyms, so that it is not forced and tedious for the reader.
A good keyword needs a well-adjusted combination of three factors: relevance, high search volume and low difficulty.
With these three, you already have a good result, but for an even more refined answer, within a well-designed strategy, it is good to also observe the word search trends and your CPC.
Understand each one of them:
The volume of research is undoubtedly the main ranking factor and the most interesting for you. Without searches, there is no reason to create content. After all, who would it be directed to if there is no one to research?
Therefore, the search volume needs to be high enough to make content worthwhile. It doesn’t have to be as big as you find, but good enough to generate traffic, bring in users or in many cases bring in leads, customers or sales.
Many keyword tools that are free provide search volume information. But you can also find that out through Google’s keyword planner .
Knowing the search trends can guide your choice for each type of content you intend to create. Trends can be considered as:
- Interest over time
- Interests by region
- Related Searches
Through Google Trends you can obtain this information, or even with the help of other Keyword tools.
Knowing the interests over time and the interests by region, you already have a good idea of good keywords, but remember that it is a set of factors that will define your success in ranking. Isolated factors do not bring results.
The vast majority of tools rate the level of difficulty of words from 0-10. The closer to 10 the more difficult it will be to rank that word.
Observing the SERP it is also possible to analyze the ranking difficulty. Just look at which sites are in the top positions. If they are of great authority, the level is quite high and it will be very difficult to compete with them.
The lower the difficulty, the more interesting the keyword can be. But what will determine how promising it will be is the association of this factor with the volume of searches and the relevance of the word.
Therefore, the ideal is to choose a word of low difficulty and high volume of searches. Always observing the relevance of it to your niche or audience.
Now that you’ve looked at the volume of searches and the difficulty, realized that you can compete smoothly with the other pages, it’s time to check the relevance of your keyword.
You can do this by looking at the SERP and understanding what the intention behind keyword searches is.
Different types of research intent:
Suppose you have an e-commerce that sells orthopedic mattresses. You want to optimize your page and find the keyword “best orthopedic mattress”. When analyzing it you see that it has a good volume of searches and a low difficulty.
So you think you can compete for SERP. But, in a quick search on the Google search engine, you realize that the results for this keyword are from review blog pages and not from purchases.
That is, the ranking is commercial and not transactional. Therefore, you must change your strategy and find a transactional keyword, always observing the Google SERP.
This is another important metric for you to check before choosing your keyword, but it is more verified by those who want to make an ad or sponsored post. It will tell you how much each click on your post is worth.
In case you are doing organic ranking, this metric will help you know how much it is worth for the competition to pay to be among the top four in SERP.
This information can be found in the keyword planners.
Tip : If you notice that a keyword has a very high CPC, it is very likely that you will not be able to rank it organically. That’s because advertisers are competing heavily and investing a lot in that term.
SEO for Beginners step by step: How to write a complete article with SEO?
The article or post with SEO techniques needs to meet some requirements, we will list the most important ones.
There is no exact number to build a text. The important thing is that the subject is approached in a broad and definitive way, without leaving out important aspects.
A study by Backlinko found that Google’s Top 10 is 1447 words.
Therefore, the tip is to build a quality text, addressing the content as completely as possible.
When the subject is exhausted, there is no need to write just to increase size, because it loses in quality.
The introduction is after the main subtitle. It is important that in your first paragraph it contains the keyword. The search engines are aware of your presence in this place to examine the relevance of the post.
In addition, it is necessary that the information present in the introduction is relevant, in order to keep the user on the page. You must inform what problems you are going to solve with the text and make a brief summary of your proposals.
Web content needs to be arranged in a way that makes it easier to read. It is recommended to divide the text into blocks of 2 or 3 lines so that it does not become a tiring experience.
In addition, texts divided in this way facilitate the scan ability of search engines.
Use of images
This is a strategy that serves more to hold the reader’s attention than to seduce the search engines. Still, Google and other search engines, interpret the texts of your images to display them in searches according to the user’s intention.
Using images in the body of the text makes it more friendly. Depending on the illustration, it may provide a brief synopsis of the content, making the reader even more interested in staying on the page.
CTA – Call to Action
At the end of your text, it is important to apply a technique known as Call to Action or Call to Action, in English.
This technique consists of calling the reader to perform a certain action, such as buying a product, following a page, investing in something and so on.
That is, you need to persuade your reader and for that there are very specific copywriter techniques. Some of them are to arouse curiosity, a sense of exclusivity or to use emotional connections.
A good CTA brings important results, so it is recommended that you have, in addition to good writing, knowledge of Copywriter techniques.
Backlinks: what are they and how important are they?
Backlinks are links from other sites that take the user to yours. It is through them that your website gains authority.
This is because search engines take into account the quantity and quality of these links in the ranking. The more quality backlinks your site has, the better ranked it will be.
However, not every link is capable of transporting traffic to your site. It is important to be aware of the type of links.
Backlink types: DoFollow and NoFollow
When a site chooses to use a DoFollow link pointing to content on your site, it is telling search engines that you are a safe source and that there is a trusting relationship between you.
Thus, the search engine interprets that the linked content is a good reference and deserves to appear to the public. That is, the search engine perceives the backlink, interprets that there is relevance and reliability and uses these criteria in the ranking .
The more authority you have on the site where your link is anchored, the better your results will be.
Sites that choose to use NoFollow links are more interested in improving their audience’s experience than in establishing any relationship between them and the linked content.
In other words, he tells the search engine, basically, that there is no trust relationship between him and the link mentioned. This message will be given through a change in the HTML of the link, inserting the nofollow tag .
When a website chooses to use this type of link, the search engine will not consider it for its website’s ranking.
Therefore, it is good to always give preference to DoFollow links, for ranking purposes. However, NoFollow are not all bad, considering that they can take some traffic from readers.
Characteristics of good SEO backlinks
Some attributes must be observed to ensure that a backlink is of sufficient quality to be used in your SEO strategy. Like:
Backlinks need to be in places that address the same topic. For example, your healthy eating post has two links, one in a nutrition post and the other in a construction post.
The nutrition post will have more relevance for your site because it talks about complementary subjects, which deal with the same topic.
Official or more authoritative sites have higher quality backlinks. The more reliable the site that points to yours, the more valuable that link will be for you.
Possibility to bring traffic
The “robots” of search engines know the possibilities of someone clicking on the links on a given page.
The higher that index on the page that links to you, the more authority and trust your site receives.
Quality of content
The backlink that points to your website needs to be anchored in good quality text that has good relevance.
Links anchored in shallow and vague texts do not add value or authority. It is necessary to pay attention to the quality of the anchor content.
Conclusion: Optimize your content in 3 steps
Now that you know the basics of optimization, let’s summarize in three basic steps everything you need to do to optimize your site and rank it. Our SEO Guide for Beginners guides you through:
Find the most relevant content
This step consists, first of all, in finding among the contents that already exist on your website the one that is closest to reaching the first page of SERP. Once this is done, note your deficiencies and apply the SEO techniques correctly.
That is, locate that post that appears on the pages furthest from the search engine and optimize it, using keyword techniques, heading tags, text blocks, internal links, etc.
If there is still no content on the site, you should look at the first page of the search engine and see what are the titles, subtitles and keywords that your competitors are using.
If these pages appear at the top, you must use the same strategies. You should note:
Therefore, it is necessary to choose keywords that have competitors with less authority.
Which keywords are in a growing trend – Through the keyword tools it is possible to observe the behavior of keywords over time.
Thus it is possible to identify whether it is growing, stagnating or falling.
Betting on the last two cases may even take you to the top of the SERP, but soon the word stops ranking and you disappear from the searches.
It is interesting to invest in words that have a tendency to grow, even if they do not have a high volume of searches at that moment. Well, the tendency is for you to arrive and stay on top for a long time.
Examine the competition’s H1 and H2
Observe what your competitors are putting in the titles of your posts so that they appear in the SERP. You can copy it to put on yours, because if it is on the first page, it is because he used the right strategies.
In addition to the title, see how many internal titles he is using to deliver the content to the reader. Understand what questions they are answering.
Now you can build your content by taking inspiration from your competitor’s content and adding some other internal headlines to differentiate yourself from them.
Invest in quality Backlinks
The last step is just as important as the others. You need to have authority sites pointing to yours through the backlinks.
If your content is relevant and complete, some backlinks may end up appearing organically. However, for a larger volume please contact sites that can make partnerships or exchanges.
This way, you increase your number of backlinks and the trackers will find it easier to find you on the internet. An interesting way to get in touch with the sites is through emails showing their content and informing their relevance to their audience.
If you are a beginner or an expert and have come this far, you are ready to get a good position on the Google search page. Now it’s time to put everything you’ve learned from this SEO Beginner’s Guide into practice and prove that, more than content, you have the ability to compete with great SEO agency in Chicago. Get to work!