Are you a beginner in SEO and looking for SEO for dummies type of guide to familiarize yourself?
If yes, you must have read content designed for dummies! Undoubtedly, content for dummies or beginners contains in-depth knowledge of the subject they are outlined for.
Over the years, these content have lent an excellent way to let beginners learn about a topic in detail.
Hence, in order to offer support to those who are highly interested in SEO here we share some of the tips and basics about SEO to let you learn everything about SEO fundamentals.
So, without consuming much time, let us start!
What is SEO?
The short form for Search Engine Optimization, SEO is the art of matching information on your webpages and about your services or products, exactly to what people are looking for online.
For instance, if online searchers enter a search term such as ‘best reviews for electric cars,’ then the organic search results will display the latest reviews on electric cars.
While displaying the results, there are some websites, which will appear on the top in the search results, while other websites would end up displayed in the middle or at the bottom of the search results.
The main reason why a few websites are displayed in the top results is that these sites have created up-to-date and relevant content that precisely addresses the search query of searchers.
SEO is related to answering the queries or questions and presenting information requirements of customers and not just interrupting them with a paid advertisement. By using SEO, it is possible to design a webpage that can generate numerous sales and leads for years after publishing it.
Alternatively, there are numerous marketing tools involved in SEO such as PPC or Pay Per Click advertising like Facebook Ads and Google Ads that only display results as long as you keep them paying.
One important thing to consider is that SEO is not entirely a technical area. It holds a rich proven track record of offering business results. For this reason, no matter what kind of website you have or what business you are involved with, optimizing your website for search engines is the only way to succeed both in the short-term and long-term.
How Can SEO for Dummies Help Your Business?
Now, let us delve into some more details.
What sort of results in the form of leads and sales will offer SEO benefits to your business?
Just consider the example of the following success story of a wedding business that is flourishing well using the SEO advantage.
This business is ‘Bride Appeal,’ which is a marketing organization specializing in SEO as well as digital marketing. Its role is to support wedding entities to gain more business. The results appear in the bottom as:
- Inquiries related to the wedding are approximately 254% of the total searches.
- Once a client books the services for the entire wedding season, the new clients appear exclusively from that search.
Definitely, SEO aids all other kinds of businesses in the same way as it benefits the wedding industry.
According to a report generated by the Rocket Digital, a digital marketing company in Canada, SEO offers incredible results in the automotive industry. The study reveals that they witnessed an almost a 50% increase in traffic to their site by just accurately practicing SEO even when the automotive industry was highly competing and challenging.
Hence, it is clear that no matter what business you run, be it car selling, wedding planning, or anything else, you can experience rich results using SEO.
A Brief History of SEO:
In order to get a long view of SEO, you must focus on 3 broad periods of SEO. It is no surprise that these three periods are defined by Google, which is the most famous search engine.
Period 1 – Google’s Pre-Era:
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, SEO was considered simple for organizations to manipulate. You simply have to put some keywords on your website on a regular basis and you can easily fetch enough traffic.
For the end-users, this era offered search results of uneven nature. However, a new search engine arrived and everything changed.
Period 2 – The Initial Phase of Google:
It was the era during the late 1990s and late 2000s, where Google expanded from a minute project at Stanford to the most popular search engine in the world.
There are few citations on which Google emphasized – the number of websites that link to your site. It was a major improvement by Google.
While the search engine of Google has never been showcased in detail, the experts in SEO have identified ways to optimize the overall system.
The two SEO techniques stand out from this period. Some SEO marketers showcased spun articles, which is content generated by computers by simply mixing content to gain Google’s attention.
Moreover, there was an increase in content mills, where the companies that paid huge numbers of writers a small fee to churn out the content. For a few times, these techniques worked and were able to deliver results.
Period 3 – It is All about High-Quality (2011 – till today):
The last era is the final era, which is still continuing. There are numerous search engines, however, things are influenced and changed by Google. One major change introduced by Google in 2011 altered the SEO industry completely. In specific, the updates from Google begin to target and penalize low-quality and spam websites.
There were a few important changes introduced by Google:
February 2011 – The Panda Update:
Introduced in 2011, this update resulted in content mills and numerous other low-quality sites to disappear from the top-ranking divisions. Numerous businesses lost drastic revenue as their traffic reduced. This update offered websites of high-quality with awesome user experience.
April 2012 – The Penguin Update:
Another update introduced by Google was the Penguin update that continued focusing on high-quality. Even, this update penalized websites that use spam methods such as keyword stuffing.
There was a blog introduced by Google in 2012 that announced the change is highly notable to distinguish between black hat and white hat SEO techniques. The black hat SEO techniques are low-quality SEO methods while white hat SEO techniques are high-quality ones.
March 2017 – The Fred Update:
This was the final update that emphasized the tension between marketing and user experience. In simple terms, greatly aggressive monetization techniques, like full-screen advertisements that obscured the mentioned content lead to reduced traffic.
Moreover, some SEO experts that used excessive advertising believed that they also target low-quality links, which reduced the overall quality of their website, like high links volume, which appear almost similar.
So, what significance these updates hold for beginners in SEO?
The first importance is that it informs SEO beginners to exercise caution in utilizing SEO techniques and methods, which originated before such updates as they may violate the expectations from Google.
Secondly, it focuses on the recurring themes in updates from Google, publishing high-quality details and focusing on the user experience.
You now know what SEO means and the philosophy of Google on quality, let us explore how to perform SEO.
The Basics of On-Page SEO:
One truth is that you can go as clever as you want while creating your site.
For instance, if you are using unusual jargon in your website, Google may not be able to comprehend what your site is about. Creating the images, design, and words of your site in a way that search engines can easily understand is the essence of on-page SEO.
Some of the promising on-page SEO techniques are:
- Identifying Relevant Keywords – Research keywords that illustrate the important services and products of your site.
- Use selected keywords strategically – The selected keywords must be strategically displayed on each page of your website. The keywords must appear naturally without repeating the same information a couple of times.
- Optimizing Images – Publish images to your site for supporting SEO goals. Consider ways to use keywords in relevant image alt tags and file names.
- Incorporate Internal Links – When a prospect lands on a service page, they want to know about your professional expertise as well. It is therefore essential to create an about us page for our site and look for opportunities to link to other content related to your website and its theme.
The Basics of Backlinks:
Backlinks function like ‘word of mouth’ for the web. The more the number of people talks about you, more likely they will be discovered.
But this is not simple!
All backlinks are not created in the same manner. A backlink gained from a website with high domain authority has more powerful backlinks than a newly created website.
It is because,
First, a backlink created from a trustworthy website showcases levels of validation and approval. Hence, visitors on the website are more inclined to view the site in a positive manner.
Secondly, websites holding a high level of trust are considered to have more SEO value as estimated by its Domain Authority.
So, how can you identify whether your site has high-quality backlinks or not?
You can know this by using Monitor Backlinks. This is an online tool where you can enter the domain and this tool will monitor all links that redirect back to your site, as well as their authority and quality.
The Basics of User Experience:
In addition to making your site comprehensible for Google, you must also ensure it offers a rich user experience. This can be done by following the below-mentioned ways:
- Avoid Plagiarizing – It is not a good idea to copy content from other sources and publish the same on your website.
- Avoid Stuffing Content with Keywords – Today, there is no more need to stuff your website content with keywords. Those practices don’t work anymore and may annoy Google.
- Avoid Excessive Aggressive Advertising and Monetization – You require some interpretation and judgment to understand. If you are constantly advertising and it is bringing random results, it would not offer a rich user experience. Your website must offer articles, guides, and relevant information. Additionally, practice the monetization and advertising techniques in a limited manner.
Along with these, your website must have an easy-to-find navigational menu, a guide so that it is easier for users to take the next step, and test for distinct browsers.
Publish Rich Content:
The best approach to gain long-term SEO success is publishing only rich and original content on your site.
You can search for the 10 most common queries customers ask consistently and then design content on its basis. The content can be videos, articles, presentations, and other online elements that clearly answer such questions.
Learn From Competitors:
If you lack link building and SEO ideas from scratch, you can gain inspiration conveniently from your competitors.
One way is to study the backlinks of your competitor as it enhances SEO results because you can reach out to sites that have a track record of linking to other sites in the industry.
Measure Important Metrics:
Being an SEO beginner, you must regularly monitor SEO measurements focusing on unique visitors, backlinks, and time spent by users on your website.
You must keep a record of the number of high-quality backlinks your website has. You can even track unique visitors that you receive on a monthly basis. Finally, you can check the time that visitors spend on your site.
Use Important SEO Tools:
There are some great SEO tools for beginners. Monitor Backlinks, Google Analytics, and Google PageSpeed Insights are great tools to consider.
Check Other Sources to Learn More About SEO:
Once you have started with SEO, you can gain more knowledge about SEO tools and techniques considering other sources such as Search Engine Journal, Google Webmaster Central Blog, and Search Engine Land.
We have discussed a lot about SEO with you. I hope you have earned details about SEO as well as the history of search engines. This information about SEO for dummies is enough to let you begin and start as SEO experts easily.