SEO Tutorial For Beginners (7 Steps To Learn)

For many companies, their website can be their biggest brand asset, so it needs to demonstrate authority, trust and expertise.

Optimizing your website to meet customer needs and displaying these features constitutes the fundamental process of SEO.

However, before we dive into the scope of SEO, I always recommend my clients do an in-depth analysis of their customer and consumer relationships.

My company does this in three ways:

Understanding and acting on this data will put you on the first step to executing a proper SEO campaign.

So without further ado, let’s define the process of SEO, what strategies to take, and how it can help your online presence.

SEO Fundamentals

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website to capture as much organic website traffic as possible through search engines and convert that traffic into measurable business results.

Simply put, SEO is the process of trying to direct people to your website whenever they type a search query into a search engine.

For example, if you type into Google [which is content marketing], there are about a million websites that have deliberately optimized content for that keyword to get you to click on their site.

Once you click on that site, you’ll browse, familiarize yourself with their brand, and sign up for their newsletter.

Simple enough, but SEO also involves a lot of jargon and nuanced strategies that can be difficult to understand at first. To make things easier, I decided to define some terms that I might throw around in this tutorial.

Defining SEO Terms

Keywords: Keywords are the words that users type into a search engine whenever they are looking for information on the web.

Organic traffic: Organic traffic is any traffic that comes to your website through a search engine, excluding those who click on PPC links.

SERP: Search engine results page.

PPC: Pay-per-click advertising is an advertising strategy to rank products or landing pages above the normal Google SERP results. These links will say “ad” next to them.

User intent: The intent of the keyword search (eg, is the user asking a question or looking to buy a product).

Meta tags: Fragments of text designed to describe a web page to a search engine. For example, the title of the page is contained in an HTML title tag attribute.

Ranking factors: Any algorithmic factor designed to influence the ranking of a page in a search engine for a particular keyword search.

Crawlability: The ability of search engines to find web pages on your website.

Indexing: The ability of search engines to include your web pages in its web index.

Technical SEO: The behind-the-scenes details of a website, including web page speed and mobile rendering, that affect its search rankings.

On-page SEO: A list of ranking factors, including meta tags and header tags, designed to help a page rank higher in search results.

Off-page SEO: A list of ranking factors, including link building and acquisition, designed to improve your website’s visibility and authority.

Link Building: The manual process of building backlinks or hyperlinks to a website, which is an essential ranking factor for most search engines.

Algorithm updates: Any update to Google’s core algorithm (eg, Penguin, Panda) that affects a wide range of search rankings.

Core Web Vitals: Technical SEO factors that Google finds important in determining a page’s potential user experience.

E-A-T: Experience, Authority, Trust. A set of guidelines Google suggests to marketers to assess whether their content meets these criteria.

The Importance Of SEO

So the question becomes, why is SEO so important?

I’ve met many developers, advertisers and even high-level executives who either didn’t understand SEO or didn’t think it was necessary. This is foolishness.

Done well, SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. I tell clients to think of it as compounding interest on investments.

With these benefits in mind, the key to SEO now becomes understanding all its little intricacies and learning how to do it right.

7 Steps To Master SEO Once And For All

1. Build A Solid Technical Foundation

Unfortunately, everything I’m going to talk about is completely useless if your site has a major technical error preventing it from ranking high.

I’ve seen countless companies create magnificent pieces of long-form content only to be stymied by page speed or indexing issues.

Google values ​​technical SEO because technical SEO is a major influence on user experience. For example, if your web page loads slowly and users tend to bounce, then Google will adjust based on this information.

To reinforce this, Google unveiled its Core Web Vitals project in 2020. Without getting too much into the weeds, Core Web Vitals measures a website:

Core Web Vitals provides developers with baselines to achieve in creating a solid UX.

The Chrome UX report (Chrome Users only) allows you to test your site on these core vitals to see if changes are necessary.

In addition, I recommend focusing on the following factors to position your website as best as possible to rank in the SERPs.

Write down a list of problems you have with your website and work with a developer to solve them before you start publishing content or doing keyword research.

For a more detailed breakdown of technical SEO factors, read Advanced Technical SEO: A Complete Guide.

2. Learn How To Properly Research Keywords

Once you have your technical foundation in order, it’s time to get into the more granular aspects of SEO: keyword discovery.

Generally, we segment keywords into two categories that we can use to build from advanced navigation:

Your top-level navigation will include seed keywords related to broad topics, services, or product lines. For example, the top navigation of the Search Engine Journal website follows this format:

Screenshot from Search Engine Journal, November 2022

On the other hand, long-tail keywords will be used for informative evergreen blog posts or various forms of content that appeal directly to user intent.

In general, many small businesses like to focus on long-tail keywords for more niche services because they have lower competition.

You might also consider building separate column pages around seed keywords on your website to help them rank higher in search engines. For example, having a broad topic page related to mobile SEO will not rank as high as an evergreen post discussing mobile SEO.

Again, Search Engine Journal provides another great example of a column page using a seed keyword and supporting pages that discuss subtopics taken from long-tail keywords.

Screenshot from Search Engine Journal, November 2022

Next, we need to filter our keyword search for user intent.

There are generally two broad categories of user intent into which we can separate keywords:

To develop business keywords for advanced service/product pages and individual product pages, I recommend using the free Google Ads Keyword Planner.

To get started, type in a seed keyword related to your business.

Google Keyword Planner screenshot, November 2022

Google’s Keyword Planner even provides additional ideas for long-tail searches above, and you can separate keywords based on competition and other factors.

I like to filter keywords by the “Top of page bid (high range)” to see which keywords advertisers bid the highest on. This filter is also useful if you want to separate keywords by intent, with higher bids being commercial and lower bids informational.

Choose a list of seed keywords – preferably with lower volumes – and export them to CSV.

Next, we’ll look for long-tail keywords with question phrases. Question phrases allow us to answer user questions directly, have lower search competition, and can be used to build support pages for our columns.

You can filter your keyword searches in Keyword Planner by incorporating “what”, “why”, “when” and “how” into your search, or use a tool like Semrush that does the work for you.

Screenshot from Semrush, November 2022

I highly recommend a tool like Semrush or Ahrefs, which allow you to build keyword lists and topic ideas using relevant long-tail keywords. You can even filter keywords by difficulty, volume and intent.

In addition, tools like AnswerthePublic are great for finding additional question phrases.

Screenshot from Answer the Public, November 2022

Google Trends, Semrush and Ahrefs also offer tools that allow you to see trending topics and keywords in your industry for new ideas.

Screenshot from Semrush, November 2022

Finally, look at what your competitors are doing if you’re looking for a list of keywords or topics and don’t know where to start.

Tools like Semrush and Ahrefs show you who your biggest competitors are online and allow you to research which keywords and pages drive the highest traffic to a competitor’s domain.

Screenshot from Semrush, November 2022

Steal these keywords and content ideas to optimize your site based on what forms of content rank highest for your competitors.

After you compile a list of keywords in a spreadsheet, match your seed keywords to your top navigation URLs and use your long-tail keywords to build topics for your content calendar.

3. Create Content That Ranks And Converts

Building a content marketing strategy from your keyword research will enable you to develop authority on topics and meet user intent throughout your sales funnel.

Advanced content creation also helps you or your business become thought leaders in their respective fields.

For example, Neil Patel, Brian Dean, and several others have used content to promote their personal and professional brands to the top of our industry.

First, let’s look at factors affecting content ranking, such as:

In general, I like to build column posts using evergreen tutorials (like this one!) and then use long-tail keywords to create subtopics.

So, for example, each step of this tutorial could represent a subtopic, and my strategy could get more granular from there.

Next, we need to discuss writing content for each stage of your sales funnel. While informative content and blog posts are great for attracting traffic, you need to create strategies to convert web traffic into sales or subscriptions once they land on your website.

The typical sales funnel consists of at least three broad stages:

You’ll often find sales funnels in a customer relationship management (CRM) platform much more complex than this, but this should provide you with a basic overview of how you should approach your inbound marketing strategy using content marketing.

4. Optimize Your Web Pages For Search Engines

Once you start pumping out content and creating your service pages, you need to make sure your content is properly optimized for search engines.

I know we’ve discussed several ranking factors and technical SEO, but now it’s time to dive into on-page and SERP optimization factors.

Perhaps one of the most important off-page SEO strategies and Google ranking factors remains the ever-avoidable link building, which is described next.

5. Build Links To Your Website

According to research, inbound links are still a powerful ranking factor, even though the quality of links outweighs their quantity.

There are literally dozens of link building strategies to use, from HAIR to guest blogging.

To start link building, you need to build great content. Then, once your link magnet is built, you’ll need to get eyeballs in front of it so people start linking to it.

Fortunately, tools like Semrush have greatly simplified the process of manual outreach, enabling you to collect contact information for target websites and manage your manual outreach via email.

You can even plug in specific keywords or competitors to discover sites for link building opportunities.

Screenshot by author, November 2022

If you don’t have a backlink tool, you can still manually contact people using website operators.

For example, you can find contest links using the following search:

Screenshot of a search for [web search:], November 2022

If there is a website you want a specific link from, you can also do a “website:” search and type in a topic to see if they have content written on that topic.

To find general trending topics to get links to, do a “title” search.

Screenshot of a search for [title: “link building”], November 2022

Site operators can also be used to find resource pages or guest posts to contact.

To summarize, I’ve written a list of essential link building practices below:

Editor’s Note: As a free alternative to tools like Semrush, you can mine data from Google Search Console. For more information on how to do this, we recommend this resource.

6. Share And Promote Your Content

While I’ve discussed some strategies to help your content rank high and get some backlinks manually, sometimes those strategies aren’t enough.

Unfortunately, SEO is notoriously competitive.

Instead, we should also focus on various outreach strategies designed to drive eyeballs to our website.

Below are some strategies I’ve outlined to help drive instant traffic to your content and help it rank higher.

There are a dozen more strategies to help you promote content, especially if you’re trying to rank on specific mediums like TikTok, Substack, Twitter, or elsewhere.

7. Consult The Analytics

Finally, SEO is not complete without consulting our analytics.

The most important analytics tools I recommend for any business are Google Analytics, Google Search Console and a competitive research tool like Semrush.

Screenshot from Semrush, November 2022

First, I love using a tool like Semrush to see what content ranks in that striking distance (position 11-20) in Google to either repurpose that existing content or create new content around that keyword and link back and forth between the two pages.

Your analysis will also tell you which pages are driving the most traffic and which need more promotion.

However, to get more granular, we need to look at Google Analytics to examine how people engage with our content.

I recommend setting up goals or conversion paths to track how many people complete desired actions on your sites.

I also like to use Google Analytics Behavior Flow to show me what path users take when they land on my site.

Screenshot from Google Analytics, November 2022

Use the key performance indicators (KPIs) that GA provides to make changes to your website where needed.

For me, the most important KPIs to remember are:

In addition, Google Search Console is also a helpful tool that allows us to see how many impressions our pages are generating and how many people are clicking on our links.

Setting KPIs and consulting your analytics monthly to find improvements can help you understand which strategies are working for your website and which should be discarded.

Put Your Skills Into Action

Now that you understand SEO basics, you’ll learn more as you troubleshoot a campaign.

Fortunately, many mistakes you make along the way won’t cost you much money as an ad, and any failed campaigns can always be reused later for better success.

Featured image: Vadym Pastukh/Shutterstock

What skills do I need to learn SEO?

  • Empathic analysis. …
  • Collaboration with internal stakeholders. …
  • Effective priority management. …
  • In-depth keyword research. …
  • Competitive SEO analysis. …
  • Editing and writing skills. …
  • Technical SEO. …
  • Link building strategy.

Is SEO a hard skill? At the top of the list of important hard skills is search engine optimization. Data from the study is based on a LinkedIn survey conducted by Microsoft with 600 global senior marketers.

Do I need coding skills for SEO?

The short answer is: no, SEO usually doesn’t require much (or any) hands-on coding. You can absolutely do a good job of SEO without touching code. But the longer answer is that yes, a good sense of how programming works, or even an ability to do some coding yourself, is always a useful skill to have.

What are SEO skills?

The job of a Search Engine Optimization specialist with SEO skills is to analyze and review websites and optimize them in such a way that they will be picked up by search engines. The SEO specialist aims to ensure increased traffic to a website by developing content with appropriate keywords and phrases.

What makes SEO successful?

Key SEO success factors include optimizing for the search experience, creating content for people (not search engines) and preparing for voice search.

What are the 3 C’s of SEO? Simply put, the fundamentals of SEO can be summed up to The 3 Cs: content, code and credibility.

What is the main job of SEO?

A Search Engine Optimization or SEO Specialist tests, analyzes and changes a website so it is optimized for search engines, and the website then ranks higher in the search results on major search engines such as Google and Bing.

Is SEO a marketing job? SEO specialists are marketing professionals who use research and analysis to improve a website’s ranking on search engines like Google. They find the most popular and relevant keywords used in search engines and insert them into websites, helping search engines find those websites and show them to web users.

What is the role of SEO fresher?

SEO Specialist responsibilities include: Optimizing copy and landing pages for search engine optimization. Conducting ongoing keyword research including discovery and expansion of keyword opportunities. Researching and implementing content recommendations for organic SEO success.

What is the role of SEO trainee?

You will be responsible for managing all SEO activities such as content strategy, link building and keyword strategy to increase rankings on all major search networks. You will also manage all SEM campaigns on Google, Yahoo and Bing to maximize ROI.

Which skill are required for SEO?

To do this, SEO experts need leadership skills and people skills – as well as strategic hacks. “You can’t do SEO on your own,†Shamshian explained. “You have to work with marketing, content, social, engineering, product. All these different teams have to work together.â

What is an SEO position?

Position in SEO refers to the place a web page ranks in search engines for a given keyword or search query.

What is the job role of SEO?

They are digital marketing professionals with deep expertise in research and analysis that can improve a website’s ranking in search engines like Google or Bing. SEO specialists usually work in digital marketing agencies, web development companies or even as part of internal marketing teams at businesses.

What are SEO skills?

The job of a Search Engine Optimization specialist with SEO skills is to analyze and review websites and optimize them in such a way that they will be picked up by search engines. The SEO specialist aims to ensure increased traffic to a website by developing content with appropriate keywords and phrases.

What are the duties of SEO?

SEO Specialist Responsibilities Implementation of tests, collection and analysis of data and results, identification of SEO trends, and insights to create maximum ROI of the search campaigns. Tracking, reporting and regularly analyzing web analytics data and the various marketing engine (SEM) campaigns.

What is the qualification for SEO job?

Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications or information technology. One to three years in internet marketing. Knowledge of HTML, CSS and various programming languages.

What does a SEO Specialist do daily?

Every day, SEO experts check the site’s performance and keyword position analysis to see how things are going. The results may change from day to day with Google algorithms, updates and user dynamics. So, it is important to do daily checks to see how each page of the website you are promoting is performing.

What is working in SEO like?

A search engine optimization (SEO) specialist improves website rankings on major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. The specialist ensures on-page optimization to produce relevant search results and a positive user experience, increasing website traffic, lead volume and brand recognition.

Is SEO a stressful job?

I wouldn’t characterize search engine optimization as a stress-free job but the stress is more manageable than many other jobs. The constant wave of new developments means that SEO is in constant flux. A significant part of the work involves maintaining and correctly analyzing these changes.

Is SEO a hard job?

SEO is not that hard to learn, but it can be confusing and overwhelming to get started. Learning SEO means learning about a long list of individual digital marketing strategies, which can feel a bit like adding new weapons to your arsenal as you learn how to use them.

Is it hard to study SEO?

SEO is not necessarily difficult to learn, but it does take time, effort and persistence. If you’re just starting out and don’t know anything about search engines and how they work, you can expect to feel a little overwhelmed at first, especially if you’re trying to learn SEO on your own. However, it is important to keep trying.

How long does it take to study SEO? You can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to 5-8 years to learn SEO depending on factors such as the level you want to reach, the amount of time you are willing to spend learning SEO, your current experience, how persistent. you are, what resources you use, and more.

Why is SEO so difficult?

It’s a very complex set of tasks and on top of that SEO changes dramatically all the time, so the fundamental best practices are often very similar from year to year but there’s always nuance, new additions, new opportunities, new ways that the search engines are changing how they look the results, how do you…

Is SEO difficult to learn?

SEO is not that hard to learn, but it can be confusing and overwhelming to get started. Learning SEO means learning about a long list of individual digital marketing strategies, which can feel a bit like adding new weapons to your arsenal as you learn how to use them.

How long does SEO take to learn?

If you can learn SEO for a few hours every day, then you can master the basics of SEO within 4-8 weeks and get your first SEO job in 3-6 months. If you can learn SEO full time then you can master the basics even within 1-2 weeks.

Why people are afraid of SEO?

The fears that SEO is too complicated, technical, tricky and involves potential penalties are common misconceptions that people new to SEO have. Once you learn more about SEO yourself, you will become more comfortable and confident implementing your own strategy or working closely with an agency.

Is SEO job stressful?

Any job can be stressful based on the type of activity required by your company. It’s the same with SEO related jobs. However, it is not as stressful as IT or other software-related jobs.

Is SEO a hard job?

SEO is not that hard to learn, but it can be confusing and overwhelming to get started. Learning SEO means learning about a long list of individual digital marketing strategies, which can feel a bit like adding new weapons to your arsenal as you learn how to use them.

Is SEO a good career choice?

‘ Yes. SEO is a good career choice as it is among the most sought after careers in the field of Digital Marketing. There are several organizations around the world, hiring SEO professionals to generate better content and therefore produce more business leads.

Is SEO a fun job?

It is the broadest field of marketing. As a result, there is so much to learn and discover that a career in SEO is both challenging and rewarding, exciting and interesting.

Is SEO difficult to learn?

SEO is not that hard to learn, but it can be confusing and overwhelming to get started. Learning SEO means learning about a long list of individual digital marketing strategies, which can feel a bit like adding new weapons to your arsenal as you learn how to use them.

Why is SEO so hard?

The answer is simple. Learning SEO is difficult because there is a lot of information to read about search engines and how optimization works, and this can be overwhelming at first.

Is SEO course easy to learn?

SEO is not easy. But it’s not rocket science either. There are things you can implement right away and there are concepts that will take much more time and effort. So yes, you can do SEO on your own.

How long does it take to learn SEO?

If you can learn SEO for a few hours every day, then you can master the basics of SEO within 4-8 weeks and get your first SEO job in 3-6 months. If you can learn SEO full time then you can master the basics even within 1-2 weeks.

Can You Learn SEO by yourself?

There are so many great places where you can learn how to do SEO for yourself, including many that didn’t make this list. Start teaching yourself SEO today and you too will know how to increase organic traffic for your website or online business.