Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Making specific changes to your website’s design and content can help search engines better understand your website and its relevance to particular keywords and phrases.
If you’re new to SEO, it can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to get started with SEO as a beginner.
Understand the SEO fundamentals
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of tactics and the process used to improve organic search engine rankings and drive more traffic from unpaid sources. It’s a complicated process that involves both on-site and off-site optimization techniques, like keyword research, building links, making content, and more. By optimizing for significant search engines like Google and Bing!, Websites can gain visibility in front of their target audience and increase website traffic. The ultimate goal of SEO is to get higher rankings in the SERPs or search engine results on pages so that people looking for specific products or services can find them quickly, generating traffic and conversions.
At our agency, StudioHawk, new junior SEO specialists are introduced to the key concepts of SEO in their first month in a rigorous training program that allows us to standardize knowledge of SEO, and build a base of key concepts when they start directly working on websites.
Learn how search engines work
Before diving into SEO, it’s crucial to understand how search engines work. When you type a query into a search engine like Google, the search engine’s algorithm searches through millions of pages to find the most relevant results. To figure out which pages are most relevant to a search query, the algorithm looks at things like keyword usage, website content, and links to other sites.
Taking Google as the foremost search engine, this is how they explain how their search engine works in three stages:
- Crawling: Google Search scours the web, crawling all available content with its crawlers.
- Indexing: Bringing it back into its database – or ‘index’ – where it is sorted and categorized to make retrieval easier.
- Serving search results: Once a user searches on Google, an algorithm takes over, quickly delivering results that are judged most relevant to their query; these are then ranked in order of relevance.
To make your site visible on a search engine, you must optimize it with relevant keywords related to your business niche or industry. This means researching popular terms users enter into search engines when they seek out what you offer – products, services, or information about a topic.
Linking back to how these search engines work, when you optimize your site, it’ll be crawled, indexed, then served to users based on their relevance to the queries.
Learn keyword research
Getting familiar with keyword research is a foundational step in your SEO journey.
Finding the right keywords and phrases people use when searching for your products or services is essential to successful SEO. You can achieve this by using keyword research tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Keywords Everywhere, Answer the Public, and Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool, which allow you to gain insight into the top searches related to your industry. This helps you craft content that matches user intent, making it easier for them to find what they’re looking for – increasing web traffic.
Keyword research should also include analyzing the “long tail” of related keywords – longer phrases consisting of three words or more- indicating a high degree of intent from searchers who know exactly what they’re looking for. These phrases often convert much better than shorter queries because they tend to come from someone further down the purchase funnel than generic inquiries such as “how does [product] work?”
By doing a detailed analysis of each term’s volume (how often it’s searched for), difficulty (levels of competition), cost per click (CPC) if money is spent on paid campaigns, etc., keyword researchers can find the best opportunities in each market segment and make strategies for them. Mastering keyword brings data-driven insights into play, allowing marketers to craft compelling messages that will drive conversions while helping businesses stay ahead of industry trends by taking advantage of new opportunities before competitors do so first.
Learn on-page vs. off-page SEO
On-page is the first step, where you can hone in on what makes your content and website stand out. Then off-page SEO comes into play, which consists of building relationships with other websites to ensure yours ranks high.
Learning SEO involves understanding both components and what to focus on. On-page SEO focuses on formatting and keyword optimization, while off-page SEO focuses on external links, social media presence, and brand mentions. For a digital marketing plan that includes SEO, it’s essential to know how to use both.
To start with SEO, mastering the basics of on-page elements includes keyword research and placement, meta tags, heading structure image optimization, page titles and descriptions, internal linking structures, and more. These elements should be carefully considered when creating new content or updating existing web pages, as they play an essential role in helping search engines understand what your website is all about. This optimization also helps improve the user experience by giving more information about each page’s topic. This allows visitors to find what they need quickly and avoid getting lost in useless information or dead ends.
Off-page SEO refers to the tactics outside of a website’s internal content, such as link building (obtaining links from other sites back to yours), social media marketing (using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to engage with potential customers), local directory listings (including business profiles across multiple online directories), press releases (to generate newsworthy buzz about your brand), guest blogging (publishing articles on other people’s websites/blogs). Every successful business that wants to make a name for itself online through search engine results pages (SERPs) needs to know how these parts work together to create an effective online presence.
Best Practices for SEO Content Creation
Creating content that appeals to both searchers and search engines takes finesse. Ensure your posts are well-written, comprehensive, and have an alluring composition. Lengthier articles rank higher in the SERPs if they’re exciting and packed with valuable information. Refrain producing low quality content that doesn’t add value to users – Google won’t tolerate it!
An experienced SEO specialist knows how to wield keyword research to maximum effect when briefing on new content. Well-written content can create an atmosphere that makes it easier for the reader to connect with and trust the business.
Learn about the concept of EEAT, meaning Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trust. Check out the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, this document provide an introduction to Page Quality Rating, understanding webpages and websites, important definitions, understanding the purpose of a webpage, and Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) topics.
Learn link-building processes
Earning quality links through a well-crafted strategy requires dedication and hard work. However, the effort is worthwhile because such links can help propel your website to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Many people say that links are one of the top three factors for optimizing search engine results pages (SERPs). Links are still an important part of Google’s ranking algorithms.
Backlinks from other websites to yours demonstrate to search engines that you are trusted and valuable across the web, but be warned! Search engines can be strict about questionable link-building tactics.
To build a desirable reputation, start by strengthening connections, boosting brand awareness, and gaining natural links through guest blogging or requesting them for existing mentions.
Social media engagement goes hand-in-hand with link building. Get people talking about your site by crafting engaging content that encourages sharing and discussion.
By devoting time to creating a successful white hat link-building strategy, your efforts will be rewarded as SERP rankings begin climbing!
The link-building process can be daunting, but looking at the content you already have on your site is a great way to start. This simple but effective technique allows you to build on what’s already there and create a solid foundation for further link-building efforts.
One way to existing content as part of your link-building strategy is by optimizing and updating it in fresh and relevant ways for the current news cycle. By updating old pieces, you make sure that people who visit your page will find new, interesting content. This makes people more likely to link to your page as a resource.
What’s the Best Way to Learn SEO?
The best way to learn SEO is to dive right in and begin experimenting. Start by learning the basics of search engine optimization, like keyword research and optimizing your content. Then, get hands-on experience by creating your website or blog and optimizing it for search engines. Test different strategies, measure results, and adjust accordingly. This will help you better understand how SEO works.
Start testing and predicting, and see what actions move the needle for the website over long periods.
Once you understand some of the fundamentals behind successful implementation strategies, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with current trends and to be able to track your results over time to identify areas for growth or improvement within your campaign efforts.
Monitoring your website’s performance is essential to ensure success; you should keep tabs on data points such as organic traffic, click-through rates, bounce rate, and page views per session. This will help you identify what needs improvement and when changes should be made to provide an optimal user experience across all devices/platforms – something Google highly values in determining page rank.
Google Search Console is a great way to access how Google is reading your site directly, they’ve also released new training on search console as it’s such a powerful tool in my experience to learn about SEO.
Join an SEO Course
If you’re looking to become an SEO specialist, joining a course is the best way. A study will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective search engine optimization. It also provides valuable insight into how Google works and what factors influence search engine rankings. With this information, you can create strategies to help your website or business get noticed online:
SEMrush is another popular tool among SEO professionals, and their academy offers free and paid courses to learn about SEO, PPC, content marketing, and more. The courses are designed by industry experts and cover various aspects of digital marketing, including keyword research, site audit, and backlink analysis.
HubSpot Academy offers a comprehensive SEO course that teaches you how to optimize your website for search engines and create content that attracts visitors. You’ll learn about on-page optimization, keyword research, and how to measure your SEO performance. The course also includes video lessons, quizzes, and practical exercises to help you apply what you’ve learned.
Our agency StudioHawk, launched an online SEO training academy to allow people to learn at their own pace from home. The course consists of several modules, including SEO Fundamentals 101, Introduction to technical SEO, Practical Technical SEO, SEO for a brand new website, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Local, Blog, Ecommerce, and Service SEO strategies, Content Creation, Intro to Link Acquisition, and Practical Link Acquisition.
Get an SEO internship
Finding an SEO internship is a great way to kick-start your career in search engine optimization. Many opportunities are available, from working with small businesses to large corporations. To get started, you should begin researching potential employers and positions that interest you.
Networking can also be beneficial in securing an opportunity; reach out to professionals working in the field and ask for advice or referrals. Additionally, many job boards have listings specifically for SEO careers – take advantage of these resources when searching!
Go to SEO conferences
These are great ways to meet new people in the community and get insights from your peers, such as BrightonSEO, which has thousands of attendees annually. These gatherings provide a platform for SEO experts to exchange methods and ideas – so it’s well worth getting involved if you’re interested in learning more.
Join SEO communities
Join an SEO Slack or Discord community to level your digital marketing game. Whether you’re looking for free or subscription-based options, Traffic Think Tank (TTT) is an ideal choice to get ahead in search engine optimization. Connect with other experts in the industry and stay on top of all the latest trends.
Follow SEO Specialists on Twitter
Twitter is a strong community in SEO for expert insights, industry updates, and advice from the pros.
Read SEO blogs & news.
SEOs are passionate about sharing their knowledge. There are so many excellent blogs out there to follower; blog posts continuously inform the community of algorithm changes and how these can impact websites:
Search Engine Land (searchengineland.com) – Search Engine Land is a leading source of news and information about search engine optimization and marketing. It covers everything from the latest trends and developments in SEO to new search engine algorithms and updates. Search Engine Land has a team of experts who write for it and give advice on how to improve your SEO strategy that is both insightful and useful.
SEMrush Blog (semrush.com/blog) – SEMrush is a popular SEO tool offering various features, including keyword research, site audits, and backlink analysis. Their blog covers a wide range of topics related to SEO, content marketing, PPC, and social media marketing. The SEMrush blog has a mix of easy-to-understand and more advanced content for SEO professionals of all levels.
Google Webmaster Central Blog (webmasters.googleblog.com) – The Google Webmaster Central Blog is an official blog run by Google that provides news and updates about Google Search. It talks about a lot of different things related to SEO, like algorithm updates, best practices, and ways to make your website do better on Google Search. What makes this blog special is that it provides insights directly from the source so that you can stay up-to-date with the latest.
Learn by Teaching SEO
Exploring SEO by helping others navigate the complex landscape of search engine optimization can be incredibly rewarding. You get to share your insight, and it’s a great way to learn more about the craft and build relationships with people who are doing the same work as you.
Sharing your experience and creating content that teaches allows you to take your instincts and form logic, checklists, and processes and can cement those learnings.
Now that there’s ChatGPT, do I need to learn SEO?
ChatGPT is a helpful tool that can make optimizing your website easier; however, it’s important to remember that SEO is still a complex field. With ChatGPT, you can navigate the basics of Search Engine Optimization more easily than ever before – but if you want to take advantage of all the features and benefits of SEO, you’ll still need to understand some fundamentals. ChatGPT prompts can speed up your processes and execution, but getting to know your client’s customers and their unique journey is essential to crafting content that speaks directly to them.
By understanding the motivations, needs, and interests of those customers, you can craft engaging content that compels them to contact you. Content marketing requires a deep knowledge of the market and an eye for what resonates with potential customers; by doing so, you set yourself up for success in connecting with your target audience.
Final Word: How to Learn SEO
If you are new to digital marketing and want to understand what SEO is, now is your chance. You can start by understanding the fundamentals and then put that knowledge into practice on a project to gain tangible results. As search engine optimization gains ever more traction globally, there is no better time than now for you to add this skill set to your resume!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I learn SEO myself?
Yes, you can teach yourself SEO and you can do it at home. With some research and effort, you can learn the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and start implementing strategies to help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). The key is staying up-to-date on the latest best practices and experimenting with different tactics that work for your unique website.
How do beginners learn SEO for free?
For those starting in SEO, getting informed is the first step. Beginning your journey here won’t cost you a penny. There are plenty of ways to start learning the basics of search engine optimization, from free tutorials and webinars to blog posts. When you’re ready for more comprehensive guidance on how to apply SEO techniques, an abundance of online courses and e-books await – providing you with all the tools necessary for success!”
Can I learn SEO in one month?
Yes, it’s possible to gain a basic understanding of SEO principles within a month. You’ll need to dedicate daily time to study, research, and implementation. However, becoming an expert in the field will require months (if not years) of dedication and practice.
Can I learn SEO in 2 months?
Yes, it’s also possible to become proficient in SEO skills within two months. With dedication and the right resources, you can comprehensively understand search engine optimization principles during this period – it’ll be more time to learn the basics in the first month, then have the opportunity to apply those learnings in the second month.
Why is SEO so difficult?
Even the most experienced marketers can find it hard to keep up with how search engine algorithms and user preferences change all the time. It’s more complex than finding a one-size-fits-all approach that works across different industries or platforms; optimizing visibility on search engines requires understanding how content is ranked by Google, Bing, and other key players in the game. With so many factors to consider when perfecting SEO, it’s no wonder it can be tricky to get it right.