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Search Engine Optimization Guide For Absolute Beginner

Learn the fundamental of search engine optimization and how to rank your content to make money from your blog.

So if you are a beginner or SEO guru but your content is not ranking. If you are not making money online this SEO course will help you understand how to rank your content.

Here are the list of thing you will learn from this SEO tutorial:

  1. The psychology of search.
  2. On-page SEO.
  3. Search intent mastery.
  4. Off-page SEO.
  5. Other ranking factors.

When we talk about search engine optimization primarily we need to understand how search engines work and how they rank content.

Google, Bing, Yahoo, Youtube, and also Amazon are technically search engines. But for this SEO beginner course, our main focus is Google because it is the most used search engine in the world.

They are many articles and video SEO tutorials that will say that SEO is dead. But the truth is that search engine optimization is not that complicated. All you need is to follow a few SEO techniques and you will see your content ranking on the Google search result page.

According to similar web Google is the most visited website in the world with over 80 billion monthly users. And process around 8.9 billion searches per day. 46% of product searches begin on Google. And 16-20% of searches every year are brand new.

You may ask why am I talking about these statistics. Basically, I want you to understand the power of google, so you will know that they are dozens of opportunities online.

When most people want to buy products or services they go to Google to search for information. And every year they are brand new searches that come with a lot of SEO opportunities.

So our main goal is to write content that will rank on the top page of Google, and get tons of clicks. And potentially make money from the article.

What is search engine optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization is simply the process carried out on a website or single webpage that helps improve its visibility in search results. Such as google or bing when users are searching for a specific keyword.

When you talk of search engine optimization or SEO in short form it means getting free organic traffic from search engines without using the paid ads traffic method. This traffic is being sent to your website based on the keyword the website content is ranking for.

For example. Your website is a health niche site, digital marketing, or any other niche and you have quality content on that website.

What the search engine will do is get those content and rank them on its page so that when people are typing those keywords you already included in your articles.

Chances are you may appear on the first page of search results enabling the user to land on your website without you paying for it.

How does search engine optimization work

One important factor about search engines like google and bing is that they use bots to crawl web pages on the internet. This bot moves from one website to another collecting data about those pages and then putting them in an index.

The index is like a store owner who knows where those products are being kept so when someone is looking for a specific product it knows where to get them.

Search engine algorithms also analyze pages in the index, using different strategies to consider the ranking position of pages that appear in the search result for a given keyword.

Why is SEO important

Search engine optimization is very important to any website owner because the visitors you are getting on your website are people who are actually interested in the article you are writing about.

Unlike paid ads, people come to your website not because they are really interested in your content but because they just stumble on your ad banner. Then decide to click on it without fully knowing what the advert is all about.

SEO helps both globally and locally. There are millions of search queries every day on a search engines. People are looking for solutions, products, and services and if your contents are indexed and well ranked.

Then you will get more users to your web page who are truly interested in your services and more.

Hopefully, you have understood what search engine optimization is all about. In the next part, you are going to understand how Google’s search engine works.

How Google search works

There are many other search engines on the internet. But you will agree with me that Google search is the most used search engine around the world.

Google search has its own unique way of storing and outputting information. This search engine process millions of search queries every day. I know I personally use it more than five times a day.

In your mind. You will be asking how Google search filters and processes all these search queries. Then output the best result.

The answer is. Google algorithm processes all the information indexed on its platform. Then pick the most relevant ones to show in the search result.

Google uses these three methods to generate results from web pages:

First step: Crawling

Google bots crawl from a web page to a web page to gather information. The first thing this crawling does is when a person types any keyword in the search bar,

It will look for keywords, web pages, and descriptions that have already been crawled and then list them out on the search result.

For a better user experience, the spider knows some pages the user has already visited in the past. So it makes it easy to give better results.
Note: Google does not accept payments to crawl a site or rank it higher.

Second step: Indexing

When Google discovers a page, it will analyze all the data in the content such as video, images, and catalogs that are embedded on the webpage. When this process is carried out, it is called indexing.

The information gathered on this web page is stored in the Google index. simply call it Google big database.

Third step: Ranking

Google ranks content based on quality. The engine doesn’t want to show the same article to one person so it analyzes every webpage indexing to be sure it is not a duplicate before pulling it out in the search result.

Other factors are language, location, and device. The same search queries may output different results in different countries. For example “shoe store near me” in Nigeria may not give the same result in the USA.

The psychology of search

The search engine is like an extension of the human mind. So we need to understand search and the psychology of search. For example, you have a question in mind and you want to find an answer to it. What you will do is pick up your phone and go to Google and search for the question.

Unlike before when you have to go to the library to figure out something. So as a content creator, you need to understand that you can provide information on the internet and make money from it.

All you need is to create a well-detailed article based on what people are searching for. And if the content ranks higher in Google globally then you will make tons of money from the content.

When we think about the psychology of search, we think about:

  • Thoughts become searches
  • Websites live in between a thought and a purchase
  • Digital real estate vs physical real estate
  • Everyone searches a little bit differently
  • Google is getting smarter with machine learning
  • Ranking on Google is powerful and lucrative

Website live in between a thought and a purchase: This is how money is made. When someone thinks about something in their head and goes straight to Google and searches for that thing. They will go to the website that appears. And the site owner will make money either through e-commerce, affiliate marketing, local business, display ads, and so on.

Digital real estate and physical real estate: When you start a brick-and-mortar business you will pay for renting and business registration, marketing, employees, inventories, and more. Just like real estate that is a tangible asset and it exists in the real world.

But there is also digital real estate so ranking in the top 10 of Google search result pages is like digital real estate. So when you are ranking for a particular keyword in Google there is real power and monetary value attached to it.

For example, they are multiple articles in my blog that are generating money for me every month. through affiliate and display ads. And the best part of it is that am not paying off a mortgage unlike having a physical real estate.

So having blog posts that are generating thousands of dollars monthly from organic traffic is equivalent to having a physical real estate property.

Introduction to keyword

Everyone doesn’t search the same way: People search differently, for example, I might search for “best laptop for video editing”, while another person will search for “best video editing laptop”. There are tons of variations of potential keywords. But Google is good at understanding all of them. And channeling them to one individual article in the top 10 results.

Keywords are data-driven: If you want your blog to generate traffic, you have to target keywords that have search volume. It is not a good idea to create a random blog and start posting random articles. You have to focus your content creation based on data. You have to find how many people are searching for that keyword every single month and also know if you can rank for that keyword or is too competitive.

Different keywords have different values in business: Most of the expensive keywords are being paid for by companies through Google Adwords to ranking for those keywords. For example keyword like “mesothelioma lawyer” is a lot more valuable than “cheap socks” or “how to tie your shoe” These types of keyword are too cheap and will not make you a lot of money. keywords like “best credit card”, and “best checking account” could be extremely lucrative.

Keyword research tools can help us make informed choices about what to write: There are keyword research tools that literally tell us how many times it’s searched every single month. How difficult it is to rank for that particular keyword.

When it comes to keyword research you can use a tool like Semrush to do a lot of things. I will go to Semrush and show what to look for and how to read data and understand it because there are keywords and there are also keywords opportunities. So we can find new things to write. You can also check what you are currently ranking for.

If we are looking for keyword opportunities to rank content online. Then enter your keyword in the search bar. For example “Golf”.

semrush keyword example

Golf is searched 368k a month in the USA, the global search volume is 2.4m a month, and the keyword difficulty is 100%.

semrush related keywords

You can also see the keyword variations, some questions related to the keyword, and also other related keywords.

ranking sites in semrush

Semrush will also provide you will the site that is best ranking for the target keyword.

So when you think about keywords, You have to understand how people think and search on the internet.
You need also to understand that websites rank differently for example an e-commerce site will rank its products on the search result. While affiliate websites will rank for product or service reviews for a similar keyword.

There are all different types of searches that can occur based on their marketing funnel. Where they are in consideration awareness or buying stage.

What they are searching for and how much the keyword is worth. So if you want to make money with keywords. You can narrow the whole word down into a couple of different types of keywords we want to rank for when it comes to SEO.

There are millions of things you can write about. But you have to understand how to narrow down your focus to actually make money with SEO. Just because some people rank for keywords does not actually mean they are making money.

For example “Golf” is a broad niche and the keyword is very hard for a new blog to rank. The best way to get keywords to rank is to narrow down the keyword like “best golf”.

easy to rank keyword

You can possibly see some keywords you can rank for, based on the list of keywords in the result.

The goal is to stick with one niche, whatever your expertise is don’t stray too far like gardening and software or like finance and patios. It is best to be known for one thing in your blog, you need a website, and you need branding. Then find easy-to-rank keywords in your niche and write an article focusing on those keywords.

>>> Learn more about keyword research.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is all about optimizing your written blog post for search engines. It involves creating an article focusing on your target keyword and making it appear good in search engines. On-page SEO is actually what’s on your content page, the words, and what the content is all about.

When it comes to On-page SEO the best place to put your target keyword is in the Blog title, Headings, URL, and Introduction.

Other important On-page SEO factors are Semantic keywords, Internal and External links, No plagiarism, and No grammatical errors or typos.

When creating an article on your blog. Add the target keyword in the Title of the post, and add it in the URL and also in the headings inside the article.

Semantic keywords

Semantically related keywords are essential important when it comes to On-page SEO. They are sometimes more important than the target keyword.

Currently, Google is getting smarter, it uses AI and machine learning to know and understand the best article for a particular topic.

For example, if Google ranks content on the “best podcasting software”. It does not expect to see the only target keyword in all the sections of the article. It will expect to see other related words like recording, equipment, microphone, and so on. It wants to see other words that are semantically related words that have nothing to do with the letters in the target keyword.

You can use AI tools like surfer SEO to generate semantic keywords. As a human, it will be hard for you to come up with the variety of related words that Google wants to see in the article.

Internal and External link

We have to link to other pages on our website. So our website is comprised of multiple pages. And we can also link to other sources of information.

When it comes to SEO We need to understand how link value is passed from link to link and page to page. This is basically how Google scans content and reads it. It’s crucial to have an internal link to support our content.

So you need to supplement your content by having a lot of supporting information and blanketing your niche. So if you want to show statistics and information then you can put external links. You can make these external links do-follow in your WordPress.

So any information that is helpful or informative news article is worth externally linking to them. It’s not advisable to litter your content with excess links. But if you have related articles you can link to them.

Internal link to content that is related. And for an internal link, you can use the exact anchor text. For external links, you can use them to show statistics. That will make Google know that you are also sourcing other information and you are not hoarding all your internal links to yourself.

So content-based On-page SEO is all about the words in the content, optimizing images with tools like a short pixel. Add bullet points in your content, bold text, line spacing, and short paragraphs.

Technical On-page SEO

Another component of On-page SEO is technical It includes:

1. Mobile-friendly: It is important for your website to be mobile-friendly. Most WordPress themes are automatically mobile-friendly. Currently, people use phones more than their computers so make sure your site looks good on both.

2. SSL certificate: Your website needs an SSL certificate which signifies that the site is secure. And it’s an HTTPS link. You can get the SSL certificate through your web host.

3. Clean URL structure: It is essential for your site to have a clean URL structure. So only use your target keyword in the URLs. You can also supplement it with the child, parent page structure.

4. No broken or 404 links: Make sure you don’t have any No-broken or 404 links. If you know an external link disappears or you accidentally delete a page you are internally linking to. Then you will have a 404 error on your site. It’s crucial not to link to pages that do not exist.

5. No missing meta descriptions: Meta descriptions are one of the On-page SEO factors. It is the content that appears below the title in the search results. Most time Google randomly pulls it from the content. But you can use WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO to write post meta descriptions. It helps to increase your click-through rate.

6. Optimized images: Make sure your site doesn’t have large megapixel or large megabyte images that are taking up all the bandwidth. They will slow down the blog loading speed. Upload clean or install shortpixel plugin which will automatically compress your images. And turn them into webp format.

7. Site speed and Google’s Core Web Vitals: Google’s main objective is to improve users’ web experience. Fast loading website is one of the factors that will help in achieving that. Over the year page speed has been said to be one of the leading forces in SEO ranking.

In July 2018 Google press release cited that their search engine algorithm update focused more on mobile page speed. They included that a website that does not load fast on mobile devices will face a penalty.

search engine optimization - google mobile testing

You can use this Google mobile testing tool to check your website speed.

Here is an article on how to optimize your website speed.

We covered the psychology of search, On-page SEO and Keywords. Now let’s talk about search intent.

Search intent

The goal of search intent is to end the search journey. If you have the best On-page SEO, but with the wrong search intent you will never rank. If you go back to the psychology of search you will find out that you must give the reader what they want.

Your goal is to provide that piece of information they are searching for. And when they visit your webpage they stay without going back to other sites. This is the ultimate ranking signal and what will help you the most.

For example, if you are writing an article about “how to lose weight”. You will have to think about what people want when they want to lose weight.

So they will want to lose weight fast in a simple and easy way. You need to use search intent trigger words in your article to get more people to click and engage with your content. Make sure to provide actually what they are looking for inside the article. Don’t start writing long stories but go straight to the point.

Off-page SEO

So we have talked about technical SEO and On-page SEO which is all about optimizing our on-page article. But the other part is which website is linked to our website, and which sites are helping to build our site authority.

When you are just starting a blog off-page SEO is more important than writing an article. With the help of jasper ai and other AI writing tools. Anybody can use them to write a blog post but what will make Google trust your website is the quality of your backlinks.

Links are harder to get, they are signs of authority. We are creating content on our website for search engine optimization. It is crucial to get some links to our content to boost it up in the search engine rankings. There are sites that are getting a lot of visitors but they are not making money because they are not ranking for competitive keywords.

If you really want to make money with search engine optimization you need to get links to your website. They are three types of links that you should focus on when it comes to building links for SEO:

  1. Quest post: writing articles for other websites. And strategically linking to you.
  2. Link placements: It’s all about reaching out to other websites and asking them to link to you from the authoritative page you choose from the site.
  3. HARO and press: help a reporter out and press mentions.

Off-page SEO is based on real relationships. Links have real value exchange, if you get a link from sites like forbes.com it will help rank your article higher and get organic traffics. And make more money.
So when you are asking a website for a backlink you need to provide value in exchange for links.

Other SEO ranking factors

They are many factors that can help rank your website higher in search engines but in this article. I have listed the most important ones.

1. Domain age and authority

According to a study published on Ahrefs, it showed that almost 60% of websites that appear on the first page of Google search results are three years old or more.

The study also cited that over a million less than a year old pages find it difficult to rank higher.

ahrefs ranking check

Another factor that search engines look at before ranking a web page is domain authority. This involves content quality, backlinks and social shares, and domain score.

search engine optimization - moz authority

You can use this Moz site explorer tool to check your website domain score. Just enter your domain URL in the toolbar, then click analyze to see the result.

2. Content length and quality

You have to take this part seriously if you really want to rank higher in the search engine. Google loves long and quality content.

If your topic requires more in-depth go for it, don’t just write long content that is of no use. Rather pick topics that will allow you to go deeper in your research and writing.

Another factor to check when writing your article is by doing keyword research. Don’t just write articles that people are not searching for. So in your niche look for the keyword, people are typing in the search bar and write content about them.

3. Avoid duplicated content

If you want your website to look good and superior in the eye of search engines then avoid copying and paste content from other web pages.

Like I have already said in this article that Google loves quality content. The search engine wants to reward site owners for their hard work in writing good content.

So if Google sees your site is full of content from another website that is already indexed. It may penalize your site or the owner may sue your site for copyright.

Conclusion:

Search engine optimization is very important to digital marketers, bloggers, and business owners. It will help you get quality free traffic to your website without you paying. Also, give you an audience who are interested in the site topic.

After creating your website and publishing a few blog posts. You will not get traffic until you start building backlinks. You need to get links to those articles, to get initial impressions in the Google search console and in Google analytics.

Most new bloggers will try to focus all their energy on one niche. But when you check your Google search console you will see the topics on your blog that is doing well. All you have to do is focus more on creating articles related to those topics.

When it comes to search engine optimization, we want to rank in Google and also get traffic. But the ultimate goal is to make money. So you need to follow the best approach to informational and transactional in your niche.

You can write a lot of articles but not all of them will rank. You also need to learn how to do link building the right way.

Expand your knowledge, Read these useful guides:

The Best Off-Page SEO Checklist
On-Page SEO Checklist
Best Off-Page SEO Strategies

Popmati Emebu

Entrepreneur, Writer, Digital Marketer, Web Developer, Insightful Teacher and Blogger...

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jame

    Good article! We will be linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the great writing.|

  2. Ulysses

    Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.|

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