What is SEO: The Beginner’s Guide To SEO(Search Engine Optimization)

SEO has been good in online marketing from day one, but across my research on the internet, I have never seen a guide that tells people about SEO, I mean a guide that answers the question, What is SEO? but hopefully, this guide will be the best Beginner’s Guide To SEO, because I will explain what my other bloggers didn’t tell you.

What do you think others don’t tell you in SEO?

They tell you almost everything though, but they don’t tell you in detail or probably they don’t explain everything.

But in this guide, I will explain to you everything you need to know about SEO as a beginner.

As a beginner, SEO is very good for you, especially if you are a blogger, you will get more traffic to your website using SEO, and also if you’re a business owner, you will drive customers who will patronize you.

But, the question is how and when?

To get traffic or customers from SEO, you need to do SEO for your website, so how do I do SEO?

I will explain that in this guide, but firstly, let’s play around with SEO.

Let’s get started with What SEO means.

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, It involves any activities you do so that your contents on the website can appear on search engine result(s), to get more traffic or customers.

Search engine result is the result given to you whenever you search something on any search engine, either Google,  Bing, or Yahoo.

It will be so good and interesting if your contents appear also on the search engines results when they search terms related to it right?

Yes, then doing SEO should be your hobby.

But as for bloggers, they love to defined SEO as the best way to get traffic both day and night, because, with SEO, they get tons of traffic to your website.

Though, as for new blogs, you won’t get the tons of traffic from search engines, but at least you will still be getting some.

Here is a screenshot of a new blog that gets 19 people from search engines for the first month, I mean the blog is a month old.

Search Analytics of a month old blog
Search Analytics of a month old blog

So, it is the matter of time because Google rank blogs with old domain names, they have many websites linking to them and also are popular.

There is no way a website that has been in existence for the past 10years with quality contents, won’t be popular and also ranking.

A typical example is Neilpatel, it is been in existence for more than 10years, so he gets more than a million of traffic per month, he started like this, getting 19page views per month, then it moves up, up and up.

I am very sure in the next 6 months, the website should get more than 10,000people from search engines per month.

My point is just that, SEO takes much time, so you need to be patient and keep writing quality contents that will go viral.

Can I do SEO?

I don’t have any idea about search engines neither, I don’t have much money, can I still do SEO?

Yes, you can, SEO is free.

All you need to know that is so crucial is how to create quality contents, that’s what you need in SEO.

It is the content that the search engines want, so after the content, they won’t demand anything from you again.

So if you can write contents, then you’re good to go.

Have you ever think of how SEO works?

How did SEO works?

As for me, I love to know how something works so that I can know the tactics or strategy to use so that I can succeed in using it, so as for SEO, as a beginner you need to know how SEO works.

Here is how SEO works:

Have you ever think of what is going on whenever you search something on search engines, either Google, Bing or Yahoo.

You will search for only one thing like (create a website), Google will provide thousands or millions of blogs with the relevant content to your question.

How are did Google get those things?

Is it a magic or technology stuff?

It is not a magic,

Google has a very big database that contains relevant information so whenever you search for something, Google sorts relevant information (contents) from their database to what you’ve searched, so the most relevant information will appear first which you will see.

Google gets relevant information like content, image, video, infographics from blogs, and websites by crawling and indexing into their database by their bots.

So also when you do some necessary things in SEO, Google bots will crawl and index your contents and they will show them whenever people search for some related to them, so they will rank based on its value.

I hope you understand how SEO works right now?

Google as the biggest search engine, I will share some resources for you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t optimize for other search engines, everything works together.

Matt Cutts explains how Google search engines work in this video:

So now, let me discuss the reasons why you need to do SEO

Why do I need to do SEO for my business?

Have you ever ask yourself, Why do I need SEO?

If I don’t do SEO, will my website get down or won’t get traffic?

No, but it is the best way to get traffic, there are other ways to get traffic to your blog, and forget about it your website isn’t going down.

Here are some reasons why you need to do SEO for your business;

  1. To contribute to the search engines results.
  2. To get tons of organic traffic to your website.
  3. To make a profit and get new customers who will patronize you.
  4. To promote a product like eBook, tools or even themes.
  5. To build your reputation online or your blogs/websites.

You can also have the reason why you need to do SEO in you, especially online marketing purposes, you can use SEO to get your new program, scheme or company promoted.

SEO helps Online marketing store like Amazon, Jumia to get more customers, at times when you search for a phone online, you will see search engine results from Jumia, so after clicking you will see the product page and buy, so SEO has helped the company, the funniest part is that do you know how many people who want to buy the phone? For example, if it is 2000 people, so everybody will be redirected to Amazon so if the phone is $200, so $200*2000, Amazon will get $400,000.

That’s crazy, right?

Yes, it is so.

Actually, I forget to tell you something under what is SEO, What I forget is: the types of SEO.

Types of SEO

SEO is so wide, but do you ask what really made it wide?

It is because of its types.

The types of SEO are, namely;

  • ON Page SEO/On-site SEO
  • OFF Page SEO/ Off-Site SEO.

On Page SEO

On Page SEO is also known as On-site SEO refers to any activities done within or on the website to improve its appearance on search engines results, or to rank higher on search engines, to get organic traffic or get customers to your website or blog.

On Page SEO is a gigantic topic on its own in SEO, but it is really simple and you also do they on your website, but you don’t really know you’re doing them.

It also contains many divisions.

I will tell you the major divisions.

They are, namely;

  1. Keyword Research.
  2. Content Optimization.
  3. Meta Description.
  4. Image Optimization.
  5. Speed Optimization.
  6. Responsive Design.
  7. Permalink Configuration.

Now, let me tell you more about either of the factors

  1. Keyword Research

Keyword research is checking the analysis of a keyword, what I mean by analysis of the keyword is the competition, A keyword can have either low or high competition.

A Keyword can be a word, a sentence, or a phrase.

As an on-page SEO optimized blog, your contents have to contain targetted keywords.

keywords are classified into three, namely;

  • Main Keyword: It is the main keyword, it is a word.  eg SEO
  • Body/Middle Keyword: It is a phrase, it mostly contains two words eg SEO Guide
  • Long Tail Pro: it is usually in a sentence, it has the minimum of 4words eg How to do SEO For Free.

As a new blog, you can’t rank for main keyword and body keyword yet, because you don’t have backlinks (i will discuss later on Off Page SEO).

So you will do keyword research to find long tail keywords, so it is the long tail keywords that you will rank for after then body keyword, after the body keyword then the main keyword.

In one of my contents, I have explained how to do keyword research, so I am linking to it now, click on how to do keyword research for free.

  1. Content Optimization

Content is the king, It can be an article, images, or videos, it is what you need must in search engines optimization, it is what the search engines will crawl and index, then show in search engine result whenever people search something related to it.

So because of that, you need to optimize your content very well.

How do I optimize your content for SEO?

Optimizing your content involves making the content easy to read for the viewers and also making the contents understandable.

An optimized content must have all these:

  1. Unique and quality, sentences must not be the same from other contents.
  2. Well written, contain headings, boldface, italics.
  3.  Internal links(links from one content to another) and outbound links(links to another blog).
  4.  Image, videos or infographics ( depending on the length).
  5. The length is also important, contents ranking nowadays is 1000words, so if you want to rank than your competitor, you should double his words and write it.

So check if your content is having all the characteristics, if it is having then the content is SEO optimized, and if it isn’t then you need to edit it and add the characteristics so that it can be optimized.

I have a complete guide on how to create a content that SEO, click on how to write quality contents that will go viral to read about it.

Remember the content is the most crucial thing in SEO, so you must make sure everything is perfect, if possible no mistakes.

You can also go to your competitor contents, read it, then you will use an advanced structure to write yours, don’t copy from your competitor’s content, learn from it.

  1. Meta Description

A meta description is the summary of all what your content contains, it will appear on the search engines results as the description of the content.

meta description illustration
Page Title, Page URL, Page Meta Description

So the more enticing, the more people click, you need to keep the post title, and the meta description catchy so that people will click on your post without any doubt.

How do I write meta description?

Some Bloggers don’t teach people how to write meta descriptions, because they think it is simple, that a new blogger will get it easily.

I said it at the beginning, my guide will cover anything you need to know about SEO.

Follow all these steps to write a catchy meta description:

Step 1:  Install and setup Yoast SEO Plugin.

Step 2: Go to your posts, then click on All Posts, now edit the content you want to write a meta description for.

Step 3: so after then scroll down, you will see the Yoast SEO, that’s where you will see “Snippet preview”, click on edit “Snippet” then you will see “meta description”, then write your meta description (the summary of your content).

Click on “Edit Snippet”

After clicking on edit snippet, then you will see a box where you will write your meta description.

Meta description using Yoast SEO
Write Meta Description

So make sure your focus keyword appears in the meta description.

Don’t spam with keywords,  appearing once is the best.

  1. Image Optimization

Images make the content look professional, people hate content with only texts, no images neither infographics to explain your points.

Some niche in blogging, especially tutorial niche needs images to explain tutorials to the people.

I have said it in content optimization, you need to have images in your contents, it makes it more interesting, especially when you have infographics in your content, people will take time to read it, so it reduces bounce rate.

The text is so easy to read faster, but when it comes to attractive images with texts in it, people will want to slow down and read.

Many people make use of images that are copyrighted which is not good, the owner can file your website telling search engines that you copied them, that may cause a ban from search engines.

But, people have thought and tried their best, they made free websites where you can get uncopyrited images.

Here is the list of websites to get royalty free images:

So how do I optimize images?

How do i do Image Optimization?

Search engine’s crawlers are robots, they can’t see images, but they can only read texts.

So there is a way to show what the image contains to the search engine’s crawlers so that when anybody searches for the images, it will rank on search engines.

Image ALT Attribute is the description of the image for the search engine’s crawler, so all images on your website must have ALT Attribute.

So how do I add image alt attribute to my images?

I have made a video tutorial on how to do that, watch now:

I hope that’s helpful, it is my channel, please subscribe.

  1. Speed Optimization

Speed is so crucial in SEO, according to study: Google said your website must load under 1 mins.

If your website loads after 1 minutes don’t mean you won’t rank though but how will it be when you rank on the first page but people are leaving because of your website that loads slower?

I quickly want to know how to cook rice, so google redirect me to your website, but it is still loading after 1 minutes, it looks weird, people will leave the website quickly(bounce rate) and go for others.

Many websites even loads in 1 second, so they will rank very well.

My website loads in 4 seconds, you can check your from testmysite.withgoogle.com

Speed Optimization Result
Speed Optimization Result for bluecabal

How do I improve my website speed?

To improve your website speed, here are some tips to use:

  1. Use good hosting like bluehost, hostgator or siteground.
  2. Use lightweight themes, you can get from mythemeshop.
  3. Use fewer plugins.
  4. Use CDN.
  5. Use images with small size and Smush Images.
  6. Use Caching plugins like W3 total cache.

I hope the tips are helpful?

  1. Responsive Design

Mobile responsive is very crucial in SEO, Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo don’t want to make the searchers have a nice time using their search engine.

So they can’t rank a website whose design isn’t responsive.

What do I mean by responsive design?

When you visit a website using a smartphone, iPad, laptop, desktop and everything looks normal and fits then the design is responsive.

Compared to a website that you need to be zooming before you can see texts on mobile.

How do I check for responsive design?

It is so simple, go to Mobile Friendly Text, type in the URL (demo of the theme), then it will tell you if it is responsive or not.

Where can I get responsive designs?

There are many themes online but you need to choose those ones with responsive designs,

Here is the list of website where you can get themes with responsive designs:

  1. Mythemeshop
  2. Happythemes
  3. Studiopress
  4. Themeforest
  5. Elegant Themes

The website said to you have paid themes, so if you need a free responsive theme, you can also check the wordpress.org theme directory.

  1. Permalink Configuration

Permalink is the structure of your post URL, you also need to set the permalink to the most recommended one.

The best permalink you should use is the /post-name/, it is so simple, short and easy to remember.

How do I setup permalink for my blog?

Follow all these steps to setup permalink to your blog:

Step 1: Login to your WordPress dashboard, from the sidebar menu, place your cursor on settings, then you will see Permalinks as a submenu, click on it.

Step 2: So after clicking, you will see the permalink settings, you don’t have much to do, you will see common settings, click on post name, then save changes.

Permalink Settings
Click on save changes

Off Page SEO

OFF page SEO is also known as Off-site SEO, it refers to any activities done outside the website to improve its appearance on the search engines results, to get organic traffic for bloggers or to get customers to your website or blog.

if you want to rank your website faster, then you need it.

Everybody wants to rank faster, so it is crucial.

I said it before SEO takes much time, you have to be patient.

Here are the divisions in off-page SEO:

  • Link Building
  • Social Media.
  • Social Bookmarking.

Now, let me tell you more about the factors of off page SEO.

  1. Link Building

Link Building in SEO is the process of increasing the number of inbound links(links coming to your website) in order to improve its rankings on search engines.

There are many link build techniques you can use, but you need to be careful, use the white hat link building techniques only, don’t use black hat link building technique.

What is a link building technique?

A Link building technique is a method you use to increase the number of inbound links for your website or blogs.

Link building techniques are divided into two:

  • White Hat Link Building Techniques.
  • Black Hat Link Building Techniques.

White hat Link Building Techniques; They are the acceptable link building techniques that you should use. It is the best to use so as to avoid a ban from the search engines.

Example of white hat link building techniques are;

  1. Writing Quality Contents: This is the best way to get links when you have the best content about a topic, others will surely link to you.
  2. Guest Post: Writing content for another blog and link your website.
  3. Blog Commenting: Reading contents from a blog and put your URL in the website form.
  4. Blog outreach: Probably you have a blogger that both of you have the same content, you can tell him to link to you also.
  5. Write testimonials: You can use a tool and they ask you for reviews, so you can put “founder of blog URL” so the website is linking to you.

Black Hat link building Techniques; They are the techniques that violate search engine guidelines for building links, though they drive plenty links to your website, but has a negative effect.

Examples of Black Hat link building Techniques:

  1. Buying backlinks: It is very wrong to do this, you don’t know the source of the backlinks, and remember it is quality and not quantity.
  2. Baiting and switching: It is the process of deceiving people, many people will use shorten URL to short link to their website, then they will say “click here to get $1000” so many people will click and some will link.

Link building is so broad, I will surely create a full guide that will teach you more, join my newsletter, I will let you know after I publish the guide.

This video also explains more about SEO:

  1. Social Media

Social media is also one of the OFF Page SEO factors, it involves sharing of contents on social media platforms like facebook,  google plus and LinkedIn either free or paid.

It is done outside the website, you share your links to social media platforms.

You can use the social media sharing button to share your contents on social media platforms.

  1. Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is the process of allowing the users to save links to web pages that they like or want to share.

It is also done outside the website so it is an Off-Page SEO factor.

There are many social bookmarking websites, but the most popular ones are:

You can go to any of the social bookmarking websites and sign up, then you share your links there.

Also, In SEO, We make use of techniques.

SEO Techniques

An SEO technique refers to the method you use for SEO or you use in doing SEO so that you can rank higher in search engines.

SEO techniques are major divided into two:

  • White Hat SEO Techniques.
  • Black Hat SEO Techniques.

White Hat SEO techniques

These are the proper way of doing SEO, the acceptable ways that match with the accordance way for you to show up on search engines results.

White hat SEO techniques involve the combination of On page SEO and Off Page SEO Factors

Here is a big list of white hat SEO technique:

  1. Writing Quality Contents.
  2. Keyword research.
  3. Responsiveness.
  4. Interlinking among the contents.
  5. Outlinking to the relevant source.
  6. Adding Images with the right ALT Attribute.
  7. Building backlinks (Link Building).
  8. Share your contents on social media.
  9. Adding headings, boldface, italics to contents.
  10. Writing meta descriptions.
  11. Use catchy post title.

Black Hat SEO techniques

They are the bad method you use for SEO or you use in doing SEO so that you can rank higher in search engines. It can lead to a ban from the search engines especially Google, when they noticed anything related to it, consider your website gone.

Here is a big list of black hat SEO technique:

  1. Keyword Stuffing: Adding keywords too much to the content so as to rank for it.
  2. Spamming comment with links.
  3. Duplicate Contents.
  4. Buying backlinks.
  5. Cloaking, Matt Cutts explains that, watch the video by clicking here.

So now, you’re aren’t a beginner to SEO, you know many things about it so henceforth you aren’t a beginner.

I think I need to solve the question of everybody which is how do I do SEO?

How to do SEO?

I have explained how to do SEO but probably you don’t know so now I will tell you again.

To do SEO, it is really simple especially after reading this guide that explains the concept of SEO.

I assumed that you have a blog already.

Follow all these steps to do SEO;

  1. Choose a niche.
  2. Choose a responsive, and lightweight theme.
  3. Write epic content that defeats existing one about a topic.
  4. Submit your website to search engines.
  5. Do On Page SEO Optimization.
  6. Do Off Page Optimization.

As you can see, I have taught you how to do SEO already.

Final Words on The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

You need to take SEO easy, and be patient, because before you will start seeing SEO results, the minimum of 3month with many backlinks but with normal keyword research and epic content the minimum is 6month.

I hope you really have a nice time reading about SEO from bluecabal?

Does this guide deserve the best beginner’s guide to SEO for the year?

Share me your thought and feel free to ask questions through the comment box.

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Malik Olabiyi

Author: Malik Olabiyi

Hello, I'm Malik. I'm a blogger and a digital marketer. I'm a believer in all things good and dig the idea of simple living.

4 Replies to “What is SEO: The Beginner’s Guide To SEO(Search Engine Optimization)

  1. Hello Malik ,its very food information about A TO Z seo tips and tricks. very good articles for beginner’ seo.
    Thanks

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