In this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners, you will learn all the necessary concepts to know how to rank your blog on Google.
Let me tell you this first. I am not a search engine optimization (SEO) expert but I know all the concepts. I know how Google works and I am learning a lot because I am doing the SEO of this blog.
Search engine optimization is a long road. You will see the results of your hard work in 4 months, or maybe 6 months, but it is worth it.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization is the work that you do to increase the quantity and quality of organic traffic to a website or a blog from search engines.
Also, search engine optimization (SEO) is a process because you work through steps, and each step is related to the other.
The goal with search engine optimization is for your blog or website to rank high in the search engines, and as a result, you will get traffic, so the options to get leads or sales will increase.
It is my personal opinion to say that search engine optimization is a discipline that you have to work at every day.
The Two Parts to Work on for Search Engine Optimization
Before starting this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners, let me tell you that the work for search engine optimization is divided into two parts:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
On-page SEO is all the work you do on your website or blog, like picking the right keywords, optimizing the URLs, writing the correct meta description and other optimizations.
On the other hand, off-page SEO has to be on the promotion of your blog, because your website or blog needs to have links from other blogs.
The goal of this post: Search Engine Optimization Tutorial for Beginners is that you learn all the concepts of SEO.
If you know the concepts, you can do the search engine optimization of your website or blog. Or if you hire someone else to help you with the SEO, you can measure the work.
Let’s start this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners.
Like I told you before, the work for search engine optimization that you will have to do for your website or blog has two parts: on-page and off-page.
On-page search engine optimization is the most technical part and with the most concepts to cover.
But before starting with on-page SEO, you need to know one important concept:
How do Search Engines Work?
The goal of search engines is to show you the best information for your query. The process of search engines is:
- Serving (and ranking)
Every search engine has robots, or like people say, crawlers or spiders. The mission of these bots is to crawl the internet looking for new or updated content.
The content can be text, videos, photos, pdfs, mainly everything that can be hosted on the internet.
But the only way that the robots have to discover the new or updated content is by links.
These robots start crawling through a few web pages, and because these web pages have links to other web pages, they start to discover new content.
Every search engine has its own robots.
Google has 17 crawling robots:
- APIs Google
- Mediapartners Google
- AdsBot Mobile Web Android
- AdsBot Mobile
- Mobile Apps Android (Checks Android app pages for ad quality. Obeys AdsBot Google robots rules.)
- AdsBot Google (Checks desktop web pages for ad quality.)
- Googlebot Image
- Googlebot News
- Googlebot Video
- Googlebot (Desktop)
- Duplex on the web
- Googlebot (Smartphone)
- Mobile AdSense
- Google Read Aloud
- Google Favicon (Retrieves favicons for various services)
- Web Light
Bing has 3 crawling robots:
Bingbot: Bingbot is the standard crawler and handles most of our crawling needs each day. Bingbot uses a couple of different user agent strings.
AdIdxBot: AdIdxBot is the crawler used by Bing Ads. AdIdxBot is responsible for crawling ads and following them through to websites for quality control purposes. Same as Bingbot, AdIdxBot has both desktop and mobile variants.
BingPreview: BingPreview is used to generate page snapshots. Note that BingPreview also has “desktop” and “mobile” variants.
After the robots have crawled the web, the search engines index all the URLs.
To give you an example, imagine the work of a librarian. The librarian has to organize the books by themes: history, science, medicine, etc.
The search engines do the same work. They index all the URLs by themes.
URL stands for: Uniform Resource Locator.
Every search engine like Google has its own index. Google has Caffeine, a massive database of URLs. Bing uses its own name to call its database of URLs.
When you make a query, the search engine immediately looks in its index for the URLs about the topic of your query to give you the most relevant information. The result you see ranks the most relevant URLs, that match your query, to the less relevant URLs.
Now that we know how search engines work:
I am going to show you the necessary concepts to understand on-page SEO in this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners.
What is On-page SEO?
On-page SEO is all the work that you can do to optimize your blog or web page in order to get more organic traffic from search engines. You have 100% control of on-page SEO because you own all the elements from the hosting to the codes of your web page or blog.
Elements of On-page SEO
Let me tell you the basic elements you can control about your website or blog:
Google: No matter what, faster is better and less is more. Google wants to give its users a good experience and for that, Google wants faster loading times.
For you, to gain faster loading times for your blog, the best option is to have a cloud hosting solution.
I have this post: Shared Hosting vs Cloud Hosting: 1 winner where I explain the differences between shared hosting and cloud hosting.
The Page Experience of your Web Page or Blog.
Since May 2021 Google is getting serious about page experience. That means that having a good design for your website or blog will be an important part of Google’s ranking factor.
If you have a website you need to think about redesigning it or hiring someone with a background in user experience (UX) if you want to rank high in Google.
But if you have a blog, my recommendation for you is to use the Schema Theme.
You can find out more about the theme just by reading my review: Schema Theme Review: A Fast and SEO Friendly Theme for You.
Ok, so far in this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners, we haven’t covered anything too technical.
Now I am going to show you some important concepts that you need to know, but these concepts are a little more technical.
I am going to start with the easy ones in this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners.
Picking the right keyword or keywords is very important, because you will optimize your website or blog post around them.
Now I am going to show you how you can pick the right keywords for your website or blog.
The Long-tail Keyword Strategy
The long-tail keyword strategy is focused on keywords or key phrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly used keywords.
Long-tail keywords won’t give you a high amount of traffic but you will have a higher chance to convert each visitor to a customer, as they are more specific.
In the graphic, you can see that if you focus on more specific keywords you will have a higher chance of getting conversion for your webpage or blog.
Also if your blog is brand new, my recommendation for you is to focus on long-tail keywords.
Why? Because your blog needs to get authority. If your blog ranks high with long-tail keywords then you will get more chances to rank high with more competitive keywords.
For example, the keyphrasein this post is: search engine optimization tutorial for beginners.
I chose that keyphrasebecause I know it will help my blog to rank high for search engine optimization or SEO.
I use biq.cloud to search for the right keywords for my posts. That keyword tool has a free version and with the paid version you only will pay for what you use.
An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the URLs of your website or blog. It acts like a roadmap of your site that leads search engines to all your important pages.
For example, this is a basic version of the XML sitemap of my blog:
With this XML sitemap, I am telling the search engines that my blog has the organization needed for the robot to crawl my blog.
If you have a website without an XML sitemap, you can make one here: https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
Title & Meta Description
Titles and meta descriptions are a little bit of HTML code that helps search engines understand the content of a page.
You need to know that all webpages and blogs are made of HTML code.
When someone creates a webpage with HTML, that person does it in an order. The first part is the header section.
It is in the header that you have to write your title and meta description.
For example, the title of my blog is: The Technology Savvy, and the description: Digital marketing and technology blog – take advantage of digital marketing and the latest tech trends to effectively reach out to your customers.
And on Google it looks like this:
You have to add your title and your description in the header of your website, using HTML code.
If you have a blog, every post has a title and meta description.
The code looks something like this:
<title>How to start a blog with DreamHost – The Technology Savvy</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”If you want to learn how to start a blog, you are in the right place. I will show you how to start a blog with DreamHost using some simple steps.” />
H1, H2 & H3 Tags Setup
The headers in HTML code are: H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and so on. These are HTML codes to indicate the hierarchy.
H1 is the top hierarchy, H2 is the second highest level and so on.
For example, in a blog post the title is H1 and then you can order the subtitles with H2, H3 and so on.
In a blog post there can be only one H1. Remember that.
Schema markup is a type of microdata that, once inserted into your webpage or blog, improves the way search engines read and represent your page in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The Schema markup is also known as a rich snippet.
A good example of Schema markup (rich snippet) that you can see is: people also ask.
To have the chance to appear with a rich snippet, you need to add HTML code in your website or blog. You can add the right HTML Schema markup code to your website here: Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
Internal linking is very important because it makes your site easier to understand for users and search engines.
A good internal link strategy will help you to boost your search engine optimization (SEO).
I have a tip for you about internal linking. When you are writing a new post link to your previous post when it is necessary.
And if you can, link to your new post in your previous post.
Internal linking is important for your SEO.
Permalink is the full URL that you see and use in your website or blog, in any given post or page of your blog or website.
Those links are permanent, hence the permalink name.
You have to choose the right type of permalink for your website or blog, because search engines and users use these URLs to index and visit your site.
My recommendation for you is to use SEO friendly URLs like this: https://thetechnologysavvy.com/how-to-start-blog-get-followers/
Other good options could be: https://thetechnologysavvy.com/category/how-to-start-blog-get-followers/
You have to decide what is the best option for your website or blog.
Breadcrumbs help your users or readers to track their path from your homepage to the page they’re currently viewing.
Also, breadcrumbs help search engines to understand your website or blog.
Image Optimization & Alt Tags
Google loves speed, and for that your webpage or blog needs to have good optimization for all the images.
You can optimize your photos online here: https://compresspng.com
Also, you have to write good alt text (alternative texts) for your photos:
<img src=”logo.png” alt=”technology savvy logo”>
This is very important for search engines to understand what the photo is about.
The more information you can write about the photo the better.
Google Search Console/Bing Webmaster Tools
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are free tools that will help you understand how those search engines “read” your website or blogs.
Also, these tools help you to know if you have errors in your website or blog and also help to submit new links to your website or blog to the search engines to be indexed.
An SSL certificate is a type of digital certificate that provides authentication for a website and enables an encrypted connection.
When you buy a new hosting service for your website or blog you will have a free SSL certificate.
It is very important that you turn on that SSL certificate.
Ok, now you know, from this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners, all the basic concepts about on-page SEO.
If you have a website made in HTML and CSS, you will have to do the optimization manually or hire a developer.
But if your website or blog is on WordPress, a plugin will be very useful for your on-page optimization.
I can recommend to you these two WordPress SEO plugins that help with on-page SEO:
Both plugins have free versions that you can use to optimize your website or blog.
What is off-page SEO?
For me, off-page is when you publicly promote your website or blog because you need the world to know that your website or blog exists.
This “Public promotion” work is important because your blog or website needs to be popular in order to be linked to by other websites or blogs.
I am going to tell you about an important concept about SEO in this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners.
Ok, I will talk about Google here because it is the most important search engine in the world.
When Google was created one of the co-founders, Larry Page, developed a code name called PageRank.
PageRank is the core of Google because that algorithm ranks the pages from the most important for the user’s query to the least important.
The idea behind PageRank was very simple at the beginning. If a website or blog has links pointed to it, it means that the webpage or blog is popular, so it has to rank higher.
In that time, search engine optimization was easy; you only needed to get that other webpage’s owner to link to your website or blog to rank high in Google.
Now PageRank is more complex. Ranking high in Google is not only about links anymore; the algorithm now takes other things into account to rank a webpage or blog high.
But PageRank was the beginning of an SEO tactic called link building.
Link building is all the efforts you do to get links pointing to your blog or website.
You can read in other blogs that link building is not important anymore, but trust me, if you don’t have any links pointed to your blog it will be very difficult for your blog or website to rank high in the search engines.
Types of Links: Dofollow and Nofollow
Let me tell you this, there are two types of links that can point to your blog:
A dofollow link is a normal link that points to another website or blog. It is a regular link.
<a href=”https://thetechnologysavvy.com“>seo post</a>
The nofollow link is like this:
<a href=”https://thetechnologysavvy.com” rel=”nofollow”>seo post</a>
The nofollow link exists to prevent bad SEO practice.
A bad SEO practice is to comment many times on one blog to get links. To prevent that, if you write a comment on a blog, forum or web page, you get a nofollow link.
A good practice is to get a mix of dofollow and nofollow links.
Nofollow links are useful and can help your SEO strategy.
How can you get links pointed to your website or blog?
An easy way to get links is to comment on blogs and forums, in other words, wherever you can write a comment.
Well, it has to be a website, forum, or blog related to your niche.
The idea behind the comment is to bring value to that site, because the owner of that forum, blog or website has to approve that comment.
And also if you write a good comment, the readers of that blog or forum will click on your link.
Another way to get links, dofollow links, is with guest posts. That means you write for another blog without your name, but you can link to your blog.
Guest posts can be free, if you reach out to another blogger by mail, or paid if the blog is popular.
As you can see in this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners, there are key concepts that you must know.
It’s very important for you to know the basic concepts of search engine optimization.
With this search engine optimization tutorial for beginners, you can make a checklist and see if you have a good approach to SEO with your blog.
Remember, SEO is a long term process and you will see the results in about six months with highly competitive keywords.