SEO Beginner Guide

How to Optimize Your Website

Our guide on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can help you increase your website’s traffic and visibility online. It covers everything from finding the right keywords to optimising your website for search engines and building backlinks.
SEO beginner guide

Why SEO is important

If you have a business website, making it easy for people to find through search engines is crucial. That’s where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in. An SEO-optimized website provides valuable content that meets the needs of potential customers and attracts organic traffic to your site. This is why SEO is so important for digital marketers.

But SEO does more than drive traffic. Ranking high in search results also gives your business credibility, primarily because people rely on online research before purchasing. By using SEO, you can get organic search results to inform people about your products and services and show them what makes your business unique. This can help you make sales more quickly and earn more money.

In short, if you want your business to succeed online, SEO should be a top priority.

Search Engine ranking factors

What are search engine ranking factors?

Have you ever wondered how Google and other search engines work when deciding which pages to show when someone searches for something? And how can you get your website to show up and attract valuable traffic?

Here’s what you need to know:

  • When someone searches for something, Google looks for pages that contain relevant and high-quality information related to the search query.
  • To determine relevance, Google reads the content on your blog post or website and checks if it matches what the searcher is looking for.
  • To determine quality, Google considers how many and what type of external websites link to your page and website. Suppose reputable and frequently linked sites link to your website. In that case, it’s seen as more trustworthy and of higher quality than obscure blogs.
  • Google also looks at other factors like how users engage with your site, your website’s loading speed and mobile friendliness, and whether your content is unique and valuable.
  • Google often uses many factors in response to searches and updates and refines its algorithm.

But don’t worry. You don’t need to be an expert to improve your website’s search rankings. There are proven best practices to follow to optimise your website for search and attract targeted traffic. We’ll cover these strategies and provide actionable tips to help you rank higher in search results.

SEO can be complicated, but we’ll make it simple for you. Our guide is easy to understand, and you can practice it immediately.The best part is we’ll provide you with free SEO education. You only need some practical experience, and you’ll be an SEO expert in no time.

So, let’s get started and explore the world of SEO together!

What Is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

What is SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization. This means using techniques to get more people to visit your website by showing up higher on search engine results pages. The goal is to get more people to find your website through organic searches rather than paid ads.

SEO is essential because most people start their online experience with a search engine. So, if you want people to find your website, it must appear in the search results.

Google is the most popular search engine, and they keep changing its rules for how websites can show up in search results. But their ultimate goal is to provide the best possible experience for people searching for something online.

Keyword Research for Effective SEO

One of the essential aspects of optimising your website for search engines is keyword research. Choosing the right keywords is crucial for ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), increasing website traffic, and driving conversions. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about keyword research for SEO.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is finding the right keywords or phrases that people use to search for information, products, or services related to your website. It involves identifying the search terms relevant to your business and target audience and analysing their search volume, competition, and relevance.

Why is Keyword Research Important for SEO?

Keyword research is essential for SEO because it helps you understand what your target audience is searching for and the language they use to describe it. By using the right keywords in your content, you can improve your website’s relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines. This can lead to higher rankings on SERPs, more organic traffic, and better conversion rates.

How to Conduct Keyword Research?

Keyword research involves several steps, which include:

Step 1: Define Your Website’s Goals and Audience

Before researching keywords, you need to identify your website’s goals and target audience. This will help you determine the type of keywords that are most relevant to your business and audience. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of my website?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What are their pain points and interests?

Step 2: Brainstorm Keyword Ideas

Once you have identified your website’s goals and audience, you can generate keyword ideas. Use tools like Google Autocomplete, Google Trends, and Answer the Public to find keywords related to your business and audience.

Step 3: Analyse Keyword Metrics

After generating a list of potential keywords, you must analyse their metrics to determine their relevance and competition. Some of the metrics you need to consider include the following:

  • Search volume: the number of times a target keyword is searched for on search engines
  • Competition: the number of websites that are already targeting the same keyword
  • Keyword difficulty: the level of difficulty in ranking for a particular keyword

Use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz Keyword Explorer to analyse keyword metrics and find the best keywords for your website.

Step 4: Prioritise Your Keywords

Once you have analysed your keyword metrics, you must prioritise them based on their relevance, search volume, and competition. Focus on long-tail keywords specific to your business and audience and less competitive keywords with low competition. These keywords are easier to rank for and can drive targeted traffic to your website.

Best Practices for Keyword Research

To get the most out of your keyword research, you need to follow some best practices, which include:

Focus on User Intent

When selecting keywords, focus on user intent rather than just search volume. Choose keywords that align with your target audience’s search intent and address their pain points and interests.

Use Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are more specific and have lower competition than broad keywords. They are also more likely to convert into leads or sales because they address users’ particular needs and preferences.
Optimise for Voice Search
With the increasing use of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, optimising your keywords for voice searches is becoming more critical to search result. Use natural language and conversational phrases in your keywords to optimise voice search.
Keep an Eye on Competitors
Analyse your competitors’ keywords and strategies to identify gaps and opportunities in your keyword research. Use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Spy.
on-page seo

The Importance of On-Page SEO

When driving organic traffic to your website, on-page optimization is a critical component of a successful SEO strategy. On-page optimization refers to optimizing individual pages on your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more traffic to your site. In this article, we’ll dive into some of the most crucial on-page optimization factors you should consider when optimizing your website.

Title Tags

One of the most important on-page elements you need to optimize is your title tags. Title tags are HTML elements that provide information about the content of a web page to search engines. They also appear as clickable headlines on search results pages. Title tags should be at most 55-60 characters. They should include your core keyword and related modifiers naturally and compellingly.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions provide additional information about your page’s content to search engines and potential visitors. These descriptions should be unique, compelling, and no more than 155-160 characters. The goal of a meta description is to convince searchers to click through to your site by providing them with a preview of the content they can expect to find.

Body Content

The content on your website’s pages is one of the most important on-page factors that can affect your search engine rankings. Thick and unique content is essential for ranking well in search results. While there is no set word count that you need to hit, in general, longer content tends to perform better.

When creating content, please answer the questions searchers are asking and engage them with your content. Pages that load quickly and are easy to navigate are also crucial for providing a positive user experience.


User engagement is an increasingly important factor that search engines use to determine the relevance and quality of a web page. Pages that are engaging and keep visitors on your site for more extended periods tend to rank higher in search results. One way to improve engagement is to create content that is shareable and likely to be linked.


Only some content on your website will be shared or linked to. Therefore, consider who is likely to share or link to your pages before rolling them out. Pages that are not likely to be shared or linked to do not position your website to rank well in SERPs.

Alt Attributes

Images can significantly contribute to your website’s search engine visibility if they are marked up correctly. Alt attributes are HTML attributes that describe the image’s content and context. Ensure you include relevant keywords in the alt attribute, but avoid keyword stuffing.

URL Structure

Your website’s page URL and structure is essential for tracking and shareability. A logical and concise URL structure makes tracking your website’s performance easier, and shorter URLs are easier to copy and paste. Only cram a few keywords into your URLs; instead, create a short and descriptive URL that tells users what the page is about.

Schema & Markup

Schema markup helps search engines understand your page better and can increase your click-through rate in search results. Although it won’t affect your page’s ranking, it can give your listing more space in search results. Make sure to include the appropriate markup on your website, as it will improve your website’s visibility and make it easier for search engines to understand your content.


On-page optimization is a critical component of SEO. Title tags, meta descriptions, body content, engagement, shareability, and alt attributes are crucial elements you need to optimize for maximum visibility in SERPs. Remember these vital elements as you develop your on-page optimization strategy to drive more search engine traffic to your website.

site structure

Site Structure and Internal Linking for SEO

A well-structured website with a proper internal linking strategy can help boost your SEO efforts. Search engines use the structure of your website to determine how valuable and relevant it is to a user’s search query. We will explore the importance of site structure and internal linking for SEO and how to optimize it for better results.

Why is site structure important for SEO?

Site structure refers to how your website is organized and how pages are linked. A good site structure makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site’s pages, which can help improve your rankings. Here are some of the reasons why site structure is essential for SEO:

  1. Improved crawlability: A well-structured site makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages. This means that your pages are more likely to appear in search results.
  2. Better user experience: A well-structured site makes it easier for users to find the information they seek. This can lead to a better user experience and higher engagement.
  3. Higher rankings: A good site structure can help improve your rankings by making it easier for search engines to understand the content on your site.

How to create a good site structure?

Creating a good site structure involves the following steps:

  1. Plan your site structure: Before you start building your site, you must plan its structure. This involves deciding on your site’s main categories and subcategories and how they will be linked together.
  2. Use descriptive URLs: Your URLs should be descriptive and easy to understand. This makes it easier for users and search engines to understand what your page is about.
  3. Use a consistent navigation system: Use a consistent navigation system throughout your site to make it easy for users to navigate. This can include a menu bar or breadcrumbs.
  4. Group related pages together: Group related pages together under a single category to make it easier for search engines to understand the content on your site.
  5. Use a hierarchical structure: Use a hierarchical structure to organize your site, with the most important pages at the top and less important pages at the bottom.
  6. Use internal linking: Use internal linking to connect related pages. This helps search engines understand the relationships between your pages.

Internal Linking for SEO

Internal linking is linking one page of your website to another page on the same site. This can improve the structure of the pages on your site and boost your SEO efforts. Here are some of the benefits of internal linking for SEO:

  1. Improved crawlability: Internal linking helps search engines crawl and index your pages more effectively. This means that your pages are more likely to appear in search results.
  2. Better user experience: Internal linking can help users find related content on your site. This can lead to a better user experience and higher engagement.
  3. Higher rankings: Internal linking can help improve your rankings by passing link equity from one page to another. This can help boost your site’s authority and improve its visibility in search results.

How to optimise internal linking for SEO?

Here are some tips for optimizing your internal linking strategy for SEO:

  1. Use descriptive anchor text: Use descriptive anchor text when linking between pages. This helps search engines understand the content of the page being linked to.
  2. Link to relevant pages: Link to pages pertinent to the content on the page being linked from. This helps search engines understand the relationships between your pages.
  3. Use a reasonable number of internal links: Use an appropriate number of internal links on each page. Too many links can make your page look spammy and harm your SEO efforts.
  4. Use a variety of anchor text: Use a variety of anchor text when linking between pages. This helps avoid over-optimization
content marketing

Use Content Marketing for Link Building and increase traffic

If you’re new to SEO, you might think that the key to driving search traffic is all about on-page and technical SEO. While these elements are essential, having a good number of high-quality links to your own site is equally important.

Without links, your website won’t appear in search results listings. This is because search engine algorithms is still largely based on links, and the more authoritative and relevant websites that link back to you, the more it will trust your site and rank it higher in search results. In this article, we’ll explore some sustainable approaches to getting links and boosting your site’s traffic with content marketing and link building.

Understand the people you want to link and share with

Before creating any content, it’s essential to understand who your linking and sharing audience is. You need to identify thought leaders and potential linkers in your niche, understand what they share and link to, and create something valuable that they’ll want to share with their audience. This will help you build relationships with content creators in your niche and increase your chances of creating content that resonates with your target audience.

To achieve this, use tools like BuzzSumo or Ahrefs to find influencers within your niche who might share your content. Once you’ve identified them, start thinking about how you can help them with their own projects and what you can do to be of value to the audience they’re creating content for.

Identify what content can be created and how it can be promoted

The next step is to determine what type of content you can create that’s likely to be shared and promoted by others. Conduct a content audit to identify your capabilities and focus on creating assets that provide real value to your audience.

Different types of content assets can be shareable, such as those that solve your prospects’ and customers’ problems, and those that highlight great tools or resources. Look at what already works and create something that’s a level or two better, making your content as fail-proof as possible. Remember to make others look good by highlighting their expertise or product, as this can increase their willingness to help you share and promote your content.

Identify specific keywords for your content

Finally, don’t forget to incorporate your target keywords into your content. Conduct keyword research to discover pain points that your audience is looking for answers to. As you create new content assets, look for ways to incorporate the language your prospects use when searching for content.

By following these steps, you can develop a sustainable link-building strategy that will not only help you rank higher on search results pages but also create value for your business. Creating and promoting valuable content that people want to share is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort and attention, but the payoff is worth it.

technical seo

Technical SEO

In today’s world, search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential to running a successful website. However, navigating the technical side of SEO can be challenging, especially for beginners. Technical SEO issues can be complex, and it takes time and effort to learn and understand them. But don’t worry! In this article, we’ll cover all the technical SEO issues you need to know about to ensure your website is optimised for search engines.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to optimising a website’s technical aspects to improve its ranking and visibility on search engines. It includes tasks such as optimising website speed, ensuring proper website structure, fixing broken links, and improving website security. Technical SEO is essential because search engines use algorithms to crawl websites and determine their ranking based on various factors, including technical elements.

Technical SEO Issues and How to Fix Them

Website Speed
Website speed is a crucial ranking factor used in determining the ranking of a website. The slow loading speed can lead to a higher bounce rate, negatively impacting the website’s ranking. To fix this issue, consider compressing images, minimising the use of heavy plugins, and using a reliable web hosting provider.
Mobile Responsiveness
With the increasing use of mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is crucial. Google ranks mobile-friendly websites higher than non-responsive websites. To ensure your website is mobile-friendly, use a responsive design, which allows your website to adjust to any screen size.
Website Structure
A well-structured website is crucial for effective crawling and indexing by search engines. Ensure that your website has a clear and organised page hierarchy. Use a sitemap to help search engines crawl and index your website’s pages. Use internal linking to connect relevant pages on your website to search queries.
Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can negatively impact a website’s ranking, as search engines penalise websites with duplicate content. To avoid this issue, ensure that all content on your website is unique and original. Use plagiarism checkers to identify duplicate content and remove it from your website.
Broken Links
Broken links can negatively impact a website’s ranking and user experience. Use tools such as Broken Link Checker to identify and fix broken links on your website and fix them. Ensure that all internal and external links on your website are working correctly.
Website Security
Website security is essential, not only for the safety of your users but also for your website’s ranking. Google prioritises secure websites over non-secure ones. Use SSL certificates to ensure your website is secure, and use strong passwords to protect your login credentials.

How to track & measure SEO results

Measuring and Tracking SEO Results

After putting in the effort to create good SEO content, you need to monitor the success of your actions. While tracking SEO performance can seem simple, several essential factors should be considered when surveying your site’s progress.

Keyword Rankings

While a site’s rank for specific keywords isn’t the final destination, it indicates the site’s health. High rankings across several keywords show organic search visibility but focus on driving relevant traffic that increases business instead of obsessing over a single term. Several free and easy-to-use tools help check rankings like Google search console.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is a much better indicator of the health of your SEO efforts. By looking at the volume of visitors and their activity, you can gauge the success of your SEO efforts. Google Analytics is a widely-used tool to measure organic traffic. By creating a custom report, you can drill down to look at specific pages that drive traffic and goals.

Organic Leads and Sales

The primary ways to measure SEO success are actual leads, sales, revenue, and profit. E-commerce tracking tools like Google Analytics can be used to look at organic traffic and goals, which is an excellent way to measure the success of SEO efforts. However, there can be tracking issues that can affect the accuracy of the data. Always maintain a degree of scepticism and put checks in place to ensure accurate data.

In conclusion, tracking and measuring SEO results are essential for the success of your site. It helps you understand where you stand and what actions you need to take to improve your website’s performance.

Other SEO Factors

For many businesses, mastering the technical elements of SEO, comprehending the keywords they need to target, and devising a keyword strategy for acquiring backlinks and social shares are the only SEO basics required. However, certain industries and business types need to focus on specific types of searches. Some search environments that necessitate unique approaches include:

International SEO

If your business targets clients in multiple international markets, you need to focus on International SEO. Different countries and languages have different approaches to ranking sites. Therefore, you need to implement a unique approach for each market.

Local SEO

For small businesses and franchisees, Local SEO is vital. To secure local rankings, businesses need to target different variations of their service and location, such as “Boston pizza shops.” Conducting keyword research, gaining backlinks and social shares, and ensuring your site is free of technical glitches all contribute to localized rankings. However, there is a separate set of ranking factors that local businesses should consider.

App Store Search Engines

If your company offers an app or uses it as a means for enabling mobile users to interact with your business, having your app appear in searches on various app stores can be extremely beneficial. Justin Briggs and Stephanie Beadell have published several outstanding posts on the subject.

SEO Basics: Recap & Next Steps

To summarize the SEO fundamentals, you need to consider the following:

  1. Why SEO is important.
  2. Keyword research.
  3. On-page optimisation.
  4. Site Structure and Internal Linking for SEO
  5. Using Content Marketing for Link Building
  6. Technical SEO.
  7. How to track & measure SEO results
  8. Other SEO Factors

No site executes perfectly on every aspect of search engine optimization. Therefore, consider the things you excel at, have a budget and resources for, and that will offer the best return on investment for your business. This will vary slightly for each business and website. If you excel at producing and promoting content, identify the keywords to target and concentrate your efforts on them.

If you have a large and complex site, focus on getting the technical SEO correct (or hire someone who can). If you are a small business that would benefit from ranking for highly specific geo-targeted terms, enhance your local SEO efforts. Then, consider focusing on other marketing strategies once you begin to experience diminishing returns.

In conclusion, the ultimate goal of any search engine optimization effort is to gain more exposure and traffic for your business or your site’s content. Seek out ways that search engine traffic can assist your business and site.

Don’t simply chase after the latest SEO buzzwords or blindly follow every recommendation Google makes that may improve your search rankings while harming your overall business. By prioritizing and implementing the right SEO strategies, you can improve your website’s visibility, attract more potential customers, and ultimately boost your revenue.