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Mastering the Fundamentals of SEO: A Comprehensive Guide

April 25, 2024
min read

In this guide to SEO for beginners, let’s dive deeper into learning all about SEO basics.

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial if you want traffic to your website. Although SEO can sometimes be complex and ever-changing, understanding the basics can make a big difference. In this guide to SEO for beginners, let’s dive deeper into learning all about SEO basics. 

Part 1: Understanding the Basics

What is SEO & Why is it Important?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is the process of improving your website's performance, experience, and authority to gain better visibility in search engines like Google. Moreover, SEO helps your website rank higher in organic search results as compared to paid or sponsored search results. The organic results are ranked based on relevance, usability, quality, and content.

SEO is important since it helps bring more traffic, leads, customers, and revenue to our business. When you are trying to attract customers to your business, you can do so by ranking for the search terms. However, if you do not align them according to SEO strategies, you won’t show up or rank high in the search results. Most people click on the first few search results. Due to this, the higher you rank, the more traffic you get.

How Does SEO Work?

Nearly all online traffic is driven by search engines. This is where search engine optimization plays a key role. SEO mainly focuses on three major aspects: on-page, off-page, and technical SEO, which we will learn more about in this article. By utilizing all these aspects, marketers effectively tell search engines what their website is about and why it should rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Why Should You Care About SEO?

People search for a ton of things online every day, and that traffic can be a goldmine for your business. It is not just about the amount of traffic; it is about the quality. If you are selling hand-made jewelry, showing up in search results when someone types “handmade jewelry” means you are reaching someone ready to make a purchase. 

So, if you are wondering how to do SEO, know that people search for things directly related to your business and for things that are loosely related. These searches give you more chances to connect with potential customers, answer their questions, and solve their problems. This helps you build trust and become a go-to resource for them. 

Part 2: Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices

Keyword Research

One of the foremost SEO principles is conducting keyword research. It is the process of discovering valuable search queries that your target customers type into search engines when looking for products, services, and information. 

Keyword research helps you make sure that there is actually a search demand for whatever you want to write about. Therefore, if your page ends up ranking well in Google for its target keyword, you will get a steady stream of highly targeted visitors. 

Best Practices for Keyword Targeting 

To find keyword ideas, start by thinking like your customers. Begin with broad terms related to your business which are essentially the seed keywords. Search your competitor’s websites and see what keywords are bringing them traffic. This can help you understand what works in your industry and identify potential gaps that you can fill. 

Use keyword tools like the Keyword Generator tool or Keyword Suggestion tool to expand on your ideas and discover more related topics. Based on these, follow the below factors to ensure you have relevant keywords:

  • Search Volume: Check whether people are searching for the keyword that you want to rank for. A higher search volume means a larger potential audience. However, if no one is searching for that keyword, then it would not help your content. 

  • Relevance: Make sure the keywords are relevant to your audience and business. For example, if you sell clothes, avoid targeting unrelated keywords like “pet supplies.” Even a broader term like “luxury clothing” might not be ideal if users are not interested in your specific product. Sometimes targeting tangential keywords can help you connect with your potential customers indirectly. 

  • Competition: Think about the competition for each keyword. High competition can make it tough to rank well. You can balance your content with short-tail and long-tail keywords to achieve good rankings. 

Part 3: On-page Optimization

In this step, you need to implement the targeted keywords into your site’s content. Let’s take a look at the key factors you need to focus on: 

  • Title Tags

Title tags can appear as the title of your SERP listing and are essentially a key ranking factor. Optimize your main target keyword by including it in your title tag and by adding variants where it looks natural. Ensure your title tag is unique and your description is within 50-60 characters.

  • Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are summaries of your pages that can be displayed under the page title on SERPs. Although it is not a direct ranking factor, when your meta descriptions are engaging and compelling, it increases the scope for more clicks and user engagement. 

Keep your meta descriptions about 150-160 characters and include your primary keyword. You can also add a call-to-action (CTA) if relevant. Ensure the description matches your content and avoid duplicating this content. 

  • Heading Tags

Heading tags are HTML tags that convey the structure of your page to search engines like Google. You should include one H1 tag that consists of the main title followed by H2-H6 tags for subheadings which depend on the level of your content structure. You can also include relevant keywords whenever possible in the headings. 

  • Body Content

The content on your webpage needs to serve a different purpose. For instance, a main page meant to attract a lot of links should be different from a support page that quickly answers user questions. To do well on search engines and ensure SEO optimisation, you need to create rich and unique content. Google tends to favor longer, original content over short, repetitive pages. Make sure you add substantial information and avoid having too many low-value or duplicate pages. 

Focus on content that answers users’ questions and keeps them on your page. Ensure fast page load times and avoid design elements that might drive users away. Moreover, not every page needs to be widely shared. But avoid creating too many pages to show shareability. Think about who might share and link to your new pages before creating them. This helps improve your site’s overall ranking and reputation. 

  • Images

Optimizing your images can provide a better user experience and also help you rank higher in SERPs. Use descriptive file names and try to use unique images rather than stock images. You also need to reduce file sizes and compress images to decrease loading time. 

  • Alt Attributes

Alt attribute is an HTML element that allows you to provide alternative information for an image if a user cannot view it. This key component enables accessibility and ensures a visually impaired person can understand what the pictures on your web depict. 

Search engine bots also crawl alt text to understand your image better, which in turn helps search engines to understand your content better. Make sure your alt descriptions read naturally and avoid keyword stuffing for search engines. 

  • URL Structure

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) indicates the locations or addresses for individual pieces of content on the web. As a general rule of thumb, use hyphens to separate words, and use lowercase, rather than mixing in capital letters. Ensure your URL is as short as possible while still describing the content of the page.

  • Internal Linking 

Internal linking is one of the great SEO tactics that helps search engine crawlers find all pages of your website and understand its structure. Additionally, you pass link equity or ranking power to other pages on your site when you do internal linking. It also helps visitors easily navigate your site. 

Part 4: Off-page Optimization

Link Building 

Building your site’s authority in Google’s eyes involves link building, which is about getting other websites to link back to yours. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Adding Links: Add your link to other websites through social profiles, business directories, and forums. These “foundational links” help a new website establish itself, however, they offer limited value.

  • Asking for Links: Reach out to site owners and ask them to link to your content. Focus on your websites related to your page for better success. Building relationships with people in your industry can make this easier. 

  • Earning Links: When people link to your website without asking, it is called earning links. Create valuable content like research studies, unique data, or thought-provoking ideas to naturally attract links. 

Avoid buying links as it can get your site penalized by Google. Instead, focus on building quality relationships and creating worthwhile content to improve your website’s ranking. 

Best SEO Practices for Link Building

  • Replicate Your Competitor’s Backlinks: If other websites are linking to your competitors, they might be open to linking to you too. Study who is linking to your competitor’s homepage and popular pages to find potential link-building opportunities. 

  • Create Linkable Assets: Develop valuable and interesting content such as research studies, how-to guides, or infographics that attract links from others. 

  • Targeted Link Outreach: Focus on building links to specific pages that you want to rank for by researching top-ranking pages and trying to get them to link to your content. 

  • Promote Your Content: Use advertising, influencer outreach, and building an online following to promote your content and get it in front of more people who might link to it. 

  • Guest Posting: Write articles for other reputable blogs in your industry. Ensure the content is high-quality and relevant to the blog’s audience to increase your chances of getting published and receiving backlinks. 

Part 5: Common Technical SEO Issues & Best Practices

  • Schema & Markup

Schema markup is code that helps search engines understand your website content better. It organizes your data and helps search engines know what different parts of your web pages are about. This can lead to better visibility and features in search results, helping your site stand out. Google offers a guide that you can follow on different types of schema and how they can benefit your site. 

  • Page Speed

Search engines prioritize fast-loading sites, which is great for both your users and conversion rates. Optimize your Core Web Vitals to ensure increased dwell time, better conversions, and lower bounce rates. 

  • Mobile Friendliness

Mobile friendliness is a critical part of SEO search engine optimization. It impacts your rankings on mobile devices, which is a growing segment. That’s why you need to consider if your site is mobile-friendly or not. 

Use a responsive website layout that automatically adapts to your user’s screen. Moreover, use animations or heavy components sparingly as they can slow down your page speed. Also, do not let navigation bars get too cluttered or too long as this can impact mobile users. 

  • Header Response

Make sure your pages return the correct header response codes (e.g.200 for working pages and 404 for missing pages). Wrong codes can confuse search engines and impact indexing. 

  • Redirects

Improper redirects can hurt search results. Avoid moving content from one URL to another unless necessary. Use permanent (301) redirects when moving permanently, and temporary (302) redirects when the move is not permanent. Use relevant redirects when they are necessary to preserve link equity and rankings. 

  • Duplicate Content

Duplicate content dilutes link equity and harms your ranking. By having large quantities of duplicated content, your site would look cluttered with lower-quality content in the eyes of search engines. Google’s Webmaster Tools can help you identify any duplicate content. You can also use other free or paid tools to find duplicate content. 

  • XML Sitemap

XML sitemaps help Google and Bing find all your site’s content which is critical for SEO optimization. Do not include useless pages and remember that a sitemap does not guarantee ranking. 

  • Robots.txt, Meta Noindex, & Meta Nofollow

Control how search engines interact with your site using robots.txt, meta noindex, and meta nofollow tags. Make sure robots.txt is not blocking content you want search engines to find. Use the rest of the tags for similar purposes, although each one functions differently from the other. 

  • Security

Site security is vital for technical SEO. Ensure your site is secure with an SSL certificate and maintain your plugins and comment spam to protect your site. Use https instead of http to further elevate your site security. 

Part 6: Content Marketing

  • Identify & Understand Your Linking & Sharing Audience

Identify and understand your linking and sharing audience by knowing who your target audience is and what they care about. Define their demographics and interests, and focus on creating content that matches their search intent. 

You also need to track engagement with your content to understand what resonates with your audience and adjust the strategy accordingly. Pay attention to your competition and industry trends for further insights. 

  • Determine What Content You Can Create & How You Can Promote It

Start by understanding your audience and their need to create content that resonates with them. Support your website SEO by using various channels such as social media, email, and influencers to promote your content and maximize its reach. 

You should also map your existing assets like blog posts and videos and implement relevant keywords to improve your site’s relevance in search results. Focus on quality and keep your content fresh to maintain your audience’s interest.

Part 7: How to Track & Measure SEO Results

Follow these SEO guidelines to track and measure your SEO results:

  • Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings show how well your SEO strategy is doing. Aim to rank near the top of the search results so more people see and click your content. However, rankings vary across locations due to search personalization and only show where you appear in search results. But they give you an idea of your site’s health. 

High rankings across keywords suggest good organic search visibility. However, your main aim is to attract relevant traffic that leads to business growth. Therefore, use rankings as a general health check and not as a primary metric. 

  • Organic Traffic

Organic traffic defines the number of people who visit your website from unpaid search engine results. Track it using Google Analytics or other useful analytics tool. If your organic traffic is rising, your SEO efforts are working well. If it is failing, you might be targeting the wrong keywords or have technical issues on your site. 

  • Engagement Rate and Bounce Rate

Engagement rates measure how active your site visitors are on your site, while bounce rates show how people leave quickly. High bounce rates could mean your content does not match your visitor’s expectations. Adjust your content or keywords as required to lower the bounce rate and increase your engagement rate. 

  • Conversions

Set up conversion events in Google Analytics to track when visitors take desired action like placing an order or filling out a form. Check your session and user conversion rates to see if you are successfully turning traffic into leads and customers. If not, review your conversion goals and target keywords.


Thus, there are different facets of SEO, and implementing them can be a game changer for your business. Follow this easy guide on lucrative SEO advice to level up your website. Streamline your process using useful online tools and perform website audits to ensure it is performing well or not. Adjust your strategy accordingly and keep experimenting to get the best results.

April 25, 2024
min read
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