SEO Beginner’s Guide 2023

SEO Beginners Guide 2020 by TWH Learn Search Engine Optimization

SEO Beginner’s Guide 2023

Explore SEO Beginner's Guide & Tips for 2023

Want to learn SEO online? Then you’ve just landed on the right page, where our SEO beginner’s guide is easy to understand!

It’s no surprise that you’re one of the many people who randomly search for “SEO” on Google.

If you’ve landed on this page, then you can learn some extraordinary techniques and characteristics of SEO and understand what it is.

Meaning: Basically, SEO is a part of digital marketing and stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the practice of improving a website’s position in a specific search engine’s organic listings.

In other words, Search engine optimization (SEO) is the technique of optimizing your website for search engines to climb the ladder of SERPs for a specific keywords.

Still, confused? Then alright, let me make you understand it even further:

If you want your website to appear on a particular search engine’s non-paid listings, you need to take steps towards SEO.

It’s the key to success that starts with your business and ends with your customers.

Before 2010, SEO used to be about inserting keywords, keywords and keywords to rank on the first page of search engines.

But nowadays, it’s not that easy because major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yandex have become smarter over time.

So, in the following section, we’ll discuss essential SEO tips and strategies step by step.

Types of SEO

There are 3 main types of SEO: White hat, Black hat, & Grey hat.

Types of SEO Search Engine Optimization

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO is the opposite of black hat SEO, and its name is self-explanatory.

It involves following search engines’ guidelines and using ethical techniques to improve a website’s ranking.

If you fail to follow the rules and instructions provided by the search engines, your website could face penalties.

However, the types of SEO don’t end here. There are several sub-types of white hat SEO, including;

  • SEO Onpage (Technical SEO)
  • Offpage SEO
  • Local SEO
  • App Store Optimization
  • YouTube SEO

Learn SEO Onpage (Technical)

On-page SEO is equivalent to technical SEO as it involves using some major technical terms for optimization.

Keyword Research

Is keyword research still important for SEO? Well, the answer is a big YES! Let me make you understand, what is keyword research and how to execute it.

What is Keyword Research: It is the process by which you can research popular search terms that people type into search engines like Google.

It is the very first factor to consider in this SEO Beginner’s Guide.

You should include them strategically in your content through which your content will get appear higher on a search engine results page (SERP).

How to Do Keyword Research: Well, there are lots of SEO tools to do keyword research. But very first let me acknowledge you the top-secret of executing the keyword research without any tool. See below;

Ideal Way to Do Keyword Research

Suppose if, you’re running an SEO agency which is located in Los Angeles;

Then, the above ideal formula will generate a key-phrase, where service is indicating the SEO agency and location is Los Angeles.

So accordingly, your ideal keyword will be the “SEO Agency in Los Angeles”. This can be applicable with 90% cases and the rest one can be covered by the below tool.

Keyword Research via Google Keyword Planner Tool:

Simply visit Google dot Com and search for “Google Keyword Planner” in Google’s search bar. Then visit this https://ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/ and login with your Gmail ID.

After that, put some details which Google asks, then you can access the keyword planner tool provided by Google.

Rules to Follow for Keyword Research in Keyword Planner Tool:

SEO Guide for Best Keyword Selection

Domain Research

Basically, choosing a great domain name that is SEO-friendly is the first step towards the success of your website.

What is Domain Research: A domain name is like the physical address of your website. It helps people to find you on the World Wide Web.

The domain names hide the technical IP address of websites that most viewers aren’t interested in.

How to Do Domain Research: Simply choose your domain which clearly indicates the nature of your business and compatible from the SEO point of view.

Right Domain Research Guide for SEO

The above green check example is the best type of domain selection for any business.

Competitor Research

Identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies so that you can determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your product or service.

What is Competitor Research: It is the key to jumping over your competition to reach your common customer.

A competitive analysis is a critical part of your company’s marketing plan.

How to Do Competitor Research: Simplest way, just search for your root keyword in Google search bar and pick the top 3 to 5 websites coming on the 1st page of search engine.

And, start analyzing what they are doing in SEO.

Server Hosting Research

You can pay for hosting with a service provider or you can host it yourself at your server.

What is Server Hosting: Hosting a website means making sure that your website can be accessed on the World Wide Web (WWW).

Although, using a service provider is the simplest and easiest way of hosting a website.

How to Do Hosting Research: Finding the best server hosting provider is not an easy task, as you will find all saying that they provide the best server.

Although, the easiest way to have a server hosting is to do it Google or else you can take the guidance of some experienced experts as well.

URL Mapping & Re-Writing

Without URL mapping, your website can’t be targeted rightly to get it ranked in SERPs.

What is URL Mapping: It is the process to determine which page of a website should contain targeted keywords to maximize the optimization of the whole website or webpage.

How to Do URL Mapping: Google says one keyword should be targeted with one page, and then that particular same keyword should not be targeted on another page of your website.

Similarly, the reason behind this is: Google will get confused to provide you SERP rankings if you’ll target the same keyword with two pages of your website.

Have a look on below image to understand it further;

What is URL Rewriting in SEO: It is a Technical SEO factor where you should make your URLs readable, informative, search engine friendly and user-friendly.

SEO Friendly URL Optimization

Meta Tags Optimization

The main purpose of meta tags is to reflect the essence of a page, but with more details and context so that the user can understand what the page is all about.

What are Meta Tags: These are the information that a webmaster includes in the head portion of the code (HTML) of a website.

Types of Meta Tags: Well there are lots of meta tags in SEO, but here we are going to discuss below majorly used ones.

Title Tag – It should be of 60 characters with space, although it’s your choice to increase it more than this ideal length.

The main factor is to include your targeted keyword with the brand name to get your SEO title ready.

Description Tag – This 2nd main tag should be of 150-160 characters with space, more than the recommended length will be a zero count in search engines results pages.

The below image can describe it further;

Beginner's Guide to SEO

Schema Markup for SEO Beginners

Schema Markup is especially beneficial for ratings and reviews: the markup allows the display of star ratings, reviewer names, and other useful information.

What is Schema Markup: Schema markup is a code (semantic vocabulary) that plays an important role in search engine optimization.

Adding the schema markup can make your site display in richer, more interesting-looking ways in search results.

Because, search engines understand them better and return more informative results in SERPs for the users.

Studies show that websites with schema markup rank four positions higher than those websites which are without schema markup.

How to Setup Schema Markup: The process is pretty simple. Higher rankings can be avail by having schema markup code with the below steps;

  • Firstly, you have to go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
  • Secondly, select the type of listing you want to add schema markup to. Then, copy and paste the URL in the form field.
  • Third step is to add schema markup data on the right pane by filling all the information you want to show up.
  • Hit the “Create HTML” button.
  • Then, Copy and paste the highlighted code. That is your schema markup code. Alternatively, you can also hit the “Download” button to grab the code.
  • And in the last, paste that code into your content management system.

Content Optimization

What is Content optimization: It is the method of optimizing your website’s content as search engine friendly.

How to Do Content Optimization: Using bold, italic and interlinking in your content indicates the proper optimization for improving the ranking of your website in SERP (search engine result page).

Although, content optimization is also a process of improving the quality of content and adding SEO factors in it.

SEO Content Optimization Checklist

User Search Intent

Search intent is the very first element which must be fulfilled in your content weather you have a web page or any blog post to optimize.

There are four types of search intent; Informational Intent, Navigational Intent, Transactional Intent, and Commercial Intent.

Keyword Density, Proximity & Prominence

Density – It is the measure of the keyword appearance compared to total words on your web page.

Proximity – Refers to the distance between the search terms in the individual keywords.

Prominence – Shows how early your keyword is being used, like how prominent your keywords are within the key elements of your web pages.

Specifically, how close it is to the beginning of the title tag, heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc) & Meta Description, your keyword is placed.

Heading Tags Optimization

Total 6 heading tags come under SEO, and these heading tags are used to separate the heading and sub-heading of any content within the web page.

One page there should be only one H1 tag. If you do have more headings on your page then you should use them as H2, H3, H4, H5 & H6 heading tags.

Alt Tag Optimization (Image SEO)

The image alt tags are added to an image to describe it, just because search engine crawlers can not read images.

An image alt tag used to help the search engines to understand what the images are about and similarly, your images can appear in the image section of SERPs.

Robots.txt - #1 to Consider in SEO Beginner's Guide

What is Robots.txt: It’s a text file placed on your website’s root server and the very first page where search engine crawlers do visit on your site.

Why to Use It: Robots.txt file is used to instruct search engine spiders about the crawling process within the website, in which you can set which page is to be crawl or not.

XML & HTML Sitemaps Creation

The XML sitemap is a file document that is created to help search engine crawlers find our pages within the website.

Similarly, all URLs easily accessible from a single place, it used to provide information such as the URL of pages, posts, category, etc.

HTML sitemaps are created and published to help the user to find appropriate pages of a website.

Implement Nofollow Attribute

Having external links on your website is not a good SEO practice until you use the Nofollow attribute in its anchor tag.

Moz Pro is one the best chrome extensions for SEO marketers to examine the external and nofollow links within a web-page.

Speed Optimizations

Generally, a user takes 7 seconds to decided to stay or not on your website. So accordingly, you need to speed up your website.

This can be done by the web developer as it is the most technical one to execute. You can also perform the same task if you’re aware of it.

Maintaining the website page speed does matter to retain more users on your website to any page on your website.

Through this SEO beginner’s guide, I suggest you that GTmetrix, Google Page Speed & many more tools can be used for website’s overall speed optimization.

Google Core Web Vitals: #1 SEO Ranking Factor

Google core web vitals are the ranking signals or a set of criteria and metrics that Google will use to evaluate the website’s overall user experience.

These ranking factors are designed to measure how users experience the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability.

As the Google rank will be depending on Core Vitals, this is also Google’s newest update for SEO practitioners.

It has classified certain metrics, now recognized web vitals, which determine the quality of user experience for a webpage within the website or blog.

If you have a website and want to get visitors, signups, as well as sales from it, then you should care about Google’s latest guidelines.

Google has already released in its recent update that Core Web Vitals will become the ranking signals in June 2021 consolidating UX-related signals.

Originally, Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers important in a website’s overall user experience.

Google Core Web Vitals are made up of three specific page speed & user interaction measures: largest contentful paint, first input delay, & cumulative layout shift.

Therefore, the overall ‘user experience’ signal together with core web vitals will be very valuable for rankings in SERPs.

AMP Optimization

What is AMP Optimization: AMP stands for “Accelerated Mobile Pages”. These webpages are built for mobile visitors, not for desktop visitors.

Most of the people are online using their smartphones.

As such, it advised you to optimize your website for mobile traffic. AMP is the best way to improve the mobile user experience.

Also, AMP pages always get priority over non-AMP pages with mobile searches. The goal of AMP is to load websites even faster.

If your website is not fully loaded within 3 seconds then 40% of your traffic is lost – people don’t want to wait too long.

Similarly, if website contains a lot of interactive elements then an AMP-version is advised. It will make your pages load extremely fast, which will improve the user experience.

You do not need to change your entire website it is enough to make an AMP-version of specific pages.

How Does AMP Works: Accelerated Mobile Pages uses AMP HTML, an open-source framework that is designed by Google.

It contains HTML-components that are best for mobile display.

And it used to remove all factors that decrease the speed of your page, like forms, JavaScript, iframes, advertisements, and so on.

AMP pages are cached to increase page speed.

Page content, like images and videos, is not fully loaded when you open the page, they will load when you have reached the image or video itself.

If you are using WordPress site, then Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP for WP) plugin is better to use.

Google Analytics Setup

Google Analytics helps you to evaluate every element of the website, from unique visitors to referral sources, bounce rates, device types, time on page, click-through-rates, etc.

What is Google Analytics: It is a tracking tool that measures qualitative and quantitative data for your website traffic.

How to Setup Google Analytics: The best way to set up Google Analytics to your website is to sign up on the Google analytics website and get the tracking code from it.

By having the tracking code in a javascript code form, you have to copy and paste that code in the head section just before closing the head tag.

Google Analytic Setup Guide for SEO Beginners

Webmaster Setup (Google, Bing, Yandex)

Google Search Console (Formerly Known as Google Webmaster Tool) is a web service with no-charges by Google.

It helps webmasters to check the indexing status and optimize visibility of the websites. Through this, you can get to know and resolve any technical errors on your website.

Bing & Yandex Webmaster Tools also offers almost all the same functionality as Google Search Console.

Apart from this beginner’s guide to SEO, I’ve written a detailed article on Google search console. Have a look and understand it even further in detail.

Beginner’s Guide to Off Page SEO

SEO off-page is the opposite of onpage SEO. It indicates all the activities done outside of the website, but in fact towards the website.

In other words, SEO off-page is similar to the word “off-site SEO” which clearly tells about those techniques executed outside of your targeted website to enhance your rankings in SERPs.

Search Engine Submissions

Usually, it is the only SEO technique which is not inescapable.

Because Search Engine Submission is the indexing method which can be alternatively done via Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tool) for your website.

Directory Submissions (Free / Regional / Niche)

In my view, Directory submission is the #1 SEO backlink creation technique which is absolutely free of cost.

There are also some paid options available in directory sites, but the major thing is that the use of these directory submission sites should be very perfect.

“The Very Perfect” here indicates that the site should be of the top-level domain, age should be at least 2 years or older, not be hosted on C-class IP, and always use relevant directory sites.

Content Submissions

If you want to increase the number of referring domains towards your website,

Then, you have to get published your content in some Article sites, Press Release sites, Web 2.0 sites, and Classified ad posting sites.

Moreover, you can submit your content in the form of PDF, infographic, image, and many more.

Approved Content Sharing (Social Network)

After getting your content published for your website, you need to share it’s approved link into some major social media sites to get social signals.

Moreover, you can bookmark any of your favourite web-page into the most popular social bookmarking sites including articles, blog posts, images, and videos.

Use of Sentiment Analysis in SEO

What is Sentiment Analysis in SEO: It determines the sentiments within the content such as positive, negative, or neutral from the sentence, paragraph, or document.

The most common usage of sentiment analysis in SEO is to determine the sentiment of the reviews which are also known as opinion mining or emotion AI.

How is Sentiment Analysis Done: Sentiment analysis mainly follows keywords that represent positive and negative polarity. There are mainly three approaches in same;

Sentiment Analysis Approaches to Boost SEO

  • Lexicon Based – Considers lexicon dictionary for identifying the polarity of the text.
  • Machine Learning-Based – Needs to develop a classification model, which is trained by using the pre-labeled data set of positive, negative, or neutral content.
  • Combined Approach – It uses a lexicon dictionary along with pre-labeled data set for developing a classification model.

The rise of sentiment analysis has become the necessary SEO practice just because of booming social media.

It can be done through evaluating online recommendations and reviews but further twist, is the rise of anonymous social media platforms. So be careful while analyzing it.

Best Technique to Understand Sentiment Analysis – Find all positive words in the text and increment the positive count for each positive word.

Similarly, find all negative words in the text and increment the negative count for each word. In the end, whichever count is greater, you can analyze the text is polarized to that sentiment.

Use of Social Signals

Increasing social signals can remarkably help you to improve your SEO ranking on Google since it is one of Google’s search engine page ranking factors.

What are Social Signals: Social Signals are the measure of all the social media activities such as like, share, comment, votes, pins, and other engagement.

All the major search engines take these social signals into consideration. Also, these activities help to increase the search engine ranking of a particular website.

The types of Social Signals from social media platform:

  1. Votes: Facebook Likes, Instagram Likes, LinkedIn Votes, and more.
  2. Posts: Facebook Post, Tweets, Instagram Post, WordPress, etc.
  3. Shares: Retweets, Facebook shares, and more.
  4. Bookmarking: Social bookmarking on sites like Reddit, Diigo, and more.
  5. Comments: Comment on all social media posts.

How to increase social signals?

  • Create compelling bios
  • Produce a great content marketing strategy
  • Post contents regularly
  • Get personal with your followers
  • Ask influencers to put your brands name out there
  • Hold contests and offer giveaways

All in all, the power of social media in today’s digital world cannot be overestimated especially for your brands and businesses.

So, improving your social media presence can considerably affect your brand’s visibility and popularity and so impel your website to a higher position in SERP.

Beginner’s Guide to Local SEO

Local SEO basically indicates your business listed in Google Maps through Google My Business feature provided by Google.

So, through Local SEO, you can increase local search visibility for your business that comes with the physical locations, like a mobile store or an agency’s office.

Google Local Listing Creation / Optimization

If you want to be found on Google Maps, then you have to list your business in Google via Google My Business facility provided by Google.

You have to fill all the information related to your business and also it’s very important to increase your business reviews on Google.

Local Business Citation / Listing

Listing your business in local business directories is called local business listing. It is one of the most important jobs to be done in SEO.

This SEO technique helps to enhance your SERPs and whenever anyone searches your business in search engine result page, the details of your business come up automatically.

App Store Optimization (ASO)

What is App Store Optimization: It is the process of optimizing apps to rank higher in an app store’s search results.

The higher your app ranks in an app store’s search results, makes your app more visible to potential customers.

It serves to increase traffic to an app listing and improve the app’s conversion rate to generate organic app downloads.

How to Optimize a Mobile App: You need to consider various aspects on The App Store like;

  1. Find the relevant keywords related to your app.
  2. Put those keywords into the app title and app description.
  3. Keep the keywords short, separate with “,” (up to 100 chars.)
  4. Use an app description of 50 characters with space.
  5. Make sure that you use 1 targeted keyword in the description.
  6. Ensure that the app title that you are defining is unique.
  7. Use the app screenshots that describe those best about your app.
  8. Some keywords research tools can be useful.
  9. Keep a track of keywords ranking.
  10. Ask your app users for reviews & ratings.

YouTube SEO

When it comes to YouTube SEO, a lot of the optimization work can be enclosed into a process that you can apply to all your old videos and then to each video as you publish it.

What is YouTube SEO: YouTube is the second most visited search engine in the world, after Google, Unfortunately, a lot of digital marketers still treat it like any other social media site.

But success on YouTube isn’t only about uploading video, it’s about optimizing your video with content – just like your website.

How to Use YouTube SEO: The steps you need to take to optimize your YouTube videos for search;

  1. Rename your video file using a target keyword.
  2. Insert your keyword naturally in the video title.
  3. Optimize your video description.
  4. Tag your video with popular keywords that relate to your topic.
  5. Categorize your uploaded video.
  6. Upload a custom thumbnail image for your video’s result link.
  7. Use a SRT file to add subtitles & closed captions.
  8. Add Cards & End Screens to increase your YouTube channel’s viewership.
  9. Create playlists as per your suitability.
  10. In last, use these video submission sites for the perfect YouTube SEO.

Grey Hat SEO

Grey hat SEO techniques are a combination of both Black Hat SEO and white hat SEO. These practices mainly deal with dubious tactics, some of which could be considered black hat.

Similarly, negative SEO is a common technique that can be used in both white hat and black hat SEO to get other websites penalized by Google.

SEO squatting, using spun content, buying links, and domain grabbing are some of the practices associated with grey hat SEO.

Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO is the use of manipulative techniques to increase a web page’s visibility or rank in search results. Negative SEO is part of it.

These techniques are disapproved practices that increase page rankings in a SERP by going against that search engine’s terms of service.

Cloaking, doorway pages, hidden text, link farms, sneaky redirects are some of the practices of black hat SEO.

We at The Web Hospitality, clearly don’t suggest to follow Black Hat SEO.

Core of SEO Beginner’s Guide: Google E-E-A-T Score

I could have described this most important part of this beginners guide to SEO at the very beginning of the same guide.

But, I am narrating it here at the end of this guide, just because to make you understand it easily.

What is Google E-E-A-T Score: It is something that matters more while looking into the score of a website in total. It also affects the ranking of the website overall.

Earlier (before 2022) it was Google EAT;

E-A-T according to Google stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Now, it is Google EEAT;

E-E-A-T where Google added an extra E which stands for Experience.

Experience – In this context, “Experience” refers to the degree of expertise and knowledge that a website or content creator has in their particular field or industry.

Expertise – Expertise appears through the substance on your site.

The way you write and present your content affects your ranking and position in SERP results. Write relevant, informative, and good quality content for your users and share it on different platforms.

Authoritative – It refers to the accuracy and reliability of the sources. It can be obtained by getting backlinks from high-quality websites, positive and genuine reviews, and much more.

Trustworthiness – Google evaluates trustworthiness by checking the number of quality backlinks and the content you are sharing.

Building your brand visibility leads to the trustworthiness of the website.

Now, Google has added an extra E which stands for Experience to give the proper compatibility with AI and NLP system.

How Can You Improve Your Google E-E-A-T Score?

  • Add author byline to all blog posts.
  • Make your contact info easy to find.
  • Cut or edit low E-A-T content.
  • Invest time in personal branding.
  • Add more quality back-links.
  • Secure your site with HTTPS.
  • Increase positive reviews.
  • Create a positive brand reputation.

Conclusion: SEO Beginner’s Guide

I hope this SEO beginner’s guide helped you to find out how search engine optimization is obligatory for your website’s search engine ranking.

It doesn’t matter when you started in SEO, it only matters how perfectly you executed.

I am pretty sure, that after reading this guide, you can climb the ladder of SERPs through these tips and strategies towards Search Engine Optimization.

And, if you still need an SEO marketing specialist to enhance your website’s organic presence, then I’m just one click away.

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