Beginners Guide To SEO By A Beginner

SEO is key to understand for anyone doing anything online really. Whether that is writing a blog, trying to sell something on your website or just posting to social media. And to be completely honest, I still don’t really understand much about it. I blog, post to social media and work in the digital marketing space and SEO is this elusive concept I just cannot wrap my head around. So, what better way to learn than to try and write a blog post about it.

“When one teaches, two learn.”
Robert Heinlein

I have read an insane amount of blog posts and articles on the topic as well as gotten advice from people more experienced in the topic and here are some of the things I have picked up along the way, explained in beginner-friendly terms:

What actually is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a key player in bringing organic traffic to your website, blog, social media etc by ranking high in search engine results. Organic traffic is any non-paid traffic (traffic being the number of web users visiting your page). It’s key to understand, that organic reach is different for websites/blogs than for social media. Most social media platforms have their own algorithm that determines your content’s visibility. For the purpose of this blog post, let’s focus on how to use SEO to optimise your search engine ranking. This will allow more people to find you or your brand and is a key digital marketing tool.

How does SEO work?

This is where it gets complicated (at least to me). Every search engine has bots that crawl web pages. This means they automatically and methodically browse the Internet  to index different pages and then algorithms are used to rank them in the search results. The aim, I believe, is to ensure that when you search for something on Google, the results you get are highly relevant to what you are looking for. 

The factors used for this ranking are very complex and change all the time in order to keep up with user behaviour. However, it is possible to get a grip on basic SEO by focusing on three top pillars, which are laid out really well by Mangools:

  1. The technical aspects of your website
  2. High-quality content
  3. So-called backlinks

Let me quickly explain backlinks before I go on, because it took me ages to understand them. A backlink is a link from another website to your website. If you have a lot of other websites that link to your website, Google takes that as a good sign that your content is valuable.


How do I get started with SEO?

Now that we have a super basic understanding of SEO, you may ask what you can start doing immediately to improve your own SEO. Here are some steps you can do pretty much immediately:

  • Create content that people search for – may seem obvious but this involves some research. I tend to do this by doing my own google searches and seeing what websites pop up first. This also gives an excellent indicator of good post headings and related keywords. Highlighting keywords you identify through your research in your title, headings and several times in the content is meant to help SEO ranking for those keywords.
  • Search engines like new content. Update regularly and keep it fresh and relevant.
  • Use blog tags. They make your content indexable and searchable and give you more ranking opportunities for different searches.
  • Ensure your content is optimised for different devices. While you may often write your content on your laptop, a huge chunk of visitors will be on their mobile. Your content needs to reflect that visually. 
  • Promote your content anywhere you can, social media, friends, family etc. Put the links to your website out there to increase your reach and start creating backlinks. I will write more on backlinks once I have a better grip on them.
  • Optimize the alt text of your images – be descriptive and detailed, don’t just use your content keywords.

As you can probably tell, I am still very much at the start of my SEO journey. Considering that I knew nothing about it two months ago, I feel like I now have at least a basic grip on it. SEO is highly complicated and there are so many articles on every tiny part of it out there, it is difficult to know where to start. I’ll take you on the journey and every time I get a grip on a new area, I’ll share it here. Let’s learn and grow together!

I am currently on Day 7 of my 30 Day Writing Challenge. One week down, 3 to go! Let me know if you have any feedback or any content you’d like to see. You can get in touch here:

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