Best online SEO tutorial for practical & step by step SEO
A basic SEO tutorial for beginners can be one of the best way to start understanding the fundamentals and the best answer to how to learn SEO.
This is a free and complete online tutorial which is best for beginners to learn what is SEO, how to start doing it.
To learn SEO best a complete and thorough understand is the most important thing you need. This is you get from this step by step & complete beginners tutorial on SEO.
This is how you will learn SEO online here with this full tutorial.
- Digital Marketing & SEO
- Search Engines
- The Ranking of websites: How do search engines work
- What are Google Algorithms
- What is SEO
- Why we do SEO
- How to do Keyword Research
- What are keywords?
- Why we need keywords
- Types of Keywords
- How do you find your keywords
- On Page SEO
- What are links
- What are backlinks
- Why backlinks are important
- How to start building links to your website
SEO Practical tutorial to help beginners learn it step by step
When you are looking to learn seo online free step by step then you are a beginner. You are just starting to learn search engine optimization. What is best for beginners is a complete learning approach with a practical search engine optimization tutorial. This is because you need to first understand it properly, even before you start learning it.
Therefore, this complete practical SEO tutorial is your best step by step guide to learn SEO online in 2020. This practical tutorial and guide also answers all the basics and fundamentals in a very simple to understand about what is keyword research and how do to find your keywords, what are few key on page techniques, what are backlinks & why are they important, and how to build links to your website best and easy.
- Digital Marketing & SEO
- Search Engines
- The Ranking of websites: How do search engines work
- What are Google Algorithms
- What is SEO
- How to do Keyword Research
- How do you find your keywords
- What is On Page SEO & its Techniques
- How to build links to your website
Best step by step SEO learning with this free beginners tutorial
This SEO tutorial is the best one to start learning what is SEO and more. It will give you the best platform to learn all practical aspects about SEO which a beginner needs.
Let us start our beginners learning with this tutorial step by step.
Digital marketing & SEO
Many years back we used to have traditional methods of marketing like newspaper advertising, billboards, magazine ads, radio, television ads, and more. Some of these are still used and are popular.
However, the world is now digital and this created lots and different types of websites, platforms, channels. All these gave birth and popularity to online marketing or digital marketing.
Digital marketing is not one tool or channel or platform. It is in fact a combination of different strategies or methods or techniques which use various platforms and channels that are available to all of us.
The popular digital marketing channels or strategies that we use today are:
- Social Media
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Display Advertising
Each of the channels are different from each other and use different strategies and often different platforms.
SEO (and PPC) use search engines as the platform. And SEO is the only technique that aims to drive FREE organic traffic from search engines.
Let us understand search engines to help us understand SEO better.
Search engines are where all the action take place. They are center of this search engine optimization field, and drive the industry and its professionals.
If there were no search engines there would have been no search engine optimization or SEO.
Search engines started way back somewhere in the 1990s. Back then they were called search engines which were created to work offline as a retrieval system.
Several such search engines were launched during that time and many more launched even later. The Archie search engine was the start, which was the first search engine. Archie was a program which downloaded directory listing of files and created a searchable database of names of such files which were located on various FTP (File Transfer Protocol) site.
What we know and call search engines of today are web search engines. These were started with the creations of Aliweb, Jumpstation, Infoseek.
Major search engines of today
This is a small list of some of the most popular search engines in the world:
- Google.com - https://www.google.com/
- Bing.com - https://www.bing.com/
- Baidu.com - http://www.baidu.com/
- Yahoo.com - https://www.yahoo.com
- Yandex.com - https://yandex.com/
- Ask.com - https://www.ask.com/
- DuckDuckGo.com - https://duckduckgo.com/
- Wolframalpha.com - https://www.wolframalpha.com
- Lycos.com - http://www.lycos.com
- Excite.com - http://www.excite.com
The Ranking of websites: How do search engines work
The basic function of a search engine is to find you most relevant information from web. They have created programs and systems find and display the most relevant search results for each of the queries that anyone searches.
Crawling – read website content
Indexing – categorize discovered pages
Every search engine needs to find and discover pages. For this each of these search engines use spiders or bots to crawl various websites which are accessible. This creates their database of websites and webpages.
The second step is to categorize these discovered websites and webpages. This categorization is by keywords, key phrases which are taken from the content of webpages. This adds those webpages into Google search index and that of other search engines.
All the websites and webpages are indexed according to their content and keywords they are using for their relevant keywords or topics. This creates their relevancy for keywords and queries.
This also builds the base for ranking of those websites and webpages.
All the higher ranking websites appearing on the search engines are search friendly or SEO friendly websites, which are optimized and have the desired authority to tell Google or other search engines to show them for their respective targeted keywords. Now it is upto the search engines to decide how best is their optimization and authority and at which position or rank these websites will appear.
After this there comes the various factors which search engines use to evaluate the content, optimization, backlinks in order to present the best website, webpage or essentially the content within all the indexed pages and content for every query.
Search engines have developed methods to show best of the results. These methods are actually algorithms which evaluate all the websites and then display the best ones. Keywords play the central role here. Although content of a page is the most important aspect but it is the keywords which provide direction and indication towards the subject of a page and its content.
The algorithms are a set of rules and guidelines which search engines follow to find best websites. Each website is assigned a score and this score decides the position at which a site will appear on search engine page. This position of these websites on search pages is called as ranking of the websites.
What are Google Algorithms
When you enter the world or SEO and for those like me already here, two things which we will always be hearing and reading about is “best practices in SEO” and “algorithms or updates”.
Google first created the algorithms. One of the best ways to understand these algorithms is to see these as set of functions and rules working collectively to evaluate so many different factors related to a website so as to decide its relevancy, position and rank in terms of various topics and sub topics which it talks about in its content.
Google’s algorithms are a complex set of systems that work behind search engines and basically set up and guide the way results are displayed. There are several such algorithms which look after different aspects of the functions of search engine.
Some of the major Google algorithm updates are:
- EMD or exact match domain
- Universal search update (2007)
- Personalized search
What is SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is also called as organic search engine optimization or organic SEO.
SEO or search engine optimization means and involves specialized and unique methods and techniques which we do to help improve the visibility of a website on search engines.
We all have searched for something on major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. We go to a search engine, we find a search bar and type in a query. What we see after that is a list of results on the page. These results are websites or web pages and the ones that we see first or are placed higher on that page are actually ranked at that place by those search engines.
Search engines are the platforms which people use to search for and find information and also products, services and companies and lots more. These are platforms display search results with relevant websites. What SEO does is make websites appear higher in those search results for all relevant queries and keywords.
SEO is actually a continuous and multi step process involving various techniques and methods and strategies. What we do in SEO is basically target certain keywords which are important for a website, optimize the pages and content of the website for the same keywords and then make those pages rank higher on search engine pages, again for the same keywords. The objective is to increase visibility of our website for those keywords and related queries to get organic clicks and visitors from search engines to our website and its pages.
SEO does this with a detailed and inter-connected three step process of technical improvements, on page optimization and off page SEO marketing.
It first finds keywords relevant for a website and therefore for the business behind the website; it then optimizes the website and its content to make it more relevant for the targeted keywords, and then it builds authority of the website to make it rank higher those targeted keywords in order to drive higher and increasing number of search traffic.
Why we do SEO
The objective of SEO is to constantly improve the place or position of website for all its targeted keywords or queries in search engines so that it is visible to more and more searchers and therefore gets high number of clicks from these searches, resulting in increase in search traffic.
SEO is driven by many aspects related to search engines, competition and users. However, one of the most important and obvious reasons why SEO is done and why it is needed is because searchers typically click on one of the ten results every search engine displays on the first page. Very less number of searchers go to the second page, even lesser to the third page, and so on.
So, to get clicks a website needs to be visible on the first page so that it can get traffic from any keyword. And when there are thousands and millions of websites competing for each of the keywords, the only way to get higher rankings is by doing SEO.
What we do in SEO OR How to do SEO
SEO does one and only one thing. It connects your website with your audience on the search engines.
Everything in SEO, what we do and also how we do it, is centred on this and revolves around this.
Let us elaborate and learn how to do SEO and how SEO works.
How to do Keyword Research
The audience is the first thing we would like to take up as they are the important aspect of SEO. You want to reach them. Actually you do not just want to reach them but you want them to come to your website and read what you have to say or offer to them.
BUT, is that enough? NO! You want to encourage them to take an action on your website. Not all, but as many as possible. This is called as conversion in SEO, to convert traffic into customers, subscribers, etc.
Remember, not all your visitors will every convert into your customers, no matter how good your content or SEO is. But with the help of good strategies and good content and optimization, you can always improve conversion rates and get more clients, customers from the free organic SEO traffic from search engines.
So, in order to reach your audience you need to identify these. You then need to target these identified and specific set of audience.
This we do in SEO through keywords and keyword research.
Will there be any point in reaching out to people who are looking for homemade recipe on how to prepare coffee at home when you are selling environment friendly water bottles for outdoor use? Not much I guess. But if you selling beautiful coffee mugs or coffee jar then you can target them very well.
They could be your immediate or down the funnel prospective customers.
That is the wonderful thing which you can do on search engines and get with thorough keyword research and by using SEO.
What are keywords?
Keywords are what someone types in to search for some information or product, services or company, blogs, etc. Keywords are also what the websites use to target the searchers or groups of searchers who use search engines for seeking such information.
There are two sides or aspects of a keyword. On one side these represent a website and its content and on the other side they represent searchers.
Keywords are those words that define and represent the theme, subject and meaning of the content of any web page.
When you create a web page then you fill it with content which is text, images, etc. Every page is about some topics or subjects and it talks about those. Keywords represent those subjects. If you want to tell anyone what your page is about, in a single word or few words or in a short sentence then those words or sentences are your keywords.
On the side of searchers, keywords are the words that represent and tell us what searchers are looking for.
Similarly, a searcher is looking for some detailed or brief information about something for different purposes. If we have to explain to someone what we are looking for then we may use a sentence for it. That sentence will be created around the keywords. In the same way, when we want to search for the same information in a search engine we type in those words or the sentence. Those are the keywords which searchers use to find the information that they are looking for.
Why we need keywords
Keywords are very important, in fact are the core and base for SEO and what search engines focus on. Nearly since the invent of web search engines, keywords are used to categorize the websites and index these. Every page is indexed, categorized and ranked for keywords.
Search engines categorize and index web pages on the base of keywords. They match web pages with search queries based on keywords. They rank web pages for and on the basis of keywords.
Keywords are the most important aspect of SEO. And perhaps therefore, keywords are most abused, overused, misunderstood, misused and over optimized.
These are what search engines match queries to. And these are what websites optimize for.
We cannot write a meaningful and effective article or essay or a news without giving it proper heading and dividing it with various sub headings. These are what keywords do. They define and categorize content. Keywords indicate the meaning of content.
When we begin to understand keywords we also need to know what are queries and also know the similarities and difference between the two i.e. keywords and queries.
Types of Keywords
When it comes to categorizing of keywords there are can be many ways to look at it. We list here four more common ways to categorize keywords.
The first way is to categorize keywords by their nature and use.
Generic Keywords – These are mostly short 1-3 words keywords which are very general in nature. They represent only a category or industry or a type of anything. They do not give any direction, meaning, indication or any intent.
For example, travel tourism, sports shoes, digital watches.
Specific and Intent Keywords – These are usually longer keywords which are little more specific in their meaning. These have some intent behind them and indicate towards something.
For example, winter tourism destinations, white running shoes, digital watches for girls, or digital watches from Timex.
Second way is to categorize keywords is to look at how and where they are used.
Head or Main Keywords – These are the main keywords for every page which represent the subject of the entire page. These can be both generic or specific depending upon what the page is talking about. These keywords are used in ULR, Title and in H1 tag.
Body keywords – Body keywords are those which represent a part or section of a web page and its content and are used within the body content and in other header tags like H2, H3, etc. These are usually intent based and are long tail keywords and LSI keywords. We have a separate sections for long tail keywords and LSI keywords, coming up next.
The third way to look at the types of keywords is to identify these by the intention of the searcher or buyer.
Informational keywords – These are keywords which we use to search for some generic information about anything.
For example: top destinations in India, best blogs on digital marketing, easiest recipes for lunch.
Transactional keywords – The keywords that represent the intention of buying something are transactional keywords. These keywords mostly would include words like buy, price, discount, offer, coupon, sale, delivery, shipping, etc.
Many of the local keywords are transactional keywords resulting in purchase of a product or service like gift shops in palam. Although some keywords like the one we mentioned and also including local keywords may not directly mean or represent a buy however, the established understanding behind such keywords is that ultimately the searcher will buy the product.
Navigational keywords – These are the keywords used when we want to look for specific information to find or reach a particular company, brand or a website. Branded keywords come under this category.
For example: Nike shoes, Hyundai car launches, Timex Watches
How do you find your keywords
This is when you need to start keyword research.
Keyword research is the most important aspect of doing SEO. It gives your SEO the right direction. Keywords are what will connect your website to the right audience on the search engines. When you know the right keywords for your business then you know your audience on the search engines. Your keywords help you in knowing who are the people that are searching for your business offerings, what are they looking for, what they want, and how they search for the product that you are offering.
Keyword research is the process of finding all relevant keywords for your website. Keyword research aims to find all the keywords which we can use for a particular website and for each of the web pages of that website.
What you need is to find all the words or phrases which people use to find your business and website are keywords. These are the words or keywords which you will target on your website.
So, the best way to start is to look at your business.
Look at your business and figure out all the words which your user will use and how they will search for your business.
It is not that hard and this can be the best way to find some unique or broad range of keywords. Every business or website knows what they are offering and who they want to target. You also know what your audience is looking for in your products or services. So, you have a fair idea as to what they are looking for.
All you need to do is spend some time to find all the different words which can related to either your product or to the needs of your audience. After this try to build short and long phrases from these words. And you will arrive at a number of keywords through which you can look to connect with your audience.
Your keyword research starts from knowing:
- What is your business
- What you do
- What you offer
- What are the features of what you offer
This will allow you to explore and know all the different aspects of your business which you can target through your website. This will create your base to find and create many relevant keywords for your website.
Now comes the next step which will help you refine your list of keywords.
Head over to Google, use every phrase and even words you have found and search it in Google.
This will give you two things.
When you are typing it in Google it will start filling more words into it. This is what we call as auto suggest from Google. The phrases or even the words Google suggests you are the popular ones which are used there or are logical and refined version of what you are trying to type. This is also what Google thinks you are trying to find.
The next is when you have typed and entered then go down to bottom of the that search result page [which is also called as the SERP (search engine result page)] and look at the searches related to section. This suggests some keywords which are related to what you have searched.
Both these methods help you refine and add keywords to your list.
The second thing is to look at the results. These are websites. If you have searched for something related to your product or service then the websites you see would in most probability be your competitors.
You will notice three sections or lines for each of the website that appears as a result there. These would be the URL, Title and meta description for each of the result pages. You should look at the Title which would appear as a line in blue colour and see what keywords they are using that has the words that you typed in.
This will build the list of your competitors’ keywords. What this will also do is tell you what your competitors are targeting and which you also can do and target.
What is On Page SEO & its Techniques
The base of the SEO is your website. This represents your business and whatever you want to offer and your needs also. It also defines your audience. Your website is where all the content and optimization related activities take place.
The first thing you need on your website and its pages is content. This is the medium through which you are going to say and convey to your users and readers what you have to offer to them.
Your content is the best thing and the most powerful SEO factor that will help you connect with your users, make your keywords look relevant on your pages and help your keywords to rank on search engines. It is the content that Google indexes through the keywords for every page.
The second thing is optimization. This basically means to use all the keywords that are relevant for that page and relevant to the content of that page.
Remember, you have to use your keywords in the most natural way in the content. What this means that use the keywords where they would completely blend with what you are saying. This way you can also avoid keyword stuffing or spamming.
What is Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing or keyword spamming is when you try to repeat your keywords as many times as you want.
Example to practically understand what is Keyword spamming or stuffing
For example, read this paragraph or line.
This page is about SEO, and here we provide SEO services. Our services are about SEO only and we sell SEO services for your website. We do SEO to make your website rank and we are the best in SEO and provide the best SEO services in India.
This is a 48 word paragraph where SEO is used 7 times.
Now there is a term which is an optimization evaluation and also one of the SEO factors.
That term is keyword density. With this a search engine tries to identify keyword spamming and tries to avoid content which is not natural or user friendly.
Although, the relevance of this in 2020 is debatable, however, it is a clear sign of a content that is not natural or of good quality.
There is an agreed evaluation mark to density. Experts agree upon a 1% going up to anywhere between 3% or a maximum of 5%. What this means that in a content with 100 words the exact keyword should be used 1 to 5 times.
In our example, that percentage is close to 15%. Way to high. And you can also notice by reading it that it does not sound very friendly or of good quality.
So, avoid keyword stuffing, if not for the search engines or ranking, at least for your users.
Important On page SEO Techniques to learn
Now there are few important places where you can and should use your keywords. The reason for this is that this gives your user a very idea about what the page is about. They can instantly and easily understand what they should expect to read or find on the page.
These are the Title, the URL and the H1 (this is the main header tag on a page).
Practical reasons which make these 3 on page techniques important to implement for every website
There is also one very important reason to use keywords here. Or in other words important reason to optimize these for every page. These are the most important part of the on page SEO techniques.
There is another very important reason to optimize your Titles, URLs and H1.
In the previous section on keywords research where we talked about how to find competitor keywords, we asked you to look at the results and specifically look at the Titles. Because websites use it to mention their most important keywords.
Your Title, URL are the two things that a user sees when your site is ranking. They decide to click a website only on the basis of your Title and URL. Within this, the Title gains more importance.
Here it is also important to mention the third factor that you should optimize and that which your users see on the SERP.
It is the meta description.
A meta description is a meta tag which is use in the head section of every page. The way to write meta descriptions is like this:
There is a prescribed character limit to write meta descriptions. You should try to limit your meta description content to 155 to 160 characters.
If you go to Google and type in any query then you will see all the three tags for every search result. This is how they are appear.
The first line which will small font sized letters in a single line with each letter connected with the other through hyphen signs and often with a right angle bracket sign in between somewhere.
This is the URL of the page.
The second line looks like a simple sentence or phrases divided by commas (,), hyphen (-) or vertical bar (|) signs is the Title. This appears in a blue colour.
This is your Title tag.
The third part you see is a long sentence or a short paragraph. This is the meta description of the page you see there. You might also notice few bold words in few of the results and these words would match with the words in what you have searched for.
This is the meta description.
You now have your website ready with the right content. It is also targeting the relevant keywords which will help you reach the set of audience which would be interested in what you are offering. And you also have well optimized all your pages. So, your website is SEO ready.
Now over to the most important part.
Build links to your website
Let us put it in very simple words. No matter how good your content is, how well optimized your websites is. And no matter how relevant your keywords are and how well you have used these, your website will not rank.
Unless, you build some links.
These are called backlinks.
And there are techniques to build backlinks to your website.
What is a link?
What is a link with reference to off page and link building. A link is a short form of hyperlink. Hyperlink is an HTML link which connects one web page or an online document or file to another web based page, file, document or media. A link or hyperlink has the following elements: a source page (the site or page where the link is created); hypertext on which the link is used; and a destination page (the page you visit when you click on the link created).
What is a backlink?
A backlink is an inbound link which a website gets from another websites. A backlink is created when any other website creates a link on its page which refers to our website as source of some information. Backlink becomes an incoming link for the targeted website while it is an outbound link for the source website.
Why backlinks are important
Backlinks are the most important ranking factor for search engines and the most important part of SEO. Since the time Google started viewing backlinks as a vote to a website from other different websites, backlinks started gaining importance. Backlinks are also a sign of trust, popularity of a website and its content when other websites refer to its content on their pages.
Without the right quality and quantity of backlinks a website can find it very tough or nearly impossible to rank its pages and content on search engine for its targeted keywords.
Every search engine values backlinks as one of the highest search ranking factors. Good content and quality backlinks are the top two factors which influence search engines page rankings of any website.
Not just this, backlinks expand your reach. Through right type of backlinks a website can reach its targeted audience. When you build links with websites that relate to your website in meaningful ways then you don’t just get backlinks but also gain more exposure, right exposure and also referral traffic.
So, backlinks are one of the most important aspects of SEO and one of the most critical ranking factors.
How to start building links to your website
There are many techniques to build links which are called as link building techniques or methods.
But, there are few very easy ways to start building backlinks to your website.
If you are running a business then you are connected with lot many other businesses like your suppliers, vendors or companies you are supplying to. Besides these you may also relations on a personal level with many different people.
What you can do is reach them and request them to link to or refer to your website on their respective websites. Sometimes, all it takes is a humble request.
Use social media
Who is not on social media? Yes, and so should be your business. If your website is not on various social media platforms then the first thing you need to do is build your presence there.
You may very well ask, why social media when we are talking about search engine optimization and link building here.
What you can do is create business accounts and pages on different social media accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
These profiles or pages have sections where you can fill in your business details. Here you can also include your website URL and this way you create a backlink.
Promote your website
This is the first thing that one does when they start a business. So, why should that be any different when you have a new website for your business or you are starting SEO for it which is a unique marketing technique and is definitely one of the digital marketing channels.
Promoting means letting people know, making it easier for them to find you, and reaching out to them. In the digital marketing and specifically in SEO there is one unique way to do that and to gain plenty of backlinks too.
List your website on other websites which are meant for that purpose. Do you know that people go to various website which lists companies and business under different industry categories?
So, you need to find business listing sites and build your presence there. You get to create your business profile and include your URL and get a backlink from there.
Similar to this, you can also create profiles and accounts in various profile websites.
If you are wondering where and how to find such business listing websites and profile sites, and even the social media sites where you can list your business then there is one way to find that.
Do competitor research. What it means is that you find the websites where your main competitors have listed their websites and places from where they are getting their backlinks.
This is a good way how you can start to build backlinks for your website.
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