First, recognize yourself for taking the initiative to learn SEO 101. It is critical to understand the core concepts of SEO in order to bring the right traffic into your business and/or website. You can absolutely hire a specialist to do SEO for you, but without understanding the core concepts, even an expert might not get the results you desire.
If you prefer to learn via video/audio, watch the video below … otherwise proceed below to learn my complete SEO 101 basics…
SEO 101: Keyword Phrases
The first concept to understand is keyword phrases. This is the heart of SEO 101 because it is what determines the type of content you will create and the type of people who will be coming to your website. The keyword phrase is simply… the words someone types into a search engine to find your webpage.
For example, if I want to tune up my bicycle I might type: “how to tune up a bicycle” into the search bar.
There are two types of keyword phrases:
- Short-Tail – typically consists of 1-3 words (example: bicycle tune up)
- Long-Tail – typically refers to precision and is more than 5 or 6 words long (example: how to tune a mongoose bike at home)
Performing Keyword Research
There are many keyword research tools available, but I find only 2-3 are truly necessary to help uncover the best keyword phrases for your business. In my Free SEO Checklist I explain how I perform keyword research and the tools I use to do so.
What you want to look for is:
- Low competition
- High search volume
- Does the keyword refer to the person wanting to Buy Something? Learn something? or simply Look Up Facts about something?
Low competition means it will be easier for us to rank in the search results. The higher the search volume, the more eyeballs we will get onto our webpage (if we can rank – see #1). And the type of keyword will determine if the person is willing to buy something or still needs to learn more before we can pitch a sale.
6 Must-Have Elements
The next section to SEO 101 is understanding the major key elements that MUST be included on your webpage if you want to rank for your keyword phrase. By rank, I mean show up closest to the #1 result. These are the elements on your webpage that you MUST include your exact keyword phrase:
- the Page Title
- the page Meta Description
- the page Slug
- the content Heading (H1 or H2 – you only need it once)
- the body content (aka the text on the page – 1 time for every 175 words – that’s my personal golden ratio)
- Image ALT attribute & Image File Name (yes, rename it before you upload it – almost make sure it relates to the topic at hand)
Don’t understand half that stuff? Don’t worry! I explain it all in my Free SEO Checklist.
In addition to understanding these key elements, you can also use this knowledge to spy on your competition. Does your competition rank higher than you in the search results? No problem. Check to see if they are using the desired keyword phrase in each of these elements.
Links & Backlinks
Lastly, but not least… backlinks. When other websites link back to your webpage, search engines trust your webpage more. The higher the trust value, the higher your ranking in the search results. You can link from your social media platforms to your webpage, you can link from other pages on your website, and you can get links from other websites.
I find the best way to get links from other, authoritative websites is:
a.) be-friend other content creators in your niche or market and get them to link back to your page
b.) find webpages with content related to your keyword phrase and leave a constructive (aka REAL) comment on their page about what they’ve written. 90% of websites will give you a spot for your website – simply copy and paste the URL to your desired webpage in that spot.
These are the basic ingredients for starting to rank your website in Google search (and other search engines). There’s definitely more advanced tactics that we can get into, but now that you understand the core concepts and you can make an informed decision on doing your own SEO or hiring an expert.
If you want to learn more about SEO be sure to grab my Free SEO Checklist where you’ll get these tips, further explanations, plus you’ll be able to receive bonus information and training via email from me.
You might also like this post: How To Do SEO On A WordPress Website