SEO optimization

What is SEO? A Step-by-Step Guide

Guess how many blog posts are published daily.

Do you have any ideas?

More than 2 million.

This means that 46 people pressed the public button while reading these 4 sentences.

This is a bit difficult to see. But if you want to make your blog a success story, that’s what you need.

While I often spend 4-5 hours writing posts on my blog, the 10 minutes I spend to optimize each post are the most important.

No wonder millions of people are typing Google the term “SEO” every month.

In a world where more than 90% of online experiences start with a search, Google’s first page can be the decisive factor in a flourishing business and another that goes bankrupt.

But what does SEO mean?

Sure, you know it’s search engine optimization, but what needs to be optimized?

Would it be the design? Or what is written?

Yes, yes, yes. There are so many more.

But let’s start with the beginning.

Definition: According to Wikipedia, SEO is the “process by which the visibility of a website or webpage in the search results of a free search engine is impaired.”

SEO is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine wants to show it as a top search result for certain keywords.

Let’s take a closer look at:

So you are, doing SEO, search engine, and looking. If you have an article on how to make vegetarian lasagna, you want the search engine (which is 90% of cases is Google) to show it as a top result for anyone looking for the expression “vegetarian lasagna”.

SEO is the magic you need to do your article to make it very likely that Google will include your article as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that keyword.


Now let’s see how magic looks, and why does it really matter?

93% of online experiences start with a search engine, of which 68% use Google for this.

Combine this with the fact that the top 5 results on Google earn 67% of all clicks, and you will get an idea of why SEO is so important.

There is a joke that circulates on the web, which highlights how important it is to get on the front page of Google:

If you ever need to hide a corpse, you should put it on the second page of search results on Google.

Your blog post, article, or product that is linked to any other page of Google search results than the first is equivalent to its non-existence.

But to understand how to first appear on the results page, you first need to know how the search works.

How the search works:

Now that you have an idea of the basics of SEO, I’ll take a look at some of its components in detail.

While Google keeps its search algorithm quite well and not all of the over 200 factors are known and verified, Backlinko has done a good job of compiling as many of these factors into one list.

But first of all, to clarify one thing.

There are 2 parts of the power of an SEO, and you need to choose yours right now.

White method vs. Black method

As you know, I am in this entrepreneurial game for a longer period, instead of just trying to get a quick profit out of it.

It is the same with SEO. Some people try this just to make some money quickly, others look for long-term benefits.

If you want to work with SEO as a fast-paced system, you will probably get to do what is called the SEO’s black method.

This type of SEO focuses on optimizing content for the search engine only, not considering human intervention at all.

Because there are a lot of ways to break the rules in order to get your site’s listing as high as possible, this is a welcome way for an SEO to black and at the same time to make a few thousand dollars quickly.

Ultimately, this approach results in spam pages, nasty pages, which often become banned very quickly, also lead to severe punishments for marketers that ruin their chances of building something sustainable in the future.

You may be doing a few thousand this way, but you must continually look for updates on the search engine and come up with new ways to dodge the rules.

The white SEO method, on the other hand, is how to build a sustainable online business.

If you do SEO in this way, you will focus on the human audience, trying to give them the best possible content and making it easily accessible by playing according to the rules of the search engine.

Black Hat Strategies vs White Hat Strategies

Needless to say, you will hear me and see me just talking about SEO is done legally.

Choose your strength with wisdom, young SEO starter 🙂

Cleaning inside and outside: SEO On-page and SEO Off-Page

There are two broad categories of SEO:  SEO On-page and SEO Off-Page

SEO On-page refers to all factors in Google rank that are directly determined by the page you are trying to optimize, such as titles, content, and page structure.

SEO Off-Page page refers to all the variables where Google focuses, which is not exclusively in its own handling but depends on other websites such as social networks, blogs in your industry, and personal search history.

They are different, but you need to manage well with both for the purpose of understanding with SEO.

To get a better idea of what it means, here’s an example:

Suppose you have a house with a garden in the front yard and a small alley that runs along the front yard to your house.

Imagine these two scenarios:

Scenario # 1: Your home is super clean inside, but the front yard is in misery.

What happens in this scenario? Well, even if you have the cleanest Michael Jackson style house inside, if your garden looks like the Beast of Sleeping Beauty, no one would like to come to you.

SEO On-Page and SEO Off-Page

It’s just like when your page is super optimized around factors of online pages, it has great content and looks amazing, but no one gives you credit for it or additional points to your page.

No one will ever see your beautiful masterpiece because you will not win any traffic.

How about the other variant?

Scenario # 2: The front lawn is nicely arranged, but inside your house is a disaster.

Turn things back and they will look the same: having a neat yard will attract a lot of people to visit your house, but if the living room reminds your guests of a war zone they will leave faster than you pronounce SEO.

When a visitor leaves your site after viewing only one page in Google’s eyes, that visitor is considered a jump. The higher the jump rate ( the number of visitors who leave the site instantly), the worse ranking will have your page on Google.

That’s why you need both On-page SEO and Off-Page SEO.

You can do more things on your page to get first right and then even more stuff besides that (on the page if you want).

We’ll take a look at the first On-SEO Page.

There are 3 big categories of the SEO online page, which we will have to take a look at.

The first, and most important, content is.

1. Content

You’ve probably heard it before: “content is the king.”

Bill Gates made this prediction in 1996 and how true it is today.

Content is King


Because a Google customer is happy when he finds the result that serves his needs in the best way.

When you search Google for easy and fast cheese, Google will put all its energy into delivering what Google thinks is the best cheese recipe for cheese (which takes little time and uses few ingredients) across the web.

He does not seek the fastest, simplest recipe, or randomly puts a bunch of online stores to buy frozen products.

Google always tries to give you the best possible experience by targeting the best content you can find.

This means that your number one job is to improve SEO to produce great content.

It’s a shame, is not it? You still have to do a lot of work.

SEO is no different from any other skill – the very good results will always come from a great effort.

Just like the best marketing in the world, it will not help you sell a bad product with a very advanced SEO, it will be useless if the content itself leaves it to be desired.

Here are the factors that make up the valid content in Google eyes:

Quality content is a huge ranking factor

In the meantime, what in the times when top quality content did all the work and get you out of the crowd are long gone, it’s still the starting point for any successful SEO efforts (and even online business).

But coming with great content is not easy, after all, it would mean you have to become a teacher, and a good one at that.

However, you do not have to start from scratch.

Okdork has published a guide on how to create great content on the back of others that have done this before.

Maybe you have your own ideas already, then brainstorming might be of value for a while and then come up with a convincing title to start with.

Once you start writing, be sure to include all the important ingredients for great content on blog posting.

Even if you’re a very beginner, you can always have a professional approach to content by simply engaging in daily writing, so later this becomes a habit.

Do a better Keyword search

The inclusion of keywords at first is essential for great content.

Since you ideally want to include the keywords targeted to the title and throughout the article, you need to choose a keyword before starting writing.

I’ve covered the research keywords broadly in Quicksprout, but if you’ve never done a keyword search before, let’s take a look at the Hubspot Beginner’s Guide.

Of all the factors of an SEO, on the online pages, it is unique, you should study it to learn the most. There is no need to buy a book, Backlinko on the definitive guide to the search keywords will do it.

When I say you do not have to think about it, I really mean it. There’s a reason why we’ve done the time to complete the top 40 keyword search queries on KISSmetrics.

Using keywords for smart SEO

Google has become smarter over the years. While you should, of course, use keywords in your content, too many keywords in the text as much as will harm your top rather than improve it.

The keyword pad is a no-go these days.

In 2018, keyword use is more about semantics. Google has gotten so good at interpreting the way it searches for keywords, it is scary.

It does not just look at the keywords, but also their synonyms, to understand what you mean when typing, for example, “five guys”.

Using keywords for smart SEO

Google will know that you are probably not looking for 5 random men, but rather assume that you are looking for the fast-food chain “Five Boys, Burgers & Fries” looking at similar searches that can include keywords “burgers” and “fries.

As long as you make sure your keyword is present in strategically important places (such as headlines, URLs, and meta descriptions), you do not need to mention it thousands of times in your text.

Just focus on the reader and integrate perfect keywords a few times.

Content Prospects

The Hubspot has made a milestone this year, which has once again demonstrated that if you post more frequently this improves the Google rankings.

However, posting new content is just one way to signal Google’s freshness.

There are plenty of things you can do with already published content to make it more up-to-date.

Brian Dean of Backlinko, for example, only published about 30 messages in 2 years.
But he keeps all his posts until rewriting and adds new information he finds.

While it is important to publish it regularly, you can still get very good results posted once a month, as long as the content is in-depth and in-depth.

Direct answers to your visitors

Finally, one of the latest updates provides direct answers. If the content is written quite clearly for Google to recognize it as a response to a special question, it will appear directly under the search.

Direct answers to your visitors

Matt Cutts, the former head of the Google spam team and voice often published for the latest SEO and algorithm changes, announced last year that people who gave up the jargon would be even on the right track.

That’s why detailed guides and tutorials are becoming more and more popular.

So make sure you write clearly, buzzwords and complex sentence constructions will neither make you sound smart nor help SEO.

Moz has listed all the critical aspects you need to keep in mind if you want to do well with direct answers.

2. Working with HTML

The next big part you will have to take care of, once you’ve made sure that the content is evergreen, is HTML.

You do not have to be a professional coder or get a degree in programming, but an online business without knowing the basic HTML would be like driving without knowing what the colors of the traffic lights are.

Fortunately, with places like Codecademy or Khan Academy, there are more than enough possibilities to learn everything about HTML at a glance, for free.

Hell, you can even learn to work with just a sheet of paper like this one.

Let’s take a look at 4 parts of HTML that you should optimize for each piece of content you produce.

Title tags that attract visitors

Title tags are the equivalent of online newspaper titles.

This is what appears on the browser tab when you open a new page.

The HTML tag used for these is called a title, but for blogs, it often becomes an h1-tag, which comes in the first order position.

Each page should have only one h1 tag to make the title clear to Google.

I showed you how to do this at Quicksprout University, but the first page of Sage has produced a number of things you can do to learn how to do this.

Meta description – play nice with descriptions

Meta descriptions are what appears as a snippet when Google displays your page as a result of the search. It’s easy to figure out who’s done their homework and who does not:

Optimized Meta Description

The optimized results will not be interrupted and end with “…” or seem to end suddenly.

They also mention the keywords.

I can teach you how to come up with ideas for meta tags in Quicksprout University, and you should also check out some good examples to get a feel for the descriptions.

Do not think too much about this 320 maxim characters text snippet.

When you write it, you should keep searches in mind, far more than the search engine.

Schema Markup to a Website

The schema is the result of a collaboration of multiple search engines and is basically only a subset of specific HTML tags that will improve how content is displayed on search engine results pages (also called SERPs).

The rating in the example above with Bitcoin was created using the Scheme, for example.

It is a fairly small factor, but certainly good practice.

Moz has some good tips on how to get the most out of the Scheme.

When you’re done, do not forget to test your page to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Choice the best Headings

We’ve previously identified subheadings as one of the 7 things that every big landing page needs.

Not only does it help format and structure your content, and it easily gives your readers benchmarks, but they also affect SEO.

Compared to the h1 tags, the h2, h3, h4 and extra subheadings have less SEO power, but they still matter, and should, therefore, be used.

Plus it is one of the easiest SEO wins that you can get in WordPress.

3. The architecture of a website

The third and last part of the SEO page that I will cover is architecture.

While this part becomes super fast super techy, there are some simple things that everyone can and should take care to improve the SEO Topic.

A good site architecture that leads to an extraordinary user experience when he navigates your page through things like fast upload, secure connection, and mobile design.

Ideally, you will map your site’s architecture before buying the domain, to really get the road to a great user experience (UX).

ConversionXL has published a guide on how to make sure that UX works.

You also need to optimize a number of things for a great “search engine experience”.

Easily your site is accessible to Google, you better get ranking.

The Power of Backlinks

Do you remember spiders in the introductory video? These are programs that “drag” from one page of your site to another via links.

Depending on how well you can index all the pages on your site, they will be more likely to report to Google that you are a good outcome.

Thicker web links between site pages, easier for the antennas to reach all of them, give the search engine a better understanding of the site.

You can make this job easier for Google by creating a sitemap using a simple plug-in if you are on WordPress or an online XML sitemap generator.

To see a migration to action, you can use this tool.

Avoid Duplicate content

There is a lot of ranking myths nearby duplicate content, and how it hurts your top.

A common mistake is to think that everything on your page should be original.

Re-posting your content on other sites, or posting your comments back to your site, does not affect your SEO unless you do it in the wrong way (spam).

To make sure you are not penalized, learn about 301 redirects, which are a great way to manage duplicate content.

We’ve also put together a guide to show you how to address the issue with rel = canonical tags for links on Quicksprout.

Designed for mobile phone

Let’s admit that if the page is not designed for your mobile phone, you lose.

Consider this: over 500 million Facebook users (which is half a billion, just for clarity) use only facebook via the mobile phone every day.

While there are several ways to make pages look like mobile, I recommend you start by checking with the Google tool how your page appears now.

Again, Google has a tool to test this easily called mobile friendly. Another way to see if what you do is to use this free Pingdom test.

ConversionXL has identified some tips to increase site speed and Crazy Egg shows you how to stamp that extra second to improve your user experience.

Smarter Keywords in URLs

Including targeted keywords in URLs in blog posts is something you can not miss. You should not waste those SEO points.

You could modify the structure of permalinks on WordPress, and certainly should keep human users in mind, but including the keyword in URLs is a brainer number.

Implementing HTTPS and SSL

Google has announced that security is now considered a ranking signal.

There are two common security protocols: HTTPS (an HTTP secure version) and SSL (Secure Socket Layer).

Both go and can be considered, even if they do not help you too much.

Moving from an unsecured HTTPS or SSL connection requires a bit of work but worth your time.

If you start with a new domain, consider buying it as an option from your domain registrar or web hosting service.

Important factor – Age of the domain

Do you remember the times when young entrepreneurs like me were all on the wave? Who were the most respected business people?

Not everybody knows it. However, this is smart SEO by the book.

Domains on the Internet, similar. Age domain issues, just a little.

If the site is not up and still running, consider finding accessibility, expired domain, and usage.

1. Trust

PageRank, the famous formula invented by Google founders is by far not the only measure taken for the ranking of pages in the top 10 search results.

Trust is getting more and more important and the latest Google updates hit spam and obscure sites.

TrustRank is a way for Google to see if the site is legal or not. If you look like a great brand, Google is likely to trust you, for example.

Quality backlinks to authoritative sites (such as .edu or gov) also help. There are 4 pieces to build trust.

Branding – Work with your identity

As mentioned above, having a brand or personal identity online is a signal of great trust for Google, but it takes time to build it.

You know you’re a brand when you’re looking for Google and something like this appears:

Branding - Work with your identity

You do not have to have a brand name, branding is just as good.

What’s more, building brand signals prevents future sanctions through Google updates.

Authority of the site

The general authority of the site is determined by a mixture of 2 types of authority you can build:

Domain authority that has to do with how well your domain name is known ( is very authoritative, for example), and the Authority page, which refers to how much authority has the content of a single page (for example a blog post).

You can check your authority here based on a scale of 1 to 100.

To improve your authority, use some of the lessons I’ve given you to increase your authority without cheating.

The organic growth

The growth rate is simply a measure of how many people even saw a page on your site before leaving immediately.

Content, loading time, usability and attracting readers are all part of reducing the bounce rate.

A video is another great way to do this, but you need the content to stand out and deliver (5-step process buffer is a great place to start with video).

The quality of links

While links are not all, when looking at links, their quality is everything. The quality of your links counts much more than the number of links you have.

Building quality backlinks are all about getting to the right sources and offering value in return for a solid link, and I’ll show you tons of ways in our advanced guide to building links.

Anchor text

Anchor text is the text used when other sites link to you and yes, it is important.

Differentiating between types of text anchor is a good rule of thumb:

Better if the text sounds more natural.

Here’s an example: you could either link to a guide on the anchor text best practices linking the word “click here” or just naturally mentioning it in the flow of writing (as I did in the first half of this thesis).

The second category is called contextual backlink, and it is the one we have to strive for.

Number of links

Finally, the number of total links of course counts, too, you need to build up high-quality backlinks over time.

3. Personal

The third category of off-page SEO, which is worthy of attention, is the personal factors.

While most of these are out of control, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of reaching a certain audience.

The country

All searchers are presented with the relevant results in which country they are in.

The open times recommended by stores and restaurants are displayed in the time zone.

Words are interpreted differently. Someone looking for “Comforter” in the US will be showing blankets for their bed, as someone in the UK could see Suzette because that’s what the term means there.

One way to tell Google that you want to target certain countries is of course including as keywords, but surely ask yourself if it is worth it to go to multinationals.

Local SEO – City

Geo-orientation goes even further, up to a city level. That’s why when you search google for any fast food chain, you are usually presented with the right results around the block.

Again, using city names as a keyword helps you, but do not paint in a corner or you will end being considered as a local authority only.

Search History If the searcher was on the same page before, or even visited the site in general, you are more likely to appear because Google believes you are a searchable search result.

4. Social Networking

Finally, let’s take a look at social factors off-page SEO. In addition to the social signals directly from the search, there are other good ways to make good on social media that will help you to rank better.

Whether it’s direct through multiple links, or indirectly through a push of PR, social matters.

We’ve done more case studies on Quicksprout, proving social media are well worth your time.

There are 2 main factors of influence.

The quality of Sharing

As in the quality of backlinks, sharing matters more often than not. Google recognizes the influence and when you share content that part has SEO juice more than your neighbor.

A great way to get influence to share content is to announce them before even publishing, or even better, including citing or interviewing them.

Of course, you also have to tell a lot of online celebrities who are already interested in the topic.

Marketing Influencers

Number of shares

Secondary social value is the number of shares. Deleting a viral hit is the dream of every trader, but it is overestimated.

Okdork’s Guide to what is needed for an article to go viral gives you some ideas to optimize, but know that “going viral” is mostly a matter of constantly publishing great content.

Oh, and promoting the blog post as crazy.

Important: If you ended up reading this line, that means to me that you have enjoyed reading, PLEASE SHARE IT!

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