SEO for beginners – Incredible 2020 guide made simple

If you’re in this journey to work on a passive income stream by working with dropshipping or with affiliate marketing and want to expand the organic traffic on your website, SEO is fundamental! This is why we’ve created this post to introduce SEO for beginners and help you with your online business.

What is SEO? A walk through the concepts of SEO for beginners.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is a process to work and improve the position of your website and posts on search engines like Google, Bing and others.

The better you’re ranked in the search engines, the higher you show up in a potencial customer search in the web, and it is most likely that your potencial customers will click on a result that showed up in the first page, so it is wise that you work on your SEO to get well ranked.

When you lookup something at a search engine, you’ll see first advertisings on the topic you’re looking into, and right after the ads, you’ll see the organic results from the search, that are the websites that worked better on their SEO.

Let’s suppose you’re looking for Beats wireless headphones on Google. As you can see in the image below, the first part of the research came out as a paid ad from several companies selling out these headphones, and after that you can start seeing organic posts on the subject.

SEO for beginners - search in google to show ads and organic results

This is just an example on how the ads will show up first in the search engine, but keep in mind that they can come with different layouts, but they’ll always have a small text to tell the readers that they’re sponsored or an ad, but the goal of SEO is to show as high as possible in the ranking after these ads.

What are Keywords?

The term Keyword is really used in SEO, but it does not mean that a Keyword is a single word only. Most of the times a keyword is a small sentence composed of three, four, five or more words, that people use to narrow the results they’re looking for in the internet.

The more words you have in a keyword, the more specific you get and the lower your competition will be, however, you’ll have less people looking up for the bigger keywords. The good news is that people looking for specific keywords may be more focused on purchasing an item them people using shorter and more general keywords.

How to research Keywords

Since this is a SEO for beginners guide, let’s leave it simple for you. When looking for keywords you should take three steps to make your life easier, as detailed below.

  1. Think as the customer;
  2. Look up for your competitors;
  3. Use a keywords tool.

For the first point, you should use common sense and think about how you would look up for the products or services you want. Try to ask yourself what would you possibly type into your search engine to narrow your research, and do that using Google or another search engine that you’ll see already a few options showing up as you write them down.

In the second point, try looking up in the internet your direct competitors and try to figure out which keywords they’re using by looking into their title tags, heading tags, and the content. By looking into this points you should have an idea of the keywords they’re using to rank well on the search engines, but you do not necessarily need to use the same keywords.

After covering the two points above, it’s time for the third point, and to help you find great keywords to work with, I listed a few keyword research tools, being some of them free and some paid.

If you’re just starting out I would recommend the free options listed below in the first instance, and as you go more into SEO in the future you can try out paid tools to help you get some extra positions on the rankings.

Web page/Landing page Optimization

Landing pages and Web pages are synonyms and they can be any page whithin your website, as your Home page, a specific product page or a Blog post, and it is very important that you optimize every single page in your Website.

Optimizing a web page goes beyond a targeted keyword, and we’ll discuss some points that you should consider while optimizing your pages.

Page URL

Page URL is basically the termination you use to name the page or blog post after of your domain name and extension. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about 10 best guitars, your page URL could be set as https://companyname.com/10-best-guitars

Use only hyphens to separate the words in your URL, anything other than hyphens will not be well accepted by the search engines, and you won’t get the best ranking as you can. Remember that all these small details matter in terms of SEO.

Make sure to use only normal chacacters so it can be easily read by a normal person and consequently the search engines crawlers that will read and rank your website.

If possible, try to include your keyword in the URL, so the search engines can easily relate your landing page or post with the subject you’re trying to rank for.

Meta Tags

If you have no clue what are Meta Tags, they are basically small texts displayed in the search engines to describe the readers what the post or page is about, and they are divided into Title Tag and the Desciption Tag, as in the image below.

Title and description tag example

It is very important that the Meta Tags contain your Keyword in both Title and Description Tag, specially in the beginning of the Description Tag. That will improve your chances of a reader to click and open your pages when they find the keyword they are searching in the text that shows up in the search engines to explain the content of your site.

Another point is the size of the Meta Tag, so try to keep the Title Tag under 60 characters and the Description Tag under 160 characters, so the search engines display the entire text.

Heading Tags

Heading Tags are used in websites representing titles of a page, post or section. To better structure a page or post, it is commonly used different kinds of Heading Tags called as H1, H2, H3 or even more headings to structure the page into sections and sub-sections.

As a tip to SEO for beginners, try to include your keyword in the H1 in a natural form, so you both rank well by having the keyword in your heading tag but you also produce a heading tag that has a good readability and people want to click on it to learn more about the subject.

Always when producing your content, include H1, H2 and H3 to better structure your posts and pages, it will not only look more organized but it will also help you rank your landing pages better.

Images and Alternative Text (Alt Text)

I strongly recommend that you use images in your posts and pages, and for that I even have an entire post on how you can get free professional images to use on your Website, to learn how to get these images click here and read our post.

Always make sure you name the pictures properly, using hyphens to separate the words, and try using your keywords at least to the main picture of the page or post.

Always fill in the alternative text (Alt Text), because that will be one point they’ll consider when ranking your website, so make sure you always do it, and you can even use variations of your keyword.

Content of the page or post

There is no right or wrong on how many times you should use your keyword or a ideal keyword density, but when writing your content try always to use your keyword making it look natural and do not over use it.

Use images, illustrations or bullet points to break down your text and make it more enjoyable to read. Make sure also to not write long paragraphs, so break them down using heading tags as well.

Create relevant content for your niche and try to make them longer than 600 words. The ideal post lenght would be around 2000 words, these way your post will have more chances to rank better.

Create a Sitemap

It is very importat for you to create a Sitemap, that is basically all your pages and posted you have on wour website listed in a file. The importance of having a Sitemap is to help the crawlers from Google, Bing or any other search engine to read your entire website faster so you get better rankings for your pages.

Mobile SEO

It is really importat that you optimize your pages to be mobile friendly, specially because more and more people uses their mobile to access all kind of content in the web, so the traffic from mobiles is just growing and you want to be optimized for that, so for this reason we must include this topic in this SEO for beginners 2020 guide.

A few tips for optimizing to mobile are, making sure people do not need to scroll your page laterally to see all the page, so it should simply fit the screen of the phone perfectly.

Use bigger letters so the reader does not need to keep zooming in to read all your content, so you should find a mid term where people can read properly but the text does not get super big and does not fit the screen anymore.

Speed of the page is super important, sprecially talking about mobile access, because if the page does not load fast enough, people might just leave your page even before it loads and you get the chance to pitch a sale.

Try to space well the links on the mobile version, so it makes easier to people click on the proper link they want, instead of clicking by mistake just because there was another link close by.

Plugins for WordPress to help you with SEO

For our luck, there are several plugins available for WordPress to help you optimize your landing pages an posts in a very simple way. In this post I’ll name only two plugins that I’ve personally used.

Yoast is the most popular plugin in WordPress for SEO, and it has a free and a Pro version. Just looking for the free version, it already provides you with a variety of features to help you optimize your pages, but certainly the Pro version add other important features. In the future I might create a full tutorial of both free and Pro version of Yoast.

Rank Math is a new plugin in the market and for now it is completely for free, having no Pro version yet. The great point for Rank Math is that it includes several features of Yoast Pro, and all of that for free. I also plan on creating a full review on the Rank Math plugin, but for now I’ll leave you with a few screenshots of the plugin and how it works.

A quick overview of Rank Math

Rank Math has more than 65 features, but for this post I’ll just show you a few screens so you can see how the plugin can help you doing SEO from a page or post for example.

If you open a new post window in WordPress and you have Rank Math already installed, you’ll see on the top right corner a score for page or post by Rank Math. If you click on it, it will open all points they consider for this score system, like the image below, this way you can work point by point of this list to improve your score.

For the first point of the image above, you can see a edit the Snippet button, that basically gives you the opportunity to edit the Meta Tags, changing how your pages and posts are going to look like on Google or any other search engine.

As you can see, the Snippet editor above is super user friendly, and you can change the Title Tag, Description Tag and the Permalink, which is the URL of your page or post.

The second point on the Rank Math toolbar is where you can choose your keywords. After you write down the keywords, they’ll show up in red if it is still not optimized and as you work on optimizing it it will change to yellow and later to green when you finally meet the ideal proportion of keywords in your page.

For the third point, there are several items, such as Basic SEO, Additional, title readability and content readability. Inside every single one of these items you’ll have a list of things to take into consideration, and they will all impact your score. Relax I won’t leave you hanging there, so in the image below you can find all that is considered in the Rank Math Score.

After you finish writing and optimizing your post you should be able to see all green items, but do not worry if you can not score 100 in Rank Math. Just try to get as close as you can but still making your content natural, so you can better rank your pages in the search engines.

Conclusion

The ideia of introducing SEO for beginners is to help young entrepreneurs who have just created their first website or online business but still need to work on getting organic traffic to their websites.

What I recommend for beginners, is that you start doing SEO from the beginning of your site using the free plugins I mentioned and upgrade to paid plugins in the future when you feel more comfortable with the subject and want to improve even more your pages.

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash