Web Design SEO

SEO for Beginners

SEO for Beginners: In Plain English! 


SEO For Beginners Will Teach You:


  1. How to Improve Your Website’s Performance On Google  


  1. How to Speed Up Your Website’s Loading Time


  1. How to Get Backlinks to Your Website … and more!  


Introduction to Search Engine Optimization


SEO for Beginners: In Plain English, will do just that – lay out the basics of search engine optimization in the simplest terms that anyone can understand. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, boils down to one thing: will you get found on page 1 of a Google search for the keyword you chose – or will you end up somewhere in the Timbuktu? Whether you end up on page 1 or page 20 depends on a lot of different factors, and since Google will not divulge what these factors are, the rest of the world is left guessing. This is where your skilled SEO specialist comes in: someone who has run the SEO Gauntlet and come out on the other side. Be that as it may, SEO for Beginners can start to show you simple things to look for in SEO, even if it’s just to see if the  “expert” you hired is holding their own – or just your money!



SEO: Some Basics For New Search Engine Optimists!


No, it wasn’t a typo. People that do SEO are both optimizers and optimists. It’s just the nature of the game. SEO, in one sense, is designing your website’s content and structure so that search engines will put it close to, or on page 1 of a search. Some other factors ( and there are many) that play a role in search engine optimization are the performance of your website, for example; how long it takes to load, if it has broken links, can the search engines readily access it, to name a few. And let’s not forget popularity. If Google sees a website is getting a lot of traffic, it will most likely move it up in the ranks. This probably doesn’t need to be said, but one of the main reasons people come to your site in the first place is its content. Valuable content = traffic!


What Makes Content Valuable?


Or, to put it like everybody else in the business does, why is content “king”? Content is valuable when it satisfies the reason the person typed in the search bar in the first place: to find an answer to their question or one that satisfies their need. People searching for topics on the web are really looking for answers, plain and simple. An example of this would be if you were trying to learn SEO and you found this article in a search. Maybe you typed in “SEO for beginners”. If you want to look at this from the searcher’s point of view –try turning common search terms into questions the searcher might ask; like ‘How do I do SEO?’ or ‘What are some basic steps I can take to do SEO?’  You are here because you want to learn how to do SEO. You’re not looking for a steakhouse or to adopt a kitten–you want to know how to do SEO.  If this content delivers that information to your satisfaction, you are likely to share it on social media or even link back to it, if I’m lucky! And getting your content shared on social media and acquiring backlinks sends a message to the search engines that the article you’ve written provided value. The search engines’ natural response to this information is to move your article up in the search results. So think of your content as a gift – of knowledge. And while we’re giving, let’s give you some info. about another hot SEO booster: backlinks.



What Are Backlinks?


Backlinks are when another website likes your content enough to actually put a live link to your website – on theirs. It’s a beautiful thing! People can click on the link and visit your website. Google puts backlinks at the top of their appreciation list for SEO, because they assume that if someone liked your content enough to link to it, it must have some value. The name of the game with backlinks is to get them from high domain authority websites, rather than “spammy” ones. If you want to check a website’s domain authority, just go to Open Site Explorer to check for free. And Google knows the difference between a good backlink and a bad one, believe me.


Ok, So WHERE Do You Get These Coveted High Domain Authority Backlinks From?


You get them from sites with a high trust rating from Google, which basically means government sites (.gov), school websites (.edu) and charitable organizations (.org). Getting backlinks from these sources can really help your website jump closer to page 1, or higher up on it if you’re already there. I should also mention there are a lot of high domain authority websites that are not .edu, .org, .gov.

It’s important to keep in mind though, that a “spammy” backlink from a low-quality website can damage your website’s SEO. And yes, it was worth repeating, because there are a lot of unscrupulous “SEO specialists” out there that buy cheap backlinks for sites they work on, getting those sites an artificial- and temporary- boost. But Google may eventually find out, and your site can get hammered in the search results. And once that happens, it’s a long climb up again. You want to get your backlinks the old fashioned way – by earning them.



So HOW Do You Get These Wunderbar Links?


Brian Dean, one of the “big boys” of backlinking, came up with an interesting way to get backlinks: it’s called The Skyscraper Technique. I know, what the heck does that mean, right? The Skyscraper Technique, in the simplest terms, is finding a high authority website in your niche, finding out which links they have going out to other sites that are broken, pointing out those broken links to the site owner, and asking him or her to link back to your article instead. It’s a win-win situation for them because they no longer have a broken link, which Google looks at as an error, and they have good content to replace the old article. To find out if a site has broken links, you can use several tools such as AHREFS and  Semrush . But hey, let’s not forget about loading time, that other huge SEO factor…


What is Loading Time?


Loading time, in plain English, is how long it takes for your website to appear on the screen after someone clicks on the link to it. Yes, there are more technical explanations, like “time to first byte” etc., but for now, this one will suffice. Google takes loading time into account when considering user experience. This is because they know people don’t like waiting around for things. Hey, it’s a fast food society, right?! Loading time is actually measured in milliseconds. According to some of the pros, your website should load in 2 seconds or less. A great free tool to test your loading time is Pingdom.


How Can I Improve My Website’s Loading Time And Performance?


First and foremost –you should always optimize the images on your website. Images taken from the web usually have huge file sizes and this means it takes them longer to load. You need to compress the image files so that your site loads quicker. You can do this off-site with imageoptimizer.net, or you can do it with plugins if your site is made on WordPress. Smushit is a popular WordPress plugin for people who want to shrink image file size. You also want to minify the code of your website; java script, css, and html . If you want to see how Google scores your website’s performance, go to Google Pagespeed Insights. This will tell you what needs to be fixed.


Yikes! Did He Say Minify The Code On My Website??


Yes, he did –and there are some great plugins to help you do it- without knowing anything about code! W3total cache, Autoptimize and Wpfaster are 3 of the best plugins out there for minifying the code on your WordPress website. You can download these for free at WordPress.org. A word of warning though – configuring a plugin like W3total cache takes some experience, and doing it wrong can screw up your site. Keep in mind that the same plugin can react differently to different websites, depending on the way the template is coded. Getting it right may take some tweaking. The upside…if you click on something that blows up your site, 99% of the time unclicking it restores your site. I will go into details of how to configure w3total cache in an upcoming article, and what to do if you accidentally mess something up. By now you’re wondering about how to improve your onsite SEO even more, right? Is there a magic plugin for this action?


What Is The Best SEO Plugin For Your WordPress Website Or Blog?


Yoast is definitely one of the most popular seo plugins –and fairly easy to use. It has sections that help you properly format your titles and meta descriptions, as well as content to match your chosen keywords. The nice thing about Yoast is that it gives you a “green light”, actually a dot, that lets you know when you’ve got something right.


What About Compressing Video So My Site Loads Quicker?


Do you have a video on your website? Do you know if your web designer actually took the time to compress the file size of the video so it won’t slow down your site? Hey- you can check it yourself on Pingdom. This will tell you that actual size of the files, so if you see something huge, 50 megabytes, you’d better get your designer on the phone, asap!! You can compress large video file sizes or you can put your video on Youtube and link it to your site. When the video is on Youtube, your site isn’t carrying any of the load. Handbrake.fr is a tool for optimizing and shrinking video file size so your site can load quicker – and it’s free. This is the only game in town, at the moment, in my opinion.


There’s A New SEO Game in Town: Structured Data Mark-Up, and It’s a Biggie!

We will talk about Structured Data Mark-Up in a future article, but for now, keep an eye on this one…


The Desired Effect


The bottom line for improving your website’s SEO is to get more people to visit your website and buy your product or services. The easier it is to find your website, the easier it is to do this. Just keep in mind a few simple rules when selling your services; always over deliver on your promise, don’t keep people waiting, and provide a value that is unique to your business. Oh, and one last thing –make sure all your ducks are in order with Google!


List of Tools Mentioned In This Article;

  1. Moz Open Site Explorer

  2. Pingdom

  3. Google Pagespeed Insights

  4. Imageoptimizer.net

  5. Handbrake

  6. WordPress Plugins –W3Total Cache, Smushit

  7. Yoast Plugin



If you need help with any of the techniques in this article, such as SEO or redesigning your website, please contact us. Our rates are reasonable and our customer service is superb. Thank you for your time!

917 742 4711





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