Now let’s finish this SEO thing once and for all. I’m going to write this blog post for a person who has never heard of the word SEO in his entire life. But if you are an expert or advanced-level SEO learner, feel free to skip to the relevant part of this article.
My goal is to teach SEO from a very basic to an advanced level. Are you ready for the SEO ride?
But before that, let me ask you a very quick question…
How to Learn SEO Without Joining Any Course Online or Offline
Where do you begin if you want to search for something on the internet?
You prefer using search browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Opera.
Search browsers act like a central hub connecting users with the websites. When we intend to visit a website, we need a search browser.
How do the search browsers show us the information?
Search browsers are connected with the search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo Baidu, etc. These search engines store (index) the website’s data.
To store the data, these search engines frequently visit (crawl) websites and see if these sites are publishing new pages and updating their content. In this way, these search engines can show fresh information to the users.
So until now, we have learned about:
- Search Browsers
- Search Engines
What is crawling?
I’m waiting for your answer in the comments section below. Now let’s move on to the further steps of SEO.
How do search engines show us pages?
Millions of pages are published daily and these search engines keep on updating their database by storing these newly published pages. There is a great chance multiple websites are publishing content on the same topics.
For example, Jack and Jessy live in two different places on the earth but somehow started to think about writing a blog post on SEO.
There can be millions of pages on the same topic but how do these search engines know which article to show in the results?
What is SERP Ranking?
The process of showing the results on the first page of search engines (SERP) is called ranking.
What are Different Types of SEOs
Now I assume you are quite familiar with the basic concepts of SEO, it’s time to have a literary look at the types of SEO. Based on different criteria I have divided SEO into different types.
SEO Execution Types
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
SEO Coverage Types
- Local SEO
- Global SEO
Ethical or Unethical SEO Execution Approach.
- White Hat SEO: Done right according to the guidelines of search engines.
- Black Hat SEO: Manipulates search algorithms to rank the websites like creating tons of backlinks to get a short-term ranking.
- Grey Hat SEO: A blend of white hat SEO and black hat SEO.
What are the SEO ranking factors?
The ranking depends on multiple factors such as what a person needs to find (intent). Is the article relevant to the question asked in the search browser (relevancy). How much time does it take to load the website (website speed)?
There are more than 200 factors that influence the appearance of pages on SERP. Some of them are public and everybody knows but some are kept secret by these search engines so everyone should just keep on writing good and helpful content.
What do I need to get started on SEO?
3 types of things are required to start your career in SEO:
- Passion for learning a new skill
- A few tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, and Keywords.io (Free tools Google keyword planner and 3 free searches of Ubersuggest and 10 free searches of Semrush)
- A website/blog (Can be set up for free). Later on this blog I’ll show you how to setup a blog for free.
Ok, let’s start doing it, are you excited?
Firstly, you will need to choose a topic (niche) for your blog. It’s the main subject around which you’ll be writing the articles. For example, if your niche is SEO, more likely you’ll be writing articles on;
- How to do SEO research?
- How to write an article for SEO ranking?
Both the above articles represent a title (SEO title) and they are made up of different words (keywords) like “do seo”, “seo research”, seo keywords research.
What are short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords?
All word combinations are keywords and they can be short or long. For example if it’s made up of 3 words, it’s a short-tail keyword but if it’s made up of more than 3 words, we can call it a long-tail keyword.
“Do seo” will be a short-tail keyword but “How to do seo research” will be a long-tail keyword. Now the question is how do we find these keywords and how do we decide which keyword to work on?
How do we find these keywords? Keyword Research
Here come the SEO Tools. We use these tools to find the keywords that are relevant to our main topic like SEO.
1: Google Search Suggestions
2: Keywords Everywhere
3: Google Keyword Planner
4: Keyword Surfer Extention
5: 10 free searches of Semrush
6: free searches of Ubersuggest
You can use any keyword research tool but for the sake of today’s tutorial, I will use Semrush.
How to do keyword researh using Semrush marketing tool?
First, we need to enter our main topic (which is SEO for now) in the “Keyword Magic tool” of Semrush:
Now, I will apply a few filters to obtain the ideal keywords. First, I’ll choose the “Phrase Match” option from the tab. This selection will enable me to retrieve all the keywords that closely align with the topic I have entered.
Before moving forward,
let me reveal my strategy for this keyword research task.
I want to find keywords that are comparatively easy to rank in a short time.
My instinct says that the keywords having fewer words (short tail keywords) will have much bigger competition than the long tail keywords. The reason is that a lot of people prefer to use small keywords while searching for the desired information. Only a few will try to search for long questions. Therefore, I’ll target a small number of people (low search volume).
As these keywords have low search volume so most of the website owners will not be working on these keywords. Hence, the competition is not that hard.
Also, I’m doing this keyword research for blogs that are supposed to be informative. So, in the “Intent” filter I’ll pick “Informative”.
But you can use other filters if you are setting up a different website like an ecommerce website, services business, products, local business etc.
Semrush Keywords Intent
- Info Blogs: Informational
- Commercial Blogs: Commercial
- Local Business: Navigational
- Ecommerce: Commercial,Transactional
Our list is filtered but still, we have lots of keywords that can be further filtered. The keywords are difficult and are huge for a new SEO practitioner. I’ll apply another filter of difficulty to keep keywords under 25.
Keyword difficulty (KD) is the level of effort needed to rank (appear on the first page) the keyword. Semrush keyword deifficulty is based on the authority of the pages ranking for a specific keyword.
The results are pretty sorted and now only a few tweaks will give us amazing results. I’ll set a minimum search volume of 200. This step will further refine our results, allowing us to identify a few keywords that are nearly finalized.
Alright, we are almost there. Now we have 107 keywords with a total search volume of 45870 and an average difficulty of 17%. It looks pretty impressive 🙂 What do you think?
But still, there are a few keywords that we may not go with, as it depends on the type of blog we want to run. Such as “seo consultant rankstar” and “park seo joon wife”.
If our focus is on SEO agencies, we should prioritize the first set of keywords. However, if we desire to write about SEO personalities, the second set of keywords will be a perfect choice.
It’s all manual work from now on. Still, there will be some service based keywords that you might want to skip because you are only planning to run an informative blog instead of selling SEO services, right?
We will exclude a few brand keywords that are not relevant to our work or areas of interest such as “SEO tool ahrefs login”. We don’t want people to visit our website and then go to ahrefs login page. Search engines are also aware that on this keyword they’ll only rank ahrefs official website login page, not ours.
SEO Blog Writing
Till now we are done with the basic keyword research and now it’s time to write the articles/blog posts.
You have the flexibility to create articles based on your schedule but I usually write multiple blog posts that are around 8-10 blog posts minimum, just to go to the website setup once.
As I have already written a detailed guide on how to write your first blog post, I’ll skip that part here. Go read that part here.
When it comes to setting up a blog, there are multiple free options and lots of paid options as well.
But as a beginner, I’ll suggest you set up a blog using free options like blogger.com, WordPress.com, and wix.com etc.
For your practice, I’ll set up a blog on blogger.com
How to set up a blog for free on blogger.com?
- Visit blogger.com and click on create your blog
- Choose your email account, password, and continue
- Type the name of the blog you are going to create according to your choice.
- Now enter your blog address part that comes before [blogspot.com]. Like if you chose “SEO-tips” it will be like SEO-tips.blogspot.com
- It’s time to select the name of your blog that appears on your homepage. It can be like “SEO Tips and Tricks”
Hurrah, your blog is ready. It’s your turn to publish your blog or you can write inside the draft editor of blogger.com
Just click on the “New Post” and start writing or copy-pasting your already written content. Once you are done, hit the publish button in the top right corner.
There are lots of other free platforms where you can create an account and publish your blog posts, but if you are interested in doing it professionally, then you can buy a domain, hosting, and set up your website.
Moreover, there are numerous tutorials available online to see how to set up a good looking blog on a custom domain on your server.
I didn’t want to skip these steps but due to availability of thousands of online resources it will be a fool’s errand. Furthermore, you’ll be more interested in watching a youtube video instead of reading a boring text, right?
If you are hooked up till here, you have learned half of SEO. Congrats!
After we have written the content, it’s mandatory to make sure it’s SEO optimized. Because if the content is SEO optimized, it will surely rank.
What is Included in On-Page SEO?
- Title tag optimization
- Meta Description Optimization
- Slug optimization
- Headings Optimization
- Filler Sections Optimization
- Image Optimization
Now let’s discuss it in detail. If you continue to read this blog post, you’ll learn the exact formula which I have been using for the SEO optimization of my articles.
Title Tag Optimization
In the html, title tag looks like this <title>Title of the blog post </title>. But you don’t need to have html skills to learn SEO. You can manually set it up on any CMS (content management system) like WordPress, blogger, etc.
While creating a blog on blogger, top place of the editor is to assign a title for the blog post.
The same is the case with any other CMSs.
Now, you might be wondering how to optimize the title tag. I’ll suggest keeping your whole keyword in the title tag. For example, if your keyword is “budget tea makers”, your title should be like this:
“Find the Budget Tea Maker Under $50 in 2023”
The next thing is to see the length of the title. It should fall below 60 characters or 600 pixels as lengthy titles do not properly appear in the SERP.
Here, you can see the title is wider than the viewable limit of google SERP. It’s not a problem for SEO rather it is for getting visitors on the website which may affect clicks on your website in Google search results. (Less CTR: click through rate)
Meta Description Optimization
It’s significant to understand why we need a meta description. A meta description is a summary of the whole page or blog post. It contains main keywords with a limit not exceeding 156 characters.
For me, meta description length is not problematic as far as it’s attractive and gets SERP clicks. It is because users can also see the meta description in google SERP. Nowadays, Google has become more advanced in its understanding. If Google determines that your meta description does not summarize the content, then it extracts some relevant text from your article or blog post and displays it in the SERP under the title.
For example, Google didn’t like my specified meta description and decided to show a part from my blog post in SERP like this:
Slug is a part of the URL which looks like this:
Where the domain URL ends, the slug part starts. This is one of the most critical parts of on-page optimization. I would highly recommend you give extra attention to this section.
An Ideal SEO-Optimized Slug Features
- It’s short
- Contains exact keywords
- Evergreen, because we can’t change it later for better SEO practice.
- Reflects the contents of the page
Why we can’t change the slug later?
Well, I’m not saying that we can not do it practically but I would rather say, we must not do this until it becomes necessary.
First of all the slug shouldn’t contain any numbers because in the future numbers cannot be changed, like if you set a slug:
What if you want to review 11 tea makers instead of 10 in 2024? See. Therefore, I recommended making the slug in a way that does not need any change in the future.
What about www.example.com/top-tea-makers-review
No matter how many products you want to review in a year, it’s totally fine.
Now, you might be considering making changes to your slugs as I suggested, realizing that there might have been a mistake.
Hold on and do not make any changes without reading the following check.
See if your article is indexed. In order to check, you need to enter this in your browser. “site:www.example.com/top-10-team-makers-2023”
After hitting enter, if your article appears in the google, don’t change the slug, but if it does not appear then go for it.
Slug is optimized? That’s really good. Now you are good to go for other optimization stages. The next one is
Headings are the backbone of your article, blog, or page. It defines how your content will be written and if it will be skimmable or not.
The heading tags should contain a blend of main focus keywords and related keywords that support the topic.
Image credit: searchengineland.com
In the above screenshot, both headings contain main keywords “title tag” which supports the main topic.
A few headings should contain your focus keyword.
Filler Sections Optimization
The filler section is the rest of the content in a blog post excluding images and videos. The content should solve the problem, answer the query, or propose a solution.
The introduction section must be attractive enough to grab the reader’s attention while the rest of the content should be written in a way that continually keeps the reader engaged on the page.
But the question is why a reader will stay on the page. The answer is pretty simple. You demonstrate to your readers that by reading your content, they will find answers to their questions.
Every reader is not the same. Some people come for just a simple answer and don’t wanna stay. As a good content creator, we should hold them for so long.
Try your best to answer the main question as early as possible. Also, in the filler section, you can add links to your relevant pages (internal links) and authority resource links (external links)
While adding external links, take care of link attributes (do follow and no follow). If the resource is a high authority website you can keep the link do-follow otherwise no-follow.
What is the Difference Between No follow and Do-follow Links?
If you trust the authority of a website in a niche or topic, you will usually add a do-follow link when referencing or linking to them. The no follow concepts goes against the do follow.
You can use External Links – no follow WordPress plugin to control which link to keep do-follow or which one to no-follow
You can read more about writing a seo optimized blog post
Image optimization is the most ignored part of the on-page SEO. It is recommended to maintain a ratio of 40% images and 60% text on your website. This is a definite ratio but it says that the images should be used less than the text.
But the question is how to do the SEO of the images. Images have a few attributes:
- Alternative tag
I will only discuss the alt tag (Alternative tag). We all know that the search engines crawl (read) the text but how does it read the images?
The answer is “alt tag”. The content included in the alt tag becomes the identifier of the image in the search results.
Ideally, an Alt tag should describe what the image has in it, what is the relationship of the image, and the main topic.
For example, I just searched “best tea makers 2023” and went to the image search. Here is what I got.
Now I clicked the highlighted image and observed why this image appeared. Below is the source code which tells everything.
In order to view the source code of a web page, do the following:
How to View the Source Code of Any Webpage?
- Right click on the page
- Select it from the menu or on Windows Ctrl + U, and Safari Option+Command+U.
- And then hit Ctrl + F to search for the tag “alt=””
Do you see? The alt tag and the title tag both have the keyword “tea makers” and also the alt tag describes the image.
The image referenced above is actually the featured image of the post and not the one shown above in the image SERP.
We saw a title, an alt tag, and a little label “Amazon” which is called the caption.
So we have covered it all. We use titles, alt tags, and captions to give credit to the copyright holder.
Wo wo wo wo, Ijaz you didn’t tell me how to add alt tags and all that kind of stuff?
My bad, here we go!
No matter which CMS you are using, the process will be the same.
All you need to do is to open the media gallery of your website in order to see the image menu option. There you can add all the details.
Now happy again?
The same thing goes with the videos as well. If you find any difficulties, feel free to ask in the comment section below. The comments section is solely made for you to ask me questions, so, do not hesitate!
What to do after content is published?
There are a few more steps you need to perform. These steps are related to the optimization and technical SEO:
- Install SEO plugin like Yoast and set it up
- Make sure your website is crawlable
In wordpress, this option should be unchecked just the way it is in the picture
- Setup Google Search Console and submit a sitemap.
- Create a Robot.txt file using Yoast SEO plugin
Ijaz you explained it well but I am not familiar with how to set up a website. Where to register the domains and how to buy hosting. Furthermore, connecting the domain and hosting looks a total mess.
How can I set up the website by myself?
This stuff looks outside of these domains but it’s ok. I can help you with that as well.
The website is made up of 2 components
- Website Domain
- Website Hosting
Simply visit any of the domain registrars, search for the name you want to buy for your website, and pay whatever the fee is. That’s it.
Let’s move to the other part
Buy Hosting for Website
Just like domain registrars, there are several hosting service providers. Hosting is like a storage area for your website data. Your data is stored on cloud storage where everyone can come and see what you have to offer them.
These hosting providers offer different hosting plans for individuals and agencies. As an individual, I would suggest going with shared wordpress hosting as it’s easy to set up. Buy the plan that exactly fits your needs and budget.
Domain Hosting Integration
Here comes the technical part. Hosting is linked with a domain name using a verification method called DNS (Domain Name Server).
Update the domain name server on your domain registration and get it linked within a few hours.
Now the question is how to do this.
Firstly, you need to find the DNS of your hosting service. For this, search this query on Google:
“A2hosting name servers” You can replace A2hosting with the name of your hosting provider.
Open the official page of the company Press Ctrl + F and type the hosting name like a2hosting.com. You’ll find the name servers like.
Copy all the information into a notepad file, and then navigate to your domain registrar account. In the dashboard, find the “Manage Domains” section. Find the domain you wish to connect with the hosting provider.
Every company has a different user interface. Depending on it, locate “My products”, “My domains”, or “All domains” etc.
Click on name servers and paste them one by one and update them.
Now, wait for a few hours and the name servers will be updated.
Bonus Tip: If you want to avoid all that kind of technical stuff, buy the domain and hosting from the same platform.
How to Install WordPress on my new website?
After the name servers are updated, you can visit your hosting dashboard. Every hosting dashboard has a feature to add domains.
As a sample, I’m using Dreamhost for domain registration and hosting as well.
They have a button “Add hosting to a domain”
Once you proceed and enter the domain name that you have just connected, they will install WordPress by themselves. I love Dreamhost due to its speed, unlimited email accounts, unlimited bandwidth, and many more features.
If you are using any other hosting service, you’ll have to add the domain in the hosting account and then manually install the WordPress.
For example, in the a2hosting service you’ll need to add the domain first.
How to Install WordPress on A2Hosting Server?
- Go to the cPannel and find the option “Create a domain”. Don’t worry. It’s not about registering a new domain. It is just to make a domain folder in your hosting.
- Create a domain folder
- Once the domain is added go to the “WordPress Manager” on the left side.
- This will open up a new panel where you can install the WordPress.
- Here, you can select the domain name from the list that you have already added:
- And press install. That’s it.
After installing WordPress, it usually takes 1-2 hours to get the website live. Keep a note of WordPress login credentials that you entered during the installation process. Once the installation is completed, either your WordPress installer will give you a login link or you can try this one:
And then input your login credentials to get access to the website WordPress dashboard.
Have you noticed one thing?
You are having hands on your first website? Isn’t it exciting? What you wanna do with this. Do a few things first.
New Website Checklist
- Install Yoast SEO Plugin
- Install any Cache plugin like w3 Total cache
- Install a good and lightweight theme
- Install the WP Code plugin. You’ll need it later.
- Install Google Site Kit
- Check if your website indexing is enabled or disabled. Remember the step?
Now that you have installed google site kit, connect it with your Google search console and also set up Google analytics.
So, you think it’s done? I thought too but then I remembered that one part is left. We haven’t talked about the backlinks yet. So, here they are!
In an ideal world of SEO, backlinks are free of cost links of your website on other quality websites. But the real world says something else. Before digging into the dos and donts of backlinking, let’s first understand how many types of backlinks are there.
Types of Backlinks
- Natural Editorial Links
- Guest blogging backlinks
- Forum and Q&A Links
- Image backlinks
- Citation backlinks
- Social media backlinks
Natural Editorial Links:
When a content editor is editing the content, they sometimes search for a reference on the web and if they find a resource useful and insightful they link it in the content. These are the most powerful links.
Guest Blogging Backlinks:
When a new website is launched, it is usually not well-known and does not appear in search results, making it difficult to acquire natural editorial links.
So the website owners write a good piece of content and include their own website links in it and send it to the niche related website editorial teams. If they like the content, more likely they will publish the content with the link back to the site owner website.
Forum and Q&A Links
Forum links are available on every topic on the internet. Whatever you are blogging about, there are a few forms on it too. The site owners join these forum discussions based on their expertise, offering their opinions.
Add website blog post link in the forums to prove the point.
If a site owner is blogging in arts, crafts, and literature, there are few platforms where people share pictures of their art etc. The websites give links back to the site owner in order to provide honor to those.
One of the famous examples is Pinterest.
Citation backlinks are directory or listing backlinks. A few years ago, these were known as directory submissions.
These types of websites list other websites under different categories such as “Home Improvements websites”, where they add a long list of all the websites that are focused in the home improvement category.
Social Media Links
These links do not have anything to do with the website ranking but they are great at generating tons of traffic for the website. A shareable piece of content can drive thousands of website visitors.
Other Old Strategy Backlinks
There are lots of other backlinks like Web 2.0, PDF submissions, Audio Submissions, Profile Backlinks, Social Bookmarking, etc. But all these are now obsolete in my opinion because none of these are working these days.
Anyhow, that’s my point of view. If you have some success, please feel free to share your strategy in the comment section below.
What I have to say at the end
SEO is the most effective approach towards getting a high ranking in the search results and getting sales, but it takes a long time to learn the ins and outs.
I’ve tried my best to explore as many terms as possible like SEO Niche, Keywords Research, Keywords Types, Content writing, Website setup, and domain hosting integration with the help of nameservers.
Also, we have discussed on-page optimization techniques including title tags, SEO meta descriptions, image optimization with the help of alt tags etc.
Then we discussed how to set up a website and learned how to install WordPress on a new website.
At the end, we touched a bit of off-page SEO (backlinks) like editorial links, guest blogging, forum links, citation backlinks, and social media links.
I think we briefly covered everything and I hope you have learned something new today. I’m just curious to know if everything was new to you or a few things.
Are you still interested in learning SEO? You are a gem I must say. If you’ve come this long, it means you’ve learned a lot.
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