Beginner’s Guide to SEO on Google

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I have written this guide for beginners because I believe that knowledge about SEO positioning in Google should be for everyone and not just for a few “experts”. It is true that search engine optimization can be a bit confusing with certain words, methods and tools, but it is also true that with the most basic concepts you can achieve very good results .

Let’s go to the mess! ?

? What is SEO or search engine optimization?

The SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) is to optimize a website to improve its position in the results showing web browsers. That is, try to make your site come out first when users search Google for something related to the topic of your site, mainly. ?

What is SEO for?

Well, the purpose of SEO or improving the web positioning of a site in search engines (such as Google) is that it has more visibility to get more visits , which can mean more sales or more income in general.

That is why it is so important nowadays, because it is a free and so powerful channel to attract users who can become your readers, subscribers, customers, etc. 

Before, if you searched for “create a fashion blog” in Google, my tutorial to create a blog (in general) appeared in the 8th position. 

Well, one way to “optimize” the SEO of that tutorial so that it would appear higher in the results of that search (and more visits to the tutorial would enter), was to update that tutorial with a specific section on how to create a fashion blog.

Then Google saw that it was indeed dealing with that particular topic and now the result appears in the top 5 of that search.

Well that’s SEO. ?

SEO example

It is true that Google increasingly “understands” better what users are looking for (interprets our language), how they search for it (such as voice search ) and increasingly “reads” the sites on the Internet to provide answers to those searches , but the basic and technical aspects of SEO that I am going to explain to you right now are still very important.

? What is SEO On Page?

SEO On Page is the name given to the optimization that can be done directly on the pages of the website that you try to position in the results in Google, that is, everything you can change on your site to try to appear the first in Google searches.

Here I explain it in more detail and with simple examples:

➤ What is SEO on page?

? What is SEO Off Page?

SEO Off Page is the name given to the optimization that is tried to be done from sites external to the site that is tried to position in the results in Google, that is, everything you can do “outside your website” to try to appear the first in Google searches (mainly getting inbound links or also called backlinks ).

Here I explain it in more detail and with simple examples:

➤ What is SEO off page?

? How does Google work?

To know what to “touch”, you must first know how the Google search engine works when it comes to positioning your website or blog in searches, don’t you think?

You have to understand that Google, basically, what you always want is to give the best answer (or the most accurate) for what a person looks for in your search engine.

And to do so, it goes through a series of phases:

  1. Google constantly crawls websites (the ones that “let themselves” be tracked, of course ?) to find out what they have. This phase is also known as crawling .
  2. Then Google indexes all that information on its own servers to have it well organized and to be able to access it later more easily. As if it were the index of a library in which you write down what you have found and relate it to terms, entities and keywords that identify it.
  3. When someone uses the search engine, Google goes through its index  to see what it has saved in relation to that user’s search intention and what it can give as an answer.
  4. Now is when Google’s algorithms are in charge of ordering the information  according to how they think it can best respond to the user’s search and that it is more relevant to them.
  5. Finally, Google shows the information  on the search results pages or SERPs ( Search Engine Result Pages ) according to how it thinks it may be most useful to the user: with a simple box, a map, a list of sites, a carousel of videos, a table, etc.

And this is the process (very brief) of what Google does.

With this I want you to see that SEO is not only in step 4), but it starts from step 1) making things easy for Google to find and “understand” your site correctly, and hence the importance of following Google’s webmaster guidelines . ?

? How can I optimize my website or blog?

Let’s get to the point. There are many things to take into account when it comes to improving your web positioning, but I want to make clear some details that Google will take into account and that are  basic but very important :

  • It will check if your website works. Logical, right? Well, I advise you to choose the best hosting , because depending on who you hire it with, this may not be so logical and your website is not working longer than it is working …
  • The loading speed of your website . As a general rule, websites that load faster “lose” fewer visits because the user is more comfortable in them, and Google will pay attention to that (and this also depends on having good hosting, of course).
  • If your site and its content is easily “traceable”. That is why it is so important to add it to Search Console , Google’s free tool with which you can facilitate their work and also know how your site is performing in Google results.
  • If  your content is shared a lot . If your content is quality and unique, and you also get it to be shared a lot, then you will receive more visits; this way Google will understand that people like it and will position it better.
  • The behavior of the user on your website or blog. Google also knows if the user has found your site from the search engine and if it has served him for what he was looking for … ?

In addition to these tips, there are some basic notions that many “gurus” take for granted and end up not being taken into account. But these simple aspects are the foundations of SEO on your website and on the most expensive and beautiful website you have ever seen.

Do I tell you? Well here they are:

? Friendly URLs

The URLs of your website or blog have to be “friendly”, that is, they must be simple and suggest the content of the page .

For example, these 2 links lead to the same article but, which one do you think Google and users will find easier to know what it is about? ?

In WordPress this can be changed from the Settings> Permanent links menu , where you can choose between several options. Some are NOT friendly at all , some are friendly and some are (at least for me) the friendliest

? Be careful, if your website or blog has been using a URL pattern for a long time, don’t change it crazy .

Think that those URLs will already be positioned in Google and other sites may be linking to them. If you change them, you have to make sure to redirect the URLs with the old pattern to their corresponding new pattern.

Take a look at this post on 301 redirects to see how it is done, and if you still have doubts, it is best to have someone who knows how to do it 100%.

So now you know, it doesn’t matter if you decide to create a blog on your own, on Blogger, WordPress, Joomla or any other platform; don’t forget to make your URLs “friendly”.

? Titles

The titles of your pages and articles are very important, because it is one of the first things Google will look at to see if your content has to do with what the user is looking for .

It will also be the first thing you see in the search results, so:

  • Be clear and direct ; choose a title that defines the content of the page well.
  • Create unique titles for the different pages that your website or blog has.
  • Write a title that does not exceed 70 characters , otherwise Google will cut it in the search results.
  • Try to write the most important and descriptive word at the beginning of the title.
  • If you are going to separate specific phrases or words, use symbols such as the hyphen  «-«  or the slash «|» .

? Descriptions

Like the titles, it is very important to put descriptions on all the pages and articles of your website or blog.

In fact, all the recommendations that I have commented for the title are also valid for the description, although in this case the limit of the characters that is then displayed in the Google results may change depending on the search that the user does.

Normally the limit for descriptions was  up to 156 characters , but with the changes that Google made in its day it can now go up to 320 characters.

My advice is that you make a description of 1 or 2 short and clear sentences starting from the title itself , then over time you check if Google shows them or puts another description, and with  Search Console you  analyze if people click on your result or if you think you can better adapt the description to the search for the one that suits you best.

As you will see, in my descriptions I also usually add emojis and other symbols to try to capture the user’s attention.

? Header tags

Google doesn’t just look at your links, titles, and descriptions; Also look for the header tags that contain your pages and articles.

These are the titles and subtitles that you use when writing to organize your content and that in HTML you will recognize with the <h1>, <h2>, <h3> tags … up to <h6>.

The <h1> tag is the largest and makes the text much larger, while the <h6> is the smallest and has the smallest text. Since larger tags are often used to put the most important things, Google will look more closely at these tags to find out what your content is about:

SEO guide for beginners

<h1> SEO Guide for Beginners </h1>

SEO guide for beginners

<h2> SEO Guide for Beginners </h2>

SEO guide for beginners

<h3> SEO Guide for Beginners </h3>

SEO guide for beginners

<h4> SEO Guide for Beginners </h4>
SEO guide for beginners
<h5> SEO Guide for Beginners </h5>
SEO guide for beginners
<h6> SEO Guide for Beginners </h6>

My advice is not to abuse the most important labels . Just organize your text with logic and common sense :

  • <h1>: use it as if it were the title of your content, so putting it once is more than enough.
  • <h2>: keep this in mind to divide your page or article into the most important sections. Surely you will not need more than 4 or 5. It is advisable to use them with long tail keywords .
  • <h3>: if the content of each section is very long, try to divide it into sub-sections with this tag. If this is your case, I don’t think you need to use it more than 10 times. Here you can use long-long tails.
  • <h4> to <h6>: unless you are writing a doctoral thesis or a book, I think that reaching this level of organization can be counterproductive. You can use it sometime in very specific cases, but honestly, if your content is not very extensive, I don’t think you need them.

? Keywords

The «keywords» or keywords are those with which you want the user to find your content when they search in Google. To do this, you have to choose the ones that best suit the topic you are writing about, look for others related to this same topic that may be of interest and use them wisely in your content.

It is also 100% recommended that you use them in the sections that I have explained before ( URLs, titles, descriptions, headings … ) so that Google finds it better. In this way, when someone searches on that topic and uses any of those keywords, Google will take into account whether your website has them or not.

For example, if you are writing an article to recommend the best WordPress hosting , a good tip might be to use the keywords “best” and “hosting”.

Keywords – WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

And it is logical to think that people look for  “the best hosting for wordpress” , “what is the best hosting” , “hosting for wordpress” , etc.

Queries – Google Search Console

My advice is do n’t get obsessed with keywords . There are analyzers, tools, density meters, word counters … The truth is that I think it is much simpler than all that.

Clearly, you have to use keywords and related concepts so that Google knows what your content is about, but isn’t it logical that you end up using all of these keywords when writing about a specific topic?
Well that. 

The best thing you can do is write your content naturally , without thinking about keywords.

Check it out when you’re done, and then yes, you can analyze what they are.

When you have them, you can substitute words or phrases with your keywords , define titles and subtitles with those keywords, answer specific questions, etc; But be careful that the sentence or paragraph does not lose the meaning you wanted to give it.

If you want to know how I do all this on my blog, take a look at this article where I explain how to do a keyword study and how I apply it to content later.

? Links profile

Nowadays, links ( link building ) are vital for web positioning, because it is the best way for Google to “understand” that if a website is linked to other websites, it is because in a way they give it a vote of confidence , they think it has interesting information or it can help their users.

That is why the link profile (or link profile ) of a site tells Google a lot about the quality that site can have; whether it is linked by relevant sites in the same industry, linked by “important” and trusted sites, and so on. So now you know, always try to look for quality links .

And you also have to pay special attention to the anchor text that is used to link to your site or its pages, because it also helps Google better understand which searches it could be interesting to position you for.

? SEO contests

It is not far from essential, but a good way to learn SEO almost at once is to participate in SEO contests that come out from time to time to promote tools, brands of companies related to SEO, etc.

The normal thing is that they ask for positions in searches or “rare” keywords that have never been searched but that are related to what the organizer of the contest is promoting.

For example, very recently I had the “luck” to win this SEO contest as a team with other friends and fellow SEOs where the prize was $5,000 , and precisely during the weeks that the contest lasted we learned a lot of things that work every day Today to position, such as sending a lot of traffic from other websites that link to you. ?

Be careful, it doesn’t matter if you don’t win it, the interesting thing is to see how your site is positioned in invented searches by “fighting” with other sites that are also trying to position themselves. 

Analyze and learn what strategies other competitors carry out, which one works for them (if they raise positions), if they do SEO on page, if they do link building, etc.

Try it!

? Other important details

To finish, I am going to tell you 5 very simple details that can be equal or more important than the previous ones if you want to carry out a good SEO:

  1. Use images:  images improve your web positioning and attract many more visits to your website. Don’t forget something as simple as giving your images a good name or giving them an alternative text (“alt” attribute).
  2. Write unique and quality content: it  can be the key to improving your web positioning. All of this sounds very nice, but it is true as a temple. Google loves that content is useful, original and, if possible, complete and well designed .
  3. Choose a good design: that attracts visitors, that allows you to view your website from tablets and smartphones and that facilitates navigation on your website . Try to make the user “at ease” and want to stay.
  4. Promote your content: share your pages and articles on social networks (even publish ads on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.),  create a list of subscribers and participate in communities related to your website, etc. Make them know you!
  5. Audit your content: when you have a minimum of content created and it has been published for at least 1 year, it is interesting to do an SEO content audit , to see if that content performs well and to know what to do with it if not.

There really aren’t many more “secrets” than keeping all of these things in mind.

When you get used to writing on your website or blog using the details that I have explained, you will see that your web positioning will improve considerably . 

Then you will realize that many times we believe that SEO is complicated and difficult, when in truth it is common sense, to make it happen and dedicate time to it. ?

If in your case you don’t feel like giving it much time , the best thing you can do is let  someone with experience do an SEO audit and help you position your site. There are consultants who have been working in the sector for years, such as Pro SEO Expert.

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