Blogging,  Career & Finance

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics

The ultimate guide to starting a blog

SEO  is very easy to accomplish if you understand the main idea. Once you follow the basic rules, your blog traffic will grow and you will enjoy high-quality and relevant audience visiting your blog.

Although there are professional companies that offer SEO services, you should know that you can optimize your website for search engines by your self. You just need to follow a few simple steps and SEO will start making sense.

Here are the basic steps to optimizing your site for SEO:

Step #1: Master Keyword Research

Step #2: Optimize For On-Page SEO

Step #3: Optimize Your Content

Step #4: Optimize Your Site Structure

Step #5: Build Links to Your Web

Step #6: Increase Your Domain Authority

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO is a collection of actions you should take to get “free” and “organic” traffic from different search engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
To improve your understanding of what SEO really means, let’s talk about different kinds of traffic – Where are your website visitors coming from?

  • Social Media Traffic – If you post your blog URL on your Facebook or any other social media platform, then Facebook users might click on that link and reach your blog.
  • A newsletter or E-Mailing Traffic– If you send your blog URL in a newsletter, users might enter your blog through that link.
  • Driving Traffic with Ads – Paid traffic through ads on Facebook, Google Adwords, Taboola, Outbrain, and more. Users might click these ads and reach your site.
  • Traffic from Other Sites – If other websites include posts that link to your site, such as different forums, blogs, etc. users can click on the links and reach your site.
  • Organic Search Engine Traffic – Web users search for certain keywords in Google’s query, might get your website as one of the results, click on it, and reach your site.

As you can see, there are many traffic sources. The SEO method refers to increasing the organic search engine traffic mainly by including the popular keywords in your website.

How to do SEO yourself – DIY SEO GUIDE

1. Start with a keyword research

It all starts with a few words typed into Google query.  This is the reason why making proper keyword research is so important. You will know exactly what keywords to use and focus on when writing posts for your blog. I’m not exaggerating when I say that without keyword research, there’s no such thing as SEO.

Keywords research goal

When making keyword research, the purpose is to identify popular words with high search volume and low competition in the search results, which means that a low number of web-owners are using these keywords. By checking the keywords search volumes, you actually can find out what the market’s demands are, which niches and products are worth promoting, the exact phrases users search on Google, and generally learn more about your customers.

4 SEO rules to remember:

High monthly search volume + Low competition = SEO success.

High monthly search volume + High competition = SEO failure in most cases. 

Low monthly search volume + High competition = SEO failure.

Low monthly search volume + No competition = Usually SEO failure (depends on the exact monthly search volume).

To track each keyword’s search volume and competition you need to use a keyword research tool.  There are many tools in the market, and here are the most popular.

Popular Keyword Research Tools:

What are Long Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are keyword phrases that include three or more keywords that usually have more details about what the user is looking for. When users use long-tail keywords to find something, this means that they are more aware of what they need. Long-tail keywords are more specific keyword phrases that users are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase. Long-tail keywords are the keywords you should use in your blog content.

Understanding the long tail of keyword demand

You should think of long-tail keywords as a better way to connect with your costumers. When someone is using a long-tail keyword, you can better understand what he or she is looking for.

By using long-tail keywords you can increase your chances to appear higher at the search results, since the search volumes of long-tail keywords usually are lower, and therefore they have less competition in the search engine results.

Steps to follow when making keyword research:

  • Make a list of important, relevant topics you want to write posts about. Excel is perfect for this task.
  • For each topic make a list of keywords – you can find potential keywords by brainstorming, exploring the search results, and the “related searches” at the bottom of each Google results page.
  • Don’t forget to add long-tail keywords.
  • Use keyword research tools to cut down your keyword list by checking the keywords search volumes.
  • Don’t forget to check the keywords competition (if it is too high you better use another keyword).

After you complete the keyword research, you will have a list of keywords. The next step is to use these keywords and include them in a few places on your website.

Where To Use Keywords For SEO?

1. Page Titles

2. Meta Descriptions

3. Subheadings

4. Content

5. File names and image alt text

6. Title Tag

7. URLs

8. Link Anchor Text

9. Social Media

Follow the next steps to learn how and where exactly to place the keywords.

2. Optimize For On-Page SEO: Titles and Descriptions Tags

Now that you have the list of keywords, you need to make sure that all the tags in your site contain these keywords (each page needs to have one to maximum three relevant keywords).

Do you remember the YOAST SEO plugin that you have installed back in step 8?
Now we are going to use it! With the help of this plugin, we can enter the relevant keywords in each post tag in our blog. From now on, every time you create a new page or publish a new post, follow these simple steps:

Webpage Tags Optimization

Each page and post on your blog should contain only one H1 tag, and more tags like H2 tag, meta description tag, meta keywords tag, ALT tags for images, and a canonical tag for URL.

Whare are  H1 | H2 | H3 | H4 tag?

H1 | H2 | H3 | H4 tags help Google understand the headings hierarchy. H1 is the main title and the rest are subtitles.

To determine if you’re putting your H1 tag to good use, follow this advice: As I mentioned earlier, your website should have only one H1 tag. If you have more than one H1 tag on a page, change the other h1 tags to an H2 or H3. Your H1 tag should be at the top of the page content.

When you create a new post page, enter your post title, which will be automatically saved as H1.
H1 tag seo

Description Tag

The description tag is a piece of Html code that’s meant to give a short – you guessed it – description of a web page.
In your post page, enter the description.
description yoast plugin

Meta Keywords Tag

Meta Keywords are a specific type of meta tag that appear in the HTML code of a Web page and help tell search engines what the topic of the page is.

Include your relevant keywords here:

Image Alt Tags

An alt tag, also known as “alt attribute” and “alt description,” is an HTML attribute applied to image tags to provide a text alternative for search engines. Applying images to a

Enter the image alt tag when uploading the image to your blog gallery:
image alt tags


canonical seo

A canonical link is an HTML element that helps you prevent duplicate content issues by specifying the “canonical” or “preferred” version of a web page as part of search engine optimization. That means, that by using the Yoast SEO plugin you need to copy and paste the page URL in the canonical box:

3.Optimize Your Blog Content for Search

In order to optimize your body content, you must use relevant keywords while writing your posts by following these rules:

  • Include the main keyword in the heading (H1)
  • Repeat the keyword and its synonyms in the rest of the subtitles (H2, H3, H4).
  • Repeat the preferred keywords at least 3 times in every 250 words.
  • Be careful – don’t repeat the keywords too much, since it might look spammy. You can use synonyms instead or ad more related keywords.

4.  Optimize Your Site Structure

A good site structure means better crawling.

Crawling what?!

Web crawlers like Googlebot crawl a website’s structure, in order to index the content and show it in search results.
Therefore, you must organize your site hierarchy.

If you want Google bots to crawl your website better, you must keep your site structure simple and the hierarchy flat rather than deep hierarchy.

Why is a flat hierarchy better than a deep hierarchy?

Using flat site hierarchy reduces the number of subcategories, therefore the website’s pages can be easily found by Google’s bots.

In case the site’s hierarchy is flat, Google bots don’t need to follow a long chain of links to discover and index internal pages. Google and other search engines give higher priority to the pages which come first on hierarchy. This is why having a flat site hierarchy is beneficial.

Moreover, using a flat site hierarchy gives the site users a better experience because this kind of site hierarchy is clearer and user-friendly.
site hierarchy flat deep seo

5.Build High-Quality Backlinks to Your Blog – Off-site SEO

What are backlinks and why is it important?

Backlinks, also known as “incoming links” are created when one website links to another. Backlinks are especially valuable for SEO since they represent kind of a “recommendation” from one site on another. That means that when your blog has a backlink from another website, it signals to search engines that others vouch for your content. This way Google figures, hey if a lot of people are linking to a certain page, it must be a really good page!

But not all the backlinks are good, why?

First of all, if your fashion blog gets a backlink from a porn website, that is not a good backlink, and it can even harm your site SEO. Good and high-quality backlinks must be relevant to your niche and they must be generated from well-ranked websites.

So, what are high-quality backlinks?

  • The website niche from where your links are originating must be relevant to your blog niche.
  • The website from where your links are originating needs to be well ranked and trusted by the search engines, for example; well-known websites, governmental websites, educational websites, etc.
  • Backlinks from high traffic websites are good.
  • Backlinks with relevant anchor text.
  • In content backlinks – for example, an article that recommends on your blog.
  • Do FOLLOW backlinks are better than NO FOLLOW links- There are two major types of backlinks that differentiate in their ability to pass on ranking points. These types of backlinks are the do-follow backlinks and the no-follow backlinks. Although it is better to get a do-follow backlink, they both are clickable (follow and no-follow), and it is better to get a no-follow backlink rather than not getting any backlink at all.

How to get high-quality backlinks?

Here you have a few ideas for getting high-quality backlinks:

  • Write high-quality content and create content that inspires backlinks.
  • Link from relevant forums.
  • Guest blogging – write content for other websites in return for backlinks.
  • Be active on social media platforms and share links.
  • Build backlinks with infographics – infographics have been one of the most popular link building methods. The reason for this is that infographics are highly shareable. If you’re not a designer, you can hire someone to create an infographic for you starting at just $5 on Fiverr.
  • Give free interviews for businesses that have websites and ask the interviewee to link to the interview from his site.

6. Increase Your Domain Authority

“Website authority” is an SEO concept that refers to the “strength” of a given domain. Some people call this “domain authority,” which is not to be confused with the Domain Authority (DA) metric from Moz. The higher a website’s Domain Rating (DR), the stronger and more authoritative it is.

Here are tips to help you increase your domain authority:

  1. Optimize Your On-Page Content
  2. Increase the average time people spent on your website by creating content your readers love
  3. Track broken links on your website and fix them.
  4. Review Your Backlinks – remove low-quality backlinks and get high-quality links.
  5. Improve SEO
  6. Create user-friendly navigation
  7. Improve site speed – Increase The Loading Speed Of Your Webpages
  8. Create Linkable Content
  9. Improve Your Internal Linking Structure
  10. Make Sure That Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
  11. Make sure your site is secure with SSL
  12. Become An Authority Within Your Niche


Click to Move to The Next Step»»»

STEP 1 Set Up A WordPress Blog On Bluehost 

STEP 2 – Install the Ultimate WordPress Theme

STEP 3 – Must-Have WordPress Plugins Installation

STEP 4 – Set Up Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools

STEP 5 – Must-Have Pages for Your Blog

STEP 6 – Write High-Quality Content Your Audience Will Love

STEP 7 – Use Social Media to Increase Blog Traffic

STEP 8 – How to Make Money Blogging

STEP 9 – Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Increase Revenue

STEP 10 – Website Security and Backup Rules

RESOURCES – Must-Have Tools and Services for Bloggers