What is SEO? Full Explained Step By Step
Think about what number of blog entries individuals distribute every day. WordPress clients alone distribute more than 2 million posts each day. That turns out to 24 Post Per Second. That means that users published around 216 blog posts while you were reading these five sentences.
And that’s only counting WordPress users. If we were to count all blog posts, that number would surely be higher.
While I often spend 5-6 hours writing my blog posts, the ten minutes I spend optimizing each post are easily the most important.
what does SEO even mean?
You probably know that it stands for search engine optimization, but what do you need to optimize?
Yes, yes, and yes — it’s all of that and more.
Let’s start this SEO guide from the beginning.
Definition: According to Wikipedia, SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results.”
When it comes to SEO, there’s you, the search engine, and the searcher. If you have an article about how to make vegan lasagna, you want the search engine (which, in 90% of all cases, is Google) to show it as a top result to anyone who searches for the phrase “vegan lasagna.”
SEO is the magic you have to work on your article in order to make Google very likely to include your post as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that keyword.
We’re going to dig deep into SEO:
2. On-Page SEO
3. Off-Page SEO
SEO an overview
The vast majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, and nearly 75% of searchers start their searches on Google.
Combine that with the fact that the first five results on Google get 67% of all clicks, and you get an idea of why search engine optimization is so important.
There’s a joke going around the web that highlights how crucial it is to hit the first page of Google. If you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of Google search results.
If your blog post, article, or product is on any other page of the Google search results than the first, then it’s the equivalent of it not ranking at all.
But to understand how to show up first in the search engine results, you first need to know how search even works.
There are three big categories of on-page SEO that you’ll need to take a look at. The first and most important is content.
You’ve probably heard it before: “Content is king.” Bill Gates made this prediction in 1996, and it’s as true as ever today. Why? Because a Google search engine customer is happy when he finds the result that serves his needs in the best way.
When you Google “quick and easy homemade mac and cheese,” Google will put all its energy into delivering to you what Google believes is the best recipe for homemade mac and cheese (that takes little time and uses few ingredients) on the entire web.
While the times, where just delivering the best-quality content would make you stand out from the crowd are long gone, it is still the starting point for any successful SEO effort (and any online business, really).
But coming up with great content is not easy. After all, it means that you have to become a teacher — and a good one at that. Yet, you don’t have to start from scratch. You can often start by piggybacking off of content that others have created and then making it better, longer, and more in-depth.
Doing your keyword research up-front is a crucial part of the great content. Since you ideally want to include your targeted keyword in your post’s headline and throughout the article, you need to choose your keyword before you start writing.
Out of all on-page SEO factors, this is the one you should spend the most time learning. You don’t even need to buy a book. Backlinko’s definitive guide to keyword research will do.
When I say don’t sleep on this, I mean it. There’s a reason we took the time to compile the top 40 posts on keyword research on Kissmetrics.
Use of keywords
Google has gotten smarter over the years. While you should, of course, use your keyword throughout your content, jamming your keyword into your text as much as possible will hurt your rankings rather than improve them.
Keyword stuffing is an absolute no-go these days.
Today, the use of keywords is much more about semantics. Google has gotten so good at interpreting the meaning of searchers’ keywords that it’s creepy.
It not only looks at your keyword but also synonyms of it to understand what you mean when you type in something like “five guys nyc.”
Google will know that you’re probably not looking for five random males, but rather, it guesses that you’re looking for the fast-food chain “Five Guys, Burgers & Fries” by looking at similar searches that may include the keywords “burgers” and “fries.”
Finally, Google will sometimes provide searchers with direct answers right on the SERP. If you write your content clearly enough for Google to recognize it as an answer to a particular question, it will show up directly beneath the search bar.
Conclusion – What is SEO?
I hope this guide helped you realize that search engine optimization isn’t optional anymore in 2021. While it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get a few basics right, it might kill your online presence if you don’t.
Don’t worry if you’ve already made some SEO decisions in the past that might not have been the perfect choices.
Just commit to getting started today.