SEO Academy for beginners part 1: SEO basics

Are you new to SEO? Are you wondering how it works and what matters most in 2017? You’re at the right place. We’re launching a series of SEO guides for beginners. Welcome to the SEO Academy!

Part 1 is an introduction, so let’s start from the bottom. We’ll cover basic SEO terms to obtain a broader view before we dive into SEO techniques and terms such as keyword research, metrics or links.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process of improving positions in organic (non-paid) search results in search engines. The higher the website is, the more people visit it. SEO is a lot of creative, technical and analytical work. Of course, research is an inevitable part. There are many forms of SEO, however, the main point will remain the same – to be among the highest results in organic searches. Simply said, SEO is about running the right website for the right people.

It isn’t only about a perfect structure or technical background of the website. It has to be filled with quality content tailored to your audience needs. Moreover, thousands of coming visitors don’t necessarily do the deal here. We need conversions.

SEO is a complex discipline that needs your full attention. And what is the greatest part? SEO is evolving and changing so it makes you think every single day.

Why do I need SEO?

Search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! or Ask index websites to create a list based on various algorithms. Can we clearly identify these algorithms? No. For example, Google uses more than 200 ranking factors.

Search engines are visited by users when they are searching for something. And you want to be that “something”, don’t you? It doesn’t matter whether you sell a product, service, write a blog, or anything else, website optimization is a must. Your website needs to be indexed by search engines. Otherwise, you’re lost.

What’s more, wise SEO activities improve your ranking in the search engine result page or SERP. Higher ranks mean higher traffic and higher traffic means more conversions.

To sum it up, if you plan to success with your website, you’ll need SEO.

How can I do it? Do I need someone’s help?

Even the basics can make a vast difference in how search engines index your website. We’ll cover all critical SEO topics in the SEO Academy. You’ll gain enough knowledge to proceed with SEO on your own.

If you plan to become SEO expert, you’ll need to invest a lot of time into studying and practising. The good point is you’ll find tons of information on the Internet for free.

If you don’t want to bother yourself that much or don’t have time, you can ask SEO consultants, specialists or marketing agencies. The majority of them provides all in one marketing packages including SEO. There are ones dedicated to SEO services, as well. Keep in mind to prepare some cash when going this way.

SEO basics vocabulary:

  • On-page vs. off-page SEO
  • White-hat vs. black-hat SEO

On-page vs. off-page SEO

On-page (on-site) SEO is optimizing your website to affect search engines results. It’s everything you can do on the website to be SEO friendly from design to content and technical aspects:

  • meta tags
  • headings
  • URL structure
  • images optimization
  • content
  • website size and speed

… and many others. We’ll deal with them in coming parts of the SEO Academy.

Off-page (off-site) SEO means all activities you do to improve the domain activity through getting links from other websites. So you need to be attractive by paying attention to on-page SEO. There are many ways to get links:

  • exchanging links
  • buying links
  • social media efforts
  • cooperation with influencers
  • writing valuable content, so people would love to link to your website

White hat vs. black hat SEO

Are you a bad guy? Black hats vs. white hats have their origin in Western movies. It’s like bad guys vs. good guys. Don’t take these words too seriously. Opinions on both SEO techniques tend to differ.

Black Hat SEO is a set of unethical practices to improve rankings of a website in the search engine results page. They are designed to affect search engines while not taking human factor into consideration. Black Hat SEO can get you to the top of SERP in a short time, however, search engines will penalize and ban the website soon after.

Lists of violating practices can be found in Google’s Webmaster Guidelinesor Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines.

White Hat SEO is a set of ethical techniques sticking to guidelines and rules. The most popular are:

  • quality content
  • link building
  • guest blogging

White Hat SEO is a long-term strategy oriented on customer experience. Being a good guy in the world of SEO is a proper direction.

What’s next?

Get familiar the main terms of the SEO Academy part 1: SEO basics.

  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing)
  • search engine results page (SERP)
  • on-page vs. off-page SEO
  • white hat vs. black hat SEO
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