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The Simple Guide to Search Engine Optimization For Beginners

Have you been trying to understand search engine optimization? Is it like learning a second language? 

We understand learning another language can be tough and  SEO can be confusing too. 

But, this article is going to break it down into bite-size pieces and serve as a guide you return to again and again. This article will simplify SEO for you.    

We are going to uncover all of the core concepts of search engine optimization every beginner needs to know, helping you understand the foundational elements of SEO


Let’s dive in.

What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Let’s start by breaking search engine optimization down to its very core. Doing this will help you start with the best approach to add more knowledge to later. 

SEO’s main purpose is to increase your website’s visibility to search engines. That’s it.

Yes, there are several ways of doing this ( we will discuss some of those options later). But at its simplest level, using SEO is intended to make the content you create on your website easier to find through a search engine.

So if that’s all it is, why is it such a big deal you might be asking? And that would be a great question, with an even better answer.

Let’s move on to some of the core concepts a beginner needs to know in order for this to make even more sense. 

Why Is SEO So Important?   

When you think about search engine optimization it’s easy to become overwhelmed. SEO is important because being able to rank (be in the top 10 search results) on a search engine results page (SERP) means you are receiving free traffic to your business or website.

It means that you have used the proper strategy to receive organic (unpaid) traffic to your website. 

This is good for business. Whether you spend your time learning what keywords to use or you use an  Agency like Portside Marketing to help dominate your competition, being ranked is what search engine optimization is all about. 

What are the Core Concepts Of Search Engine Optimization?

When getting started with SEO most people just begin adding keywords without understanding them at all. Let’s be better than that, we are going to start from the beginning. 

What is a keyword?

  •  A keyword is a word or a small phrase that you select to be what you use in your content that other people are searching for online. Later on, we will share some examples. 

These keywords help you rank on Google, Bing or any other search engine you’re optimized for. 

What is Search Intent?

  • Search intent – also called keyword intent by some, is the main goal of why the user is using the search engine. It’s all about what they’re trying to accomplish with their search. There are 3 kinds of search intent. 
    • Navigational Intent – Looking for a specific business
    • Informational Intent – Looking for basic information about a topic, or how to do something 
    • Transactional Intent – Looking for how to make a purchase, or how to order something

There is so much more to search intent but this is a beginner’s guide.

What is On-Page and Off-Page SEO?

This is a very large topic so it’s best we discuss this at a very high level. Understanding these terms will allow you to go deeper later on. 

  • On-page SEO is your content, this can be understood in two ways. The first way is what can be seen by your visitors on your webpage. Images, text, audio, and video. The second factor is what can be seen by search engines. Things like HTML tags, and other structured data.
  • Off-page SEO has to do with everything, not on your website. This is primarily focused on growing your website’s authority and demonstrating trust and building your audience. You will hear words and phrases like: link building, social media marketing, reviews, user engagement and more. 

Is Content Important?

Content is extremely important for search engine optimization, Google only ranks content they deem high quality, relevant to the users search and useful. Now there are several tools and statistics that can show you if your content is relevant and if users find your content useful or not but again that is out of the scope of this article. 

The takeaway here is that you want to create unique content that above all else is helpful and relevant to your audience.

Larry Page the co-founder of Google said “Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” That quote is from 1998, and it has never been more true today. 

Can I Never Use SEO and Be Okay?

The short answer is yes. However, it will take you a lot of time, and unnecessary frustration. Portside Marketing specializes in search engine optimization. They have some of the top SEO specialists in the United States!  Ready to help you. They love Working to make sure your website and brand are seen and noticed. 

It can be tempting to go about all on your own, and it is possible. But working with a trusted and well-respected marketing agency like Portside marketing is the way to save yourself some headaches and allow you to work on other important aspects of your business. 

What Is Keyword Research?

Earlier we mentioned the word keyword and said we would give some examples to clarify what they are. 

When you decide on a topic there are certain words people use to search for that topic. Let’s say you want to write about sunglasses. Google and other search engine tools available keep statistics on that keyword.

Those search engine optimization tools tell you how many hundreds, thousands or more are searching for that keyword every month. 

It could 10 people, 10,000, or 1,000,000 searches per month. 

Once you’ve found the keyword you want to use, and know people are actually searching for that word you can add it to your content. Using that word throughout your article tells google your writing about sunglasses and people searching for sunglasses might like what you have to say. Making your article relevant to their search. 

Long-tail Keyword

This is just a fancy word for phrase, so you can search for cheap and reliable sunglasses. If this is a search people are looking for, you can use this in your content just like a singular keyword. 

Final thoughts

SEO, in the beginning, can be complex, but breaking down into bite-size pieces makes it easier to manage. In this article, you learned what SEO is, why it’s important and the core concepts to help you understand why you should use search engine optimization to grow your presence online. 

Now it’s time for you to take the next step and learn some more terminology to understand this widely used and growing phenomenon called search engine optimization. 

Portside Marketing is here to help in any way they can. Offering amazing SEO strategies tailored to your business. Find out how they can help your website use search engine optimization to its fullest potential by calling (972) 979-9316.