What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of continuously optimizing a website for higher rankings in the organic search results, with a focus on popular search engines like Google.

That said: SEO isn’t just about optimizing your website.

In fact, SEO can and should involve other disciplines within digital marketing, including:

  • Content marketing

  • Public relations

  • Branding

  • Conversion rate optimization

  • Website design and development

  • User experience (UX)

  • Lots more

In short, the sites that perform best in Google aren’t just good at SEO. They’re good at marketing in general.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into
this Google SEO guide!


The Google SEO Guide to Keyword Research

When it comes to SEO, keyword research should be your first step. That’s because you want to optimize your content around keywords that people type into Google.

Keyword research

And when you optimize your pages around those exact search queries, you can rank your blog posts and landing pages for those terms.

Number one position

Here are a few helpful resources to help you learn more about finding keywords


Write SEO-Friendly Content

Now that you have a list of keywords that your target customer searches for in Google, it’s time to write content. Fortunately, thanks to the keyword research you just did, this step should be pretty simple. All you need to do is write a piece of super high-quality content for each keyword.

Here are a few handy guides to help you write content that’s designed to rank in Google


Optimize Content for Google SEO

Now that you wrote a piece of super high quality content, you want to optimize that content around a single keyword. If you’re first starting out, this keyword should be a long tail keyword. Long tail terms don’t get a ton of search volume. But they’re less competitive. So you have a better chance of ranking #1.

Whether you go with a long tail keyword or not, optimizing your page for Google SEO is exactly the same. And this checklist will help ensure that your page is optimized for SEO.

Include your main keyword:

In the First 100 Words of Your Webpage

You probably already know that you want to use your keyword a handful of times on your page. However, it’s important to use your keyword at least once in the beginning of your content (ideally in the first 50-100 words).

Include your keyword in the first 100 words of your page

In Your Title Tag

From a Google SEO point of view, your title tag is the most important place to include your keyword.

Include your keyword in your title tag

In Your Page URL

Include your keyword once in your page’s URL.

Include your keyword once in your URL

And if you want to fully optimize your
page for Google SEO, also implement
these on-site SEO techniques:

Use Your Keyword in an H1 and H2 Subheader

This emphasizes to Google that your page is focused on that keyword and topic.

Use your keyword in an H1 and H2 subheader

Use Keyword-Rich Image Filenames and Alt Text

Optimizing images isn’t super important. But it can help.

Use keyword-rich image filenames and alt text

Add Internal Links

Internal links can help Google find, crawl and index more pages on your site (and help them rank higher in the search results). Bonus points if you use keyword-rich anchor text in your internal links.

Add internal links

Use Synonyms and Related Terms

Use variations of your target keyword on your page. For example, if your main keyword is “kettlebell workout”, use variations like “kettlebell exercises” and “easy kettlebell movements”.

Use synonyms and related terms

Write an Enticing Meta Description

Although using keywords in your meta description isn’t a ranking factor anymore, organic CTR is. And when Google searchers see a compelling meta description in the organic search results, they’re more likely to click on your site.

Write an enticing meta description

Make Your Site Work With Mobile Devices

In other words, your site should be mobile-optimized for Google searchers and search engine crawlers (also known as “spiders”).

Make your site work with mobile devices

Use Structured Data

Structured data (Schema) can help your site feature “Rich Snippets” in the search results.

Use structured data

If you want to learn more about optimizing content for Google SEO, check out these guides


Link Building and Outreach

Link building is the hardest (and most important) part of any SEO strategy. The simple fact is: if your site doesn’t have backlinks pointing to it, you’re probably not going to rank very well. It’s also important to promote your content via outreach and on social media.

If you want to learn more about building links, check out these guides


Google SEO Tools and Software

You can technically practice SEO without a single tool. But it makes Google SEO significantly harder.

To help bolster your SEO efforts, here’s a collection of free and paid keyword research tools, backlink analysis software, and more.


Taking Your Google SEO To The Next Level

It’s time to wrap up this Google SEO starter guide with a few advanced strategies and tactics that SEO pros use.

These guides will help you rank in “The SERPs” (Search Engine Results Pages) for competitive keywords.


The Next Step

If you want to learn even more about Google SEO in 2019, I recommend checking out The SEO Marketing Hub.

SEO Marketing Hub

Whether you’re brand new to SEO, or want to learn advanced strategies, this is your hub for SEO knowledge.

SEO Marketing Hub

It’s a free library of SEO resources that covers pretty much everything you need to know about search engine optimization, including technical SEO, building backlinks, key Google ranking factors, advanced SEO tips, XML sitemaps, advice for avoiding duplicate content and more.

2 Comments

  1. Brian this is a fabulous article for the beginner. You’ve explained things clearly and I love how you’ve explained how to optimise your page. I”m going to include a link to your article in my Blog post which is entitled “A Beginners Guide to Keywords and SEO”.

    Thanks again for a very useful article, and the links you’ve provided here take you to other great information too!

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