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The Beginner’s Guide

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Welcome to your SEO learning journey!

You will get the most out of this guide if your desire to learn search engine optimization (SEO) is surpassed only by your willingness to execute and test concepts.

This guide is designed to describe all the main aspects of SEO, from finding the terms and phrases (keywords) that can generate qualified traffic to your website, to making your site search engine friendly, to creating links and market the unique value of your site. .

The world of search engine optimization is complex and constantly changing, but you can easily understand the basics, and even a small amount of knowledge can make a big difference. Free education in SEO is also widely available on the web, even in guides like this one! (Woohoo!)

Combine this information with a little practice and you will be well on your way to becoming an SEO expert.

Here’s what you’ll find in the guide

Have you heard about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? It is a theory of psychology that prioritizes the most fundamental human needs (such as air, water and physical security) on the most advanced needs (such as esteem and social belonging). The theory is that you can not achieve the needs at the top without ensuring that the most fundamental needs are met first. Love does not matter if you do not have food.

Our founder, Rand Fishkin, created a similar pyramid to explain how people should do SEO, and we have fondly called it “Mozlow’s SEO needs hierarchy”.

This is what it looks like:
A pyramid hierarchy of SEO needs based on Maslow's theory of psychology.
  • Crawl accessibility so engines can reach and index your content
  • Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query
  • Keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines
  • Great user experience including a fast load speed, ease of use, and compelling UI on any device
  • Share-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplification
  • Title, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankings
  • Snippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPs

We will spend time in each of these areas throughout this guide, but we wanted to present it here because it offers a view of how we structure the guide in its entirety:

What is it, and why is it important?

For true beginners. Learn what search engine optimization is, why it is important and all the basic elements that you must know to start well.


First, you need to show up.

If search engines cannot literally find you, it does not matter the rest of your work. This chapter shows you how your robots track the Internet to find your site and add it to your indexes.


Understand what your audience wants to find.

Our approach focuses first on users because that is what search engines reward. This chapter covers keyword research and other methods to determine what your audience is looking for.


Use your research to craft your message.

This is a considerable chapter, covering optimized design, user experience, information architecture and all the ways you can adjust the way you publish the content to maximize your visibility and resonance among your audience.


Basic technical knowledge will help you optimize your site for search engines and establish credibility with developers.

By implementing a responsive design, robot directives and other technical elements such as structured data and meta tags, you can tell Google (a robot) what your site is about. This helps you sort for the right things.


Turn up the volume.

Once you have everything in place, it’s time to expand your influence by gaining attention and links from other sites and influential people.


Set yourself up for success.

An essential part of any SEO strategy is to know what works (and what does not), adjust your focus as you go.


Understand key terms and phrases.

Learning SEO can sometimes be like learning another language, with all the jargon and industry terms that you are expected to know. This glossary chapter by chapter will help you control all new words.

How much of this guide do I need to read?

If you really want to improve search traffic and are not familiar with SEO, we recommend that you read this guide from start to finish. We try to make it as concise and easy to understand as possible, and learning the basics of SEO is a vital first step to achieving your business goals online.

Go at the pace that best suits your needs and be sure to take note of the many resources we link to throughout the chapters; they are also worthy of your attention.

Have you already got excited? You should be! Search engine marketing is a fascinating field and can be a lot of fun! If you get confused, do not give up; we have people who can help you with SEO training seminars guided by an instructor.

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