SEO is not that hard! As I decided to set to work on this post, I did a Google search for “SEO is not that hard” to see how many articles were already written on this topic. Not surprisingly, when I clicked on some of the results, I found a book-long “SEO guide for beginners.”
HELLO??? Why did you title your post SEO is not that hard and then write out the most comprehensive guide, that even a girl that’s been doing SEO for years, found difficult to read? I am here to make it easy for you because SEO is REALLY not that hard!!!
Before I start, I will let you know, one of the reasons bloggers write book long posts is because content with a higher word count performs better in Google. I am not concerned with that in this post. Word quality is more important than word count, and I am trying to keep things simple for you.
There are a lot of factors involved in how Google ranks pages, but SEO is not nearly as difficult as the experts make it seem. If you think like a robot, you can figure out a lot of aspects of search engine optimization intuitively.
When Google looks at your page, what does it see?
Skim your page, look at your sentences and keywords and quickly tell me what your page is about. Look at the links on your page. Links are very important to Google, what do the links say? Do they help tell Google what your page is about?
Figure out what your page is about by skimming and write down that phrase. What is it?
Now Let’s SEO optimize your page
Figure out your keywords
What word or phrase do you want your page to be found for when someone does a search for it in Google? When you looked over your page, did something jump out at you? If you don’t have a keyword phrase, you can’t optimize your page.
The biggest thing I see website owners do wrong is come up with titles and topics that nobody is searching for. When you make your page, think about what someone will actually type into Google to find this. That is your keyword.
SEO Optimize your page for that keyword
On-page optimization is everything you do on each individual page to make that page rank better in search engines. On-page SEO is the easy part to learn, but unfortunately, many websites get it wrong.
Use your keywords in the title of your page.
This is the most important thing you can do to rank better in Google. Even if you have no idea what you are doing, if you get your title right, your page will rank better on Google.
The first thing I do when I review a client’s website is to look at the titles on their pages. You would be amazed at how many professionally designed websites are not search engine optimized. Just because you hired a professional to design your site, doesn’t mean it’s optimized for search.
Use your keyword and related keywords on your page.
I wanted this page to be found for “SEO is not that hard” so, I used my main keywords in the title and then used similar words in the content – like search engine optimization, Google, difficult, and easy.
Don’t go crazy with keywords. That is called keyword stuffing. It is an outdated strategy webmasters used to use, but Google considers this spam and it can cause your page to be removed from Google. Google is looking for quality, not spammy content.
Use <h2> tags with your keywords on your page.
Using header tags like <h1> or <h2> in your post help tell Google what your page is about. These tags indicate importance so Google will look at your <h1> and <h2> tags to decide what your page is about.
Only use the <h1> tag once, This tag should describe your page. But, you can use <h2> as much as you want. <b> and <strong> tags are also indicators of important keywords, so use them to optimize your page.
Make sure each page of your site is individually optimized for specific keywords.
When I started my first website, I knew you were supposed to use keywords in your title, but I didn’t realize that each page should use different keywords that related to the individual page.
Install the Yoast SEO plugin if you use WordPress.
If you have a WordPress site, install the Yoast plugin. Yoast does a lot of the SEO work for you. It will tell you how well you did with your on-page SEO and what things you should change.
If you use another platform like Weebly, Squarespace, or Wix, you might have a harder time optimizing your pages for Google, but it definitely still can be done.
Next step — Get backlinks to your page
Google decides which sites to rank highest based on the number of links the page has pointing to it. Links are like votes. Links pointing to a page are called backlinks. Pages with more backlinks pointing to them rank better.
Getting backlinks to your pages, how to structure your backlinks, which websites to get links from, and how to find websites to link to you, is where SEO gets complicated. But, if you really want to learn SEO, understand you need links. Optimize your page for a keyword, and then start getting links to it.
How do you get backlinks?
Sometimes people will link to your pages just because they like your content, but most of the time, you have to put some work into this. I am going to give you two ideas you can use to get backlinks. The first one is to look for websites that accept guest posts. This is very easy to do. Just get on Google and do a search for “guest post” or “guest post submissions” and your topic. You should easily find websites you can write guest posts for.
Another way to get backlinks is to comment on other people’s blogs. This isn’t the most effective strategy, but it is an easy way to build backlinks when you are starting out. Not only that but, when you comment on other blogs, people often check out your link from the comments.
Many blogs allow you to use your link in your comment by hyperlinking your website to your name. Don’t leave your link in your comment and make sure you take the time to write a thought-out comment. If you post links in your comments or write something spammy, bloggers won’t approve your comment.
This is a super simple SEO lesson.
It is far from comprehensive. But it should help you get started. Don’t try to figure it all out at once. Use the information on this post to start optimizing your pages. Then start reading more on on-page optimization, keyword research, and link building.
I am Patty Malowney, the creator of Badass Web Goddess. I am an Albuquerque SEO and digital marketing consultant. I started my first internet business in 2004 with a $40 garage sale computer and a whole lot of determination. I sold my first website, JustMommies.com to the dating company eHarmony.com in 2008. My website was acquired by another company where I worked as a consultant and editor until July, 2019.
After encouragement from friends and family, I decided to branch out on my own and start my own consulting business. I offer advice and services to local businesses on how they can rank better in Google.
In addition to running Badass Web Goddess, I am an avid blogger. I run several blogs including my internet marketing blog here at Badass Web Goddess. If you love my blog, Follow Me on Facebook or Twitter!