The Complete Newbies Guide To SEO – A Layman’s Overview
Everybody wants to get on the front page of Google, most people know that SEO will get them there. That’s generally where the common knowledge ends.
This post is designed to help the newbies out there. It’s for the people who feel confused and overwhelmed and need to understand a little bit more so they can make good decisions about online marketing and SEO specifically.
SEO In A Nutshell
To do effective SEO you first need to create great content. I don’t mean 500 or 800 word blog posts with your opinions. Great content dives deep into a topic and helps people understand it better. Great content usually takes at least 1,500 to 3,000 words to create (seriously).
After you have created it, the next step is to get links to that content. You do this by finding other websites that have blogs, resource pages, and even guest blogging opportunities that can link to you.
As long as you haven’t made any major errors on your own website and you do these two steps above repeatedly, you WILL get front page rankings on Google and the resulting traffic that can bring.
The only technical SEO issues I would recommend a newbie learning about, are keyword research and Title Tags plus H1 Tags. Everything else is of low importance in comparison to these 3 technical SEO factors.
Reliable sources of SEO education:
So you want to teach yourself the above ? Here are the best places on the web to learn the basics for free.
Backlinko.com by Brian Dean. Brian is well-respected as one of the best SEO people in the business. The information on his site is correct, helpful and usable. If you really want to up your game then go ahead and by his course. It’s not cheap, but i’s strategies will get you on the front page. (it worked for me)
NeilPatel.com / Quicksprout.com. Neil Patel has a heavy focus on content marketing which is the basis for most good SEO these days anyway. if you’re looking for a solution to a particular online marketing challenge, Neil Patel’s website often has a good answer that’s reliable and current.
What Won’t Work & Doesn’t Matter:
I’m adding this section to try and help you avoid worrying about the little things that are a waste of your time or of little value in the early stages.
<meta descriptions> Having a great meta description will not help you rank on Google 99 times out of a 100. The meta description is usually the small bit of text that appears with the blue link on a Google search results page. For that reason it’s important to write a meta description that’s attractive to humans not just for search engines. It should entice and compel people to click your link!
“Blog Regularly” On the surface this is good advice, but the reality is that 2 million blog posts are created every single day.
“Blog competitively” is much better advice. If you spend several weeks creating a truly helpful 3000 word how-to guide on a topic that’s aligned to your business then your blog post is going to be 1 out of a dozen instead of 1 in 2 million (because now it’s exceptional
Google ranks EXCEPTIONAL content, not simply GOOD content. If you want to rank, you need to stand out and be better than the 2 million ‘just okay’ blog posts created every single day.
The Final Word:
If you lack the budget or you are determined to do your own SEO, I strongly advise getting an SEO or online marketing coach.
Too many people get their advice from Sales Consultants and other random people with their own opinions and sometimes vested interests. By actually paying a coach for their time, you get an expert to talk to who’s already making money by helping you. In this situation they’re on your side. Their only goal is to make sure you’re not chasing your tail and that the time and effort you put into SEO is going to be productive.
A coach can help you identify what content you should create and most importantly give you the necessary tools and skills you need to find the people that are going to link to you.
A Personal Note:
It completely blows my mind how many people willingly buy $1,000, $2,000 or even $3,000 a month SEO packages without first investing in an independent consultant a few hundred bucks to make them a much smarter consumer of these services.
I believe Australian small businesses could save themselves millions of dollars by getting better informed before making decisions about their SEO. It may be too much for the average business owner to become an SEO expert, but getting to a place where the wool can’t be pulled over your eyes is actually easier than you might think.
I hope this quick overview of SEO helps you invest smarter. I especially hope it saves you time, money, and worry by avoiding low value tactics and sub-par operators.
The pitch 😉
If you want a helping hand from an independent adviser then send me a DM and tell me where you’re at and what you need help with.