SEO Basics - Intro to Search Engine Optimization | Donna DeRosa | Skillshare

SEO Basics - Intro to Search Engine Optimization

Donna DeRosa, Author / Blogger / Journalist

SEO Basics - Intro to Search Engine Optimization

Donna DeRosa, Author / Blogger / Journalist

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10 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. SEO Basics Introduction

    • 2. Finding Your Target Audience

    • 3. Keywords

    • 4. Link Strategy

    • 5. Page Speed

    • 6. Design

    • 7. Quality Content

    • 8. SEO Basics Recap

    • 9. Your SEO Basics Project

    • 10. SEO Basics Final Thoughts

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About This Class

In this class you'll learn the beginning basics of search engine optimization, also known as SEO. Whether you have a blog, an online shop, an e-course, or any other type of website, you're going to want to be found in search engine rankings. When people are looking for your type of product or service, you want Google to send them to you.

In this class we’ll cover:

  • Target Audience - you need to know exactly who you are trying to reach so that you can best position your content for search engine ranking.
  • Keywords - how to find them, where to put them, and how they relate directly to your target market. You'll also learn about long-tail keywords and conversational keywords.
  • Links - internal links and backlinks and why they are both important.
  • Page Speed - why page load times are so important and some simple tricks to improve your page loading speeds.
  • Formatting - how to best format your content for maximum readability by humans and search engines.
  • Quality Content - above all we'll talk about creating quality content, so that you can earn your place as an authority in your field.

In each section of this course, I'll let you know what free tools are available to make this process a lot easier.

This class is aimed at the beginner level. You don't need any prerequisite knowledge of search engines or website design.

I hope you enjoy this class. Don't forget to follow me as a teacher on Skillshare so that you'll know whenever I publish a new class.

Meet Your Teacher

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Donna DeRosa

Author / Blogger / Journalist


Hello and thank you for checking out my classes on Skillshare.

I’d like to share with you a little about my background and why I decided to teach.

For 15 years I worked as an automotive journalist and managing editor for and I was also editor of Edmunds’ award-winning Long-Term Road Test Blog.

I enjoy helping writers and bloggers discover their voice in the huge world of online content. I’m a firm believer that anyone can learn how to write, and that we all have something worthwhile to say. There are time-tested best practices that can help you on your journey to content creation. That’s what my classes are all about.

On Facebook I run a group called Vlo... See full profile

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1. SEO Basics Introduction: Hello and welcome to S E O Basics. An introduction to search engine optimization. In this class, you learn the beginning basics or search engine optimization, also known as a CEO. Whether you have a blawg, an online shop and E course or any other type of website, you're gonna want to be found in the search engine rankings. When people are looking for your type of content, product or service, you want Google to send them to you. My name is Donna de Rosa. I'm a blogger, an online business owner, and I worked for 15 years as managing editor of a large automotive website where organic search was very important to our business strategy. Please take a moment to press the follow button so you can follow me as a teacher. That way, you'll know whenever I launch a do class on skill share in this class will cover finding your target audience. What language to use to attract that target audience. How to build authority for your website, how to format your website for best results and how to make sure your websites performance isn't holding it back in each section of this course. I'll let you know what free tools are available to make this process a lot easier. This class is aimed at a beginner level. You don't need any prerequisite knowledge of search engines or how to build a website. For your project. You'll make a list of 10 keyword phrases that are perfect for your website. The's phrases can give you content creation ideas designed specifically to reach your target audience. I hope you enjoy S E o basics. Don't forget to follow me as a teacher on skill share, so you'll know whenever I publish a new class, let's get started. 2. Finding Your Target Audience: listen to finding your target audience. You first need to know who you are trying to attract so that you could build a strategy to reach them. Unless you are a celebrity or a large corporation. Chances are people are not searching for you by name or the name of your company, at least not yet. Most people are searching for answers to their questions. They're looking to solve a problem. To learn something or to be entertained. If Google sees you as the answer to their problems, they will rank you highly on page one of its search results. That's your goal to be on the first page of Google search engine results. So how do we do that? You have to know who you are trying to reach, what they're looking for and where they go when they want information. That way, you know how you can help them and how best to talk to them. For example, if people are looking to relax, what were they type into a search engine? Someone who is 50 years old may look for stress relief, while someone who was 20 years old is probably looking up how to deal with anxiety. They may want the same thing, but they will talk about it differently. You don't want to go after both. Audiences in business is best to start out as specific as possible. Then you can go wider as you gain more traction. Be specific about who you are trying to reach so that you know best how to talk to them. This will help you come up with appropriate keyword phrases. Then you can weave these keywords into your content, which lets Google know that you are the best answer to that searcher's query. When you are researching your target audience, think about what websites they go to, what social networks they use. Who was influencing them? Where do they hang out? Research the competition, See what they are offering? Is there anything you can do better? Once you know who you are trying to reach and what you can offer them, it's time to start thinking about keywords. 3. Keywords: Lesson three keyword research keywords. How do you find them and where do you put them? As we mentioned in the last listen, look at your competition. What keywords were they using? What are their readers writing in the comments section of these websites? What questions are they asking? Pay attention to the language they're using. What is your target audience talking about On social media? Make a list of phrases that you think your target audience is searching for and that you want to provide information about. Then start researching those phrases. You can use tools like Google keyword Planner Yost, keyword expander, Buzz Sumo and answered The public, to name just a few. Google keyword planner will help you look at the search volume of a specific term and the difficulty level of competing for that term. Yost keyword extender will help you come up with new sets of keywords. For example, if you type in anxiety, it will offer you longer phrases for that term, like anxiety, attack symptoms and anxiety coping mechanisms. Buzz Zuma will show you the most shared content for a given keyword, and so the public dot com is another site where you can type in a keyword, and it will give you all of the questions that people are asking about that topic right now . You could do three free searches on that site a day. You can also go to Google and start to typing your keyword and see hell. Google Auto feels in the content before you press enter. It can give you new ideas for how people are searching for that topic. You can also do the same thing on YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google and is also a gigantic search engine. Try the auto feel trick there, too. Once you have your keywords, what do you do with them? Create great content for that phrase. Make it better than any other content on the Web. Go to Google and visit the top 3 to 5. Search results for your keyword phrase and see what they're doing. Don't copy them, but look at them to see what they're missing. Look at the comments section. If there is one and see what questions people are asking and then try to write your own content. That is much, much better than the ones you found when you write your content make sure your keyword is in your page title and your headline. It should also be in your description. That's the bit of text Google offers up in a search engine. Result. It's usually one or two sentences. Think of the description as ad copy where you get to entice the reader to your website. Use the keyword phrase once in that description. If you use WordPress, there is a free plug in bios dot com called Yoast Seo that makes it easy to organize this information in each of your block posts. You also want to put that keyword phrase in the first paragraph of the content. And depending on how long of a piece you are writing, you may want to weave it into a subheading and repeated again in the last paragraph. It's important not to put your keyword phrase all over the page that's called keyword stuffing. It will get you penalized by Google. Also think about words that are related to your keyword phrase. Google will associate synonyms or related phrases together. It's not a human reading your page, so it uses these word associations to make sure you are offering what you say you are offering. If you're writing about cars, for example, it will also expect to see words like tires, engine horsepower terms that are associated with that topic. That way knows you are offering content about that subject and not just using popular keywords to spam people. It also helps it determine the value of your article over another. There is more to S CEO than keywords, as you'll find in the next lesson. 4. Link Strategy: lesson for links. There are two types of links to think about when planning your S e o strategy, internal links and back links. Internal links are links within your own website. If you have related articles on your website, you want to link them together. You want people to stay on your website and read more of your content. Perhaps you have a Siris of related articles. Make it easy for people to read more by linking them together. Internal linking also helps Google determine what your overall website is about. This way, it knows you write about this topic, and it's not just a one off article. Back links are links from other authoritative sites that link back to your content. This is very valuable because if an authoritative website thinks you have great information , this helps Google see you as an authority to when you were writing a block post. Think about who can help get the word out. Are there other bloggers, journalists, social media influencers who can link back to your site? Are you speaking at an event that you can link to your content? Is there anyone in a related field? You can collaborate with who can link to your content? Do you buy ads that link to your content? Make acquiring back links part of your seo strategy to help build your website authority? In the eyes of Google, there are other technical strategies that we can employ to help with S CEO as well as you'll see in the next lesson. 5. Page Speed: lesson five page speed. Google looks highly on websites that load quickly, and when I say load quickly, I mean within three seconds, you contest the pages of your website by putting them in a free tool by Google called Google Page Speed Insights. It will let you know how long it takes to load an individual page and what you can do to improve your low times. It will look at your desktop version and your mobile version. Google prioritizes Mobile Search Results, so make sure you have a working mobile version of your website. This is called Responsive Design. When choosing a blawg theme or when hiring a designer or Web developer, make sure your site has a mobile optimized version. There are a few simple things you can do to help speed up your page load times. Make sure your images are not too large. If you take a picture with your phone and then loaded up directly to your website, the file size is going to be huge. Make sure you learn how to optimize the file size of your images, and I'm not talking about the actual dimensions of the image, but the density of the image file. They don't need to be print quality files for the Web. You can also improve your page load speed by not using too many bells and whistles and fancy things on your site. Cool animations like pictures sliding in from the side, margins and content sliders all add to your load times. Do you really need them? So these have shown that most people do not interact with content sliders anyway, and any animations on your site will not be missed. Trust me, plug ins can also slow down your site. Plug ins can be a great way to add functionality to a blawg site, but make sure you are only using what you really need to. Money. Plug ins can add seconds to your page load times and every second counts. The format of your pages and post is also important. As we'll discuss in the next listen 6. Design: Lesson six, a well designed site. The architecture of your site also plays an important role in search engine rankings, and user experience is very important. Make sure your site navigation is logical and easy to use. Can people find what they're looking for? Do your links describe what people will find instead of saying, Click here. If you have a blawg, it's best to only have 3 to 5 categories of content. Each of these categories can represent a section of your site. If you have a car website, for example, you might have categories for car shopping, car reviews, technology and industry news. Each of these sections can be built out with individual articles. This helps people understand your sight better. It gives it structure. It also helps Google know what your website is about, and that it is a well organized place to send people who are looking for car information. The design and layout of your individual post is also important. Make sure that you use short paragraphs, big blocks of text or off putting to read People may back out. Most people are looking to skim content. If you have subheadings or bold, it lists people may stay longer and read more because the page is well organized. This helps Google know that you offer quality content. If you have a long article, it's good to break it up into subsections. The subheadings for these sections is a great place to put your keyword phrase or related phrases. Of course, creating quality content is what really counts. We'll talk about that in the next lesson. 7. Quality Content: Lesson seven Quality content. If you go to all this trouble to play the game of search engine optimization, be sure that your content is worth it once people get there. If Google ranks you highly and sends traffic to your site, you want them to stay there for as long as possible. If people bounce out and go back to Google looking for a better fit, Google will start to move your content down the search engine results page. Good quality content that is optimized correctly will move up to the top of the search engine rankings. Be the authority. Look at the competition, outperformed them. Give the people what they're looking for. Make it easy for them to access it. Make it a pleasure to read. Get the word out So other people are recommending us. Well, it takes work. It takes a strategy, and you have to keep up with it. Revisit your strategy once in a while, see if new players have entered the field. See if you are maintaining your top rankings. You may need to update your content from time to time to keep up with changing times and to make it better. You can do it. I know you can 8. SEO Basics Recap: Lesson eight A recap. Let's recap. What is Google looking for? First, Google is looking at your website as a whole. Does your website have domain authority? It determines this by how many other authoritative sites are linking to you. It is also looking for page authority. How maney authoritative sites air linking to individual pages on your website. Next it is looking at your keywords and your content and making sure that you are offering what you say you are offering. Does your keyword targeting match what people are searching for? It's also looking at your sites performance. Do your pages load quickly? Are they mobile friendly and are your posts lengthy and authoritative? Google is also looking to see if people stay on your site when it offers your site in its results and people follow the link. Do they say there, or did they bounce out and look for another result? It wants to know that you are the best match for what the searcher is looking for. Google is also looking at your site as an overall authoritative entity. If people are searching for Mediterranean diet recipes, for example, Google is likely to send them to a large popular recipe site like allrecipes dot com over a food bug. Even if that food blood is specifically about the Mediterranean diet and has 200 Mediterranean diet recipes, they assume the large recipe site will have something the searcher is looking for. Millions of people go to that site each month, so chances are they're going to stay and look around. Even if that small blawg may have been a better fit, that's just the way it is. That's why it's important to get back links from larger, more authoritative sites. So you're not just the little guy. Google is also looking at the overall topic of your website. If you try to be about too many things, Google will get confused and not know how to categorise your site. Implementing the lessons above will help you organize your site and your content. In a way, the best positions you to be considered an authority by Google 9. Your SEO Basics Project: Listen. Nine year project. Make a list of 10 keywords that suit your target audience and your content strategy. Make sure you have done your research and know that these phrases are specific to the people you want to attract. Look at them to see if they are similar and if any of them can be combined, then start brainstorming content. For each of those keywords for your project, you only need to come up with your list. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. 10. SEO Basics Final Thoughts: Thank you for taking this class. I hope you find it helpful when building your websites authority. I can't wait to see your projects. Feel free to ask me any questions in the community section associated with this course. For your convenience, I've uploaded a document that lists all the free tools I mentioned throughout this course. You can find it in the resources section. Please share this class with anyone you think would benefit for my instruction. And don't forget to follow me as a teacher on skill share. So you'll know every time I published a new class. Thank you for watching. I hope to see you in my next class.