2023 - SEO Basics for BEGINNERS | Sinead Geraghty | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is SEO


    • 3.

      Does Google Know Your Site Exists


    • 4.

      Let Google understand what your website is about


    • 5.

      Content Structure


    • 6.

      Page Title & Description


    • 7.

      Site Navigation


    • 8.

      Creating Content users want to read


    • 9.

      Use the right words - Keywords


    • 10.

      How do you choose the right keyword


    • 11.

      Learn from your competition


    • 12.

      Link Building


    • 13.



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About This Class

SEO Basics for Beginners is for the absolute beginner to SEO. If you have a website or are looking at getting one built and you want to know how to get near the top of Google Search but don’t know where to start. Well then, this course is for you.

This course has been created for someone who has never looked at SEO and wants to get an understanding of what SEO is and what are the general concepts of SEO you should be aware of. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Sinead Geraghty

Wordpress, SEO & Digital Growth Expert


I thrive on everything digital and started out building sites for fun as a teenager. 17 years later, I have completed my Masters in eCommerce, have my own digital agency and have a wealth of experience delivering successful digital strategies for clients. 

What would you like to learn?

Would you like to know how to create a WordPress site from scratch?

Would you like to how to SEO your website effectively?

Would you like to improve your ranking in Google?

Would you like to learn how to create effective Facebook & Google Ads?

Would you like to how to set up and run your Shopify Online Store?

Would you like to how to set up a Woocommerce website?

If you want to do any of these things, just... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Shin aid, and this is SEO basics for beginners. This course is 30 minutes long and it's for the absolute beginner to SEO. Do you want to find out exactly what SEO is and what are the general things you have to do to your website in order for it to have good SEO. Well, then this course is for you. It is not a techie course. I don't go into the backend of the websites and show you exactly step-by-step what you should do. And if that's kinda what you're looking for, a check out my other courses because I do that there. This course is really get an understanding of SEO. And then you can move on to those next courses. A little bit about myself. Well, for the last 11 years I've been leading up marketing teams in marketing strategy, SEO, paid advertising, and website design and optimization. I absolutely love what I do, and this is why I love sharing my knowledge to these teaching courses. So if this course sounds perfect for you, Let's click the next video button and let's get started. 2. What is SEO: So what exactly is SEO? The word SEO is really bandy around a lot. But what exactly does it mean? Well, SEO stands for search engine optimization. And that sounds vague and technical. But really it means how well your webpages do in search engines such as Google and Bing. So what do I mean by this? Well, when people are looking for the services that you provide, Do you show up on the first page of Google or the fifth page of Google. And really how well you show up in those search pages to the top of the pages is SEO. There's this great saying, the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results. And really it's because the majority of people don't click past page 1 of a Google search result. Actually, only less than 10 percent do. And don't even get me started a backpage tree or after that because no one is clicking there. 91, 85 percent of Google traffic only go to page 1 of search results. So that's where you need to be. But we don't just want to be on the first page of Google. We want to be on the top of that first page. When you get a Google search result, you usually get eight webpages that come up on that first page of that search result. And it is very competitive to get to the top of that first page. And the reason is, if you get to the top of that page, you get 56% of the traffic. That's four times more than position 2.55 times more than position three, and 12 times more than position four. And what do I mean by traffic? Well, let's say you sell laptops and the number of people searching to buy a new laptop is a 1000 people a month. By just being on the top of the first page of that search result for laptops, you'll get over 560 out of the 1000 people clicking into your website. Imagine that added up 560 site visitors to your website. Maybe only 10 percent make a sale. That is 56 new customers for you. And you didn't pay a penny in advertising for them. So that is how powerful SEO is. And if you can get that top page of Google search result, it directly impacts your sales and the cost view sales because you're not paying for that advertising. So now that we know what SEO means and the importance of SEO, let's introduce you now to the basics of SEO. So the basics of SEO are threefold. So first of all, does Google know your website exists? Secondly, how does Google understand what your website is? A bausch? And the next is, how do you create content that users actually want to read? 3. Does Google Know Your Site Exists: So does Google actually know your website exists? And there is my end concentrating on Google and not the other search engines is because 92.47% of all search engine queries actually happen in Google. So really that only leaves just 7% for Bing Yandex Dr. go. So it's wise to concentrate on Google and have really good SEO for Google. So in this next part of the video, I'm going to explain how Googlebot work. How Google crawls through the links on your site, and how to set your website up with Google. Firstly, google finds and updates websites in its database using their Google Bosch, which is a web crawler. Its sole job is to move to the web, searching for website, be it new updates to existing websites so that it can index them, meaning they include them in their Google search database. So when you look for something using Google search, they bring you the latest and most relevant content. Think of the web like a spiderweb. When the Google Bosch visits your website, it takes all the information from each page and moves to your site through your internal links, other pages. If you have external links leading away from your website, google notes these as next to explore in there crawling and indexing. So as you can imagine, this list is never ending as the more sites the Googlebot crawls, the more links and websites they will find. Now, we know what a Google bot is, but how do we get them to understand what a website is all about? So they can add it to their search database correctly. Let's have a look at my website and I'll show you what the Google bot looks at. So we go to top-notch WP.com. The Google bot looks at the text and images on your site, but also how your site is built and laid edge, which is determined by your site, HTML and CSS, which is basically your code, the backbone of your website. So let's take a look at how Google bot has recorded my website. Here is my website when you visit it in your browser. Now, let's see how Google sees it. We changed the URL so that we replace the HTTPS with cash. We'll just wait for a second for it to load and look. Great news. The site looks pretty much identical to how I want it to look. All the content, text and links are there, meaning that Google understands my size, can read it correctly and hopefully his indexed it perfectly. So you can see exactly how Google uses your website. The full version is how it looks to most users. The text version is how they read your text. Do they have it all included? And then the source version, like we mentioned earlier, is a bait, your code, your HTML, the backbone of your website. And here we can see it, understands it. So I've talked about how Google finds your website and also how it understands your website. But sometimes it takes the Google Bosch weeks or even months for to find your website. But there is a shortcut around this, how you can get a dance just 48 hours. And that's using Google's own tool, Google Search Console. So have a search firm. And within Google Search Console, you can upload your website sitemap. And a sitemap is literally a map of what your website contains off one of the webpages, where can they be found? So your load, your sitemap to you Google Search Console. And pretty much within 48 hours, you site will be indexed. And a quick way to know if your site is index. If you actually go to Google search and typing your domain, it should start populating there in the top results. 4. Let Google understand what your website is about: So how do we let Google know exactly what your website is about? In the last section, we talked about the Google bot and how they index website. Just a quick reminder of what indexing is. Indexing is how Google categorizes your website within its search engine database. What this means is if your website is about selling laptops, you wanna make sure that Google has categorized your, your site as, Got it sells laptops. So there's six key areas we want to focus on. What we want to get Google's are fully understand your website and these are one written content. What content is actually on your website page to page title and Meta descriptions. This is the content, but your website that comes up in the Google search tree is site navigation. This is your top by a footer menu you sidebars for is using the right words. These are known as keywords. Five is land from your competition. Hey, a lot of phrenology, their usage, and the six's link building. So link building is about an external websites actually linking into yours. So in the next few videos, I'm just going to expand on each one of these. 5. Content Structure: The written content on your website plays a major factor in the SEO of your website. Now we're going to look at two elements of your content. And over the next few minutes, the first element is how you structure your content. And the second one is the content that you write. Do people even care about us? When it comes to structure? We're going to look at your heading tags. See your heading tags are the main descriptive headers about your webpage. With the H1 tag being the most important and going all the way down to H6 tag being the least important. So what does this mean? When you read content on a webpage, you'll notice that there is one large main header at the start of the page in bold, known as the H1 header. The pages then often broken up into sections which each have a smaller subheading at the starch them. Each header and sub-header should be able to give the reader an idea of wash. The next paragraph or information will contain. Headers are broken up into six types, H1 to H6, with hedge one being the most important. So the H one is the one that introduces the topic. Your page is all about. Just as a title of a book tells the reader what the book will be all about. The hate twos are akin to book chapters describing the main topics you'll cover in sections of the article. And subsequent headers, hate trees, stage sixes serve as additional subheadings within each section. Just as a book chapter maybe split up by multiple sub topics. So what is the importance of these headings? Well, they tell the reader what to expect by reading the webpage. Main header is what convinces the reader to begin winning the webpage. And the remaining headers ensure that they continue to read the webpage until the end. Google sees this heading text as the core essence of what that web page is a base. So that's how the index that webpage. So Google views that 81 text as the core heading text as the core essence of what that web page is all about. So Google views the hate one text as the core decider of how to index the page. And the remaining lower headers as I am as a reiteration and expansion of that decision. So Google sees the header, says, this is what this page is about. And if the users they sent to that webpage, we, the majority of that webpage will then Google knows they index that page correctly. However, if the users they send to that webpage which they've indexed, quickly leave the webpage within a few seconds. Google will see that as the index the webpage incorrectly and they will re-index, re-index that web page. So the ash, they don't send users to the wrong content, the content they're not looking for. So that means that that webpage won't appear in those search queries. 6. Page Title & Description: So now we're going to look at page title and description. So when you use Google search, be within the search result page. You'll see about age, web pages listed, and each have a title and a description telling you what each of those webpages are all a bench. This is a huge marketing opportunity for you. The texts you want here has to be attractive to the reader so that they could do to your website. And the great news is you have total control in what this text says. So within your site, you can build in a title and Meta description for each of your webpages. We didn't website built on CMS's. So content management systems such as WordPress, Wix, and Shopify. These are built-in features usually found at the end of your page when an edit mode of your webpage for those sites using HTML. It is a simple addition of code at the top of the HTML of that page. 7. Site Navigation: Site navigation. What is it? So site navigation can usually be found at the top side or bottom of your website. It is a clear way to navigation find pages within a website. So a top bar, a washer, and a sidebar, the common use terms to describe them. So links within your navigation near the top of the page, you're toupper are seen as the most important, as they are higher up. When most people will visit first, the further down you go, the less important. So keep your most important links prevalent near the top of your page. As this is what Google wants to see, SEO friendly, most important and least important at the bottom. So have you ever noticed that at the bottom of webpages there's a footer which includes contact about returns, delivery and privacy pages. This because these pages are not core to driving website engagement, but the people looking for this information, they also tried to find that information within the website. So you go with your website is to get user engagement and in most cases, sales. So your navigation bio should line up with your company objectives. Let users find the information they're searching for easily that will result in a sale or website engagement. 8. Creating Content users want to read: In this section we talk about creating content users actually want to read. Okay, So in the last section we talked about structuring your content. Now this is about creating the right content and it's about knowing your target audience so that you can tailor the content to them. Did you know at the moment there is 400 million active websites on the web. And each of them, let's say has five webpages, that's 2 billion active webpages. That's hard to compete against. So when you're creating your content, you have to really understand who you are creating that content for. Is, IS professionals or is it the everyday person? Because that's and leans into what type of language style you use. If it's professional, you probably be using professional terms. And I'm professional language. But if it's to an everyday user, you want to use relaxed style, friendly, and language. Then it's talking about what your users want to read a bag should know about. So what are they looking for? And it's creating that content that fulfills that need. So there's no point in just creating anything and putting it up there and expecting yourself to have good SEO if your target users aren't even looking for that content. So before you waste all that time creating content because it takes time to create good content. Instead of wasting that, do the research, understand who your target market is and what do they like to read and does it correspond to the services or goods you are providing? Let's take, for example, and a news website. The goal of the new wet news websites is to get users to read up today's news articles. So, you know, it wouldn't do any good if they're like a day or two behind on the news? If they got uses, they wouldn't come back a second or third time because other news websites would be way more up to date. So they just go there and let's talk. Bashed. You sell sneakers. So you sell sneakers and you're having, you write a blog on what are the best sneakers for basketball players and okay, Well that's interesting because if, if you're new to basketball, you don't know, you probably don't know which sneakers to choose. So if you did a comparison blog, and then within the blog, you did links to each of the products in your store. Not only IU, showing the target user and all your products, you are fulfilling their need because by the end of it, they'll pick the sneaker that best suits them and they actually might purchase it because there are ready on your website. So then this ties into knowing your audience and fulfilling their need. 9. Use the right words - Keywords: So we just talked about creating great content. But when we're creating great content, we have to bear in mind what is the main descriptor of that content, IE, the key word. A keyword is one, up to like four or five words that best describe your content that people will be searching into Google search to find that content. Now a core keyword tends to be one to two words. And a long tails tends to be like three to four to five words and it tends to be a search query. So I can just type into Google sneakers. I can type into best sneakers for basketball. Now the sneakers is not as specific, so give me a general search result. Bus, best sneakers for basketball is typer and specific. So either better chance of actually ranking for best niggers for basketball than just sneakers. Because a lot of the big players have like the one word keywords sewn up. So the competition to compete for that top page on Google search is much higher. So if I get a bit smart with my long tail and really think about what do people type into Google search when they're looking for this information and incorporate that into my content. So again, you know, say my keyword or my search in my keyword query on my long-tail keyword is best sneakers for basketball. Well, that's great search query. That's the header of my, my content and that, that line is going to be to add my content. So this is what you need to do when you're creating content. Just don't rush ahead and create a, really think about what's going to make my keyword the best describes this because it's going to be blended to add your content. Now, also, when you're thinking of keywords and think of the synonyms of keywords. So what are the alternative names to use to describe it? So like in Europe or in Ireland and the UK, sneakers are runners, okay, so if I type runners into the US search engine, probably won't get the right results. Same thing goes for shoelaces and shoe strings. When you type them into Google search, they come up with completely different search results. So, how do you choose the right keyword for your content that speaks to your target audience, that has a good chance that you'll get into the top of Google search. 10. How do you choose the right keyword: So how do you find the right keyword? Well, the goal is to figure out what your target audiences typing into Google search. And there's some great free tools out there that will show you exactly how to find these keywords that target audience is using. So let's go through these now. Welfare stuff is Google search. So it's what you type in findings, it also, or you can type into find those keywords. So in your browser, go to Google.com and start to type a keyword. So let's go with basketball sneakers. For example. Google will automatically prompt you with the most popular searches using these words. So the first step is to use the terms you know of right now. Start to type these into Google search and then take note of all the queries and keywords and start popping up. Secondly is Google Keyword Planner. So Google Keyword Planner is a tool that's included in Google ads. You do need to have Google Ads account to have access to the tool. But good news, you don't actually have to spend any money on ads to use the tool. So there are two ways you can use Google Keyword Planner. Firstly, click discover new keywords, and then start with a website. So we're gonna do Foot Locker.com. Now what this does is by doing it this way, they will find as keywords related to this website. So if we searched by average monthly searches, we can see which is the most popular. So we can select some of these keywords and copy them and then use it into the other part of the Google Keyword Planner where we can search for alternative keywords. So let's go back to the other way we can do it. So we could start with keywords, and we'll just turn on those eight keywords and we just say get results. So you can see we get the same results, but when we scroll down, we can see other suggested keywords that we could possibly use. So there's a huge list over 4000 here. So we can download these keyword ideas to a CSV or Google Sheets and compile that list and go through it a bit glacier so that we can start whittling down. The next tool is Google Trends. Google Trends works very similar to Google Keyword Planner. What's really good about it is we can compare against lived Asia one keyword, synonyms to another keyword Cimon. So that means that the same words, but they're just different. So we're going to type in basketball sneakers and basketball shoes and see actually, which is the most popular search term in the US because this ties into the language of air content. So when we do this, we see that and basketball shoes is way more popular than basketball sneakers. Now this resulted me surprise because I thought in the United States basketball sneakers, but actually no basketball shoes, so we can see it by state. What's really cool is they give us alternative keywords as well that could work with their content. So again, these are amazing free tools that you should really use. Now there are paid tools. Now we have moz.com and then we'll have SEM merge. But these tools are really expensive and permanent, like over a 100 dollars each per month. So I recommend you guys can really, really familiar with the free tools and then you guys can graduate up to using petals once you become comfortable with the free tools because there's no point in spending money on SEM rush and Mars. And until you are comfortable with the free tools because it's a big expenditure every month. And you can be using that for maybe paid advertising to boost your website. 11. Learn from your competition: When you're trying to come up with content and keywords for your website, it can be a little bit daunting, especially if you have no experience in this area. So where do you actually start? Well, the best place to start is actually looking at your competition. Every business person knows that they do have competitors out there and it's identifying exactly hue there. So just grab a pen and paper, write down your competitors and they can be close competitors or they can be similar. So it close competitors competing directly against watcher selling. Okay. Bush, a similar one could be a different industry. So once you have that list compiled, check out their websites, check out the content they're creating. And what are they doing really well, what could they do a lot better? So this really is, you know, a kid getting a competitive advantage over them. So they've spent all this time and effort creating their own content, create no market position SEO, and it's all add there on the web. So use it. Don't reinvent the wheel. Look at what they have and build something even better, but get inspired by that. Because sometimes when you're starting off with your website, you try and come up with all these ideas. You just look in at a blank wall some time. So get inspiration from the competition. 12. Link Building: So now we're going to talk about link building. When I refer to link building, I'm referring to actually inbound links and the number coming into your website. So what is an in bad link member at the start of this course? And I discussed how a goal but works. So it works by calling to your websites, indexing those websites, and finding links to external websites. So all this information they put into their Google database. So when someone types in a search query, they're able to pull the right resources that are relevant to that user's queries. So inbound links coming from legitimate websites play a major role in your websites SEO. Google determines how much it can trust you by how many legitimate links are coming to your website. So what do I mean by that? So it really is about what they call domain authority trust building. I can create any any website, any page I can talk about anything. But do I have authority in the space? Am I the key leader in the space? And where's the trust coming from? So say I created a blog on the best WordPress hosting to use. Well, a lot of people, right? Right about what is the best WordPress hosting? How do I make sure I get to the top of SEO? Well, the more websites that are legitimate websites, trusted websites that link into that page when they're talking about web hosting and on their own website. The more domain authority I have because Google says, Okay, this person, yes, they're talking about web hosting. We see it's kind of trustworthy, but it's being linked to or reference from five other website. Okay? This, this add a lot more trust, so it gives a higher attribution value. Now it's not the court determined for your SEO. Everything we talked about in this course helps build a better and better SEO. But link building is one of the increasingly more important elements of SEO. Because the web is so big, the so many websites out there, you have to compete for that number one spot. And Google wants to make sure that users searching are given the best content and the more people linking into your content. It shows Google, yes, this, this is, this is good, maybe the best content. Notice how I used the words trusted and legitimate website when talking about inbound links. Links from dodgy website, bad website, spammy websites will do the opposite effect. A lush of shady SEO girls agencies, they promise you legitimate links if you pay them extra money, I can, you know, for like $200, I can get you a 100 great quality. And by band links a farm. High-quality websites never, ever use these services. Why? Well, google penalizes you. So Google will cup on that. They are bought links. And we'll penalize your website as a whole and may even blacklisted, meaning that it will never show up in Google search. Do not take the risk. It's too big. But it this way, carbon sensors, if they're selling the service to you, they're only going to create a 100 new inbound links for someone else. At that price, it takes so much hard work to create really good inbound links. Now I'm going to show you actually how you do link Build. And it's probably one of the most time intensive elements of SEO, but one of the most worthwhile when done well. So the first thing is asking for links. So when you're asking for links, you can ask friends or family, or you can build relationships with similar sites to yours. So when we're talking about friends or family, you know, it's a great way to start, especially if you're a beginner, you know, Ash link building. Think about your friends, relatives, colleagues, partners, clients that have a blog or a site that is relevant to your website. Pretty much to get your rolodex. And, and all you have to do is ask them for a backlink iIn embed link going from their site to your site. Asked for in content links instead of links in the sidebar footer. So what I mean about this is within a section of a page itself, and that text is highlighted, that highlighted text links to your website. And, and the reason why these work better than sidebar footer. When links are put inside buyers and photos of other website, people think it's a link stuffing are not as legit as when it's within content. Because within content you're talking about a specific thing. And if you've a link leading off from that specific thing, you're trying to reiterate the point which gives it a better added value when it comes to SEO. Now the second way of asking is by building relationships with similar sites to yours. So reach out to the owner of websites similar to yours that you want a link from and give them a compelling reason to link to you. That compelling reason is absolutely essential for this group of link building tactics. The people you reject two, don't care about you. And your website, unless you're some sort of celebrity. And thus they have 0 incentive to help you out. So before you ask them to link to you, ask yourself what's in it for them. After all, they are doing you a favor. So here are some of the link building tactics and strategies that fall into this category. Along with it, I'm going to briefly define what a compelling reason and for each of them. So guest blogging, you create useful content for their website. So they're talking about a topic and you have, you know, a more in-depth article that would add to the content they're talking about that adds value. Skyscraper technique, show them a better resource than the one they're linking to Lincoln. So let's show them a resource with more information on something. They've briefly mentioned. Ego based, mentioned them or their work in your own content in a positive light. So basically, they might feel obliged to actually give you a link back. Testimonials and case studies give positive feedback about their product or service. And again, it's like creating dash, creating a need for them to link back to you. Link exchanges after the link back to them if they agree to link to you, this is probably the most used form to be a fair resource page and building show them a good resource that fits their existing link. So resource page link building could be an FAQ. So FAQ and a hosting page, best ways to set up the hosting. They might have a video on that, so they might link to your video. Broken link building. So you found a dead link on their own website. You give them the heads up that it's a dead link. And you say, Hey, I have a link that's life. Do you want to just watch as switch those edge? And the other one is image link building. You know, if they're using an image of yours, asked them to link your website because they're getting that free content. And this is what a lot of free, free image website, that's part of the terms. If you use their images, you have to link back unlinked mentions. So they'd actually mentioned you in a piece of their content, but they haven't put a link back to your site. So it's just sending them a quick note saying, Hey, I really love that you mentioned me. Can you actually put a link there and back to my site in dimension? And then link moves, ask to make changes to an existing link. So this is maybe you've changed your website, you've changed the way the URL is structured so that it's a deadline for you now. So you ask them just to change or update that existing main they've already created. So the second way to link, build that tie back into what I talked about earlier. Competitive research, find out where your competitors are getting their links from. You can find out who is linking to your competitor sites by using Moz's Open Site Explorer, simply type in the URL of your competitor. And the tool will produce a link. And the tool will produce enlist, showing you the title and URL of the linking page and the link anchor text. This should give you a few ideas of where you can try and get links from. Because remember, if a site is prepared to link to a competitor, they are properly prepared to link to you too. So that pretty much sums up what is link building? 13. Summary: Congratulations, you've finished the course, SEO basics for beginners. So by the end of this course, you should feel fairly confident in knowing what SEO is and what are the general concepts of SEO. So what's next for you? Well, if you've wanna find out actually how to implement these SEO concepts, we talked about checkout, my profile here on Skillshare and check out the other courses because I have those step-by-step guides, they're also, while you are my profile, hit the Follow button so you'll get an update every time a new course is released. I really, really hope you enjoyed this course and if you did, please leave me a good review. Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I'd love to hear from you and answer anything you might have a question on. Yeah, Happy learning and thank you so much for finishing my course.