SEO 101: What it is and why you need it | Stephanie Long | Skillshare

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SEO 101: What it is and why you need it

teacher avatar Stephanie Long, Stephanie is my name, SEO is my game

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

10 Lessons (1h 11m)
    • 1. Ready to learn SEO 101?

    • 2. SEO class project description

    • 3. Learn how search engines work

    • 4. Why is SEO important?

    • 5. How keyword research works

    • 6. What is SEO content?

    • 7. How on-page SEO works

    • 8. What is link building?

    • 9. The basics of technical SEO

    • 10. SEO class wrap-up. Congradulations!

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About This Class

If you're just learning about SEO, are an expert, or are any level in-between, come learn new things and/or brush up on your SEO skills in this class!

Stephanie has spent over ten years in marketing, specifically focusing on search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a wide and deep area, and most people don't understand it, which is why she loves teaching and training people on it, and then seeing them apply what they have learned to their business. You'll learn SEO and master its facets such as keyword research, technical SEO, link building and more to build an effective strategy for your website.

In this class you'll learn:

  • How search engines work and:
    • What search engines are
    • How they rank pages
    • How they personalize results for users
  • Fundamentals of SEO
    • Setting up your SEO for success
    • Submitting your website to Google
    • Track how successful SEO is
  • Keyword Research
    • What keyword research his and why it’s important
    • How to research short-tail and long-tail keywords
    • How to analyze keywords
    • How to target keywords
    • Keyword research tools
  • Content for SEO
    • Content basics
    • How to create content for SEO and why it’s so important for your content and SEO strategies to be inline.
  • On-page SEO
    • On-page SEO basics
    • How to do on-page SEO
  • Link Building
    • What link building is
    • How to build links
    • What makes a good link?
    • Best link building strategies
    • Link building tools
  • Technical SEO
    • Technical SEO basics
    • Technical SEO tools

You’ll be :

Doing a website audit with the outline you'll be given in class and then implementing your audit suggestions to a website or page on a website - make sure this is a website you can edit, or it's your personal website, or a website text you can use.

You can also find Stephanie here:




Meet Your Teacher

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Stephanie Long

Stephanie is my name, SEO is my game


Hello, I'm Stephanie.

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1. Ready to learn SEO 101?: Hi everyone. My name is Stephanie long and I'm so excited that you've decided to take my SEO one-on-one course, whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced, this is the course for you. You'll learn some new tips and tricks or brush up on some old skills that you might have forgotten about. So come along and I'll be happy to answer any questions along the way. And after each lesson, we'll have a quick quiz just to make sure that you're on track and you're understanding the material. So let's get started. One of the first things we'll be doing is a website audit. We need to do this in order to see what we need to do in the backend of a website. So make sure you have access to a backend of a website or a website in general that somebody will let you use. Then we'll go over keyword research, content creation, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. All of these combined together to make a solid SEO strategy. Another thing that's very important that we'll go over is customer reviews. Whether they're good or bad, you need to respond to them because they help you with SEO. The other thing that we will go over is that your website needs to be mobile friendly because this is how people will find you. And this also goes into PageSpeed. Your website needs to load fast. And of course you need to submit your website to Google, how Google find you if they don't even know what your website is. So we'll go over how to submit this to Google and are used successfully optimized, will find out that two. And of course common mistakes and miss about SEO. And like I mentioned in the beginning, we will be going over a quiz at the end of each lesson. So are you ready to join me? Let's get started. 2. SEO class project description: For your class project, it will be really important that you have access to a website's back-end. And this is because we'll be learning about how search engine works, the fundamentals of SEO, keyword research and implementing those keywords to your content, as well as on-page SEO, off-page SEO, link building as well, and technical SEO. And then we'll be talking about the top SEO mistakes. Then part of the class project. At the end, we'll be doing an audit of this website. So that's why you do need access to the backend. And as you can see, I'll be providing you with this template. I have already filled in some things for you, but you will need to take what you have learned from the class and fully fill this in so that I can see that you understand SEO and you will be able to implement this on one page. So using this audit, you will add this to one page of a website. So I really hope that this excites you and you're ready to join my SEO one-on-one course. 3. Learn how search engines work: Hello and welcome to Lesson one of search engine optimization 101. I am your instructor, Stephanie long, and it's great that you're here and I'm excited that you want to learn about SEO. In this lesson, we're going to talk about what search engines are, how pages are ranked, and how results are personalized. Search engines work by crawling billions of pages. That's right, billions using web crawlers. So understanding how search engines function is crucial for doing SEL. So what are search engines? Search engines are searchable databases of web content, and they're made up of two main parts. The search index. It's a digital library of information about web pages. And then the search algorithms. These are computer programs tasked with matching results from the search index. So when you're searching something, this is what happens to get you the results that you want. Search engines have two different types of search results. And I do want to clarify that there is the paid search results with the ad logo next to it and organic with no ad logo next to it. Next, there's crawling, indexing and ranking factors that go into SEO as well. Google's crawler is called Googlebot. So what this means is it's a computer bought, also called spider, that downloads known URLs. The term ranking in reference to SEO comes up a lot when we're talking about search engine optimization. And it refers to the websites position in a search engine results page. And there are various factors that go into how well your website is going to rank, which we'll go over that in multiple lessons. However, when you search something in Google, it is using these ranking factors to bring up the results that you see. Everything begins with unknown list of URLs. Google discovers these in many ways, but the three most common ways are backlinks, sitemaps, and URL submissions. We're going to talk about backlinks first. I'm going to use my website as an example for backlinks. So backlinks are when people link to each other's pages. As you can see, I went on a podcast. I linked out to her website so you can listen to my podcast. But she also linked back to me. And here's another podcast I went on. And as you can see, I linked out to them. And then they wrote about me. And then I can share, or you can share, someone can share from there. But you can also see as we go down that there's a lot of content about me and then I offer free audit. So they're linking right back to me. Actually, they're linking right to my services page, which is perfect. Another example is I was a guest blog poster. So when I wrote this post, they are linking from my name to my website. So that's another way to get back links is to guest post on blogs. And we'll talk about that too in another lesson. Having a sitemap is so important. Sitemaps tell Google which pages and files you think are important for your site. So you can imagine if you don't have a sitemap, you're telling Google ultimately, none of your pages are important. Here's a live example. I will put these in the notes for the class two, you go to SEO Site checkup. I typed in my URL, and then you just hit the enter button. And now you wait and you see if you have a sitemap. This is very important after you've completed your website. And along the way, if you update your website, you can see I have completed this 100 out of 100. But you can also get a sitemap generator, generator from here too as well. This is free. So I would highly recommend checking to see if you do have a sitemap. Let's talk about relevance next. It's the usefulness of a given result for the searcher. So I have typed in places to hike in Seattle, in Google is showing me now the best URLs that it thinks will match what I'm looking for. And they've also optimized their website. So that's why they're coming up as well. You can also see down here, there's images, which is great because images are also very powerful form of SEO because you can optimize those as well. Google also shows what people also ask for because they could've asked which you are looking for. You need to have a fast website nowadays, especially on mobile, as Google is very mobile first, as people are on the go, they don't want to wait for a website to load. Therefore, you could be losing customers. So there's a great tool Google has. It's called their page speed insights to just go ahead and Google that there's a live example. I am going to use my website so you can see what it looks like. I'm not gonna go into the full diagnostics, but you'll get an idea of how you can check for how fast your mobile loads and how fast your desktop website loads. So there are two tabs and you can do it yourself, whatever the errors are, or you can send this to your developer. It's very easy to export what the outcome is. Google uses your location to personalize your results. So wherever you are in the world, unless you disable your location settings, it will give you results that are in the area. Here's an example of somebody that's planning a vacation. As you can see, there are some ideas that Google has given you. It's probably based off of your search history results. As you can see, there's a little clock next to it. It does know you have either search these or you are going to want to learn about them. And then below it also gives you related search. So that also goes into Google wanting to personalize and give you the very best results you can get. So this is why SEO is so important so that you are in these results. Great job on completing Lesson one. Here just a few key takeaways for you. So SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engines aimed to always give people the best, most relevant results. Ranking factors include relevance, backlinks and freshness. Freshness means updating your content consistently. And then Google also personalize his results. So don't forget to take the quiz at this end, there'll be a link in the class notes. You don't have to, but it just helps to understand if you are on track and learning the materials. Again, you can reach out to me with any questions. This is just a mini quiz for you to see where you're at. I look forward to seeing you in lesson two. 4. Why is SEO important?: Hi and welcome to lesson two. I hope you got a lot out of lesson one. Lesson two is focusing on the fundamentals of SEO. And again, don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about any prior lessons or any lessons coming up. So let's get started with less than two. The main things we'll be talking about less than two are setting your SEO up for success, submitting your website to Google and tracking how successful your SEO it. So what is SEO and less than one, we talked about the basics, but let's dive deeper. So SEO is the process of growing your website's organic traffic. And this is so important. So you come up in the search results, which is when you Google a keyword, you want your website to be top of mind. And a lot of people don't even like to scroll below the fold, which is when you have to actually use your mouse to scroll down. Let's look at an example. Best coffee companies. I'm looking for the best coffee company in the area. Let's see what do I get? 0, I have to scroll a little bit, but you can see that's an ad there that was paid. But the first one is what I'm going to click on because I don't want to really scroll below that. And again, you see what people also asked for. So I can see what's also being asked about best coffee companies. So maybe I'll get even more information about that. But again, you really want to be top results there. And paid search is something that maybe will be part of your strategy, but it has nothing to do with organic. And you can also get great content. Remember from this people also asked, the first step is to create keywords. I've chosen these five keywords for my SEO business. I usually like to do ten keywords in the beginning. But just for simplification sake, I am going to go ahead and just do these five keywords for now. So out of these keywords, I've chosen best SEO services to see what is ranking on Google's first page because that's the next thing you wanna do. It looks like Forbes is the first page and it's listing all the different best SEO services. But as you can see, there's people also ask for where I can get a lot of great content because you're literally writing for exactly what Google is looking for. So that's the next step after your keyword research is to get great content around those keywords. Now you need a hook. What's unique about your services? This is an example. I am doing SEO audits on people's TikToks. I'm deciding why I think that they're doing really good on TikTok. My hook is I'm doing this in hopes that I can generate more eyeballs on my services, more inquiries because this I think is unique to what I'm doing versus what other SEO companies are doing. Because I've researched this and I'm not seeing anyone else doing something that's unique on TikTok. The next thing to do is optimize for on-page SEO, which we will cover in a whole lesson later. Then we need to optimize for search intent, the primary types of this or informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional. So we're gonna go ahead and talk about informational first. This means people searching are looking for educational content. In a lot of cases, these queries contain phrases or keywords like how to, why, What is, where do i, and best way to? With navigational intent, these all pretty much follow the same formula or a slight variation of, so it'll be the product and service name plus brand name or vice versa. I'm going to use Clorox in this example just for simplification rules. Now this is commercial search intent. So I've typed in best wet wipes because I'm looking for what kind of products should I buy. So as you can see, it is showing me the top products and also what people also asked for. Now with transactional search intent, people already ready to buy, let's say they already like Clorox. So they're going to buy Clorox wipes. And then you're going to see a list of places that offer Clorox wet white. So now you've done a list of keywords. You've analyzed Google's first page, you've added a hook, and you've also optimized for on-page SEO. Now, we need to focus on content design. Is it helpful, human connected, clear, and findable, that or your next questions to ask. Next, we'll be building links to your page. You really need to have good relationships for this because you'll wanna go on podcasts, webinars, guest post and have others guest posts so you can link between each other. There's also a platform called Help a Reporter out Hero, where you can also submit articles there. So this will be another part of your top things you need to do for SEO. Another thing that's as important as SEO is choosing a website platform. There are hosting platforms where everything is done for you. And then there are self-hosted where you can go in and edit a little code. So really the difference is, do you want to have to do anything or do you want to have a plug-and-play? Having a secure website is super important, especially if you take credit cards. So make sure you get an SSL certification. And most website host platform should offer this. And if they don't, you can just Google where you can get one. Make sure you design a really appealing design. Nobody wants to visit an outdated website. You need to make sure the font is readable and mobile-friendly. Nothing is worse than searching for something on your mobile device and the website is not able to be used on a mobile. Logical site structure makes sure it flows. And here's an example on the screen. You really want to sketch out a mind map before starting. This will really help you in how you structure your URLs. Most every website platform should have a built-in SEO plugin. If not, you'll want to install it. So this is an example on the back end of my website and I use WordPress. So I am using Yoast SEO. As you can see, I'm gonna go ahead and show you what it looks like on the back-end. So it's already installed as you can see. And you can also see if you wanna do auto updates. I don't like to do auto updates just in case it breaks anything. I like to come here and manually do it. But here we're gonna go ahead and add a plugin. And then we're going to search in the keyword. And what we're gonna do is we want to use exact keywords, SEO plugin. And this is going to pull up all the plugins that I can use that are compatible with my WordPress site. And I already have Yoast SEO installed as we know, but I do want to show you what it looks like. You can also try it for free or you can install it now. And you also want to make sure it does show when it was updated and how many stars that has the reviews. I like to see what reviews are. Now as a reminder, you will want to either create your sitemap or submit that to Google's Webmaster Tools. Now, before we dive into what it is to track and measure SEO performance, will need to understand how we can do that with the keyword rankings. So the obvious one is if your organic traffic is going up, you're obviously doing something right? So you'll want to track this with Google Analytics, which is a free tool. You can connect that very easily to your website. And I will send steps along in this tutorial on how to do so. Then you can also set up some free tools. There's a refs, there's moss, and there's Uber suggest. Now they are free at a very basic level, but you can do the paid version, which I do because it really does go into how you can better optimize your keywords. So I highly suggest as soon as the websites ready to go, you immediately put Google Analytics on your website so you can see where traffic is coming from and what keywords and content are doing the best, you can better track your performance. And that is the end of lesson two. And some key takeaways are, remember, SEO is the process of growing your website's organic traffic. And as long as you're ranking for the correct keywords, then it's free traffic month over month, which will hopefully lead to new customers or new sales. So you need to really hone in on those keywords and use one of the tools I recommended, Google Analytics. That is free. There's also Google Keyword Planner that is free as well. And then you have a refs, Mars and Uber suggest all these keywords can tell you what keywords in your niche are doing well and also how your competitors are doing. You need to see what people are actually searching for because you don't want to just write anything. Don't re-invent the wheel, see what is being searched for. Also, do not forget, and this is where I get a lot of my content is on. People also ask, Google is literally serving up to you what kind of content you should write. People are asking for this. So if you craft a content strategy around this, you can't really go wrong. So remember, those are very important things to do. Focus on the keywords. Don't just guess. Go focus on what is already doing well in which your competitors are ranking for. And again, don't forget to do the quiz at the end. It's very short. It is not required, but it does help you see if you're on track and understanding the material. But of course, always reach out to me no matter what, if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing you in lesson three. 5. How keyword research works: Hi and welcome to lesson three. I hope you're enjoying your lessons, so you've done less than one and less than two. Now, in lesson three, we're going to be talking about how do you do the keyword research. So really get into the meat of SEO. So let's get started on it. Okay, so what goes into keyword research and what is it? So keyword research is the process of discovering valuable search queries that your target customers are going to type into search engines like Google, e.g. there'll be looking for your products, services, information, and many more things. So why is keyword research really the meat of SEO? Keyword research is so important because it helps you find the keywords that your target audience is looking for or asking for. So it'll provide you valuable insight into content that you'll want to ride around. Potentially webinars and podcasts that you'll want to go on and talk about these things. So these are actual search terms that people in your target audience want to know about or hear about. So that is why keyword research is of the utmost important and one of the very first things you should do. So how do you go about doing keyword research? I'm gonna give you an example of how I do it. This is Mars, the tool I use. And I'm going to ask how to learn SEO. I think that might be a valuable topic people are wondering, so I'm going to see what Moss has to say. The monthly volume isn't too high, which is great. It also shows the relevancy, how often it would show up in the search engines. It's at the highest, so it's one to five. So this will be a great topic for me to go after and right content around. And this is what you would do in any sort of SEO tool. That screenshot of Maus was just a brief overview of my tool and how I would go about doing it. But I've already found my seed keywords. Seed Keywords are two keywords and they define your niche. So this is where most SEO experts start. I'm going to just use an example of somebody that owns a coffee company or maybe makes coffee products. So coffee would be one, cappuccino, French press and Latte. Let's say you own a coffee shop and you also sell coffee equipment. You're going to want to rank for these different items that you sell. So let's just use French press as the example here to make it cohesive. So what we're going to want to do is we're gonna Google French press. And then we'll see what competitors come up in this search. Because this is going to get you the very best results. And also is really a good keyword tool if you don't have a paid subscription to something. So I typed French press into the website or sorry, Google. You can see that the top ones are ads. But then here we have people also asked for what is so special about French press coffee. This is something great to write on because it's one of the top results people are asking for when it comes to French press. And then you also get a lot of other questions regarding French press. You're already getting a ton of content around this product. Now for coffee machines, again, I typed coffee machines into the Google search results and you can see what is coming up. So I would click through Amazon coffee machines and see what kind of content they're writing, because that will also give you content ideas. And then here again is people also asked for what is the best brand for a coffee machine. So you can write about your brands or the brand you offer. And then if you keep continuing down, you'll get even more contents. So click through and see what kind of content they're writing. And then that'll give you even more content ideas because you'll want to expand on just the seed keywords to help you rank. Now let's talk about a type of coffee. So I'm going to Google cappuccino into the search results. Because remember, competitors are a great source of keyword ideas. What comes up first? I'm gonna go ahead and click Open on this because that's gonna give me some keyword and some topic ideas. So what are the top ranking pages? Now? How to make a cappuccino? This is one of the top pages, and obviously people love this. So you can write about how to make a cappuccino, because this is obviously very highly searched. And if you sell cappuccino machines, This is great too, to drive traffic to your page. Based off our last search, we saw what competitors are ranking high in the Google search results. So now let's take one of those competitors, which was a couple of cooks. And it'll show us other competitors that are related to them. Because we obviously want to see what kind of content is written about our keyword. So you can go to these competitors and you can find other content ideas. But another way to do that, if you don't have a subscription to Mars, is going into the Google Keyword Planner. So you want to start with a website and you'll only want to scan this page because we're only talking about how to make a cappuccino. If you don't do that, it will scan the whole entire website and give you keywords that are not related to what you want to talk about. So after I've done that, I can now see all these different keywords and we'll want to go after long tail keywords. Remember, those are three to five characters. And we'll also want to go after the ones that are low to medium competition. Remember if they're high, competition is gonna be so hard to rank for those and you will just be spinning your wheels trying to do so. It's not something you should go after initially or even ever. So I'm gonna, you can search, I can filter here, and so you can see the competition. And I'm filtering. I'm gonna do from low to high, because there you can get your lowest keywords to begin with and start from there to build out your content, because this is one of the ways to start ranking for your keywords. Another great way is for Cora. This is an example from my corner page. People are asking about SEO strategies and I can go ahead and comment on here. Then people can like and share what I've posted. And now I have signed up to get questions asked from me. And so I'll get email alerts that people are asking me to answer the questions because they've seen that I'm a thought leader in the space. So again, if you own a coffee shop per se, you'll want to sign up for coffee notifications. So if people are wondering, how do you make the best latte? What are the best coffee shops in the area? What are the best kind of espresso machines? You can answer those questions and be seen as a thought leader in the industry. And then the more you let people share, the more you're getting out there in front of customers. So how do we know which keywords are the best? We're going to need to analyze them, then you're going to need to use one or the keyword tools that you have. And I'm going to use mass as that's the one I use. I'm gonna look up cold foam ice cappuccino sticking with the coffee theme because I don't want to see how often this is searched and if it's a good topic to write content around. So I have sorted this by irrelevancy, and as you can see, it is actually highly relevant. The monthly searches aren't high. And as we know, you should go after low-volume keywords. Because that means there's a niche target looking for that, your customers are gonna be lower in the funnel, meaning they are either ready to buy, make a purchase, contact, you would be a serious inquiry. So you can see as it goes down, the relevancy is lower and lower. But this is how you can really find what kind of keywords you should go after and if they have low search volume, because that's again, what we want to do. We're going to talk about three different types of content now. So type, format and angle, e.g. type is blogposts, product pages, landing pages, and online tools that people can access. The next is format. So e.g. these are guides, listicles, reviews, infographics, comparisons with other companies, what you offer versus what they offer, and then case studies from clients. You'll want to get, I would recommend at least one of each on your website. And these are good lead generation forms. And then angle, what is your unique angle? What do you offer that your competitors don't? Because you're really going to need to separate yourself from them in order to gain more clients because they want something that your competitors don't offer and you need to explain what that is. And just to reiterate keyword research is not the process of finding easy to rank for keywords. It is the process of finding keywords that make most sense for your business. So don't force keywords that aren't relevant for what consumers would want when searching for a product that you have. If you don't have a budget or a very small budget, you will need at least what keyword tool to use. So I will leave links of some free tools and the lesson notes. I hope you enjoyed lesson three. And again, don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. I know that was a lot covered on keyword research. So some key takeaways I want you to remember is searching for keywords and seeing what competitors come out, come up in the Google search results. That's one of the best ways to kick-start your keyword research because it'll give you some great content ideas on what is ranking, because this is what people are looking for. So you can build some keyword and content ideas around that. But don't just limit it to Google, also use a keyword tool. And again, in the lesson notes, I will put some links to some free keyword tools. But you will want to use that as well because as you saw, you can see the relevancy of keywords and if they're medium, low, or high. Because again, we want to go after low keyword volume because those are the niche people you want. They're very serious about buying, purchasing, contacting you. You don't want a bunch of leads that have nothing to do with your business. So being very targeted on low volume keywords is really important. Don't forget about search intent. So what is it that you want them to learn about you? Do you want them to read case studies, blog posts, all of those different content topics I mentioned, What do you want them to know about you? So that will also be part of your content strategy. So I really want you to be able to focus on the content. Content and keywords go hand in hand. So makes sure the intent is what you want the intent to be for your customers. Now again, I have a mini quiz after this. It is not required, but it always helps to see if you're staying on track with what the lesson is. If you have any questions, always reach out to me. I'm happy to help. I look forward to seeing you in lesson four. 6. What is SEO content?: Welcome to lesson four. I hope you're getting a lot out of the other lessons and are learning so much about SEO. In this lesson, we're going to be talking all about SEO content and how to find content that works with your SEO strategy. So let's go ahead and get started. Why is SEO content so important? Well, not all content ranks and gets traffic from organic search. Only content that is crafted for searchers about topics they're searching for, unless you're getting really lucky. So it's so important to create content exactly what people are searching for. And this is something we've been talking about and all of our lessons. Now you should have a proven topic. Now that you've done the keyword research, this topic is something that has traffic potential, business potential, and ranking potential. For the sake of clarity, I'm going to stick with the coffee theme that I have been doing throughout all these lessons. Now I'm going to use Uber suggest the keyword ranking tool. And I'm going to look at espresso machine supplies for keyword difficulty. It's at 51, so it's a medium keyword difficulty. So I'm gonna go ahead and search that and see what's coming up. So we can now talk about the top ranking pages for the three Cs. Now the three Cs you're going to want to look for is content-type format in angle. Now Content-Type, these are blogposts, product pages, landing pages, or other types of content that you want people to usually fill out a form for then content format. These are tutorials, listicles, how to guides, recipes and other free tools. And then the last one is content angle is their dominant selling point, like low prices and as I show here, are espresso machines on sale. So what will be that angle to hook a customer to want to click through your website. So another way to get even more granular is to see what the top search content is. I'm gonna go ahead and click through because this is the top page when I search espresso machines supplies. Now that you've got the expertise, you're going to want to get the content people are looking for. So here's a great way to see that. There was that one website. Here's more you can get content ideas from. And then you can always put these keywords into whatever keyword tool you are using. But look at all this great content you can see that people are making that others want to view. As you can see, there's a lot of images throughout breaking things up. Of course, people want images and bullet points. It's a lot easier to read. So here's all the things you can see. Then defined other keywords related to espresso. I have used Uber suggest as you can see, and look at the top search term, you want to go after that, because look at the search volume. So I would choose maybe the top two to three and start writing content around those topics and see if they do work with your audience and you are getting traffic from them. If not, then you'll need to pivot and find other keywords for your audience. Now you need to know the search intent of your user. When people are searching in Google, they are generally looking for a specific answer or resource to their question and you want to be that answer. So coming up in the top search results is imperative. So let's take coffee again, e.g. let's say people are searching for different kinds of coffee, then you want to come up in the search results and answer the question of different kinds of coffee there are, and maybe write a blog post about all of them. And then you could also maybe break it up into subsections and write about each different kind of coffee. You can see different types of flavors of coffee. You can get so much content from here. And then people are looking for takeout coffee shop. As you can see, it's going to show coffee shops in the local area. So I can search for that and find something around me that gets good rate rankings. Then lastly, the history of coffee. Now look, I can find who invented coffee that's up there on the search results. I can write content around that. Here's what coffee originally was used for. I mean, Here's many things people are asking for relating to the history of coffee. So as you can see, those are three different types of search intents. You need to be very specific when you're writing content for what kind of search intent you're looking for him. Do you want people to find your coffee shop? Do want people to know that you are a resource for the history of coffee? Or do you want to be talking about different types of coffee that you offer? So really hone in on what kind of content you want and what kind of user you're looking for. Search intent is super important for SEO because Google cares about it. And satisfying search intent is the primary goal of Google, which in turn makes it the primary goal for people doing SEO. So when a user searches for a specific term and finds irrelevant information, this signals to Google that the intent is likely mismatched. So an example is if I'm searching for how to build a website, but all I'm getting is content management platforms and hosting sites. Then I'm going to keep scrolling. This is showing Google that I'm not clicking on anything. So again, the intent is likely mismatched, and this does not reflect what I'm looking for as a user. So if you're trying to optimize for content that has nothing to do with what people are searching for. And then they potentially click on your site and bounce, which is really bad for Google as well. You are going to be deemed as Google sees notch serving up relevant content. Don't just limit yourself to one search intent to have a successful content marketing strategy, which in turn is a successful SEO strategy. You need to broaden your reach across different funnels. So that could be writing about recipes, how to guides offering free downloads. The more specific your content is to the various search intense, then the more users you can reach and at different stage in the funnels. So somebody is maybe just looking at recipes. They're not ready to buy your product. Maybe you also serve cooking supplies, but they at least know who you are now. You are capturing people at the top of the funnel with recipes, but then they could come lower into the funnel and purchase something from you. This is very important to diversify your content. After you've created your content, that doesn't mean you should set it and forget it. You need to go back and see if the keywords that you're targeting are working. And if they're not ranking or working well, you need to pivot and see what other keywords you should target or maybe this is the wrong kind of content. But makes sure you're always tracking your results because this could make or break how well you do in the search engines. I do want to stress that you should not base the entirety of your content on top ranking pages because you could end up with copycat content. You want to make it unique while looking at top pages helps you see what people in your target audience are looking for and getting good content ideas. You want it to be unique to your company, your brand. So this kind of content should get come from someone in your organization, yourself or an industry expert. But build on what's already out there. Expand on the keywords, go deeper and give alternatives that it makes you look like a novice in your area. And people will want to come to your website because they know that you will have the best content out there. Here are some content tips. Keep it simple and avoid complex words and sentences that confuse your audience and speak their language. Makes sure to always write for humans first and search engines second, use terms that resonate with your readers. Then always check for spelling. This is extremely important. I like to use Grammarly because if people see spelling errors, that could be a big thing between them wanting to do business with you and them not wanting to do business with you. And that is the end of lesson four. I hope you're progressing in your SEO knowledge. And some key takeaways from this lesson, I want you to remember is search intent. You always need to write for your user. Google looks at search intent as one of the most important things. So that means you need to as well make sure your content is written for humans though. Don't write it for Google. Google will know this. Makes sure that your search intent is what your audience will want, is that how to guides, videos, blog posts. There's many other things I spoke about that you can get content ideas from. So makes sure it is super targeted. Don't just set it and forget it. You need to go check how your keywords are doing, because this could make or break how you rank in the search engines if you just set it and forget it and you're not ranking, well, that's not doing you any good. So again, keyword research is what is the guts of what we're doing? And then writing the content is next. So I look forward to seeing you in lesson five. 7. How on-page SEO works: Welcome to lesson five, and I hope you're enjoying all the other lessons and you're learning so much about SEO. And I'm so excited that you're taking this course and you're on this learning journey with me. So what we're going to learn in lesson five is what is on-page SEO? Why is on-page SEO important? And how on-page SEO works? So let's get started with on-page SEO. It includes the following. We're going to talk about site content, keyword, title tags, Meta descriptions, headers, URLs, internal linking, external linking, alt text, page speed, and featured snippets. We're gonna go over each of these parts individually. So what is on-page SEO? On-page SEO is anything you can do on the page itself to improve rankings. And it focuses on helping Google and searchers better understand and digest your content. Why is this important? Because Google looks at things that can influence on-page SEO to decide if your page is relevant to the search results, if they are including the keywords that the query is being searched for. So here's an example. Best restaurants in Seattle, look what it's giving me. I'm getting the top restaurants and I'm most likely to click on one of those. Google knows that these three restaurants I'm seeing are serving up the correct search results. And as we know, Google looks at keywords on your page, but repeating these keywords, such as keyword stuffing is not good at all and will harm your rankings and your website can be penalized for doing this. So if you're unnaturally repeating a specific keyword or number of keywords multiple times in the content. Google's going to know, and it's also going to sound a natural, right? Because if you're stuffing a bunch of keywords in the content can't flow. We're going to talk about this later in the lesson. But as you can see here is an example of what keyword stuffing looks like. For this lesson, I'm gonna be using the keyword example. Seo tips for 2023 is what I want to rank for. And you want to add this to your header or H1 title. This will tell Google and searchers what your content is about. And you don't want to have anything that is not directly related to your content in that, because that can be seen as clickbait. You want Google and searchers to understand what your content is about by using one H1 tag per page. Next, you'll want to create a hierarchy. So then you'll add a header to header h3, header for, and you can go all the way to header six. So you're creating a flow for people to read. And also these are terms you want to optimize for two, I want web design matters, mobile, optimization and quality content that I'm an expand on each one after that. And then you want to add your keyword to the title tag. And this is what searchers see at the very top, as you can see right here. And you want to make sure that it is your keyword in there. Here are some tips to craft a compelling title tag. Keep them short. Under 65 characters. Match your search intent. What are people wanting? Be descriptive and include keywords. And then again, don't use them for clickbait. Now you need to write your meta-description. And your meta-description should have your keyword in it, which is again, SEO tips for 2023. Now here's actually a real life example of what a meta-description looks like. So I googled restaurants in Seattle, and as you can see, I am shown a little description of the best restaurants in Seattle. And they didn't run over character count because the whole entire sentence fits right in the search engine. Here are some tips for writing a compelling meta-description. Keep them short. They need to be under 160 characters, as you can see again from this example, the whole sentence fits in the search. That is very important, so some keywords don't potentially get cut off. And then you need to expand on your title tag. What is this about? And include your keyword to, but also what more can you offer the person searching, which means matching it, search intent. Then be descriptive. You want to get that user to click through to your website and make it engaging. What is super unique about you? Now you also need to optimize your URL, and that should be what your target keyword is. My target keyword again is SEO tips for 2023. So that is what should be my URL, because this is what Google will see when they scan your website and is also part of your backend SEO strategy, matching your keyword, meta-description and so on. You also need to optimize for the images on your page. And this is called the alt text in whatever SEO tool you use. So it should also be the targeted keyword. This tells Google what the subject matter of the images about. So not only can rank for web pages. But you can also rank for images. If people are searching for something that that page relates to. This is not visible though on the page itself. So you'll see what it looks like right here in my back-end. And this would be similar to what it should look like in your backend when you're optimizing for your images. Now we're going to talk about internal and external linking. And in the first example, this is an internal link. As you can see, it's bolded and underlined. So I know it's a link. And then I'm linking out to a corresponding page on my same website that relates to what that person would want to get at. So my underlying was keywords. I want people to learn more about keywords and another blog post. Next is to use external linking. External linking is something Google sees as valuable when you're linking to other reputable websites. And a great way to provide value to your users. So don't be linking to a competitor, obviously linked to something that would enhance your blog post. And people can see what else is about this topic, but makes sure to always have it open in a new tab. You never want people to be taken off your website. That is super important because they might not come back if it doesn't open in a new tab. Then my example, you can see I'm opening a tab for more information on Google. I'm not taking them to something that's irrelevant. I'm taking them to a webpage that I think would add more value to my blog post. One of the best things for your website is to be featured in the featured snippets in Google. And a featured snippet answers The Searchers question with a short answer. So how Google finds this is they're pulling them from web search listings, and they almost always come up from when the page is ranking in the top ten. This means if you are already ranking really well and you write great content, you can shortcut your way to the top position by winning the snippet. And here's an example of what a featured snippet looks like. And you will see that it says is the featured snippet and it gives you just enough information. Google's assuming enough information that you can get what you want right there. So this is like the gold medal for SEO. Now let's talk about keyword stuffing. So some types of visible keyword stuffing include writing the same keyword over and over again in one piece of content and having it not make sense. And then also using keywords that aren't relevant to the topic. Google knows that you're not giving consumers exactly what they want, and this can be very harmful for your website. And then an example of invisible keyword stuffing. It's overusing keywords in the alt texts. We showed you the alt text where you put your one keyword but continuously using that is called invisible keyword stuffing and then hiding the keywords on the page. So putting them in the HTML code on the backend and doing that numerous times. And also overusing them in your meta-description that's hiding keywords as well. So these are things that you do not want to do that could potentially demote you in Google. If you do keyword stuff, here are some things that would happen to your website. Google can remove websites that rely on keyword stuffing for search engine results. It will know if you're overusing and repetitively using them in your content. Keyword stuffing lacks user and focus and portrays the same characteristics of as a typical e-mail spam. You know how we don't want to click on that. Google knows that, and we'll know that people do not want to click on that website page. Then search engines, again, we'll penalize you, whether it is Google or Bing. You are only doing yourself a detriment by doing this, again, write for humans first, makes sure it flows, it sounds good and it's easy to read, and that is the end of lesson five's on-page SEO. So remember, on Page is exactly what it sounds like. It's what you do on the page. It's making content that's written for humans, not search engines. Don't repeat keywords over and over again in the same page. Google will know this, right? Like you would want somebody to listen. So make sure that it's easily searchable and people want to continue to read because you'd make headings, you make it easy to scroll through people, understand what it's about. You want them to get all the way through your content. And then add that CTF and the call to action so people know what to do next. Don't assume they know what to do, help them learn what to do. So make sure you have all this in mind when you are doing your on-page SEO. So thank you for listening to less than five, and let's get ready for lesson six. 8. What is link building?: Welcome to lesson six. This is going to be all about link building. So at this point you've researched your keywords. You've used these keywords in your content and you're starting to create other types of contents such as videos and graphics. But now you need to link build. What is that? Why is that important? We're gonna be learning all about that. However, Google has confirmed that links and quality content, or some of the most important ranking factors in SEO. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trustworthy sites and spammy sites tend to link to other spammy sites. So that is why you need to make sure you have quality links. That quality and links are linking back to you. Link building refers to the marketing efforts to get links from other websites to your websites. It seen as one of the most powerful tools to achieve higher rankings in Google. Because Google sees this as you having a quality site that other people are wanting to link to. Why is link building important? Within SEO, link building plays an important role in driving organic traffic via search engines, especially if you're in a competitive industry. So when combined with strong technical SEO and great on-page SEO, good content, good user experience, link building can be one of the most effective ways at driving more organic traffic. And this can be accomplished by earning links from authoritative websites, building your brand, and nurturing your audience who will help amplify your content. So think about link building, not as a standalone activity, but as something that connects to other parts of your organization and where the benefit goes beyond the links themselves. So how do you know where a link is on a page? Most people know this as a hyperlink. However, an SEL language is referred to as anchor text. I'm going to show you an example of what it looks like on my website and what it looks like on someone else's website. Both are perfectly fine to do. I just want to show you two different ways to go about doing hyperlinks for your website. Here's an example of a podcast I went on and she has added my link to the bottom of this podcast text. And as you'll see, there's the link to what I asked her to do, the contact page and that will open in another tab and get people to my contact page, which is a way of getting links from sites. Now with US Weekly. There you can see that they underline and highlight them in pink. And this, these will all open into an external link, but these are what hyperlinks are. Or as I mentioned, also known as anchor links. There are two ways that search engines use links. So these two ways are one, to discover new web pages and what they can tell the search engines. Are they useful? Are they good? The other one is to determine how well a page should rank in their results. Do the hyperlinks actually relate to the page? So the search engines will know this and we'll understand if the links are spammy or relevant. So again, make sure that you don't have any spam links on your website. Once search engines have crawled the pages on your website, they can extract the content from the page and add this to their indexes. Then they can decide if they fill a page is sufficient enough for quality and rank well for keywords. And so when they're deciding this, the search engines don't just look at the content of the page. They also look at the number of links pointing to that page from external websites and the quality of those external websites. So generally speaking, the more quality websites that link to you, the more likely you will rank well in the search engine. How do you get links? Why don't you just ask? I ask all the time. You may get a lot of no's, you make it a lot of yeses. But when you reach out to them, give them a compelling reason, why should they link to you? You both offer similar services and can do link exchanges, but makes sure you grab their attention and have a conversation about why you are the best fit for them to link to you. And some other link building tactics is guest blogging. This is one of probably the best things you can do because you're posting on another person's website who will link back to you. And then you would post the blog also on your website and link back to them. So it's a mutual linking tactic and then mention them. Did you review them? That's another way to build links because then they will see that you link to them and that could pique their interest and do a case study. What can you think of to do a case study on? There's so many great case studies and then just link out to that company and they will see that you are interested in them. Then here's Harlow, Help a Reporter Out. This is a great website to answer reporters questions and then they will link back to your blog. And then of course, there are so many different business directories. I realize this may not be for every website, but try and get reviews if you can, on Yelp next door. If you're a travel company, TripAdvisor, Expedia, whatever service you have, I'm sure there's a review site out there and try and get customers to review you. Maybe it's a follow-up e-mail or even asking them. But reviews also help with ranking in the search engines. Because again, it's content, new content every time you get a review. And Google is saying that you're a reputable website who is getting good reviews and giving good customer service. And now you're going to wonder what makes a link Good? Well, nobody can be exactly sure because Google will keep this close to their vest. And I'm sure it's one of their secret sauce is they'll never reveal. But there are some general concepts of evaluating links for SEO experts and that we believe to be true. So authority is one of them. Relevance. Anchor text, as we talked about, hyper linking, anchor text are the same and then where's it going? So the destination. Then authority means Google sees this as votes, quote unquote, that a given page deserves to rank. Well. So keep in mind that a site like CBS that has been around for a very long time and I'm sure gets millions of views daily, is going to be a way more relevant link than just your friends blog. Keep in mind the relevancy of the blogs. You could have a lot of people linking to you. Well, what kind of links are they? Then? Are the links relevant? So let's say you publish a recipe on how to host the perfect dinner party. Would you rather get a link from Martha Stewart or Katy Perry? Well, I would say the latter because Martha Stewart is famous for hosting dinner parties and her advice would be exactly what your readers are looking for. Versus Katy Perry, who is not an expert in this. So remember when you're linking out or having someone link to you, that it relates exactly to your content and that your users are getting what they want and aren't bouncing off or leaving your page. Of course, you want to get people to link to you. So you need to create linkable assets that are interesting, whether that's online tools or graphs, gifts, studies or research. You've done industry surveys, how to guides or tutorials or videos. These are all great ways to create linkable assets. And that is the end of lesson six. I hope you got a lot out of learning how to build links. But again, don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. So some key takeaways are ask, ask, ask, ask, ask the guest post. If you have somebody that you'd like to work with and you have similar services, ask them, do they want to help link back to you? And you can link to them. Also makes sure you do not buy links. That is very, very bad. Then when you do link out, makes sure that hyperlink is a keyword and that is irrelevant keyword to that page. So I look forward to seeing you in lesson seven. 9. The basics of technical SEO : Welcome to lesson seven and the final lesson in this course. I hope you have learned so much about SEO and that you are getting a lot that you can apply to your business or your personal website or just to learn SEO. So what we're going to learn in this lesson is what is technical SEO, what crawling a website means, and what schema markup is. So let's get started. By understanding crawling. You understand how to make sure search engines can efficiently crawl your website. And that also means understanding what a robot's txt file is. This tells search engines where they can and can't go on your website. So you can hide some content that you don't want them to crawl. E.g. if you are using a page as a webinar, but that webinar is now bent over and you don't want it to be seen anymore by search engines, you can hide that page. So that wouldn't be an example of having a website not crawl that page and hiding it from the search engines. Understanding crawling means understanding how search engines can efficiently crawl your content. This means how many requests per second the Googlebot makes to your site when it is crawling it. An example would be five requests per second. You can not change how often Google crawls your site. But if you want Google to crawl your site, if there's newer updated content, then you can request a re-crawl. I would do this if I have created a new website. I do blogs once a week, so I ask it to crawl it once a week just to know that it has crawled my new blog post. You can see when Google has crawled your site and also to request a site crawl is by going to your Google Search Console. This is as easy as Googling Google Search Console. As you can see in my screenshot, I can see my cross stats. I can see the average crawl response, and I can see how many people have come to my website. So this is a really good free tool to use and you should use it at least daily. I like to see if there are any errors because this is also great for technical SEO troubleshooting. Another really important part of technical SEO is understanding what robot's txt file is. This file tells search engines where they can and can't go on your site. So essentially, if you need to hide a page, then this is what you would use is your robot's txt file. Another thing to understand our robots, Meta tags. Meta tags or pieces of code that provide crawlers instructions on how to crawl or index webpage content. And you can see the code there that is used. And it's placed into the head section of a website page when there are multiple versions of the same page, which is why it's so important not to create duplicate content. Google will select one, distort its index. And this process is called canonical quantization. And the you are selected as the canonical will be the one Google shows in the search results. So you are essentially competing with yourself against the same page. Now you also need to make sure the pages you want people to find can be indexed in Google. How you find this out is you go back to Google Search Console. You'd navigate to the URL inspection tool. You paste the URL, you'd like Google to search into the search bar, and then you just wait to check the URL through Google. And it will tell you whether this page has been indexed or not. Adding schema markup is extremely important. And schema markup and forms the search engines precisely what your content is trying to convey on your webpage. And adding this markup to your HTML and proves the way your page is displayed in the search engine results by enhancing the rich snippets. They're displayed beneath the page title. So here are some examples of what Rich Snippets are. For my first example, I picked a random restaurant in New York. So as you can see, if you scroll down to the right, all of that information regarding the address, the hours menu, phone number, you can make a reservation. This is an example of a rich snippet that this company has put on the back of their website so it shows to customers. The next example is, I decided to find chandelier. You can see the reviews on their reviews is another example of a schema markup that has been put on their website. Then also looking at recipes, it's going to show me recipes that have rich snippets already on there because they have added this to their website and you can see their reviews. They're naturally going to come up first in the search engines. And then I went ahead and clicked on best sugar cookie recipe because it gave that to me first. And then I'm looking at Rachael Ray. This is another example of a rich snippet, as you can see, four different links that you can click on. And then you keep scrolling down and the latest news from hers coming up. So this is a schema markup that she has put on the backend of her website. So you see the top links She wants you to click on, and then you also see latest info from her. Now let's learn the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. So HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the protocol that enables communication between different systems, transferring information and data over a network. While on the other hand, HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. And although functions similarly to HTTP, HTTPS works to protect communication between web servers and browsers with transfer, transporting data. So if you own an e-commerce site, specifically, you are using secure customer information. You need to make sure that your website is secure. So it's always important to make sure your website is HTTPS so that it doesn't give customers that error, that this website is not secure if it's with HTTP. And as always, you should remember that your website needs to be mobile friendly as most searches are now done on mobile websites. To see how this is affecting your website, you can use Google's PageSpeed Insights tool and it will tell you if there are any errors and how to fix those on your mobile site as well as your desktop site. That is the end of lesson seven and the end of this course. So a few takeaways I want you to remember when it comes to technical SEO is to make sure your site is indexed and always use your Google Search Console. It will tell you about most technical errors and you need to stay on top of these because they could be affecting your Google rankings. And another thing to really remember is to have your website secure. You can buy an SSL certificate. It's extremely cheap and easy. And then it will make sure that your website is secure and it's an HTTPS site versus HTTP. So thank you again for taking this course and don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. And also, you can take that quiz at the end to see if you're keeping track with what we talked about in this lesson. 10. SEO class wrap-up. Congradulations!: Congratulations, you have completed the SEO one-on-one course. We covered everything from off-page SEO to on-page SEO to technical SEO and so much more. If there's one key takeaway I want you to remember, it's that SEO is not a onetime task. It's always evolving. You need to be staying up on top of the latest trends and checking your analytics constantly. I am always in my analytics every day you need to see if there's any technical errors such as if people are bouncing off your website because you're having broken pages or slow web time loading speeds, you also need to check your keywords and see how they're tracking. And if you need to pivot and change them at all. So make sure that you don't just do this once. You are always on top of SEO because this is what's going to get your website or your company's website above the competition. And please don't forget to upload your project to the project gallery on the class page so we can all see it. I'm looking so forward to seeing how you've applied, what you've learned in this class to your project, then if you really enjoyed this class, please leave a review. I'd really appreciate it. So I as well learn what you're looking for, then follow my profile as well. So I look forward to seeing you in the next course that I teach and don't hesitate to reach out to me at anytime for any questions. I will always be available again. Thank you. I really appreciate you taking this class.