SEO Basics Explained

Seo basics: how to get found in the wilderness
SEO stands for "Search Engine optimisation". It is the practice of optimising a website in order to improve its ranking on search engines like Google, Bing, etc. This can be done through various techniques such as keyword research, creating quality content, link building, technical optimisation, etc. The goal of SEO is to increase organic traffic to a website and make it more visible to users searching for relevant keywords.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types and offer some tips for beginners to help kickstart your campaign with some SEO basics. We’ll provide help on how to reach out to other sites for backlinks and answer some FAQs. Please share this post if it adds value to your day. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

What are the different types of SEO?

There are several different types of SEO and businesses can benefit from a combination of these techniques to improve their overall search engine visibility and drive more organic traffic to their website:

On-page SEO

On-page seo illustrated
On-page SEO Illustrated

On-page SEO is the practice of optimising individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic from search engines. It involves optimising various elements of the page itself, such as the content, HTML source code, and images. On-page SEO is a crucial aspect of SEO because it can have a significant impact on a website’s search engine visibility and organic traffic.

A typical example of on-page SEO would be optimising the title tag and meta description of a blog post. The title tag is the text that appears in the search engine results and is often used as the link text to the page. The meta description is a brief summary of the content of the page that appears in the search results.


An example of a title and meta description tag being displayed in search results.
An example of a Title and Meta Description tag being displayed in search results.

By optimising these elements, you can make sure that your pages are well-represented in search results and that potential visitors have a clear understanding of what your page is about.

On-page SEO also involves optimising the content of the page, including the use of keywords, headings, and subheadings. This helps search engines understand the context and relevance of your content, and can improve the overall user experience. Additionally, on-page SEO involves optimising the images and videos on your page, including using descriptive filenames, alt text, and captions to help search engines understand the context and relevance of your media.

Seo information systems

In conclusion, on-page SEO is a crucial aspect of SEO that focuses on optimising individual web pages to improve their ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimising elements such as title tags, meta descriptions, content, images, and videos, you can improve the search engine visibility and organic traffic of your website.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to optimisation efforts that occur outside of the website being optimised. Unlike on-page SEO, which focuses on optimising individual web pages, off-page SEO focuses on factors that are external to the website, such as links from other websites, social media engagement, and the general authority and trustworthiness of the website.

One of the most important aspects of off-page SEO is link building, which involves acquiring links from other websites to your own website. Search engines use these links as a way to gauge the popularity and relevance of a website, and the more high-quality links a website has, the higher its search engine visibility is likely to be.

Link building illustrated
Link building illustrated

A typical example of off-page SEO would be reaching out to other websites in your niche or industry and asking for a link back to your own website. For example, if you own a travel blog, you could reach out to other travel bloggers or travel-related websites and ask for a link back to your own blog. This can help you acquire high-quality links from authoritative websites, which can improve your search engine visibility and organic traffic.

Another important aspect of off-page SEO is social media engagement. Search engines consider social media engagement as a way to gauge the popularity and relevance of a website, and the more engagement your website has on social media, the more likely it is to rank higher in SERPs.

Seo information systems

In conclusion, off-page SEO refers to optimisation efforts that occur outside of the website being optimised. It includes factors such as link building, social media engagement, and the general authority and trustworthiness of the website. By focusing on off-page SEO, you can improve your website’s search engine visibility, increase organic traffic, and build a stronger online presence.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to the optimisation of a website’s technical aspects in order to improve its visibility and ranking in SERPs. This includes optimisation efforts such as website architecture, site speed, mobile responsiveness, and the implementation of structured data, among others.

One of the key components of technical SEO is website architecture, which involves the way a website is structured and organised. This includes factors such as the organisation of URLs, the use of header tags, and the overall structure of the website. A well-structured website can help search engines understand the content of a website, which can result in improved search engine visibility and ranking.

Site speed illustration
Site speed illustration

Another important aspect of technical SEO is site speed, which refers to the time it takes for a website to load. A fast-loading website is more likely to provide a good user experience, which can result in improved search engine visibility and ranking. To optimise site speed, a website owner may consider implementing techniques such as image optimisation, reducing the number of HTTP requests, and using a content delivery network.

A typical example of technical SEO would be optimising a website for mobile responsiveness. This involves making sure that a website is optimised for viewing on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. A mobile-responsive website is more likely to provide a good user experience on mobile devices, which can result in improved search engine visibility and ranking. To optimise a website for mobile responsiveness, a website owner may consider implementing responsive web design or using a mobile-specific website template.

Seo information systems

In conclusion, technical SEO refers to the optimisation of a website’s technical aspects in order to improve its visibility and ranking in search engines’ results pages. This includes optimisation efforts such as website architecture, site speed, mobile responsiveness, and the implementation of structured data. By focusing on technical SEO, website owners can improve their website’s search engine visibility, increase organic traffic, and provide a better user experience.

Local SEO

Local SEO refers to the optimisation of a website in order to rank higher for specific geographic locations, usually for businesses that target local customers. The goal of local SEO is to increase visibility for local businesses in search engines and mapping services, such as Google Maps when people search for products or services in their local area.

One of the key components of local SEO is the consistent use of accurate business information, such as the business name, address, phone number, and website URL. This information, known as NAP (Name, Address, Phone), should be consistent across all online directories and websites in order to establish a strong online presence for a local business.

Local business illustration
Local business illustration

Another important aspect of local SEO is the use of local keywords in website content, meta tags, and other on-page elements. This helps search engines understand what a business does, what products or services they offer, and where they are located. The use of local keywords and phrases can also help a business rank higher in search results when people search for products or services in their local area.

A typical example of local SEO is optimising a small bakery website. A bakery owner may claim their business listing on popular directories, such as Google My Business and Yelp, and ensure that their NAP information is consistent across all online directories. They may also optimise their website’s content to include relevant local keywords, such as “best bakery in [city],” and “fresh baked goods in [neighbourhood].” These optimisations can help the bakery rank higher in search engines’ results pages when people search for bakeries in their local area, increasing the likelihood that potential customers will find the bakery and visit it in person.

Seo information systems

In conclusion, local SEO refers to the optimisation of a website in order to rank higher for specific geographic locations, usually for businesses that target local customers. By focusing on local SEO, businesses can improve their visibility in search engines and mapping services, increase their online presence, and reach more potential customers in their local area.

E-commerce SEO

E-commerce SEO refers to the optimisation of an e-commerce website in order to rank higher in search engines, attract more relevant traffic, and increase online sales. The goal of e-commerce SEO is to improve the visibility of an e-commerce website and increase organic traffic from search engines, making it easier for potential customers to find the products they are looking for and make a purchase.

One of the key components of e-commerce SEO is product optimisation, which involves optimising individual product pages for relevant keywords and ensuring that product information, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and product descriptions, is accurate and up-to-date. This helps search engines understand what products are being sold on a website and makes it easier for potential customers to find the products they are looking for.

E-commerce optimisation illustrated
E-commerce optimisation illustrated

Another important aspect of e-commerce SEO is the optimisation of category pages, which should be organised and optimised for relevant keywords. Category pages help to group similar products together and provide an overview of the products available on a website. optimising category pages can improve the visibility of a website and make it easier for potential customers to find the products they are looking for.

A typical example of e-commerce SEO is optimising an online clothing store. An online clothing store owner may optimise individual product pages for relevant keywords, such as “women’s summer dresses,” and ensure that product information, such as title tags and meta descriptions, is accurate and up-to-date. They may also optimise category pages, such as “women’s dresses” and “summer clothing,” for relevant keywords and organise the products in a logical and user-friendly way. These optimisations can help the online clothing store rank higher in SERPs when people search for women’s summer dresses, increasing the likelihood that potential customers will find the store and make a purchase.

Seo information systems

In conclusion, e-commerce SEO refers to the optimisation of an e-commerce website in order to rank higher in search engines, attract more relevant traffic, and increase online sales. By focusing on e-commerce SEO, e-commerce businesses can improve their visibility in search engines, make it easier for potential customers to find their products, and increase online sales.

Mobile SEO

Mobile SEO refers to the optimisation of a website for mobile devices, with the goal of improving the visibility and ranking of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search from their mobile devices. With the increasing number of people using mobile devices to access the internet, it’s becoming more important for businesses to optimise their websites for mobile devices in order to reach their target audience and improve their search engine visibility.

One of the key components of mobile SEO is responsive design, which involves designing a website in a way that it automatically adjusts its layout and content based on the size of the screen it’s being viewed on. This helps to ensure that a website is user-friendly and easy to navigate, regardless of the device being used.

Another important aspect of mobile SEO is page speed, which refers to the time it takes for a page to load on a mobile device. Slow-loading pages can lead to a high bounce rate and a poor user experience, which can negatively impact the ranking of a website in search engine results pages. To improve mobile page speed, businesses should optimise images and use caching to reduce the amount of data that needs to be loaded each time a page is accessed.

Mobile internet users illustrated
Mobile internet users illustrated

A typical example of mobile SEO is optimising a restaurant website. A restaurant owner may make sure that their website is designed using responsive design so that it adjusts its layout and content based on the size of the screen it’s being viewed on. They may also optimise the images on their website and use caching to reduce the amount of data that needs to be loaded each time a page is accessed, improving the page speed and user experience for mobile users. These optimisations can help the restaurant’s website rank higher in SERPs when people search for restaurants from their mobile devices, increasing the likelihood that potential customers will find the restaurant and make a reservation.

Seo information systems

In conclusion, mobile SEO refers to the optimisation of a website for mobile devices, with the goal of improving the visibility and ranking of a website in SERPs when users search from their mobile devices. By focusing on mobile SEO, businesses can improve their user experience and reach their target audience, regardless of the device being used.

These are some of the most common types of SEO, and businesses can benefit from a combination of these techniques to improve their overall search engine visibility and drive more organic traffic to their website.

Tips for keen beginners

For beginners who are short on time and want to do as much SEO as possible themselves, here are some tips and tricks to get started:

Tips for keen beginners who are short on time
Tips for keen beginners who are short on time
  1. Conduct Keyword Research: Understanding the keywords your target audience is using to search for your products or services is key to optimising your website. Use tools such as Google Keyword Planner to identify the most relevant and high-traffic keywords for your business.
  2. Optimise Your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: The title tag and meta description are two of the most important on-page elements for SEO. Make sure your title tags are descriptive and accurately reflect the content of each page, and that your meta descriptions provide a compelling summary of what each page is about.
  3. Use Header Tags: Header tags (H1, H2, etc.) are used to structure the content of a page and make it easier for search engines to understand the relevance of the content. Use header tags to organise your content into sections and sub-sections.
  4. Use Alt Text for Images: Alt text is a description of an image that is displayed when the image cannot be loaded. Search engines use alt text to understand the content of an image, so make sure you include descriptive alt text for all of the images on your website.
  5. Focus on Content Quality: Content is the backbone of SEO. Make sure the content on your website is high-quality, relevant, and valuable to your target audience. Regularly adding new, relevant content to your website can help improve your search engine visibility.
  6. Get Backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. Search engines view backlinks as a vote of confidence in the quality of your content. Focus on creating high-quality content that other websites will want to link to, and reach out to other websites in your industry to ask for backlinks.
  7. Use Google Search Console: Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that allows you to monitor your website’s performance in search results. Use this tool to track your website’s rankings, monitor any errors or crawl issues, and receive alerts for any significant changes in your website’s visibility in search results.

By following these tips and tricks, beginners can get started with optimising their website for search engines on a tight schedule. It’s important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy, so consistent effort and attention to detail are key to achieving success.

Successful outreach is an important part of earning backlinks. Here are some tips and tricks to help beginners land their first backlinks from websites in their niche:

  1. Personalise Your Outreach: Personalizing your outreach is key to making a good impression and increasing the chances of landing a backlink. Do your research on each website, and craft a personalised email or message that speaks directly to their interests and needs.
  2. Offer Something of Value: Offering something of value to the websites you want to get a backlink from can increase the chances of your outreach is successful. This could be a guest post, an exclusive discount for their audience, or a free trial of your product.
  3. Make Your Email Short and Sweet: Keep your email short and sweet, and get straight to the point. Make sure your subject line is attention-grabbing, and that your email is easy to read and understand.
  4. Highlight the Benefits of Linking to Your Website: Make sure you highlight the benefits of linking to your website in your outreach. Explain how your content is relevant and valuable to their audience, and how a link to your website will help their audience find the information they need.
  5. Follow-Up: Don’t be afraid to follow up with the websites you’ve reached out to. A polite follow-up email can increase the chances of your outreach being successful.
  6. Track Your Outreach: Tracking your outreach is important to understand what is working and what isn’t. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of which websites you’ve reached out to, when, and what the response was.

By following these tips and tricks, beginners can increase their chances of landing their first backlinks from websites in their niche. Remember, outreach is a numbers game, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts are not successful. Keep trying, and you’ll eventually find success.

SEO Basics: FAQS

How much does it cost?

The cost of SEO services in the UK can vary widely based on several factors such as the size of the website, the competitiveness of the industry, the experience of the service provider, and the specific services being offered.
For a small business website, the cost of SEO can range from £500 to £2,000 per month. For larger enterprises or more competitive industries, the cost can go up to £5,000 or more per month.
It’s also important to note that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to SEO, and the cost of services will vary depending on the unique needs and goals of each business. Some companies choose to hire an in-house SEO team, while others opt for a freelancer or agency for their SEO needs.

How many keywords per page should I use?

The number of keywords per page for optimal SEO can vary, but it’s generally recommended to target 2 to 5 keywords per page. Focusing on too many keywords can dilute the relevance and impact of each individual keyword, while focusing on too few keywords may limit the potential traffic that can be generated from the page.
It’s more important to focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that provides value to the user, rather than stuffing the page with keywords. The keywords should be used in a natural and meaningful way, including in the page title, headings, and throughout body content.
Additionally, search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can often identify and penalize websites that engage in keyword stuffing or other manipulative practices. Therefore, it’s best to prioritize creating a positive user experience and following best practices for on-page optimisation.

What are some mistakes small business owners make when using SEO?

Small business owners often make several common mistakes when it comes to SEO, including:
Keyword stuffing: Overusing keywords in an attempt to manipulate search rankings can actually harm your SEO efforts and lead to penalties from search engines.
Neglecting mobile optimisation: With more and more users accessing the internet from mobile devices, it’s essential to have a mobile-friendly website.
Ignoring on-page optimisation: On-page optimisation, such as properly using headings, meta descriptions, and alt tags, is a critical aspect of SEO that is often overlooked by small business owners.
Not creating high-quality content: Content is king when it comes to SEO, and without high-quality, relevant content, it’s unlikely that a website will rank well in search results.
Not tracking and measuring results: It’s important to track and measure the success of your SEO efforts so that you can make informed decisions about how to improve your strategy over time.
Not staying up-to-date with industry developments: The world of SEO is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest best practices and changes to search algorithms.
By avoiding these common mistakes, small business owners can maximize their chances of success with their SEO efforts and drive more organic traffic to their websites.

Any tips on how to find SEO clients?

There are several strategies for finding SEO clients:
Networking: Attend local events and meetups, join online forums and groups, and connect with others in your industry to build relationships and promote your services.
Content Marketing: Create informative blog posts, videos, and other content that demonstrate your expertise in SEO and attract potential clients.
Referrals: Ask current clients for referrals, and offer incentives for successful referrals.
Paid Advertising: Utilize paid advertising platforms like Google Ads and social media to reach potential clients and promote your services.
Cold Outreach: Reach out to businesses directly through email or phone to introduce your services and offer a free consultation.
Freelance Marketplaces: Utilize freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr to bid on SEO-related projects and connect with potential clients.
Local Search optimisation: optimise your own website and online profiles to rank highly in local search results, making it easier for potential clients to find you.
By implementing a combination of these strategies, you can increase your chances of finding quality SEO clients and growing your business.

What is Cloaking in SEO?

Cloaking is a black hat SEO technique in which the content or information presented to the user is different from what is presented to search engines. This is often done to manipulate search engine rankings by showing the search engine one version of a page (with keywords and content designed to rank well) and a different version to the user.
Cloaking is considered unethical and manipulative and can result in severe penalties from search engines like Google. Search engines strive to deliver the most relevant and valuable results to their users, and cloaking undermines this goal by presenting false or misleading information.
Instead of using techniques like cloaking, it’s recommended to focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that provides value to the user. This will not only help you avoid penalties from search engines but will also build trust with your audience and drive long-term success for your website.

Any advice on what to ask SEO consultants?

When hiring an SEO consultant, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure that you’re hiring someone who can effectively help you achieve your goals.
Here are some key questions to ask:
– Can you provide examples of past successful SEO projects you’ve worked on?
– How do you approach keyword research and selection?
– How do you measure the success of your SEO efforts?
– How do you stay up-to-date with changes to search algorithms and SEO best practices?
– Can you walk me through your on-page optimisation process?
– How do you approach building high-quality backlinks to a website?
– Have you ever dealt with a Google penalty and if so, how did you handle it?
– How do you measure the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts?
– Can you provide regular progress reports and insights into your work?
– How do you approach optimising a website for local search?
By asking these questions, you can gain a better understanding of the consultant’s experience, expertise, and approach to SEO, and make a more informed decision about whether they’re the right fit for your business.

What is an SEO Manager?

An SEO Manager is a professional responsible for managing and implementing search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies for a website or set of websites. Their primary goal is to improve the visibility and ranking of a website in SERPs through various tactics such as keyword research, content creation, link building, and technical optimisation.
An SEO Manager is responsible for the overall direction and execution of a company’s SEO efforts. This includes conducting keyword research to determine target keywords, developing and implementing on-page optimisation strategies, building high-quality backlinks, tracking and analyzing website performance, and continually testing and refining SEO strategies.
An SEO Manager also works closely with other departments, such as marketing and product development, to ensure that SEO is integrated into the overall digital marketing strategy. They also stay up-to-date with changes to search algorithms and SEO best practices to ensure that their SEO efforts remain effective and in compliance with industry standards.
In summary, an SEO Manager plays a critical role in helping businesses improve their online visibility, drive more organic traffic to their website, and ultimately achieve their online marketing goals.

Why is unique content important?

Unique content is important for SEO because it helps search engines understand what a webpage is about, and whether it’s relevant and valuable to their users. Unique content also helps to establish a website’s authority and credibility in a particular subject or niche.
Search engines use complex algorithms to rank websites based on many factors, including the relevance and quality of the content. By providing unique and relevant content, a website can demonstrate its expertise in a particular subject and show that it is a valuable resource for users.
Duplicate or low-quality content, on the other hand, can harm a website’s SEO performance. Search engines may consider duplicate content to be spammy and penalize the website, lowering its ranking in search results.

Additionally, users may find low-quality content uninteresting and unhelpful, leading to a high bounce rate and low engagement.
In summary, unique and high-quality content is crucial for SEO success. It helps search engines understand what a website is about, establishes its authority and credibility, and provides value to users. By creating and publishing unique content on a regular basis, websites can improve their search engine visibility, drive more organic traffic, and achieve their online marketing goals.

How many articles does a typical blog need before it starts ranking?

There is no specific number of articles that a blog needs to start ranking in SEO, as the ranking factors are many and varied, and can vary from one website to another.
The ranking of a blog depends on factors such as the quality of the content, the relevance of the keywords, the user experience, the number and quality of inbound links, and many others.
That being said, it is generally recommended to have a minimum of 10 high-quality articles on a blog before starting to optimise it for search engines. This allows the blog to establish a solid foundation of content and provides opportunities for internal linking and the creation of a keyword-rich sitemap.
However, the number of articles alone is not enough to guarantee ranking success. It’s also important to ensure that each article is well-optimised, relevant, and valuable to users. Additionally, a blog must continue to publish high-quality content on a regular basis to maintain and improve its ranking.
In summary, there is no set number of articles that a blog needs to start ranking in SEO. It’s important to focus on creating high-quality, relevant, and well-optimised content, and to continuously publish new content on a regular basis to maintain and improve search engine visibility.

How to work with a Technical SEO Agency?

Working with a technical SEO agency can be a valuable asset for businesses that want to improve their search engine visibility and drive more organic traffic to their website. Here are some steps for working effectively with a technical SEO agency:
Establish clear goals and objectives: Define what you hope to achieve from the technical SEO work, such as increased organic traffic, improved search engine rankings, or a better user experience. This will help the agency understand your needs and expectations, and prioritize the work accordingly.
Provide access to your website and analytics: Give the agency access to your website and analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to enable them to perform a comprehensive analysis of your website’s current state.
Share relevant data and information: Provide the agency with any relevant data and information, such as the target audience, target keywords, and competitors, to help them understand your business and target market.
Collaborate on the technical SEO audit: Work with the agency to perform a comprehensive technical SEO audit, and review and discuss the results. This will help identify any technical issues that are affecting your website’s ranking, and provide a roadmap for the technical SEO work.
Monitor progress and results: Regularly review the progress of the technical SEO work, and monitor the results using analytics tools. This will help you track the impact of the work on your website’s ranking, traffic, and conversion rate.
Communicate regularly: Maintain open and regular communication with the agency, and provide feedback on their work and results. This will help you ensure that the agency is aligned with your goals and expectations and that the work is progressing as expected.
By following these steps, you can work effectively with a technical SEO agency to achieve your goals and improve your website’s search engine visibility and organic traffic.

Should I pay for backlinks to my website?

If a website asks you to pay for a backlink, it is considered a paid link, and it can be seen as a violation of search engine guidelines. Paid links can lead to penalties and a drop in search engine rankings, so it is best to avoid them. Instead, focus on earning backlinks through high-quality content, outreach, and relationship building.
Offer value to websites in your niche, and aim to establish mutually beneficial relationships with them. If a website is open to including a link to your website in exchange for something of value, such as a guest post or an exclusive discount for their audience, it can be a more ethical and sustainable way to earn backlinks.

Summing up the SEO Basics

In conclusion, SEO is a complex and ever-evolving field that requires a multifaceted approach to succeed. On-page SEO involves optimising individual web pages, while off-page SEO focuses on earning backlinks from other websites. Technical SEO deals with the technical aspects of a website, and local SEO helps businesses rank in local search results. E-commerce SEO focuses on optimising online stores, and mobile SEO is crucial for ensuring a website is optimised for mobile devices.

For beginners, it’s important to start with the basics and focus on creating high-quality, relevant content. Building relationships with other websites in your relationship-building and it can also help you earn backlinks. Avoid paid links, as they can lead to penalties and negatively impact your search engine rankings. With time and effort, a strong SEO strategy can help drive more traffic to your website and improve your search engine rankings.

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