SEO For Beginners: A Basic Search Engine Optimization Tutorial for Higher Google Rankings

3.5 billion searches are performed on Google every single day seriously no matter what you do people are looking for your products and services on Google cell phone repair shop 1700 monthly searches iPhone charger 34,000 monthly searches best smartphone 41,000 monthly searches and these search volumes are only for us-based searches but here’s the thing even though there are billions of searches every single day our recent study shows that 91% of content gets no traffic from Google so how do you join the other 9% of web pages and start getting free consistent and passive traffic from Google if you’re a beginner to SEO then you’re going to want to watch this whole tutorial because I’m gonna show you how to start attracting customers from the world’s largest search engine stay tuned [Music] what’s up everyone Sam oh here with HR EFTS the SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic research your competitors and dominate your niche this tutorial is called SEO for beginners because even if you haven’t gotten the slightest clue what SEO is you’ll have very clear and easy action items that you can implement into your website right away so we’ll be covering the most important things that you should know to ensure that your website is optimized for search let’s get started so what is SEO SEO stands for search engine optimization it’s the process of optimizing your website and web pages to get free organic traffic from search engines like Google think of Google like a filing system in a library the library has billions of books with hundreds of trillions of pages so let’s say that you want to find something on global warming then Google would search through these books and extract pages that contain your keywords or closely related words but as I’m sure you know search results aren’t returned in any random order Google tries to return the most relevant results first by using sophisticated algorithms and they’re so good at this that most of us never even have to click through to page two of the search results nobody knows exactly how these algorithms work or the exact factors it looks at to rank a webpage but we do know a lot of the so called Google ranking factors so we are able to make some optimizations so your job is going to be twofold so number we need to make sure that it’s easy for search engines to understand what your page is about and create that content that matches what we call the searchers intent right and number two we need to show Google and other search engines that it’s worthy of ranking so throughout this tutorial let’s say that I’m a new and budding photographer and I live in Toronto Canada I’m starting my new wedding photography business called Sam photography yep I’m pretty awesome but I don’t have any friends so referrals are out of the question all right great step one is to find relevant keywords that people are searching for and see how these search queries fit into your business the easiest way to start finding relevant keywords is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer so I would think that a bride or groom looking for some magical wedding photos would search for a wedding photographer in Toronto makes sense right so I’ll go to HR keywords Explorer tool which is one of our SEO tools that provides rich data on Google searches and I’ll enter in that search query here I’ll also change the country to Canada since people in other countries they probably aren’t looking for a toronto-based photographer as often now I’ll run the search and you can see that there are only around 60 or so monthly searches for this keyword phrase which is far from exciting but looking below you’ll see that the parent topic for a query is different the parent topic determines if you can rank for your target keyword so the one that we originally entered here while targeting a more general topic on your page instead in this case the parent topic is showing that more people search for Toronto wedding photographer / wedding photographer in Toronto now if we scroll to the bottom of the page you can see the top 10 Google rankings for your target keyword and a bunch of keyword metrics I’ll just touch on two of them for this video traffic and keywords take a look at these two ranking pages you can see that they generate well over a thousand search visitors every single month and next to that you’ll see that each page individually ranks for hundreds of keywords if we click on the number of keyword rankings here you can see all of the different keywords in the ranking positions in Google search this is a good thing to do because you already know that Google is ranking the single page for all of the keywords so why wouldn’t you be able to rank for these keywords and maybe even more try and remember this part because we will be exploring things like keyword usage multiple times throughout this tutorial alright now that we have a list of keywords it’s time to optimize your pages in the world of search engine optimization this is called on-page SEO since we know the keywords that people are searching for in Google it gives us clues on the language we should use to let both Google and potential customers know what your page is about for example knowing that Toronto wedding photographer is a more popular search query than wedding photographer in Toronto that’ll help us make smarter copywriting decisions so for your home page content you may want to say hi I’m Sam a Toronto wedding photographer blah blah blah blah blah instead of howdy I’m Sam and I do wedding photos for couples in Toronto but I do need to make two things very clear first you don’t have to use your exact match keyword since Google has gotten pretty smart at understanding what your page is about and second it’s very important to note that you shouldn’t try to trick Google by using keywords where they don’t belong your first priority should be to optimize for people because the last time I checked robots aren’t gonna pay you for your services here’s an example of what you shouldn’t do I haven’t run a wedding photographer the dester on a wedding photography for your Toronto wedding this is known as keyword stuffing in long story short it does more harm than good so key take away don’t do it so for on-page SEO I want to pass on four very basic but important tips that you can use on every page you optimize first is to optimize your title tags and meta descriptions when you look at the Google search results you’ll see this part in blue and the text below the top part is called your title tag and the other part is the Meta Description the purpose of these is to entice someone to click through to your page and if people are actually clicking through to your page then that’s telling Google that your page is likely relevant to the reason why they had searched for the quarry in the first place right and you can see that Google actually even bolds these keywords and similar keywords within the search results making them stand out with that in mind I might create a title like award winning Toronto wedding photographer and then my brand name but of course if you’re going to do something like this it should be true then for the Meta Description you can explain in a couple brief sentences what the page is about but rather than putting a generic description that everyone else is doing and calling yourself the best you can but something like Sam Oh was rated the Stars best Toronto wedding photographer he combines creativity with science to capture life’s happiest day in a million pixels oh how sweet is that now this would make me as a consumer want to find out who this awesome photographer is the last part of on-page optimization is the most important and that’s the actual content on the page for a typical wedding photographer homepage I might have some images a short about us or about Me section possibly the services that I provide and some testimonials from happy brides and grooms without overcomplicating things you’ll likely want to use your primary keyword phrase in the main headline often referred to as an h1 tag and looking at one of the top-ranking pages you’ll see that they did this right here an example of what you probably shouldn’t be doing is something like this hello there the h1 or heading tag here says hello there which doesn’t help anyone understand what the page is about and remember your job is to help Google best identify your page as being relevant to the users search query I’ll go back to the organic keywords report in a dress to see one of my competitors keyword rankings and see if there are any other ideas that might help Google better understand what my page is about you can see some other relevant keywords in here like bridal photos in GTA which stands for the Greater Toronto Area so as you’re writing the copy for your page you might want to keep these in mind and sprinkle them in where it makes sense and reads naturally to visitors alright so let’s take the Sam photography example one step further so let’s say that my business was growing I got a lot more experience under my belt and I found out that I have some mad skills in areas like landscape portrait travel product photography so I decided heck I’m gonna offer these services too rather than trying to rank my homepage for keywords that aren’t exactly related I could easily create new services pages so I do the same thing by first going to a trust keywords Explorer then I type in something like Toronto product photographer and I’ll quickly look at the search volume and see it has a hundred so monthly searches in Canada then I’ll take a look at the parent topic that has around 200 searches and here’s a quick but super interesting side note with wedding photographers people seem to be searching for Toronto wedding photographer the most while people looking for a product photographers in Toronto are searching for product photography Toronto so this step is vital to ensure you’re targeting keywords that will provide you with the most exposure for your pages so for our services page we would do the same thing as we did before with a title tag meta description and the content on the page the last thing you should do is to include your primary keyword phrase in the URL of the page so for a product photography services page your final URL might look like this if you’re a wordpress user you can just click here and edit it using hyphens to separate spaces so in this case I will change it to product – photography – Toronto a really quick hack you can do is to look at the top 10 rankings and see how they’ve optimized those pages to rank there so if we look at the Google search results for Toronto product photography you can see that some of the pages are keyword stuffing in the title tags and that the meta descriptions are all kind of cheesy or they’re truncated clicking through to this result you can see that it’s just a classified site similar to Craigslist so it’s clearly not optimized clicking through to this one you can see that they included their keyword phrase in the heading and title tags but then there’s pretty much no content on the rest of the page and then clicking through to this one here this one seems to be over optimized for their keyword target and if I do a find for the word photo you can see over a hundred and ten instances of it on this page which again will do more harm than good in the long run what you’re seeing here is an opportunity to overtake these search results basically Google has no choice but to choose the best options from a bad pool of pages alright so by this point we’ve optimized our main pages for our different services and we’ve covered the basics of on-page SEO and if you’ve done this for all of your key pages then I can assure you that you are miles ahead of a lot of your competitors the next part and arguably most important piece of ranking high on Google is off page SEO off page SEO often refers to you link building and link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your web pages basically links act as votes or other people vouching for your website saying hey these people are really good at what they do and I trust them enough that I would send my visitors to their website it works in a similar way that you would refer your friend to buy a product from whatever store because you’ve tried it used it and loved it in general the more quality backlinks you can get from relevant pages the higher you’ll rank in Google now I’m putting the emphasis here on the word quality because there are a lot of different types of links you can get from like forums directories in editorial links to name a few but if you think about it a place like a forum where virtually anyone can place a link will likely hold less value than a link from someone else’s blog but to be clear other types of links will still hold some kind of value but probably not as much as links like editorials would so if you’re focusing on quality then you’ll probably want to prioritize editorial links and the main way to get links from other people’s blogs is through something that SEO is often refer to as outreach and outreach is exactly the way it sounds you’re contacting people and asking them for a link but you can’t just email someone to be like yo I need a link hook it up it doesn’t work that way there are three things that you need in order to make your outreach campaigns more successful number one you need people who are actually interested in the stuff that you do number two you need a good reason to contact them and three you need a pitch that somehow benefits them let’s go through a few examples shall we first we need to identify people who are interested in what you are doing the most common sensical one in the context of link building are websites that have already linked to your competitors you can find these pages by going to hf site explorer and entering in a domain or a URL so i’ll enter in mango studios com who also does wedding photography in Toronto I’ll also narrow our search down to pages that are linking just to their home page from here I can click on the backlinks option in the left column and here I’ll use the filter to narrow down the backlinks to only links within content since I mentioned that I want to get some editorial links on the left side you can see the websites that linked the target URL or domain and on the right side you can see which page they linked to in the context of the backlink next let’s click through to this one on jaw-dropping gorgeous wedding flower ideas you can see that there are a bunch of pictures of flowers and hey I actually have a great one that’s way better than all of these so let’s check that off on our checklist for successful outreach we now have a prospect so I can contact the author Nicole and let her know about one of my pictures that was published in some kind of wedding magazine because it’s that awesome so this now fulfills checkbox number two we have a good reason to contact her because we have something relevant to her piece and of course I’d be giving her rights to publish my photo which also checks off number three as a side note it doesn’t mean that she’ll publish my photo or give me a link as a general rule of thumb the better the excuse you can come up with to contact the author that better your chance will be to get the link another good reason to contact someone is to offer a guest post blog owners are always on the hunt for new content and since your site is new you’ll be getting in front of someone else’s audience in exchange for some of your time and content where you could easily use some watermark photos that you’ve taken with guest posts your reason to contact them is pretty reasonable and you’ll be providing value which is free content that should be good that benefits them and/or their website the next outreach prospect you can find are businesses in a lateral non-competing niche so as a wedding photographer you might want to contact other local flower shops reception halls and wedding planners if you look at the jaw dropping flowers article you can see that there are two people mentioned in the article there’s mango Studios which is the site that we’re analyzing as well as an event and design planning company you can contact these people to form meaningful relationships just think about it for a second your businesses go hand in hand and you can pass on referrals to each other you can link back to each other as a preferred vendor or link to others content and guest posts where it’s relevant and this isn’t limited to just local businesses this applies to everyone so find some solid partners who are on that same journey as you in a lateral niche and help each other up now with link building there are numerous tactics and strategies so if you want to expand your knowledge in this sphere then I highly recommend watching our series on link building we’ll get a full scope of how to do this effectively all right we are on to the last SEO tip that I see a lot of beginners avoiding now if you have something to sell setting up your homepage and products services pages it’s probably the first thing that you’ll do or did and for good reason these are the pages that will directly generate leads and revenue for your business but here’s the final tip start blogging now I’m not telling you to write about how you changed your storefront sign from red to green by blogging I’m referring to providing practical content that can and will help your prospective customers solve problems in dr jonah Berger’s book contagious why things catch on he shares his research on why content gains popularity and even goes viral content that provides practical value was one of the key factors to success people don’t just share funny cat videos or emotional stories they share things that help others and the same goes for gaining links people are more likely to link to your content if it’s helpful actionable and solves a problem look at what we do for the ATF’s blog we have numerous SEO tools but we tackle different big topics like keyword research and link building and even if you don’t use our tools you can gain a ton of value through these monstrous posts but you’ll see that we include shortcuts or hacks where our tool can make doing SEO a whole lot easier to further prove my point if you look at the top pages report inside site explorer you’ll see that the pages that generate the most search traffic for us mostly come from our blog articles blogging lets you reach large audiences for example we saw that Toronto wedding photographer had around 900 monthly searches in Canada let’s look up something like wedding venues Toronto and keywords explore you can see that it has around 1400 monthly searches in Canada if you’ve been in the wedding photography business long enough then you’ve probably done shoots at numerous venues so you could create a post with helpful and practical value for example I might create an article of some of the best venues that I have taken photos at and display pieces from my portfolio within the blog I would also detail pros and cons of each place pricing information location details items on their catering menu or anything else that would be genuinely helpful to a person visiting this page and if you think about it people usually book the venue before the photographer so there’s a solid chance that after people see some of your stunning watermark photos they might look through your portfolio and contact you for a quote that can generate more customers for you and if you think about it they may have never discovered you through a different means because they didn’t type in a keyword phrase like Toronto wedding photographer or their friends didn’t refer you to them when you’re thinking of these ideas put yourself in the search of shoes what would they be looking for and what would help them solve the query now when you’re picking topics try and stick with ones that provide value to your business so as a photographer I would want to almost always showcase my work because I would be judged by my portfolio as a software company we showcase how our tools can help in people’s SEO process because people will buy our tools if they see how it benefits them as a coffee roastery you might show them how to make the perfect cup of coffee or an article on how to roast beans I cannot emphasize enough how much a blog can help you boost your SEO efforts it’s a great way to get ahead of your competitors who’ve been in the game for longer than you but they’ve been targeting only these obvious keywords from here you can just rinse and repeat the keyword research process the on-page optimization tips and continually build links to your content and articles and start climbing the Google search rankings we have a ton of really helpful videos where we expand on these topics so I’ll leave links to those in the description make sure to subscribe for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I would be happy to jump in and help out Sam photography signing up

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