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SEO for Dummies: Your Complete Beginner’s Guide


These days, businesses are spending a fortune on search engine optimization (SEO). That spending is only going to increase in the future (to the tune of $80 billion by the year 2020) as well.

Clearly, SEO plays an important role in helping businesses to grow and bring in new customers. Are you totally lost whenever anyone talks about SEO, though?

If you’re in need of a little SEO for dummies tutorial, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn all the basics of SEO that you ought to know.

What Is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is all about — you guessed it — optimizing your site so that it shows up on people’s search engine results pages (also known as SERPs). 

The end goal is to get your site to rank in as high a position as possible in organic (non-paid) search engine results.

Why Does it Matter?

The higher your website ranks in people’s search engine results, the more likely they are to actually click on it.

Think about your own internet search habits. How often do you go beyond the first page of search results? How often do you even go beyond the first two or three results that show up on that front page? 

The more people click on your website, the more likely they are to engage with your content and purchase what you’re selling. This, in turn, helps you to grow your business and boost your bottom line.

With so many businesses online these days, SEO needs to be a top priority. A good SEO strategy will help you to separate your business from your competition and continue to grow your audience so more people can learn about what you have to offer.

Keyword Basics

One of the first things you need to take into account when working to improve your website’s search engine ranking is the keywords you’re using. Keywords are the words and phrases people are using when they’re searching online.

If you can get your website to rank for certain keywords, it’ll be more likely to show up on people’s search engine results pages. This, in turn, increases the likelihood that they’ll click on your website.

When you’re choosing the keywords for which you’re going to try and rank, there are a few factors you need to consider, including the following:

Search Volume

First, you need to find out how many people are searching for a specific keyword or group of keywords. The higher the search volume, the more people you’re likely to reach.


You’ll need to think about how many other people in your industry are also trying to rank for these keywords. If there’s a lot of competition for a particular word, you may want to branch out a bit.


Think about your target audience and which keywords they’re most likely to be using. If you can tap into this, you’ll have an easier time connecting with them.

Content Optimization

In order to improve your website’s search engine rankings, you’ll need to work on optimizing your content, too. This includes all the pages on your site, including blog posts. 

The following are some steps you can take to optimize your content:

  • Headings: Use headings to break up your text and guide people through your content 
  • Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions give people an idea of what they’ll find on each page of your website; they should include the keywords for which you want to rank
  • Uniqueness: All the content on your site should be unique (search engines frown upon plagiarism and will penalize you for it)

Search engines take engagement into account, too. If a lot of people comment on a post or page, it’s going to rank higher. Encourage commenting and social media shares at the end of your blog posts to help give your site a boost.


The use of links plays a significant role in your search engine ranking, too.

It’s important to include links to other pages on your site (these are known as internal links) and links to other, relevant websites (these are known as outbound links).

When you add links to other pages on your website, people are more likely to extend the amount of time they spend on your site. This increases the chances that they’ll make a purchase, and it shows search engines that people are taking an interest in your content.

Linking to other sites helps to give you credibility and shows people where you’re getting your information from. If people see your site as a credible source, they’ll be more inclined to stick around or return to it in the future to make a purchase.

It’s also great if you can get other websites to provide links back to your site.

This will help to bring more people over to your website, but it also helps to increase your credibility (in the eyes of internet users and in the eyes of search engines). This, in turn, will help to boost your search engine ranking. 

Technical Issues

A lot of people stop at links, content optimization, and keywords when they try to learn more about SEO.

All of these things are important, of course. There’s more involved in optimizing your website, though. You also need to think about the technical aspects.

This includes your page load speed (the slower your website loads, the less likely people are to stick around) and your site uptime.

If your site is down a lot and people can’t access your content, you’re going to have a very hard time convincing people to return in the future, let alone buy what you’re selling.

Time to Put This SEO for Dummies Guide to the Test

Now that you’ve gone through this SEO for dummies guide, are you feeling a bit more confident in your SEO skills?

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run. If you have an online presence, you need to make SEO a priority, and these tips can help.

As you now know, one of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to boost your search engine rankings is your site’s uptime.

Remember, the more often your site goes down, the less likely it is to have a high position on search engine results page.

Check out our website monitoring services today to learn more and find a plan that suits your needs.