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SEO for Beginners: Where and How to Start If I Have No Clue About SEO?

authorThea Zinner

New to SEO? Read through these SEO tips for beginners & get started right away! These SEO tips cover the most important things SEO beginners need to know.

If you are completely new to SEO and maybe yours first own SEO project If you take over, SEO can be overwhelming at first. Because there is so much to do and as a beginner you don't necessarily know where and how to start.

But the good news is: SEO is not impossible to learn. I will show you in simple steps how you can start your first own SEO project.

In this article (+ the Video, for all visual and auditory learners), you will learn:

  • Where and how to start with SEO
  • What SEO basics you need
  • Which resources and materials are suitable for learning
  • Which factors you should pay particular attention to when optimizing a website

So let's start.

Acquire SEO basics

At the beginning, before you can start with SEO, it is extremely important that you read yourself and educate yourself about SEO. You need to learn the SEO basics before making any changes to websites. Without basic knowledge of SEO, crawling, indexing or the most important SEO ranking factors, you can otherwise, in the worst case, cause serious damage to the website, leading to a loss of ranking and traffic.

My recommendation: Build up your SEO knowledge and skills with videos, tutorials, courses, articles and trainings. If possible, attend conferences or seminars.

Here are some good resources to learn search engine optimization for free as a beginner:

SEO conferences for beginners (and advanced) for learning and further training:

  • SEO Day
  • Online Marketing Day in Wiesbaden (→ by the way, here you can find our recap of the OMT 2020)
  • SEOcom
  • SEO Campixx
  • and much more.

You are now wondering which SEO basics you should acquire as an SEO beginner? Then read on.

Important SEO basics for beginners

SEO is overwhelming at first. It may seem impossible to you to learn everything - and it is not necessary. At the beginning, learn the SEO basics, e.g.

  • How do search engines work?
  • How do crawling and indexing work?
  • Study the topic and meaning of keywords and links
  • What is on-page and off-page SEO?
  • The most important ranking & SEO factors, such as loading speed or title tag.
  • What does mobile friendliness, responsiveness mean for SEO?

After that, you can always decide whether you want to implement SEO yourself or seek external help. If you need help with SEO, just contact us using our contact form here or send me an email.

By the way - even if you work with agencies or freelancers, you should have a little knowledge of SEO. That simplifies the collaboration immensely.

"Doing" SEO or first steps in SEO: A pre-SEO analysis

Now you've come to the point where it really gets down to business: The first steps in SEO as a beginner. If you are now faced with the problem that you have learned the basics and still do not know what to do - then I will help you here. Just read on.

SEO is often a huge task at first glance - because there are so many ways where to start: You could optimize texts, images or loading times, deal with offpage SEO or technical SEO. And that's just a simplified selection. For this reason, I recommend that you start with a first, simple SEO analysis of the website after you have acquired the SEO basics.

An SEO analysis can be overwhelming. If you don't think so, then you can outsource this part of the SEO to an agency. Feel free to contact us (e.g. email me directly 🙂) and we will advise you.

Why an SEO Analysis?

An initial SEO analysis is important to find out more about the status quo of your website. The goal of the SEO analysis is to find out what is already well optimized and what is still in need of improvement.

Regardless of whether the website is new or has been online for a few years - an in-depth SEO analysis includes an analysis of:

  • Indexing, i.e. whether and how the page can be reached, crawled and indexed by Google
  • Review of the content (rankings, performance ...)
  • Technical factors (speed, mobile optimization)
  • Structure and structure of the site / architecture
  • Backlinks
  • and the performance, traffic figures, i.e. take a closer look in Google Analytics & Search Console

SEO analysis sounds like a big undertaking. It is important that you do a first SEO check. And if you work through the points mentioned above, you will find a lot of problems, track down weaknesses and can usually derive initial tasks from them.

An example from practice

A classic source of error, especially with new websites, is the "noindex" tag, for example. If this is stored in the source code on the page, the page will not appear on Google or in other search engines. In order to identify this bug and similar problems, you have to carry out an SEO analysis or an SEO check before you deal with the optimization of the content or other factors. Otherwise, your work will never bear fruit.

The actual search engine optimization

After you have carried out the SEO check, you will have found some weaknesses that you should definitely fix. When we talk about search engine optimization, we can do the real thing optimization Divide roughly into three main areas: functionality & accessibility, usability and finally, website content.

1. Make your website suitable for search engines crawlable and indexable and thereby accessible to users and search engines.It is primarily about processing a point, such as B .:

  • robots.txt Create correctly or check existing robots.txt to ensure that the website is crawled correctly
  • create a sitemap if necessary, especially for large websites or new websites
  • Check the use of the noindex tagto control indexing
  • Pay attention to a sensible page layout and structure of the pages

For this step you won't need any paid tools, all you need is the Google Search Console, a crawler like ScreamingFrog (free of charge up to 500 URLs). You can use free tools and generators to create and check Robots.txt and sitemap. Sometimes there are add-ons for your browser that do this and plugins (especially for WordPress sites).

If you don't know what to do with the terms mentioned at this point, scroll up on this page again, I have listed helpful learning resources and guidelines for SEO beginners or you can simply find out what the individual terms mean online.

2. Work on the UX / usability of the page

This includes:

  • Mobile friendliness: Make your website usable for mobile devices and desktops
  • Optimize the loading speed for the best user experience
  • Optimize internal links - The website should be easy to crawl and understand for search engines as well as for the user.
  • Avoid duplicates and duplicate / identical content.
  • Avoid errors on the website, the so-called 404 pages

Again, you will actually only be able to use free tools, such as the Google Search Console, Google Page Speed ​​Insights, Google Lighthouse, ScreamingFrog or another SEO spider.

However, especially in the area of ​​loading speed, things can get very technical and you will need help from IT (unless you have knowledge of programming and web development).

3. Build and expand content

Of course, when we talk about content, we have to start with an SEO must-have: Keyword research.

Keyword research can quickly become very extensive and complex. This is not always an easy endeavor, especially as an SEO beginner. So start by putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience. It doesn't have to be that extensive, just ask yourself “Which terms could my target group use to search for my offer in a search engine?”

If you have already put together a small list here, it is important that you add other related topics, terms and problems of the target group. Start by brainstorming, then expand your list using a variety of SEO and keyword tools (many of which are free, too). Also think of the auto suggest function in the search bar. So you can then, starting from your initial keyword, expand the list of relevant keywords.

In the last step of your first keyword research, all you have to do is finalize this list. It is not always necessary to overcomplicate this. For starters, all you have to do is add search volume, keyword competition, or keyword difficulty and relevance. The best way to determine how relevant a keyword is for your website is yourself. These metrics will make it easier for you to choose which keywords to focus on in the beginning. Ideally, your keyword has a good search volume, low competition (this makes it easier to rank for it) and of course is very relevant to your target audience.

Once you've chosen your first keywords, you can create new content or optimize existing content. Pay attention to the basic rules for SEO & content:

  1. Add the main keyword in the page title.
  2. Use the main keyword in the meta description.
  3. Place the main keyword in the main heading (h1 tag)
  4. Link your content internally to relevant topics

Conclusion

If you are new to SEO and don't know where and how to start, you should ideally work through all 3 areas mentioned here. That's great for a start.

SEO is great dynamic, there are many areas and aspects that can and should be optimized. As an SEO beginner, however, it is important the basics get it, i.e. that the website findable is the webpage well usable is, the content fare relevant for the user and the Search query / keywords cover. Everything else can come later 🙂

SHARING IS CARING!