SEO Tutorial For Beginners

This is Intellistart’s marketing tutorial guide to search engine optimisation.

And let us be clear about something:

This is NOT your average “SEO in 2020” predictions post.

Yes, we’ll cover the most important aspects of SEO.

But you’re also going to see new strategies that are working great right now.

So if you’re looking to improve your SEO next year, you’ll love this new guide.

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Proper Search Engine Optimisation or SEO can make or break your website.

It can put your website on top of everyone’s searches or forgotten on the ten pages of the google search results.

Why would you want to use SEO?

Increase your user experience, and become the go-to brand in your niche.

An introduction to SEO


What is SEO?

SEO is Search Engine Optimisation, also known as Organic Search or Organic Listing

It is the practice of increasing your page organic traffic that Google has indexed up the rankings on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). The result is that we want all our pages to be ranked number one for particular keywords, for example, healthy food recipes. 

Consider an example where you own a blog about food, and you’re passionate about food. Your niche is healthy foods, say you have a lot of healthy food recipes. You want to get traffic to your blog, for people to read it. But your website isn’t ranking high on the organic search results.

You ask why am I not ranking for my blog? Why when people type in healthy food recipes and say google my blog posts don’t appear at the top of organic rankings.

Why your site is not ranking


There are several reasons why you would not rank high for your blog posts and healthy food recipes.

The main reason is your competitors. Your competitors may have better content than you.

There could be somebody else out there who is also passionate about healthy foods and have been blogging a lot longer than you, and they have more content and blog posts for Google to rank, which is usually the main reason.

The other reason is improper usage of keywords. There are aspects of keyword usage in your content like, what kind of keywords do you want to rank for? And, how do we work those keywords into the content? 

Another reason is poor link building practices, that means, are other blog posts and other websites linking to you? Also, are your links pointing to other pages on your website? With link building it’s internal linking, so are we linking from one blog post to another? and it’s external linking, are other high-quality websites linking to us?

Another reason is web page load time, your web page load time is slow. Let’s say you are running your blog posts on something like WordPress, and your blog posts aren’t loading fast enough.

What does Google want?

If you’re Google, would you want to rank a website or blog post number 1 on google ranking, if that particular page loaded very slow?

No, you wouldn’t because if someone clicked on that link on organic search and went on your website, they’re going to have a bad experience because the page is going to load slow.

Google doesn’t want their users to have a bad experience, much like you wouldn’t want your users to have a bad experience. That’s why web page load time is a critical factor for ranking, so we need to make sure that our web pages load fast.

Provide good user experience


Your website doesn’t have a good user experience, or it’s not good enough. Similar to web page load time, Google wants people to have a good experience when they go from their search engine to your website.

There’s a lot at play here, such as web page load time. Also, Google doesn’t want any spam content, any popups or overbearing ads on the web page. They want people who are searching something, in particular, let’s say “healthy food recipes” and they want to find a relevant website that has “healthy food recipes” they want to be able to click on that link and read some good content about healthy food recipes. 

It’s that simple, and that’s, really what Google is trying to create in their environment. You as an end-user, as a website owner, you want your users to have a good experience. Lastly, your website is de-indexed by mistake. Google needs to be able to index all the pages on your website, so if you have a blog with a hundred recipes, you want Google to have access to all one hundred recipes. 

Looking to get your pages ranked or indexed on google organic search?

There are certain things you need to do, to apply search engine optimisation to increase a page for a keyword we are using.

How do we do this?

Google evaluates your website based on:

  • Relevant content (Engaging and relevant content)
  • Suitable titles (Suitable title tags, URL)
  • Logical structure (Header tags)
  • Suitable synopsis (Meta description)
  • Clear and readable content (Responsive design & Site speed)

Search Engine Optimisation works like this.

Also in SEO, link building plays a vital role in the website’s prominence, based on which Google understands the credibility of the content.

How Google rankings work

How does Google rank websites?

Search engines like Google follow three, basic steps to rank a website. They are:

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Ranking

Crawling is a process done by search engine spiders/bots where they scan a website and copy the entire website’s content and stores it in the search engine’s index.

Note: Based on this method, Google finds out which websites have relevant content related to specific keywords

Indexing is the method of adding web pages into Google search results. 

It is also called the database of Google.

In case a website is not in a search engine’s index, none of the users will be able to find the website.

When a user types a query on Google search engine, the most relevant websites (from the index) will appear on the search result based on multiple factors like user’s location, language, user experience etc…

  • Page load time
  • Average session duration
  • Bounce rate
  • Based on cookies

Types of SEO

On-page SEO and Off-page SEO

On-page SEO is the process of optimising elements, on your website itself. – Header tag, Keyword usage, Meta description, Internal links, Title tag, Site maps, Keyword research.

Keyword research is one of the most important activities in SEO – Do proper research on a trending topic.

It is a practice where you choose the primary and secondary keywords around which meta tags, and the content will be based on.

The primary components of keyword research are below:

  • Search volumes
  • Competition
  • Relevancy

Keyword research gives you a better understanding of how high the demand is for certain keywords.

Also, you can use keyword research tools like the Google Keyword planner.

You want to create content on search engine optimisation, then based on search volume and competition your primary keyword becomes what is search engine optimisation?

If your content starts ranking high for this keyword, it will get more traffic to your webpage

On-page SEO

Title tag – On-page SEO

  • The title tag is the most important factor of on-page SEO
  • It is a header title element displayed on SERP’s
  • Search engines like Google display the first 50-60 characters of the title tag
  • This tag summarises the website’s content
  • The title tag will influence your click-through rates

Here is an example of how the title tag for our webpage appears in the search engine result

Meta description – On-page SEO

  • The meta description is a brief description (of up to 155-160 characters) that summarises the content of a webpage
  • They are displayed on the search engine page results
  • While the title tags have less description, a meta description gives users more understanding of what your webpage is offering
  • Meta description also influences your click-through rates

URL structure – On-page SEO

  • URL: Uniform Resource Locator
  • Use SEO-friendly URL’s, as they help to understand what the web page is about
  • Poor URL structure is a big issue in SEO which may result in low ranking
  • Avoid poor URL structures

Header tags – On-page SEO

  • Header tags are the HTML tags that are used to identify headings and subheadings of your content
  • The hierarchy of header tags goes from H1 to H6 (Ideally you want to use H1 or H2 to show Google what is important.)
  • Where H1 is the main heading of a page, H2 is a subheading of H1 and H3 is a subheading of H2 etc…
  • For search engines, these tags are easier to read and understand the content

Internal link – On-page SEO

  • An internal link is a hyperlink that goes from one page of your website to a different page on your website
  • These links allow users to navigate the website
  • Also, these links are useful to spread link equity (value passed from one website to another website)

Keyword usage – On-page SEO

  • When a search engine crawls a website, it uses NLP (Natural Language Processing)
  • Using NLP, search engine looks for content and keyword
  • For example: When your website is about digital marketing and if you onlly have the keyword digital marketing used in it, then you might not rank for the keyword digital marketing in search engine results. It’s important to add some related words like how to do digital marketing, types of digital marketing, skills required for digital marketing etc.

Sitemaps – On-page SEO

  • Sitemaps are a hierarchy list of a website
  • It is designed to help both users and search engines to understand the structure of a website
  • These are 2 types of sitemaps
    1. HTML sitemaps: Designed for humans
    2. XML sitemaps: Designed for crawlers

Off-page SEO

Off-page optimisation

  • Off-page optimisation is the process of linking or promoting your website using link building
  • This helps in improving the website’s recognition, credibility, trustworthiness and authority

Blogs, Social Media Platforms, Communities

Benefits of Off-page SEO

  • Increase in traffic
  • High domain authority
  • Better credibility
  • Increase in page rank
  • Increase in brand awareness

Link building – Off-page optimisation

  • Link building is online navigation of hyperlinks from other websites to your own websites
  • In this way, we can drive referral traffic and increase the website’s authority
  • Strategies of link building:
    1. High quality content creation
    2. Off-site engagement

How do you build links to your website?

One way to do it is to spend a lot of time on other’s website

Achieve off-site engagement through:

  • Social media
  • Collaborating with bloggers

Do’s and Don’ts of SEO


Opt for white hat technique
Get backlinks from relevant sites
Use keywords in your titles and tags in order to rank high in search engines
Write engaging and latest content
Do keyword research
Build internal links to your website
Wait for a while. It takes time to rank your content
Make your website user-friendly and mobile-friendly


Do no opt for black hat techniques
Avoid backlinks from irrelevant sites
Do not duplicate titles on multiple web pages
Do no copy other website’s content
Avoid keyword stuffing
Do not build sitewide backlinks
Avoid building backlinks only to your website’s homepage
Avoid over optimising anchor text

Ready to get started?