Whether you’re a complete beginner or need to brush up on your SEO basics, this guide is for you. Exploring the ever-changing world of SEO can seem daunting if you don’t know where to start. We’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide to encourage you to take the first steps and become an SEO enthusiast or professional.
In this guide, we’ll start by taking a deep dive into how SEO works in 2021, provide helpful resources to continue your education, and include tips from 10 industry experts. Let’s go!
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the strategy, techniques, and tactics to put in place to get the pages on your site to the top of Google and other search engine results pages (SERP). . By placing your site at the top of search results (a method often called “ranking”), you ensure visibility and free traffic.
It takes a lot of work to get your website ranked, but the goal isn’t to cheat Google. According to experts, SEO “is about partnering with Google to provide the best search results to Google users.”
Google only shows its users websites that are useful to them. Search engine optimization isn’t about building your website for Google, it’s for your users.
“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you.”Wendy Piersall
Types of SEO
Getting your pages ranked is a multi-faceted endeavor. There are four common types of SEO that you may come across in the industry. Each of them requires a different set of skills and know-how but does not work in isolation.
These four common types of SEO are:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Local SEO
- Technical SEO
Check all the types of SEO in the video that implemented by experts.
On-page SEO is all about the content of your web pages, including text, keywords, and images. You will need to focus on optimizing the content of your pages for the keywords that people are looking for.
Google now classifies the pages that meet the needs of the Internet user and his questions.
When creating optimized content, you need to consider more than just the keyword.
You will find that on-page SEO optimization always involves keyword research, mapping, and optimization. There are many keyword research tools that can help you start this phase of research, such as the ahrefs tool.
Off-page SEO (or off-page SEO) is about content that isn’t on your site. This is content on other sites that references or links to your site. A good off-page “reputation” shows search engines that you are trustworthy and reliable.
The work on your off-page SEO involves public relations and digital targeting actions. You need to identify sites related to your industry and establish links with and contact your competitors.
You can use tools like Backlink Opportunities to identify sites to target. Ask to collaborate, be featured, or find a unique targeting method that works for you.
According to Scott Wyden Kivowitz, you have to think of off-page SEO work as “building relationships, not links”. This means that you earn more than just a link to your site.
Off-page SEO done with this in mind will help strengthen your EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) signals. Find out more about these signals and why they have become a big factor in Google’s EAT update.
Local SEO is all about getting your website to rank for specific, place-specific terms. Local SEO can go through a mix of on-page, off-page and technical SEO strategies, as well as optimizations in external directories and maps.
This type of SEO is specific to businesses that offer service in a particular location or have physical stores. You are required to manage your opinions, to keep up to date and standardize the files in the directories, and to optimize the site pages.
Read more in our guide to local SEO and local search ranking.
Technical SEO is not about the content a user sees on your page. It actually focuses on the technical aspects of that page, including its HTML code, page speed, and a lot more.
Technical SEO improves how your site works so that search engines can easily crawl and index it. Technical SEO examines elements of the website such as its structure, internal links, mobile responsiveness, page speed, and security.
You can use tools to identify areas of your site to work on, including page speed checkers like GTMetrix , or page explorers like our Site Audit tool .
While technical SEO efforts don’t work in isolation, they can have a significant impact on your overall performance.
Common SEO Positions
If you decide to pursue a career in SEO, there are several roles to be aware of. SEO functions are generally the responsibility of an agency or an in-house position but are also done freelance.
As a beginner in SEO, you will likely find yourself in a more junior role. As you gain experience and hone your skills, you will be able to rise through the ranks and advance to higher positions.
When it comes to progression, the performances speak for themselves. You will need to present data to prove your skills in improving site rankings and traffic.
Types of SEO positions
- SEO Director: This managerial position is usually responsible for overseeing the performance and structure of the SEO service. The SEO director ensures that the customer or brand vision and SEO efforts are united and channeled towards the same business goals.
- SEO Manager: This SEO position oversees SEO campaigns and strategy, usually internally An SEO manager supports the rest of the team by optimizing and improving site rankings while assisting or leading the digital marketing activity .
- SEO Account Manager: In an agency, the SEO Account Manager is responsible for client communication and reporting. An SEO account manager establishes the link between internal teams and external stakeholders.
- SEO Strategist: In this role, you will be responsible for auditing and developing a strategy that works with the larger digital marketing strategy of the brand or client. An SEO strategist typically works with a team of SEO managers or junior SEOs to implement their strategy.
- SEO Analyst: This is a data-driven role that involves analyzing data from a range of different sources. An SEO analyst monitors and interprets rank data, on-site metrics, CTR, and more for multiple clients or websites. His work supports the SEO strategist and junior SEO teams.
- SEO Performer or Junior: Junior SEO team members are typically responsible for implementing changes based on an SEO strategy. A junior or performer in SEO usually has a less experienced role that helps with all aspects including keyword research, on / off page SEO, and technical optimizations.
- Content Writer: Content writers work with SEO teams to produce content that supports both SEO and the overall marketing strategy. A content writer needs to work and understand keyword research and how to produce SEO optimized content.
If you are a freelance SEO professional or looking to hire an SEO professional, you will usually be in contact with:
- SEO specialists responsible for planning and executing your SEO strategy. Usually, an SEO specialist will audit your site and suggest improvements.
- SEO consultants: This is an advisory role that supports and guides you to increase your organic performance. An SEO consultant will usually audit your site and provide you with a list of actions to take. They are there to guide, advise and support you.
Whatever SEO techniques or strategy you use, there are usually specific skills that you will need in your toolbox.
There are three basic tasks that are involved in all types of SEO, from off-page to technical.
- Keyword research
- Competitive analysis
- Reports and Analysis
Read more about each of these tasks and how they work in our beginner’s guide to SEO.