ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

SEO - The Beginners Guide

Updated on March 29, 2018

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process to enhance the ranking of your website pages within the search engines for targeted keywords, that best describe what your page is about. When you create a new website or add a page to an existing website, it's all for nothing if no one finds it. If you are just looking into SEO, then this article will hopefully add some value, as it was created for beginners in the SEO field.

Each search engine has it's own algorithm which are simply programs. A set of rules by which to determine which results to show for any particular search query. No one knows exactly how these algorithms work (the logic is not something that is made public), only that they are very complex, use a large number of query parameters and are always evolving.

It's important to recognize that they are only programs. They're not perfect. In fact they are as perfect as the group of individuals that created it. As individuals are not perfect, we should have realistic expectations. Sometimes an algorithm won't necessarily return results that the human eye would consider the most relevant.

Would you be surprised that when you type 'supermarket' into Google, it doesn't return an actual supermarket (.i.e. Waitrose or Tesco) inside the top few results? Moving to Yahoo, and it doesn't return an actual supermarket inside the first page of results! How can this be? Surely someone typing 'Supermarket' into the search engines is looking for an actual supermarket! You will notice some of the domains. Moneysupermarket.com, travelsupermarket.com, supermarket.com, supermarketnews.com. What about Google? Well there are supermarkets listed however still quite a few others such as Moneysupermarket.com (which is first), Mysupermarket.com, Supermarketsarah.com and Thepeoplessupermarket.org. Do you think it's coincidence that there are so many listings with the keywords in their domain name? There is a very reason that the results return the results they do - see my article on 'Choosing a domain name and it's SEO value'.

So what does this really tell us? It tells us that the Search Engines are very complex, yes, but it reinforces what we already know - they are only a collection of rules that have been put together by a group of individuals. Our goal within SEO is to understand what how these rules work. What has a positive impact and what a negative one. There are powerful analysis tools at our disposal that can help you look at thousands of different elements in relation to a website or web page to see exactly what they are doing and more importantly, why they are listed high in the results. The more sites you look at, the more a picture you will form. The more individual factors against each site you factor in, the more comprehensive your understanding will be.

Remember, SEO is also about improving the user experience. After all, there's no point in ranking #1 if your page is a mess and offers little in the way of value. People will simply leave your site and try another listing. What's worse, they may never be back! The biggest challenge for me was never in understanding SEO, as for the most part, it's not rocket science. It's undertaking the work, which can be time consuming. Now that you know what it is, the next step is to start to learn what you need to do to improve your rankings within the Search Engines.

So where to from here?

Before we get to next steps, there's one more important lesson. Regardless of your industry or niche, it is fair to say that you are most likely part of a busy and competitive marketplace. Recognizing that you are not the only player in that market is key. There are exceptions to every rule, however you need to accept that there are people that will be doing the same thing on the internet as you, and have likely been doing it far longer than you. You also won't be the last person to do it. There will be plenty behind you and plenty behind them. Not many ideas are truly original and the fact that you have chosen the internet as your sales outlet means that even if it is unique, it won't be for long (especially if it is a good idea). Don't be disheartened. These are just some simple truths. Putting a more SEO friendly site out there than your competitors will give you strategic advantage within the Search Engines.

Whether you have a new site that is still in development or an existing site that you want to make more SEO friendly, you are looking for the right answers to your questions (you did find this post). Next is to look at some of the SEO basics that can easily be applied to your website. There are many quick wins and some that take a little longer. Remember that SEO takes time, so don't expect overnight results. From here it's about building your understanding and applying the principles you learn.

A good starting point are my 'Top 10 tips for SEO Success' and this article on 'Being your own SEO Master', which follows on from many of the points made in this post.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)