This is a step by step on page search engine optimization practical tutorial for beginners. Please pay attention as I get down and dirty into the nuts and bolts of on-page SEO with the detailed videos below.
Everything you need to know about on page and off page SEO is explained in detail on this website, and is all offered for free.
Before we continue, I want to mention that if you’d like to learn SEO right from scratch, please follow the SEO tutorial guide page and move forward from there.
Alternatively, you can use the navigation menu to move to any section of the SEO tutorial you’re interested in.
If after going through this tutorial you discover there’s something not clear, or if you need further help, just drop your message in the comment box at the bottom of this tutorial. Alternatively you can contact me if you have a special request.
I’ll start by telling you a small secret about Search Engine Optimization in general. Ready? If you’re able to do SEO correctly, it will not only rank your site on the first page of search engines, it can also translate ranking into money in your wallet.
Watch the video below to see how.
In case you missed the previous tutorial (SEO Tutorial 4), here’s the link to it: How to Choose A Domain Name for SEO.
Now we know why SEO is so important. We’ve identified the keywords that are going to make us money. And we’ve got our shiny new branded domain name.
Okay here goes…
SEO is easy, though a long term strategy.
There are only four things that must be done to make Google place our web page at the number one position of the search results for any given keyword – and it’s all common sense stuff.
Allow me to introduce…
The 4 Pillars of Search Engine Optimization
Pillar 1 – Relevance
We need to make sure every page has a specific target topic and is rich in associated target keywords. What is more, it needs to be useful to the end user – the human.
This is relevance.
Pillar 2 – Crawlability
From a facilitative point of view, we need to make it easy for Google to scan and inspect our web pages.
This is commonly known as crawlability.
Pillar 3 – Engagement
We must show Google the hallmarks that there are users who are spending lots of time on our web pages and digesting the content.
We call this engagement.
Pillar 4 – Authority
Finally, we have to prove to Google that the content on our web pages are credible, and is trusted by other trustworthy websites in the same industry that our keywords are related to.
We call this authority.
It’s unbelievable that SEO is a $70.9 Billion industry and still, it can all be reduced to just 4 things that Google wants to see done on any website.
When you’re through with this tutorial, you must be able to work on your own website and successfully tick off three out of the four of these pillars.
In the subsequent parts of our SEO tutorial, you will learn exactly what you must do to let Google know that your web page has:
These 3 things form the necessary on page seo steps you must learn. Combined, they form On Page Search Engine Optimization (also known as Web Page Search Engine Optimization or simply On Page SEO).
It’s a monster topic we’re going to break down slowly, whilst cutting through the enormous amount of online noise regarding the subject.
What I love about on page search engine optimization is that, if done correctly, it’s normally a one-time activity. Once you’ve done, you’ve done it.
The 4th and last piece of the SEO puzzle – website Authority – will be covered in the part of our SEO tutorial in what I hope will be a crescendo of logic and light bulb inducing moments.
This fourth Pillar is also known as Off Page Search Engine Optimization.
On Page Optimization – Page Relevance
Up until a few years ago, Google’s algorithm was pretty rudimentary really. In fact, it could most accurately be likened to having the sophistication level of a young child.
A great description can be found by AJ Kohn in the ‘About’ section of his blog ‘Blind Five Year Old’, in which Google is indeed the visually impaired child in question.
The meaning? It’s an SEO philosophy reminding us to keep things obvious and simple for Google because after all, it’s artificial intelligence in its infancy.
These may sound like derogatory definitions, but let’s give the Big ‘G’ a break for a minute.
Have you or I ever tried to create a search engine with accompanying algorithms? Exactly!
If we were capable of indexing and ordering the entire 100 Billion Gigabytes of data comprising ‘The Internet’ (forget the ‘deep web’ for now) we’d no doubt feel pretty smug.
If we could then answer any user’s search query at an average speed of 0.59 seconds, we’d probably feel like we could attend a high school reunion with at least something to talk about.
But of course in the age of SEO we know a blind five year old can be lied to or manipulated. Now there’s a hyper weird ‘postmodern’ sentence I never thought I’d hear – let alone be the author of!
5 – 7 years ago, you could tell Google a page on your site was about the keyword ‘best dog training’ by doing things like repeating the phrase ‘best dog training’ over and over in your content.
Google would then consider that webpage highly relevant to training dogs and rank it accordingly. You could then create a new web page on your site and tell Google this section was about ‘best dog obedience classes’.
Young and innocent Google would consider this a totally different topic and rank the separate page for ‘best dog obedience classes’ too.
These days, Google has developed into more like an adolescent who perhaps needs strong prescription glasses, but isn’t blind.
It not only knows which words and phrases are synonymous with others, but it can also learn the context of any given search through repeated user behavior. Pretty impressive stuff.
Nowadays, Google would treat ‘best dog training’ as almost the exact same keyword phrase as ‘best dog obedience classes’. The user intent behind both searches is nearly identical – someone wants a well behaved dog – and Google’s now smart enough to know it.
So what does this mean for us? Well, the implication is simple. We need to think ‘topic’ not ‘keyword’. We need to clearly divide the web pages on our site by overall topic as opposed to the individual keyword.
Are you keeping up there at the back? Perhaps an example will help.
Let’s say we’re a plumber and we’re doing SEO on our website. We’ve got our branded domain and have put in oodles of time to identify the target keywords we believe will generate a good level of lucrative traffic with commercial intent.
The Target Keywords Are…
- plumber london
- shower repair
- best plumbers in south london
- plumbing services
- heating engineer london
- central heating repair
- Boiler installation london
- boiler servicing
- underfloor heating london
- shower repair
- shower fitter london
- boiler repair london
To target these keywords effectively, we need to appreciate that Google understands the overall topic groups each one refers to.
So if we go guns blazing creating different pages to target different keywords that fall into the same topic, we’ll just confuse Google and our overall rankings will be average at best.
Instead, we need to create topic pages. These are individual web pages targeting multiple keywords, all within the same overall subject. Still confused?
Well, from the example above, we wouldn’t create 12 separate pages on our site to target each of the 12 different keywords. Oh no sir.
You can stop that right now. Instead we’d identify the distinguishable topics these keywords fall into, and then create a separate page for each topic.
Did I just say the same thing twice but in a slightly different way? Good, because this is one of the least understood concepts in SEO so I want it hammered home.
We must identify a ‘primary keyword’ within each topic (usually the keyword with the most monthly traffic) and focus solely on that.
The good part is we can forget the other keywords without worry because we’d very likely rank well for them too should our primary keyword page get traction in the search engines.
The 12 keywords in our plumbing example can be split into 4 clear topics, with corresponding pages then created for each topic – as per below.
If you just skim-read that table, I’d really encourage you to look at it again. Spend at least a few minutes absorbing the subtle differences in the topics, pages, primary and secondary keywords.
You’ll be going it alone for your own website so understanding the foundations here are critical. Happy? Good!
So now that we’ve identified the pages on our website we need to create, let’s look at all the factors that impact on page optimization – and fundamentally, the cash in your pocket.
One of the few things we have direct control over is the content on our site. We have the ability to make our text and media as relevant as possible to the profitable target keywords we’ve previously identified.
I want you to think of your website’s interaction with Google’s crawling software as an ‘elevator pitch’.
In a very short time (the time it takes Google to crawl your website no less), your web page has a small window of opportunity to show Google what topic or keywords it’s about.
You won’t be able to get your site to the very top of the search engine for a phrase unless you make it unmistakably clear to Google’s algorithm that your web page is unequivocally relevant to that keyword.
Basically, if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win the lottery.
So how do we make a page relevant to our target keywords? Simple. By worshipping the 8 tablets of On Page SEO.
2. Title Tags
3. Header Tags
4. Keyword Use & Density
5. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
6. Image Filenames / Alt Tags
7. Outbound Links
8. Topic Relevance
We’ll unpack each one in just a moment, but I want to mention two important housekeeping items quickly.
Firstly, be aware that a few of these factors will require a very basic understanding of HTML and web-development to fully grasp and subsequently implement them on your site.
If you’re already a tinkerer of all things online then great. But just in case you’re an out and out beginner, don’t be threatened by the seemingly obscure terminology I’ll be using.
You don’t need to be a genius to understand anything here. You really don’t.
Remember, anything I talk about that would be easier to explain on a computer, I’ve created specific accompanying tutorial videos.
In this particular section, there are video lessons for URLs, Title Tags, Header Tags, and Image Filenames / Alt Tags.
If you become a premium member, you’ll be able to watch the whole video series for all SEO tutorials on this website.
All the videos are short and easily digestible, so why not join us, grab a cup of coffee and take a front row seat for the show.
Secondly, a note about your domain. In the content that follows, I recommend you include a primary keyword of yours if you’re using a branded, or a lightly optimized domain name.
If you have an Exact Match Domain (EMD) or a Partial Match Domain (PMD) that is highly-optimized, it’s very likely safer you do not use the exact keyword so much in some of those factors to avert an over-optimization penalty. I’d replace them with synonyms or closely-related keywords instead.
Okay. Ready? Let’s optimize the shit out of your website!