SEO 101: The Ultimate SEO Guide for Beginners [2020 Edition]

In today’s world, most information is available right at our fingertips through the power of search engines. For most of us, it’s our go-to when looking for answers.

Did you know that Google receives an average of 63,000 searches per second on any given day? This translates into at least 2 trillion searches per year, 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per

That’s a LOT. And that’s just on Google alone. There are other search engines available worldwide.

That’s why it’s really hard to get attention online. There is tough competition and appearing on the front page of Google can be difficult.

Luckily, Search Engine Optimization, popularly known as SEO, is there to help your business drive organic website traffic that can generate sales.

If you want to know more about how SEO can boost your business, Good Monster is offering a free SEO beginners guide. Click the link below to get your free copy

Introduction to SEO

SEO is the process of optimizing your online content to increase the quality and quantity of website traffic—as well as exposure of your brand—through non-paid or organic search results.

SEO is not only about the search engine itself. It’s also about your business, your content, and the consumers.

It is all about understanding what the people would search, the terms that they are using, and the type of content they like to see.

SEO Tactics

Before updating your website, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the best techniques to optimize your SEO, to see which approach is best for your brand.

White Hat SEO refers to SEO tactics that focus on giving valuable content to people in accordance with the terms and conditions of the major search engines.

If you’re building a sustainable business and you’re in it for the long haul, you should focus on this because it is the most valid and ethical way to increase your website rankings.

If White Hat SEO is all about abiding the search engine’s rules, Black Hat SEO is the total opposite.

Black Hat SEO are techniques and strategies that attempt to spam/fool search
engines. The brands that employ this strategy go against search engine guidelines and manipulate them to gain higher rankings.

Though it may increase your website’s traffic, the results are only short-term. If
you’ve decided to use these tactics for your business, your website will be banned from Google and other search engines. We recommend exercising extreme caution and consideration before implementing this strategy.

How long does SEO take?

Some brands claim to see results in only a week or two in the form of content and website organization. However,to see the maximum effect, it can take 4 to 6 months, possibly even more. It can vary substantially.

That said, rest assured that the results of SEO will grow over time. Some factors that affect how SEO delivers results are website age, website design and structure, links, content, and penalties in the past.

Download the e-book to continue reading Chapter I: Introduction to SEO. It includes:

  • What is SEO?
  • The Basics of Search Engines
  • Importance of SEO
  • White Hat SEO
  • Black Hat SEO
  • Local SEO
  • How long does SEO take?
  • SEO Statistics
  • Search Engines Guidelines

How Do Search Engines Work

Most people use search engines every single day. Whether you’re looking for a keto-friendly recipe for lunch or you just want to watch funny dog videos, you’re first stop is Google,Bing, or your preferred search engine.

To execute a successful SEO strategy, you have to understand how people search. As marketers or business owners, we need to learn the behavior of our target clients online.

According to a study conducted by the University of Hong Kong, search intent can be segmented into two categories: 1) A user is either searching for specific information related to the keyword(s) used or 2) A user is looking for more general information about a topic.

Blue Nile Research founder Nathan Safran said that understanding how users formulate their queries and why they search for a particular keyword gives us an advantage in creating compelling content and optimizing for search engines.

Key Processes

In order to implement an effective SEO strategy, you must also understand the key processes involved in delivering search results.

You’ve probably tried researching it before, right?

There’s a lot of technical things involved, but there are three key processes that you need to know to understand how search engines work.


Search engines have crawlers (a.k.a. spiders) that scan the World Wide Web. Basically, these spiders are created by search engines to look for content, keywords, headings, hyperlinks, images, or pages related to a query.


Indexing is the process in which a search engine stores a copy of the data of all web pages they have visited. The index is the place where all the information the search engine has collected is stored.


Ranking is where the search results are ordered from most relevant to least relevant. When someone performs a search, the search engine will look for pieces of content related to the searcher’s query.

Download the e-book to continue reading Chapter II: How Do Search Engines Work. It includes:

  • Search Intent
  • Key processes
  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Ranking
  • Local SEO
  • Search Engines Market Share

Keyword Research

Now that you already have an idea of how your website can show up in the search results, it’s time to understand everything about keywords.

“Are keywords still important when it comes to search engine optimization?”

That’s a question that some people usually ask.

The response to that is pretty simple: Yes, keywords are still an essential part of SEO.

Just like market research, this method will help you figure out the interests, thoughts, pain points, and desires of your target market. It will also give you insights into what the consumers are searching for, including the terms and
phrases that they use.

Types of keywords

Keywords can make or break your website.

How will you know if you’re using the right keywords to maximize your SEO strategy?

Like queries, there are various types of keywords that you can use to target different kinds of consumers. Before we share some tips and tricks on how to identify the right keywords, let us walk you through the different types of keywords that can boost your SEO strategy.

Head Terms or Short-tail Keywords

When it comes to SEO, head terms are the most competitive. These are broad terms or popular keywords that drive high search volume. Examples of short-tail keywords are “clothes,” “running outfits,” and “gym clothes.” Searchers who use short-tail keywords don’t have clear search intent yet.

Body Keywords

Body keywords also get a lot of search volume. Unlike head terms, these are more specific. These are 2-3 keywords that are more descriptive and always have less competition. “Affordable gym clothes,” “gym near me,” and “sale gym clothes” are some examples.

Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail terms typically have low search traffic. These are more specific and very targeted. Although they are not that competitive, they have high conversion rates. Phrases like “gym clothes under $20,” “yoga class for beginners” and “tips on how to lose weight” are examples of long-tail keywords.

Download the e-book to continue reading Chapter III: Keyword Research. It includes:

  • Importance of Keyword Research
  • Types of Keywords
  • Finding the Right Keywords
  • Tools to help you with your Keyword Research
  • Ranking

Link Building

Link building is where you f feature links from other websites on your own domain or get other websites to link back to your domain. This process is done to drive referral traffic and to increase a page’s ranking in search results.

As mentioned in Chapter 2, links are one of the ranking factors. It’s an important part of SEO because it helps you get more traffic without breaching the webmaster guidelines. When your web traffic increases, it means that more people are discovering your brand.

Search engines use links to look for new websites and to set the ranking of a certain webpage. They explore the web for new content and identify the site’s authority based on the external links.

In the ‘90s, Google introduced PageRank (also known as PR), an algorithm used to identify a page’s value by looking at the quantity and quality of other pages that link to it.

During that time, it was about the number of links but today, link building focuses on the quality and relevance of each link.

There are three types of links essential for SEO link building:

Internal links – These are the links on your website that link to another page on your site.

Outbound links – Outbound links are links on your website that direct to another webpage on a different domain.

Inbound links – Popularly known as backlinks, these are the links on other websites that connect to a webpage on your domain.

Backlinks can also be categorized as:

Dofollow or Follow links are normal links that pass the link authority from the referring website.

A standard follow link looks like this:

<a href=””> Website</a>

Nofollow links are links that do not pass the authority. The tag
rel=”nofollow” in the HTML code tells crawlers not to follow these backlinks.

All types of links are important. Inbound links help your website increase traffic and it builds brand awareness. If thousands of quality websites are linking you, there’s a bigger chance that your site will rank higher.

Download the e-book to continue reading Chapter IV: Link Building. It includes:

  • Types of Links
  • Internal links
  • Outbound links
  • Inbound links
  • Follow links
  • Nofollow links
  • Link Building Strategies
  • Dos and Don’ts

Tracking SEO Success

You’ve done all the work and used the best practices to execute a great SEO strategy, so what’s next?

It’s time to track your progress and measure your success.

Whether you’re running a SEO campaign on your own or you hire an agency to do it for your brand, it’s significant to measure SEO results.

Just like business in general, you need to constantly reevaluate based on previous results and modify your approach accordingly to gain more customers.

How to measure SEO success?
Measuring results is a critical component. Not all SEO campaigns are created equal. Every business or brand has its own objective for its optimization efforts.

In order to measure success accurately, you must first ask yourself: “What am I trying to achieve?”

If you’re a marketer and your client says that they want to increase their online sales for 2020, you need to ask them detailed questions:

Who are your ideal customers? Is there a specific persona?
Are there any products that you want to highlight?
Are there any site sections that are more valuable than others?
What does successful engagement look like to you?

It doesn’t matter if you want to improve your brand presence or gain more online sales, it’s important that every SEO effort is tailored to help you achieve your business objectives.

You need to have a complete set of objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to identify what is working or not. KPIs are the measures you use to find out if your SEO efforts are successful. These KPIs should be connected to your business objectives. These factors will help you  distinguish if your campaign is successful or if it needs to be improved.

Download the e-book to continue reading Chapter V: Tracking SEO Success. It includes:

  • Measuring SEO Success
  • Important Metrics
  • Pageviews
  • Traffic Sources
  • Site Speed
  • Conversions
  • …and more!


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