Step by Step SEO For Beginners – Part One

There could be shortcuts, but believe me if you seriously want to stay in the SEO game, learn it the proper way. The way to learn anything is to want to learn it, go at it, get it wrong, fix the problem, try again. However, guides like these, help and give you a head start, because you don’t have to waste time on compiling what actually needs to be learnt and in what order. Over the years I have gone through countless step-by-step guides while trying to understand search engine optimization. For starters, following is a compilation of the most useful steps towards learning SEO.

Learn how to make a basic website

Before getting into SEO techniques it’s vital to know the basics of web development. Follow the steps mentioned below to develop the necessary web development skills required to become a successful SEO:

Learn basics of HTML – Don’t step back, writing HTML is much easier than you think. If you are reading this and know how to use a web browser to load a website, you can code HTML. Try this excellent tutorial, just focus and follow.

Build a CSS driven website – All of the presentation and styles with CSS i.e No Tables! Check this comprehensive tutorial.

Test your website in different browsers – Each browser interprets your website code in a slightly different manner, which means that it may appear differently to visitors using different browsers. While most people use Internet Explorer, a sizable portion of your users will use other browsers such as Firefox, Opera or Safari. Therefore it’s important to check your web design on different browsers to ensure all users view the webpage as it’s intended. Browsershots is a comprehensive service, offering multiple versions of browsers for various operating systems.

Choose your keywords – Getting the right keywords is everything, so be careful. You are just starting out, pick keywords that are less competitive. You might be wondering why am I choosing the keywords here (under the heading “Learn how to make a basic website “)? Well! all of the SEO game is played around the keywords. Selection of a proper domain name based on your chosen keyword plays a vital role, that’s why we are doing this step before registering a domain name.

So how do you know which keywords are good to go. This is a vast subject and needs a lots of articles dedicated solely to this section. But for the beginners, choose a keyword, say your business name, go to Google and search for yourself. If the result shows a small amount of low quality websites, use it as your keyword(s). If competition seems high (you see loads of high quality web sites) to rank for, try some variations.

Register a Domain Name & Find Suitable Hosting – This is again not as difficult as it sounds. There are tons of choices out there. I have good experience with Hostgator and WebSiteSource, you can use anyone of these. However, you are free to make your own decision, just make sure you shouldn’t be paying high and the domain name should be included for free as part of your hosting package. For your domain name, use your keywords from above. If your keywords are not available as a domain name, choose different keywords. (Although having similar keywords to your domain name makes SEO much easier.)

FTP/Upload your website files to your new hosting account – The are literally hundreds of FTP programs available on the web. I use FileZilla, the free FTP solution. FileZilla is open source software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU General Public License. You many also ask your hosting provider for instructions.

Add a sitemap – It is a page (or sometimes more than one page) that contains links to all of the pages on your website. Depending on the size of your website, you can simply create a page with links to all of these pages.

However, if your site is getting large you might want to automate the building of the page, there are many tools available on the internet to allow you to build a site map. A search on any of the major search engines will bring up plenty of choice. I use xml-sitemaps, because of it’s simplicity and feature rich nature.

Sign up for Google AnalyticsThis free tool will help you improve website ranking by tracking visitors to your website. Applying this to your website is very easy, detailed instructions are included by Google.

Search for your keywords in big search engines – Wait for 7 days and then check how your site is ranked/positioned in the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and MSN). I generally use Search Engine Positioning Tool (saves lot of time). It is fine if your website doesn’t show up at this point. If your website shows up (congrats), record how it ranks in a spreadsheet.

Part Two : Learn & apply SEO to your website