Learn the Basics of SEO with This Simple Guide

Basics of SEO

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

August 12, 2022

Search engine optimization (SEO) specialists such as Benj Arriola and Claudia Higgins have compiled a list of career-building tips for newbies.

Is SEO something you’re interested in?

When you’re just starting SEO, the sheer amount of information available might be frightening.

We enlisted the help of SEO specialists to compile a list of their best suggestions for those just starting in the field.

1.Take Advantage of Your Current Skills and Knowledge

Benj Arriola, Senior SEO Director at Assembly Global, states, “Most SEOs start with one of these skills: writing, marketing, or web design/development.”

“Start learning the other two skills you’re worse at but do not need to be a master once you’ve opted to perform SEO full time. When it comes to building teams or even outsourcing work if necessary, “here is where you learn how to do it,” he advises.

Having a working knowledge of what your coworkers are doing makes you significantly more efficient in your job.

Hero Digital’s Director of SEO, Sam Hollingsworth, recommends starting with books and blogs as a good place to start.

It’s possible to learn a lot about SEO from legitimate online sites. He notes that most of them are free, citing Google’s SEO Starter Guide and S.E.J.’s SEO for Beginners.

SEO education may also be found via webinars, social groups and forums, podcasts, and even YouTube videos.

Many people are still confused about a genuinely ranking component, which SEO tools and strategies perform best in particular contexts, and more.

It’s critical that you thoroughly examine your instructional resources. Assume that Google’s algorithm may change at any time and that you should seek agreement among experts before implementing anything.

The ability to think critically, grasp data, and respond fast to rapidly changing conditions are among the essential SEO talents you should work on honing.

2. Understand the Fundamentals of Website Development

Ludwig Makhyan, the co-founder of Mazeless – Enterprise SEO, says he’s helped several aspiring SEO practitioners get their feet wet. When it comes to learning HTML and CSS, he recommends that everyone “start with researching HTML and CSS and know the foundations of a website in any case.”

In Makhyan’s opinion, the easiest way to get started is to create a test site where you can write and optimize a page on your own.

SEEK’s Jean-Christophe Chouinard, a senior SEO specialist, concurs. SEO novices should also learn JavaScript, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console.

A thorough grasp of the websites you’re working on—whether they are custom-built, WordPress-based, on an eCommerce platform, etc.—is critical whether you’re in-house or freelancing/agency-side.”

You may discover that optimizing a Shopify site is quite different from optimizing a Wix or Weebly site in terms of SEO best practices, such as links, content quality, and user experience.

Look through our Web Development archives for articles written by industry experts on the various platforms and how they relate to SEO.

As a rookie SEO practitioner, the lack of predictability and volatility may come as a shock, according to Kevin Rowe, vice president of strategy and product at Purelinq.

As he puts it, “You have to be an expert at working in this sort of environment by communicating up,” establishing objectives,” being flexible,” producing proofs of concept,” testing, and scaling.”

3. Hollingsworth suggests the same thing.

It is still important to remember the fundamentals of any job: Make the most of the power of communication. Be kind and approachable. He advises students to “always have a positive mindset and never stop learning.” Hollingsworth explains and points out that clear, well-written emails and deliverables are an important aspect of good communication.

According to him, “another significant aspect is breaking down difficult thoughts into basic ideas so that you may better comprehend them.”

An SEO’s professional growth typically neglects “soft skills” like communication since there are many technical and analytical aspects to acquire.

Communication style may have a significant influence. That customer or promotion might be on the line if you don’t pay attention.

The ability to listen, think on your feet, and the know-how to compress complicated material into a format that matches the demands of your audience are three of the most crucial communication skills you’ll need in SEO, according to Adam Proehl.

4. Become an expert in the art of data storytelling.

Lee Foot, Director of Search Solved, advises: “Become an expert in data.”

“Excel’s LOOKUP and COUNTIFS functions are essential to master. As he says, “Learn how to uncover a compelling narrative inside the facts, and then communicate that story clearly to key stakeholders.”

According to Justin Lugbill, one of the most common errors SEO professionals make in data storytelling is failing to leverage visual cues to accommodate text, attempting to convey your tale without the appropriate context, and missing confidence and authority.

More of the errors he’s noticed and how to fix or prevent them may be found here.

Amy Hebdon recently gave adaptable data narrative examples for the sponsored search, and you can use them to fulfill your SEO reporting requirements, too.

Constructing an effective SEO reporting strategy may be difficult, as Conductor SEO Insights Strategist Claudia Higgins recently found out. Before joining Conductor, she worked for a big eCommerce website in charge of SEO data and insights.

There, she discovered the need to improve her SEO reports regularly.

He claimed that “establishing consistent and reliable statistics gained the organization’s confidence,” Higgins remarked. When it came to making the process easier, she said: “The more time I could spend delving deeper into the data and identifying core issues and new possibilities,” she said.

5. Extend Your Friendships

It’s also a good idea to get an internship with an SEO business to learn the ropes quickly. “It’s an excellent way to meet people if you ever decide to work as a freelancer.”

Chouinard has a similar point of view. “Most SEOs are analytical and learners,” he asserts with conviction. The best part about SEO is that it allows you to influence company choices, develop your expertise, and learn about new topics firsthand.

Learning to fail is the most difficult thing.” Some things just don’t work. You should be able to accept defeat (or Google-imposed changes) and restart from the beginning at times,” he recommends.

Many newcomers to the SEO sector have had a tough time making relationships due to the pandemic’s influence on our ability to meet in person.

Virtual and hybrid events, on the other hand, have grown in popularity.

Keeping tabs on SEOs on social media is also a smart move. For the benefit of the industry, many offer their publications, blogs, and case studies.

There are 202 SEO specialists to follow on this massive list.

Don’t be scared to get involved in the online discourse and participate.


You’ll discover a niche in SEO that you’re most passionate about as you continue to experiment with new techniques and technologies.

It’s a good idea to experiment with as many different things as possible while you’re just starting started.

Try to get some backlinks to your website.

Set up a test site to play around with various improvements and discover what works best for you.

When you’ve discovered an area of SEO that interests you, spend time learning about it by reading books, visiting reliable blogs, and enrolling in training courses.

You can’t afford to stay still in the SEO sector if you don’t want your rivals to overtake you in the rankings. Even if you’ve been doing it for 10 or 15 years, you still need to keep learning.

Many people like the challenge of learning new things while working in SEO, and if you feel that way, you’re not alone.

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