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This chapter covers basic information on Search Engine Optimisation (seo) , Clicks , Backlinks , keyword optimisation , Data Traffic Mapping , Google Adwords , google analytics Dashboard GitHub .

Seo Content graphics
The complete guide to SEO AND SEM

If you want to get traffic to your site, search engine optimization is an absolute must. In fact, according to a recent industry study57.8% of all website traffic originates from Google.

(Compared to 5.2% from Facebook and 4.8% from YouTube)

Which means that SEO is far from dead. In fact, it’s more important than ever.

In this section you’ll learn the basics of SEO, like how search engines work, key Google ranking factors, creating an SEO-friendly website, and more.

What is SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting targeted traffic to a website from a search engine’s organic rankings. Common tasks associated with SEO include creating high-quality content, optimizing content around specific keywords, and building backlinks.

Seo tools
Tools for seo

In other words:

SEO is all about improving a site’s rankings in the organic (non-paid) section of the search results.

Descriptive image of seo
Picture credit : google

The main benefit of ranking for a specific keyword is that you can get “free” traffic to your site, month after month.

Picture credit : google

How search engines work

Now it’s time to learn how search engines like Google actually work.

When you search for something in Google (or any other search engine), an algorithm works in real-time to bring you what that search engine considers the “best” result.

Picture credit : google

Specifically, Google scans its index of “hundreds of billions” of pages in order to find a set of results that will best answer your search.

How does Google determine the “best” result?

Even though Google doesn’t make the inner workings of its algorithm public, based on filed patents and statements from Google, we know that websites and web pages are ranked based on.


If you search for “chocolate chip cookie recipes”, you don’t want to see web pages about truck tires. That’s why Google looks first-and-foremost for pages that are closely-related to your keyword.

However, Google doesn’t simply rank “the most relevant pages at the top”. That’s because there are thousands (or even millions) of relevant pages for every search term.

For example, the keyword “cookie recipes” brings up 349 million results in Google:

Keyword discription
Picture credit : google

So to put the results in an order that bubbles the best to the top, they rely on three other elements of their algorithm:


Authority is just like it sounds: it’s Google’s way of determining if the content is accurate and trustworthy.

The question is: how does Google know if a page is authoritative?

They look at the number of other pages that link to that page:

Picture explains backlinks
Picture credit : google

Links from other pages are known as “backlinks”.)

In general, the more links a page has, the higher it will rank:

Picture credit : google

In fact, Google’s ability to measure authority via links is what separates it from search engines, like Yahoo, that came before it.)


Content can be relevant and authoritative. But if it’s not useful, Google won’t want to position that content at the top of the search results.

In fact, Google has publicly said that there’s a distinction between “higher quality content” and “useful” content.

Coursera front page jpeg
Picture credit : coursera

For example, let’s say that you search for “Paleo Diet”.

The first result you click on (“Result A”) is written by the world’s foremost expert on Paleo. And because the page has so much quality content on it, lots of people have linked to it.

Coursera unorganised page jpeg
Picture credit : google

However, the content is completely unorganized. And it’s full of jargon that most people don’t understand.

Contrast that with another result (“Result B”).

It’s written by someone relatively new to the Paleo Diet. And their website doesn’t have nearly as many links pointing to it.

However, their content is organized into distinct sections. And it’s written in a way that anyone can understand:

Coursera jpeg
Coursera : useful jpeg

Well, that page is going to rank highly on the “usefulness scale”. Even though Result B doesn’t have as much trust or authority as Result A, it will still perform well in Google.

(In fact, it may even rank HIGHER than Result A.)

Google measures usefulness largely based on “User Experience Signals”.

In other words: how users interact with the search results. If Google sees that people really like a particular search result, it will get a significant ranking boost:

Google pue jpeg
PUE dashboard example

My #1 SEO Tip for Higher Rankings

Create a website that people love! Search engines are designed to measure different signals across the Web so they can find websites that people like most. Play right into their hands by making those signals real and not artificial.

And now it’s time to put this stuff into practice with a step-by-step SEO tutorial.

How SEO Works

SEO works by optimizing your site for the search engine that you want to rank for, whether it’s Google, Bing, Amazon or YouTube.

Specifically, your job is to make sure that a search engine sees your site as the overall best result for a person’s search.

How they determine the “best” result is based on an algorithm that takes into account authority, relevancy to that query, loading speed, and more.

(For example, Google has over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm.)

In most cases, when people think “search engine optimization”, they think “Google SEO”. Which is why we’re going to focus on optimizing your site for Google in this guide.

Organic vrs paid results

Search engine result pages are separated into two distinct sections: organic and paid results.

Coursera jpeg 2
Organic vrs paid results jpeg picture credit : google

Organic search results

Organic search results (sometimes referred to as “natural” results) are natural results that rank based 100% on merit.

In other words, there’s no way to pay Google or other search engines in order to rank higher in the organic search results.

Search engines rank the organic search results based on hundreds of different ranking factors. But in general, organic results are deemed by Google to be the most relative, trustworthy, and authoritative websites or web pages on the subject.

Google jpeg
Picture credit Google

I have more details on how search engine algorithms work later on. But for now, the important thing to keep in mind is:

When we talk about “SEO”, we’re talking about ranking your website higher up in the organic search results.

Paid results

Paid search results are ads that appear on top of or underneath the organic results.

Paid results random ui (google)

Paid ads are completely independent of organic listings. Advertisers in the paid results section are “ranked” by how much they’re are willing to pay for a single visitor from a particular set of search results (known as  pay per click advertising”).

Why is SEO important

In short: search is a BIG source of traffic.

In fact, here’s a breakdown of where most website traffic originates:

Google dashboard
Google web traffic reff interface

As you can see, over 60% of all traffic on the web comes from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and YouTube. All in all, search accounts for 10x more traffic than social media.

Let’s illustrate the importance of SEO with an example…

Let’s say that you run a party supply company. According to the Google Keyword Planner, 110,000 people search for “party supplies” every single

Google seo interface

Considering that the first result in Google gets around 20% of all clicks, that’s 22,000 visitors to your website each month if you show up at the top.

Number of clicks

Google analytics
Google analytics interface

But let’s quantify that – how much are those visitors worth?

The average advertiser for that search phrase spends about 1 dollar per click. Which means that the web traffic of 22,000 visitors is worth roughly ₹22,000

But let’s quantify that – how much are those visitors worth?

Word art jpeg

And that’s just for that search phrase. If your site is SEO-friendly, then you can rank for hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of different keywords.

In other industries, like real estate or insurance, the value of search engine traffic is significantly higher.

For example, advertisers are paying over ₹450 per click on the search phrase “auto insurance price quotes.”

Customers and keywords

Before you start to dive into the nitty gritty of title tags and HTML, it’s important not to skip an important step:

Customer and keyword research.

Here’s where you figure out what your customers search for… and the exact words and phrases they use to search. That way, you can rank your site for things that your customers search for every day.

Sound good? Here’s exactly how to do it.

Customer Research

If you already run an online business you probably have a good idea of what your target customer looks like.

(Also known as a “Customer Persona”.)

Here’s an example:

Briyans dashboard

This type of customer research isn’t just to help you create products that people want. It’s also a super important part of SEO and content marketing.

I’ll explain…

To succeed with SEO, you need to create content around topics that your customers search for.

And unless you know who your customer is, it’s almost impossible to understand the types of things that they search for (more on that later).

The best way to dig deep into your target customer? HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool.

Picture credit hubspot academy blog

This nifty-free tool helps you create a customer persona, step-by-step. At the end of the process, you’ll have a detailed avatar that you can refer to again and again.

Brian’s dashboard hubspot ui


Finding Keywords

Now that you have a customer personal, it’s time for the next step: keyword research.

Here’s where you drill down into the exact words and phrases (search queries) that customers type into the search box.

In general, keywords tend to fall into two main buckets: keywords people use to find what you sell (Product Keywords).

You also have keywords your target audience uses when they’re not specifically looking for what you sell (Informational Keywords).

Product vrs info keywords comparison chart .

How about an example?

Let’s say that you run an eCommerce website that sells tennis shoes.

Your bucket of product keywords would be things like:

Tennis shoes free shipping
Nike tennis shoes
Tennis shoes for flat feet
On the other hand, Informational Keywords are things that your audience is interested in when they’re not necessarily searching for shoes:

Second serve tutorial
How to stop unforced errors
Proper backhand form
How to hit a topspin serve
And to succeed with SEO, you want to optimize pages on your website around both types of keywords.

That way, when your customer searches for your product, you show up in the search engine results.

And for keywords that your customers use when they’re NOT looking for your product or service, you show up for those too.

Keyword Research Tips

Here are a few tips to help you find keywords.

First, use Google Complete.

You’ve probably noticed this feature already.

Whenever you start typing something into Google, you get a bunch of search suggestions

Picture credit google ( link building ui )

I recommend typing keyword ideas into Google and jotting down any suggestions that come up.

Second, type words and phrases into Answer The Public.

Picture credit: speakeasy

This free tool is GREAT for finding informational keywords.

For example, if you run a blog about the Paleo Diet, you’d type “paleo diet” into ATP:

Picture credit backlinko

And it will pump out questions that people ask around that topic.

For example, one question I found was “will paleo diet increase cholesterol?”.

Jpeg designed by BACKLINKO

That question is an awesome topic for a blog post or video.

Next, use a keyword research tool.

Keyword tools can help you figure out how many people search for each keyword and how difficult it will be to rank on the first page of Google for that term.

In other words, they can help you choose the best keywords from your list. There are a million and one keyword research tools out there.

Here are a few I recommend checking out:

But the best all-around free keyword tool is Google’s Keyword Planner.

Google Adwords homepage jpeg (adword discovery)

Even though Keyword Planner was designed to help people with Google Ads campaigns, it can still help you find keywords for SEO.

All you need to do is enter a product keyword or informational keyword into it.

Google Adwords (keyword planner ) picture credit : google Adwords

You’ll then get data on that exact phrase (like average monthly searches)… and a list of related keywords.


You can use the average monthly searches you get in the GKP to figure out which keywords get tons of searches… and which keywords don’t get searched for very much.

Finally, if you’re new to SEO, you want to focus on long-tail keywords.


Because long-tail phrases are less competitive.

You can use the average monthly searches you get in the GKP to figure out which keywords get tons of searches… and which keywords don’t get searched for very much.

Finally, if you’re new to SEO, you want to focus on long-tail keywords.


Because long-tail phrases are less competitive.

Competition vrs conversion
Keyword competition vrs conversion

Once you get the hang of SEO, you can start targeting more competitive keywords. But when you’re just starting out, stick to long-tail terms.

For example, when I started my blog, almost 100% of the content I put out was designed to rank for long-tail, informational keywords, like “How to get high-quality backlinks”:

Picture credit :BACKLINKO

As my site’s authority increased I went after shorter phrases that were more competitive, like “backlinks”:

Backlinks jpeg : pc BACKLINKO

If you want to see the exact process that I use to find keywords, I recommend setting aside a few minutes to watch this short video made by a fellow researcher and my friend .

Keyword research blueprint : BACKLINKO

To be continued . …

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