Welcome to SEO Basics

You are probably wondering what Search Engine Optimization is and if your business needs it. You may also be a marketer or SEO just getting started in your career. I hope to provide this Search Engine Optimization Training to explain the basics, and then you can decide if this is a marketing process you need for your organization. If you're starting your SEO journey, this training should hopefully be a guide.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization is the process in which you optimize your website to be indexed by Search Engines. The goal is generally to increase the visibility of your website, increase the amount of organic traffic to your website, and improve the conversion rate of visits to customers.

Search engines are constantly crawling websites, indexing as much information as possible. Their goal is to display the more relevant website they think their users are looking to find. Search Engines can only show the information they find on the web.

You will want to make sure these search engines pick up the correct information and display your information to the right people when searching for your products, services, or solutions.

Waymaker SEO Approach to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO Code

Technical SEO Consultant

Ensure your website is coded correctly, loads well and timely, and contains few errors. If a search engine can't find it, it can't index the page.


SEO content Edits

Keyword-rich content that builds expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. The content should be ready for humans to read but have some technical elements in place.


Increase Backlinks Icon

Strong backlinks from credible, relevant websites and websites with increased authority. Leverage existing relationships.


Competitor Analysis Icon

Get to know what the competition is doing online and identify which efforts will be easier or harder based on the level of competition.

SEO Methodology for SEO Audits and Consulting Services Map

Here is a Simple Basic SEO Strategy and Workplan

  1. Know what your website is doing. Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console for your website.
    • These programs will give you data on the traffic to your website, the words people use to come to the site, which pages they visit, and much more.
    • You will also get data on errors Google sees and suggests you fix.
  2. Audit your website. There are free tools to check several of the factors we outlined above. Auditing your website will help you create a baseline for your website. If the results are less than desirable, identify what elements are working, what components are broken, and what factors you can improve over time.
    • Check the code for errors. You may need a web developer or SEO to help you figure out how to fix these errors.
    • Check your rankings. You want to get a read on how your website is currently ranked, including which pages and keywords the search engines have indexed for your website.
    • Check your backlinks. Ensure you are associated with relevant websites, watch for sketchy links, and shore up backlinks you may be missing.
    • Check on your competitors. Some of your competitors may have already engaged in SEO or have been around for a long time. Learn what they are doing, and work that into your plan.
    • Check the User Experience.  Does your website have the information people are searching for reading? Is it easy to navigate? Does the site load quickly and mobile-friendly?
  3. Make an SEO Plan. Make the plan before you start making changes. Be sure that:
    • It fits into your broader marketing efforts.
    • It leverages your existing resources.
    • You are investing the right amount of time and energy into efforts that improve your broader marketing goals.
  4. Start fixing and Improving. Once you have the plan, it's time to start changing your website.
    • Fix code errors. Start with missing and broken content, and work into the duplicate content issues. This work is called Technical SEO.
    • Optimize your pages. Start improving the quality of your pages by fixing title tags, meta descriptions, and using headers. Ensure your important pages have at least 300 words on the page, and the content contains the words you want to index. This work is called on-page optimization.
    • Work on a backlink campaign. Look at your offline relationships and online connections. Is there a way to formalize a connection between these websites? Is there an industry website that can provide a backlink?
    • Check on your competitors.  How is their website set up, and how does it load on various devices? What keywords and phrases are they using? Work some of this data into your website, making it uniquely your content.
  5. Check up on the changes. Once you have made the changes, give it a few weeks and check your Analytics and Search Console data. You should be able to see the improvements taking effect. Ideally, you can also start getting more phone calls or closed businesses.

Remember a few key SEO Principles

  1. SEO is about quality over quantity. Having quality content, keywords, and backlinks is better than many phony and fluff stuff. Search engines are getting smarter and will penalize people trying to game the system. It is better to focus on speaking to potential customers who want your product or service.
  2. Write to the humans and format to the machines. Search engines are trying to emulate human behavior and take signals from web visitors' actions on your website. Make sure the site is useable and readable by humans. Then, go back through and make small changes that satisfy the machines. (Like me checking all the grammar for this post).
  3. SEO should fit into the broad marketing efforts. Let's say this all works for you. Are you ready for more people to come to your website? Are you creating content that fits with the broader guidelines and marketing goals? It should all work together.
  4. Watch for Shaddy SEOs. There may be a point where you need to hire an SEO to help you with your efforts. Know what they are offering, what they will do, what they need from you, and a clear timeline and deliverables. There is a myriad of people that offer SEO services.
  5. SEO is a Marathon of Continuous Improvement. Given the dynamic element of the internet, you need to keep working on your website to make pivots, create new content, or optimize pages as your rankings change. New websites are coming online, and your competitors may also be working on an SEO plan.


Want to Read More About SEO?

I wrote out a little more for you to read, covering some of the Higher level factors and demonstrating the lotus of control you can have.

There are many factors to success, but they generally fall under a few buckets.

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Free SEO Resources

I have assembles some SEO Resources for anyone that wants to do SEO themselves. You can find some tools, processes, and forms you can use for your SEO journey.