SEO Marketing For Dummies

SEO is one of the crucial parts in digital marketing. When you are googling something, you are getting relevant results for your query, right? SEO main goal is to get a website to the top of the results when you are searching for something. Of course, the result needs to be relevant for the audience etc. This article is about showing SEO for dummies. Short explanation: SEO is an investment that will bring you money, if done right. Long answer: you can create it in your head after reading this guide. Let’s dive in.

SEO For Dummies Explained (Keywords & Intent)

SEO – is standing for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s a bunch of methods to bring your website to the top of SERPs.

SERP is standing for Search Engine Results Pages. When you are typing in Google or Bing “SEO for dummies” – you expect to see relevant results. Let’s point out this interesting word, “relevant”. Because relevancy is a key for SEO success. And also, it’s tightly related to the next term you will learn from this article.

Intent – it’s basically the reason why people are using search engine. Let me explain. When someone types in “SEO for dummies” – they are searching an article or blog post that will explain SEO in short form, for people who know nothing about it. And if someone decides to create a service page on this topic (tries to sell their SEO services, already calling their customers “dummies”) – they won’t reach to the top of SERP. Why? Because search engines are clever enough to understand the intent of each keyword. And this is our next guest!

Keywords – these are the queries people are typing in Google, Yahoo, Bing to find relevant results. Pretty logical right? However, everything is not that simple. We have some different types of keywords here.

They are divided by intent

informational – keywords, that people are using to find some articles, blogs, instructions (typically starts with “how to”, “what”, “why”, “best” etc.) – “SEO for dummies” is an example of informational keyword. Firstly, it’s logical, right? Someone is thinking: “Wow, I wonder what is SEO and why everybody are in search of good SEO specialists…maybe I should find something in Google.”

However, if this person will search for “SEO service” – results won’t be informational. You will find a bunch of SEO agencies in the SERPs for this query, and this type of keyword is called commercial. That’s right, you can use them to do research about something you can buy or someone to hire etc. Typically, they include words like “review, service”.

There are another queries, that are good to go if you already know a website you want to access. “LinkedIn login” – simple example.  These are called navigational.

And the last one I would like to share is transactional keyword. This one is very simple. You want to buy something, and you already know what it is. For example, it’s iPhone 15. So, you will type in “buy iPhone 15”. And that’s it. 

I must say, that this amount of info is already too much for dummies. Keywords are a crucial part of SEO, and there are lot more types of them. Since the aim of this article is not to teach you everything about SEO, but show you just the tip of the iceberg, I will not expand on that anymore. However, if you want to learn more, just go and check this definitive and short guide on keywords made by Ahrefs –

You might ask me – what’s next? I know that there are some keywords and intent behind them, but how about practical aspects? Just in a few words.

  1. You absolutely need to understand the right intent of the keyword. It can be logical, or you can just check top 10 SERP for the pages that are there. If all of them are blogs – intent is informational, if products – transactional and so on. If you want to be at the top 10 – your page should be relevant, page should be complied with intent.
  2. Where can you get these keywords? There are plenty of tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, SEO PowerSuite that have keywords collecting features. 
  3. Okay, I have these keywords collected, but it’s not enough for “SEO for dummies” article. What I should do with them? Of course, you need to use them properly. Where and how? Check out the next part of the article.

SEO For Dummies (Keywords Usage)

I don’t think you need to know everything about this, if you’re just wondering what is SEO. However, I will expand on this just in case you are trying to figure out if you need a professional SEO services, or maybe you are trying to find yourself in this profession. So, let’s go.

Basically, there are crucial places for keywords usage:

  1. Title (title of the page; make sure title of page aligns with title showed in SERPs);
  2. H1 (avoid using the same keyword from title, but use the secondary);
  3. H2 tags (use different keywords from your keywords pool; don’t use keywords in each H2 – Google can hit your face with their filters);
  4. Content (1-2% of words should be keywords or related to them);
  5. Meta description (use keyword once; meta description should not be longer than 120-130 characters);
  6. URL (make URL clear and short, use keyword);
  7. Alt tags of the images you are using;

When I am saying “keywords usage” it means you just need to use this word in certain place. For example, the title of this article is: “SEO For Dummies | Short Guide 2024”. “SEO for dummies” is my main keyword here, and I am using it. 

Keywords usage is one crucial part of on-page SEO (things that can be done on your website to improve your rankings or performance).

For my money, this amount of info is already too much. So, let’s go to the next aspect of SEO – off-page SEO.

Off-Page SEO For Newbies Explained

Off-page SEO is crucial, and I think that having on-page SEO enough to rank in the top 10 is a very rare situation. Often, you need to improve your rankings by improving your authority. Great example – scientific community. Scientists are publishing their studies, and these studies become more popular in case if other scientists are mentioning them in their studies. It’s a sign of authority.

Same with SEO. The more high quality pages are linking to your website or exact page – the more authority you will gain. However, you need to understand that authority – is a synthetic statistic. Tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush, MOZ and others created it to show your authority based on the number of links going into your website, and their quality. You can’t find the numerical illustration of your authority in Google or other search engines, only in SEO tools. They can be called DR (domain rating), DA (domain authority) etc.

Investment in off-page SEO (often called “link building”) is crucial and plays a vital role for SEO success. 

There are a lot of ways to gain links from other websites. Some of them are more popular (like guest posts or link insertions), some of them are less (forum comments, blog post comments links), some of them are highly appreciated, but hardly gained (guest posts or links from high authority websites). For example, I would be glad to gain a link from Ahrefs, because they are very popular company in SEO world. So, link from their website will be a “vote” for my website authority.

The process of gaining links is kinda pain in the as* to be fair. You need to find the best donors, you need to find the right contact, you need to outreach, get response, pay money (or negotiate for a free link), write content for their website, including link to your own website. Also, you need to search for the best possible link donors, here is my guide on how to do this: And, I know it might sound simple, but if you check out stats provided by Ahrefs poll: success rate for outreach campaigns are usually 1% (for 68% of people). So, this means, if you are sending 100 emails, you will gain only 1 link. Check it here:

That’s why I, most likely, will suggest you to buy link building services. There are plenty of good SEO agencies out there (you can ask me to do this as well ;).

Impact of link building on your website positioning is big. I will do the separate article about this soon.

Tech SEO

There is a lot to say about tech SEO, however, I don’t think it’s for the beginners. This part of SEO is complicated and includes a lot of aspects. Google has these “crawlers” that are checking your website page for relevancy and performance. Basically, it’s a “spiders” that are crawling web pages before they are getting indexed (visible on Google).

If your website performance is bad – spiders won’t waste their time to load your page. They will come back when your page performance will be improved. So, make a note. If you can’t get indexed – maybe it’s a matter of performance.

Also, even if you are indexed, but you have poor mobile performance optimization, for example – you will less likely end up in the top 10.

It’s just a beginning, but I won’t expand on that. There are a lot more going on with Tech SEO, like robots.txt file, sitemaps, site structure etc.

Key Takeaways

Let’s sum up this SEO guide for dummies:

  1. SEO = search engine optimization;
  2. SEO is “divided” for 2 parts: on-page and off-page SEO;
  3. On-page SEO: is about keywords, usage of keywords, and understanding of intent;
  4. Off-page SEO: is about gaining authority by getting links from other HQ websites;
  5. Tech SEO: improved performance of your website (it’s about tech aspects like size of the images, unused JS etc.) = higher rankings;
  6. SEO is an investment, and it won’t be dead soon.