A Step-by-Step Guide on How Search Engine Optimization Works

An SEO tutorial for the digital age.

SEO is one of those topics that can make people scratch their head,

but at the same time, it is very much relevant to the world today. Understandably, it’s not always easy to keep up with all of the changes in technology and what makes search engines work- which is why this article will help you out. This article contains a step-by-step guide to an SEO tutorial that will help you understand how SEO functions now and also in recent years.

First of all, let’s start off with some definitions. If you’re familiar with the field at all, then good for you. If you’re not familiar, then this article will help out quite a bit. Firstly, “SEO” stands for “Search Engine Optimization” which is a technology that allows search engines to better display your website based on certain criteria. Before it was widely used, websites were ranked by crawling the entire site and looking for key terms within it. With the advent of “SEO”, sites are now ranked based on certain criteria.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

These search engine results, or “SERPs“, are often called “search engine results pages” (or SERPs) and refer to the page you see when searching for an item online. For example, if I were to search for something on “Google”, then I would see a list of things that are relevant to my search. We will talk more about this later on.

For now, it’s time for the step-by-step guide!

I will go through this as if I was teaching a child. If you already know about SEO then please bear with me. I’ll try to make it as simple as possible.

Step 1: Planning

You should start off by deciding how you want your page to look and what things you want to highlight. If you’d like your page to mention a particular product, then make sure to include it in this step. Then you can figure out where on the page to put it.

black and gray pen on table

If you’re not comfortable doing this ahead of time, then that’s fine! There are plenty of tools that will help you plan out your site and will even tell you what stuff should have a certain kind of focus. If you’re interested, then I highly recommend the SEOmoz Pro tools. Not only will this tell you whether your page is optimized, but it can also tell you how to make it better. Remember: It’s very important to plan out your site before you create it. Chances are, if something isn’t working out for you, then your process wasn’t as planned as you thought and you should go back to the drawing board.

Step 2: Content and Keywords

After planning comes content. There are many different types of content, but for this tutorial, you’ll need to think of it as information. Information that will search engines will look at to determine how well your page is optimized. You can write about anything here, but it should be relevant to what you’re describing on the page.

Example: Say you were trying to optimize for the search term “Earn Money Online“:

Keywords: Earn Money Online, Make Money Online, How to Earn Money Online

Content: I earn money online by doing freelance writing on websites like Freelancer.com.

So on my site, I would include something about freelance writing so that it gets better rankings for the term “Earn Money Online.” If you want to check how effective your content is then I highly recommend checking out Google Search Console (GSC), which will tell you what terms are bringing traffic to your page.

Step 3: Write great content. Avoid keyword stuffing!

Keywords are important, but don’t overdo it. I recommend that you just use one keyword for every 100 words. This is to ensure that you’re writing high-quality content that people will want to read. There are some tools out there that will help you determine which keywords are more or less effective, but I recommend the Free Keyword Tool by SEO Book . It’s quite useful.

woman in black leather strap watch holding black and white ceramic mug

Here’s an example of what not to do:

Keyword spamming is something you should try to avoid at all costs. Your goal with creating content is to make information that can be found by search engines and shared with other people. Keyword spamming will only ruin the experience for both parties involved, which isn’t very productive at all.

Step 4: Get links. No, not the kind you’re thinking of!

Since this is SEO tutorial, you’ll need to think of how you can get people to link to your site. This page isn’t about how I do that, but rather how you should be doing it. There are many different types of link building that can help your site rank higher in search engines. Here are some popular techniques:

1) Creating high-quality content About 10% of the time I use “content” as a tool for ranking my site. By creating high-quality content, you can rank higher in search engines for relevant keywords. If more people share your page, then it will have a larger audience and will get more views.

link building

2) Creating high-quality content with a call to action I use this tactic a lot too. If someone is interested in learning about my site or learning how they can earn money online, then they’ll probably click on the link to learn more. This is why it’s so important to acknowledge them by using a “call to action.” For example: Promoting the page on forums and social media forums I use this quite frequently as well.

Step 5: Optimize images

 Search engines are able to read images now, so you should always optimize your images using keywords before uploading them. For example, if I was optimizing images for the keyword “free information”, then I would use that term within the image name or within the image itself. 

6) Optimize Page Load Speed 

If your page loads slowly then you’re going to lose visitors pretty quickly. You should always try to load as fast as possible. If your page doesn’t load in 3 seconds or less, then you’re going to need to fix that as soon as possible.

page speed

It’s a smart idea to keep your site as small as possible. The smaller it is, the faster it is going to load. You can do this by removing any unnecessary content from the page and by compressing any images that you might be using within your site.

Note: I’d like to thank Marissa for contributing this section of the article!

Step 7: Monitor

It’s easy to forget to use these tools, but I highly recommend keeping track of everything that happens on your site so that you know if something is working or not. This can be done by monitoring various stats (but don’t be afraid to play around with different things because sometimes even small changes will make a big difference).

Step 8: Remember to include a mobile version of your website.

You should be thinking about how your website will work on all different types of devices. When creating your site, it’s a good idea to include a mobile version so that you’re not sending visitors away.

mobile version of a website

There are many different types of analytics available for you to use, but I recommend Google Analytics because it’s free and quite effective. This is where you should be keeping track of all the performance statistics that I talked about in this section.

Step 9: Add social sharing buttons.

You should have social sharing buttons on all of your pages that are relevant to the content being shared.

social sharing

For example, if I wanted to share an article about online jobs, then I would include a button on the page saying “Tweet this!“. If you’re not sure what to put there, then ask people for help or search Google for suggestions.

Step 10: Get external links.

You should be thinking about how you can get more links by doing things like writing guest posts, participating in forums relevant to your niche, commenting on other relevant blogs and forums etc. It’s also important that you don’t spam your site with links because that can turn off visitors pretty quickly.

Step 11: Use social bookmarking to increase traffic.

Did you know that you can boost your page ranking by creating a bookmark? If you rank for a particular keyword, then people will naturally view your site because they’ll know what it is.


Social bookmarking sites tend to give you bookmarks from other users, which is what’s going to boost the link from the search engine.

Step 12: Manage your permalinks


There are a few things you need to consider when setting up your permalinks. First, you need to keep them simple so that you don’t confuse people with gibberish. Second, you need to be sure that these links are easily accessible at all times. When someone has shared your content on social media, they’re not going to want to have to type in the long permalink for your site.

Step 13: Choose an appropriate title & Meta Description

You should always make sure that your title is clear and keyword rich and meta description is clear. The term “keyword-rich” means that there is some sort of keyword contained in the title of your page or post which is related to the keyword(s) being searched for by visitors interested in seeing this content.

Step 14: Create an XML sitemap

You can use Google Search Console to create an XML sitemap for your website. This will allow people to find the pages on your site which you’ve created and it will allow search engines to bring up any new content you might be sharing on a daily basis. You can also get specific information about your webpages through Google Search Console, such as the number of pages on your site and how many pages are indexed.

Step 15: Publish regular content

If you want to be successful in the long-term, then it’s a smart idea to publish content on a regular basis. This will help people find you in search engines because they know that you’re consistently updating your site with new content that they might find useful or interesting. You should always focus on publishing high quality content that is relevant to the keywords being searched by visitors. This is an effective way of getting more clicks when people are searching for keywords relevant to your niche.

Google is the largest search engine in the world. It’s a smart idea to make sure that your content is optimized for search engines because it will allow people interested in your niche to find you. 

Step 16: Use Google Search Console to increase traffic 

Google has a free tool known as “Google Search Console” which you can use to get more information on how people are finding your site. You’ll be able to see if your site is getting crawled, how many links you have and whether there are any issues causing crawling errors. This way, you’ll know if something isn’t working properly and you can optimize it right away.

google search console

It’s free and it will allow you to see what keywords people are searching for when they come across your site. This way, you’ll know what sort of content people are interested in seeing on your site and you’ll be able to create more content relevant to these topics.

Step 17: Evaluation and Preparation

Before we move on to the next step, we should make sure that our information is relevant and informative. You can do this by evaluating your content. For example, if you were trying to optimize for the term “Earn Money Online”, then chances are that Google will be doing a word count of all of your text. So, we should make sure that our content is worth reading and that it’s long enough to hold the reader’s attention.

Evaluation and Preparation of website

We also want to make sure that the keywords we’re using are relevant. For example, if we were trying to optimize for “Earn Money Online”, then we shouldn’t be using a keyword like “can you make money doing this” because it’s not specific enough. As a general rule of thumb, your page should include at least one or two keywords per paragraph while including enough text so that you can find out what the page is about. Too much content and Google won’t care. It’s all about attention to detail here- not quantity!

Step 18: Inclusion and Placement

Once your page is optimized, then the next step is having it included in Google’s index. There are many ways to do this, but the easiest way to do this is by making sure your site is registered with Google Search Console and that you have a robots.txt file. If you don’t know what either of these things are, then check out Google’s help page for more information, but the idea here is that these two things tell search engines how to deal with your site.

 Inclusion and Placement in website

You can also do this by embedding links back to your site from other sites. This will help your page rank better because Google will assume that other sites included your page because it was decent and relevant.

Step 19: Performance

Once your page is in the index, it’s time to start receiving traffic. Unfortunately, not everything in life goes according to plan and sometimes websites will break and won’t be working right. When this happens, you need to fix the problem and then try to optimize your site again. If you’re not sure what you can do, then use your Google Search Console account and see what’s wrong. They’ll give you quick tips on ways to optimize your site for performance issues.

Step 20: Proof

After the initial proof, you should wait a few days to a week and check your page again. You’ll want to see if Google is still ranking it for the queries you have been using and whether you have any new rankings. If so, then congrats! You’re doing well. If not, then double check your content and add more keywords that will help with your search engine optimization. You can also add links to some of your other pages and social media profiles, but try to stay focused on the core page.

If you’re not sure what some of these terms mean, you can check out Google’s help section for definitions. If it’s still not working, then you should probably rework your site. It likely won’t rank previous previous to you optimizing it, which means that there are probably mistakes that need to be fixed.

Step 21: Maintenance

Once you’ve optimized your site once or twice, then it’s time to take a break from working on the site itself and start looking at other things in order to keep everything running smoothly. If you’ve been doing this correctly, then you should be receiving a good amount of traffic and therefore a good amount of income. This is a very important step because if you don’t, then it’s going to be hard to keep up with all of the work that needs to be done.

Other optimizations that you can do in order to keep your site running smoothly include:

Meta tags – Optimize your meta tags so that you’re getting the most out of the keywords that you’re using.

Webmaster tools – Update your webmaster tools to make sure that they’re working properly.

404 and 410 pages – Be sure and set up a 404 and 410 page so that people can find their way back to your site if it’s down.

Social media – Be sure and set up social media accounts with your business so that you can link back to your site.

The more traffic you get, the more money you can make. SEO is hard work but it’s worth it once you see the results. Even if you’re starting small, always remember that with hard work and dedication, your site will rank higher than before and one day you could be making thousands or even millions of dollars. If that isn’t motivation enough then I don’t know what is!

Step 22: Learning

Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to start learning more about SEO. There are many different ways to do this, but one of the best ways is by reading articles and learning from other people who have done it before.

love to learn website seo

Another great way to learn more about SEO is by participating in community based topics. This will help you to network with other people who know more about SEO than you do and then you’ll be able to ask them what they know. You’ll likely also be able to learn from other people’s mistakes as well, since nothing really happens overnight. The hardest part about any business is building upon what already exists.

Improving SEO

Now that we’ve covered all of the basics, it’s time to use them in an actual website creation process. But before I start, I want to clarify something about SEO.

SEO is not an overnight process. It takes time and it takes effort, but the rewards are well worth the wait. You’ll still be able to get traffic from Google even if your page doesn’t rank on the first page, but good rankings will bring you more users and more money in the end. So, don’t give up!


I hope that this article helped you understand SEO and how to master it. If you liked it please share it with your friends so that they too can learn how to master Search Engine Optimization. If you have anything that you’d like to ask or if there is anything that I missed then feel free to comment below.

Rohit Kumar

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