Confessions of a former SEO newbie: My Step-by-Step Guide to Doing SEO


SEO was really confusing to me in the beginning. Like myself, many digital marketers and business owners shy away from SEO. I’ll be honest, it can get overwhelming especially because it can get very technical. In another blog post, I wrote about what SEO is, how ignoring SEO is a huge mistake and how to create an SEO strategy. Now, understanding is one thing, but putting it into action can be challenging. This is why I want to give you a practical guide on how to do SEO to gain online visibility.

So, how do you do SEO?

Step-by-Step Guide to Doing SEO

  • Keyword Research

Understanding Keyword Research

You hear it and probably see it all the time so what is keyword research? Let’s break it into two “Keyword” and “Research”. Keywords are words or terms that users type into search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc) when looking for information. Research is an investigation to discover or establish facts. Now, keyword research is essentially trying to discover terms that users within your industry use when searching for information related to you, your products or your services.

Finding Low-Hanging Fruit

 I like to refer to some keywords “low-hanging fruit”. The reality of SEO is that many businesses and professionals before you have been practising SEO. Entering that battlefield as a rookie or beginner may not be as easy as you think. This is where the low-hanging fruit comes in. Choosing a keyword list with low to medium difficulty creates a somewhat low entry barrier which could become a foundation to help you down the line.

Tools you can use for keyword research

Tools you can use for keyword research: Semrush, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner.

Tips for Keyword Research

Step into the shoes of the user and choose keywords they are likely to use

  • On-page Optimization

What is On-Page Optimization?

On-page optimization or On-page SEO is simply setting up your website in a way that properly communicates to Google what it is about. Why does this matter? Search engines only display results that are relevant to the user’s search query. On-page SEO is optimizing all your website’s components to communicate what your website is about and improve relevance and visibility.

Components of On-Page SEO

  • Meta Tags
  • Page Speed
  • Featured Snippets
  • Images
  • Internal Linking
  • Content Quality
  • Title Tags

All these components make up on-page SEO. What we see when we open a web page is not what the bots see. Structuring your content in a way that lets them know what your site is about is crucial.

Tools for On-page SEO

Tools you can use for On-page SEO: Semrush, Wincher and Moz

Tips for On-Page SEO

It is easy to forget all the components that make up on-page SEO as they are quite a few. Work with the checklist I provided above so you can remember to tick all the necessary boxes.

  • Technical SEO

Understanding Technical SEO

Technical SEO is optimizing the backend of your website to improve its performance on search engines. Technical SEO as it implies is more technical. It involves factors like site speed, mobile optimization, sitemaps, robots.txt and HTTPS. All of these work together to make your site accessible to search engines. If your site is not accessible then the relevance of your content does not matter because it is as though you never wrote it.

Crawling and Indexing

Crawling and Indexing are the only ways search engines will have access to your site. Crawling happens when search engines send out robots to explore the internet and find new or updated content on websites. Indexing is when the search engine takes all the information the crawlers found and organises it in a database so that when you search, it can provide you with the most relevant sites. The goal of SEO for the bots is to match relevant content within that database to users’ search queries.

Tools for Technical SEO

Tools for technical SEO: Google Search Console is an excellent tool that audits your site and shows you errors you need to fix to improve your website’s performance.

Tips for Technical SEO

Create a day in the week or month to audit your site and fix its issues or contact a website developer to fix them..

  •  Content Creation

Quality Content Creation

Creating high-quality content is an SEO hack. Content that appears on the first page of the Google search results page appears because it addresses the user’s needs or questions.

Key Elements of Quality Content

  • Content Relevance: Create content that is relevant to your target audience and addresses their needs or questions.

  • Keyword Usage: Use keywords naturally throughout your content without overstuffing.

  • Multimedia: Incorporate images, videos, and infographics to make your content more engaging.

  • Regular Updates: Keep your content fresh and up-to-date. Regularly update old posts to maintain their relevance.

Tools for Content Creation

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a great starting point for finding ideas that can inform the kind of content you write.

Tips for Content Creation

Sharing your content across social platforms increases your content’s reach and potential backlinks.

  • Link Building

Link building is making friends with other websites. When a website links to your site, it’s like they’re saying your site is trustworthy. The more high-quality links you have, the better your website’s reputation and ranking. Why is link-building important? Link building is important because of something we call “domain authority.”

What is Domain Authority?

Domain authority is a website’s reputation score. It’s a number between 1 and 100 that shows how well a website is likely to rank on search engines. The higher the score, the higher the chances of the website showing up in search results.

Ways to Build Links

  1. Guest Blogging: Write articles for other blogs and get links back to your site.

  2. Create High-Quality Content: Produce valuable content that others want to link to.

  3. Broken Link Building: Find and fix broken links on other sites by suggesting your content.

  4. Engage in Community Contributions: Participate in forums and social media groups, including your links where relevant.


It goes without saying that there are many components to SEO, but it’s not difficult. I created this step-by-step guide to doing SEO because it is possible to forget some elements. SEO is crucial for gaining online visibility and attracting potential customers. Start today with these practical steps and an SEO checklist to ensure you don’t make the mistakes I made.