Google Webmaster Tools is a phenomenal free resource.
Guest post by Danny Dover
For as long as I can remember, the best way for me to learn has been to do. I have gone through countless checklists while trying to understand search engine optimization. The following is a compilation of the most useful checklists I have completed in order to learn SEO. My intent is that this list can be used by people who are inexperienced in SEO but want to learn more.
Learn how to build a basic website
Before diving into SEO techniques, it’s important to know the basics of web development. The following tasks will develop the necessary web development skills needed to become successful at SEO:
Learn how to code a basic website without using a WYSIWYG editor – Don’t fear the word code, writing HTML is much easier than you think. If you can make a sandwich with two pieces of bread and put something in the middle, you can write HTML. For help, check out this excellent tutorial. Remember, don’t worry about SEO techniques at this point. Focus on learning how to build a website first.
Code a website that contains the following:
- All styles with CSS. No tables!
- Homepage has 3 unique paragraphs about you
- 3 pages total; homepage, contact and portfolio
Pick your keywords – Pick keywords that are uncompetitive. This is very important as the words you choose will become the center of your SEO efforts. I recommend using your name. Go to Google and search for yourself. If a small amount of low quality websites show up, use your name as your keywords. If your name is competitive to rank for, find a variation of your name that is easier. Example: Danny Ben Dover.
Register a domain name and find hosting – This is not nearly as difficult as it sounds. I recommend SiteGround as good option. However, there are literally thousands of choices. Use your best judgment, but remember you shouldn’t be paying more than $7 a month and the domain name should be included for free. Your only requirement is that your host can’t have immovable ads. These could be crawled by the search engines and ruin your rankings. For your domain name, use your keywords from above. Eg., dannydover.com or dannybendover.com. If your keywords are not available as a domain name, choose different keywords. (Note: In this exercise, the keywords you are optimizing for and your domain name should be the same. Although this is not always the case in the real world, having similar keywords to your domain name makes SEO much easier.) Continue reading