SEO Made Simple: A Comprehensive Primer for Entrepreneurs

SEO Made Simple: A Comprehensive Primer for Entrepreneurs Banner Image

“SEO” and “simple” used in a single sentence might seem oxymoronic, isn’t it?

With tons of components and technicality involved, the concept of search engine optimization in itself is not at all simple. 

Perhaps it’s the reason why many entrepreneurs feel confused and reluctant to do SEO. According to statistics:

  • Only 69% of businesses actively engage in SEO
  • 19% do not use SEO for their business
  • Meanwhile, 12% are still unsure of SEO.

That’s precisely why we created this SEO Made Simple primer for entrepreneurs. To help those who are still on the fence about pursuing SEO for their businesses make a conscious decision.

If you’re one of those business owners, then this comprehensive SEO guide is for you.

We’re not here to sell you anything. Our goal is simply to educate. 

To that end, we’ll look at the facts, explore why SEO is important, understand how the SEO engine works, and uncover the essential tools you need if you ever decide to give SEO a shot.

Are you ready?

Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century: The Current State

Running a business in 2024 is unlike any other.

With the internet age and convenience-driven consumerism, combined with the massive shift to digital services, online is the battleground of today’s entrepreneurial landscape.

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Today, about 2.8 million US-based online retailers are vying for customer attention and sales. If you happen to be one of those, I have two questions to ask:

  • How exactly do you elevate yourself from the competition? 
  • How do you etch your brand into the forefront of your customer’s minds?

Three words: Search engine optimization.

Here’s why.

A recent study revealed that 95% of customers read online reviews first before buying anything. To rub it in further, 6 out of 10 people say they are willing to pay more for products or services with positive reviews.

Where do they search for reviews? Google.

Google is the trusty companion of consumers before even attempting to purchase. 

Therefore, it stands to reason that earning a top spot on Google puts you where your customers already are. Landing more Google search real estate gives your brand more leverage to educate your customers, sell your offers, and persuade buyers to choose you over competitors.

You need search engine optimization to make that happen.

Unfortunately, 1 in 3 entrepreneurs still have no clue how Google search ranking works. By extension, they are blinded from seeing the true value of search engine optimization for their business. After all, just because you own a website and consistently bust out content does not mean you’ll rank.

The relevance of SEO becomes more evident as more entrepreneurs enter the playing field. 

Search engine optimization is a holistic strategy not only geared toward helping entrepreneurs succeed in search rankings but also increasing brand awareness, fostering customer relationships, generating revenue, and boosting the bottom line.

Back to Basics: What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the continuous process of boosting website visibility by helping them rank higher on Google’s organic search results. The O in SEO (Optimization) refers to a set of tactics that improve websites in the eyes of search engines.

In other words, the better optimization practices you employ, the higher your website will rank in SERPs or search engine results pages for a particular query

For example, see the example below. Linkody gets the #1 organic spot for the search query “what are quick links.” However, if the search query changes to “how to create quick links,” the ranking might favor Solodev’s content more than ours.

Screenshot of SERPs showing results with query 'what are quick links'

Optimization results in increased visibility among users, which, almost naturally, positively influences the organic traffic it receives. 

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Get an Instant Insight Into Who Links to Your Site

SEO is different from other search engine marketing solutions like pay-per-click ads (PPC). Search engine optimization focuses on attracting organic or unpaid traffic. Meanwhile, PPC targets paid or sponsored traffic.

It’s also important not to confuse SEO with Search engine positioning or SEP, which is another related concept. As opposed to SEO which targets the entire website, SEP concentrates on optimizing individual web pages within that website. SEP is a toned-down, small-scale version of SEO.

Is SEO Still Necessary for Your Business?

Despite the utter importance of search engine optimization in today’s business landscape, you might still find yourself asking, “Is it still necessary for my business?” 

It’s a completely valid sentiment, after all, pursuing SEO is not a small investment. As mentioned above, SEO is a continuous process. As long as search engines exist, search engine optimization will perpetuate itself.

So, I’ll leave the responsibility of answering this question to you but I’ll provide as much information to help you. Below are some facts and statistics to help you assess the relevance of SEO for your business.

According to Forbes, 7 out of 10 businesses already have an online presence. Whether these businesses are entirely online-operated or physical stores is out of the question. What you should realize is that only 30% of businesses deliberately skip creating an online presence.

And this poses a problem. Why?

InstaPage predicts that nearly 95% of all purchases will happen online by the year 2040. In other words, physical-only businesses have less than two decades to start establishing an online name and compete with online businesses that have been around for years now.

By “compete,” we’re not just saying set up a website or create a Facebook page. We mean to actually lock horns with competitors in terms of marketing efforts and sales. With nearly half of consumers using online searches to find information about businesses and their offers, this competition is bound to get tighter.

Search engine optimization will play a crucial role in the ever-competitive online marketplace.

Now, let’s look at it as a numbers game.

Small Business Administration says there are 33.5 million businesses in the US today. If what Forbes is saying is true, then out of those 33.5 million businesses, there are approximately 24 million US-based businesses with an online presence across all industries, actively competing against their niche competitors.

Want to scale down even further?

Let’s look at the top 25 industries in the US based on the number of existing businesses.

Infographic on the top 25 US Industries in the U.S. in terms of number of businesses

If you belong to the real estate industry, there are over 1,223,334 businesses just like you across North America. Taking into account the 71% with online presence, you get 868,567 real estate brokers that have an online operation. That’s the number of competitors you are up against and vying for the same customers as you (without considering the distribution of businesses per state and county).

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So, is SEO still necessary? You tell me.

How Will SEO Benefit Your Business?

If you’re still reading, then you might be convinced about SEO’s ability to take your business off the ground. Read on to see how exactly search engine optimization can help you:

#1 Improved brand visibility and awareness

SEO is all about improving the ranking of websites on search results. Landing on Google’s page 1 SERPs or even bagging the featured snippets section gives your brand’s visibility a massive boost. 

After all, how many times have you scrolled past Google’s first page results when researching something? Exactly.

With SEO, you increase the chances of customers seeing your website when actively searching for products or services related to your business. 

#2 Increased website traffic

In relation to #1, increased website traffic is the direct result of high brand visibility on SERPs. By optimizing your website for relevant keywords or search queries, you may attract more organic traffic from search engines.

Bar chart showing the click-trough rates of search results depending on their SERP positioning

Positions 1-3 on Google get the majority of web traffic. However, this CTR goes downhill from there up to the last result on a given query. 

Of course, we have to remember that SERP ranking and organic traffic have a correlative, not causative, relationship. Organic traffic is not just a function of SERPs, but of clickthrough rate or the number of users clicking on your link in search results. Even if you land the top spot, without any clicks, your website still gets no traffic. 

That is why it is called optimization, and that extends to the meta titles and meta descriptions of your web pages that enhance CTR.

#3 Higher quality leads

Content is the mechanism that powers search engine optimization. With effective keyword research, efficient targeting, and exceptional content, you can attract high-quality leads. 

SEO helps businesses target users who are already interested in what you offer. As a result, you receive qualified leads that are more receptive to conversions.

#4 Cost-effective strategy

Search engine optimization comes with a cost. Depending on your available resources, you may choose to hire a team or work with freelancers to do your SEO bidding. Moreover, you might also be the one to finance the toolkit necessary for your SEO success.

However, compared to traditional advertising methods, SEO is relatively cost-effective. It also provides a higher return on investment over time, especially for businesses with limited marketing budgets.

#5 Sustainable in the long run

One of the primary reasons behind SEO’s cost-effectiveness is its long-term sustainability. SEO often last longer, especially once a web page earns a high-ranking position. With evergreen content and continuous optimization, the page will maintain its visibility on search results. Conversely, to maintain the sustainability of articles, you may need to update old content for them to continue ranking.

As opposed to SEO, paid advertising stops driving traffic the moment you stop paying. While PPC gives immediate results, it is not sustainable on your bottom line. Therefore, paid advertising might pose more benefits in the short run but SEO is more effective long-term.

#6 Industry advantage

In highly competitive and lucrative markets, having a strong SEO strategy can differentiate your business from competitors. 

Remember that SEO content are effective conduit of information, which comes in handy when educating your customers about your business. In highly competitive spaces, content gives you a platform to demonstrate your expertise to people. Moreover, it also opens up tons of headroom for your business to emphasize why you’re a better fit, versus the competition. 

#7 Enhanced user experience

If you think SEO is all about content creation and blogs, you’re mistaken. The effects of SEO extend past the front end of websites. Search engine optimization also involves optimizing the back-end of your website, like its structure, performance, and loading speed— all of which favor the user experience.

When you bring a positive wave of user experience, this leads to higher engagement, lower bounce rates, and increased customer satisfaction. Of course, Google tends to notice these changes, which, more often than not, leads to better SERP ranking.

#8 Builds credibility and trust

Website content in the form of blogs is one of the core foundations of SEO. Businesses with a blog section tend to perform better as far as SEO is concerned, and for good reason!

Content that is fine-tuned using SEO practices ranks higher in search results. And high SERP ranking translates to more competitiveness, credibility, and trustworthiness in the eyes of consumers. In other words, you become the industry’s “perceived authority,” which is ideal considering almost 50% of consumers do research first before buying.

#9 Local SEO benefits

Brick-and-mortar businesses can still benefit a lot from search engine optimization, especially if they target local customers. Local SEO is the process of optimizing businesses for local search or search queries targeted at specific localities. And statistics tell us that 8 out of 10 people use search engines to find local information.

For example, if you search for “car mechanic services in [your city]” or “car mechanic services near me,” Google will show results that are most relevant to you. Take a look at the example below:

Screenshot of SERPs showing local results with query 'car mechanic services in akron'

If you pursue local SEO for your physical store, you can significantly boost your visibility among customers within your vicinity, which results in increased foot traffic.

#10 Measurable results

Finally, SEO efforts can be tracked and measured using various analytics tools, allowing you to see exactly how your website performs. 

These measurable results help you make data-driven decisions concerning your SEO efforts. For instance, what strategies can you tweak to maximize your ROI? Or, if your current SEO team fails to drive results, should you maintain them or try another one?

Of course, we have to understand that SEO takes time to build. On average, it may take around 4-12 months to see tangible, depending on your industry and competition levels.

Now that you have a better, more rounded understanding of the benefits of SEO for your business, let’s take a look at the nitty gritty. How exactly does SEO work from a technical standpoint?

The SEO Process: A Step-by-step Guide

I won’t sugarcoat anything. Search engine optimization is not easy. There are a lot of moving parts involved in the SEO engine and getting into the intricacies and nuances of each would make this article an entire book.

Search engine optimization is a process that can be divided into three major components, which I like to call the SEO trifecta. These are on-page optimization, off-page optimization, and technical optimization. Each of these three has its own focus and corresponding steps, which further complicates SEO. 

But in this section of the SEO Made Simple primer, we’ll explore the overview of the SEO process under each major component. This way, entrepreneurs, like yourself, will have a working knowledge of how these components work and interact with each other.

Keep in mind that since SEO is a dynamic process, some steps may go ahead of others, depending on the need. 

However, to understand the SEO process, we have to first comprehend how search engines work. So, let’s dive into this quick crash course in search engines.

Crash Course In Search Engines

Google has one mission:

Screenshot of Google's Mission Statement

To that end, Google evaluates and ranks websites to provide the best answers (in the form of search results) in descending order to a given search query.

  • Results: refer to assets that appear on Google SERPs after a query. They can be in the form of web pages, blog articles, videos, Google My Business profiles, and whatnot.
  • Search query: refers to the phrases people type into Google’s search bar. These are the keywords that are used for writing SEO content. 

In the example below, you can see our search query “linkody” produced results that are related to our company, Linkody.

Screen capture of Google SERPs for the query 'linkody'

One of the jobs of SEO specialists is to help website content become the top result for people’s search queries. 

As mentioned above, search results can come in many forms, but they can also appear in various portions of the results page. Here are a few examples of search results:

  • Featured snippet: Otherwise known as position 0. These are special boxes that feature information that directly answers or provides information concerning the search query. Featured snippets appear right below the search bar.

Screenshot of SERPs showing featured snippet from query 'what is a featured snippet'
  • Paid results: refer to a type of search engine result that usually appears at the top SERPs. Paid results are labeled with “sponsored.”
Screenshot of SERP showing sponsored results with query 'drain cleaning services in Wisconsin'
  • Organic results: are the unpaid listings that appear on SERPs. These are the primary focus of search engine optimization efforts.
  • People Also Ask: is a subcomponent of featured snippets that often appear below the featured snippet section or after the first organic result. They provide additional information on questions that might arise from users’ initial search queries.
Screen capture of People Also Ask on Google SERPs

Now that these are out of the way, what exactly is Google’s parameter for ranking search results? 

The answer: Search Intent.

  • Search intent: refers to the underlying intention of a user behind a search query. 

For example, if you type in “reliable sedans,” Google will most likely show results that give information on sedans with the longest lifespans. But Google will NOT show you signup pages for car loans to help you buy a reliable car of your own, because that is not your intention a.k.a. search intent.

In any given query, searchers generally use Google for either 1 of 4 search intentions.

  1. Informational: Users seek knowledge or information on a topic (e.g. “signs your car battery needs replacing”)
  2. Navigational: Users search for specific websites and know exactly where to go (e.g. “toyota official website”)
  3. Commercial: Users are motivated to buy but need more research before buying, they might be comparing different products, services, or service providers (e.g. “honda civic vs toyota corolla fuel efficiency”)
  4. Transactional: Users are ready to purchase and have a specific product or service in mind or are looking for a place to complete the purchase (e.g. “buy used toyota camry”)

Of course, search engines are governed by complicated algorithms that are only known to Google. However, through the years, SEO specialists have developed and found good practices that aid them rank websites ahead of others. 

In the following sections, we’ll share an overview of how SEO practices and processes work, so you’ll know how its intricacies. 

Technical SEO Process

To kick things off, we’ll start with the backend or behind-the-scenes optimization among the SEO trifecta: Technical SEO. The goal of technical SEO is to improve your website’s crawlability, indexability, and user experience. 

Think of SEO like a house: the interior is your website content, the location is your Google ranking, and the house’s specifications are the technical aspects of your website. 

A beautiful house with great furniture (content) won’t be much use if no one can find it (low ranking) or get inside (technical issues). 

This is where technical SEO comes in. 

Technical SEO ensures your website has a solid foundation and clear entry points for search engines and users alike. Here are the processes involved in technical SEO:

1. Website Audit

Website audit acts as a comprehensive inspection of your website. During an audit, an SEO specialist will identify areas that need improvement from a technical standpoint. The information will help determine the optimization status of your website and what you can do to improve it.

There are several steps to a website audit involving:

  • Scanning your website for technical issues: Broken links, duplicate content, crawl errors, and mobile usability problems are identified.
  • Analyzing website speed: Slow loading times can significantly harm your SEO ranking and search experience. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help assess and improve website speed.
  • Checking website security: Having a secure website with an SSL certificate (HTTPS) is crucial for both SEO and user trust.

Related: 10 Technical SEO Issues & Ways To Fix Them

2. Mobile Optimization

We already live in a mobile-first world and Google recognizes that. That is why mobile-friendliness is one of Google’s prime standards when indexing and prioritizing websites. In other words, if your website isn’t optimized for smartphones and tablets, your site goes to the bottom of the SERPs.

Mobile optimization involves the following:

  • Creating a responsive web design: This ensures your website automatically adjusts its layout and content to display perfectly on any device. 
  • Testing your website across different devices: Mobile emulators or browser developer tools help simulate how your website will appear and function on different devices.
  • Optimizing multimedia for mobile usage: Large files tend to slow mobile load times. Compressing images or embedding video-hosted platforms allows for smoother mobile viewing.

3. Site Speed Optimization

Website speed is a critical ranking factor on Google. A slow website can frustrate users and increase bounce rates (users immediately exiting your site), which can lead to poor user experiences. Google may flag your website and sanction penalties as a result of this.

Here are some ways technical SEO specialists can optimize speed:

  • Minimize HTTP requests: This can be done by reducing the number of elements in your browser that require load times, including images, CSS files, and JavaScript.
  • Optimize image sizes: Use tools to compress images without sacrificing quality.
  • Use browser caching: Allow browsers to store website elements locally. This prevents manual and repeated downloading of said elements.

4. Indexing and Crawling

Search engines like Google can’t read. They rely on robots to scour your website and machines to make sense of your content quality using keywords, tags, and content attributes. Still, Google needs human help to find and understand your website’s content and rank it in SERPs. 

This process involves:

  • Submitting a sitemap to search engines: Sitemaps are like a map of your website that informs Google’s crawlers which are important pages and which aren’t.
  • Fixing crawl errors: Broken links, looped redirects, server errors, and poor internal linking are some reasons why some websites have crawlability issues. Technical SEO identifies and addresses these errors to allow proper website crawling and indexing.

5. HTTPS Implementation

HTTPS is short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This protocol basically uses encryption mechanisms that protect your website’s and visitors’ data. Essentially, having an HTTPS protocol tells Google that your site has an extra layer of protection.

Implementing HTTPS is crucial because:

  • A Google ranking factor: Google prioritizes secure websites in search results.
  • Essential for user trust: Users are likely to trust and visit websites with HTTPS (or the padlock symbol on the address bar).

6. Site Architecture Optimization

Site architecture tells Google how well your website and its information are organized. A well-structured site makes it easier for users and search engines alike to navigate and understand your content. 

Here are some tips done to optimize site architecture:

  • Creating a logical hierarchy of pages: Pages need to have a proper organization between categories and subcategories, along with the content that goes into each of them.
  • Using descriptive URLs: Website URLs should be clear and descriptive, reflecting the actual content of the page.
  • Optimizing website navigation: This makes it easy for users to find the information they need with a clear and user-friendly menu. Using quick links is also helpful for navigation.

On-page SEO Process

If technical SEO focuses on the behind-the-scenes, on-page or on-site SEO acts at the forefront of your website.

As the name suggests, on-page SEO is the practice of optimizing the visible elements of a web page to improve its ranking and visibility in SERPs. On-page SEO focuses on informing Google what your content is about, so it can understand and index the page accordingly.

Here are the processes involved in the on-page SEO process:

1. Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of on-page SEO (and even content creation, for that matter). Doing keyword research helps SEO specialists understand the language in your industry and identify the phrases your target audience is searching for.

Keyword research involves:

  • Choosing relevant keywords: Normally, you want keywords with high search volume and and low competition when doing keyword research. You must also assess the “business value” (or revenue-generating means) of the keywords for your website.
  • Using keyword research tools: While you can search for keywords manually, keyword research tools give you a better perspective on keyword data that would’ve otherwise been overlooked.

2. Content Optimization

Content optimization is the process of creating informative content that targets your chosen keywords, aligns with search intent, and offers value to readers. Not all pieces of content are evergreen (continually relevant), so constant updating and optimization are crucial to maintaining freshness.

Content optimization involves:

  • Focus on search intent: It’s important to align your website content to the search query and search intent of your chosen seed keyword. Keyword and intent mismatch only confuse search engines, resulting in poor SERP ranking.
  • Incorporate keywords naturally: Keyword stuffing is a Google offense and doing so can harm your SEO. Instead, keywords must be incorporated naturally throughout the content, including titles, headings, and body text.
  • Maintain readability: If better content means having flowery prose, then poets and writers would make wonderful on-page SEO specialists— that’s not the case. As long as you use clear and concise language, break up text blocks with visuals, ensure proper formatting, and write actually informative content, you’re good to go.

Related: 50-Step Checklist for SEO Content Success

3. Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Meta titles and meta descriptions refer to the content that is visible on search results. Meta titles reveal the title of the web page while meta descriptions provide context.

Here are some ways to optimize meta tags:

  • Title Tags: Keep them under 60 characters and insert the seed keyword when possible.
  • Meta Descriptions: Provide as much context about the topic within 160 characters. Often, meta descriptions can entice users to click. Try to insert keywords as well.

4. URL Structure Optimization

As mentioned earlier, URLs should be clear, concise, and reflective of the page’s content. Here are some practices for URL optimization:

  • Keeping URLs short and sweet: As much as possible, try to insert keywords and create URLs that provide context to the web page without further need for explanations. For example, “”
  • Using hyphens to separate words: hyphens are much easier to spot than underscores

5. Heading Tags Optimization

Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) are used to structure your web page’s content and improve readability. Readers use it to distinguish which content falls under what heading. Search engines use H tags to understand content hierarchy.

Here are some practices to remember:

  • Use the H1 tag for the main page title
  • Employ H2 tags for subheadings and H3 tags for further subheadings
  • Incorporate your target keywords naturally within headings

6. Image Optimization

Images are necessary to break long text blocks on your content. They also help users understand content better. 

Search engines, on the other hand, use image alt texts to interpret the content of images.

However, images can also harm SEO when left unoptimized since they can slow down website loading times.

Here are some tips for image optimization:

  • Use descriptive file names and alt text: Unlike humans, search engines rely on alt texts to understand what people see in images. Make alt texts and file names as descriptive as possible. Insert relevant keywords when necessary.
  • Optimize image size: Compress images without sacrificing quality to improve website speed.

7. Internal Linking

As the name suggests, internal linking means linking between relevant pages within your website. This helps boost a user’s engagement on your site as they click through internal links. Meanwhile, search engines use internal links as portals to understand your structure and explore your website.

  • Link to relevant and authoritative pages within your website.
  • Use clear and descriptive anchor text that tells users the context of the linked page.
  • Take advantage of internal linking tools for more efficient link building.

Related: 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Internal Linking

Off-page SEO Process

Off-page SEO deals with building your website’s credibility in the eyes of search engines and perceived authority from a searcher’s perspective. SEO specialists achieve this through strategies that happen outside of your website. 

Here is a breakdown of the five major off-page SEO processes that can boost your site’s perceived authority.

1. Link building

Building links is the cornerstone of off-page SEO. This process involves acquiring high-quality inbound links or backlinks from other websites that are relevant to your niche. Backlinks serve as “votes of confidence” from other websites, which signals search engines that your website is a valuable resource.

Here are tips for link building:

  • Focus on quality over quantity: Not all backlinks are made equal. In Google’s eyes, a few backlinks from reputable websites with respectable domain authority are better than countless backlinks from suspicious domains.
  • Produce read-and-backlink-worthy material: As much as possible, Google wants organic backlinks, which means they are naturally acquired when other sites reference you for your exceptional articles. For this, you need to create informative and valuable content that other websites want to link to naturally.
  • Broken link building: Find broken links on relevant websites and offer your content as a replacement.
  • Link exchanges: Google has some contentions against excessive link exchanges, which means the deliberate exchanging of links for the sake of manipulating search engines. You can still engage in this, but make sure to do it sparingly or mark backlinks with a rel=“sponsored” tag.

Related: 19 Link-Building Mistakes to Avoid

2. Social Media Management

Other websites are not your only sources of backlinks. Integrating social media for SEO can be a powerful traffic stream and avenue to build inbound links. Having a strong social media presence can indirectly boost your SEO. Here are a few social media management tips to help your off-page SEO efforts:

  • Share your website’s content on social media platforms.
  • Engage with your audience on social media and initiate discussions
  • Run social media contests and giveaways to increase brand awareness.
  • Use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience.

3. Influencer Marketing

While influencer marketing does not apply to every brand. Some businesses may get value in partnering with influencers to expose their brand to a captured audience. The goal of influencer marketing is to potentially generate valuable backlinks and traffic.

  • Identify influencers who are relevant to your niche.
  • Collaborate with influencers to brainstorm engaging content that promotes your website and speaks to their following.
  • Promote your business on the influencer’s social media reach to drive traffic to your website.

Related: 7 Common Mistakes When Working With Influencers

4. Guest Posting

Writing guest articles, or guest blogging, is another way to build backlinks, promote your business, and support your off-page SEO efforts. Moreover, if you write high-quality content, you might just capture their readers’ attention and build your reader base.

Here are a few reminders when writing guest posts:

  • Research niche-related blogs that accept guest post submissions
  • Pitch high-quality content ideas that align with the website’s target audience.
  • Strictly follow their guest post guidelines and other preferences.
  • Include a link back to your website in your author bio or within the article (where appropriate and permitted).

5. Community Engagement

They say “word-of-mouth marketing is dead” but we say otherwise. Online communities and forums are perfect places to position yourself as a niche authority in your industry. With continuous effort, you can potentially establish yourself and generate brand awareness. 

Keep the below reminders in mind when engaging with communities:

  • Join relevant online forums and participate in discussions.
  • Provide valuable insights and answer questions within the community.
  • Avoid any promotional type of answer or you might get banned.
  • Share your website content when it offers relevant solutions or information.

The Essential Toolkit for SEO

Search engine optimization is not an overnight campaign. It takes time to build SEO. Much like other forms of infrastructure, building SEO requires that you or your team have the tools of the trade to construct it.

While this SEO Made Simple primer has explored the nitty gritty of SEO, you have to understand that some nuances and adjustments go into each process. For such, you will need experts to help you optimize your website for search engines. Equipping them with the right SEO tools helps them perform exceptionally well in their responsibilities.

Below, we take a look at the most essential tool kit to get you started on your search engine optimization.

Keyword Research: KWFinder by Mangools

As mentioned earlier, keyword research is the cornerstone of the content creation program in your SEO campaign. 

One of the most reliable (and affordable) tools for keyword research is KWFinder. With every subscription, not only do you get access to their keyword research tool, but you can also use their SERP analysis, rank tracking, and SEO Metrics tools.

Basically, you get 4 tools in one, which sounds like an amazing deal, as far as SEO is concerned. How do we know? Because we personally use it:

Screenshot of KWFinder interface with query 'seo made simple'

Backlink Analysis: Linkody

Google places a heavy emphasis on backlinks as a search ranking factor. However, not all backlinks are equal, and some might even harm your SEO.

Linkody is a backlink analysis tool that provides information on essential insights concerning your backlink profile. Each data presented by Linkody can help guide your off-page SEO efforts. 

For instance, do-follow links from spammy websites can alert Google and penalize your site. With Linkody’s integrated disavow functionality, you can snip your site’s connections from those domains, safeguarding you from Google’s penalties.

Sceenshot of Linkody's interface

Internal Linking: LinkStorm

LinkStorm is an up-and-coming tool designed to help websites build effective internal linking that supports their on-page SEO. 

Click depth is a crucial UX factor and the more clicks it takes to reach a web page, the poorer user experience you bring. LinkStorm helps websites build relevant links between related web pages, regardless of their age. This helps old-but-gold web pages resurface and gain link juice from newly published content.

LinkStorm software interface

Indexing: IndexCheckr

SEO begins when your website or pages become indexed by Google. Otherwise, newly added or updated content remains invisible to Google and inaccessible to your target audience. 

IndexCheckr is a practical tool that helps SEO professionals and business owners track the indexing status of pages, both internal and external. This confirms whether internal web pages offer any SEO value to your site or not. It also helps determine the SEO value of backlinks, based on their indexing value.

IndexCheckr also connects you to verified indexers that can help expedite the indexing process of your web pages.

IndexCheckr software interface

Content Optimization: Google Search Console

Google Search Console provides valuable insights on web page performance in terms of search queries. This aids greatly in on-page SEO since you can further align your content to user search intent based on GSC’s returning keyword data. 

For example, here is the average performance of our article on “disavow links” in the past 3 months. The returning queries below can be used to further optimize the content according to users’ most searched keywords.

Google Search Console performance of Linkody's blog on "disavow links" topic

Reporting: Google Analytics

Finally, what good is SEO without data to back it up with? 

Google Analytics offers a comprehensive information hub for analyzing the SEO performance of websites. There you can find valuable insights like time on page, bounce rate, visitors, and, most importantly, conversions.

While the main thrust of search engine optimization is mostly traffic, it helps to know what percent SEO contributes to sales.

So, Did We Make SEO Simple?

We created this SEO Made Simple primer to help entrepreneurs see a clearer picture of how the search engine optimization mechanism works. Our goal is to educate entrepreneurs and, in a way, protect them from unscrupulous SEO practitioners who take advantage of business owners and keep them blind from their activities.

SEO is hardly a simple affair. However, we hope that our explanation and tips have made SEO simple enough for easy consumption by non-tech-savvy entrepreneurs. More importantly, we hope to have convinced you of SEO’s utter significance, especially in today’s business landscape.

Anyway, that pretty much sums up the entire search engine optimization process. 

So, did we make SEO simple enough? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

We hope you had fun reading this!


Is SEO difficult to learn?

SEO can be challenging to understand because there are a lot of moving parts in the entire SEO engine. Learning SEO means having to understand the front-end of operations (on-page SEO), back-end (technical SEO), and public relations (off-page SEO). Each of these also has a long list of strategies, which can be overwhelming. Learning SEO is not impossible, but it may be difficult. 

Can I do SEO on my own?

Anyone can study SEO and implement good practices on their website. With enough practice, you can get a hang of SEO and do it yourself. However, this can be overwhelming, especially if you’re busy with business responsibilities. In that case, hiring an in-house team or outsourcing SEO professionals might be more practical.

Are there instances when SEO is unnecessary?

Yes. SEO is not always necessary for all businesses. For example, if you operate locally and completely capture your market, pursuing SEO might be a waste of resources. SEO is best suited for saturated industries with cut-throat competition as it helps establish your business as an industry leader versus competitors.

Does SEO always work?

SEO is effective, but there are things you have to accept. The entire SEO process takes time to produce results, often even reaching a year. Google also implements massive updates that often shake up the SEO industries and SERP ranking. Finally, engaging in questionable SEO practices may result in penalties that further slow down your SEO progress. With enough time, resources, and patience, SEO will work.

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