What Is SEO? Search Engine Optimization for Beginners

Have you ever wondered, “what is SEO?” SEO may sound complex, but it’s easier than you think.

What Is SEO? Search Engine Optimization for Beginners

It’s an essential part of owning a niche blog or site. Read on to learn how using SEO can help you reach your niche blog goals.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. That involves creating content in a way that will help in rank in search results.

It’s an organic method that can help you get traffic to your website. You don’t have to pay for ads to show up in Google or Bing. That makes it a more sustainable strategy for many business owners.

You can apply SEO to blog posts and other webpages. It can take a while to generate results, but you may be able to get a lot of traffic this way.

How Does SEO Work?

To make SEO work, you need to choose a keyword or phrase. That will serve as the basis for the piece of content you create. You will then use the keyword in a few places:

  • Article or page title
  • Introduction
  • Conclusion
  • One sub-header

In the past, you could stuff keywords in the text. However, search engines have started cracking down on keyword stuffing. Now, it’s better to write in a natural way, even if you aren’t using your keyword exactly.

As you expand your blog or site, you can optimize each new post with a different keyword. That way, you can potentially rank your site in search results for more search terms to get more traffic.

SEO Ranking Factors

Google and other search engines consider various factors when deciding what websites and articles to rank highly.

As you create content for your blog or develop an overall strategy, keep the following in mind. That way, you can increase the chances of getting good results from SEO.


Of course, you need to have good content. You should publish articles that are well written and that are authoritative. Don’t try to publish an article on something random that you don’t know much about.

If you want to do that, you’ll need to research it. The easier option is to create content on topics you know. As you build your site, you should also focus your content around one main topic.

That will help search engines learn about your site. Then, search engines will have an easier time deciding when to show your articles to users.


A more recent change to SEO is the importance of different types of media, such as images and videos. When possible, add those things to your content.

It will help make the article more engaging for readers. You can also use that content to set yourself apart from others.

Many website owners only use written content. While that’s also important, you don’t want to ignore videos. Those can be an effective tool at getting you to rank faster, especially in a competitive niche.


Once you start getting website visitors, search engines will pay attention to the activity of those users. Specifically, they’ll consider if someone clicks on your website and immediately clicks away.

If that happens a lot, it signals to search engines that something’s wrong with your site. Maybe your site doesn’t load very fast, and people get impatient.

Or your content might be boring. Either way, Google will take that as a hint not to show your stuff to more people.


Before you start a new niche blog or site, consider the topic. Some niches are much more competitive than others. You could use all of the current SEO best practices.

But if you’re trying to rank for a topic like finance, you’ll have a long, uphill battle. On the other hand, you may be able to rank for something less competitive, like art history.

If you’ve already started a blog, you can continue with it. However, you should know how quickly you can expect results with SEO.

Why Does SEO Matter?

SEO matters because it can help you get significantly more traffic to your website. You put in the work for each post once. But once the post starts to rank, it can get traffic day after day.

Consider more of the specifics of why SEO is so important to your niche blog or website.

Get Free Traffic

As I mentioned, SEO can help you get traffic without needing to pay for ads. If you do it right, you can get your blog posts to rank first. Whenever someone searches for a keyword you rank for, they may click on your site.

The more keywords your site ranks for, the more chances you have to get traffic. You don’t have to worry about promoting your site on social media.

That can free up more of your time to write even more blog posts. As you do that, you’ll increase the potential results you can get from SEO.

Long-Term Results

You might not get much traffic from SEO immediately. But it can keep giving you traffic months and years down the line. On my music blog, I have posts that rank first that I wrote three or four years ago.

Those posts help bring traffic to that site. Then, I can use those views to convert those visitors to customers of mine. Or I can get them to click on affiliate links or ads to make money.

If you rely on social media for blog promotion, you can get some views quickly. However, you’ll have to keep sharing links to posts to get traffic in the future, and that can waste a lot of time.

Increased Earning Potential

As your SEO strategy starts to work, you can start to earn a bit more money from your niche blog. When you get more traffic, you can turn those visitors into customers.

It doesn’t matter if you monetize with ads, affiliate links, or your own products or services. You’ll have a better chance of making a sale when you get 100 visitors compared to 10 visitors, for example.

Now, this process will take time to work. You can’t expect to start making a full-time income overnight. However, it can happen with consistency and patience.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

As you learn what SEO is, you may come across SEO terms. White hat SEO refers to good SEO tactics. That includes things like optimizing your content naturally.

However, you may also learn about black hat SEO. These tactics are risky because they could cause search engines to punish your site. If a search engine catches you using keyword stuffing, it won’t rank your site as highly.

Be sure to follow Google search algorithm updates. That way, you can ensure you’re always using white hat SEO techniques.

Is SEO Hard to Learn?

SEO can be hard to learn, especially if you’ve never learned anything about it. However, it can become second nature with practice.

I’ve been an SEO writer for about four years. At this point, using SEO comes very naturally to me, but it took time to get here.

Can You Get By Without Using SEO?

You don’t have to use SEO to get traffic to your site. But you’ll have to work a lot harder and more consistently to promote your blog.

If you want an easier solution for the long-term, implement SEO. It may be annoying now, but it will be well worth it in the future.

What Is SEO? In Review

SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of creating content with the goal of appearing in search results. You can use keywords based on your niche as the focus of each blog post.

If you do it right, you can get your blog posts to rank. Then, you can bring in organic traffic for years to come.

Do you want help with SEO for your blog? Contact me to learn how I can help!

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