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Search Engine Optimization – SEO Tutorial

Are you concerned that your site doesn't show up in Google? Or want to get more "free" traffic to your website (without having to pay for ads)?

To do that, you need solid SEO training to optimize your web pages to show up in search engines.

This search engine optimization tutorial, full of SEO tips from industry pioneer Bruce Clay, is a step-by-step SEO guide. Lessons teach you what is SEO and how to optimize a website for search — complete with free SEO tools you can use!

Let's start at Square 1...

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the science/art of increasing traffic to a website by helping it rank higher in organic, or non-paid, search results.

Detailed in this Bruce Clay SEO tutorial are trustworthy strategies that aim to improve both internal and external factors that influence a website's ranking.

If you do these on-page and off-page elements of SEO at least as well as your competitors, you can achieve higher search engine rankings in the organic section of search engine results pages and have a quality website capable of maintaining your revenue goals.

Ready to get started?

The good stuff: What you get from this tutorial

Each lesson starts with SEO basics and builds from there, using free SEO tools and bonus videos. Click a topic below to begin improving your organic search marketing know-how and your website as you go!

Starting line for the tutorial
  1. Keyword Research – How to Select Keywords
    Includes: Keyword Suggestion tool
  2. Competitive Research – Who's Your SEO Competition?
    Includes: Top-Ranked Websites by Keyword tool
  3. SEO Competitive Analysis – Spy on Your Competition
    Includes: Single Page Analyzer
  4. Choosing Keywords for SEO Relevance
    Includes: Search Engine Optimization/KSP tool
  5. Key Considerations when Writing Content
  6. How to Use Keywords in Content
  7. How to Optimize Website Content for SEO
    Includes: Domain Indexing Report, SEO Multi-Page Information tool, Single Page Analyzer
  8. How to Submit a Website to Search Engines
    Includes: Check Server Page tool
  9. Sitemaps – How to Create a Sitemap
  10. Using Rich Media to Engage Your Site Visitors
  11. How to Optimize Multimedia Content for SEO
  12. Siloing – How to Structure Your Website
  13. Link Building – How to Attract Quality Links
    Includes: Link Analysis Report, Pages Indexed and Inbound Links Report
  14. Avoiding Google Penalties
  15. Monitoring Backlinks and Link Pruning
  16. Technical SEO Tips
    Includes: SEO Cloaking Checker tool
  17. Mobile SEO and UX Optimization
  18. How to Monitor Search Engine Rankings & SEO Progress
    Includes: Single Page Analyzer
  19. Conclusion: Repeat – SEO: The Job That's Never Done


Bruce Clay quote with eagle flying

Why learn from the Bruce Clay SEO Tutorial

This extensive SEO how-to guide follows the proven, topical keyword methodology that Bruce Clay has taught to thousands of students worldwide in our renowned SEO training courses. It works.

The SEO tutorial covers only "white hat" methodology. That means everything you learn here adheres to search engine guidelines — to keep your site out of the penalty box AND able to earn the expertise, authority and trust (E-A-T) that are the basis of Google's definition of "quality."

Bruce Clay set the standard for ethical web marketing by authoring the "SEO Code of Ethics," now translated into 18 languages, and has been a respected leader in the ever-changing search marketing industry since 1996.

Bruce Clay specializes in digital marketing services, software tools and SEO training. This combined expertise makes us uniquely qualified to present an ethics-based, search engine-friendly SEO tutorial to teach you best practices that reflect the latest developments in search.

How does a website rank, anyway?

Search engines want to show the "best" results possible — the most relevant, most expert and highest quality web pages that will satisfy the searcher.

To do this, the engines look at more than 200 factors to determine a web page's relevance to a search request.

Some of these factors are woven into the fabric of the website (on-page elements, server speed, etc.). Others are trust signals based on links from reputable sites and, to some extent, social media engagement (off-page factors).

No single web page, even with the best search engine optimization in the world, can be perfect in all 200+ ranking factors.

Furthermore, no one knows precisely what the factors include or how they are weighted to determine the search results for a given keyword or query.

So what's a business owner or marketer to do?

This SEO tutorial teaches you a "beat the leader" approach to search engine ranking with SEO tips that have worked for our clients for 20 years. To see what Google or Bing thinks is best for any specific attribute, we look at the sites they are currently rewarding — the top-ranked results. Once you know what structural and content choices worked for the "leaders," you can do even better by making your pages the "least imperfect"!

There are no secrets or tricks — just ranking methodologies to follow in order to help a site that offers value to users beat the competition in search results. Today, you must be committed not just to optimizing your domain, but also to making it a quality site that attracts links naturally and is worthy of ranking.

So what is search engine optimization (SEO) then? It's a combination of digital marketing efforts all working together to increase a site's value to users and its visibility in search.

This bears repeating:

It is not the job of search engine optimization to make a pig fly.
It is the job of SEO to genetically re-engineer the website so that it becomes an eagle.

– Bruce Clay

Creating a website that offers a good user experience AND achieves high rankings involves more than just technical skills, or content writing, or links, or search engine submission alone. It requires an integrated effort.

It is difficult to accomplish this type of project without a formal, proven SEO methodology and strong tools. This tutorial gives you an entry-level how-to guide with BOTH. It's like taking a free SEO training course!

Before you begin, understand that being among the top 3 rankings in search engine results can be achieved, but not without great effort. Your web pages must earn that high ranking with high-quality content and best-practice SEO optimization basics.

Still, even for the best websites, maintaining a top organic SEO ranking requires continual keyword monitoring and content reworking. The work at hand never slows — but neither does your competition.

Ready to learn? Let's get the Bruce Clay SEO Tutorial started! It begins with keyword research.


Looking for a short SEO Optimization Checklist? Try ours!

Search Engine Relationship Chart®

Search Engine Relationship Chart®

To see how the search engines relate to each other, view our Search Engine Relationship Chart®. The search engine landscape has evolved quite a bit over the years; check out the Search Engine History - Chart Histogram to see how much it has changed.

SEO Hierarchy of Needs

SEO Hierarchy of Needs

There's a hierarchy to be considered when developing any digital marketing strategy. To help businesses and marketers apply a prioritized strategy, we created a diagram showing the relative place of each search engine optimization task.

View the SEO Hierarchy of Needs in interactive Flash, or download the chart in PDF.