Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization helps your web​site show up in search engine results.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the science of increasing traffic to your Web site by improving the internal and external factors influencing ranking in search results. It is a major part of Internet marketing. It is mostly technical in nature. It includes Web programming expertise combined with business, persuasion, sales and a love for competitive puzzle solving.

The objective of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase a website’s traffic counts, and ultimately conversions, by ranking very high in the results of searches for the keywords in the search query.

It is the mission of SEO to make the site’s content worthy of higher search engine ranking by being more relevant and competent than the competition’s.

This SEO guide teaches you strategies to improve both internal and external factors that influence ranking.

If you can do SEO better than your competitors, then you should achieve higher search engine rankings. And you’ll have a quality website capable of maintaining your revenue goals.

What is in This SEO Guide

We have many tools and have run our own research about what works and what does not… and we have provided information and research results covering many recognized areas considered important: expertise, authority, trust, RankBrain, algorithm variables, linking strategies, server considerations, speed, schema, and much more. The fact is that this SEO Guide will lead you through what you need to get ranked.

Each lesson guides you through SEO basics to hands-on optimization using free SEO tools and bonus videos. Improve your organic search marketing know-how and your website!

Starting line for the tutorial

    1. Keyword Research – How to Select Keywords
      Includes SEO Tool: Keyword Suggestion tool


    1. Competitive Research – Who’s Your SEO Competition?
      Includes SEO Tool: Top-Ranked Websites by Keyword tool


    1. SEO Competitive Analysis – Spy on Your Competition
      Includes SEO Tool: Single Page Analyzer

    1. Choosing Keywords for SEO Relevance
      Includes SEO Tool: Search Engine Optimization/KSP tool


    1. Key Considerations when Writing Content


    1. How to Use Keywords in Content


    1. How to Optimize Website Content for SEO
      Includes SEO Tool: SEO Multi-Page Information tool, Single Page Analyzer


    1. How to Submit a Website to Search Engines
      Includes SEO Tool: Check Server Page tool


    1. Sitemaps – How to Create a Sitemap


    1. Using Rich Media to Engage Your Site Visitors


    1. How to Optimize Multimedia Content for SEO


    1. Siloing – How to Structure Your Website


    1. Link Building – How to Attract Quality Links


    1. Avoiding Google Penalties


    1. Monitoring Backlinks and Link Pruning


    1. Technical SEO Tips
      Includes SEO Tool: SEO Cloaking Checker tool


    1. Mobile SEO and UX Optimization


    1. How to Monitor Search Engine Rankings & SEO Progress
      Includes SEO Tool: Single Page Analyzer


  1. Final encouragement – SEO: The Job That’s Never Done

Go to Lesson 1


Bruce Clay quote with eagle flying

Why You Can Trust This SEO Guide

The Bruce Clay SEO Guide follows the proven methodology that thousands of students have learned in our SEO training courses. It is based upon SEO research and experiments.

These lessons cover only “white hat” SEO methods.

Everything you learn here adheres to search engine guidelines — to keep your site out of the penalty box.

In this SEO tutorial you’ll learn how to optimize your content effectively for search engine rankings and resulting SEO traffic. You’ll learn how to find technical SEO problems on your site. And you’ll learn how 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.” This code has been translated into 18 languages. It has been a respected guideline in the ever-changing search marketing industry since 1996.

How Does a Website Rank, Anyway?

Search engines want to show the “best” results possible. They seek the most relevant, most expert and highest quality webpages that will satisfy the goal of the searcher.

To do this, the engines look at hundreds of factors (their ranking algorithm) to determine a webpage’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 authoritative and reputable sites and, to some extent, social media engagement (off-page factors).

No single webpage, even with the best search engine optimization in the world, can be perfect in all 300+ ranking factors. Search engine ranking comes from wisdom, expertise and sweat. 

Further, 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 guide teaches you a “beat the leader” approach to search engine ranking.

These are proven methods that have worked with our search marketing clients.

Think about it …

If you want to see what Google or Bing thinks is best for any specific query, you just need to look at the sites they are currently rewarding — the top-ranked results. Once you analyze what structural and content choices worked for the leaders, you can do even better. You can make your pages the “least imperfect”!

What is ​search engine optimization, then? It’s not secrets or tricks. It is ranking methodologies and SEO best practices to follow that help a site ​which offers value to users beat the competition in search results. 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 search engine ranking. Top-3 out of a million results is not going to come with an “easy button”.

SEO is a combination of digital marketing efforts all working together to increase a site’s value to users and visibility in search.

Watch this video for an entertaining intro to the role of SEO!

Ready to dive in? Go to Lesson 1!

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 is one goal. But the site must also achieve high rankings. That involves more than just tags and keywords, or content writing, or links, or speed. It requires an integrated SEO effort.

It is difficult to do this type of project without a proven SEO method and strong tools. This tutorial teaches you ​both. It’s like taking a free SEO training course on how to optimize your website!

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

Even for the best websites, maintaining a top organic SEO ranking also requires monitoring and content rework. The work at hand never slows — but neither does your competition.

Ready to learn? Let’s get started! The Bruce Clay SEO Guide begins with keyword research.

Go to Lesson 1


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