SEO explained for beginners

Have you conducted a Google search recently? I bet it was somewhat recent as Google has become an essential part of our life. New to SEO? Read this post for SEO explained for beginners.

SEO Explained for Beginners

Since there are an estimated 6 BILLION searches in Google each day, you have the potential to get your website in front of thousands of people that are searching for websites or businesses such as yours every day. However, without SEO work, your site won’t be found on Google.

To help you gain an understanding of the basics of SEO, I have put together the following guide to get you started.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Here is a definition from Wikipedia:

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.”

With SEO practices put in place, you increase your chances of being found on Google. There is, however, no guarantee that you will appear first in a Google search, or that you will appear on the first page of Google.

Why is SEO important?

SEO is essential for the long-term success of your website. By paying attention to your SEO, you can organically increase traffic to your website without having to spend a lot of time on social media promoting it every day. You want your website to generate traffic on its own without having to continually promote your site.

Skills required to build SEO into your website

SEO can be complicated. SEO is continually changing. 1,653 changes were made last year to the Google algorithm. It is also getting more complicated.

Some people specialise specifically in SEO so you could hire someone to do this part of the work for you; however, you can set up the basics of your websites SEO on your own.

Start by getting your site indexed on Google by setting up the Google Search Console.

You can also start to SEO the pages and blog posts on your website so that they contain the right information that Google is looking for. The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress is a great place to start.

What affects your search ranking?

Many things affect your search ranking. Below is a list of things that you need to consider to improve your ranking:


Use your keyword in title tags, description tags, and H1, H2, H3 etc. Pay attention to the amount of times you use your keyword on a post or page. Too little or too much can affect SEO.


Make sure that you use categories and tags that are relevant to your content.


Make sure your blog posts are at least 350 words. Between 600 to 800 words are best.

Website speed

If your site takes a long time to load, not only will you lose visitors but you will also rank lowly in SEO.

Image optimization

Make sure all your images have the keyword in the title and that the alt text field is complete.

Content updates and relevance

Regularly update your content. Sites that have not been updated for a while, rank low in Google. That is why setting up a blog relevant to your business helps with ranking.

Internal links

Ensure that you have many internal links throughout your website. For example, if you write a blog post that can be linked to another, make sure you do so.

Broken links

Broken links on your page affect your SEO.

As you can see, there are many aspects of your site that affect your SEO ranking.

How to improve your SEO

So, after reading this how you can improve website’s SEO? Following is a simple strategy you can start using right away to make improvements.

Step 1: Set up Google Search Console

Google Search Console is the foundation of your SEO. With Search Console, you get the chance to tell Google that your website exists by uploading your sitemaps and your robots.txt file.

Step 2: Install the Yoast SEO plugin

If you have a WordPress website, then you need to install the Yoast SEO plugin. With this plugin, you gain access to your sitemaps, robots.txt file, metadata and more. Once installed, you can start to SEO your website’s pages and posts quickly.

Step 3: Keyword planning

Strategically choose the keywords that you want to have on your website. Research these by using SEMrush or Keyword Finder. These are great tools to see what keywords people are searching on.

Once you know the keywords you need to include on your website, plan your pages and blog posts around these. However, make sure that you are providing well thought out and relevant content. Google can tell if you are just stuffing your content with keywords and not providing any value.

Step 4: SEO your website’s pages

With Yoast installed and understanding of what relevant keywords to use, start adding these to your pages. Start with your ABOUT or CONTACT page and make sure they contain the necessary keywords that they need. Then complete the Yoast details at the bottom of the page to set the SEO title, slug, meta description and the focus keyword. As you go, you can review the Yoast Analysis to determine what areas need improvement. Always aim for a green light on your page for SEO.

Step 5: SEO all blog posts

Next, you need to do the same thing for your blog posts. For each blog post enter a keyword. Make sure the keyword appears in the heading, the first paragraph and a few times throughout the article. Always try to get a green light from the Yoast SEO plugin for each post you make.

Step 6: Optimize all images

To optimise your images, you need to make sure that each image title has a relevant keyword contained in it as well as in the alt text space attached to it.

Compress your images to a small size using Smushit. And change the file of the name to something that is descriptive and informative before you upload it to your website.

Step 7: Create an internal link structure

Lastly, you need to focus on the internal link structure of your website. This is not only important to help your audience to navigate and flow through your website, but it also helps the Google bot.

Each page created on your website needs to link to other pages on your site. Try to find ways to internally link to other areas on your website that are relevant to the content.

And that’s it! By following these seven steps, you are well on your way to improving your website’s SEO.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.


WordPress or Squarespace- what is best-


When setting up your online business, should you use WordPress or Squarespace? This is a question I get asked regularly from my students and clients.

I believe that both systems have their merits and that you need to pick the right content management system for your business. To help you make the decision I have created an online quiz which you will find the right answer below:

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.



So what exactly is the difference between categories and tags on your WordPress blog? Both of these are used to organise your blog posts and make it simpler for readers to find and navigate your content.

In a nutshell, if categories are the table of contents of your blog, tags represent the index. They also offer an opportunity to increase traffic to your site via search engines.

A simple way to think about this is that all categories and tags should represent a keyword that your reader might search for. For example, if I was searching for a handbag, the category might be fashion and the tag could be handbag.


Categories are the main way of organising your blog posts within WordPress. They are similar to folders on your computer that you use to organise your files. If you are familiar with the term metadata (data about data) these categories are the metadata of your site.

When mapping out how you want your users to navigate your site, you need to come up with some high-level categories. For example, if your blog is about fashion, your main categories might be work wear, casual, travel and street style.

You can then link these categories to your main menu as a drop down link so your users can navigate to each of the categories.


Tags are also used to categorise your posts, however, are more detailed. For example, a post might be categorised as work wear but you might add tags such as spring, shoes or even a brand name. Anything that will give a good overview of what the post is about should be included. Also with tags, if there is no obvious way to tag a post, don’t tag it. Not every post needs tagging.


  1. Before starting a blog write down the main categories you plan to use. For ideas, you can look at other blogs in your genre to see how they categorise their posts.
  2. Make sure when you add tags that you use the same version for the word. E.g. use bag, rather than bags or handbag. Be consistent.
  3. Invest in a plugin to bulk edit categories. This will save you time if you need to rearrange them in the future.
  4. Use Quick Edit to change categories. This is a quicker way to edit your post. To do so, just hover over a post and select Quick Edit.
  5. Undertake an audit of your tags every so often to ensure they still reflect the structure of your blog posts. This will ensure you are able to make the most of the ability to link related posts.
  6. Don’t go overboard when categorising your content. A post should typically be in no more than one or two categories and you should limit your tagging to only relevant content.

Have any other tips about categories and tags? Please comment below as I’d love to hear about them.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.



Choosing a WordPress Theme

Below is a comprehensive guide on how to choose a WordPress theme that is the right theme for your business. One of the biggest decisions you need to make when starting to build your own WordPress site is what theme you should use.

Some people will tell you that a WordPress website costs $2,000 – $5,000, some websites do cost that much, but it is not true for everyone. Not everyone needs to spend that kind of money to get their website up and running.

You will need a professional looking website which is going to cost some money, but it is an investment in your business. You will also need to choose the right theme, to begin with, so that you don’t waste money in the long run. This guide will help you do just that.

Firstly here are some standard expenses you should expect to pay with the responsibility of website ownership.


Required Expenses

  • Domain name: $10 per year (I use
  • Shared hosting: $100 per year (I use
  • Theme: About $70. I recommend purchasing a professional theme which I will talk about further in this post
  • Your time if you DIY: $???? based on if you do it yourself. I charge $50 per hour for this service if you need guidance or assistance

Optional Expenses

  • BackupBuddy plugin: $80 per year
  • Akismet plugin: $60 per year
  • Graphic designer: $500 or more
  • Website developer to assist you with coding if needed. This varies but expect to pay around $2,000 if you use a developer
  • Monthly WordPress maintenance and support: Some developers charge up to $600 per year. I offer this service for as little as $29 per month.
  • Web fonts: Free to $100 or more
  • Stock photos: Free to $20 per image. (I use Canva which is $1 per image)
  • Content: Free if you DIY but up to $100 per page if you hire a copywriter

Other Expenses

  • MailChimp: Around $120 per year for your newsletter
  • CoSchedule: $120 per year for managing your editorial calendar and social media updates
  • Dropbox: $120 per year for space for you to share documents with your clients
  • Planoly: $7 per month. An application I use to manage all my Instagram posts.
  • Leadpages: $30 per month. Additional service to manage extra web pages for all my business opt-ins
  • Convertkit: $30 per month. Email marketing

Important Plugins

Plugins you need

  • Yoast SEO – helps your website get found on Google
  • W3 Total Cache – speeds up your website
  • Wordfence Security
  • Backup Buddy – Automatically backs up your website
  • Google Analytics for WordPress – Website data

Other Plugins to consider

  • Contact-Form-7 – Free form builder
  • WP Smush it – Compresses your images, so they load faster
  • Akismet – Blocks spam
  • WP Editorial Calendar – Free editorial calendar
  • CoSchedule – Editorial calendar that links with social media
  • Click to Tweet – So visitors can tweet your content
  • Clef – lets you log in to your WordPress site with your phone
  • Coming Soon Page by SeedProd – Shows a coming soon page
  • Easy Pricing Tables – Used to create pricing tables for your products
  • Regenerate Thumbnails – Changes thumbnails sizes
  • Slider Pro – Elegant and professional sliders
  • Google XML Sitemaps – Generates a sitemap to help Google
  • Broken Link Checker – Checks for broken links on your site
  • Pretty Links – Helps make your links look pretty
  • Widget CSS Classes – Helps to style the widget individually

What are your goals?

Before choosing a theme, you need to consider what type of business you are running and where you want your business to go. Think about a 3 to 5-year plan as you need to make sure that what theme you pick and the type of site you develop can manage everything that you want to do with your business. You may not need everything to start with, but you need to make sure your theme can be built upon in the future.

Below is a checklist of some goals you might want to consider:


  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Increase the number of people who purchase from your affiliates
  • Increase the number of people signing up to your newsletter
  • Decrease your bounce rate
  • Increase the number of people who contact you about your service
  • Increase the number of people who attend your courses
  • Increase the number of products sold
  • Increase purchases from existing customers
  • Increase subscriber numbers
  • Have a maintenance free website
  • Fully automate your business

How do you earn money?

At the moment does your website make you money? If not, where do you plan to make money in the future? Using the list below, highlight the different money making options you are considering.

Money Making Options

  • Selling physical products online
  • Selling digital products online
  • Affiliate marketing
  • A membership or service with a regular monthly fee
  • One-on-one coaching services
  • One-on-one consulting services
  • Online classes delivered through your website
  • Webinars delivered through email
  • Online classes delivered via video
  • E-courses delivered by email
  • Podcasting
  • Selling sponsorships or ads on your site
  • Selling ads from ad networks

Options for Payment

You also need to research how you are going to be paid for all of the above. Via Paypal or Stripe? Taking credit cards over the phone? Or using other services such as eBay or Etsy. You need to know these answers before considering what plugins and theme to use.

What do you want people to do?

When people arrive at your website, what is it that you want them to do. Where will you direct their attention? It is important to have a call to action in the first part of your site, which we call above the fold and in several different areas. Following are a few options you might want to consider:

Calls to Action

  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Sign up for a challenge
  • Subscribe to a resources page
  • Purchase a physical product
  • Purchase a downloadable product
  • RSVP to an event
  • Sign up for a webinar
  • Contact you via email
  • Sign up for a coaching session through a booking form
  • Join a Facebook Group
  • Follow you on a social media network
  • Tweet something
  • Answer a question or quiz

Types of themes

There are five different types of themes that you can choose from. They are:

  1. A blog with a sidebar on either the left or right
  2. Parallax style themes
  3. Portfolio style themes
  4. Grid style themes
  5. E-commerce themes

Blog with a Sidebar

A blog style theme that focusses on content and has a sidebar to the left or right. The sidebar usually takes up about 1/4 to 1/3 of the page. The main content changes on each page but the sidebar usually stays the same. You can purchase some themes that can customise this for you.

Your sidebar will contain widgets of information such as a photograph of you, links to your social media channels, possibly your Instagram and Twitter feed and blog post categories.

This is the most common type of content website. Especially if your sites main focus is the blog or on content. If you are not sure if you need a blog for your site, I have written a whole other post to help answer this questions. Does your site need a blog?

Parallax Style

The parallax style of website is used mostly for a single call to action. The page is designed as one long vertical page that contains all the information about your website.

These were originally designed so that they are easier to use on a mobile phone however you can achieve this by making sure whatever theme you choose is responsive.

A long vertical homepage is the standard feature of this theme. There is usually a nice featured image in the background that stays stationery as the content moves.

These themes are great for brick and mortar type businesses, especially those that see a lot of traffic from mobile sources. This is because the page tends to load a bit faster than other themes with lots of content, images and pages.

It is also great for sites that have a single call to action, where the front page is basically a sales page. You might also use this style for a single webinar, service or event.

Do not choose a parallax style theme if you want your blog and content to be the first thing that your visitors see.

Portfolio Style

You could add a portfolio page to any theme however when I talk about portfolio style sites; I mean sites that have been designed to have images, products and services on the front page.

These themes may or may not have an option for a blog, but the homepage is generally optimised to show off your products and services instead of your blog content.

The homepage is designed to contain beautiful pictures and will usually have one or more widgets for this purpose. There also may be a slider to display multiple images to promote a product or service.

You should consider this type of theme if you have something to sell, whether it be images, products or services.

Photographers, artists, illustrators – anyone who has visual content should consider this type of portfolio website.

You can also have a blog with this type of theme on a page within the inner workings of the site. However, if your written content is the main part of your site that you want your visitors to see, then you shouldn’t use this type of theme.

Grid Style

The type of website highlights images and content. It looks like Pinterest and uses what is called a “masonry grid”.

The images are aligned vertically in columns, but float randomly in those columns – they are not organised into rows. This is great for content that is of varying heights but a standard width.

Outside of Pinterest, it is rare to see a website using this masonry grid style. This is because it can look cluttered very easily and there isn’t a single focus to the site.

If you planned your site carefully, you could use this as a portfolio of work or just a blog.

E-Commerce Style

An e-commerce style site highlights physical products and has a shopping cart. It is designed to sell your stuff from your own website.

Usually, the e-commerce part comes from a plug-in such as Woocommerce, but there are also specific sites you can use such as Shopify.

Don’t use an e-commerce theme if you don’t need it. Your site will load and perform slower.

Need help?

Now that you have learnt a bit about WordPress themes and what to look out for, start hunting around for the right theme. Take a look at some other websites that you might want to emulate and start from there.

If you need help deciding on a theme, I would be happy to give you a recommendation on a theme that would work for you. You can book some time with me through my services page or if you need assistance building and managing your WordPress site there are other packages available.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a term that is tossed around in any discussion about internet marketing, but few people really understand what it means and what it involves.

The purpose of SEO is to rank higher in search engines so that people can find your website and its content. Effective use of SEO requires you to use specific words within your posts so that when users are searching these words, they find your site.

Relevant Content

Not only do search engines look for these keywords they also look for relevant content. Writing gibberish in keywords will not help your SEO. Original content that is in keeping with your website is the best choice to drive visitors to you. When creating original content, do not forget that it needs to be relevant, well written, and customer focused if you want people to visit your site.

Tips for writing content:

  • Proofread: Numerous spelling and grammar mistakes will distract customers, and can make it difficult for search engines to analyse your content.
  • Use titles and headings: Break up your content so that it makes it easier for people to skim read. Keywords are more effective in titles and headings, so make sure to give yourself opportunities to use them.
  • Use short sentences: Online content is not a book. Use short sentences that your audience can read quickly.


Keywords are words or phrases that people search online. Integrating these keywords into your content will improve your search engine rankings. An effective SEO campaign, however, relies on choosing the correct keywords.

For example, keywords that match websites will rank higher in search engines. Additionally, popular searches change, so it is necessary to research the best keywords for your content.

There are tools such as and to help you discover what best keywords to use in your content.

Once you choose your keywords, use them to guide your original content. Variation of keywords should be in the title and headings and repeated throughout the content.

A tool to help you with this is Yoast SEO, so make sure you download this and install it to your WordPress site.


Another important aspect of the SEO process is linking. Every external link is a vote of confidence in the relevance of your website. The goal of SEO is to gain inbound links to your website. The more inbound links, the better your SEO rankings will be.

Following are a few ideas to improve the number of inbound links on your site:

  • Write: Writing and publishing articles online in other forums will provide a link back to your site. So if you publish content elsewhere, insist that it links back to your website.
  • Contact bloggers: Ask bloggers to review products or share information that will lead back to your site.
  • Social media links: Include links to your site in all social media activity. This will result in links being clicked and drive up traffic.

Lastly, if you are willing to spend some time and money, there are pay per click ads and affiliate sites. These can generate clicks to your site, but they are in the grey area ethically, and you are better off making an effort to put in place the best practices of SEO to achieve growth in your website traffic.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.