Did you know that the best way to get consistent traffic to your website is through SEO? But what if you don’t understand SEO, or you’ve only just started looking into it? Then it might just be time to start learning SEO.

Of course, that might be easier said than done if you’re a complete novice at SEO. One of the best ways to learn is simply to practice. You know the saying, “practice makes perfect” – and it’s true. You can’t get to a certain level of excellence or even proficiency without practice, so if you want to learn SEO, just practice SEO!

Get a Practice SEO Website on WordPress

Now, I’m not saying you should practice on your main website (you can if you want though – I won’t stop you!). The best thing to do is set up a new website that’s focused on something fun that you enjoy – a blog is a great start, so go to WordPress, get your blog set up, pick a domain name, then sort out your hosting to start learning SEO without affecting your main site – no matter how many mistakes you make.

Now you’re ready to start practicing. As this is just a website for SEO practice, you don’t need to take this too seriously. Just start writing content about a niche or subject that interests you. Create a few posts, and you’ll soon have the beginnings of what looks like a real website.

You can go further, of course. The basic point here is to have something that looks like a website and has the basic elements ready for you to start learning SEO without fear.

Use an SEO Plugin

It’s not going to have any other optimization at this point, so what you’re going to do next is get the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. This is a great plugin that essentially does a lot of SEO for you, optimizing your new website for Google and other search engines. As you work more and more with SEO, you’ll start learning SEO techniques like this that do a lot of the “donkey” work for you, saving you time and money.

That’s not to say that you just sit back and relaxed – nothing’s ever that easy! However, it’s not a great deal of work. Put your keywords in the title tag, add your meta description, and follow the Yoast plugin training and tutorials to get a crash course education in SEO basics to start learning SEO from the experts.

Crosslink Your Articles

Once you have done all that, you’re ready to take it to the next step: crosslinking your blog posts together. What that means is that you’re going to link up pages that go together well.

For example, you might have a website about the founding fathers, and pages talking about their lives. So, let’s say you have a page about George Washington and another page about Benjamin Franklin. What you can do is link those articles together as readers may want to read about both men.

Essentially, crosslinking makes it easy for your readers to access other content which you’ve written, making this a great SEO practice. One word of warning: don’t go nuts. You want the crosslinked posts to be relevant to each other. If they don’t fit, leave them alone!

Start Building Links

Last, but not least, you want to start your link building strategy. A good place to get started is to go to Ahrefs and add in a competitor’s URL. You’ll see a list of all the sites who link to your competitor – likely places that you want to be featured on too.

This doesn’t have to be hard work: simply email those websites and say that you noticed that they were linking to your competitor. Then explain you have a similar business but offer something extra that they don’t, before finally inviting them to check out your site and link to it if they feel it will help their readers.

That’s it! OK, a lot of people will likely ignore your email, but if you can get some people to link back to you, you’re doing a great job of getting started. This is also an easy way to practice SEO without having to start learning SEO’s complex technical rules!

Conclusion – Start Learning SEO Today!

These are some of the most basic steps you need to take to get your website SEO started up. As you can see, outside of the technical demands of setting up a website, it’s not a hugely complicated affair.

Of course, it will get more complicated the more you dive in, but having a good foundational knowledge of the basics will go a long way until you really get into the swing of it. Just keep your SEO practice up and it’ll all click one day.

I strongly recommend starting off with a “play” website just so you can experiment without fear: the knowledge and experience you’ll gain is priceless, but you certainly don’t want your mistakes shown on your primary domain!  In other words, a play website is a fearless playground that lets you start learning SEO without consequences.

As with so many things, just start with the basics and practice your way up. SEO is a fascinating, complex field that will reward you immensely once you understand it – so best of luck on your journey!