SEO 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to SEO Tips & Tricks

JSL Marketing & Web Design has been in the business (or the Biz, as we like to call it) for quite some time. And though we aren’t all-knowing, we are most-knowing after so many hours, classes, certifications, tutorials, books, blogs, emails, and, well, you get the picture.

Because of our research and experienced-based knowledge, we wanted to share the very best in tips and tricks for the foundation your SEO will need with our SEO 101 Beginner’s Guide.

If you enjoyed our JSL Toolbox post from last week, where we divulged our favorite programs and online tools, but found it possibly a little over your head, then our SEO 101 Beginner’s Guide will be the perfect stepping stone for you on your trek to Google’s front page.

So, come along and enjoy the ride – your SEO journey begins here!

Five SEO Tips & Tricks for SEO Beginners

  1. Be a part of the right conversation: SEO has many components, so when someone talks about SEO, make sure you are clear about which component they are talking about, or if they are talking about the whole conglomerate.

Do they mean Social Media presence? Content on their webpage? Keywords they are trying to rank for? Updating business listings or best blog practices?

Maybe they are talking about the latest Google Update and how it will affect their webpages’ ranking? Maybe they are actually talking about their website design, template or user-friendliness?

Regardless of which aspect of SEO they are talking about, make sure you clearly define the conversation.

SEO is often used to umbrella a wide array of subjects or topics concerning the success of a website. And all of the subjects might very well affect your search engine rankings and therefore, all of which do pertain in some way to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, but if you don’t know the parameters of the conversation, you can be left more confused than when you began.

  1. Research, but with a grain of salt: If you have a question about any of the above sub-topics of SEO, it can never hurt to research it. However, researching can help or hurt if you don’t know where to go.

The internet has all the knowledge in the world it seems, but then how do you know what to trust, what to do, or whose advice to follow?

Easy. Ask the internet.

No, really. If you don’t know who to believe on the internet, especially when it concerns SEO, let SEO literally answer your question.

Search your question in Google, see what pops up on the first page, then open them – ALL.

Read through them ALL. Take notes on them ALL. Compare. Contrast. Repeat.

The first page of Google is the first page for a reason. It is not infallible, but it is helpful.

So, ask yourself – what comes up multiple times? What sites have authority in their domain? What tips are backed with evidence, studies, and statistics? What sites are talking about ranking well whilst ranking well themselves?

SEO is not a mystery science (for the most part) and though it is true that the tricks to SEO are always changing as algorithms and updates *shakes fist at Google* change, SEO can be learned with time and research.

Just like any other skill, SEO can be taught and learned, if only you give it the time and effort it requires.

  1. Use programs that are tried and true: Similarly to above, if you are just starting out in your SEO journey and need programs, tools and guides to help you analyze your data, rankings, or where your SEO needs are, then use the best ranked programs there are.

Want to do some keyword research? Use SEMrush or Screaming Frog.

Want to do a site health audit? Use Yoast, SEMrush or My Web Audit.

Want to clearly show projects? Use Basecamp or Hubstaff.

Want to see your analytics? Use Google Analytics.

Want to learn more about your whole operation? Use Moz.

A few clicks, maybe a plugin or two, and you can have information at your fingertips in any area you want.

The best part?

All of the above are user-friendly and have videos, tutorials, explanations, and instructions in abundance!

  1. Know the cost of SEO, the different options, and the perks and pitfalls of each: You can work with a company, a freelancer, do it yourself, or hire a full-time, in-house employee for digital marketing and SEO, but which is the best for cost, quality, and businesses?

This entirely depends on your business, your needs, and your budget.

If this seems like a daunting answer, then just remember number 2 and 3 above – just about everything can be found online!

However, if you don’t like searching around for the answers and putting hours of research into it, maybe SEO isn’t for you – or maybe you can find someone to give you all the answers.

Maybe someone like JSL Marketing & Web Design.

And maybe that answer is right here.

We just so happened to have created an informative and fun infographic about this very topic. You can thank us later.

  1. Know the worth of your time: Whether you are reading this post because you want to get into the field of SEO, do it yourself for your business, or simply because you have a deep thirst for learning, you need to acknowledge that SEO training and implementation takes time.

Lots of time.

If you are looking to dive into the field, know that there is a learning curve and maybe some growing pains along the way.

If you are looking to do it yourself, know that there will be lots of hours of research and testing involved before you see results. SEO is not an overnight fix.

If neither of the above applies though, or if these tips sound more like terror than terrific, then maybe you need an SEO expert, or team of experts, who can make your SEO shine for you.

Do You Still Have a Question or Two? We’re Here to Help.

SEO is always changing, and though that makes the field incredibly interesting, it also makes it difficult to master – especially if you want to be an expert in all the sub-categories of it at once.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call – we love all things SEO and would be happy to help you get to where you want to be!

Even if you would like to absolutely NOT learn more, let us do it all for you.

Either way, give us a call and get a personalized site audit or a free 30-minute consultation for us to show you where you excel and where you could use a little work. Then you can decide if you want to tackle it on your own or hire out.

We’re here for you – whatever choice you make.

The JSL Marketing Toolbox

JSL Marketing SEO , man working at tableCountless times a week our JSL Marketing & Web Design team is asked questions like ‘how do you stay on top of your game,’ or ‘how can you work from all around the country or world, yet still stay in contact with your team, still stay connected, and still stay on task?’

We also get asked how we stay so young, handsome and brilliant, but that’s for another blog altogether.

All of the above are great questions, and though remote work isn’t for everyone, it can be if you have the right tools in your toolbox.

So, take a peek at what JSL Marketing uses on a daily basis to keep our SEO and Digital Marketing train rolling along smoothly and efficiently – we’ll never tell out beauty secrets though!

What’s in JSL Marketing’s Toolbox?


Whether you have a team working countries, states, miles or just cubicles apart, it is important to keep everyone in the loop and on the same (web)page.

Your employees need to know what is due, when it is due, and who is responsible for which parts of the which projects.

Now, this can be difficult for traditional companies with four walls, desks, and 9-5 clocks ticking. But does that mean a non-traditional job – or a job with work-from-home days or remote workers – is doomed to toil in chaos and late or missed assignments?

Not at all.

JSL Marketing uses Basecamp on a daily, if not hourly, basis to keep up with all the projects and keep all the plates spinning flawlessly.

You simply put in who, what, when, and how and your team has a beautiful timeline to look at and plan their week’s work around.


How do you know how many hours your remote workers worked this week? What did they do? Did they spend 15 minutes looking over emails or 15 hours?

These answers aren’t always known by managers in office jobs, so it would stand to reason that it’s even harder to get the numbers when your workers may be scattered or their hours irregular.

In actuality, a system like Freshbooks can make the ‘who did what when’ a lot simpler.

Of course, you have to trust your employees to be accurate with their hour-logging and productivity but isn’t that the same as in a conventional office?

We’ve all seen The Office, right?


SEMrush is a great tool for SEO as it can show you data from your website, your competition’s website, keywords, and so much more.

It tracks your keywords and what they are ranking for and tells the health of your site, like if you’re missing meta descriptions or have errors you should fix. It can even help you build backlinks!

Basically, SEMrush is an SEO and Digital Marketing agency’s best friend.

Besides our dogs.

To help visualize SEMrush, think of it as if JSL Marketing’s toolbox was corporeal, then SEMrush would be the hammer, nails and tape measure. And maybe the box itself. I don’t know, I’m not a construction contractor.


No really, coffee helps everyone, but what we mean by coffee is actually more than just a delicious, energizing drink.

Whether you work from an office, a home office, or the coffee shop around the corner. You need a few things to function well.

You need:

A quiet place where you can focus – or a bustling café with noise canceling headphones.

A schedule to stick to – which takes self-discipline and organization.

And motivation – whether that comes in the form of coffee, a job well done, a new skill mastered, or a monthly paycheck.

If you want to truly understand the tools in JSL Marketing’s toolbox, you have to be willing to constantly learn from industry leaders like Hubspot Academy, Clutch, SEMrush, and Yext, or from people like Neil Patel, and probably read every book, manual, and blog about your area of expertise you can get your hands on while you’re at it.

Working in SEO or Digital Marketing is not a terminal degree or skillset, instead, it is constantly growing and changing, so we have to too.

Want to Know More about SEO or JSL Marketing?

There are challenges to working in an ever-changing field that is so rapidly growing, but not all challenges are bad. Some actually push you further, make you work harder, and learn faster. And isn’t that the type of team you would want to be on?

At JSL Marketing & Web Design, we hire attitudes and train skills, we hire drive and polish proficiencies, and we hire talent and teach how to hone those talents.

If you want to know more about remote work, the tools explained above, SEO or Digital Marketing, then talk to the JSL Marketing team and see what we can do for you and your business.