If I had one tip to give to someone who is just learning SEO I would tell them to focus on content.
To me, keyword research and content are the very most important things you can ever do in SEO.
You can get pretty far without even building any links on your website by just having a ton of content and doing proper keyword research.
The very first step is to invest in a quality keyword tool such as kwfinder, or keysearch. Both of these tools are great, and I have used them extensively in the past.
The next step is to start researching possible keywords that you could use. The main thing I look for is a high search volume, and a low keyword difficulty.
After I check both of these things out I manually verify that it is easy to rank for by checking out the top 10 results for this keyword I want to rank.
Some of the things I look at is whether or not the key word is in the title, the URL, and the domain name.
If more than three people in the top ten results appear to be actively ranking for this keyword, and they have well-established websites, I will probably pass on this keyword unless it looks super incredible.
The next step is to pump out tons of content. You really want to try and get your new website over 20,000 words as quickly as possible. This may seem like a massive amount of work, but it will give you the edge you need to compete with these already established websites.
It’s important to use high-quality content, and not try to spam your word count up. If you use spun articles or duplicate content all you’re doing is hurting yourself and wasting your time. Google is incredibly good at reading articles and determining high-quality content from garbage.
Once you have performed the two steps above you are ready to get into the finer aspects of SEO and start building off-site links. If you chose a good keyword you should already be ranking!