What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a complete process of undertaking various activities to help a website rank high on Google or any other search engine.
SEO space involves organic ranking on-site, which means you don’t have to spend a penny this, sets it apart from paid marketing.
In simpler words, SEO is optimizing your content or website to the extent that it appears and ranks on the top of the search results organically when visitors search for something.
To start working with SEO marketing, you first need to understand how it works. The SEO guide will give you a walk through the basics of SEO marketing
(P.S.- Google search engine is referred to in the blog for SEO marketing as it is a widely used search engine.)
Are you on Google?
Before heading toward SEO Guide, first, determine whether your site is indexed on the Google search result page by simply entering your domain in the search bar. If it appears, it means it’s indexed. If not, then you can either wait for Google bots to crawl and index your website, which may consume time or else, you can create a site map and submit it to the Google Search Console manually and get your website on Goggle’s index.
(Time being, we will assume you have indexed your website on the Google search engine.)
SEO has two core elements:
1. On-page SEO
2. Off-page SEO
On-page SEO incorporates building quality content on the website and optimizing it to improve the rankings.
Whereas Off-page SEO happens off of the website itself, where activities like building relations and content creation take place to earn external backlinks.
There are two ways to practice SEO; they are also called Black hat and White hat strategies.
In Black hat, SEO strategy tactics like duplicate content, keyword stuffing, redirecting to non-relevant sites or pages, etc., are used to gain rankings quickly. It might work, but it can last only for a short term. When Google detects such fishy activities, it immediately penalizes or blacklists the site.
Next is White hat SEO; in this strategy, a sustainable way of doing SEO that will last for the long term is used. In this approach, your center of importance is your audience. Your activities revolve around enhancing their experience on your website by providing suitable content, well-labeled images, relevant links, references, etc. It is a slow and steady process that gives the desired outcome that lasts for a longer period of time.
Basics of SEO
“Content is king” in SEO.
Your first and foremost priority should be creating great content; as Google focuses on giving a
better user experience, your chance of ranking higher increases if you deliver relevant content.
Three key elements should be considered while creating content for your website:
2. Keyword Research and Selection
Keyword research is a continuous process that should be done to rank high on Google and
create relevant content that matches searchers’ intent. In SEO, you need to constantly do
keyword research to know what people want based on what they search.
While selecting keywords, you should keep in mind to:
I) Choose the right keyword that clearly and directly describes your brand, product, or service you
II) Do a competitive analysis for the chosen keyword.
III) Keep in mind the searchers’ intent and deliver the exact.
HTML is an important part os SEO. It helps Google figure out what your site or content is about and
why it should be ranked higher than the competition.
Below are the key elements of HTML you need to pay attention to while optimizing:
I) Title Tag:- it is the most evident tag that gets displayed on the browser marked in blue or purple
color. Make wise use of this section by including important keywords making it enticing for user
II) Meta description:- it is the area below the title tag that explains what the is about. It should be
short yet informative.
III) Sub-headings:- the H1 tag is an example of sub-headings. It is a primary header that tells Google
what the article is about and draws the attention of readers when they land on the page.
IV) Alt-Text:- it is a verbal description given to the image in the content for visually impaired people.
You can also use it to insert keywords.
V) URL Slug:- it is the end part of the URL that tells Google what the article or page is about.
4. Site Structure
A great user experience is essential for SEO, and a good website structure focuses on the same.
I) Your site should be easy to crawl for Google to understand what the site is about. A sound
interlinking between the pages will do the thing. Easy crawling help Google better index your site
and rank them accordingly. Interlinking between the pages helps to pass the rank to the next
II) Create a mobile-friendly site, as Google indexes sites for mobile-first.
III) Google emphasizes page speed and usability; it may penalize your site or find it difficult to rank if
your page or certain elements on the page loads slowly.
IV) Using SSL and HTTPS will benefit you in the long term, as the security and safety of visitors’ data
are considered important ranking factors. Google outcasts a site if it senses any fishy or
Trust rank is another way for Google to see whether your site is legitimate or not.
There are three elements to focus on while building trust:
A) Authority:- There are two components when we speak about authority
I) Domain authority- which means how widespread your name is. For example, coca-cola, Pepsi,
II) Page authority- which means how authoritative your page content is.
B) Bounce Rate:- It measures how many people view only one page and leave immediately before
scrolling further on your site. Relevant content, fast loading time, and usability have a vital role in
decreasing bounce rates.
C) Domain Age:- If the website is been on the internet for while, delivering consistent and relevant
content suitable to searchers’ intent stands a high chance of ranking in comparison to a new site.
Link building is part of off-page SEO and is one of the important ranking factors.
Quality link gain from the right source in exchange for a value and number of the links are the two
most important elements in the link-building activity.
The site with the most high-quality links will have a better edge over other sites.
Another important part of off-page SEO to look into is social media. Social media go hand in hand
with SEO. Both aim at telling Google how great your site or content is.
In social media quality and the number of shares of your content, you get play a crucial role in
telling Google why your content is superior and to be ranked high.
If people are sharing your content on social media and increasing your reach, it tells other people what
you offer and how you are providing value to them.
SEO is not a “set it and forget it” game. It is a long and continuous process. You have to be devoted for at least a year to see the desired results.
There are no shortcuts to a fruitful SEO. Remember to create quality content, keep updating and continue creating new content to maintain that freshness, and being active on site is the key to successful SEO marketing.