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SEO Guide: Everything a Beginner Must Know in 2022
It is required in almost every field and is in high demand. So it’s given that gaining experience in this field. But it is a crucial step to decide where to learn Search engine optimization (SEO) from. Because every step of the learning process is equally important and hence choosing the right medium is really essential. What is the first primary step?
For learning any process or subject, the first step is to know what it is. Cause there is no point in going any further if we don’t know the basics. So, before learning SEO, it is crucial to understand what SEO exactly is. Especially, SEO is a crucial topic while venturing into digital marketing. SEO is one of the fundamental parts of digital marketing. And hopefully, this article will clear any doubt one might have regarding Search Engine Optimization.
What Is SEO?
Whenever we search anything on any search engines, we get a ton of results in the form of a list. The list is due to the rankings of the websites. The ranking determines which sites are more relevant. Hence the more popular and relevant sites are displayed at the top of the list because they have better rankings. Search engine optimization basically helps to optimize a page or a website so we can have better rankings.
How SEO Works?
SEO works with the help of an algorithm and it's a rather complex one. A lot of effort goes into building an SEO friendly site. The content, the meta description and the title tags- every little detail matters. But what are the basic uses of SEO? It’s better to get proper information on the reason to learn SEO before actually using it. Firstly, SEO helps us to develop and design a website that is Search engine friendly.
What Are SEO Techniques?
There are some simple techniques that can optimize the websites, so it becomes SEO friendly. It can also improve the visibility of the site on different search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. The techniques can be on-page or off-page or other prospects. It is better to look at the most straightforward methods at first
On-Page Techniques Are The Ones By Which We Can Control The Factors Of Our Own Website. Things Are Content Quality, Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, URL Optimization, Internal Links, External Links, Etc. Here Are Some Of The On-Page Techniques
Choosing a proper domain name of our website seems like any regular task. But it isn’t. Before starting any E-business, it is crucial to consider certain factors. The first thing is to know the target audience.
Cause knowing the target audience can help us understand their requirements better. Secondly, are we selling something relevant to them? The content should have something relatable to the content. The online business should also be unique. The items should be somewhat different from the items sold on various sites.
The domain name should also use proper keywords. Plus people don’t like long, confusing domain names which are hard to remember.
The domain name should be catchy and should capture the interest of the readers. It should be something which the readers remember, and the name should be relevant to the site.
Above everything, one thing that holds significant importance is the quality of the content. It is said when a website has brilliant content, good or bad SEO doesn’t matter much. But if the website has poor content, it cannot survive even with good SEO.
But what is good content, and how can we identify it? The content should be original, including the text, images, videos, etc. It should not be copied from other websites.
No wonder plagiarism checker sites are in high demand right now. No one wants to read the same text on two different websites. Suppose we own two websites and we publish content in one of them.
Now, posting the same content on the second website won’t be a good idea. Again, it’s no point in putting up pictures and videos on a website if the people have absolutely no idea what it means. So it is better to add some descriptions along with images or videos.
When we create a website, it shouldn’t feel like a duty. We need to do it because we want to. So, it is vital to create content which has some value and is useful to the website.
The title of the page is very significant as well. And it is better to optimize the titles suing a few tips. It is better if the target keyword is placed at the beginning of the title.
But that should only be done if it looks appropriate because it helps the search engine to understand it better. Even if we don’t add it at the beginning of the title, it doesn’t mean our content is pointless. It is just fine if the keyword is a part of the title.
The title of the page should be short and precise. It is recommended that we keep it below 60 characters.There are some words called power words and adding them to the title can prove to be a huge advantage.
Some examples are “amazing”, “actionable”, “ultimate”, “checklist”, etc. Words like these make the article more catchy and increase the Click Through Rate. We do not need to add our domain name in the title. Because Google automatically does it. We can add an accurate description of the page using 60 characters.
Less is more; this is not just applicable in case of fashion sense. We can also apply it to websites. Who wants to go through complicated websites. The content in simple websites is easier to sort through and index.
It is better to avoid frames because people find them confusing, and it can degrade the ratings. Too many ads also annoy readers. It is better to add the links to the bottom of the page.
if we are using ads. And the topic of our page should be according to the content. Putting up some irrelevant content will be of no use. Moreover, we should not add fancy accessories like images and GIFs until absolutely required.
We need to format a page before publishing it correctly. There should be only one H1 tag on the entire page. WordPress wraps the title of the page into H1 tags by default.
We can select the option of having the same title and H1 tag. Or else we can provide a title of our choice for the heading. Search engines always display the content of the title tag, not the H1 tag.
So it’s a better idea to differentiate the two. And we should not provide a one-word heading to the article. We need to keep the heading interesting so that even the people who like to skim through the articles would want to read it.
It is also necessary to use a hierarchical pattern while using the tags. We need to use the H1 tag first, then H2, H3, and the successive ones. Adding the keywords in subheadings is another excellent idea.
An article doesn’t mean a jumble of confusing words. The content needs to have a flow and must look put together.
Highlighting the important parts of a page in bold, italics or by underlining it is an efficient way to divert the eyes of the audience to where it’s necessary.
The size of the font should be such that it is visible properly. And it is mandatory to use spaces in between paragraphs. It makes the reading process much easier.
Adding some images or videos definitely makes a page look more attractive. It optimizes the presentation process but then there are a few things to take care of.
Using original images is always a better idea. But sometimes, we might need to use images that exist on the web. In that case, we must mention the source because it’s only fair.
The size of the images needs to be small (in bytes) and appropriate. We can describe the image using the ALT tag to help the search engines know better about the picture. It is better if the file name isn’t something random like “image3.jpg”.
We need to rename it according to the related image. Too many images on the page can slow down the loading process. So, we can use certain tools to help out with that.
Optimizing the URL
Maximum SEO requires optimization of URL. The entire process consists of two parts. The first part is called URL optimization, while the second part is the URL structure.
Any URL is considered to be good if it has 255 characters. And it is better to separate the different parts using hyphens.
The URL needs to be short. It also needs to be descriptive and should contain the primary keyword. The structure of the URL should be similar to the structure of the website.
To optimize the URL structure, it is better if we group the pages into categories that can help users and search engines find what they want in a more fast manner.
We can also use subcategories, but too many categories may confuse the readers.
Internal and External Links
It is a good idea to link pages within a website for good SEO. Because when a search engine spider discovers a page, they follow the links on the page.
So if we do not have any links on a page, they will just read the page and leave. But if we have links pointing to other pages on our website, they will venture into that as well. In this way, users can spend more amount of time on our website.
A website should not have more than 15 internal links. We can also link our pages to a high-quality related website. In this way, Google can understand the topics we are describing on our page.
Other than the methods mentioned above there are other on-page techniques and best seo tips to improve SEO. Adding comments increase the time spend on our website. It is really important to focus on the on-page techniques to achieve maximum SEO friendly website
There are many things that matter can happen away from our website. Off-page techniques are those which we can apply without direct contact with the website. These techniques will help us achieve a higher rank and help to create a more SEO friendly website. The time we spend on off-page SEO will vary according to our marketing goals. Research says that usually, owners of a website spend around 30% of their time on off-page Search Engine Optimisation whereas they spend 70% of their time on on-page Search Engine Optimisation. Off-page SEO is not all about link building. It is much more than that. However, there are some steps that we need to take care of before starting our off-page Search Engine Optimisation. These include preparing our page for link building. In order to do that we need to layout our pages in such a way that each link should pass SEO juice to the other connected pages. Then we need to do the basic on-page Search Engine Optimisation. Here are some techniques for off-page Search Engine Optimisation.
Involvement in social media
Getting involved on social media is the primary step for off-page SEO. It helps to advertise our content and build a better reputation online. We need to sign up on the most engaging social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
If there are a number of people on the social media website, our page will be visible to a larger audience. We can extend our network and people might share our posts. In this way, our page will get more exposure.
We can upload content on any topic of our choice, but we should stick to our original material and post it at least once a week. Involving social media is a great way to promote our website and increase its popularity. We can also use specific tools to schedule our posts in advance.
Blogging is another excellent method to promote our website online. If we write a blog for our website, the readers would want to come back to our page, again and again, to remain updated with our latest posts.
The search engine will also crawl into our page on a regular basis as they will update all our most recent entries. In this way, we can rank higher on the search engine result pages. But writing content periodically and keeping it updated isn’t an easy task. We need to write unique content which is not available on other websites.
We need to be clear about the topics we want our readers to read. But not everyone is an expert in blogging. In that case, we can hire guest bloggers who can write unique content for our blog so our block can achieve higher ratings in the search engine.
Social bookmarking is another efficient way to promote our website. Not everyone knows how to use social bookmarking effectively and as a result, it leads to spamming social bookmarking sites.
Firstly we need to select the most popular social bookmarking sites. And then we can submit our latest blog posts and pages to these sites. These sites are very common because usually, the owner updates the content very frequently. But we need to be very careful while doing this.
We must handle the tags properly because they are essential to expose our news on a broad network. If we participate in this method effectively, it can increase the traffic to our page to a large extent
Usually, mobile sites are slow and people do not give much priority to that. However, accelerated mobile pages project is an initiative by Google where a 7% reduction in conversion occurs if there is even a 1-second delay in loading time.
But the AMP project helps to improve the loading speed by 15% to 85%. The factors which help in optimization for mobile are voice search, microformats artificial intelligence, and quality content.
Forums are a great way to start in online discussions and talk about certain topics with our friends. We can find multiple forums online that belong to the niche of our blog or website.
We can get involved with that community and reply to comments, answer questions, offer advice to problems, etc.
In this way, we can build a reputation and showcase our expertise in that particular niche. We can include the link of the forum on our page so that people can check it out. If we include the link to the forum within our signature, the search engines can crawl into our website.
Usually, mobile sites are slow and people do not give much priority to that. However, accelerated mobile pages project is an initiative by Google where a 7% reduction in conversion occurs if there is even a 1-second delay in loading time.
But the AMP project helps to improve the loading speed by 15% to 85%. The factors which help in optimization for mobile are voice search, microformats, artificial intelligence, and quality content.
Forums are a great way to start in online discussions and talk about certain topics with our friends. We can find multiple forums online that belong to the niche of our blog or website. We can get involved with that community and reply to comments, answer questions, offer advice to problems, etc. In this way, we can build a reputation and showcase our expertise in that particular niche. We can include the link of the forum on our page so that people can check it out.
We can also exchange links with service-related websites. This is more popularly known as Thematic link exchange. This method can help to increase the popularity of our link. It also plays a major role in Google’s page rank algorithm. But at the same time, it is better to be careful of Black Hats while exchanging links.
We can also promote our website through link baiting. Whenever we produce very unique content, the public may want to link to it. For example, if we publish or copy content from any other website, we should always add the link to their website as a reference.
In this way, we can show that our content is trustworthy. If we do it for others, it is certain that the others will also do it for us. Moreover, it is a great way to increase the popularity of our link.
Using targeted keywords as anchor text, we can link our internal pages. But this strategy is not easy to implement. From a search engine point of view, these links hold a lot of weight.
It can also increase the popularity of links, that is another major factor of Google page rank algorithm.
There are many popular photo-sharing websites online like Picasa, Flickr, photo bucket, etc. If we use any kind of images of pictures on our website, we can share them or publish them on the popular photo-sharing websites.
In this way, our pictures can get exposure and will be visible to the public. The people can also comment on them along with seeing them. They might also share the pictures which can increase the traffic on our website.
Just like photo sharing, video marketing is also a great strategy. We can share or publish the videos of our products, opinions, and reviews and make them visible to public. YouTube, Metacafe, Dailymotion, and Vine are some of the most popular video sharing websites. This method is one of the important off-page SEO techniques.
If our website is local the search engine can easily view it. It will help us to reach a targeted audience. Google local, maps, yellow pages are some of the websites where we can publish our content. This method doesn’t seem popular but again it is one of the most important strategies.
We can write business reviews of other people or we can ask our friends and clients to write a review on our business. The content it can then be published in major Business Review sites.
Press release promotion
There are different popular PR websites through which we can go for PR submission. We can promote our business or act as a service provider. Using this method we can make our content visible on Google News.
Participating in question-answer sessions is another great way to promote our website. We can ask or answer relevant questions and we can build up our reputation in a particular field. We can also place a link to our website in the source section which can increase the popularity of our link. People can also easily find our website in this manner. But we should avoid spamming.
Social shopping networks
For people who run e-commerce websites, promoting or advertising their products is a very important step.
And what better way to do it than submitting them on online shopping websites? Using this method, we can promote our products for free.
There are some major online shopping websites like Yahoo online shopping, MSN online shopping, google product search, style feeder, etc. We can use these websites to increase the chances of our products selling and being more visible to the buyers.
Gadget development or widget development
Another great way to promote our website is to develop an interactive gadget or widget.
We can publish these gadgets on our website or on popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Our friends can use this application and play with this gadget.
We can also invite them to do so. This will increase the number of visits of any user to our website and it is a great way to promote it as well.
We can also promote or brand our website by sharing business documents, slides, information brochures on major sites like Google docs, slideShare, etc.
We can publish these gadgets on our website or on popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Our friends can use this application and play with this gadget. We can also invite them to do so.
Mobile App streaming
Mobile apps are valuable tools and mobile-friendly sites serve different purposes. Mobile apps help in bringing fresh prospects. They attract more number of customers because they provide steady content and are loyal.
Research says that 70% users visit websites using their mobiles. People can receive relevant content from apps without downloading anything using Google’s app streaming service. Today people spend more than 65% of the time absorbing media through smartphones. Of that 65%, people spend 85% of their time on apps.
Nowadays every business aims to build their mobile app to increase popularity.
As an SEO expert, our goal is to make our website achieve higher ranks. And there are many other techniques to do so apart from just on-page techniques and off-page techniques. A higher ranking means more people are visiting our website and that means we can develop better strategies. Here are some other techniques which cover the other prospects in making our website more SEO friendly-
- What does Google exactly do? If we have any query, google tries to show the best results to the users. Because if it shows low-quality results, the users won’t be using that search engine again. And that is one of the reasons why Google is one of the best search engines today.
- In the same way, if we don’t maintain the quality of our website, it will be difficult to achieve a higher rank. Usually, people spend more time on a website when they find it interesting and it doesn’t take forever to load. So we need to improve the overall experience that the users go through our website.
- We already know how formatting content is an important step for SEO. But there are a few basic steps that can make the entire process easy. It is better to write shorter paragraphs and medium-sized sentences. Because people find it hard to follow longer sentences on their computer or mobile screens. Usually, a person spends around 37 seconds to read a piece of article. Using subheadings can speed up this process. It is also a good idea to use bullet points while stating examples and facts.
- When the readers go through a piece of content, they hardly scan the entire piece. In this case, it is better to apply the inverted pyramid style. That means we should reveal the most important information at the top of the page and follow it up with the less important information. Hence the readers will like it better if they find the information they need as soon as they land on the website.
- We already know that backlinks are an important part of SEO. When it comes to determining search rank, links still hold that operation. Ranking any website without links is next to impossible. But every link is not a good link. There are some good low-quality links we do not work and can harm our website. It is better to use links that provide high-quality content and are earned through influencer marketing. But having too many good quality links on our website may land a Google penalty. So if we are using one high-quality link, we should also create five medium quality links and keep them as a backup
- There are two other factors that matter in the SEO world. These are crawling and indexing. Crawling usually means following the links on our website. The bots on our website can also follow the other linked pages. In this case, it is a good idea to create sitemaps so that the bots on Google can look into our website in depth. Indexing means the addition of web pages to Google search. Google will follow the links and index our web pages depending on the meta tags that we have used. To rank higher, we should index only the vital parts of our blog or website.
- Using bucket brigades can help to capture the interest of the readers so that they would want to read the rest of the page. In this technique, we can break down an idea into several sentences and use a trigger word or phrase in between. At the end of the sentence, we can add a colon to pique the interest of the readers
404 errors are extremely common and very annoying. Readers do not want to end up at a dead-end like this. So we should immediately fix the broken and missing pages as soon as possible. It will help to re-engage our previous readers. We should also keep redirecting URLs ready so we can diverter our users to functioning websites
In this article, we have looked at the different SEO techniques which can affect the ranking of our page. Along with on-page techniques and off-page techniques, there are some other prospects that are mentioned as well. SEO holds are very essential place in digital marketing today. And the techniques to improve the ranking are not limited. There are many different techniques by which we can and have our website to gain a much higher rank. All the methods may together seem overwhelming but once we understand the basics of SEO, we can put in better efforts.
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