Here is Everything One Needs to Know about SEO!
Search Engine Optimization is a vast concept that encompasses everything required to build your website traffic. Before we get deeper into the topic, let's get a clear idea of how a search engine works.
The content we upload on our website is visible publicly on the world wide web (www). Now, search engine bots are crawling all over the web like spiders to fetch information from these websites. Once it crawls over the internet content, these bots store the data in search engine data centres of companies like Google. Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) then use this data to generate search results.
Now that you have a fair idea of how a search engine functions, we shall discuss why we need to optimize our website.
Search Engine Optimization is done to your website so that it stays on top of search engine results organically (organic - unpaid). Paid advertisements give you an edge over the non-paid traffic generation techniques, but if you want to build quality traffic without investing in ads, then SEO is the best way to do so. What can be more satisfying than having a purely organic quantity of traffic on your website?
In short, optimization and indexing can help your website be visible on the initial pages of SERP without investing a penny on ads. If you don't work on optimizing, then your site will get buried under innumerable pages that are delivering similar content or services.
So far, we have come across three important terms:
1) Crawling: Fetching page information from the world wide web.
2) Indexing: Categorizing relevant information into Title, meta tag, content, website categories, etc.
3) Ranking: Sorting websites in ranking order according to the search engine algorithm.
Now you know why SEO is a must-be for your website.
Search engine optimization is an integral component of content writing. A large number of website content writing services include SEO as it forms the framework of page ranking. Your content should align with the algorithm so that it provides value to your website. Content writing agencies mostly include SEO in their packages to render technical support to the content.
Factors Affecting SEO:
The factors that contribute to site optimization can be roughly divided into 4 levels or layers:
1) Domain: Your domain is the identity of your website. Domain name optimization is the first step of SEO. Keywords present in the domain name, domain age and privacy, keywords in the subdomain, domain history, etc. are among the many domain-level factors.
We always suggest using top-level domains such as .com, .net, etc.
2) Pages: You can always optimize the texts and images on your web page to increase its visibility. Some page-level factors that you can look upon are keywords present in URL, title tags, meta tags, description, etc., Page links, page loading speed, page security, content relevancy, length of the content, etc.
3) Site: Valuable content, contact form, sitemap, site navigation, HTTPS, terms & conditions page, etc. determine the reachability of a website. Your website is your online workspace. The more you will increase the accessibility, the more the customers will accumulate.
4) Backlinks: We shall discuss backlinks in detail on the off-page SEO part. However, on a summarized note, the number of good backlinks, the authority of linking domain, alt tags, age of linking domain, linking page quality, etc.
Types of SEO:
If we look at SEO broadly, it has two major categories:
1) On-page site optimization
2) Off-page site optimization
On-page optimization refers to the honing of website text, images, and other elements to increase the page rank. We can do it during web development, as well as the content curation level. On-page SEO helps you with your search engine indexing too.
Now, we can divide it into two parts - keyword related SEO and other technical factors.
Keywords are nothing but words or phrases that people use in their search queries. If you include these keywords on your content, they will help your web page appear in the SERP for that particular phrase or word.
As the name suggests, keyword related factors of SEO involve proper keyword research, keyword weightage, its prominence, as well as its proximity.
The best practice to use keywords is placing one of each on the Title Tag, Meta Tag, Meta Description, and Header of your Content.
You can utilize these keywords on your website in multiple ways, but be very careful about Keyword Stuffing. It is a punishable offense, and the search engine will penalize you if you stuff keywords unethically for the sake of ranking. The optimum frequency of keywords is 3 per 100 words.
Earlier keywords were the primary ranking factor of a website, but with the evolution of search engine algorithms, the content has evolved to be of utmost priority.
Even if a user doesn't search with the exact keyword now, they can land on your website on account of user search relevance, use of synonyms, similar word combinations, or appropriate context.
Since content is the updated primary factor according to the latest algorithm, make sure to keep it reliable and original. Also, focus on rendering value to your viewers by creating relevant and comprehensive content.
Technical factors or non-keyword related search engine optimization include the mobile-friendliness of your website, site URL, and navigation, site security, loading speed, etc. You can resolve the loading speed issue by using free website plugins such as Autoptimize plugin. To secure your site, you can buy an SSL certificate along with your domain name.
Off-page optimization refers to all the efforts that we do externally, that is outside the website. Building backlinks is a proven off-page SEO technique that generates healthy organic traffic to a website.
Backlinks are incoming and link one site to another. They act as confidence builders for your website. Other websites have vouched for your page and redirect traffic to you. That wins the trust of a fair amount of your audience. Moreover, inbound leads convert as such leads are of superior quality.
You can also let your site images work for your off-page SEO. Build image links by submitting your images to various sites such as Imgur or Flickr, and they will divert traffic to your site.
Building QnA links also increases website reachability. You can link your website to various Q&A platforms such as Quora or Answers Yahoo.
Guest Posting is a key technique for off-page site optimization. You can create contextual links within the article or blog itself or paste your website link on the bio of your profile.
Earlier, directory submission sites were an important factor in site optimization, although it has now lost its popularity.
That was all about the various ways by which you can optimize your website from outside.
Is this jargon-stuffed information too much for you to take in one go?
Don't worry and relax. You can easily understand the behaviour of search engines by keeping a check on the time-to-time algorithm updates. That way, you won't lag in optimizing your site and can fall in line with the latest requirements for search engine ranking.
One Pro-Tip: Always keep your content fresh and updated. Old and untouched content will have no contribution to your SEO. So, examine your previously existing web content and blogs and freshen them up.
As I mentioned at the beginning, SEO is a vast ocean of knowledge that keeps improving with time. There are as many as 200+ factors that help in the optimization of a website. It is practically not possible to cover all of them on a single blog. But I hope it helped you in understanding all the essentials that you need to know to run a basic SEO check on your website.