The Beginner's Guide to SEO
Looking for higher rankings and traffic through Search Engine Optimization? how to rank higher, and how to get more organic traffic.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process of optimizing your website with the goal of improving your ranking in search results and getting more organic (non-paid) traffic.
The history of SEO dates back to the 90’s when search engines first appeared. Nowadays, it is an essential marketing strategy and an ever-growing industry.
Search engine optimization only focuses on organic search results and does not include PPC optimization. SEO and PPC are both part of Search Engine Marketing.
Search engines are used by Internet users when they are searching for something.
And you want to give some answer to this. It doesn't matter whether you sell a product or service; Write a blog, or something else, search engine optimization is a must for every website owner.
SEO is all the work you do to convince Google to treat your website as a quality source and rank it higher for your desired search query.
Why is SEO important?
Visibility and Ranking
When searching for a service or product online, you're more likely to pick one of the top five suggestions by the user that the Search Engine shows them. SEO helps you rank higher in search results and increase online visibility, making implicit customers more likely to click on your point and convert.
If the potential customers can’t find your website, then deals are missing opening. SEO grows your organic Search Engine traffic, in turn adding to the number of callers your runner sees daily. This is directly related to an increase in deals – because the more applicable people see your point of view, the more likely you are to sell them.
The better your SEO score, the more advanced you appear on search engines like Google and Bing. While advanced rankings on Google are attracting all brands because of increased visibility, a secondary benefit is the trust you gain with potential customers. User defer to the recommendations that a Search Engine generates, so having an elevated position for the keywords a user is searching for will, in turn, cement your product or service safely in the user's mind.
A well-optimized website easily communicates what product or service is being offered, how to get it and answers any questions. By feeding point figures to the user experience, Search Engines like Google and Bing are apt to fluently pull in the information they need users to endure as well. However, chances are that search engines do too, in case a user struggles to navigate your point.
There is no disbelief about it – SEO is vital to the growth of your brand. As we mentioned, the advanced rank you rank on a Search Engine for a variety of high-volume keywords, the more organic (anonymously-paid) web business will accept your point.
A website that is well optimized is more likely to receive more customers and make further deals. People can also incorporate your brand on other social platforms like Facebook or Instagram once they put your website through the Search Engine.
How to do SEO for Website
Choose the Correct URL
Before your website goes live, you need to give it a name. Also known as your domain name, this is the address that visitors will type in to find your site. Like the giant sign above a storefront window, it's one of the first things a visitor comes to your site. That's why it's the first place Google seeks to understand what your site is about and to decide how to rank it.
With this in mind, it is important to make sure that the URLs for all your pages are clean and beautiful. That means no special characters, no hash bang, no page ID. You get the point.
The ideal domain would include your business name and perhaps a relevant keyword or two that are relevant to your business. For example, if you are bags, you may want to purchase a domain name like www.bags.com
Want to know more? Check out this post if you need more advice on choosing the right domain name.
Create title and Description for each Page
Did you know that you can write a unique title and description for each page of your website? These are short text that accurately and clearly describes what your business does. Ideally, they can come up with a few keywords and phrases mixed in.
Have you ever hovered over a tab on your browser? That little phrase that appears under your mouse is the title of the page. While the description is not visible on your page, it is very important to the search engines. In fact, the title and description are among the first elements search engines track to determine your site's ranking. Plus, once your site appears in a search results page, web surfers will read your title and description to learn about your site and decide whether to visit it or not.
Looking for expert advice on writing killer titles and descriptions? Check out this guide about On-page optimization.
Use Anchor Text
When you write text for your website, consider where you can use anchor text within your site. Anchor what? No, it has nothing to do with sailing. Anchor text is clickable text on a hyperlink that visitors can use to take them directly to another web page within your site or anywhere on the Internet.
Effective anchor text should be used to help users navigate your website and find what they are looking for. It should also include keywords and phrases related to what you do. If you have a shoe store, for example, "Check out our selection of kids' shoes" on your homepage, your online store can be linked via anchor text to — you guessed it — kids' shoes.
Anchor text is a great way to boost your SEO, but keep in mind that excessive linking or anchors that don't really help your readers can raise some red flags with Google.
Add Alternate Text to All Your Images
Search engines are great at reading the text on your website, but they still haven't figured out how to see the images on your site. To understand what appears in a photo or graphic, search engines look for "alt text," a short written description (no more than just a few words) about each image on a website. When writing alternative text, be sure to accurately describe what is shown in the image, but also try to include the name of your business or some keywords related to what you do.
You don't need to write alternative text for fully functional or design-related images, such as a sized-only background image. If the image has nothing to do with the theme of your site, you can omit the alternative text.
Want to learn more? Take a look at this article about writing SEO friendly alt text for your images.
Structure your site with the right Headers
Each page of your website should have a title, a subtitle, etc. When search engines scan your website, they will understand your content better if you are using the correct text hierarchy. The most relevant part is the title of your page, and you should define it as H1 (in the text editor).
The content of the H1 page should be descriptive and you should not have more than one H1 per page. Choose your title carefully and don't forget to include your main keywords. Your H1 is followed by H2, H3, etc in the hierarchy of headers. While H1 corresponds to your title, H2 and H3 correspond to your title and subtitle, respectively. The clearer your text structure is, the easier your site content will be for search engines to digest.
How do Search Engines Work?
When a user types a search query into a search engine like Google, the search engine looks at millions of entries to show the most relevant search results in decreasing order of relevance. They have their own algorithms for how they do it and they change frequently.
However, the basic rule remains the same - relevance. Any search engine will first show the pages it thinks are most relevant. They do this by performing a series of tasks, as discussed below.
This is the process where a search engine scours the Internet for content.
It is the process through which a search engine understands and stores and organizes online content.
For each online page, the search engine will try to understand the content and categories in the best possible way. This way the search engine has an entire index or database of results that it can now display for the search query it receives.
Backlinks basically mean links to other websites in your niche that direct traffic to your website. People link to other websites to direct their users to other useful content or to attribute certain information cited from your website.
The more reputable websites you link to, the better it is for your own website reputation. So you should aim to get backlinks from high domain authority websites in your area.
The quality of links on your website or landing pages matters a lot when it comes to the ranking criteria of search engines. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the better your ranking is likely to be.
What are the main elements of Search Engine Optimization?
On-site SEO is the improvements you apply to the content on your site to ensure that it are search engine friendly. When optimizing your WebPages for search engines, you want to indicate to search engines what the webpage is about in a variety of ways.
With on-site SEO, you'll deal with your website's structure, SEO keywords, internal links, image alt attributes, and other techniques so that search engines can analyze and evaluate your website's content.
While keywords are no longer the only SEO technique that matters, they are still important to your website's search engine ranking. When we speak of keywords, we are referring to specific words and phrases that potential customers use to find answers online.
Choosing the right keywords for your website and content takes diligent research, and it's important to aim for the sweet spot of high volume ratings + low competition. At Alter Endeavor Digital Creative, we offer an SEO foundational package when building sites that rely on extensive keyword research to ensure that the language used on the site is highly relevant to your industry. -Include volume keywords.
The content you choose to write and share on your website is essential to reach and engage with your audience. Let's say you have a window treatment business, like our client ABC Blind & Draper does - to increase your visibility in that industry, we're looking to explore the types of window treatments, from modern window treatments to motorized smart home automation.
So, when a local user searches for any kind of window treatment related query, your blog shows up. It allows you to start a conversation with a potential customer by providing them with valuable information that they are actively searching for. And who will come to your mind first when they're ready to buy their new window treatments? Your content should be educational, engaging and shareable.
If you have a local business that only serves the Austin area, your website may not be ranking in other cities. Search engines pull the user's location within a certain range to make suggestions so they can make quick decisions instead of sorting through businesses that aren't anywhere near that time. So, if someone wants to find the best sushi in town, they'll do a quick Google search, browse through the top results near you, and make their decision. Which means if your business is not showing as the top result at the time of joining, chances are they are taking their business elsewhere?
Ways to improve your local SEO include using local keywords, claiming your directory listings, and creating pages for your businesses on platforms like Google My Business and Google Maps.
Off site seo
Off-site search engine optimization techniques include efforts made on websites outside of your own to elevate your own rankings. The key element of off-site SEO is link building or "backlinks," an effort to link other reputable, high-traffic websites to your site.
Backlinks are a sign of trust for search engines and they can play a big role in your ranking position. Make sure the links are coming from well-known and trusted sites and your ranking will be positively affected. Don't try to get search engines to recognize bad links by using "black hat" tactics, as more likely, you will be penalized and potentially banned from search engines.
Top SEO Ranking Factors
Headings are headings, which vary in size, at the beginning of pages, sections, and paragraphs. For SEO and content quality purposes, search engines "scan" the title of a page to determine whether:
Keywords and related words are found in the main headings of the page
The sub-headings of the page represent the main headings
Page content (paragraph text) indicating subheadings
If you're writing a coffee-rubbed steak recipe, you'll need to make sure you list the ingredients under the "Ingredients" heading, and so on. This will ensure that search engines understand what's going on the page, and may even give you a featured snippet.
This is a Featured Snippet that explains what a Featured Snippet is.
Keywords based on SEO
Search engine algorithms read web pages like a third-grader who's late for a vacation: keyword skimming. Your keywords should be a word or phrase that you think people will be typing into search engines, such as "what is a sales funnel" or "cold email template."
Make sure your keyword is distributed evenly throughout your content, and is also found in headings and sub-headings—but not all of them. Too many keywords will make search engines think that your page is spam.
If you're focused on "hacking" SEO content, rather than just readability, your strategy may be to simply plug in your keywords with variations and related phrases as often as possible. That would be a mistake.
Instead, I personally like to account for readability and helpfulness and allow organic shares and longer page views to help increase the ranking of my content. Both of these are SEO indicators that search engines also use to determine the quality of the content.
I would rather post something fun, informative and helpful than post an SEO keyword grab to occupy the #1 spot on Google. There are a bunch of different strategies. Don't be the bad guy.
It's a coward. The topic of your content should be relevant to your readers.You knew that. But it should also be relevant to the content of your website and your other blogs.
If one day your local movie theater started publishing software reviews instead of show times, their organic traffic would drop to zero. Search engines take the topic into account for SEO because sites offering information on topic X do not necessarily specialize in topics Y or Z.
Once you've selected your topic, type it into Google as a question. Try to include some "people even ask..." points in your copy. This will improve his rank.
High quality contents
Look, there's no two ways about it, your content has to be good—no matter what the type of content. Content exists solely to help people, which in turn builds your following and fosters trust.
That means you should publish original, novel insights on topics that people haven't heard before—topics you're passionate about. It's not really possible (or even advisable) to spoof your way to the front page of search engines by simply filling your page with SEO and keywords.
Write it down somewhere. If your content isn't real and compelling, your audience won't grow.
External links are links from your content to other domains. When linking out, you get SEO points for linking to domains with similar content to the topic you're writing about.
For example, it's perfectly good for you to link briefly when writing about awesome CRMs. Highly advised, indeed. I
The actual text you choose to turn into a hyperlink is known as anchor text. If the anchor text contextually matches the content of the page you're linking to, you get bonus points. If your anchor text is random you get fewer points.
Internal links work in the same way as external links work. Good anchor text, relevant content, all that stuff makes your internal links more solid. The difference is that, with internal links, you are linking to other pages on your website rather than external pages.
This serves as a good method of giving your favorite web pages the highest link value and thus more visibility. If you have a great piece of SEO content that your users love, link it to your other posts!
Mobile traffic accounts for about 50% of all web traffic as of Q4 2019. To provide their users with the best possible experience, search engines are constantly testing the mobile-friendliness of pages and providing high-visibility pages that perform well. Most web builders automatically publish mobile-friendly pages. Others publish the page as it is, and it's up to you to make your own pages mobile-friendly.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to mobile-friendliness, as the mobile issues that arise are based on the content you are trying to publish. As a general rule, make sure all of your content elements will span smoothly on a mobile page without the need for horizontal scrolling or mini-text.
Some visual web editors get confused about margin space, so make sure nothing is overlapping or misplaced on your published mobile page. If your pictures are too big, make sure they reside on mobile. It's all about fitting everything properly into that little vertical screen.
Remember that you can always test the usability of your mobile yourself and update your published SEO content as needed.
Page Loading Speed
Page loading speed is an important factor in ranking for SEO, but it is also a usability issue. The higher the loading speed of a page, the higher the bounce rate. These numbers start out scary, with about 50% of users giving up after five seconds of page loading.
There are a slew of useful resources available to help content creators reduce their page loading times.
At the very least, be sure to manually downscale your landing images before applying them to your content.
Also, large chunks of content, such as long videos or large photos, should be linked to another domain rather than being hosted on your SEO content. Trim that fat!
Probably one of the most important factors in a page's SEO ranking is its page authority, combined with the website's domain authority. What exactly is domain authority?
Domain authority is a score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. The score is determined by a specialized SEO algorithm that primarily focuses on links - how many inbound/outbound links per site and the authorities behind them.
High-ranking sites that link to you will increase your authority. Naturally, low-ranking sites that link to you (known as toxic backlinks) will damage your site's reputation, resulting in low visibility for your pages and SEO content.
Domain authority is comparative rather than concrete. Since sites vary greatly in nature, and there is only one scale to measure all websites, it makes sense that similar sites would have scores within similar ranges.
For example, Wikipedia has 6 million English articles, all of which rank extremely high for their target key phrases, and have a domain authority of 93.
Don't compete with them! Save yourself 6 million articles and focus on capturing your own SEO key phrases that are relevant to your topics and helpful to your audience.