What is SEO? The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It is a term used for all the activities you can do to improve the visibility of your web pages and all its contents on search engine results pages (SERPs). The visibility of all your contents will ensure that traffic will be brought to your website. High-quality traffic is equivalent to a high ranking in the search pages of the search engines, and this means more opportunity for you to gather potential customers which can eventually turn into leads and sales conversion. It is for this reason why all website owners are vying for the top ranks of the search engines pages.
The technical practices you can apply behind the scenes (on-page SEO) varies to all promotional off-page SEO approaches to can use to increase your site’s visibility – Social media marketing, link building, etc. When we refer to visibility, we are talking about how high up the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) your website appears for certain keywords in the organic results. Talking about organic, this refers to those that appear naturally on the page and not on the paid ads sections, though paid search is also a large part of the search engine marketing.
Why do you need SEO?
Building a strong web design layout while providing a clear navigation for users cause search engines to index your site easily and quickly. This somehow provides your visitors good users experience and encourage them to return regularly. It’s good to note therefore that Google and other search engines are paying more attention to providing viewers with a good user experience.
The major element that drives website owners to pay attention to SEO practices is the substantial amount of traffic that search engines could drive to your site. This is also a clear indicator of the SEO importance to every website.
In 2014, 65 percent of the entire web traffic came from organic research: 2% from social networks, and around 6% percent from paid search, 12% from direct and 15% from various referral sources.
In 2015, Google accounted for more than 90% of the worldwide organic search traffic, so obviously, if one aims for increased visibility, you need to have a strong authority on Google SERPs. A study from Advance Web Ranking revealed that to be able to dominate Google, it is, therefore, crucial that your site must appear in the top five results on the SERP. These top five on SERP accounts for 60-67% of all clicks and results from 6-10 account for only 3.73%.
But how can one achieve this? One can only manage to achieve the top five highest rank when your website have what it takes to impress search engines, especially Google and other majors search engines like Yahoo and Bing.
Here are some important factors you need to consider while building your website and creating your contents to assure that you will be fully assisted by these search engines while on your struggle for success in the internet world.
Because search engines provide relevant sources of information to internet users, they require every information provider in the website to provide the most relevant content there is to offer. And because relevance is one factor considered in determining the site rank, it is important that all content provided on your web page had relevance to the niche and topic you have selected.
Search engines are providing these results according to their algorithm, and some factors certainly influence these results such as searcher’s location, keywords used, search history, time and day, etc.
2. Quality Content
As a marketer, would always say, “Content is King!” so does every search engine believe it is as the latest research on ranking factors indicates that Google is indeed moving towards long-form content that somehow understands the users need in totality. Now, that should stop bloggers and web administrators to provide content based only on popular search queries.
3. User Experience
There are so many SEO benefits that geared towards proving website users with the best user experience. You can attain this by providing easy navigation, easy to search site with relevant links and content – blogs, products, real and clear graphics, videos, audios, etc. All this stuff will keep your visitor hungry for more and explore every part of your website. They will also come back for more.
4. Site Speed
How quickly your page’s matter much to every user and is increasingly becoming a differentiator for search engines. Accelerated Mobile search (AMS) is also one thing you need to bear in mind while creating your site content and structure.
5. Cross-Device Compatibility
Your website and all parts of it must be optimized for a good user experience on any given screen size or device. Take note that Google’s declaration that responsive design is still the preferred method for mobile optimization.
6. Internal Linking
We all know how a clear and easy-to-use navigation can benefit you and your website, but aside from these, there are some ways that content writers can help draw more traffic to the site that may lead to higher trust signals for Google and we call this “internal linking.”
Here are some advantages “internal linking” can provide to your website.
It provides the audience with more content to read. As long as these articles are relevant and you use clear anchor text. The anchor text is highlighted as it is hyperlinked to another article relevant to the one it is anchored to. By doing this, it helps to reduce bounce rates.
It helps improve your ranking for certain keywords. If you intend an article to rank high, an example of keywords, “Law of Attraction,” then you can link it from other posts but use a variation of the same anchor text. This will tell Google that this post is relevant to the topic on Law of Attraction and to people search for that subject. Some experts will suggest that you vary your anchor text pointing the same page. Having multiple identical anchor texts will alert Google and identify it as suspicious.
It makes crawling and indexing your site easy for Google. Google sent out to fetch out new information on your site will have a better idea on how useful and trustworthy your content, the more that they will crawl on your internal links.
Having an authority website is essential to your success as you are fully trusted by the users, search engines, other websites, and the industry you belong to. Conventionally, a link from an authority site is valuable, as it’s seen as a vote of confidence and making you popular across the web. The more links you have, the more authority that you website commands.
However, some search metrics studies suggest that the interconnection between backlinks and rankings are decreasing year after year and so perhaps, eventually, “links” may not be as important to SEO as they were before.
8. Meta Tags and Descriptions
Including a meta description don’t necessarily that your ranking will improve in SERP, but to help increase your chances of increasing the number of clickers clicking on your result, you must include one.
The meta description is a summary describing what your content is all about. It serves as a synopsis, so users will know if your content is the one that they need.
In writing your meta description, write under 156 characters and make sure that it is relevant to the content.
9. Schema Markup
You can make your search results get better by adding Schema markup to the HTML of your pages; This can turn your search results into a productive media playground – adding customer or star ratings, images, graphics, and other helpful information. The schema is a preferred markup method used by the most developer including Google itself.
10. Properly-Tagged Images
We all love to upload graphics and images in our content but we definitely forget that Google bots can’t see these images no matter how attractive and beautiful they are. However, they can read Alt Text. You can provide this by writing captions underneath images so these bots can determine what these photos are all about. If you have correctly and clearly described them it will increase the chances of your images appearing on Google Image Search. Furthermore, it will help your website to be easily accessed by users using screen reader software.
So these are 10 tips that will help make your SEO much better and more likely to rank on search engines. The things that rank the highest are the things that are the most informative, the most engaging, and the most useful. So strive to create content that readers love, and search engines will love you too.