Search engine optimization (SEO) is a difficult process to master, but it has the potential for huge rewards. SEO can help you reach more customers and generate more revenue from your website. This blog post will cover the basics of search engine optimization, as well as both on-page and off-page SEO strategies.
The Basics of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website's visibility in search results. It can help you reach more customers and generate more revenue from your website. There are many aspects to SEO. In this article we will be looking into keyword research, technical optimizations, on-page elements, and off page activities like link building and content marketing.
There is no one way to 100% guarantee that you are optimizing for SEO, but there are a number of best practices that should be followed in order to factor well with search engines.
Keyword Research: How do you know what keywords people are searching for?
One of the first steps in optimizing a website's visibility on Google and other search engines is to conduct SEO keyword research. This should be one of the first things done when starting a new site or blog. The best way to come up with keywords for your website is by looking at what other websites in your industry are ranking well on Google and then figuring out what their focus might have been. You may also want to use a keyword research tool like Google AdWords Keyword Tool to give you more definitive data.
The purpose of the keyword research is to find keywords that will have enough search volume to generate traffic for your site, but not be so competitive as to make it difficult or impossible for you to rank well with those terms. There is a fine line between highly searched terms and keyword difficulty scores.
Technical SEO: How do you actually rank well with Google?
When it comes to Technical SEO, the most important thing is having a website that is search engine crawler friendly so that you can be found by Google's robots. This usually entails creating good quality content with strong meta tags for each page.
There are three main technical aspects of SEO that should be addressed:
The URL structure for a webpage can improve its rankings in the SERPS by using keywords in the URL.
Page load speed
Google looks at the speed of your site. it should take no more than four seconds for a page to load on average; otherwise, this can result in visitors leaving before even reading anything (and search engine crawlers also penalize sites that have slow loading times).
HTML tags (title tag, description tag) should be used in order to provide semantic meaning for the page.
There are some more technical aspects of SEO that can help your rankings, such as schema and sitemaps.
- Your website should also have a favicon.ico file, or at least include it in your web design to ensure that Google recognizes this as the site icon and includes it with all of their links to you; otherwise, they might use one from another site if there is no other option.
- You should also make sure that your site has a robots.txt file to prevent Google from crawling certain pages, or creating one if it doesn't already exist (usually the case). This is important when you want to add new content but don't want this showing up in search engine results for a few days - just create an empty robots.txt file and you'll be good to go!
On-Page SEO: What should I do with my content?
The content you create is one of the most important aspects of your SEO strategy. This is because Google ranks web pages higher based on the content they contain, as well as how it links to other pages within and outside of their site.
The intention with search engine optimization should be for people who are looking for a particular topic online to find you first rather than someone else's website that covers the same topic.
There are a number of things to keep in mind when creating content for SEO purposes:
The title should be relevant, concise and keyword rich. It is recommended to use three or four keywords within the first 50 words of the post as well as repeating these several times throughout your text. You can also include LSI keywords in order to improve your rankings for the particular topic.
The introduction should be created so that it offers enough information about what you're going to talk about, while also including a number of links back to other relevant posts on your site or external sources (i.e., Wikipedia). This can help give Google context and understanding as to the content you're creating.
You should also use images to break up your text and provide more visual interest for readers, as well as help with keyword optimization.
Off-Page SEO: What about links?
Off-page activities are crucial in order to be seen on Google's SERPs on a regular basis. This often comes in the form of link building. Links from other sites, blogs, and posts provide Google with context as to what your site or blog post is all about. This can result in you being found more often when someone searches for a particular topic that relates to your website's niche.
There are three main categories where links come from:
- Internal Links - these are links that point from one page of your site to another. They can be either in the form of a textual link or an image containing hypertext (i.e., when you hover over it). The goal is to have as many internal links on each page as possible for improved rankings and traffic flow.
- Links from other websites - these provide you with another opportunity to rank well in the SERPS. There are two ways this can be done: by submitting your site or blog post URL manually, as Google does not crawl it if no links exist yet; and using a tool like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) that lets media professionals find experts and sources for their stories.
- Links from social media sites - using links in the form of buttons on your site or blog post can help you track traffic coming to your site through social media. These are often hyperlinked with keywords, so it's important that they link back to as many relevant pages within your website as possible.
The more links you have, the higher your page will rank in Google. It is possible that you could get penalized for having too many links coming from one website, as this looks like spam and can result in your site being dropped completely by Google.
In general, it is better to have more links coming from other sites rather than your own, as Google considers this a sign that you are an authoritative source for the topic. The most important thing is to not link out too much - it is recommended to keep the ratio of external site's URLs at no more than 25%. This can be done by linking to other pages on your site, articles, and blog posts elsewhere.
I hope you found this blog post informative and helpful!