I have created this Beginners guide to SEO so that you know the basics and important techniques of SEO. Implement these techniques and you will definitely see a rise in the ranking, organic traffic and conversions. Understand the concepts from the basic level and know the role and importance of other channels of marketing in SEO.
What is Search Engine Optimization and Why it is Important?
Search engine optimization often refers as SEO is the process of increasing the visibility of web pages to appear higher in the non paid search results. Whenever a search query is performed, SEO helps to rank your web page higher in the SERPs. The traffic appears from SEO source is free or organic. For better understanding and knowing the basics, check the SEO Meaning in detail along with the video. It is not only important to optimize the web pages for search engines but also for the users. Here are the key reasons why SEO is important-
1. The majority of people click the top five results in SERPs so it is crucial to perform the right practices of SEO to appear higher in the search results.
2. SEO improves the usability and user experience of the website for the users.
3. Users trust the results of search engines and having the higher position develops credibility for the site to get clicks.
4. If the site appears higher in the search results then people prefer to share most likely on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
5. SEO helps in outperforming your competitors as if one of the two sites is optimized then it will likely to get more sales as most of the people perform search query before buying a product or service.
SEO and Keyword Research
Keyword research is the backbone of SEO. It is the process of researching and choosing the keywords users may search in the search engines which relates to your product or service. It is crucial to select the right keywords in order to appear higher for the given set of queries and drive organic traffic. Research the keywords based on the intent of users or topics that are trending in your industry. Utilize the power of Long tail keywords as people more specifically perform the search queries. If you are having the small business which is area based, search local keywords.
Once the research is done, check the search volume and keyword difficulty. Select the keywords having high or medium search volume with less difficulty. You can use tools to perform this selection. Some of the popular tools are-LongTailPro
For detailed process for keyword research and keyword strategy check
To rank the web pages higher in the search results, there are 200 SEO ranking factors that Google considers to rank. But there are 30 SEO most important factors which are classified into on page and off page SEO factors. Here is the list-
On Page SEO Factors
- Website URL structure
- Meta Tags
- Keyword Density
- Keyword Proximity
- Image ALT Text
- Internal and Outbound Linking Optimization
- Canonical Tags
- Site speed
- Website Errors
- Mobile Friendliness
- Crawling & Indexing
- Addition of Tracking codes
- Text/ HTML ratio
- W3C Validation
- Schema Implementations
- Social Sharing Buttons
- No Follow
Off Page SEO Ranking Factors
- Domain Authority
- Page Authority
- Trust Flow
- Citation Flow
- Social Shares
- Link Juice
- Page Rank
- Anchor text
To know the details, check SEO Ranking Factors every beginner should know
Types of SEO
- Black Hat SEO
- White Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO refers to the techniques which don’t follow the SEO guidelines. Some of the black hat SEO techniques are as follows- Link spam, cloaking, keyword stuffing, etc. It shows the results quickly but there is short lasted growth in the rankings of the site.
White Hat SEO techniques follow the strict SEO guidelines. Some of the white hat SEO techniques include- the creation of quality content, manual research and outreaching, practicing link earning techniques. The results of these techniques are slow but long lasting.
Google Algorithm Updates
The digital marketing field is dynamic in nature and there is a change every second. It is now more focused and competitive in nature as well. If you have a goal to achieve high search engine rankings and maintain them for a long time, you have to strictly follow Google Algorithm Updates. Here is the list of Major updates
Website owners should have the knowledge of all these major SEO updates and optimize the site avoiding penalties on the site to ensure better DA and rankings in SERPs. However, if the site is affected or penalized then remove Google penalty.
This is one of the most important steps of Beginners guide to SEO. Analysis of website for all the SEO most important factors is called the website SEO analysis. It is important to analyze the website to improve the online presence, visibility on the search engines and resolve technical errors of the site. You must check website SEO analysis steps along with the basic SEO audit checklist and free tools. It is crucial to optimize the website for better user experience and site usability so check SEO tips for web design and development. Rectify all the technical errors and broken links by using the Search console tool.
How to Increase Performance of Website?
There are many factors responsible for increasing performance of website such as average time spent on site, bounce rate, traffic, number of visitors, social sharing, etc. It is crucial to creating the right SEO strategy to stay ahead in the competition and outperform competitors in the industry. Follow the latest SEO trends and white hat SEO techniques, link building techniques to get effective results. Although the results of all these are slow and there is a saying by ancient proverb-
“Slow and steady wins the SEO race”
So results might be slow but effective to increase the performance of the website in search engine result pages and driving organic traffic. For better results, it is important to monitor keyword rankings and follow the steps to improve ranking.
Traffic Measurement and Analysis
This is a crucial part of the Beginners guide to SEO. Add Google Analytics code to the site and track the important key metrics such as traffic sources, average time spent on the site, bounce rate, visitors, and conversions. You can also check the top performing landing pages, channels, traffic details. Link your Google Analytics account with Search console to check the search queries performed by searchers. For more details, check Google Analytics Guide.
Prepare the SEO report including the contribution of traffic by each channel, average time spent, bounce rate, new VS returning visitors, keyword ranking positions. You can also set the goals according to the industry requirement and track how many conversions are completed successfully. Compare the results with the past month.
Importance of Content Marketing in SEO
Content Marketing plays a vital role in SEO. Quality Content boosts the SEO efforts by making it more attractive to convert visitors into buyers. Here are the key points how both of them can improve the performance of the site.
1. With the help of SEO and content marketing, you can research a trendy and latest topic and create unique, relevant and high-quality content. This will help in driving massive traffic to the site, reduce bounce rates and boost conversions.
2. Content Marketing helps in writing an appealing headline which will result in high social shares, good open rates in email and huge traffic to the site.
3. High-Quality content can earn more links as people like to link the quality content on their site as it is more authoritative.
4. Content Marketing skills help SEO specialist to perform the link building through content such as guest posting, Quora answers, Yahoo answers. This makes the strong online reputation and improves the domain authority of the site.
5. Content Marketing helps to optimize the content properly by placing the keywords naturally in the content. It also helps in integrating the long tail keywords rightly in the content and follows the right percentage of keyword proximity.
Role of Social Media in SEO
Social media and SEO go hand in hand. It increased the authority and visibility of the site in search engines. Here are the roles of social media to improve SEO for a site-
1. Link build on social media is considered to be authoritative which improves the credibility of the site. By regularly sharing the content of the site, time spent can be increased and bounce rate can be reduced. These all provide the strong signals to search engines to rank the site higher in SERPs
2. Social media helps in increasing the follower base which turns into the visitors of the site. Visitors are important for improving the visibility of the site that spends the time on the site and finally converts into buyers.
3. Social media helps in improving the position of keywords in SERPs by targeting exactly same keywords in the social media posts or hashtags.
4. Social media especially Google+ profile helps in improving the presence in local 3 packs results. All you need to do for this is to optimize the social profile, build accurate citations and keep the profile active.
5. Social media makes your content viral and drive huge traffic and increase the time spent. This results in appearing on the web pages higher in the SERPs.
Search Engine Marketing
Integrating SEO and PPC to increase the visibility and maximizing traffic and conversions is called Search Engine Marketing. There are many benefits of SEO and PPC integration. Here is the list of some of them.
1. You can link Adwords and Analytics account and utilize the keywords for various SEO activities. This also helps in avoiding the problems of exact search volumes which Google now doesn’t show. As from the integration, you will get the keywords which are driving traffic and conversions.
2. Ad copy prepared by PPC specialist help to make an attractive title in SEO. A good title for the web page is important for improving the visibility in the search engines.
3. PPC team helps to create an effective landing page. An optimized landing page will help to drive the leads or conversions. Thus improve the overall performance of the site and satisfy the clients.
Local SEO is an effective way to promote the products or services to the local customers. It is important to build citations including Name, address, phone number and website aka NAP+W. You can build the accurate citations of your business on Google my business, Foursquare, Yelp, Yellow Pages and other online business directories. Localize the content, website, get online reviews and build strategies. Here are some of the important reasons to why local SEO can attract more customers to the site.
1. Most of the people perform a search to find the information about local business. It is important to optimize the local site for mobile as nearly 60% of search queries are performed by mobile.
2. Local search marketing yields better returns on investment than any other channel of marketing.
3. It is important to build the citations and business listing on the online directories as 50% of conversion comes from there.
4. People make a purchase decision by looking to the online reviews so encourage the online reviews on the business profile present on the authoritative sites.
5. By optimizing the Google My business profile, building citations and earning reviews your business can come on the first page of Google in local 3 pack search results.
Check out the local SEO checklist to improve the performance of the site.
Link Building and SEO
Link building techniques have changed a lot of in the past few years. It is now important to build the quality links on authoritative sites than performing the bulk submission on low-quality sites. Before building links, it is necessary to check some of the factors such as traffic, DA, PA and Page Rank. While building links, try to add the value to the users instead of just adding the link for the sake of traffic. Link building can improve the authority of a site. At the same time, bad link affects the site and should be disavowed in Google Search Console Tool. Some of the latest and trending link building techniques are-
- Guest Posting
- Citation Building
- Link Bait, round ups
- Broken Link Building
- Link Reclamation
- Building Links through Infographic
- Outreaching by email to add links
- Widget/Gadget Link building
- Blog commenting
- Link Building on Quora and Yahoo Answers.
Having a mobile version of the site is the key to success in the coming years. With mobile first indexing update, it is now almost compulsory to have the mobile version of the site to improve the visibility in the search results. You can also use responsive design for the mobile friendly view of the site. Here is the list of six key components which are necessary to improve the site-
1. Focus on Improving Mobile ranking.
2. Fix mobile-friendly errors.
3. Perform the keyword research for mobile and optimize the content.
4. Focus on app store optimization
5. Perform app indexing.
6. Utilize Accelerated Mobile Pages.
I hope this Beginner’s guide to SEO will help to optimize the site properly and improve the visibility and rankings in the search engines.