Every single website online has one major dream – Getting High Traffic on their Website! If you don’t understand the SEO fundamentals then you cannot achieve the desired traffic.
Learning SEO Fundamentals will help you to understand not just about how Google indexes and ranks your site, but also best practices involved in it.
While there are numerous ways to fetch traffic to your site, the most important and efficient way available is Search Engine Optimization.
In fact, the truth is that SEO is more important than before.
If you are just starting out with SEO and want to get it all correct, here check all SEO fundamentals. In this post, you will not only learn what SEO is and how search engines function, but will also explore Google ranking factors, designing SEO-rich website, site speed, backlinks and much more.
So, here we head towards the first section!
What is Search Engine Optimization or SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, commonly known as SEO is the science of online world related to bringing targeted traffic to any website. It is mainly about influencing search engines and bringing organic traffic to a site.
Importance of SEO:
SEO is an immensely powerful source of online traffic.
Around 65% of traffic online is fetched from Google. 10-15% of web traffic comes from other search engines like YouTube, Bing, and Yahoo.
These statistics are sufficient to prove how much SEO is important to any website.
It is therefore essential to have an SEO-friendly website, as only then you can rank for thousands of different keywords and target people showcasing similar requirements with different phrases.
Paid SEO Results vs. Organic SEO Results
The results obtained through SEO can be categorized under two sections –
Also called as natural results, this search result or traffic comes from natural SEO methods. In simple terms, you don’t have to practice any paid SEO techniques in order to bring traffic to your site.
Organic results are the most trustworthy results from Google and are mainly earned by authoritative websites.
These search results are online ads appearing underneath or top of organic results. The volume of paid results depends on how much the advertisers are willing to pay for one visitor from a specific search result. Commonly, it is known as Pay-Per-Click advertising.
How Do Search Engines work?
Search engines display the ‘best’ results for every search made on a search engine, like Google. The results are displayed using real-time algorithms and after scanning through millions and billions of web pages.
If we talk about Google, it considers search results as the best by considering the following factors:
Google always scan through webpages, which are closely related to the search keyword. But there are millions of pages online competing for the same keyword or search.
Google prefer exhibiting search results, which it believes are trustworthy and accurate. For this, Google check for webpages that include links to it, known as backlinks. Generally, the number of links a page holds, the higher it will rank.
Content can rank high on Google only if it is useful. But there is a difference between useful and high-quality content. The usefulness of content is based greatly on signals received from the user experience. If users interact well with Google, it will gain a great ranking boost.
Basics of On-Page SEO:
SEO comprises two aspects – Off-page and On-page SEO.
In this section, we will talk about On-Page SEO.
On-Page SEO makes sure that Google is able to easily discover web pages to show them in the search result. It is about having detailed, useful and relevant content to search phrases.
It is vital to incorporate target keyword on the page. This means optimizing your webpage for SEO.
1. Use Yoast:
Yoast SEO plugin is an excellent choice for WordPress websites. It optimizes a website and makes it simple to setup page description, title, and Meta description tag.
2. Incorporate Keyword in Title Tag:
It is vital to incorporate the keyword in the title tag as your title is the main component of your webpage. Including the keyword let Google knows that your page is about the particular keyword.
3. Optimize Meta Descriptions:
Though Meta description is not that much important, including keywords or Meta keywords into it optimizes it for SEO. This can help your site gain better results.
4. Include Keywords in Content:
It is best to use keyword in the first 100 words of your content as well as in the last 100 words. In addition to this, spread keyword evenly across the content without making it appear keyword-stuffed.
5. Use Variations and Synonyms:
It is wise to use variations and synonyms of target keyword across the content. This way, your one page can rank well for dozens of distinct keywords. You can find keyword variations in Bing and Google by typing the main keyword and checking out the suggestions mentioned at the bottom of the search result page.
6. SEO Optimize Images:
It is not only textual content, which has to be optimized for SEO. Equally vital is to optimize images for SEO. Focus on the image’s title, filename, and alt text to let Google and users clearly know what the image talks about.
A webpage optimized perfectly for SEO but unable to please users is of no use. User Experience indirectly impacts your SEO. Make sure your website delivers a rich user experience so that more people would like to visit it.
8. Content Quality:
High-quality content is vital. The content must be free from grammar errors and must be understandable. But at the same time, it must cater to the needs of people searching for your target keyword.
What is Technical SEO?
Focusing on On-Page SEO is important. But it does not mean you must ignore technical SEO completely. Technical SEO is one where no coding skills are needed.
For this, take into consideration the following steps:
Verify your website with the Google Search Console. It is like the dashboard of your website’s performance and health in Google.
1. Use a URL Structure friendly to SEO:
Weird-looking URLs have no space on Google. The URL structure must be consistent. It is great to use keywords in the URLs and avoid junk URLs, which tend to rank top in Google.
2. Optimize your PageSpeed:
Users can get annoyed with a website with slow loading speed. Also, the slow loading speed of your site can affect SEO as well.
3. Establish HTTPS:
Google gives a competitive edge to websites in the search results, which are secured with HTTPS.
4. Internal Linking and Site Architecture:
Create a flawless architecture for your website. It is best to create a well-organized structure or hierarchy, which organizes the pages into categories.
Additionally, use point internal links to the high-priority pages on your site. Make sure the internal links have keyword-rich anchor texts.
5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile:
Google’s algorithm is now ‘mobile-first.’ It implies that a mobile version of your site is the main version considered by Google. If your website loads slowly on mobile, Google will not consider its desktop version and hence will rank it high in Google.
6. Monitor Results using Google Analytics:
How can you know that the efforts you are putting into SEO are actually working? This can be done easily using Google Analytics!
Using Google Analytics, you can even boost the efficacy of your SEO campaigns.
Google Analytics let you easily track changes made in organic traffic. It lets you assess pages, which bring the most traffic from search engines. It makes it easy to track the way website visitors interact and focuses on metrics such as page views and bounce rate. Considering all this will let you know if the content meets the needs of Google searchers or not.
Off-Page SEO: Basics of Link Building
Link building is a common Off-Page SEO technique practiced to link to and mention your website. Backlinks are vital for Google’s algorithm and have a direct connection with first page rankings in Google.
Here have a quick primer of link building.
1. Link Authority:
All links created are different. Links from an authority, trusted websites bring more PageRank to a website than links from low authority sites. You can measure the authority of links in two major ways:
- Domain Authority – It is considering the authority of a website as a whole. If a page does not have enough links point, the Domain Authority implies that the page still holds some authority.
- Page Authority – It is the authority of a particular webpage.
Focus on Linking from Relevant Websites
While building links, make sure you obtain links from relevant sites. It is because such links will provide you more SEO value.
2. A Brief about Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO Techniques:
Way back in 2008, SEO was only black hat SEO. Shady link building techniques were used as they delivered results. However, things are not the same now.
Presently, using such link building techniques will not work must well. Even, they can bring you a penalty from Google. In order to know that a link building technique is a white or black hat, you must:
- Review the link schemes list from Google.
- A paid link is always against Google’s rules.
- A link earned or gained when someone links to your website because they find it worth, is good.
Besides, fake link building, there are numerous other Black Hat SEO techniques available. But link building is the most common and highly practiced one.
3. Guest Posting:
Guest posting is a controversial strategy because it can conveniently bring you traffic and exposure when done the Black Hat way. However, when done correctly, guest posting can bring you some genuine and high-quality links as well as online exposure for your site.
A few tips to earn genuine links through guest posting are:
- Guest post on relevant websites.
- Avoid using keyword-rich anchor text in the link. It is best to use a link with a brand name as anchor text.
- No need to scale. Only 5% of your link profile must come from backlinks.
Understanding SEO Keywords:
Also called as key phrases or keywords, SEO keywords are used in online content to boost search engine rankings for that particular term.
Mostly, such keywords are obtained during the process of keyword research, which is done on the basis of search volume, commercial intent, and competition. A website including content optimized for SEO keywords or phrases tend to gain higher ranking for those terms.
Ranking Factors for Search Engine:
You must have heard that there are around 200 ranking factors used by Google in its algorithm. As a beginner, you may start considering the following ranking factors.
- Quality Content – Make sure your content always answers one or more queries.
- The uniqueness of Content – There is a lot of stuff already available online. To gain more traffic and readers you must create content, which is unique and different from what’s available online.
- Create Crawlable Pages – You can earn higher rankings only when search engines can crawl and index your website.
- Mobile Optimize Your Website – Your webpages must offer a rich experience to mobile users. Failing to do so can demote the rankings to a great extent.
- Backlinks – Backlinks are similar to votes from other websites. Google and Bing measure such votes and use the same to identify pages that deserve top ranking.
- Domain Authority – A page can rank better if it is supported with links directly pointing towards it. Also, such links boost the overall domain authority of your website.
- Anchor Text – Anchor text is used by Google to identify what a page is about. Anchor text also tells Google about other people linking to this page.
- Loading Speed of Your Website – It is an extremely important factor, especially for mobile searches.
- Keywords Usage – Using keywords on the page is essential to gain a high ranking in Google.
- Search Intent – Your website can earn huge rankings boost if the content on it matches the preferences of a searcher.
- E-A-T– Finally, focus on the newest guideline from Google, which means expertise, trustworthiness, and authoritativeness. Make sure your content meets all these criteria in order to rank high in Google.
SEO is a comprehensive subject and every bit of it involves innumerable details. Hence, you have to pay due attention and focus in order to expertise in the SEO fundamentals. Hope this guide is good enough to start with SEO.