Welcome to the exciting world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)!
So, you are new to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You might have probably heard about SEO; however, you do not exactly know what it is and how you can benefit from SEO.
Well, let me tell you that you are perfectly at the right place as this post centers on Search Engine Optimization. It is designed to function as a Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
We have already written a lot of articles on SEO, but if you are new to SEO or Search Engine Optimization, this post is beginners who don’t know much about SEO.
This post provides comprehensive information on all that you need to know about what is SEO.
To begin with let me tell you the biggest struggle on the Internet. It will help you to comprehend the relevance and importance of SEO.
Well, it’s none other than grabbing the top places on the Search Engine Results Page. It’s where the traffic is, and everyone is eyeing to get the most visitors to their blogs or websites.
In fact, for as much as 90% of people, the first online experience starts with a search.
So, featuring on the first page of Google is the deciding factor for being successful in the online world.
Just have a look at these figures.
Over two million blog posts are being published each day.
It means that by the time you finish reading next four sentences, as much as 46 people would have pressed the publish button.
So, it’s a big fight to stand out and feature among the top positions on Search Engine Results Pages.
This is where Search Engine Optimization comes into the picture.
As a matter of fact, SEO helps to optimize your web pages so that your articles can stand out and get featured on the first page of Search Engine Results Page whenever someone searches for that keyword.
Now, here’s the SEO definition for you.
What is SEO?
Well, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, or natural search results from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
In other words, Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your content so that it gets featured as a top result in search engines for searches of a certain keyword.
So, SEO is an online marketing discipline whose primary objective is to grow the visibility of your website or web pages in organic search engine results.
It involves technical as well as creative elements required for improving rankings, driving traffic, and increasing awareness in search engines.
SEO is much more than just building search engine friendly websites. There are many dimensions to SEO.
It is concerned with the words on your page to the way other websites are linking to you on the web.
Sometimes SEO involves techniques of structuring your site in a way that it is understood by search engines.
Now, let’s get an idea of how SEO works?
Suppose, you have an article on what is SEO, and you want the search engines to show up your article as a top result to anyone who searches for the phrase “what is SEO.”
The SEO Techniques work on your article so that Google and other search engines includes your article amongst the top results whenever someone keys in that keyword phrase.
In other words, the search engine cannot figure out your site without SEO.
Why is SEO so important?
As a matter of fact, over 90% of online experiences start with a search engine, and as much as 68% of people use Google to do so.
Add to that the fact that the first five results in Google get as much as 67% of all clicks.
So, search engines are the main source of navigation for most online users.
These results hold good for different types of sites dealing with content, products, services, information, or just about anything else.
So, if search engines don’t add your site or content to their database, you stand to lose a great amount of traffic to your site.
Thus, search engine traffic is critical to an organization’s success. It goes on to give you an idea why SEO is so important.
If your blog post, article or product is not listed on the first page of the Google search results, then it is equivalent to not being ranked at all.
With SEO, your whole effort is to rank your web pages on the top positions of SERPs.
Moreover, the right SEO can bring thousands of visitors to your website.
The SEO work is to make content available for search engines. It is mainly employed to boost rankings so that content is readily searched by users.
The Internet is highly competitive. Without SEO, you fail to get in visitors and customers for your website or online business.
SEO goes on to optimize your website thus making it a quality site which is capable of attracting links naturally and is worthy of ranking.
Now, as you know what SEO is and its importance, it’s time to dig into the two sides of the SEO Force, that is White Hat & Black Hat.
White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO
People get into SEO with a motive.
Some people want to quickly make a few grand others take the long-term entrepreneurial approach.
When you work SEO as a get rich quick scheme, you are probably into Black Hat way.
Well, the Black Hat SEO Approach focuses on optimizing the content only for the search engine.
It does not consider humans at all. It bends and breaks the rules for ranking your site high on SERPs and look for making a few thousand dollars fast.
However, the end result is not quite heartening. It results in spammy, crappy pages. Often the site might be banned leading to tight punishment for the marketer.
It requires to constantly look out for search engine updates and devises new ways to dodge the rules.
Some popular Black Hat Strategies:
- Duplicate Content
- Stuffed Keywords
- Invisible Text
- Links from sites with non-relevant content
- Redirecting the user to another site or page
On the other hand, White Hat SEO involves techniques and methods focusing on building a sustainable online business.
It adheres to search engine rules and guidelines and serves the audience with best possible content that is easily accessible to them.
Some Popular White Hat Strategies
- Relevant Content
- Well-labeled Images
- Relevant Links
- Quality Content with good spelling and grammar
- Unique and relevant page titles
- Standards-compliant HTML
On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO
There are two categories of SEO:
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
On-Page SEO refers to all the ranking factors that Google takes into consideration while directly looking at the page that is optimized, such as content, page structure, and headlines.
Off-Page SEO refers to the factors that are not exclusively in your hands such as social signals, other blogs in your industry as well as the personal history of the searcher.
So, they are different, but you have to get both of them right so that your SEO efforts are on the right track.
On-Page SEO Tips
- “Content is King.” So produce great content.
- Come up with a Compelling Headline.
- Do your Keyword Research upfront.
- Include your targeted keywords in the headline as well as throughout the article.
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing
- Make sure your keyword is present in headlines, URL, and Meta Descriptions
- Come up with thorough and in-depth Content
- Publish regularly
- Clear up your writing
- Every Page should have only one H1-Tag.
- Your Meta Description should not end up with “…” or end mid-sentence.
- Use H2, H3, and H4 Tags
- Use Mobile friendly design
- Fast loading times
- Easy to Crawl, so that search engines have a better understanding of your site
- Use a secure connection such as HTTPS or SSL
Some Off-Page SEO Tips
- Strive for Quality backlinks from authoritative sites
- Content, usability, loading times are all part of reducing bounce rate.
- Domain Age Matters
- Build Brand Signals – create your personal brand
- Backlinks – take the initiative and ask for them.
- Build High-Quality Backlinks.
- Socialization Matters – Build a YouTube Channel or a Google Plus Profile for your Brand
- Social Media are well worth your time
- The quality of Shares matters more than the frequency of shares. Google recognizes influencers, so when they share your content, it carries more SEO juice than your friend’s share.
As things are moving in the online world, SEO is no more optional anymore. If you want to figure your web pages at the top of search results on SERPs, then SEO is the only savior for you.
So, commit yourself and get started with SEO for your website or blog.
I hope that this beginner’s guide to SEO will help you to change your attitude towards SEO. With right SEO, you get a chance to stand out and get featured on the top results on search engine result pages.