This is our first tutorial on SEO. As with all of our other tutorials, we would like to start from scratch so that an absolute beginner to search engines and internet can understand the term SEO clearly.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization which is the process of increasing website’s traffic through organic search engine results.
Since you are interested in learning SEO, we assume that you are quite familiar with searching for stuff online, on search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo or others. When you key-in a search term in the search engines, several search result pages will appear with short descriptions about websites containing the search phrases. A typical search result on Google looks like this for search query seo.
As you may realize, higher a website ranks for a given search query, higher is the chance that you will click on that website link and reach that website. Hence, in most simple terms, SEO is an art and science to make a website rank higher for a given search query. This is an internet marketing technique that is used to improve a website’s visibility online.
Why any business needs Search Engine Optimization?
In this internet era, when nearly everything is done online, having an online presence is inevitable and is one of the most effective ways of reaching out to millions of potential customers from all over the world. However, dominating your business niche in the online marketplace is a completely different story—and this is where SEO comes into play.
Search engine optimization is the most effective tool that you can use to generate targeted traffic to your business website. Thanks to SEO, you should be able to create relevant and attractive content that is easily read and ranked by search engines. With low or zero traffic coming into your business website, potential clients will never be able to find your website in order to learn about, and buy, your products. Thus, it is important that you optimize your website in the search engines using your keywords in order to get high ranking in the search engines and attract quality targeted traffic.
If done correctly, a good SEO can provide you long term stable results.
How does search engines work?
Before we talk about the steps on how to optimize a given site for search engines, we will see the very basics of how search engines work.
Search engines use mathematical algorithms to compare and rank web pages of similar keywords and content. The algorithms are highly complex, relying on the use of web robots that are continuously crawling the internet to “cache”(save) every web page they visit.
The search robots automatically pick specific information when crawling web pages and use them for ranking in the search engine result pages. Search engines use advanced anti-spam tools to ensure that web users find the most relevant and quality result from their searches. This is why you need to learn how to optimize your site for the search engines using your keywords or search phrases.
These search engines use a variety of On-Page and Off-page factors to determine your website rank for a given query.
On-Page and Off-Page SEO Optimization
There are basically two approaches to search engine optimization – namely On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
In On-page optimization, you deal with optimization within your website.
In Off-page optimization, all your SEO efforts are focused on improving your web pages’ ranking by building a network of inbound links from other quality and relevant websites.
Elements of On-page SEO
- Keyword research and selection
When designing you business website, you need to think like your visitors. If you can master the art of researching and selecting the keyword phrases that your customers are using to search for you products, then the rest of your On-page optimization efforts will be quite easy. Be sure to conduct long tail keyword research as part of your keyword research and selection efforts.
- Optimize your keys words in the URL
Ensure that your URL is optimized for search engines prior to publishing your web pages online. Apart from filling your web pages with the relevant keywords, you should also ensure that you include the main keyword phrases in the video and image files on your site. Example: If you have a web page where you’re talking about Mercedes Benz. Instead of having a link like www.car.com/?123 try to have a more meaningful URL like www.car.com/mercedes-benz
- Optimize your keywords in the title tag
The title tag is certainly one of the most important features when raising your search engine ranking for your keywords and key phrases. This is because search engines use the text contained within the title tag as one of the key factors in determining the nature of your website’s content. For this article, title tag can be checked by right clicking on this page and View –> Source and searching for <title>. The string between opening <title> and closing </title> is the title tag for a given page.
- Optimize keywords in description meta tag
Ensure that you optimize every description meta tag on your site since these are the part of information that your customers will see when your site is ranked in the search engine result pages. Again, meta description tags are one of the most important tags which determine your ranking in search engine. A well written description tag will help in gaining the user click through from the search engine result pages. For this article, meta description tag can be checked by right clicking on this page and View –> Source and searching for <meta name=”description”
The other essential elements of On-site SEO include – optimizing your keywords in heading tags, optimizing keywords in the anchor text, observing keyword densities, using text modifiers and synonymns to emphasize your keywords, optimizing image ALT tags and proofreading your web content.
Elements of Off-Page SEO
A backlink is an incoming link from another site to your site. One-way links to your site is one of the most important Off-page SEO elements that you can use to achieve high ranking in the search engines.
- Backlink quality
Backlinks are vital to your site’s ranking in the search engines. However, you need to be mindful of the quality of these backlinks. Be sure to go for one way backlinks from related sites that are highly ranked in the search engines and are of high quality. A single backlink from a reputed and well established site is far better than hundreds of link from a new site.
- Backlink diversity
Apart from the quality and quantity of the links coming into your website, the diversity of these links is also crucial. Consider having inbound links from blogs, directories, forums and related websites.
Other Off-page SEO elements include: backlink anchor text, web history and age, social marketing, visitor behavior, traffic sources and web history inclusion.
Search engine optimization is certainly the most effective way of driving targeted traffic to your website for high ranking in the search engines. All you have to do is check the instructions and design your website with On-page and Off-page SEO elements in mind. A professionally managed SEO campaign will certainly enhance your website’s visibility in the world wide web, result in more traffic and hence more revenue from sales. Due to this reason there is a huge demand of qualified SEO professionals all over the world.