The current rage is all about SEO (search engine optimization) especially when it comes to bloggers. There is an emphasis on SEO linked strategies that improve your platform’s ranking and make it visible to a larger audience. But all of this sounds very confusing and leaves you feeling at a loss because of the terms associated with SEO.
This is why we’ve prepared a guide for you to learn all you need about SEO. After you go through this, you will be able to know exactly what SEO is. It will help you to incorporate it into your online platform to generate a large audience. So before anything, let’s take a look at what SEO is all about.
What is SEO?
SEO’s basic definition refers to a way through which you can increase the quantity and quality of organic traffic flowing in. It enables your online platform to generate organic and unpaid traffic through a search engine’s results page. It allows your website to have a higher rank than most others and makes it more visible to the audience that you are targeting.
The concept of SEO might be difficult to grasp and make you feel like you don’t know anything about it. But in reality, you don’t need to have too much information to start your journey. Knowing just some of the basics will leave you at a better place to launch your online website. This is mostly because the entire process of SEO is not as difficult as it sounds.
How long before SEO takes effect?
This question is something everyone seems to be asking when it comes to SEO; when can you see an impact of SEO? Well, there’s no exact time that anyone can tell you it will take. But roughly, according to various researches, it should take at least 6 months before you can see any significant changes on your platform.
Since it does take a while to show any change in traffic, it is advised to not hold back on your content. Making sure that you’re regularly updating your website according to the SEO rules will help make sure that your website is ranked better than others.
While initially, your entries are mostly about creating a network and establishing yourself on the forum, they don’t necessarily improve your ranking. But it is essential either way and you can focus on your SEO skills once you get a hang of how to do things online.
On-Page vs Off-Page SEO
Now we’ve jumped to the main deal of SEO. We’ll help you learn about the things that you should be doing to make sure to improve your rankings on Google. The first thing that you need to focus on is the internal and external factors that determine your website’s worth.
When developing your website or blog, there are two main things that you need to focus on. This includes your on-page SEO and off-page SEO. They both work differently and you need to make sure to be efficient when it comes to controlling whatever you can.
On-page SEO mainly refers to those things that you can manipulate and adjust. These include things like your content, the structure of your website, your headlines, and almost everything that you can change. Your on-page SEO plays a vital role in determining your rank on Google’s search results. The more SEO-friendly your content and other input is, the higher your website is going to rank.
While on-page SEO focuses mainly on things that you can adjust, off-page SEO refers to those variables that Google pays close attention to while deciding your position. These are typically external variables such as social networks, different blogs of the same industry, and the personal history of a searcher.
Since both of these aspects are grave determinants of how well your website will rank on Google searches, you need to do both of them. If you only focus on on-page SEO, then there’s a possibility of people not being able to see your content because of the external limitations present.
Whereas, if you focus only on off-page SEO, then even if people come to your platform, they will leave it as quickly as they came. Google takes account of this and terms this as a “bounce rate”. It determines how many times people leave your website without looking around or going through different tabs. It reduces your chances of having a higher rank, therefore, you must take control of your on-page and off-page SEO.
What is On-Page SEO?
As discussed before, on-page SEO is everything you hold inside your website. It is what people see when they come across your link and the content you provide to them. The better your on-page SEO is, the more you’re able to generate a larger audience and have a higher ranking. But to do this, you need to make sure that you’re taking all the necessary things into account when it comes to on-page SEO.
Creating the right kind of content
People searching for things on the search engine are always looking for something particular. And Google tries to give you exactly what you have asked for. But if the content that you have put up doesn’t qualify to be shown up on the searches, then why would Google find it relevant to show to it in its search results? This is why people say that content is everything. If you do not have the right content, that is SEO-friendly, then you will not be able to generate the audience that you’re looking for.
To make sure that you’re on the pathway of putting up the right kind of content, you need to make sure to look into the quality of it. You need to brainstorm and come up with compelling ideas. Don’t go for the first thing that comes to your head as that might not always be the best option.
The quality of your content will only improve if you focus on the right words to add to your content. This is why a keyword search is necessary for all platforms wanting to be SEO-friendly. Choose your keywords beforehand so you know what to focus on rather than looking around in the middle of writing your content.
Once you have figured out the right keywords that are suitable for your content, incorporate them into your content naturally. Overuse of keywords isn’t appreciated either so make sure to create a balance. Don’t make your content too wordy and make sure to use easy language for an average user to understand.
Selecting the right keywords
We just talked about how keywords can improve your overall content. This is because when people search for things, they use particular words. So if your content has those words instilled, then there are higher chances of your website showing up on searches. If you give users what they want, your ability to improve your ranking increases.
However, there are a lot of implications that come with selecting the right keywords for your website. On-page SEO thrives mainly through making sure you are using the right keywords. But this can go very wrong if you end up using the wrong keywords. You can’t use keywords just because they are what most people look for. You need to make sure that your business is also offering the same thing.
Stay true to what you’re offering
If you add keywords to your content saying you give free services but in reality, you don’t, then that will cause a lot of issues for you. Not only will your bounce rate increase but people will leave dissatisfied, therefore decreasing your chances of increased ROI.
Don’t go overboard with the keywords because of the competition
Other times, website owners try to compare their performances with other A-listers on Google searches when it comes to keyword performances. This might turn things worse for your page because to make things “better”, you try to use long-tail keywords in your content. But this will result in even decreased traffic because people don’t usually search for these. A person would search for “content marketing” and opposed to “content marketing agency”. It’s too wordy and doesn’t add to your organic traffic. Therefore, it’s better to stick to keywords that relevant to your website and aren’t overly competitive.
Figure out the search intent
It is important to understand what people are trying to search for rather than just focusing on what they are typing in. When trying to get an organic flow of traffic, you must understand what the searcher wants.
When people search for something, the search results come all over the place because each link provides a different answer.
You can use this to figure out the right keywords, while also taking help from Google’s suggested answers. This way, you can build your keyword selection while also providing users with what they wish to know.
Learning and implementing the appropriate HTML
After making sure that you have cutting-edge content and you’re utilizing keywords, it’s time to move on to other things. HTML is one of the things that you need to make sure that you are getting right. Just hearing the term might put in a confusing state because let’s face it, not every blogger has a degree in computer science, do they? But looking at the brighter side of things, you don’t necessarily need to know everything about coding to develop an HTML.
Getting the right title
It is all about getting the right title tag and meta description to ace your HTML and make sure that you’re on-page SEO is perfect. When it comes to titles for your HTML, these represent what pops up on the tab of your browsers. These titles should be clear so that Google can use them properly. The more clear your heading tags are the better chances of you being able to rank better.
If you want to learn all the basics of HTML, then you can easily take a quick and free online course. Khan Academy seems to be a very popular platform through which you can easily learn everything about HTML. This will assist you in creating your SEO-friendly HTML.
Optimizing meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are the details that you can see under a particular link in the search result. These are extremely important to work on so that your meta descriptions are clear and stand out from the rest. If you add boring details, with no call to action, and no keywords, it can be assumed that your page isn’t SEO-friendly.
To make sure that this doesn’t happen, make sure your meta description is precise and can capture the attention of the audience. Make it short and include the relevant keywords to make sure that you get the right audience. If your meta description is too long then Google will put “…” to inform readers that there is more. But the whole point of meta description is to give readers an excerpt from which they can see whether they are interested in your website or not. If it is not catchy enough, then what’s the point of it?
People searching for something have a very limited attention span that you want to take into consideration. So when creating your meta description, keep in mind that the readers won’t want to read the entire 160-words long excerpt. Instead, go for something short and relevant to what users would be looking for.
The basic idea behind incorporating your website’s architecture into the fundamentals is that it builds up the user’s experience. So if you provide a space for users to easily browse through and navigate, it will be reported back to Google as something positive. Thus, helping you improve your overall flow of unpaid traffic.
Creating the right flow for search engines to access your website means you’re also enabling the same for users. Search engines such as Google determine your ranking so it is important to make sure your website is easily accessible. Creating proper channels and links is essential so search engines can easily crawl through your website. This helps them assess your platform’s accessibility.
While creating your platform, it is often suggested that all of your content needs to be original. But the reality is that all of your content can’t be entirely original. So don’t fret about having slightly similar content to other websites. This will not harm your ranking as much as difficult navigation would.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Now that we’re done talking about on-page SEO, it’s time to shift the dynamics and focus on off-page SEO. What can you do to ensure that your off-page SEO is on point and you’re not lacking because of it?
Is your website trustworthy?
There is an increasing number of spam websites and other similar content on the internet. This is why Google intends to look for only those websites that can prove they’re trustworthy. To assess this, Google looks at four different things including your identity, bounce rate, authority, and domain age.
If you’re looking for making things easier for you, you need to make sure that your website doesn’t come across as spam. To do this, you will need to create an identity of your business that will offer some authority. The more authoritative your website, the better the off-page SEO you have. But keep in mind that this takes time. You can’t just jump straight into developing that identity. You can take small steps and try to aim for quality backlinks to help establish yourself as trustworthy.
Getting quality links
Your off-page SEO increases if you have other good websites backlinking to yours. This would send off the message that you have a positive presence online and search engines would pick up on this quickly.
But not every link can be termed as a good quality one. So you need to make sure that you’re building quality links rather than focusing on the number of links. This is because if you have low-quality links or any spam links on your website, it naturally decreases your ranking with Google.
Since Google tries to give its users what they search for, it aims to fish out only the best websites available. This is why adding numerous links to your website is not the answer. Get a hold of a few quality links and you will be good to go.
Personal factors to consider
When it comes to off-page SEO, there are somethings that you don’t have under your control. But you can still make an effort and get things looking positive for you. This includes creating content for a variety of different locations.
If your content is only limited to a specific country, then you’re going to get only a limited number of views. Even though English might be the medium of communication in these locations, the wordings used for different things are still different. So you want to make sure that you have the option for people to get the version that is most suitable for them. This will also enable you to be able to have a larger reach. Moreover, this will help you rank better and Google will be able to assess your platform better.
Usually, things that are searched for typically appear to be close by and are linked to the user’s history. You can combat the location issue by incorporating the name of the location as a keyword to ensure the adequate reach of your content. But it’s not limited to only this. The user’s search history is something that you don’t have control over. But if you match the content that they have searched for before, then the chances of you popping up on their search increases.
Taking control of social aspects
The last bit of off-page SEO is how well you incorporate social aspects for your website. This includes the number and quality of shares along with how well you promote your website.
The first thing you need to get a rein on is the quality of shares that your website gets on different social media platforms. This means that you need to make sure that you have the right networks to spread your content. Not having the right connections will put you in a tough spot as you will not be able to communicate with people to share your platform.
While there is immense importance on the quality of shares, it doesn’t hurt if you also add the quantity factor. This means that you will need to promote your platform excessively for it to get the desired attention and shares on different platforms.
What should go into your SEO strategy planning?
Now, you’re aware of the things that are important when it comes to SEO. So it’s time you come up with the right strategy to achieve your goals. To be able to do this, you need to create a mind map of all the relevant details that you would need to support SEO for your platform.
Once you’ve covered all the relevant points on your mind map, you will need to assess how you will present your content. You need to make sure that you have the right visual factors to add to your website to attract an audience.
With a precise goal and the understanding of both, your business and the audience in mind, you will be able to come up with the right developments for your platform.
All of this brings us down to the fact that SEO is essential for almost every business or platform online. If you wish to generate revenue or want an increase in the organic flow of your website, then there’s no other way. It might seem like a lot but once you get a hang of it, you will be able to see a difference.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not on board right now. All you need to do is start now and make sure to take small steps towards SEO. You will surely see positive results after at least 6 months given you put in the effort.