SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it describes the logic behind the ranking of websites when you perform a search on a particular search engine.
In short, SEO can be defined as a digital marketing strategy that helps increase the quantity and quality of the traffic to your site. Although it may seem tedious and painful at the start, SEO can actually be rather fun and easy to implement.
The best way to understand SEO nowadays is to break down its meaning. In that manner, SEO is:
A marketing discipline – understanding SEO is crucial to all your marketing efforts because this way you will be able to drive traffic to your website and generate leads and conversions. You not only need to write content that Google likes but also content that will resonate with your audience.
A technical task – knowing the best practices to optimize your content and site is important if you are planning to compete for traffic. People that know the ins and outs of search engine optimization are highly sought after because the ROI they bring is high.
An exciting field – Creating dope content and generating leads for free is quite amazing. Also, the fact that it requires marketers like us to constantly read up on new algorithm changes and more.
When a user searches for a term on a search engine like Google, the results that he or she is presented with is a series of websites that are relevant to the query and websites that have a solid domain authority (among other factors described below).
For example when you search for ‘chocolate cake ideas’, the top results are the ones that are adopting the best SEO practices in Google eyes.
This is mainly because the search engines use advanced crawlers that gather the information on every website, gathering every bit of content it can find on the Internet.
That creates an index for every website that is compared to the algorithm that Google has built for the best SEO practice.
What factors affect SEO?
Whether you are trying to learn more about SEO or want actual ranking techniques on how to improve your website’s SEO, there is a set of on-site and off-site factors that Google and other search engines favor when ranking every site.
Even though there are more than 200 factors that affect your site rank, the good news is that anyone can improve their website by simply working on a handful of them.
Here are the 8 most important SEO factors:
1. Domain Authority
Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that shows how much trust your domain has built over time by a matter of backlinks and age.
THE MORE SITES THAT TALK ABOUT YOURS, THE HIGHER YOUR AUTHORITY.
Similarly, the older your domain, the higher its domain authority.
Another important factor that I’ve found is the relevance of the domain name in respect to the main keywords you are targeting. For instance, seoexpert.com will be more likely to rank better than lucysblog.com for “SEO” related queries.
Lastly, a few of my SEO expert friends have reported that shorter domains will generally outperform longer domains.
The best strategy with a brand new blog is to start by picking a medium to low competition keywords and then slowly build up my post to target more competitive terms.
If you are looking to rank then you should definitely include LSI keywords (keywords that are synonyms to your target terms).
3. Relevancy and Context
Search engines are smarter than ever before.
They do know the difference between a relevant page and a copied one.
They can also distinguish whether a just site is about oranges or protein bars. I recommend sticking to a niche when building out a site and catering content specific to that particular niche.
4. Number of Inbound and Outbound links
The more relevant links your website is pointing to, the greater your SEO score.
Same goes for inbound links which are actually more favored, especially if they are coming from prestigious, relevant and popular sources.
5. Site Speed
Google really cares about how quickly your site loads. To speed up your site you can use caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache or use a CDN to deliver your content in a faster way.
6. Clean and responsive design
Nowadays, the best-optimized websites are the ones that are clean, functional and responsive to devices of all types and sizes. In fact, Google even favors websites that have mobile-friendly design than ones that don’t have.
The easier your URL, the better it is for humans and search engines to understand what your post is all about.
Clearly, example A is better because it’s descriptive and to the point.
Several studies have confirmed that the shorter the URL, the better. Nevertheless, you still want to make sure you are including your top keyword in the slug for an added SEO juice.
8.Length of your content
Whenever you are writing a blog post that you want to rank, you want to make sure you are going into as much detail as possible. Search Engines have been rewarding long-form content and in 2018, you won’t rank unless you write at least 1500-2000 words per post.
When you write long-form content, you give yourself the chance to explore a topic in depth, which in turns increases the time that some visitor spends on your site and signals Google that your content is awesome.
Which tools can you use for SEO?
There are many good tools out there. My favorite ones are (they are all free!):
SEO has the potential to drive tons of quality leads to your website for free.
For instance, when you search for “digital marketing company in saipur“, aren’t you more likely to become a client of whoever shows up on Google?
This is the power of search engine optimization.
It brings you warm leads that you can later deliver ads to or even sell products to.
Alternatives to SEO: Is SEO better than PPC?
SEO is way better than PPC (pay per click) because you don’t have to spend money on ads to drive traffic to your site.
With PPC, your traffic will stop as soon as you stop paying for ads. SEO has a much longer-lasting effect.
On the flip side, the advantage of PPC is that if you have a well-converting sales page, you can very easily grow your sales from day 1 without having to wait for all the SEO efforts to kick in months later.
What are SEO backlinks?
Backlinks are simply links from an external site to yours. For example, when I link to this SEO agency in Los Angeles, I am generating a backlink for them. The more high-quality backlinks you get, the higher the authority and rank of your site.
Therefore, building backlinks is a key SEO task if you want to reach page #1.
Are these tips just for Google SEO?
Google dominates the search engine space with almost 80% of all global searches. Yahoo and Bing have about 9% each. Even though the techniques we’ve been discussing here are particularly about Google SEO, they apply to all search engines alike.
Are there any other alternatives to SEO?
Given that SEO’s main purpose is to drive traffic to your site, you can also get more visits by means of ads (like Google Adwords or Facebook ads), you can also drive traffic through affiliate links and get quoted on articles in highly trafficked sites.
How can you learn SEO?
In the end, the best way to learn SEO is by doing it. The more organic, natural and unique content you write on your responsive website, the better results you should expect.
However, just like every other digital marketing practice, SEO requires time (at least a couple of months to kick-off) so be a bit patient and don’t get discouraged. It took me at least a year to start seeing some consistent traffic on my site.
The bottom line is that SEO is not a one-time job. It is a recurring strategy that every website should focus on.
It can take time, but if you’re willing to learn then it will definitely pay off in the long-run.