GUIDE TO SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
WHAT IS SEO
Search EngineOptimization (SEO) is the utilization of certain practices that improve traffic on a website from organic search results on any search engine, and is the most powerful tool for brands investing in digital marketing.
There are several reasons as to why one should use SEO to enhance their website, first and foremost being that: if used right, it will exponentially increase their visibility on search engines, which will further increase traffic to the said website. Which means that an SEO optimized website will help the target audience in easily finding the website and increase brand awareness. This kind of visibility can even help convert a local business into a global one.
HOW IT WORKS
The most important tool you need to know about when you’re just starting with SEO is keywords. Keywords, also broadly known as search queries, are the words and phrases that people enter into search engines while looking for information, products or services. Using relevant keywords in your content will increase the chances of your website being found by your target audience, since search engines rank websites on the basis of relevant keywords and good content.
2. Search Volume, Relevance and Competition
Now that you know what keywords are and their importance, it is essential to practice keyword research to find out which keywords would be most suited to boost your content. The three aspects around which you need to build your research are: Search Volume, Relevance and Competition. While search volume refers to the number of times a specific keyword was looked up on a search engine within a given time frame, relevance refers to the importance of the keyword in relation to each page on your website. You also need to be aware of how much competition the said keyword has in terms of its popularity among rival/competitor websites, since using a keyword that has very high competition may not increase your visibility in any significant measure.
3. Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords
There are two types of keywords that one can use to direct traffic to their website or page: short tail keywords (that are words or phrases with no more than 3 words) or long tail keywords (longer phrases that are more specific in their query). To know which kind of keyword is more suitable for you, you need to first pinpoint your priorities or goals in terms of your content. If you only want to increase traffic, using short tail keywords would be most appropriate, whereas using long tail keywords would mean less traffic but a higher conversion rate, as the act of looking up a particularly specific query means that the visitor’s intent to buy your services are stronger.
SEO tools are instruments that present the overall stats of your website in terms of its potential and active success in search engine optimization. Not only do they help you in identifying the visibility and ranking of the page on SERP, but also guide you on how to improve it by identifying the issues you can work on.
Here are some useful SEO tools (in order of descending ranking) to amp up your SEO game -
Google Search Console
Keyword Research, as mentioned earlier, is one of the most important aspects of integrating SEO into your marketing strategy. Using a free online tool like Google Search Console to assist you in your research for the most suitable keywords would ensure maximum efficiency in terms of time and cost spent on developing your marketing strategy.
Ubersuggest is well-known among SEO professionals for optimal keyword research, as it provides relevant keywords from various different databases (including its own) to help you craft original and engaging content around it. It is a feature packed tool with many unique features such as local SEO keywords suggestions and insights on how many links are contained within a website of average ranking.
If you’re looking for an advanced keyword research SEO tool, use Semrush. It provides the user extensive information about relevant keywords, such as their traffic trends, the competitors’ rankings who are using them, and the URLs towards which they’re directing the traffic. Moreover, their features are not just limited to keyword research and cover optimization tools, so you can try out their 14-day trial pack to get started.
As mentioned, PageSpeed is a determining factor of a user's interest in your website. To make sure that a visitor stays on your page instead of immediately leaving, you can use tools to analyze and enhance your website’s loading speed. Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool launched by Google to evaluate and improve a website’s quality by primarily focusing on the page load time.
As an application developed to predict your website’s ranking on a search engine’s results page, Moz will provide you with insights on the strength and potency of your domain or webpage, and the steps you can take to improve them. You can also use it to better your understanding of the needs of your audience and fix any technical, harmful issues on your website.
6. Pure Oxygen’s Mobile SEO Page Analyzer
These days, smartphones are substantially more popular than laptops or PCs as they are more accessible and affordable. Consequently, there are higher chances of your website being visited on a mobile, so it is vital for your website to be optimized for the same. One can use Mobile SEO Page Analyzer developed by Pure Oxygen Labs to check how adaptable a webpage is to smartphone devices.
On-Page SEO Parameters
On Page SEO parameters refer to the various methods through which you can integrate relevant keywords within your content as well other measures you can take to promote visibility of your page within search engine rankings.
Some of the methods through which you can incorporate keywords are:
Other ways with which you can boost your webpage are:
Off-Page SEO Tools-
Off Page SEO tools refer to the technique of promoting your website using link building, which is a practice of navigating links from other websites and directing them to your own. Having more websites linking back to yours not only leads to an increase in referral traffic, but also improves the credibility of your website and increases the domain authority which would further lead to an improvement in your page ranking.
There are certain SEO practices that professionals strongly recommend against using, which come under Black Hat SEO practices (as opposed to White Hat SEO practices, the safe and legal methods as listed above). These include:
Another inadvisable strategy is the usage of no-follow links (outbound links with a rel=“nofollow” HTML tag which indicate the search engine to not follow it). While not exactly illegal, it doesn’t really add any value to the page’s ranking or visibility, as opposed to do-follow links (which significantly improve the page’s credibility and ranking).
Remember, the fundamental purpose of optimizing your website for search engines is to increase your visibility and grow your website organically. As discussed, it can be done by employing relevant keywords within various constituents of your website, enhancing the existing structures or working on link-building. All the same, it is just as important to not resort to Black Hat SEO practices that will negatively affect the credibility of your page.
While this beginner’s guide will help you get started on the SEO journey of building your brand, you can always reach out to us for more resources to get a stronger foothold in digital and social media marketing.
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