July 01, 2019

What is SEO? [Beginner's Guide]

Did you know there are over 1.6 Billion Websites on the world wide web? Imagine, the crowd out there! Have you got any plans on standing out of that crowd and giving your website a unique position when people search on Google, Yahoo or Bing?

What is SEO? [Beginners Guide]
What is SEO? [Beginners Guide]

Welcome to the world of SEO.

In this article, I have explained about SEO from its basics that will enable you to do SEO for your website all by yourself. Let's get started.

Overview:

  1. What does SEO stand for?
  2. How does SEO work?
  3. Which factors affect SEO?
  4. The 8 most important SEO factors to rank high:
    1. Domain Authority
    2. Keywords
    3. Relevancy and Context
    4. Number of Inbound and Outbound links
    5. Site Speed
    6. Clean and responsive design
    7. URL structure
    8. Length of your content
  5. How to Start with SEO of your new blog?
  6. Which tools can you use for SEO?
  7. Why should you do SEO?
  8. What are SEO backlinks?
  9. Are these tips just for Google SEO?
  10. Are there any other alternatives to SEO?
  11. How can you learn SEO?
  12. A final word

What does SEO stand for?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It shows the logic behind the ranking of websites when you perform a search on a particular search engine.

SEO is a marketing discipline that focuses on increasing the organic (non-paid) search engine results.

SEO ranking includes the necessary and technical creative elements to drive traffic and increase awareness in the search engine.

There are many aspects of SEO, from the words of your page to other sites on the web, linking you on the way.

Breakdown of SEO
Breakdown of SEO

Remember SEO is not only about making Search Engine friendly websites rather it is about creating Visitor Friendly page.

S.E.O. traffic is the secret for big bloggers to make money.

Let's see what Bluehost has to explain:




How does SEO work?

When you search for a term on any search engine like Google, the results that you are presented with is a list of websites that have your search query and websites that bear a high domain authority.

For example when you search for ‘dog food’, the top results are the ones that are practising the best SEO practices in the eyes of Google.

This is primarily because search engines use advanced crawlers that collect the information on every website, storing 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.

Look at what Matt Cutts from Google explains how this all works:



Which factors affect SEO?

There is a set of on-site and off-site factors that Google and other search engines favour when ranking every site.

Although there are at least 200 factors that affect your site rank, one can improve their website by simply working on a few of them.

SEO factors
SEO factors

The 8 most important SEO factors to rank high:

1. Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a trust meter. This metric shows how much trust your domain has built overtime via backlinks and age. In simple English:

THE MORE SITES MENTION YOUR SITE, THE HIGHER YOUR AUTHORITY.

Similarly, the older your domain, the higher its domain authority.

There is another important related factor too. It is the relevance of the domain name in respect to the main keywords you are targeting.

For instance, seocentro.com will be more likely to rank better than techgydbysm.com for “SEO” related queries.

As of late, I've noticed that short URLs the to have greater SERP than long URLs.

One can also boost their domain authority by building backlinks to their website.

2. Keywords

SEO starts with choosing the right keywords (which one may find using Google’s Keyword Planner or Ahrefs).

Whenever I work on a brand new blog, my strategy is to start by picking a medium to low competition keywords and then gradually upgrade my post to target more competitive terms.

If you want to rank up quickly then you should include LSI keywords (keywords that are synonyms to your target terms).

For example, a site that talks about “digital cameras” can also include terms such as “digital watches”, “digital locks for home appliances” and so forth. Make sure to include the keywords that you want to rank for in the title and in the sub-headings for perfect on-page optimization.

3. Relevancy and Context

Search engines today are smarter than ever before.

They are now capable of making out the difference between a relevant page and a plagiarized one.

I recommend sticking to a niche when a site is just sprouting out and cater content specific to that particular niche.

For me, my niche is Blogging and SEO.

4. Number of Inbound and Outbound links

SEO score is directly related to how many relevant links you point out to.

Same goes for inbound links (backlinks) which are actually more favoured, especially if they are coming from prestigious, relevant and popular sources.

You can get backlinks by getting yourself featured on big .edu or .gov sites for example.

5. Site Speed

Google has always prioritised how quickly a site loads. To speed up your site you can use a CDN to deliver your content in a faster way.

6. Clean and responsive design

Keep it clean and simple. In fact, Google favours websites that have mobile-friendly design than ones that don’t have.

WordPress users can install the AMP plugin to have your site load blazingly fast. If your site is not using WordPress, you should learn how to make use of the accelerated mobile pages project by Google or can apply amp templates.

7. URL structure

A URL is a human-readable text that was designed to replace the numbers (IP addresses) that computers use to communicate with servers.

Here are two examples:
a) https://www.techgydbysm.com/2018/05/what-is-seo-how-to-increase-traffic.html

b) https://www.techgydbysm.com/2018/05/post-id1234-ret2d.html

Clearly (a) is better because it’s descriptive and to the point.

Several studies have confirmed that the shorter the URL, the better. But try to integrate your target keywords in URLs for adding the spice to your SEO.

8. Length of your content

Whenever you are writing a blog post that you want to rank, you want to make sure you are including as much detail as possible.

Search Engines have been rewarding long-form content and in 2019, you won’t rank unless you write at least 1500-2000 words per post.

In fact when you are writing long form contents, you get to explore a topic in depth, which in turn increases the time that some visitor spends on your site and Google understands your content is awesome.

How to Start with SEO of your new blog?

So what strategy do I follow?

I covered the step-by-step plan here, but it can be summarized as:

Find medium-tail keywords that have a decent volume
Create long content that is 1500+ words
Build backlinks by guest posting
That’s it. There’s not much more to it.

Which tools can you use for SEO?

There are many useful tools out there. My favourite ones are (they are all free!):
  • Keywords Everywhere to understand the volume and competition of my queries
  • Ahrefs to analyze each url and see who’s linking to them and what keywords they rank for
  • Google Search Console to see how my site is performing over time.

I use those tools for 90% of what I do. For the remaining 10% such as backlink building tools and others, read my complete list of SEO tools.

Why should you do SEO?

That's exactly the point. Why are we worrying about SEO?

SEO has the capability to drive tons of quality leads to your website for free.

For instance, when you search for "table lamps", 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 decent leads that you can later deliver ads to or even sell products to.

What are SEO backlinks?

Backlinks are simply links from an external site to yours. For example, when I link to this popular tool, I am generating a backlink for them. The more high quality backlinks your blog gets, the higher the domain authority and SERP of your blog.

Therefore, building strong backlinks to your blog 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 63,000 searches per second on any given day. Yahoo and Bing have the remaining space about 9% each. Most importantly, people now are trapped in an Android ecosystem.

Google being default search engine. Any strategies for SEO applied to your blog keeping in mind Google only will help you in all other search engines too.

Are there any other alternatives to SEO?

Having known that SEO’s main purpose is to generate organic traffic to your site, you can also fetch more visits by means of ads (like Google Adwords or Facebook ads), through affiliate links and get quoted in articles in highly trafficked sites.

How can you learn SEO?

To add up, the best way to learn SEO is by doing it all by yourself. The more organic, genuine and unique content you write on your responsive blog, the better results you should expect.

However, SEO requires time. So be patient and have the courage to fulfil your dreams. It took me at least a year and a half to start noticing some regular traffic on my site.

Becoming an SEO expert is not an easy and short time task. It is a continuous process of trial and errors and the steps that eventually lead to success.

If you are interested to learn SEO, check out my top SEO posts and also consider subscribing to my newsletter.

In case you want to learn how I do SEO? Check this post.

A final word

To drive in organic traffic into your blog, SEO is only one way. There are other methods of driving traffic as well. A loyal fan base and social media followers can gush in plenty of traffic to your blog.

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