SEO for Dummies and basic tips and tricks and much more
While Digital marketing is the main marketing domain for most companies, most of their budgeting is going towards SEO. Nowadays, money is where SEO is. SEO is not only generating money for companies, website owners, and online businesses but also for SEO service providers. Demand for simplified SEO for dummies, so they can start a career in this field is high.
While Search Engine Optimization sounds like a big word, it is actually quite simple and with little effort about anyone can get a hang of it. Truthfully just knowing the basics can make a huge difference. If you want to make your career via SEO or you want to run your own small online business website or a blog site without paying an SEO service provider this is the right place for you to take start. This step-by-step guide will simplify the SEO for dummies and beginners. It will teach you how to do basic SEO and digital marketing for your business and for others too. Now wasting any further time let’s dig in.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization often called SEO is an umbrella term for the practices for generating organic traffic, and ranking above on search engines without actively doing paid promotions. For the most part, it is all about generating visibility and SEO fundamentally is developing a website so search engines can conveniently find it, analyze it, and rate it.
Many consider it to be a digital marketing discipline but in fact, digital marketing is only one side of SEO, and much more comes under the domain of Search Engine Optimization. SEO and digital marketing are essentially overlapping processes that work side by side. Other aspects of SEO include coding and Indexing, Content Creating, Progress analysis, and Tracking. All these aspects will be discussed separately in the following article step by step.
How do Search Engines work?
Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the top most popular search engines with Google claiming the largest share of commercial usage. While promoting on social media can generate some traffic towards your website, traffic driven through search engines still remains the major navigation source for targeted traffic. But as smart and as an evolved search engine has now become, they still need help in operating, sorting out websites, and delivering the right set of results for users.
That’s where SEO comes in and therefore, investing in SEO can be really beneficial for most kinds of business. Search engines use robot crawlers or spiders to assess the sites or their pages and rank them on the basis of relevance and popularity. In terms of popular search engines usually assume that the more traffic a page has the more valuable or significant its contact is. The relevance of a page is assessed on merits more complicated than mare usage of right words.
Search engines use mathematical equations known as algorithms to determine relevance. These algorithms usually involve hundreds of variables often known as ranking factors. SEO works to manipulate these factors in their favor to get ranked higher.
Coding and Indexing
Sitemaps are as the name indicates map of the site. They basically provide the listing of the website with the categorical mapping. This helps search engines figure out the working or navigation of your site just like a map. Or in even plainer words, it is a coded file that explains in and out of your site. A sitemap can be created by using simple plug-ins.
What are Plug-ins?
If you are working on a WordPress website, you can benefit from PHP coded software with multiple utilities that can improve functionality and add new features to your website. This software eliminates the need for users to have knowledge of coding and any user can benefit from this readymade coded software commonly called plug-ins. There are different types of plug-ins some with higher quality than others, some more recently updated and some with compatibility issues.
Most plug-ins are free so before installing a plug-in do check its rating and inquiries its current users are making. Bad plug-ins can hang or slow down your website. Another thing that can be damaging to user experience is slow loading website or even if a single page load slowly it can be very annoying. Gone are the days when the internet was slow and users waited patiently for a good few minutes for some news website to load. Now there are many alternatives and we are becoming increasingly impatient.
According to research reports by search engines themselves, users spend less time on websites that load slow. There are other websites offering similar information and if they load quicker use will definitely switch to your competitors. That cannot be good for any kind of business or even for SEO. Remove any non-essential elements which could potentially be slowing your page and damaging your user experience in turn. Uninstall any unnecessary plugins or at least consider deactivating them.
Plug-ins assist you with as simple functions as indexing and theme selection to virtually anything.
What is indexing?
For search engines to find your website and to assess and rank it you need to submit your website to the said search engine, this is called indexing. XML Sitemaps can be submitted free of cost to Google Search Console so that all the pages of a website are indexed except the one you chose not to. In November 2016, Google announced that they will be indexing mobile-first, which means they will be indexing your website by starting from the mobile version thus prioritizing the mobile version of the site due to increased use of search engines from the mobile phones.
Title tag and Meta description
The title and the description of the page that the search engine displays while listing it in search results are the title tags and Meta descriptions respectively. In the header of a page, there are bits of HTML codes that help the search engines determine the relevance of a page. More often than not they contain keywords and other ranking factors. However, they also need to be user-friendly for users to gain an idea of the contents of the page. Deceptive practices can be detected and penalized by search engines.
A most common practice is writing around favorable keywords. Keywords are traffic generating words and phrases. The most forthcoming keywords are the one that relates to your niche, have high demand and low volume. It simply means the term and phrases that are related to your domain that is searched most by search engine users but have low competition or low availability on competing websites.
While keyword density is a thing of the past and Keyword stuffing is a bad idea now(search engines give you a negative rating for it), the keyword is still one of the important factors in SEO. It is important to intelligently place or rather scatter the keywords in your content. One keyword per hundred words is the smartest bet.
How to get good key words?
You know what your niche is, but you still need to figure out what keywords will be helpful, to know what exactly your targeted population will be interested in. Google keyword planner is a very helpful and free tool for that purpose. After you have decided on a good keyword, go to the private mode on your browser (so that search results are not influenced by your browsing history) and type in the selected keyword.
Look at the top ten results (excluding sponsored advertisements) these are your competitors, assess what they are lagging, and write to fill the gap instead of overlapping them. Uniqueness is always rewarded.
Long tail key words or LSI integration
Long-tail keywords are the phrases that users often use to search for a particular keyword, for example, top ten healthy foods, most popular diet plans, how to lose weight, and best remedies for weight loss are Long Tail Keywords.
Latent Symantec Indexing or LSI is a method search engines have been lately using in their algorithms to index on basis of relevance. It is to determine the frequency of not only the keyword but also semantically related words and phrases. For example, clean eating, diet plans, soup diet, fruit diet plan, weight loss plan, healthy eating, staying fit are all LSIs.
Previously long-tail keywords were advised to be used and were all the rage but nowadays they are recommending LSI. However, a combination of both can work best very often. When you search for a keyword on a search engine the suggestions for ‘related searches’ are good examples for long-tailed keywords and LSIs.
Content Writing for Winning SEO
Creating unique and quality content is perhaps the most essential and most difficult part of SEO. To write content that will help you ranked high by search engines, there is only one key. Write for users. Search engines are not stupid that you can fool them by flooding in a rewarding keyword in a nonsense mumbo jumbo. Create useful content that users will genuinely want to read and spend time on your website. If users have a great experience on your website and spend a significant time on your posts, search engines will automatically rank your website up.
Search engines follow the lead of users, it’s really not the other way around. Invest time and effort in the content you are creating. Quality content, which is helpful for the user will surely attract users like bees to nectar. People might even share links to your post on their social media if they find it interesting or useful. Be genuine. For example, if your website is in regards to traveling or food or any such stuff, you might have to invest money in creating such a post.
Don’t just steal the content from other people’s websites. Actually, experience what you are posting about. Even if you are taking recipes from any other cooking website, at least have the decency of trying the website yourself. Be honest, state you took the recipe from XYZ website or at least were inspired by them in part and then you can go on about your experience and review. No one likes to be cheated, users appreciate honesty and you might even get a shout back or as we call it outbound link.
Progress Analysis and Tracking
Utilize the analytic tools available. There is a number of free tools offered like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and CrazyEgg. They help you keep track of your success and see what is working and what is not. While some SEO techniques might work for one niche it might not work for another.
Tracking the navigation of organic traffic is also very important in determining which ranking factors are working in your favor and which are causing damages. One of the key factors in the navigation of traffic is inbound and outbound links.
What are inbound and outbound links?
Backlinks also known as inbound links are hyperlinks on third-party webpages that navigate the traffic to the page on your site. A single backlink from a popular or authorized website that is relevant to your niche can dramatically increase your ranking, but this is hard to achieve. Outbound links are still your best bets. These are the links that take you to another page or to a totally different website.
To improve the visibility of important pages of your site, crosslinking the pages of the same website can be helpful to navigate traffic towards them. Alternatively to get others to link your website you need to take the initiative by the first drop of rain you so desperately want. Link out to other trustworthy sites that already have a good ranking.
If you do this in a written way you will get the attention of other fair working sites who will pay back by giving outbound links for your website. Additionally, you can notify an influencer about your post referring to them, if your content is good ad useful they will surely link you back.
Another trick to improve the popularity of the page is URL normalization, by redirecting multiple URLs to the same page or conical link element. This helps to ensure that multiple versions of the same URL translate to the same page without penalizing it for plagiarism and nominating the HTML element as the preferred version of different the webpage.
This covered up the very basics of Search Engine Optimization which we hope you found beneficial. For more advanced knowledge please navigate through this website to learn skills and tip