Basic Guide To Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
According to statistics, more than 1.3 billion websites currently exist on the internet and over 2 million posts are being published daily in just WordPress alone. Going with these facts, it is evident that it is rather tough to stand out and be found when people search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing. This is where Search Engine Optimisation or SEO comes in.
SEO really matters to a greater extent in today’s online marketplace. In order to make your website more noticeable on the World Wide Web and have a competitive advantage, SEO is required.
So what is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and why is it a valuable asset for every marketer? In this article, we will cover all the basics of SEO and provide a basic guide on how to do SEO yourself.
What is SEO?
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, can be described as a digital marketing strategy that is focused on helping one increase the quantity and quality of their website traffic. In other words, it describes the whole logic that is behind the ranking of every single website when an internet user performs a search on a certain search engine.
In the current online world, SEO has grown to become a skill that almost everyone can benefit from. For instance, if you own a business, you will want to rank high for certain keywords and receive more visitors to your website.
If you are a writer, you will also want people to find your content more easily. The optimization part of the term SEO actually comprises of a series of steps that a marketer can take to rank higher on the search engines and increase organic traffic for free.
White Hat vs. Black Hat
Generally, there are two main ideas when it comes to SEO. One focuses on long-term growth (White Hat SEO), while the other just focus on growing as fast as possible until you are caught breaking the rules (Black Hat SEO).
Black Hat SEO
Those people who want to work SEO like a get-rich-quick scheme usually go for the Black Hat SEO which focuses on optimizing website content only for search engines alone without considering humans. They often bend and break a couple of rules to get their websites ranking high. However, this eventually results in you having spammy and crappy web pages that often get banned.
White Hat SEO
On the other hand, those people who use White Hat SEO focus on also their human audience and building a sustainable online presence. They try to produce high-quality content and make it easily accessible to their audience by playing according to the rules of the search engines. In general, it focuses on creating positive experiences using very quality content while also building some high quality and natural links.
In order to know how to optimize your website, it is very important to first understand how search engines work. You have probably used at least one search engine like Google to search for an answer to something and probably got many results.
But have you ever stopped for a second to consider what is usually behind those long lists of results? Read on to discover how SEO works.
How does SEO work?
To explain how it works, Google and all the other search engines usually have automated robots known as crawlers that scan all the available webpages, images, and documents on the internet.
When you search for something, these robots will go out to gather all the information that they can find about the search you make. The crawlers will then bring all that information to the search engine and try to build an index that is now fed through an algorithm. It is now this algorithm that will try to evaluate the data presented to determine which files are of enough value to be included in the index.
It is the files that have been added to the index that will now be displayed in the search results. Normally, all the major search engines will provide you with a listing of websites that best answer your search query. Within these listings, you will find paid listings although the bulk of it will be composed of free listings also known as organic listings.
Being found on top of these organic listings is an indication that you have done well with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). On the other hand, if you are not being found in the organic listings then you are really missing out.
The user intent also plays a big role when it comes to how the search engines rank the web pages. To explain this, imagine an internet user searching for “SEO companies.” From this search, we can assume that the user is more likely to be searching for SEO companies that provide these services as opposed to how to start an SEO company.
Even though there may be chances that he or she maybe want to start an SEO business, search engines understand that the vast majority of people searching for this will be expecting a list of companies.
Know that you understand how search engines work, let’s look at the Search engine ranking factors. Generally, there are two main categories of SEO ranking factors and this includes:
- Off-page SEO
On-page SEO consists of all the factors that Google’s will determine by just looking directly at the specific page that you are trying to optimize.
On the other hand, Off-page SEO consists of all those variables that Google will consider but are not exclusively in your control like other blogs and social networks.
On-page SEO generally deals with the optimization of your page content and the HTML code of your pages. The main goal of on-page SEO is to try and make it easier for search engines to find your website content on the internet.
There are some major topics like content optimization, keyword research, and HTML coding that we will walk through regarding on-page optimization.
You have probably heard someone somewhere say that content is king. This is a prediction that was made by Bill Gates back in 1996 but makes a lot of sense today. To illustrate the importance of content when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), a website user will feel happy when he or she finds content that satisfies his or her needs.
This means that your first aim as a marketer should be to produce great web content. Just like a bad product won’t sell even with the best marketing so is an advanced SEO strategy without great content.
The second important thing that you will need to take care of after content is HTML. The good thing, however, is that you don’t really have to be a professional coder to do it. Some of the major parts of HTML that you will need to optimize for every single piece of your content are the title tags and Meta descriptions.
The title tags are just like the newspaper headlines and are what shows in the browser tab. Every page on your website should have just a single h1-tag so as to make the title clear to Google.
Meta description, on the other hand, is what shows up as an excerpt whenever a search engine displays your web page as one of the search results.
The final part of on-page SEO may seem a little techy but should also be taken care of. A good website architecture describes one that guarantees to creates a great experience for your traffic when they navigating your pages.
This includes aspects like having a mobile-friendly design, fast loading times, and a safe connection.
Learn more about all on-page SEO techniques and optimisation here.
Off-Page SEO, also known as Off-Site SEO, includes all the optimization actions that are performed outside your website. Normally, a good portion of the search engine’s algorithm also tends to focus on how the web or outside world in general views your website.
Search engines are not human and rely heavily on signals coming from outside including links from other websites and reviews to determine the overall value of your website’s information.
Authority or Trust
Trust rank is one of the ways that search engines use to see whether your website is legit or not. This means that if you are a major brand, the search engines are more likely to trust you.
They get this information through using things like your website bounce rates. Your bounce rate is just a measure of the number of people that view only one web page on your website and leave immediately.
By now, you probably know how important links are when it comes to search engine optimization. Although backlinks are very good for search engine optimisation (SEO), their quality really matters a lot. In order to get quality backlinks, you can reach out to a variety of valuable sources and offer them value in exchange for a solid link.
This is because the search engines will always ignore a good number of links when they are of low-quality or look spammy.
Learn more about all off-page SEO techniques and optimisation here.
While it might require you some great effort to get the basics of SEO right, it not optionally and will literally kill your online presence if you don’t. If you haven’t started using SEO then I hope with the guide you have been able to learn all that you need to get started today.
If you had already started but made some decisions that might not have been perfect choices, it’s never late to try again. Just ensure that you do your homework by creating a great site and producing content that your audience finds helpful and will be willing to share. When you do that, it is only a matter of time before you start seeing your website’s organic traffic increase exponentially.
Need SEO Services?
If you’re a little overwhelmed with SEO and you want the experts to help improve your overall website rankings then our SEO agency can do just that. We provide SEO services to Perth as well as all major cities in Australia and throughout the world.
Fill out our client application form today and see if we would make a great fit. (FYI) This isn’t for everyone and you must pass our qualifying criteria.