Getting started with SEO is not the way you thought till now correct. From Google’s algorithm update to link building and everything within — Search Engine Optimizers (or, as you call them, SEO experts) face various challenges everyday. As a matter of fact, their business runs entirely upon such challenges and this is what makes SEO the most exciting job on the internet. Even the so-called prolific digital marketers are afraid to get into the SEO business. SEO is a practical subject and everyone knows a little or a lot but never all about it.
In my new How to do SEO? post-series, I will be guiding SEO enthusiasts to proper methods on tackling the most troublesome problems in SEO. In this tutorial, we’ll just focus on key points of SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is literally the most important element of any website.
SEO or Search engine optimization is, basically, optimization of web pages for Search Engines. That may include many elements such as content optimization, user-experience evaluation, and internal link optimization etc. It additionally includes improving the page’s visibility among the audience. Primarily, SEO focuses on getting organic traffic from natural or unpaid resources.
What can SEO do for a website?
- Improve site visibility in Search Results in Search Engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo!
- Change the way your website content appears in Search Results
- Boost site traffic and can literally make Search Engines a regular free traffic source
- Boost your subscriber/consumer base
- Build better consumer engagement
- Boost sales and yield more customers
- Make your content stand out of crowd
- Make your local business look better online
- Boost app downloads
What can SEO not do for a website?
SEO is a slow process and it takes a lot of time for a page to be properly ranked in Search Engines. Additionally there are some things that it can not do, despite all practices.
SEO can not
- Make your site look good — that’ll need a web designer. (Though good looking sites rank better)
- Boost engagement for Social Network profiles — despite those too being webpages.
- Take your site from 0% to 100% in no-time.
- Boost app/product reviews — that’ll require better app/products.
SEO is not magic but is only as tough as learning magic.
How to do SEO for a website?
This is a very big question.
The honest answer is, it depends.
It depends upon the niche or industry, website history, client goals and kind of website.
It also depends on budget and priorities and all kinds of things we could sit here all day and list out.
There are hundreds of good guides out there on the internet and it would take years to master those. But in general, SEO for a website would require more or less focus on the following key elements:
Getting started with SEO by Content Optimization
Content should be well targeted to the industry your site is involved with. It should be readable and properly formatted. Depending upon the client goals, proper call to actions must be used and headings — which are most essential in ranking pages — must be used wisely. Anchor texts and images are required to be inserted properly with valid HTML tags. Poor content can lead penalty to your website.
Useful guides on Content Optimization:
- How to Create Content that people will link to
- Become a better content writer with these Content Writing tips
- New blogging styles that you need to try
Getting started with SEO by User Experience (UX)
- Your website must be mobile friendly and easy to navigate through pages.
- A quick focus on readability and accessibility can help the user experience a lot.
- Give only what people need. Don’t get extra creative. Make sure what the purpose of your website is and work along that purpose.
- Make sure that your website has properly inserted key elements — like a search box, menus, footers etc.
- Popups are kind of a hurdle for UX. So make sure that there aren’t much popups in the site.
Getting started with SEO by On-page SEO
Make sure that your site
- Loads faster
- Has good titles, headers and meta descriptions
- Is made for people — not search engines
- Has content in priority and ads/sidebar are secondary
- Has Schema.org markup
- Has no HTML errors
- Has a valid XML Sitemap
- Has a valid RSS Feed, if the site is a blog.
- Has HTTPS.
- Has no broken links
- Is indexable to Search Engines
Useful guides on On-page SEO:
- How to optimize speed of your site for free
- How to Write Incredible Blog Post Headlines
- Google Chrome wants you to switch to HTTPS. Do it for free!
Getting started with SEO by Off-page SEO
- If you are a local business, claim Google Business Listing. Whenever you make changes in your business, ensure that your business pages reflect it. The page should be optimized, so that information such as phone numbers, location, relevant categories are all correct to help customers to get you easily.
- Add your sites to various social networks. Search engines always receive a signal whenever someone follows likes or shares a video or image on social media thus a great place to improve your page rank by gaining credibility to your third-party website.
- Share and inspire others to share your content to social networks.
- Pages like the Yellow Pages, Refer Local, Yelp, or Bing should be concentrated by you making sure that you get on them. They should have the right information for you. Ensure information like your website, address, and a small explanation of what you deal with is detailed. Customers leaving a review on the website about a transaction they did with you can help in enhancing visibility so make sure you let them know.
- Build Backlinks: In the language of SEO, a backlink to your site is an HTTP URL from any other site which points to one of your webpages. Backlinks help bloggers & webmasters meet more traffic, better search engine reputation and gain better algorithmic parameters like Google Page Rank, Alexa Rank, Moz Rank, Domain Authority & Page Authority. All your SEO strategies are waste until a large number of websites link to your site.
- Always keep an eye on Google Algorithmic changes and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
Learn more about SEO Trends and Practices
There are various guides that can help you get started with SEO. Make sure you go through every such article you find under prestigious names like Moz, Search Engine Land, Neil Patel etc. You should also follow these blogs to stay in touch with trends and practices of modern SEO.