SEO: What is it, how and why is it important for both the quality and quantity of organic traffic for a website?
Are you a blogger or business entrepreneur hoping to promote your brand online and make some money from it?
But how do you attach to them and let them know about your presence?
The good news is that finding these people is almost easy. Every day they search core words (also known as seed words or keywords) on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
For example, if people search on google “math quiz” more than 4,000(United States), 18,000(India), and 40,000(global) people search for them monthly:
Therefore, the answer to growing to the top of Google or any other search engine is search engine optimization (SEO).
Ready to study the basics of search engine optimization? Continue to read this guide’s foundational SEO knowledge and concepts as you can drive more organic traffic for your website or bands.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is a process that helps your website improve its ranking and visibility in search engines. Frankly put, Search Engine Optimization will help you rank higher for seed words, which will bring you a more targeted audience.
It works not only present your website but also in physical products, services, and virtually any type of marketing where possibilities search online.
For example, if you have an online blog that teaches about affiliate marketing or have an online store, Search Engine Optimization can help you rank both. That means SEO is a key term for your website. Finally, a blogger can rank “make money online using blog”.
Why is SEO important?
Although traffic to websites is generated through paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms, most organic traffic is driven by search engines.
SEO is one of the only online marketing channels that, if set up properly, can continue to pay dividends from time to time. If you provide quality content that deserves to be ranked for the right keywords, your traffic may be higher over time, whereas requiring constant funding to send traffic to your site for advertising.
Optimizing your site will help provide better information to search engines so that your content can be properly indexed and displayed in search results.
Is SEO easy for beginners to learn?
The basics of search engine optimization are easy to learn. If your blog or website has a strong technical foundation (and maximum blogs on standard platforms like WordPress and Shopify) then you can achieve magnificent results by implementing simple Search Engine Optimization techniques yourself.
In fact, following the steps in this guide will present you with a more powerful blogger than others who are working with your topic.
Does SEO still work now?
If you’ve read anything about SEO topics online, you may have heard of “SEO is dead”. While most of the old approaches that people used (such as keyword stuffing and spammy link building) no longer work, that doesn’t mean SEO is dead.
Effective SEO approaches are different from this time and past, and a good blogger gets the benefit in search engine result pages. If people use search engines like Google, search engine optimization will remain an important topic.
What are the basics of Search Engine Optimization?
The basics of Search Engine Optimization are:
- Keyword research
- Article creation
- On-Page SEO
- Technical foundation
- Off-page SEO
- Measure and track SEO performance
We’ll cover each one in detail below with step-by-step instructions so you can apply them yourself.
Therefore, after you finish this post, your blog should be well optimized, and eventually, you will see more excellent results.
For starting a blog or any other service, keyword research is the most important. Keywords are acted a few focus phrases that represent the blog or service topic and (ideally) people search these topics on Google.
For example, ” affiliate marketing networks” is a keyword for these blogs, as it prescribed the focus phrase of all of these pages, and bloggers usually type it into search engines:
However, as you can see, search engine results are very different. While the first 4 results are mostly Google ads campaigns, the first organic results (from Investopedia) are informative.
Therefore, it is better to start with more particular keywords (known as long-tail keywords), such as “affiliate marketing networks for education”.
This will bring you more targeted traffic than a short keyword like “affiliate marketing networks”. Because some of these searches may be different kinds of affiliate marketing networks.
You will also notice that it’s easier to rank for a long-tailed keyword while competing against your relevant blogs.
To start the keyword research, you can use either a free SEO tool like UberSuggest or a paid SEO tool like Semrush, which has a variety of features and is well priced.
There are different ways to do keyword research, read our keyword research guide to know in detail.
You’ve got your suitable keyword and are ready to write SEO-friendly content based on your keyword.
So, how to write a good blog post?
A good blog post might have:
- More depth (write your post with more useful examples and further details)
- An excellent user experience (includes also images/screenshots, clear headings, readable text)
- Natural language (the audience can read easily)
Therefore, if you think you can write a better blog article and the blogs that have a lower domain authority than yours, you should be capable to outrank them and getting some of their traffic.
Another technique you can do is monetize your content (if you already own content). Monetizing your content is another valuable Search Engine Optimization strategy, and it provides you double audience.
However, researches show that it’s usually only beneficial to update content that previously performed well at one point.
So, take your URL, enter it into keywords, click “Top Pages” and update the pages that drive the top 50% of your traffic. You’ll probably see that only a few pages drive a lot of traffics, so it shouldn’t be too overwhelming.
Similar to constructing a house, it is important to set a strong foundation for a blog. Your blog needs to have a strong foundation in SEO.
Minor errors can irritate your readers, but larger errors can cut down on the chances of ranking a blog in search engine results algorithms.
On-page SEO strategies will keep your blog in a strong position. Therefore, you need to test a few strategies for on-page SEO.
The biggest question is, what is on-page SEO? What are the best on-page SEO techniques? and so on. Don’t worry. The biggest guide to on-page SEO is given here.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the SEO elements you control over a website or website code by yourself. That means On-page SEO is a search engine optimization strategy that helps search engine bots understand what your page is about. Examples of on-page SEO include Logical site architecture, image optimization, structural data, and more, you can increase your chances of getting higher rankings in search engines.
When it comes to optimizing a website or a blog post, there are two main reasons to play:
- On-page optimization
- Off-page optimization
Off-page optimization deals with the communication of signals which are outside your blog. For example, Backlinks.
Why on-page SEO is important?
On-page SEO is important because all the signals that Google uses to rank web pages come from the on-page content. Since on-page content is the most engaging of your users, you need to put in enough effort to make sure your on-page SEO works well.
The best on-page SEO tools:
Several popular on-page SEO tools will help you analyze the top results of your content.
Using any one of these on-page SEO tools will ensure that you are using search data to optimize your article for modern on-page SEO requirements. These are easy to use and can be used by you.
This is what I use extensively and this is what you found on my website in a Google search.
Now, don’t get confused with onsite SEO optimization and on-page SEO optimization.
On-Site SEO refers to the optimization of the whole website with things like sitemap and setting permalink structure.
On-page SEO optimizes the content for the focus keywords in a single blog post. This includes using the right title, using the right keyword placement, ensuring content quality, and focusing on many more factors.
Finally, you are ready to do on-page SEO on your site. We are about to enter into the most important part of on-page SEO. Let’s get started,
Logical site architecture
People must navigate your website efficiently. For example, they should be able to navigate to any desired page with less than three clicks (ideally) from the homepage.
Most importantly, your site should be logically structured so that users can easily find what they need. It enhances the user experience and enables search engines to better understand the content of each page.
Title tags and meta descriptions
When you do a Google search, the first thing that pops up is a list of title tags and a meta description that gives a brief snapshot of each website.
These are important for Search Engine Optimization, as they have a significant impact on clickthrough rates.
If your headlines persuade and get a lot of clicks and hired users, Google is happy to give you a place in the rankings.
If you’re puzzled when writing your title tags, consider Title Generator tools like Sharethrough, and TweakYourBiz. Most of these are templated and can dramatically improve your CTRs.
However, it is important to avoid Damn headlines with empty promises because it will cause readers to bounce (which is a negative signal to Google). Therefore, make sure that your content delivers what it says.
Finally, always include a keyword at the beginning of your title and in your meta description. We discuss the keywords in detail about keyword research.
SEO optimization URL
It’s great to make sure your URL is displayed correctly on-page metrics. Again, you should use your target keyword in the URL and avoid using special characters, symbols, brackets, commas, etc. in the actual URL.
Use dashes to separate strings from your URL structure. These are called “beautiful” Permalinks and are supported by most web browsers.
An example of a pretty permalink:
Maintains proper heading tag
Heading tags still serve an important function – for your users and your SEO. Heading not only organized your webpage well-structured but also make it easier to read.
The heading tag is used to highlight different headings, sub-headings, and important points of the web page.
In WordPress, the heading tag is set to H1. You don’t need to use any more H1 tags anywhere in the article. One is enough. For section breaks, attach to H2 and H3 tags.
Also, not use more H2 or H3 tags as Google’s algorithms do not like that.
If you are using the WordPress Block Editor, you can click on the content structure above to see if you are using the correct heading tag.
Use table of contents
Articles are very important for every blog, and sometimes they are too long. The user has a very annoying attitude to reading.
Using a table of contents can help users navigate your long article better, but it also helps you get jump links in Google searches.
Keyword Density is an element of keyword optimization that refers to the time a target keyword is used on a post. This is the percentage that represents that the target keyword is more often displayed than the number of words on the page. Keyword density is the signal that search engines can use to determine if a piece of content is related to a particular keyword or phrase.
With a mix of LSI keywords, your keyword density should be kept close to 1.5% (But remember, it is not ideal % always). There is no real short formula. My suggestion is to use semantically relevant words to help search engines understand more about your content.
Use your original keyword once in the first paragraph and again in the last paragraph. And utilize it in the content where it makes sense.
The next step is to make sure your images are optimized for search engines and readers. More than 22% of all Google searches are Google Image Search, so it is a relatively unnecessary source of additional traffic.
A survey found that optimizing a few images in their blog posts helped them achieve record-breaking traffic and an additional 5,500 visitor experience in just 10 days.
The first step in optimizing your images is to add alt text. The alt text only describes what the image is related to so that the image is unavailable but the reader can still know what is in the image. When you can use keywords, it’s best to describe the image in as few words as possible.
In the case study above, the only difference in their images was the adding Alt text. So, while it may seem simple, it is important.
WordPress users, you can add alt text when you upload an image.
If the image is different types of mobile, the Alt text should simply be “mobile store”.
The next step in optimizing your images is to reduce their file size. The smaller the size of your file, the faster it will upload, and the speed of the page as a Google ranking factor will improve your overall Search Engine Optimization.
You can use the WordPress plugin Jetpack which is an image compression tool. If you want to know more about reducing your file size, you can do so here.
Internal linking with blog posts will help your blog readers spend more time on your blog and it will help them pass page rank on other pages of your site.
When connecting, try to use a keyword as anchor text, but be careful not to overdo it.
Relevant internal links to the original post show search engines that you are providing additional information beyond what is being displayed in the content.
A good combination of anchor text + internal links will help transfer the juice of the link from one page to another.
In addition to linking to your blog posts, linking out to external websites is a great idea. Again, do this only if the information on the external website is related to the information in your post.
When linking with external websites, you should only link to trusted websites. And if you have doubts about the authority or popularity of a website, you can use a no-follow link to avoid the potentially bad side of your link juice.
You should use dofollow links for trusted websites and no-follow links for less credible ones.
But somewhere just as valid as Wikipedia, or CNN, or a major player in your niche, will not only be trustworthy, they may have relevant content that your readers may like.
This will make your site more credible.
Technical basis for Search Engine Optimization
Like the On-Page SEO foundation, it is important to lay a solid foundation for it. In Search Engine Optimization, your website needs to have a solid technical foundation. It is most important for your website’s chances of ranking in search engine results.
Therefore, you need to examine some important technical aspects.
If Google can’t crawl your website, it won’t be able to index critical pages. Unfortunately, if Google can’t index your pages, your website won’t appear in their search results.
Therefore, make sure that all your pages are indexable. You can check for index errors in the Google Search Console by viewing the “Coverage” report, or see which specific pages are indexed using URL inspection.
If you have not set up Google Search Console, you can browse “site: www.example.com” into Google search to see all your index pages.
Google handles mobile-first indexing, so no matter how well you consider your desktop version, it won’t work if your mobile version is poorly optimized.
While most websites now offer responsive design, it’s still important to double-check whether your website is truly mobile-friendly.
You can use the Google Search Console to check if your website is mobile-friendly and check under “Mobile usability”.
Although it will identify any technical flaws, it will not show you optimization strategies.
Therefore, the mobile version of your website is easy to read manually and scroll down and the text is clear.
Another critical element of a solid technical foundation is site speed. Users hate to wait for websites to load slowly, so Google has made site speed a ranking factor in 2018.
However, improving the speed of your site will do much more than help you rank higher. Studies show that you need to load your webpage between 0-9 seconds to 0-5 seconds for every second and 2.11% for each additional second your conversion rate will decrease by about 4.42%.
To test your site’s speed, you can view the Core Web Vitals tab in the Google Search Console or enter your domain in Page Speed Insights.
Link building is not just one of the preferred off-page SEO strategies. There is so much more to it than just gaining links.
It is deeper than that. For example, identifying your brand name on various websites for approval without hyperlinking is one of the strategies that go into off-page SEO search signals.
Intelligent bloggers or content marketers start with on-page SEO to reach their maximum audience.
As intelligent bloggers and content marketers, we normally start with on-page SEO.
However, most of the incidents will happen away from your website which will cause Google to take notice. Therefore, we not only deal with on-page optimization strategies but also engage in off-page activities.
Depending upon your marketing intentions, the time you use on off-page search engine optimization will alternate. Dr. Pete Meyers from MOZ states that many websites spend about 30 % of the time on off-page SEO factors and 70%on on-page SEO and reversed techniques used by other website owners.
Off-page SEO can easily tell Google what others think of your site. For example, if you get a lot of relevant links pointing to your blog, search engines will assume that you’ve found great content – the kind that provides value for users.
Otherwise, why would people waste time connecting with it?
People just quote, reference, and share topics they like. Even in an online store if your product is qualitative and affordable you will get lots of direct referrals from your existing customers.
Search engine optimization can be terrible or panic, particularly when you don’t understand what steps to use to rank your blog or content pages on the search engine’s first page. But, if you can improve your basic knowledge of on-page and off-page optimization, You will be ahead of your competition.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO refers to the activities involved in increasing the rank of a website on the Search engine result pages. The activities involved do not have anything to do with your website, hence the name, “off-page” SEO techniques.
Though many people think off-page SEO to the building of high-quality backlinks. however, it goes beyond that.
Usually, off-page SEO is promoting a website worldwide to increase its rank, many actions that don’t result in a standard link on other sites are relevant for off-page optimization.
Moreover, off-page SEO activities occur outside the site, and On-page search engine activities occur within the site.
Write a guest post for another blog or leave a comment on it, all of which are good examples of off-page SEO activities.
You’re ready for off-page SEO, I’m going to stroll you through everything you require to grasp off-page search engine optimization.
The important element of off-page SEO is link building. Google has directly declared that backlinks and content are the two most important ranking issues they see and in 2021 this is still true.
So, what is a backlink?
A backlink is a hyperlink to a website that enables the reader to navigate to another website. The text above is an example of a link “Google says directly”.
However, the owners of the site on which the reader lands on the link benefit.
Because Google uses backlinks to understand which websites are popular within an application. They assume that talking to more relevant people about a source (in other words, connecting to a source) means that it is probably a reliable authority.
Based on why Google uses backlinks as a ranking factor, it is easy to understand that not all backlinks are equivalently effective. Instead, you want to keep backlinks:
- From websites related to your topic
- From high-authority websites
As you think, if you’re an SEO blogger:
×A backlink from example.com = High authority website but irrelevant to your blog
×A backlink from an unknown SEO blog (DA less than 10) = Low-quality website but blog relevant.
√A backlink from MOZ (DA 70+) = High-quality website and blog relevant.
Unfortunately, creating links from these types of websites can be very difficult. But you have two choices:
- Make them manually.
- Collect them organically.
If your website is relatively unknown then you probably need to do some manual link building. This usually involves outreach directly to websites and asking for a link. However, to get a link, you may have to pay some value or give an allow linking to your website.
Therefore, most people choose to do:
- Broken link building (if the other website has a broken link and you have related topics, you can request them to substitute the link)
- Link replacement (if they have a link to a dull guide and you have a more helpful guide, you can request them to swap the links)
- Unlinked mention outreach (if a website quotes you or uses an image from you, ask them to add a link to the reference)
- Guest posting (writing on a topic-relevant publication)
Although these methods are somewhat effective, the response rate is about 10% or less. Therefore, your best chance to earn links is to write content that attracts links.
What kind of content do links attract?
It’s difficult to speak out. My research says that innovative research, statistics pages, case studies, and other data-driven posts drive links, as bloggers demand data to establish their claims.
Another technique you can use to create links organically is to use quotes from successful bloggers or trainers. Sometimes they will link to it, although not often, other bloggers will use quotes and links in your posts.
Being your website gets popular and your strategy starts working, it won’t be long before you receive links organically. Until then, these techniques should improve your new blog posts to get popularity.
Engage in online forums
There are plenty of platforms where you can take part and create blog awareness.
You can engage in online communities, share your views on relevant topics, and participate in discussions, it is called a forum.
Forums are a great place to discuss and share your topics. Hopefully, you know established online communities that have tremendous traffic like Reddit, StumbleUpon, and so on.
Forum discussion does not mean that you can discuss a topic and put links to your website there. You will then flag your account for spamming and in the end, your site will be at risk.
You participate and generate traffic to your site in this community. But, carefully handle this:
Make sure you’ve joined the communities associated with your topic.
Just create an account for forum discussions.
Start posting your content or relevant points to your topic discussion.
When you create an account, complete the profile with a link to your website.
This helps when the user is more attracted to your point and likes to explore more of your content. This helps you view your visitor’s profile in detail.
Significantly, it is valuable, but the forums are prominent because it strengthens your site’s online reputation by adding your valuable points about it. It attracts visitors and increases traffic to your site.
Social media marketing
One of the most effective off-page SEO strategies is social media. Using social media platforms is a great way to increase the reach of your content. Not only can social media encourage more clicks on your recent piece of content, but it can also be an important source of valuable backlinks from a site with a high DA:
- LinkedIn (DA: 98)
- Facebook (DA: 96)
- Twitter (DA: 94)
- Instagram (DA: 93)
Google did not directly say that a link to any social media platform would benefit your SEO, although they did say that social platforms are similarly crawled for data on any other site on the web.
While the Search Engine Optimization impact of backlinks on a social platform is uncertain, one guarantee is the ranking of your social profile in SERPs. Not only will your social profile rank, but it will also rank at the top for the brand-related search term. With this in mind, your social profiles reflect positively on your company, and standing up for it can affect the user’s first impressions, especially if they are unfamiliar with your brand. In addition, broadening insightful content through social platforms will increase the likelihood of sharing and linking to your content.
There you have it – the basics of Search Engine Optimization. If you follow every step of this guide, you will be well on your way to SEO success. While Search Engine Optimization strategies are not difficult to implement, consistency is the key to success.
Most websites require many months of continuous SEO practice before seeing strong results, but the good news is that these results are mixed over time.