You have reached this post, which means you got hit with the word SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
As a beginner, possibly you have lots of questions about SEO.
What is SEO? How does it work? What SEO does and so on.
Or, maybe you have some basic understanding.
In any case, this post is going to be helpful.
Let’s get started…
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process to optimize web pages or content in digital marketing so that they rank high for certain keywords in search engines (Google, Bing, or Yahoo) organically.
When you understand how SEO works, you can apply different SEO strategies and techniques to increase your site visibility in the search results.
Don’t start scratching your head. Give this answer in SEO interviews.
Okay fine, let’s make it simple.
Suppose you have an article about photography techniques for portraits. It’s obvious that you are not only the one who is teaching the photography techniques, right?
There will be thousands of people with similar content.
But the truth is, the search engine (90% Google) shows only the 10 best results on its first page. People never look at the next page of Google. Do you?
Even there is a joke going around on the internet about it. If you want to hide a dead body, dump it on the second page of Google. There is no one going to find it.
To come up with the best result, you have to optimize your content in such a way that the search engine (Google) loves showing your article in its top list.
This is where the art of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into the picture.
Now the question is what you need to optimize. Is it the written article? Designs? Or, Links?
I would say all of that.
To have a clear view, you should take a look at SEO Types.
Types of SEO
When it comes to different types of SEO, there is a whole lot of thing you need to know about it.
To spark some lights, here take a look at SEO types:
- White Hat SEO
- Black Hat SEO
- Gray Hat SEO
- Negative SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
These are just a few to name but there is much more to it. But knowing everything at once is not a good idea. Surely, when you enter the world of SEO, you’ll get to know everything one by one.
To bring a web page in the #1 position of Google, you have to keep an eygle-eye on ranking algorithm. These include many factors. Backlinko has done a great job explaining them.
Perhaps for beginners, focusing on just two SEO types will greatly enhance your SEO skills.
1. On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO means improving your articles in both human and search engine friendly.
In this process, you have to write well-structured content.
Have you ever noticed while reading a book?
On the cover page, you get to see a big attractive title. If you open the book, a table of content is shown at the very beginning.
Why is it that?
If you observe properly, the author puts heading to each chapter they want to talk about. And, below that heading, you’ll find lots of sub-headings too.
These are all because to give a smooth experience to readers. The same kind of thing you have to apply to your article.
Make things easy, informative, and engaging for readers as much as possible.
Saying that here are the on-page SEO techniques.
On-Page SEO Techniques
The on-page optimization process begins with proper research on the topic that you are going to write about.
To optimize your content, you have to work on:
Site Structure – The website structure should be clean and interesting that people love to stick around. Apart from that, your website should be mobile-friendly. That’s why you should choose a good WordPress theme for your site.
Website Loading Speed – It is also one of the important factors you have to work on. A website with a low loading speed gives a bad experience to users. If you want to rank your site in search engines, you have to work on it.
Keywords – Keywords are the term or phrase for which people usually search on search engines (Google, Bing, or Yahoo).
Like if you want to know about the latest android mobile, what you’ll type in the Google search bar? That’s exactly the keyword.
SEO Title – SEO Title is the title of your article but it’s slightly different than normal titles. Here, a focused keyword is added to the title of the article.
Meta Description – Meta Description is the trailer of your article. It tells both search engines and readers what your whole content is all about.
Internal Link – Internal link means the relation between your article A and article B, connected through a hyperlink. It’s when clicked, readers will navigate to another article or blog post on your website.
The more internal link in your content, the more better. It’s a positive sign for search engines that you got more sources for that particular topic.
Outbound Link – It’s opposite to an internal link. In the internal link, you link your content with your web pages. But in the outbound link, you link your content with another website.
It’s kind of proof of your research. It’s when clicked, readers will move from your post to other’s website.
If you do On-Page SEO perfectly, think 80% of your work is done. That means you have to master the on-page SEO optimization.
As I said, 80% is On-Page. Now, you have to work on the rest of 20% which is off-page.
2. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is different than on-page.
This is the place where most beginners fail.
While doing on-page SEO, you work within the content or article of your website. In contrast, off-page SEO is something where you work on after publishing the article.
To be said simply, you have total control in your hands over On-page SEO. However, there is less you could do in Off-Page.
So, what exactly is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO is the process where you try to build your website authority by linking to trusted websites.
It’s kind of increasing your website popularity by building connections with big parties.
By writing well SEO-optimized article can rank your content in search engines, but not in the position you wish for.
With few links pointing to your article from a top well-known website can help you reach the spot you want to enter.
Off-Page SEO Techniques
Backlinks – A backlink is a link from another website to a page on your website that you want to rank in search engines. It is also known as inbound links.
This is the most important part of off-page SEO. Backlinks are like people’s vote for your content. The more your content gets inbound links the better search result you get.
Mainly there are three different ways of earning links:
- Natural Links are earned when you provide helpful information or extraordinary content that people love sharing. For example, a fashion blogger will add a link to a post that points toward the latest clothes. The cloth owner didn’t ask to link his site still got auto-backlink. That is a natural link.
- Manual links come when you ask others to link to your content or pay for building links. These also involve asking influencers to share on social sites.
- Self-created links are a practice of creating backlinks from different platforms such as online directory, forum, or blog comment with optimized anchor text. This process should be followed carefully otherwise it may lead to Black Hat SEO (search engines are against it).
How Does SEO Work?
Since you know what is SEO, now we can talk about how SEO works.
Google or any search engine has spiders – not creepy one but robotic type.
These spiders collect all kinds of information from your website content and the page that makes your site. This allows them to understand what and when to serve a searcher a page on your site.
Search engines spider collect things like title tags, page speed, content, social signals, internal link, backlinks, and many more.
As I mentioned earlier, Google the search engine uses more than 200 ranking factors in their algorithm to rank a page. If you work on both on-page and off-page, your site can be optimized excellently.
The most important part you should know. The search engines are automated computer bots, not real humans.
What does that mean?
The spider can’t access the website like you and I would because they don’t see the website: they crawl the code of your website. That means they can’t see the image or video on your site, neither listen to audio nor get impressed with your shiny designs.
In fact, they can’t even understand content as we do!
Was It Helpful?
So, this all about what SEO is and how it works.
I have mentioned only the important points that are actually helpful for beginners.
If you follow and absorb the two SEO techniques – on-page and off-page, you’ll surely rank high in search engines.
In the beginning, SEO may feel challenging, but you can always reach GuideSEO for more reading stuff.
Now, tell me which technique you prefer or going to practice first? Comment in the box below, right now.