In short, SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization is often defined as techniques employed to improve the visibility, traffic level, rankings and popularity of a website or a blog site.
Let's put it this way; search engine optimization is the act of structuring a webpage internally…
and promoting it externally with the main focus of improving the site rankings on the search engine results pages.
The perfect language used to communicate with search engines like Google and Bing is SEO and the guys with the best optimization strategies come up first.
Don't be curious, SEO isn't magic, it isn't, but by the time you finish reading this post, you'll find it pretty easy to play by the rules, increase your organic traffic and sales.
Search engine optimization is broken down into two groups, which are the On-page optimization and Off-page optimization.
…don't panic, I'll explain…
On-page search engine optimization
This is often referred to as certain rules layed down by the search engines and executed inside a website to increase exposure to larger chunk of people.
They are techniques used within a website so as to gain advantage over other websites in the search engine results pages and earn more organic search traffic
I know how this is probably too complex right now, I'm hoping you'll understand this more better as you read on.
On-page optimization is done inside a website and the three main factors of On-page SEO I'll explain are the title, description and Uniform Source Locator (URL).
Though, There are over 20 On-page optimization factors but let's face the three basic ones first if that's okay.
Factor #1: Title structure of a webpage
It's what people will see before they finally decide to click that green button by the right hand side throught to your website from the results pages.
Many uninformed entrepreneurs and webmasters tend to use the wrong titles for great posts, i bet you've done this severally. In fact, this is one of the reasons why you won't get any traffic.
Using the wrong titles for perfect blog post is a total waste when you tend to expect a sudden influx of traffic.
Most times, you name your titles well, but do you know how many hundreds of your competitors target those exact same keywords in your title?.
One sure way to compose good titles that can improve your blog visibility and increase visitors is to use the Google keyword planner tool to search for less competitive keywords.
Know the keywords you can easily rank for before you include them in your titles, else, you'll keep writing good content under the sea and won't get heard.
oh!, i think something's missing - Always, always and always ensure appropriate use of your target keywords (that is, the keywords you're trying to rank for) in your titles.
Google tend to give more attention to words in the first 3 to 5 position of a title on the SERPs, so, make sure to drop your target keywords in those positions.
Make your titles descriptive, compelling, straight to the point and natural.
Unnatural keyword usage (otherwise known as keyword stuffing) in titles and in your content will get you a Google penalty free of charge.
Factor #2: Description of a website or post
The description is a short note on what your content talks about. It's a descriptive summary of your content.
Description is found just below the title and URL of a page in the SERPs.
It's advisable to keep description length below 160 characters.
Something you must do here is apply your target keyword at least twice in your description and one synonym of your keyword.
When I say keyword, I don't mean the 'keywords' meta tag, that's not primarily useful anymore just in case you didn't know.
For example, the target keyword for this content you're reading now is "What is SEO" and so is the title.
Your titles and description need to create an impression, but the URL doesn't.
Use the most important words (keywords) in the URL section and description.
For example: if your title is something like "17 easy ways to cure pimples", use "cure pimples" for the URL instead of the complete title sentence.
Apply the words "pimples", "cure" and a synonym "clear pimples" in the description.
Just make sure your description is compelling enough to attract anyone who sees it.
This way, you'll have more opportunities to hit first page for broader keyword phrases and terms like "pimples" "clear pimples" and "pimples cure".
Check the description of this post, I used the words "SEO", search engine optimization and internet marketing.
Somehow, Google understands that SEO is search engine optimization, it understands the synonyms of words.
Factor #3: The URL (Uniform Source Locator) structure of a webpage
Having a better domain URL or a URL that's easy to pronounce and when pronounced, sounds nice to the ear isn't good enough.
To have a better chance at securing a top position in the SERPs, your domain URL must contain keywords often used in your target market.
This means a broad keyword that's popularly known and often used in your Industry.
For example, I'm running a blog about SEO and blogging, I could use thousands of other names, but I chose to use SeoSpruce (God knows why).
As you can see there's an 'Seo' behind the Spruce which makes it possible for me to rank well.
Now, let's look at URL of specific pages on a website like the URL of this content you're reading:
Uniform source locators should be descriptive and should align with the title of the post.
Keyword phrases used in your post titles should also be used in your URLs to those posts.
Use your target keywords excluding numbers and irrelevant characters so that it won't get cut out on the SERPs.
Here are examples of what the search engines see as bad and handicapped URLs:
"http://www.example.com/gp/ detail.html/602-9912342-3046240? _encoding=UTF8&frombrowse=1&asin=M453HVIKWT"
Why they are bad?…
The right answer to that question is because they tell the search engines nothing.
Perhaps, the only person who would probably search for "65777/8907" is that guy from Kyle XY.
The URL is less relevant and not useful because it has no keyword term and no meaningful phrase In it.
So it tells the search engines "hey, I have content about "65777/8907", just in case someone asks".
Good URLs include stuffs like these:
- Tracking figures and long form – http:// www.example.com/swiss-restaurant/12456/
Date and long form – http://www.example.com/2014/09/blogging-tips/
- Brief or short form – http://www.example.com/twilight/
It tells the search engines "hey!, rank me for the query 'swiss restaurant', which is cool.
The second includes the date, which is overlooked by the search engines.
It passes a message to engines, that it's all about 'Blogging tips'.
The third URL form is the best form of good URL around the web because of its simplicity.
It tells the search engine "hey, rank me for the query 'twilight', because that's what I'm made of."
Off-page search engine optimization
It includes the process of promoting a website through social media like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, building links to increase the popularity, visibility and traffic level of a website.
So many people often argue about the issue of On-page SEO being more important than the Off-page, yeah, On-page is much more important but, just so you'd know…
The Off-page optimization is also equally relevant if you really mean to boost a website's authority, traffic level and rankings. Its a total waste of time to compare them though.
You must have seen links all over this post, but do you really know what they do, apart from leading to other important webpages?.
When it comes down to search engine optimization, links are very important factor that determines the ranking ability of a website in the search engine results pages.
A link from a website that has a higher page rank and authority to your own website can boost your website rankings by far…
most especially when the site niche is quite related and similar to yours.
For example: this blog is an Internet marketing blog, right?.
I wouldn't want any other websites to link to me except those ones that are related to my niche.
In the same way, i wouldn't want to link to unrelated niche sites as that will get me penalty dings.
Before now, anyone could easily boost the rankings of a website for specific keyword phrases by simply building hundreds of links to a particular website or webpage.
But not anymore, not after Google panda and penguin algorithms have been debuted rolled.
These algorithms were rolled out to reduce excessive use of black hat SEO and link building techniques to gain higher rankings.
Before now, the more links you have coming from anywhere, the more traffic you'll get from organic search.
Link quantity was one of the most booming trend and strategy before now.
To Google, a link is a vote, if i link to your website, i vote for your website which means i highly recommend your content and i would love others to read it too.
The more votes you have, the more chances you'll have to rank well.
Now, all links are not created equal anymore.
The more QUALITY links you have pointing to your website's URL, the more SERP boost you will certainly get.
Now, Google values the quality of links rather than quantity.
3 common ways to build links
Here's 3 common ways to build links to a webpage:
Forum comments – Forum comments can be a good way of getting penalized by Google penguin, but when done carefully and with a good motive, it can payoff as well.
There are hundreds of blogs with user comment section, there's where you can leave a signature after comment or naturally link to your site using "http://www.yoursite.com".
It's probably the best way to do it without being spammy. This doesn't mean you should start doing it on all blogs you comment on… like I've said, make sure to contribute positively with your comments and not just commenting for the sake of building links..
Article directories – Links from article directories have literally being devalued by the search engines. The code is the same with article directories, you provide useful content with a link or two to your site.
Perform a Google search on free article directories (ARDs), checkout their page rank and Alexa rank, checkout their monthly traffic.
The last thing you want to do is provide content to a directory with low page rank and little traffic which will hurt your website rankings in a long-run.
Guest blogging – If you already know what blogging is, then guest blogging shouldn't be hard to guess. Guest blogging is the act of submitting content to another blog in the same market as you for publication.
This time, it's not your blog you're submitting content to. Guest blogging has been around for quite a long time and it's going nowhere soon.
It's a fabulous way to build links to your website, generate traffic and keep in touch with other people in your field.
I'm GLAD you asked…
If you have a blog that hardly attracts 100 or 10,000 visitors per month (unlike Moz), and you were privileged to guest post or blog on a multimillion-traffic blog like Forbes or even Huffington Post…
you're more likely to see a spike in your monthly traffic if you keep up the pace with evergreen content.
Evergreen content is content that can be leveraged continually, and never lose relevance and usefulness to search engines and readers respectively.
6 SEO sites to keep up with
Here's 6 internet marketing blogs to follow and read if you want to boost your SEO skills and knowledge:
- Search Engine Land – Search engine land is one of the big boys when it comes to marketing. The provide both experts and newbies with SEO techniques and latest industry news.
- Search Engine Watch – Similar to the first. I'm quite jealous of these sites, how they crank out multiple content per day.
Search engine watch is one of the biggest SEO sites. They provide information on everything that has to do with marketing.
- Moz – As long as SEO is concerned, Moz is the biggest bro in the house. It's designed so well that there are various blogs in it, and users can post content as contributors to Youmoz.
- Quick Sprout – You can become an instant SEO guru by the time you finished reading the definitive, ultimate guides at Quick Sprout. Neil Patel at Quick Sprout shares online marketing and blogging tips and I'm very you know that SEO is just a branch of marketing online. Alongside, he shares his lessons learnt from his 11+ years of being a marketer and an entrepreneur.
- Shout Me Loud – Shout me loud is one the top 300 blogs in India, and top 3000 worldwide.
They provide blogging and Search Engine Optimization tips to their audience, and have a very large readership base.
- Backlinko – I highly recommend Backlinko if you want become really good at building links to your website.
Brian Dean does a great job at creating outstanding content masterpiece with info to last you another decade.
- SEO is the term used to describe acts and techniques employed on a website to attract organic search traffic to that website.
- SEO is further divided in On-page and Off-page SEO.
- Link building is an integral part of SEO.
- Guest blogging is very important both for optimization benefit and building your brand awareness.
- Guest blogging is the best way to get in touch with a larger chunk of audience.
- Exact match URL slug and post titles will bring a boost in visibility of that post.
- Description of your posts should be catchy and should contain your main keywords and some synonyms of the main keywords.
- Don't go overboard with optimizing your website, it can get you penalties for free. Over optimization irritates the search engines, so they'll downgrade your website when they see that you're trying to outrank everyone by over optimization.
- Don't go for what's hot, especially when you have a young website with low page rank and few quality links. You won't get any organic traffic from Google.
- For your titles, do a good keyword research before finalizing things. Know your keywords.
If I can do it and still doing it, then you can do it and can also become a better search engine optimizer than i am.
All you have to do is keep up with industry news, hangout with experienced marketers, carryout your research and keep testing.
Because the only way we know what's working and what's not damn working is by testing…
What do you understand by SEO, and what are your plans towards it?