Guess how many blog posts are published each day. Any ideas?
Over 2 million.
That means 46 people have pressed publish by the time you read these 4 sentences. This makes it sort of tough to stand out. But you have to, if you want to make your blog a successful one.
No wonder millions of people google the term “SEO” each month. So what does SEO mean?
It stands for search engine optimization, but what gets optimized?
Is it the design? Or the writing? The links maybe?
Yes, yes and yes. It’s all of them and more.
But let’s start at the beginning.
According to Wikipedia, SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results”
In other words; SEO is the process of optimizing your online content, so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.
Let’s break that down even further:
There’s you, doing the SEO, the search engine, and the searcher. If you have an article about how to stop windows 10 update, you want the search engine (Google for instance), to show it as a top result to anyone who searches for the phrase “how to stop windows 10 update”.
SEO is the magic you have to work on your article, in order to make Google very likely to include your article as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that keyword.
Now what does that magic look like, and why does it even matter?
The vast majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, and nearly 75% of searchers start their searches on Google.
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, 68% of which use Google to do so.
Combine that with the fact that the first 5 results in Google get 67% of all clicks, and you get an idea of why SEO is so important.
Your blog post, article or product being linked on any other page of the Google search results than the first is equivalent to not being ranked at all.
But to understand how to show up first in the search page results, you first need to know how search even works.
check this article about How do search engines work.
Now that you have an idea of the basics of SEO, Let’s take a look at some of its components in detail.
There are two broad categories of SEO: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO
On-page SEO concerns all of Google’s ranking factors that they determine by directly looking at the page you try to optimize, such as your headlines, content, and page structure.
Off-page SEO refers to all variables Google takes a look at, and they aren’t exclusively in your own hands. They depend on other sources, such as social networks, other blogs in your industry, and the personal history of the searcher.
They’re different, but you need to get both right in order to do well with SEO.
First: On-Page SEO:
There are three big categories of on-page SEO that you’ll need to take a look at.
The first and most important is CONTENT:
Why does Content matter?
Because search engines users (Google for instance) will be happy when they find the result that serves their needs in the best way.
So when you Google a specific subject, Google will try to give you the best experience possible by directing you to the greatest content it can find.
This means that your number one job to do well with SEO is to produce great content. Whereas the best marketing in the world won’t help you sell a bad product, super advanced SEO will be useless if your content isn’t good enough.
Here are the factors that make up great content in Google’s eyes:
- Quality – Delivering the best-quality content is the starting point for any successful SEO effort (and any online business).
- Keyword research – Doing your keyword research up-front is a crucial part of great content. Since you ideally want to include your targeted keyword in your post’s headline and throughout the article, you need to choose your keyword before you start writing.
- Use of keywords – Google has gotten smarter over the years. While you should, of course, use your keyword throughout your content, jamming your keyword into your text as much as possible will hurt your rankings rather than improve them. As long as you make sure your keyword is present in strategically-important places (like headlines, URL, and meta description), there is no need to mention it tons of times in your text.
- Freshness of content – Posting more frequently improves Google rankings. However, posting new content is only one way to signal Google freshness. While it is important to publish regularly, you can still get great results by posting once a month as long as your content is thorough and in-depth.
- Direct answers – Finally, Google will sometimes provide searchers with direct answers right on the SERP. If you write your content clearly enough for Google to recognize it as an answer to a particular question, it will show up directly beneath the search bar.it will show up directly beneath the search bar.
That’s why detailed guides and long how-to’s have become more and more popular. So make sure you clear up your writing. Fancy buzzwords and complex sentence constructions will neither make you sound smart nor help your SEO game.
Once you’ve made sure your content is evergreen, the next big chunk you have to take care of is HTML.
You don’t have to be a professional coder or get a degree in programming by any means. But, running an online business without knowing the basics of HTML would be the same as driving without knowing what the colors of traffic lights mean.
So let’s take a look at the four parts of HTML you should optimize for each and every single piece of content you produce.
- Title tags – Title tags are the online equivalent of newspaper headlines. They are what shows up in the tab of your browser when you open a new page. The HTML tag for them is called title. But when it comes to blogs, it often becomes an h1-tag, which stands for heading of the first order. Every page should only have one h1-tag to make the title clear to Google.
- Meta description – Meta descriptions are what show up as an excerpt when Google displays your page as a result to searchers. It’s easy to spot who’s done their SEO homework and who hasn’t by the meta description.
If you optimize a meta description result, Google will never cut it off and end with “…” or make it seem like it ends mid-sentence. Optimized meta descriptions also often mention the content’s keyword up-front.
- Schema – Schema is the result of collaboration between Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! to help you provide the information that search engines need to understand your content and provide the best search results possible at this time. Adding Schema markup to your HTML improves the way search engines read and represent your page in SERPs.
- Subheads – Adding Subheads to your landing page not only will help to format and structure your content and give your readers easy reference points, but they also affect SEO. Compared to your h1-tags, your h2, h3, h4, and further subheads have less SEO power. But they still matter, so you should use them. Plus, it’s one of the easiest SEO wins you can get on WordPress.
The third and last part of on-page SEO is site architecture. There are a few simple things to take care of when improving SEO rankings.
A good website architecture leads to a great experience for the user when he or she navigates your page. It focuses on things like fast loading times, a safe connection, and a mobile-friendly design.
You also need to optimize a few things for a great “search engine experience.” The more accessible your website is to Google, the better it will rank.
Easy to crawl – Depending on how well the Spiders – which are the programs that “crawl” from one page on your site to the next through links – can index all the pages on your site, they’ll be more likely to report back to Google that you are a good result.
Mobile-friendliness – Over 54% of Facebook users access the network exclusively on their mobile devices. Considering that Facebook now has 1.65 billion monthly active users, that number represents nearly 900 million mobile-only users! You simply have to keep mobile devices in mind these days.
You can test the Mobile-friendliness of your website with Google’s tool. Test results include a screenshot of how the page looks to Google on a mobile device, as well as a list of any mobile usability problems that it finds.
Page speed – It actually refers to the time a visitor have to wait until your page is completely loaded. page speed could impact your website ranking as Google announced In 2010.
As a matter of facts, it has an impact on your audience user experience. A bad UX can cost you a loss of revenue if your target have to wait too long to get what they are looking for. They will just close your website. And above all, a slow page load is penalized by the search engines and has an impact on your ranking, both on mobile and desktop devices.
So, there is a few factors you should focus on to improve your page speed.
WHAT CAN LOWER YOUR PAGE SPEED?
- Your host: you get what you paid. In the long run, a cheap offer can damage your page speed. Pick the right host that fit to your business size.
- Too large images: images which are too heavy to load can really lower your page speed. It is often due to extra data included in the comments or to a lack of compression. Prefer PNG for images that do not require high details like logos and JPEG for photos.
- External embedded media: external media like videos are highly valuable but can largely lower your page speed. To enhance your page load time, host the videos on your own server.
- Unoptimized browser, plugins and app: you should test your website on all browsers since they do not load your site in the same way. Moreover, apps like Flash can seriously lower your page speed.
- Too much ads: more than just bothering your visitors, lots of ads have the drawback to slow down your page speed.
- Your theme: some highly designed themes containing a lot of effects can penalized your load page.
- Widgets: some social buttons or comment areas can have an impact of your page speed.
- Complex or dense HTML/CSS code: if your HTML/CSS is not efficient or too dense, it will lower your page speed.
HTTPS and SSL – SEOs have considered security to be a ranking signal for some time now.
However, Google’s not stopping there. They’re also now actively warning people when websites are not secure.
These warning notifications will essentially tell people not to give your website their personal information (or worse, their credit card numbers).
Check this article to learn more about Securing Your Website.
Second: Off-Page SEO:
there are four important elements affecting the process off-page SEO and they are:
PageRank, the famous formula that the founders of Google invented, certainly isn’t the only measure they take when ranking pages in the top ten search results.
TrustRank is a way for Google to see whether your site is legit or not. For example, if you look like a big brand, Google is likely to trust you. Quality backlinks from authoritative sites (like .edu or .gov domains) also help.
There are four parts to building trust.
Google determines the overall authority of your site by a mix of two kinds of authority that you can build:
- Domain authority, which has to do with how widespread your domain name is. Coca-cola.com is very authoritative, for example, because everyone has heard of it.
- Page authority, which relates to how authoritative the content of a single page (for example a blog post) is.
Your bounce rate is simply a measure of how many people view only one page on your site before immediately leaving again.
Content, loading times, usability, and attracting the right readers are all part of decreasing your bounce rate. The math is simple – the right readers will spend more time on a site that loads fast, looks good, and has great content.
refers to the length of time that a website has been registered and active. Domain age conveys trust to website visitors and to the search engines.
Domain age is important for SEO purposes because the age of a website is a search engine ranking factor. The search engines want to provide users with the best possible results. As a website ages over time, it becomes more trusted in the eyes of the search engines as long as it has quality content and a robust portfolio of relevant inbound links that have been established over time. While domain age does convey trust to the search engines, it is only one of many ranking factors and owners of new domains shouldn’t worry that their website will never be able to compete. It may take more time, but the focus is always on quality content and gaining relevant inbound links.
Having a brand or personal identity online is a huge trust signal for search engines, but it takes time to build.
This survey founds that “70% of US consumers look for a ‘known retailer’ when deciding what search result to click.”
Having a recognizable brand name was even more important than the price or quality of the product in question! That’s why it is important to build a brand or personal identity of your own.
Consider these three factors when trying to get backlinks:
Quality of links – A quality backlink comes from relevant authoritative domains in your niche. If the website linking to your site has a high Domain Authority and has similar content, your backlink will be good for SEO
Anchor text – The anchor text is the text that other sites use when they link to you, and yes, it matters. The more natural the link text sounds, the better.
Here’s an example: You could either link to “A Step-by-Step Guide for SEO” by linking the words “click here” or by naturally mentioning it in the flow of your writing as shown here “A Step-by-Step Guide for SEO“. The second category is called contextual backlinks, and that’s the one you should strive for.
Number of links – Lastly, the number of total links you have matters as well, and you need to build high-quality backlinks at scale over time.
The third category of off-page SEO that’s worth taking a look at is personal factors. While most of these are out of your control, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of reaching a certain audience.
Country – All searchers see results relevant to the country they’re in. Open times of recommended stores and restaurants appear according to your time zone.
A way to tell Google that you want to target certain countries is, of course, by including them as keywords.
City – The geo-targeting goes even further. It goes down to the city level. That’s why you usually see results from right around the block when you search for a fast-food chain.
Again, using city names as keywords helps. But don’t paint yourself into a corner, or you’ll end up looking like you’re only a local authority.
Searcher’s history – If the searcher has been on the same page before, you’re more likely to show up because Google thinks you’re a relevant result for them.
Lastly, let’s take a look at The Influence Of Social Media On Off-Page SEO
The first and foremost priority of Google is to provide quality content to its searchers. And the best feature of a quality content is that it gets shared more. Search engines like Google take social signal as an important metric for ranking web pages and there are two main factors of influence.
Quality of shares – Who shares matters more than how often. it’s the same as with the quality of backlinks.
Number of shares – Create a great content and share it on Social Media Channels to generate many shares and links (as we know, links are a direct ranking factor).