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New to SEO then start here (The Definitive Beginners Guide)

SEO in layman terms is nothing but a series of improvements that impact your websites in a way that they rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages(SERP).

New to SEO then start here (The Definitive Beginners Guide)

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SEO in layman terms is nothing but a series of improvements that impacts your websites in a way that they rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). The changes that you need to bring about are the optimizations.

To optimize a website efficiently, one should start with basics of Search Engines.

getseotips.com

Though you may have seen many diverse explanations for the term SEO on various other blogs, our take on this is a little different and we will try our best to make it as simple as it can be.

To begin with, we will go briefly on Search Engines and their working structures, following which we will then focus on the optimizing (SEO) your content for the search engines.

What are Search Engines?

Search Engines are a piece of online software that searches through trillions of stored indexed pages for the info requested by a user. The request is mostly text (sometimes images) and we also refer this as a query. We are sure this is something you already know or have used it firsthand therefore we will only touch the tip of the iceberg for now before jumping into the optimization part. It is good to know that Google is the most widely used search engine but there are other players too like Bing, Yahoo, etc.

How Search Works

Understanding the term “Search Engine” in SEO

If you know how search works, then we suggest you to jump directly to Search Engine Optimization section by clicking here. If not, it’s a very good thing to know how search works. The search process starts with you typing in the search box and we are sure you may have experienced it firsthand, while you are typing in your query a list of suggestions will appear below your text, upon clicking one of the suggestion you will see with the desired results. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes and it’s imperative for one know how search works before they deep dive into the world of SEO.

How are Results generated

Every query is served with a result based on a certain algorithm and these algorithms are updated periodically to provide good and relevant content.

To set a firm foot in SEO world, one should understand how a search engine decides what to present as results and what your content should have integrally to be successful. In this section we will mostly discuss Google as it is the most widely used search engine out there.

There are about 200+ signals that Google uses to decide on what to present as best and relevant results, out of those 200+ signal we will discuss the most basic ones in the purview of Search Engines. Comprehensive understanding of the below factors will help you set a firm ground for your optimization strategies.

  1. Searcher’s Intent: A search engine first tries to solve the user’s intent by trying to understand his language in correlation to his demography and it also checks for typos and synonyms to get the best meaning of a users query.
  2. Relevance: Now the search engine searches though it’s indexed database and will find the most relevant content by the means of keyword matching.
  3. Quality: This factor determines the trustworthiness and authoritativeness of a topic, This is mainly determined by the number of links (of your page) shared by other well trusted website of same niche.
  4. Technology: Factors like how quickly a website loads(page load), how it appears on various devices(responsiveness) are deciding factors too.

Apart from above Google specially focusses on Search History, Search Settings and Location History to make the content more relevant.

How Search Engines Collect Information

Search Engines often use Crawlers/Spiders/Bots(also called robots) to grab all the information available in the internet. It does not see the websites the way we humans see it, all it sees is a source code (a bunch of html tags). Below is what a search engine crawler sees when it visits your website.

Browser Inspect Elements

 

Once the crawler has scanned through your website, it indexes your website and will rank it against millions of other similar sites. The ranking happens based on the factors mentioned in the section how are results generated.

 

This ends the basics of Search Engine and for further reading we suggest you to check out the link how search work by Google.

What is Search Engine Optimization(SEO) in a nutshell

Search Engine Optimizations(SEO) are tips and tricks of optimizing/tweaking/Improving the content of your website, content here can be text, images and videos and the aim of optimization is to improve the ranking of your website organically.

Optimizing your web content affects how search engine crawlers (also called spiders) view your website and position it on their index. The more visible your content is to these crawlers the higher your website ranks on SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages). The higher the rank the more traffic it receives.

The higher the rank the more traffic it receives

In a broader view SEO involves optimizing your websites for

  • Better and easy user interaction on various devices.
  • The usage of relevant Keywords.
  • Creating Links back and forth from high quality relevant websites.
  • Better loading times and mobile friendliness.

Types of Search Engine Optimizations(SEO)

We broke down Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) into three distinct categories as below for the sake of ease in understanding.

  1. On Page Optimizations
  2. Off Page Optimizations
  3. Site Wide Optimizations

On Page Optimizations

There are factors in your content that will help you grow organically and tapping onto this potential is On Page Optimization. Page ranking factors are a collection of proven physical improvements which when executed efficiently will help you achieve your SEO goals. There are many of them and we will start with a focus on the first few important ones.

Keywords

Keywords are queries that users type into the search boxes and are the most important indicators of relevance. Since, the inception of Rank Brain (Google’s new Machine Learning based algorithm) everything has changed but keywords still rule are still your best friends. We will guide you with a keyword plan in another article but for now this is just an introduction.

Content Length

Longer content always wins, Google considers longer content to be more authoritative and informative as longer articles normally answer all questions on a particular topic/niche because of its well-researched nature.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is strictly a no in SEO world and you might wonder what makes a duplicate content. Imagine you have written and an article about Search Engine Optimization which is doing good but out of greed you rewrite it again by changing/paraphrasing the same content again and this amounts to duplication and in here you aren’t adding any value and you are only trying to trick the Search Engine which is ethically not good and Search engines penalizes you for that by lowering you rank so keep duplicate content at bay and make a habit of updating an existing article.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism in simple words is copying someones else’s content and making it your own by changing words/paraphrasing/rephrasing and we discourage this as search engines have tools that detect this malpractice and will omit one of the content for duplication. This goes without saying that stealing is bad in any context.

Off Page Optimization

Just optimizing your page/site isn’t enough, you need to strategize on your off page optimizations plans. The plans include link building, Social Media and many others and we will primarily focus on the important one to get you started.

Links

Links in simple words are votes of trust and confidence, the more you have the better is your ranking it’s as simple as that. In terms of links there are few metrics that you must watch over to ensure your link building strategy is working.

  • Domain Backlinking: This is the most important one, and it denotes confidence. The more domains link back to your website, better is the ranking.
  • Page Backlinking: These are the instances where one domain links to you multiple times through several pages therefore contributing to your ranking efforts. A single page liking to you multiple times will looks spammy so be watchful of your backlinks.
  • Linking Page’s Rank: Not all site are equal and link from a high ranking site has more value than other, this is not an easy feat unless you have a very good content which speaks for itself.
  • Relevance: A link from a pharma site to a hardware e-store doesn’t any sense at all, similarly the sites linking back to you should be relevant to the subject or niche.

Social Media

This needs no deep explanation, everything today is social hence the more facebook shares and likes, twitter tweets and re-tweets, Linkedin shares and other social media platforms mentions you have the more it will contribute to your SEO goals.

Trust

This is a generalized factor consisting of the below items and represents Search Engine’s trust of you website.

  • Domain age
  • Quality of Links
  • Quality of Content
  • Frequent Content Updates
  • Security Factors

Authority

Your site develops an authority once people believe in your content and brand resulting in high value backlinks improving your search ranking results. This helps in getting your content indexed quickly and prominently.

Site Wide Optimizations

There are many site wide factors which impact your websites ranking positively or negatively and we shall discuss most important ones briefly to give you an edge on how you should strategize your websites development plans to incorporating your SEO goals.

Site-Maps

Site-map is a file that is placed in your website to aid search engines find and index all the pages of your websites. This file normally ends with .xml and acts as your pre-defined guide to help search engines locate all the pages especially if you run a very large website containing many pages. Search Engines normally index all the pages by following the internal and external links however there is quite a good chance that all your pages may not get indexed hence we recommend having a sitemap as part of your startup plan.

https://example.com/sitemap.xml

PageSpeed

Page load speeds may not be that important as relevance and quality but it impacts your search ranking. As a user myself I wouldn’t wait for over two seconds for a website to load before hitting back and jumping on to the next search result. That’s just a normal human nature and you can’t beat that.

You can use PageSpeed Insights to keep a tab on your website’s speed and optimize it when needed.

Slow Site has lasting negative effects

Maile Ohye-Ex Google Employee

As the quote says above Search Engines penalizes websites for being slow and nobody likes that so it is important that you go through the below video to understand the importance of Page Load Speed in Search Engine Optimization.

Googles stressing on the importance of page load speed for your SEO success

Mobile Friendliness

These days everyone looks for info on their mobile devices may it be a cell phone or a tablet so this factor makes it an important ranking factor, this means to rank higher in the search engines your website should be fast and mobile friendly. The best way to confirm this is by testing your website with Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool which will give you an overview on what needs to be done to make your site more mobile friendly.

Webmaster Tools Integration

Once your site is up and ready you should start Integrating your site with the webmaster tool, i.e. submitting your sitemap, verifying your site, and using the webmaster tool to monitor your site performance. This will give you an idea on where to focus in your SEO journey.

Types of SEO Practices

There are roughly four types of Search Engine Optimization practices as per b-seenontop, We not be going to go deeper into but will give you a brief idea what they are how it may affect your SEO efforts.

White Hat These SEO practices have minimal but long lasting positive impacts on Search Ranking as they follow Search Engine Guidelines
Black Hat These practices do not adhere to the SEO guidelines hence very risky and short lived.
Grey Hat These are in between black hat and white hat and often considered risky
Negative These practices applying black hat techniques on competitors with an intention of causing harm.

Disclaimer

The above information is our view and understanding of SEO which may/may not match with the industry standards. I have written this article to the best of my understanding in the simplest way to ensure the SEO enthusiasts do not face the doldrums that I faced when i first introduced to Search Engine Optimization. If this article has helped you, then leave us a comment showing your support and do not forget share it.

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