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SEO or Search Engine Optimization – we’ve all heard this term being used at countless digital marketing events or when we talk about launching a new website or the performance of an existing one. What exactly is SEO and why does it seem so important to internet marketers

Search Engine Optimization is the process of influencing the ranking or visibility of a website or web page in the non-paid search results of a search engine – Google, Bing, and Yahoo being the preferred search engines among internet users

Being #1 Matters!

From the consumers’ (in our case, internet search users’) point of view, the first few results returned by a search engine in response to a search query are the most relevant and generate the most traffic. The key is to not only make your website search engine friendly but also providing quality content to visitors for retaining the traffic generated towards the site. So how do we ensure effective optimization of our website? It is pertinent that we look at certain aspects of SEO in order to ensure the visibility and traffic of our site multiplies

1. On-Page SEO:

This mainly covers the content of the web pages, how targeted they are towards relevant keywords and the kind of quality and user-friendly experience they provide to visitors

Reference: MOZ According to Google’s Search Engine Optimization Guide, there are a number of basic things that can be done:

  • Create unique, accurate page titles – it appears in the search results as the topic of a web page
  • Be precise in describing the page’s content – make sure it connects with the title
  • Generate distinct title tags for each page – a single title may narrow the focus of search engines
  • Titles should ideally be brief but descriptive – search engines may show only part of it if it’s too long
  • Be meticulous about the description’ meta tag
  • Gives a summary of what the page is about – maybe a short paragraph
  • Search engines may use them as bits to describe your page
  • Gives users an idea about the content of the page
  • Improve the structure of URLs
  • Use simple to understand and relevant words in URLs
  • URLs appear in search results and may help in a higher page ranking in search results
  • Improve the structure of URLs
  • Make a user-friendly website
  • Be sure to offer quality content and services
  • Optimize use of images using the alt’ attribute that allows alternative text for the image in case it cannot be displayed
  • Use rel’ attribute of a link to ”Nofollow” for links that you do not want search engines to follow
  • Proper configuration of mobile sites is essential so they are indexed accurately
  • Promotion of website in the right way – on social media or site related communities

2. Google’s Search Console

Contains Search Analytics Report that analyzes clicks from Google Search, useful to find out keywords used by users to find content related to your site

Reference: Google Search Console

3. Off-Page SEO:

It basically means what other sites say about our website. Organic links with important and preferred websites inspire the trust of search engines to your website.

Reference: Link Building Guide To comprehend simply, consider that you’re a wholesaler of clothes but retailers do not visit and would rather buy from somewhere else because your designs are out-dated. You are a forgotten entity. On the other hand, the neighboring wholesaler has hoards of retailers flocked inside his shop; the word of mouth is strong and attracts more customers for him because he carries the latest designs and trends. With websites, it helps a lot when you link other pages internally on your website. If you shared or posted a topic you wrote on your website on another website or blog, it is pertinent that you link to that page. seo for beginners

4. Website Speed

The basics are relatively simple and are focused towards the structure and content of your website. This is a little bit of the technical side of SEO. You need not worry seeing the word technical’ here. It does not refer to some complicated procedures relating to SEO but rather refers to what needs to be done after the content is developed. We’re living in a perpetually changing world of technological advances where it is the need of the hour to stay up-to-date with the shifting work dynamics, especially the way SEO works, which is continuously evolving. As search engines become more refined, the technical aspects of SEO are also changing.

There are certain factors you need to be aware of to improve your website’s speed:

  1. Internet users are looking for quick information. They lose interest and close a website that loads slowly and moves on to check other search results. This is called Pogo-sticking. It shows the search engines that a user wasn’t satisfied with the site and repeats instances of this scenario lead to a drop in ranking.
  2. TTFB (time to the first byte), which is the time required for the first byte of a web page data to load is directly proportional to rankings. Hence, the slower the TTFB, the lower the ranking of the website.

Some factors that affect website speeds are more common than others of which the following rank at the top:

  • Un-optimized images
  • Content without HTTP compression
  • A number of CSS image requests
  • Missing caching information

5. Top things Businesses are Missing with Their Website!

This was based on an analysis of the top 1000 Alexa ranked websites.

  • Importance of mobile friendliness: With the focus shifting towards increased Smartphone and mobile users, it is essential that your site is mobile friendly or it could lead to a drop in rankings
  • A clear and targeted site structural design: It aids Google in indexing your pages and ranking them faster
  • Be wary of page redirects: While page redirects are sometimes needed to keep a site up to date, we need to be cautious that we do not confuse the search engine. Redirects are permanent and temporary. Permanent ones are simple and search engines transfer the authority of the same easily. However, in a temporary one, the search engine does not transfer the authority and if the redirect stays for a longer time, it may result in your site losing part of your traffic.

The thing is; SEO requires time, focus and strong dedication. Blog posts will hardly ever rank right away. But by using SEO best practices and constantly optimizing pages for search, using the right keywords and maintaining site content quality, your website would soon generate more traffic and attain a higher ranking in search engines.