What is SEO & How it works? Ultimate Guide!

What is SEO & How it works? Ultimate Guide!

(Last Updated On: May 2, 2018)

 

If you are struggling to get organic visitors to your bog or for your client, then be an action taker and do follow the methods that I am writing here.

Check where and what are you doing wrong. Follow these steps to increase your website/blog visitors and sales.

This SEO guide is for bloggers, small business owners & entrepreneurs. It is to help them to build an online presence on the internet.

What You Will Learn!

What is SEO and how it works

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization a.k.a. SEO, is the technique of bringing visitors/traffic to website(s) from the search engines such as Google, Bing & Yahoo, without using any paid method, i.e. the organic traffic.

what is seo & how it works, search engine optimization guide, seo guide, seo for bloggers & entreprenuers

There are more than 200 SEO factors that determine the ranking of a website/webpage. Like quality content, UI & UX of a website, website structure, site loading speed etc.

How Google Finds, Analyzes, and Ranks Content

Here is a video from Matt Cutts, former Google engineer, explaining How Search Engines work!

Video by Hubspot

Why should you do SEO?

Search engines are the gateway of unlimited traffic that paid advertisements can’t provide you.

Suppose you want to rank for “Top Smartphones”, it is obvious that if you rank on the first page then you’ll get mammoth clicks and visitors to your site rather than sitting on the 100th page of Google.

To gain free traffic from the search engines you need to optimize your website/blog far more to be search engine friendly so that search engines can place your website ahead of others

By using certain SEO techniques you can effectively increase the position of a website in the SERP and hence increase your website traffic.

This is why SEO is probably the most important thing about having a website – after all, you can have a very good website but what is the point if no one visits it and buys your product?

 

Types of SEO

  1. On Page SEO
  2. Off Page SEO

On Page SEO Techniques

The Science Of Keyword Research

What are keywords?

Keywords are basically search queries that a user or person types in a search engine to search for something on the Internet.

Types Of Keywords

Seed Keyword

Example: “Smartphone”, High Search Volume, Difficult to Rank.

Broad Match Keyword

Example: “Samsung Smartphones”, High Search Volume, Also Difficult to Rank.

Long Tail Keyword

Example: “Samsung smartphone under 5k”, Generally this type of keywords have medium difficulty and is much easier not easy though to rank on SERPS.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is undoubtedly the backbone of SEO. Without proper keyword targeting one can’t bring targeted and quality traffic to a website.

You have to be a master of keyword research to be a SEO Expert.

To understand the value of a certain keyword you need to know what is CPC.

CPC

According to Google: The cost-per-click (CPC) is the amount you earn each time a user clicks on your ad.

The CPC for any ad is determined by the advertiser; some advertisers may be willing to pay more per click than others, depending on what they’re advertising.

In simpler terms:

For example, consider a campaign where payment is based on impressions, not clicks. Impressions are sold for $10 CPM with a click-through rate (CTR) of 2%.

1000 impressions x 2% CTR = 20 click-throughs

$10 CPM / 20 click-throughs = $.50 per click (source)

There are various keyword research tools paid and free that will help you to do your research for profitable keywords.

Primary tools for keyword research

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google’s own Keyword research tool, this tool is a must for doing initial research. Fairly Accurate. To get the most out of this tool run a paid campaign.

2. Semrush

Keyword research tool of Semrush is very good, I personally recommend Semrush tools.

A great feature of Semrush Organic Keyword Research tool is you can see the keyword difficulty score and the SERPs result.

3. Yoast Suggest

Yoast SEO the most famous SEO plugin for WordPress introduced their own keyword research tool called Yoast Suggest. Not sure about the accuracy of this tool but a tool from Yoast cannot be taken lightly.

4. Moz Keyword Explorer

Home to 500,00+ SEOs and top online marketers, Moz has some amazing tool to give you the edge over your competitor.

Moz Keyword Explorer features keyword suggestions, mentions, difficulty & SERP analysis.

5. SERPs Tools

6. KWfinder

This freemium tool is one of my favorite for keyword research. Results are accurate, it shows SERPs view, KD, etc.

Limitations: 10 searches per 24 hours only.

7. Keywordshitter

This tool is a gold mine, as the name suggests it gives you 100s of keyword suggestions for your seed keyword.

8. Keywordseverywhere

This basically a chrome addon, simple yet powerful. When you search for something on search engines, Amazon, google keyword planner etc it shows the keyword monthly search.

You can save the keyword & also you can analyze keywords of any page using this plugin.

Secondary tools for keyword research [Medium & Long Tail]

Best tools for finding medium & long tail keywords:

LSIGraph.com

A great tool for finding long tail queries about any seed keyword.

LSIgraph is good to for finding long tail search queries for a seed term. Suggest provided are less but effective.

Answerthepublic.com

As the suggests this is designed to provide you with people’s problem, questions etc, find those queries of people and provide them the solution.

Keyword.io

This tools with ubersuggest is the best for medium and long tail keyword research, it provides you keyword suggestions for google, bing, youtube, amazon, aliexpress etc.

Ubersuggest.io

Ubersuggest is far the best tools it provides ample suggestions for any given seed keyword.

After conducting the search, list down your profitable keywords and use them in your website description, title, posts, services etc.

For bringing more visitors and sales conversion, regularly write blog posts targeting sudden keywords. This is very effective nowadays!

How select profitable keywords?

I want you a basic idea of how to choose profitable keywords to target. There are various posts available in a google search.

The aim is to find search queries that have good search volume, medium competition, and low CPC.

Here google keyword planner, Semrush, KWfinder etc. can help you to determine valuable keywords.

Website & Content Optimization

1. Domain

The first task is to buy a top-level domain like .com, .net, .info, .co etc. Buy a domain that can be transformed into a brand.

A domain should be selected while keeping in mind that it should be catchy and easy to remember, try not to include numbers and hyphens.

2. URL structure

There are various type of URL structure available like these ones:

permalinks setting wp dashboard

Out of them, Post name is recommended for using as URL structure. Because .1% weightage is given to good URL structure when it comes to on-page SEO.

It is always a good practice to have your targeted keyword(s) in the url slug.

 Content Optimization

As the legends say, “Content is the King”.

You have to write better content for human readers and optimize it for the search engine. Don’t just write for robots.

Content optimization has different types, many experts follow different techniques.

So, how does a well-optimized content looks like?

Content Optimization Checklist:
  • One that can be properly indexed by spider crawlers, should have proper interlinking and outbound links.
  • Not more than one h1 header must have at least 1000+ words error-free.
  • Well, an optimized content should have the following:
  • One H1 tag.
  • Can have multiple h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 tags as far as it makes sense.
  • Good Readability score.
  • Not more than 20 words in a sentence.
  • Optimum use of headings & subheadings.
  • Containing frequent paragraphs
  • Written in plain simple language.
  • Bold text & italics for target keywords.
  • Must have images and videos where applicable.
  • The content must be minimum 1890 words in length [A search by Neil Patel & Brain Dean found out contents that ranks on Google’s first page contain at least 1890 words].
  • Content must link to other related posts[internal linking].

Point to remember: Beneficial to link out to other websites for reference[outbound link].

Meta Descriptions and Post Titles

How to write SEO Post Title Meta Description Perfectly, what is seo

Meta descriptions are a short description of any website, post & page that is picked up by a search engine while showing them on SERP.

Good meta description can increase your CTR[click through rate] and boost the rankings.

How to write good meta description?

It should be between 240 – 280 characters, must have your important keywords, don’t do keyword stuffing, & write in plain easy to read language.

Post Titles

This is very important to write catchy headlines or else few people will click on your site’s links.

According to coschedule: Headlines with approx 6 words tend to earn the highest number of click-throughs.

Use your keyword at the beginning, search engines prefer that, keep it short and precise.

A good post title must have call to action words like Money Back Guarantee, Get It Now, Get Started Today, Top Rated, Free Shipping, Buy Now etc.

Having call to action words in titles can effectively boost your CTR.

If you’re unsure about how to write a powerful headline use this tool offered by coschedule to analyze your post titles.

Recap:

  • A good post title/headline must contain the keyword at the beginning.
  • Must have call to action words.
  • Must have a mixture of emotional & uncommon words.
  • Must not exceed more than 6 words.

Points To Remember:

Content doesn’t go viral the Headlines do.

Images Optimization

Image optimization is no big deal it is done in two very simple steps.

  1. Giving Alt Tags to your uploaded images.
  2. Compressing & resizing the image for use.

Alt Tags for Images:

Though nowadays anyone hardly gets views from google images and google AI is powerful enough to make use of your image’s title or name as alt tags.

But it is beneficial to provide alt tags to images that are used in blog posts and elsewhere.

Compressing & resizing image for use:

One should always compress & resize large images to an appropriate size. Else your site will load super slow.

There are many free online tools the make you compress and resize images efficiently.

Tips:

Always save image names like this dsc0000124.jpg to this Picture-of-black-Puppy.jpg.

This helps in case you don’t provide alt tags to images and also a very good practice for SEO.

Off Page SEO Techniques

 

  1. Search Engine Submission
  2. Social Bookmarking
  3. Web 2.0
  4. Blog Commenting
  5. Guest Posting
  6. PDF, Slide & Photo sharing
  7. Article Submission
  8. Blog Submission
  9. Directory Listing[Blog & RSS]
  10. Classified Websites
  11. Press Release
  12. Wiki Backlinks
  13. Video SEO
  14. Infographics Sharing
  15. Q/A Sites
  16. Forum Postings

Link Building

What is Li nk building?

Link building is the technique of creating high-quality inbound links from Authority websites back to your site.

Over the years the importance of link building increased exponentially.

Why are backlinks important for any website?

Backlinks are damn important because good high-quality backlinks for high authority websites provide trust, boosts citation, increase domain authority & it helps in ranking high on the SERPS pages.

When a search engine finds that your website has backlinks from trusted high authority websites it considers your website to be of high quality also.

Thus, giving a boost in the overall rankings.

DoFollow and NoFollow Links

Dofollow backlinks are those backlinks that pass link juice to your website.

Nofollow backlinks don’t pass link juice. Most of the backlinks that you’ll make will be nofollow.

Types Of Backlinks

  1. Profile Backlink
  2. Blog Commenting
  3. Guest Posting
  4. PDF, Slide & Photo sharing
  5. Article Submission
  6. Blog Submission
  7. Directory Listing[Blog & RSS]
  8. Classified Websites
  9. Press Release
  10. Wiki Backlinks
  11. Video Sharing
  12. Infographics Sharing
  13. Q/A Sites
  14. Forum Postings
  15. Buying Links
  16. Link exchange
  17. Link Round-Up
  18. Find Broken Links & Replace them with yours
  19. HARO
  20. 301 redirect
  21. PBN

P.S. I will shortly write another post describing all of the above techniques soon.

How to create backlinks effectively & efficiently?

Anchor Text: It looks like this

<a href="http://www.example.com">Example Anchor Text</a>

This is a clickable text.

Naked URL: It looks like this “http://www.example.com”

Learn more about Anchor texts and naked URL, refer this guide by Moz.

Use these search parameters for opportunities:

  • Keyword + “resources”
  • Keyword + “useful resources”
  • Keyword + “helpful resources”
  • Keyword + “links””
  • Keyword + “useful links”
  • Keyword + “helpful links”
  • Keyword + inurl:”resources”
  • Keyword + inurl:”sites”
  • Keyword + inurl:”links”
  • Keyword + inurl:”other sites”
  • “Keyword” + link roundup
  • “Keyword” + best articles

Backlinks On Social Sites

Backlinks on social media generally don’t get indexed by search engine but give signals that your site has a social media presence.

Always link back to your website from your social media profile to let readers visit your website.

Refer this post by Matthew Woodward on how to create backlink on social media sites 

Technical SEO

SSL Certificate

Search engine giant Google has announced that websites having SSL certificate will rank higher than those don’t have.

SSL certificate means it is safe to visit, navigate, signup and even purchase from those sites.

If you can’t afford premium SSL certificate, implementing free ones will also do the work.

Website Loading Speed Optimization

Another big factor in technical SEO  is website loading time, if one website takes too long to load, visitors will leave your site.

Hence, decrease in dwell time or high bounce rate close to 100%, this will send a negative signal to search engines and your website will be demoted in rankings.

FYI: E-Commerce giant, Amazon loses about 1 billion dollars each time the sites take more time to load.

UI & UX

It is important that your website should provide proper navigation for the visitor to browse through the website.

Error 404 Pages

Make sure there are less error 404 pages on your site, redirect them to other urls. Periodically check for error 404 pages.

301 Redirection

This redirection is permanent and use it carefully, if you use 301 redirect, then total SEO juice of that URL will be transferred to the new URL.

Google, Bing & Yandex webmasters

This is the place where you submit your website to be indexed by search engines. Here begins your basic site audit.

Occasionally check for website crawling issue, rankings, sitemap submission, HTML improvements, backlinks etc.

Google Analytics

It is the mother of all analytics, here you can perform endless tasks from seeing the behavior of visitors, setting goals to tracking conversions.

Set up a google analytics account, get your tracking id put it on your site. After 1 or 2 days you can see visitor data on the analytics dashboard.

Fewer HTTP requests

Reduce the HTTP request made by your server, else it will slow down your site.

Minify them into one central file.

Fixing Duplicate Content issue using Canonical URLs

Yoast describes it as: The rel=canonical element, often called the “canonical link”, is an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues.

It does this by specifying the “canonical URL”, the “preferred” version of a web page. Using it well improves a site’s SEO.

Simplified

A canonical issue arises when 301 redirects are not properly in place. This means that your website can be accessed by search engines from several different URLs.

This means that search engines can then potentially index one content under different URLs, meaning that it will look like a site with duplicated content.

Link disavow

Link disavow means deleting spam urls that are linked to your site. Linking to spammy domains can cause search engines to flag your website by penalizing it.

SILO structure

What is SILO?

SILO means to organize bulk items into specific categories.

Silo in SEO, means to group related content on your website together in an organized manner.

A good planning is needed to come up with a website design that links and categorizes everything together in a systematic way.

Why use SILO architecture for your website?

SILO makes a user easy to navigate faster throughout the website, search engines are able to understand your website in a better manner and hence you get a boost in rankings.

More more information on SILO read this article by Ryan Stewart.

Crawling Issues

Use google search console and bing webmaster tool to see how your site is being crawled each day. Is there any issues with crawling, or if there is any coverage issue because of wrong robots.txt settings.

You have to know How to Fix Crawl Errors in Google Search Console, if not read this article by moz. It will help you to understand.

Site Audit

It is the complete site analysis to look for any technical SEO issue in the site like a broken link, missing image alt tags, a security issue, page loading time, server-side problems, website responsiveness etc.

There great freemium SEO Site Audit Tools available Online like SEMrush, seositecheckup, screaming frog spider, seo powersuite etc.

Use these online and offline website audit tools to keep your site health and SEO score high.

Find your website current speed and issues

Website loading speed is crucial nowadays, slowing loading website now will be penalized by Google.

If your website loads damn slow you’ll rankings will go down the passage.

Use Google Page Insights to look for a possible issue and find out the solutions.

More Tools:

  • Webpagetest.org
  • GTmetrix.com
  • tools.pingdom.com

Importance of a Good Web Host

Always look for a good host who will provide you with 99.9% uptime, 24/7 tech support, and WordPress optimized hosting.

A bad host can considerably slow down your website, increasing in loading speed, thus your bounce rates go high up.

Google uses website bounce rates to determine how much time visitor is spending on your website and will rank according to that.

To know more here read this article on Web hosting.

What is a CDN?

A CDN or Content Delivery Network helps to improve site rendering speed and performance. Thus making your site load faster than before.

What work does a CDN do?

Well, the basic one is: Your website will be rendered to a visitor from a server closer to this location.

Others:

  • Improve page load speed
  • Handle high traffic loads
  • Block spammers, scrapers and other bad bots
  • Localize coverage without the cost
  • Reduce bandwidth consumption
  • Load balance between multiple servers
  • Protect your website from DDoS attacks
  • Secure your application

Tips:

It is recommended to use CDN for your blog/website. For starters, you can use free ones like CloudFlare Free CDN.

More about CDN:

What is a CDN? How does a CDN Work?

https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/cdn/what-is-a-cdn/

Use Premium Theme

Always use premium themes because they’re all crafted for good performance & are SEO optimized themes.

WordPress SEO related Plugins:

  1. Yoast SEO Plugin
  2. All in One SEO
  3. Google Analytics
  4. Google XML Sitemaps
  5. The SEO Framework
  6. SEOpressor
  7. Smush Image Compression and Optimization
  8. SEO Redirection Plugin
  9. Redirection
  10. WP SEO Structured Data Schema
  11. Markup (JSON-LD) structured in schema.org
  12. W3 Total Cache
  13. WP External Links (nofollow new tab seo)
  14. Imagify Image Optimizer
  15. WP Fastest Cache
  16. LiteSpeed Cache
  17. WP Super Cache
  18. W3 Total Cache
  19. Broken Link Checker

Resources:

https://www.bruceclay.com/in/seo/siloing.html

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-101/

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-guide/

https://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/infographic-googles-200-ranking-factors/64316/

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/headline-writing-tips

Free SEO Tutorials

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/seo/

https://www.udemy.com/courses/search/?q=seo&src=ukw&p=1&price=price-free

Let me know what you think of this post in the comments section!

 

 

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1 thought on “What is SEO & How it works? Ultimate Guide!

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