Are you a beginner looking to understand what SEO is in simple terms?
You have probably heard it all over, and almost everyone in the blogging community recommends learning SEO.
But still, you don’t know What SEO is?
In this article, I go over what SEO/Search Engine Optimization means—the various types of SEO and how it is helpful to your business or blog.
Without delay, let’s dive right in!
First, to understand Search Engine Optimization, we need to know what Search Engines are.
Search engines are platforms that enable users to search for content from different websites and pages on the internet. Some of the most popular search engines include; Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu etc.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the techniques one uses to get their content displayed and rank higher on search engines.
SEO helps you drive traffic to your website by helping your website rank higher in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)
This works because the higher the rankings, the higher the traffic.
SEO can be categorized as follows;
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
On-page SEO is optimizing individual posts and pages on your website to rank higher and attract relevant traffic in search engines.
It is simply about ensuring that your website is organized, structured, and formatted so that search engines and users can easily understand and navigate.
Here are some key things you need to know about on-page SEO to get started:
- Keywords are the words and phrases people use to search for the information they are looking for. You need to use relevant keywords and spread them throughout your content in titles, headings, meta descriptions, intros, and conclusions. This helps search engines like Google and Bing understand what your website is about and improve your chances of ranking for those keywords.
- Title tags. Make your Titles concise and relevant. Ensure that you include the main keyword for a post in the Title. A well-optimized title tag can significantly improve a website’s Click-through rate (CTR) from search results, leading to more organic traffic. Simply put, your Title should make a user wanna click!
- Headings: Headings are the big, bold text at the top of a section of your content. They help to break down chunks of text and divide your content into sections. Make sure to use header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to format your headings to help Google understand the hierarchy of your content. Remember to keep your headings short and descriptive.
- URLs: Your URLs should be short, descriptive, and contain the keywords you want to target.
Avoid using numbers or special characters in your URLs, and keep them as simple as possible. Keep your URLs simple and precise. Avoid including numbers of years to make your posts relevant for long.
Remember, URLs are permanent, so you must be careful while creating one for your post.
For example, If I am writing about the Top 5 Grammar Checker Tools of 2023, a bad URL for this post would be https://workaguide.com/top-5-grammar-checker-tools-of-2023
The above link is okay, but in 2024, it would not be relevant. Including the 5 is also not bad, but if you intend to go higher than that, it is better to structure your link as below;
The above is an example of a good link URL structure, it can be relevant for a long time, and I need to adjust the content in the Title to change the year or number of things I want to include in my post.
- Meta descriptions: Meta descriptions are brief descriptive text that appears in search engines telling a user about your page. Meta descriptions provide a summary of the page’s content. Still, ensure that you spread your keywords in the meta descriptions to increase your chances of ranking.
Optimizing these On-page SEO elements of your website can improve its visibility and ranking in search engines and drive more relevant traffic to your site.
However, to achieve the best results, it’s important to note that you should combine on-page SEO with other types of SEO, such as Off-page SEO and technical SEO.
I use RankMath Plugin on this website to handle my On-page SEO optimization process. It acts as a checklist that reminds me whenever there is an element I need to improve. It finally gives me a score of how my page SEO optimization has performed.
This helps me to handle all these in one place instead of stressing out about recalling each aspect meant for optimization.
Keyword research is researching and identifying the keywords and phrases your target audience is searching for.
You can choose to write about anything of your interest or decide to write about what people are actually looking for.
The danger in following the first approach (of writing whatever you want to write about) is that you might end up writing content that no one is looking for. That is where the process of keyword research comes in.
Keyword research helps you gather real data on what people in the real world are searching for and write content about that.
Do you know what happens next?
Your content will appear on Google and rank, reaching people searching for answers to the keyword you have written.
- Using Keyword research tools. These tools contain a large database of keywords with specific data concerning search volume, difficulty, and competitiveness. You place your keyword, such as ‘best grammar checker tools,’ into the tool, and it will give you detailed data about your chosen keyword.
There are also others, such as Ahrefs and Mangools, among others.
- Leveraging the power of forums. Forums contain a gold mine for keywords. Whenever you pick a keyword, place it in Google and hit search, find a forum ranking for that keyword,
Pause and sigh!
This is the first indicator that the keyword is of low competition, and there hasn’t been much content written about it.
With well-researched content, you can easily outrank a forum
- Using the Related Search/People also ask section. This section usually appears at the bottom of the result page in Google. It contains other search terms that people are looking for and are related to your main keyword.
- Using Google Autosuggest. Have you noticed that even before you complete typing a word in Google, Google gives you suggestions?
Do you know why?
The answer is simple. This means that the suggested search term is popular, and there has been a considerable amount of people searching for the same term.
It would only serve your keyword research process right to create content about the suggested search terms relevant to your content and website.
It also helps you to rank for a variety of keywords.
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites pointing back to your own. Backlinks strengthen your website’s credibility and authority and help improve visibility.
Domain Authority is a ranking factor in search engines; thus, building links is crucial.
This involves utilizing well-known social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to market your website and increase traffic. Building your brand, interacting with your audience, and directing referral traffic to your website can all be accomplished with the help of social media.
Local listings and maps refer to the information that appears in search engine results when a user searches for local businesses or services.
This information is displayed as listings typically sourced from business directories, such as Google My Business. It can play a significant role in improving the visibility and credibility of a local business.
Website speed and mobile-friendliness are two important technical factors that can impact the search engine optimization of a website.
A slow website can lead to a poor user experience. In contrast, a website not optimized for mobile devices can lower search engine rankings.
Ensuring that your website is fast and optimized for desktop and mobile devices is crucial for the success of your SEO strategy.
Indexing and crawling refer to the process by which search engines discover and catalog the pages on your website.
This information is then used to determine your site’s relevance and quality and display your pages in search results. Ensuring your website is properly indexed and crawled is an important aspect of technical SEO.
Website architecture and internal linking refer to how the pages of a website are organized and linked together.
A well-structured website, proper navigation, and effective internal linking can help to improve both the user experience and the search engine optimization of a site.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics used to measure an SEO campaign’s success.
These may include metrics such as organic traffic, search engine rankings, conversion rates, and others.
By regularly tracking your KPIs, you can measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and make informed decisions about future optimization strategies.
Analytics and reporting tools, such as Google Analytics, are essential for measuring and tracking the success of your SEO efforts. Google Analytics helps you to monitor your website’s traffic, engagement, and conversions and to analyze data to identify areas for improvement.
The catch is that it is free, and you don’t need to pay a penny to use Google Analytics; go ahead and create your account and connect your website.
SEO is an ongoing process, and success requires a continuous effort to improve and optimize your website.
This may involve regular monitoring and updating of your content, refining your keyword strategy, and building new backlinks.
By regularly assessing your SEO performance and making informed decisions, you can ensure the long-term success of your SEO efforts.
In conclusion, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important step for an effective digital marketing strategy. Optimizing your website for both search engines and users can improve your visibility and attract organic traffic.
Understanding and implementing best practices and tracking your performance can create an effective SEO strategy that delivers long-term results.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced marketer, the key to SEO success is approaching it with a continuous improvement mindset and being willing to invest the time and resources necessary to achieve your goals.