As a blogger or website owner, you would like to get as many website visitors as you can. SEO plays an important role in driving organic visitors to your site. In this blog post, you’ll learn how to do it the right way.
Do you know how many active websites and blogs there are today? I’ll tell you what. There are already more than 1.5 billion active websites on the internet, and there are more than 600 million active blogs. Could you now comprehend the number of daily blog posts that are published?
To be frank, there is no precise way to calculate the daily number of blog posts that are published online. You may get an idea by looking at the blog entries created by only WordPress users; there are more than 2.75 million of them every day, or around 30+ posts every single second.
You can imagine how much higher the real figures will be if we start tracking statistics for the entire web from all sources rather than just the statistics from WordPress, which are mentioned above.
Now that there are so many blog articles produced every day, you must stand out. You won’t create a successful blog if you don’t make an impression. And if your blog isn’t doing well, why are you still blogging?
Don’t worry! You’ll learn a lot about SEO and how it works by the time you finish this blog post. Well, this is not a blog post; rather, it is a journey that you are starting with no visitors to your blog or website and finish it by bringing thousands of visitors to your blog or website.
People spend hours writing blog posts. Nevertheless, since this is the most crucial step, I urge you to take a few more minutes optimizing your blog. It’s what will make you stand out from the competition.
After all, it doesn’t make sense to spend hours writing blog posts if no one is reading it. What benefit does spending hours then bring?
Every month, billions of searches are performed on Google.
To stand out and rank on the first page, you must have an understanding of SEO. SEO affects how websites rank on search engines.
In my writing, I constantly using the term “SEO.”
What is SEO? Let’s understand it.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the technique of constantly improving the quantity and quality of website traffic that you get from search engines like Google, Bing or others organically.
What comes into SEO?
To understand the SEO definition more clearly, let’s break it down and walk through the common terms used in SEO definitions.
- Quality of traffic – It refers to the relevant users who visit your website; nonetheless, it’s likely that you’ll also draw in non-related users. If your website is about SEO and a visitor was led there by Google looking for an Apple product, it is irrelevant traffic. Since irrelevant traffic has a negative impact, you must ensure that any attracted visitors are genuinely interested in the content you are offering.
- The quantity of traffic – You must have greater amount of relevant traffic after receiving quality traffic to engage more audience. It’s always better to have more traffic from search engine result pages (SERPs).
- Organic (Unpaid) search engine results – Organic traffic is website traffic that you receive without having to pay for it. Although Ads (i.e., promoted content) may appear at the top of the SERPs.
Let’s dive deeper into it.
Three factors are involved in SEO: you, the search engine, and the “searcher” themselves. You are the first of these three.
Say you have an article on “What is SEO?” and you want it to appear on the first page, specifically in the top spot, of a search engine result. This means that you want your post to be at the top of the search results anytime someone searches for “What is SEO?” on a search engine like Google.
In search engine optimization, you must optimize your content so that Google is more likely to list your blog post among the top search results whenever a user searches for a particular keyword.
Let’s start with an overview of SEO.
Overview of SEO: Why SEO is Important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the technique of constantly improving the quantity and quality of website traffic that you get from search engines like Google, Bing or others organically.
I know I’ve already mentioned it in the previous section.
Now that you have a basic understanding of SEO, let’s move on to why SEO is important. Why should you even care?
As I explained previously, the journey begins with a search engine, and around 75% of people prefer to use Google.
Did you know that just 5% of users click through to the second or further SEPRs (Search Engine Page Results)? This indicates that the sites listed on the first page of Google Search Results receive 95% of clicks. The top five websites are expected to receive 70% of the clicks out of this 95%. You may be wondering at this point how significant search engine optimization is.
Ranking #1 on Google used to be simple, but it’s now difficult but still possible. You might get some traffic, but you can’t maximise it if your article, blog post, webpage, or product is not on the first page.
To fully understand the significance of SEO or search engine optimization, let’s use the following example:
Let’s say you write a blog about how to make money online. And since there are over 100000 searches per month for this keyword, it means a lot of individuals look for “make money online” on Google each month.
If you are at the top of the SERP, you will likely have 20000+ monthly visitors, as the first result on Google typically receives 20% of all clicks.
You might be interested to know the value of these 20000 visits.
A typical marketer pays about $1 for each click, therefore traffic with 22,000 visitors has a monthly value of about $22,000.
Now keep in mind that this is only for a single keyword; if your site is fully optimized, you may rank for hundreds or even thousands of keywords. Just think how wonderful it will be.
However, you must first understand what a search engine is and how it works in order to properly optimize your content for search engines and learn how to rank highly in search engine results.
What Is a Search Engine?
A search engine is a website that you use to search for something on the web. You are presented a search field where you can type or, in modern times, speak your query and then press the search button. In response, the search engine (such as Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) promptly displays a list of links to various websites that have the best response to your question.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Have you ever wondered what the secret is behind the list of links at the top of search engine results pages?
An algorithm works in real-time to provide you with the potential answer when you use Google (or any other search engine). Google searches its “hundreds of billions” of indexed pages to find a set of relevant and maybe useful results for your query. Then, it presents them in front of you.
How does Google determine if this collection of answers is the most “relevant and potential” is now the question.
To score its search results, Google uses more than 200 determining algorithms, but unfortunately, none of these algorithms are made public. Fortunately, I’ve compiled the most important factors that influence website/webpage ranking so you don’t have to worry about them all.
3 Key Factors That Influence SEO Rankings
These factors are listed below:
This is obvious that if you’re looking for information on “What is SEO,” you wouldn’t want to find links to pages on “Tips & Tricks.”
That’s what Google takes into account first when searching for pages that are almost closely relevant to your search term.
However, due to the existence of thousands and millions of more relevant web sites in addition to your webpage, Google will not place your website at the top of its search results for the most relevant keyword alone.
For example, if you look at the image below, Google returns 3,570,000,000 results for the term “Tips and Tricks“:
As a result, there are 200+ factors in Google’s algorithm that must be met in order to rank top on any search engine, the second of which is:
Google uses a website’s authority to determine whether your content is accurate and trustworthy. Again, here is the question that arises – How does Google determine if any page is trustworthy?
Google analyzes the backlinks (Backlinks are links from other pages on the web) that a website has. A website’s ranking will boost as the number of backlinks increases. And because Google can determine authority through links, it distinguishes itself from competing search engines like Bing.
Even if your website is authoritative and the content is relevant, Google won’t rank it at the top of search results if it isn’t valuable enough.
Google has made it clear that “better quality content” and “useful or informative” information are not the same thing.
To further explain, let’s look at an example:
Consider that you do a search for “the Best SEO Tools.”
Assume that the first result (“Result A”) on the SERP was written by a renowned SEO expert in the world. Many people have linked to it because it is at the top and the site has enough quality content. However, people find it challenging to understand that article because the content is poorly structured.
On the other hand, let’s imagine the link to the second-placed page (“Result B”) was created by a beginner. Sadly, this site does not have a lot of backlinks from other sites. However, the information on this page is well-organised and quite understandable even for a complete beginner.
So, which page do you think should rank higher?
Of course! It’s the second page.
Even if the page in second position (“Result B”) has less authority and trust, it will rank higher since it is more valuable.
There is a chance to rank highly on Google.
So these are the three primary factors that Google takes into account when ranking a website or webpage.
SEO ensures search engines that your site is accessible. In SEO (search engine optimization), the letter “O” stands for optimization, which involves improving the title, tags, meta description, keyword density, internal links, article length, slug length, and other elements of your content.
As a result, we may conclude that relevant sites with a good reputation and backlinks are more likely to appear at the top of search engine results pages since they seem to be a subject that Google is interested in and are therefore likely to appear for related searches.
On the third or fourth page of Google Search Results, believe it or not, I’ve personally discovered some extremely useful articles. From my perspective, there were posts that were superior to those on the first page.
Before mastering SEO and optimizing your content, there are a few things you should be aware of if you want things to go smoothly.
There are two sides to SEO, and it’s up to you to decide which one you want to use: Black hat SEO and White hat SEO.
White Hat vs Black Hat
There are primarily two types of people: those that seek immediate financial gain and those who consider long-term rewards. Yes! I’m aware that some people desire both immediate cash and long-term wealth; I’ll address both separately in a later section.
If you want to make money from your blog quickly, black hat SEO is likely where you’ll eventually end up.
In black hat SEO, the main focus of SEO is on search engines; nothing like human consideration is taken into account in this sort of SEO. The content will be optimized in such a way that it will be useless to humans.
You can quickly earn a few thousand bucks by doing black hat SEO, which is still a poor outcome. Since there are many ways to get around the rules and manipulate search engine algorithms to rank well on Google, it’s important to keep up with these changes.
There is a saying that goes:
“You can only break the rules if you know the rules.”
Google knows more than you can imagine. Google can quickly discover that you are using black hat SEO, in which case you will be immediately banned. And because of this, you will have little chance of having a lengthy Internet career and will be unable to create something long-lasting.
White hat SEO, in contrast to black hat SEO, has been around for a while and is mostly utilized by those who want to establish a long-lasting internet business. When you practice white hat SEO, you give the human audience more of your attention rather than just search engines.
To do white hat SEO, you must first offer high-quality, relevant content. Next, you must adhere to all search engine guidelines.
Black Hat SEO Strategies
- Duplicate Content
- Invisible text and stuffed Keywords
- Cloaking or re-directing user to another site or page
- Links from sites with non-relevant content
White Hat SEO Strategies
- Relevant Content
- Well-labeled images
- Relevant links and references
- Complete sentences with good spelling and grammar
- Standards-compliant HTML
- Unique and relevant page titles
Now that you have the option, pick your SEO side wisely. My personal recommendation is to use white hat strategies.
Now, here comes an interesting thing, curious to know?
It’s a Gray hat SEO.
You likely heard it for the first time as a beginner. What I’m about to talk about lies between the “black hat vs white hat” debate.
What is Gray?
Gray is a colour that includes both white and black.
Similar to this, grey hat SEO combines both white hat and black hat SEO. Gray hat SEO merely refers to using a well acknowledged advantage in the SEO game, not to trick anyone.
To be honest, Google is not as simple as they want you to believe. I’ve seen Google to give contradictory statements a number of times.
To give one example, many times in the past, Google said that they do not support guest posts for the purpose of building backlinks.
However, you should use guest blogging to establish your brand, increase website traffic, and generate high-quality backlinks. Guest blogging is popular and is seen as a proven strategy for growing your brand.
Some individuals may disagree with this, and that is fine. I can speak from personal experience when I say that guest blogging is Neil Patel’s preferred method of growth. In Neil Patel’s opinion, it is a viable strategy. Here are some reasons why he recommends guest blogging:
All of these strategies fall under the category of grey hat SEO.
I’ve heard both sides of the debate regarding grey hat SEO strategies; some claim they still work, while others claim they are useless.
Actually, how you go about it determines how it turns out.
Here are some difficulties you can run into based on your niche; building links is simple in fields like technology or nutrition. Considering that thousands of blogs online cover this subject.
However, there are several other industries, such as the supplementary company. Due to the fact that fewer people are addressing the topic, they find it challenging to create quality links. Additionally, it can be challenging to approach customers, establish relationships, and bring in money.
Why is that?
They are not even offered the chance to use email marketing services from companies like MailChimp.
Another example of such an industry is gambling.
So, in order to generate links, they use scholarship link building tactics.
If you believe that building backlinks, having a high domain authority, and having relevant content would propel you to the top of search results, you are mistaken. You may still discover some pages at the bottom even if they meet all the 3 criteria for ranking well on search engines.
Additionally, certain other techniques to increase traffic to your website, like Facebook engagements, fall within the area of grey hat SEO.
Now, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to use grey hat SEO, based on how much risk you can handle. Gray hat SEO is simply mentioned here to alert you to something you might not otherwise hear.
How to Do SEO The Right Way?
In general, there are two major components of SEO: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Let’s explore each of these one by one.
The term “on-page SEO” refers to all the elements that directly affect your content’s SEO ranking. The page structure, headlines, content, keyword, slug length, and other elements must all be optimized for on-page SEO.
Off-page SEO is concerned with all additional factors that search engines like Google takes into account while ranking pages, the majority of which are out of your control. It is more reliant on outside sources like social media, other blogs in your niche that are relevant, and searcher cookies.
To maximize the SEO result, you are required to do both properly.
You might be wondering why it’s crucial to use both on-page SEO and off-page SEO to improve your ranking.
I’ll let you imagine a real-world scenario to respond to this question. Let’s imagine your home is clean, beautiful and well-managed inside, but the outside is littered with trash and mud. Tell me, would anyone want to go inside your home after seeing that trash and dirt? The answer is NO, of course. If you believe they will come, something is wrong with you.
On the other hand, let’s imagine your home’s exterior is incredibly nice and attractive, but its interior is dirty and smells horrible. Do you think someone would stay at your house if they came to visit? Absolutely NOT!
Your home must therefore be better on the inside and outside if you want to attract visitors and keep them for a long time.
Same is with your content, as mentioned there is a lot already available, so to stand out you must be unique, you need to provide quality and fruitful stuff to visitors, so they love to come to you and stay with you.
The same is true for your content.
So, in order to stand out, you must be different. You must offer readers valuable content if you want them to visit and stay on your site.
For this reason, I’m suggesting that if you want to maximise your results, you must perform both on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
Let’s start with on-page SEO first…
1. On-Page SEO
The first and foremost concern with on-page SEO is content, which is one of three key factors.
As I frequently say, “Content is King.” It still holds true today as it did yesterday. But keep in mind that a king does not make an empire.
When you conduct a search on Google, they put all of their effort into giving you the best response that is currently available on the Internet. Instead of simply looking for the quickest and simplest solution, they make every effort to provide you with the information you really want.
Google makes every effort to discover the answer with the highest quality content as that is the only way to provide the best response to a query. You now have your first responsibility, which is to create useful pieces of content.
In order to become skilled at SEO, you must put in a lot of effort.
“Great efforts usually yield BIG outcomes.”
To produce great content, you need-
The idea that you might stand out only by having high-quality content is a thing of the past. This is only the first step in this long and rewarding journey. Indeed, any successful SEO campaign requires the highest quality content.
It takes considerable effort to create excellent content, so you need act like a good mentor. It’s not as simple as you may think.
Note: Instead of starting from scratch, simply select some existing excellent content from other websites and start rewriting.
To make your content more thorough, bounded, meaningful, lengthy, instructive, and useful, use a variety of sources. Reader’s reaction: “Wow! This is the end of all the articles out there; I don’t need to go anywhere else”.
“Make writing a daily habit” – Be like a Pro.
Keyword research is something you have to do before you start writing and after you have decided your topic. Here, you identify the keywords you must include in the article title, headings, and body copy. Spending time on this aspect of on-page SEO is something I’ll strongly recommend you.
Read through Backlinko’s guide to keyword research if you don’t know how to do it; it will go over everything in detail.
The right use of Keywords
As I explained previously, you must include keywords throughout the article. But, avoid using them repeatedly as this will harm your SEO rankings.
Keyword stuffing is the practice of adding more keywords than normal to your content, and Google hates the idea. In search engine optimization, it is a good idea to use the keyword once for every 200 words. Accordingly, your keyword density should range from 0.5% to 2%.
It has been observed throughout years that regularly writing content can really improve your Google rankings. It assures Google that you have new content because it was recently published.
You can also modify and update your existing content. In your existing articles, you can add more information. You may also delete any out-of-date information from your articles. It tells Google that your content is up-to-date.
It is not essential to post once every day or once per week.
Honestly, if you just post once a month, it’s not a problem, but make sure your content is fantastic, comprehensive, and in-depth.
This was briefly covered in the previous section already. However, since it is such an important topic, we should go into further detail.
Are you wondering why there is a separate section for choosing keywords?
Well, the game of keywords is what 90% of SEO is all about.
It’s a keyword or keyword phrase which tells us what a topic is all about. Even we use keywords to describe our website or brand.
Keyword planning is not a short-term task.
But, it’s the opposite!
For perfect SEO optimization, you need to continuously invest your time in keyword research. You must pay attention to both “what people are typing” and “what they are looking for” or “what are their needs.” If you understood this, you have a good understanding of the keyword selection process.
I’ll now mention a few typical mistakes people make…
Here, I’ll share some of the mistakes I made when I was started. I just selected a random topic and started writing when I started my first blog. I received no results. Because I didn’t perform keyword research.
I then learn that keyword research is critical.
I thought like, “Really?”
Then, as I started researching keywords, I encountered another issue, leading to my second mistake – coming up with wrong keywords.
Keywords with super high competition or zero search volume are the keywords I will consider wrong keywords for your site. If you have no logical reason to write on those topics, it makes no sense to choose them.
I recommend using Keyword Magic by SEMrush or Ubersuggest. Additionally, instead of attempting to rank short keywords, rank long-tail keywords instead; they usually rank more quickly and easily.
So, you should look for the keywords that are:
- Relevant to your business
- Less competitive
- Able to drive a decent amount of traffic
Now, let’s move on to another aspect of on-page SEO.
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)
Once your content writing is complete, it’s time to optimize HTML.
Don’t worry! You only need to learn a few things; you don’t need to be an expert in HTML. If you want to achieve perfect SEO score, don’t skip this.
There are 4 elements in HTML that need to be optimized.
1. Title tags
The text that appears on a webpage’s browser tab is known as the title tag. In HTML, it is also known as title. It is identified by the h1 tag.
Every webpage should contain a h1 element in the page title to help Google in clearly understanding the content on the page.
2. Meta description
Meta description is basically an HTML attribute on a web page that describes the content of the page. Basically, the page is described here.
If you look at the source code of a website, you can see the HTML code for the meta description. Typically, it looks somewhat like this:
But, don’t get scared!
When adding a meta description for a post or page on your website, you’ll never have to manually code anything. You can use a free SEO plugin to optimize both h1 title and meta description of your blog posts.
Schema markup specifically tells the search engine bots what your website’s content is all about. Schema markup is incredibly important for SEO because it helps search engines to better understand the content on your webpage. This, in turn, makes your website relevant for certain keywords.
It also improves your CTR [Click-Through Rate].
One of the ranking factors is CTR. The higher your website’s CTR, the more likely it is to appear on the first page. It makes it easier for Google to understand the information on your web pages. As a result, it improves your chances of getting better CTR as well as higher rankings in SERPs.
This is an essential part in organizing and formatting your webpages. It simplifies reading for the user and is crucial for SEO.
Use subheadings with the h2, h3, h4,… tags in your content.
Last but not least factor of On-page SEO that we’ll discuss here is architecture. This is really the easiest part of all. There are only a few specific things that fall in this category of on-page SEO optimization.
An outstanding website architecture leads to an outstanding user experience, which in turn generates a substantial amount of organic traffic. Page speed, a secure SSL connection, page loading times, mobile-friendly design, etc. are the primary factors that fall under this.
Here are some things to optimize, remember the more easily Google can access your site, the higher your site will rank.
As was already discussed, Google crawls your web pages via hyperlinks on websites. Use an online XML sitemap generator or submit your sitemap via a WordPress plugin to make your page easily crawlable.
The majority of people believe that duplicate content hurts rankings and believe that all everything on your page must be original.
But, I don’t agree with this.
Until and unless you do it in a spammy way, using the same post elsewhere and for guest blogging won’t harm your rankings.
However, if you are a beginner, it is likely that your domain authority is lower. As a result, you should avoid posting the same content on social media or another platform with a higher domain authority.
Because Google will crawl your article on a different platform (with a better domain authority) before it is indexed from your website. Google will, therefore, view your content (which is really original) as duplicate content, which will undoubtedly have an impact on your rankings.
This is most important of all in this section. If your page is not mobile friendly, then you’re not going to get the ranking you deserve.
The majority of people in the world use the internet through their mobile devices. Consider that if your website is not responsive to mobile devices, you have already lost half of your visitors.
To check if your site is mobile friendly or not, use Google’s tool.
You can use a variety of plugins to make your website mobile-friendly. Also, themes are now available with mobile-friendly designs.
Page Loading Speed
I don’t think that I need to tell you this. You already know how quickly you press ‘Close’ or ‘Back’ button if a page is kept on loading.
No big deal!
Most people act in this way.
According to studies, readers are 113% more likely to leave your website if it takes longer than 7 seconds to load.
Cloudflare is a good option. It’ll help you to improve your page loading speed by sending information to a user from the closest server available. You can also use cache plugins for your WordPress sites, such as WP Rocket.
Keywords in URLs
Always include focus keywords in your webpage URL.
Install SSL certificate (or HTTPS)
Google prioritises those websites with SSL certificates, which are safe to browse. Also, Google displays a warning message to users who try to access an insecure website or webpage, sending them away.
Here are two widely used security protocols:
- SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
- HTTPS (a secure version of HTTP)
Now, let’s talk about Off-page SEO.
2. Off-Page SEO
The most essential part of off-page SEO is website trust. Google ranks the top 10 results according on how users perceive a website.
The following steps can help you establish trust.
There are two factors that affect a website’s overall authority:
- Domain Authority: This term refers to the name of your website and how well-known it is to the target market. Coca-Cola’s website, for example, has a lot of authority because most people know about it.
- Page Authority: The authority of a particular page (or blog post) on your website is referred to as page authority.
Before working on anything else, you should check your domain authority. I’ll also recommend that you try to improve it.
The percentage of visitors to your site that only viewed one page before leaving your website is known as the “bounce rate.”
The only way to improve your bounce rates is to create informative and high-quality content, engage your audience, improve page loading times, etc. To encourage visitors to stay on your website for longer, you might also include relevant videos in your content.
The age of the domain is also important; the older the domain, the better. Even though it plays a minor role in SEO, it is important.
If you haven’t bought a domain name yet, look for any domain that was already registered before but has now expired.
The more individuals know your brand, the more Google will trust you. As previously said, higher trust equals higher ranking.
Always start with a strategy and focus on building your brand name. People remember you by name and for your services.
Off-page SEO includes creating backlinks. And, it’s not the everything, but it’s a very critical part. After creating content, it’s time to create backlinks to your pages. Don’t think people will approach you and link to you. Since it may take a long time, just approach people and ask them to link to you.
I will personally encourage you to create backlinks using the skyscraper technique built by Brian Dean. But before asking someone for backlinks, be sure to take the following things into account.
Quality of links
Quality is more important than quantity.
When I checked the backlinks of the top five pages for a competitive keyword on Google’s SERP, I discovered that the top result had only 54 backlinks while the second result had 550+ backlinks.
Think about it now?
Why is the website with 550+ links in second place when it should be in the first place? The second webpage’s link quality is the reason, I believe.
Here are some reasons of why having high-quality backlinks is preferable to having more backlinks:
- If the backlinks are spammy or come from a low-quality source, search engines like Google can ignore them.
- Links from new websites are valued higher than repeated backlinks from the same websites you already have links from.
- Instead of internal links, links from other relevant websites with high authority produce much better results.
Using relevant anchor text is a smart strategy from the perspective of SEO. If you’re going to use a hyperlink, use relevant keywords for the link rather than “click here to check” or something similar.
If I need to link to “A step-by-step guide on SEO,” for example, keep it natural and avoid using any words that are not closely related.
The number of links
The quantity of backlinks is also important. But, you need to create more high-quality backlinks. Always try to increase the number of links from authority sources to relevant webpages on your website.
Social networking is the third aspect of off-page SEO that, in my opinion, deserves a mention in this article.
Social media can undoubtedly help you rank higher.
There are other two key factors:
Quality of shares
Similar to backlinks, who is sharing your content and how frequently they are sharing are the most important factors here. Getting shares from an influencer provides much better results than your neighbours.
The number of shares
Do you think I need to tell you anything about the number of shares. Obviously, the more is the number of shares, the more fruitful it’ll be.
Create content that is so wonderful and amazing that people would like to share it. Studies have shown that content that emotionally triggers a person tends to go viral. You should read this:
I hope this blog post was informative and you now understand the significance of SEO. Learning the fundamentals of SEO and putting them into practice on your website will help you stand out from the competition.
Since keywords make up 90% of SEO, keyword research must be your first concern. After that, use the additional strategies outlined in this blog post, like improving the title tag and meta description.
Now, if you like this blog post, please link to it or share it.
It helps people who need this information and also gives meaning to the countless hours I’ve spent on this tutorial.