What is SEO | Complete SEO guide for your WEBSITE in 2021
Nothing is growing rapidly during this pandemic than digital marketing. Every company, be it IT, e-commerce, or any other, blog articles have been a must-have content in a website.
Any idea? How many blog articles people publish each day on the internet?
Well, just above 7.5 million posts. Word press, being the most popular blog site, alone has over 70 million new posts every month.
Now let’s talk about blogs and articles. In the present context, any company or individual prefers to have around 1150 words for their blogs, which is considered to be best for SEO.
Anything you type on the search engines leads you to these articles. Any blogs that get the most clicks get recognized by Google and the post appears on the first page of the search result.
Of course, there are other factors that make a blog popular, the most important factor being, high traffic and minimal bounce rate.
WHAT IS A BOUNCE RATE?
Let’s say your blog has decent traffic (people often click on your blog or site), but people exit within 6 seconds or clicking any links. Then it leads to a higher bounce rate. A higher bounce rate is always bad for your business as it degrades your rank on Google. Research suggests that the average time people spend on any blog is around 16 seconds.
Hence your main goal is to include contents (with links, images, or videos) to make people stay for at least 10 seconds. Tempt readers to click on your links (interlink or outer link). But keep in mind too many links unwanted links can harm your content.
With over 7 million posts available every day, what could you do to make your post stand a chance against all those blogs?
No matter how much time you spend writing an article, if your post isn’t optimized you will probably fail to attract readers. The time you give optimizing your posts is the most important. Larger size images, not optimized content makes your website slower. An SEO-friendly article only stands a chance to compete with the best.
So, what is SEO?
Search engine optimization or SEO is the technique of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to any website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets only unpaid traffic which is known to us as organic results. This unpaid traffic can originate from various image searches, text searches, video searches, news or academic search, etc.
Now, the most important question is what does SEO optimize?
Be it design, writing, or links, SEO helps to optimize all.
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps to optimize your online content in such a way that search engines tend to show it on the first page of the search result. It is possible if you have used the important keywords intelligently in your content.
Let’s take an example to know more about SEO.
Let’s say you have an article about “Best Google Chrome Extension” then you want Google or any other search engines to show your content on the very first page. The chance of people going on the second page is very slim or none.
It all depends on how you utilize SEO features on your content for Google to show it on the first page.
You have to make your audience curious, eager to stay longer on your site. Be funny, sarcastic in your writing, or include topics that might be controversial. Gaining people’s attention is an art and you have to be good at it.
Among many effective ways to approach site optimization, White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO certainly grabs the main attention.
What is White Hat SEO?
It refers to the most ethical way of optimizing your site. Let’s go deep on how this works
1. It follows search engine guidelines
White hat SEO follows Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Google makes and updates certain rules for proper site optimization and white hat follows every one of them.
And by ethics, we can understand not trying to manipulate the Google algorithm to get a better rank but following the rules properly.
2. Priority to a human audience
White hat SEO focuses on the audience and their interest. Google is determined to give the audience the best possible results from all of the internet.
Your content might be valuable at this point, but after few months, it might be outdated so Google will find another article for users. So, White hat SEO demands making changes to the site or content every few months so that it is beneficial to a site’s visitors.
The strategies include improving site loading time by proper optimization and publishing high-quality content which the user can navigate easily without any issues.
3. Focuses on a long-term approach
How does White Hat help in the long run?
It mainly and only focuses on the guidelines and rules. Following all the guidelines provided by Google, it ensures your content isn’t outdated any time soon. Achieving this approach is more time- and work-intensive, but it ensures steady rankings for your target keywords.
Here are some of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for optimizing a site | White Hat SEO
- Dedicate every page to users with genuine content, not just focusing on search engines.
- Don’t trick your users by spamming keywords and titles.
- Avoid using tricks and shortcuts to improve search engine rankings. Before posting any blogs, first, ask yourself “how will this help the audience, and what can be done to improve?”
- Focus on making your website unique, valuable, or engaging to the audience. fill your website with quality content that stands out from the rest.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Of course, Black hat SEO will be the exact opposite of white hat SEO. Black Hat focuses on quick results and fast output. It follows the following tactics:
1. It violates search engine guidelines
Unlike White Hat, the Black hat doesn’t follow any rules defined by Google’s guidelines. Instead, it uses tricks to rank on the first page of search results.
2. It relies on manipulative tactics
What black hat SEO does is manipulate Google’s algorithm to improve rankings Instead of improving user experience like that of White Hat. It tricks Google into thinking it has valuable content for users but in reality, it doesn’t.
3. It focuses on QUICK OUTPUT
Black Hat is like hacking Google and finding loopholes in Google’s algorithm so that it can use the weakness to its own advantage. Getting more output without much effort is the strategy of Black Hat. Sometimes this strategy works very well and leads to high traffic and profit. But most of the time the success is only short-lived.
Black hat SEO use the following tactics:
- Automatically generated content
- Participating in link schemes
- Creating pages that have little or no original content whatsoever
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text or links
- Doorway pages
- Scraped content
- Participating in affiliate programs without using sufficient value
- Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
- Using Trojans like viruses while creating pages
- Tricking and Sending automated queries to Google
Black Hat vs. White Hat
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO (also known as “on-site” SEO) is the technique of optimizing different parts of your website that has a direct or indirect effect on your search engine rankings.
Where exactly, on the search engine results pages, does your website or page appears is determined by various ranking factors like site accessibility, page speed, optimized content, keywords, title tags, and many more. These are the elements that you can control or change accordingly anytime on your own website.
Here are some of the On-Page SEO Checklist:
The use of the Right keywords is very important for any article. You have to use such keywords in the title tag of each page on your site.
- Try to limit your title tags to 55-60 characters with spaces
- Don’t overuse your keywords
- The use of a pipe bar (|) plays a very vital role in your title. Put your brand name at the end of the title tag and separate it with a pipe bar. Example: Best chicken wings| Five Guys
Try to include as many feasible keywords on your headings as possible as search engines give them a little more weight than your other page copy. Use the keywords intelligently to reflect the accurate content of your page.
It is best to use one H1 heading per page, all other headers can be included in H2 or H3.
Select one or two important keywords from your selected keywords and use them on your URLs if possible. However, don’t change your old URL just for the sake of keywords. Change your URLs only when you want to redirect your old ones to your new ones.
- Repeating the same keyword more than once doesn’t make any sense, will only harm the user experience.
- Unlike headings, keep your URLs short and sharp.
Alt text for images
An average visitor can’t see the image but alt text allows blind Internet users to understand the content of your images with the help of screen reader software. Alt attribute will keep your website in compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines shortened as WCAG
Follow the following steps while writing alt text:
- Only use 8-10 words to describe the image.
- Only include your targeted keyword where it sounds most natural without repeating it.
- Use of geo-locator is a plus point, only if relevant.
Google will only recommend the fast-loading pages to users for quick access and better user experience so a faster website helps your site rank higher in the search results. You can use a Google tool called PageSpeed Insights for free for various optimization.
Consider the following key factors for better speed:
- Minimizing HTTP requests
- the server response time for your page must be <200ms
- Enable Gzip compression
- Compress your image sizes under 100kb (.jpg, .png, .gif)
- Place all your CSS file in an external style sheet
- Minifying all JS, CSS, and HTML
- Mobile Friendliness
Google will use various algorithms to measure the quality of your content and whether it is useful to the audience or not.
- You should have at least 500 words of copy or it can go up based on the type of article. Any words between 700-1000 are considered best for SEO-friendly blogs.
- 0% plagiarism is a must for any content.
- Always use keywords closer to the beginning of the title, if relevant.
It is the technique of Linking internally to other pages on your website. When you click on a particular word or sentence it takes you to the other pages where the term is better described to users.
You should use relevant anchor text when adding internal links.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO deals with external links. It is the technique of getting links from other websites which will eventually increase the authority of your domain.
Whenever other websites use your link, users that click their links will eventually end up on your website.
Domain Authority – a score calculating site will help calculate how authoritative your website is compared to any other sites. Type your domain name to see the score.
Which One is More Important?
On and off-page SEO is like the foundation and roof of a building. First, you work on your foundation which is like on-page SEO and later work on roof which is off-page SEO. Both have their own features so, you will need both on and off SEO to improve and develop your site. Proper use of these two will surely and certainly increase your site rank on search results.
Now keeping in mind these important steps, you can create an article worth reading for readers.