A simple guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There are two million blog post published on WordPress on a daily basis.
This translates to an average of 24 posts per second.
Guess how many blog posts people publish each day?
This figure only takes into account WordPress posts.
If we add posts from other users the figures rise astronomically…
It is very difficult to stand out with this kind of figures.
However it is important you do, if you want to ensure that your blog or website is a success.
The ten minutes spent optimizing a post is equally as important as the four to five hours spent writing the post.
There are over two million searches carried out on a google on a daily basis.
The figures don’t take into account other search engines.
Imagining being ranked at the top of these searches?
It could be the difference between going broke and making millions.
I am sure a lot of us are even wondering what SEO means.
We obviously know it is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization.
What exactly are we optimizing?
Writing? Design? Or links? It is actually all of the above.
Wikipedia defines SEO as “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results.”
SEO is the set of activities or process of optimizing your web pages so that it is always shown amongst the top result.
For searches carried on search engines for particular keywords.
In the guide, we will be taking an in-depth look at SEO and we can optimize our web pages for best results.
A large majority of online experiences start with the use of a search engine, and over 75% of people make use of Google as their primary search engine.
Add that to the fact the 67% of clicks on search results are on the top five results.
If your result does not appear in the first page of google search, it basically means your website isn’t ranking at all.
If you want to understand how to make your web pages rank at the top of a search result…
You have to understand how internet searches function.
How Internet Search Works:
It is time to take a deeper look at some of the components of search engines.
There are two approaches to SEO.
It is important to decide early enough on the approach you want to adopt.
Black hat vs. White hat
If you looking for a quick hack to get immediate results, it is best you go for black
Black Hat SEO focuses primarily on optimizing your web content for search engines alone it doesn’t take humans into consideration.
This approach might require you to
bend a lot of rules in other to get your website to ranking very high.
There are several ways for black hat SEO to generate a few thousand pretty quick.
At the end of the day, this method often leads to crappy web pages that usually get banned pretty quickly.
It sometimes leads to serious punishment for the digital marketer.
If you are looking to building a highly sustainable business, I strongly recommend that you adopt the White hat SEO Singapore approach.
The approach focuses primarily on the human audience.
Another approach that you can adopt is something found in the middle of the ‘black hat vs. white hat discussion’ Gray hat SEO is a combination of minimal white and minimal black.
What this implies, is that it isn’t 100% clean like white hat, and also not 100% manipulative and dodgy as black hat.
There are many aspects to SEO. There is also Digital Marketing.
With gray hat, you aren’t trying to trick on manipulating the system intentionally to get instant results, however, you are still trying to get a unique advantage.
SEO is dynamic and the rules aren’t in plain black and white, what we sometimes refer to as rules are just SEOs making forecast by taking a look at corresponding data inclinations.
This is why it is possible to adopt gray hat SEO.
Another issue is that search engine ranking isn’t as perfect as it should be.
Although there are new algorithm changes like RankBrain that has helped to improve its functionality a whole lot more.
INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH ME? CLICK HERE
On-page SEO vs. Off-page SEO
There are 2 wide classes of SEO: On-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO takes into consideration all factors that Google takes to rank a website and looks at the webpage you are trying to optimize while focusing on contents like your headlines and page set-up.
Off-page SEO takes into consideration all variables that aren’t entirely up to you.
They depend on other channels like external blogs, social networks and personal history of the person making the search.
These classes both differ, however, you need to ensure they are done properly in other to succeed with SEO.
There are three broad categories of On-Page SEO that one needs to take a careful look at.
At the top of the list is content.
The saying “content is king” is a very popular saying made all the more popular by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 1996.
This still holds true today.
Why? Because a person is satisfied when he gets the result he is looking for when he makes use of a search engine.
This in turns means your primary function as it relates to SEO is to develop magnificent content.
It looks pretty straightforward, right? But a whole lot of work has to go into it.
Just like with any other endeavor, great results require great efforts.
To make your content great for Google below are some of the factors you have to consider;
1. Quality: this is the starting point of producing great content, gone are the days where you could just produce quality content and stand out from the crowd.
Developing quality content isn’t as easy.
Although you basically don’t have to start from scratch, you can begin by working on content that someone has created and try to make it a whole lot better.
2. Keyword research: carrying your keyword research in advance is an essential part of content creation.
Choosing the right keyword requires a lot of attention to detail.
It is important to highlight that Google has become wiser.
You should be mindful of putting too many keywords inside your text because rather than improving your ranking it will hurt it.
Once you are able to fix your keywords in strategic places like your Meta description, URL, or headlines; you are good to go.
3. The brilliance of content: according to a benchmark carried out by Hubspot, it shows that frequent posts then to improve your Google ranking.
On the other hand, posting original content one way to inform Google of originality.
There are several other things that can be done with already published content to bring it up to speed.
Some rewrite already published content to keep them up-to-date while others continually add more information to their posts to keep them relevant.
Whatever method you adopt, ensure your content is thorough in and out.
4. Straight answers: on a final note, Google sometimes tend to provide searchers with straight answers directly on SERP.
If your content is well written and easily identifiable by Google as the answer to a certain question, then your post will appear below the search question.
5. Direct answers – Finally, Google will sometimes provide searchers with direct answers right on the SERP.
If you write your content clearly enough for Google to recognize it as an answer to a particular question, it will show up directly beneath the search bar.
Initially, we mentioned a few things on keyword research. Keywords are such a hugely important topic which requires a section of its own.
Almost 90% of SEO focuses on keyword selection. Your keywords say a lot about your content.
It is responsible for how your website or brand is perceived online. Most people make the mistake of doing keyword research once and ending there while failing to realize that keyword search is a continuous process.
Those who make the best SEOs are regularly updating their keyword selection and ensuring it remains relevant.
Below are some common mistakes people make during keyword research.
- Selecting the wrong keyword: there are certain keywords which might generate high traffic to your site, but this traffic might not necessarily lead to conversion. It is important that you pick the keyword that is relevant to your business and is sure to convert users as they come onto your site.
- Shunning your competition: It is important that you do not forget that the ability for you to rank high for a certain keyword depends highly on the competition you face.
There are some keywords that get you close to 9000 searches monthly, which is ideal.
However, the issue lies when you start to compare your personal site rank to others that are ranking presently. It might take a very long time before you can overtake those site on the ranking table.
How do we go about searching for keywords that can help improve our ranking, keywords that would be relevant to the business and also not be so competitive, but will be able to give us enough traffic to be worthwhile?
The answer is simple, channel most of your effort on intent.
After taking care of your content and keywords, the next area that requires enough attention is HTML.
You necessarily are not required to be a professional programmer, although running and managing an online business requires some knowledge of HTML most especially the basics.
There are several online tutorial sites where you can learn a thing or two about HTML.
However, in this write up, we will concentrate on 4 areas of HTML that should be optimized for every content written.
- Title tags: this is an online representation of newspaper headlines.
They appear in your browser tab when a new page is opened.
When using HTML, the tag for it is called title. But on blog posts, it is often referred to as h1-tag. Which represents the heading of the first order.
- Meta description: these are excerpts that appear when your page is displayed amongst the search result to users.
Meta description makes it really easy to identify who has carried out a thorough SEO job and someone who hasn’t.
- Schema: Schema is as a result of an interaction between lots of search engines.
It is simply a subset of special HTML tags that help to improve how your content is displayed on search engine results.
- Subheads: these are tags that fall below the h1-tags, they are usually h2, h3, and so on, the lower they go the less SEO power they have. They are of importance, so it is essential you make use of them.
How to analyze these HTML enhancements
With Google’s Search Console you can easily identify areas of your HTML code that need improvement.
All you need to do is check the ‘HTML improvements’ report that fully explains some of the issues discussed above.
Google makes use of title tags, Meta description, and metadata to group your site and inform users about your site.
The ‘HTML improvement’ report contains information relating to whether or not you have;
- Duplicated tags and metadata on your site
- Tags and metadata haven’t be truncated or too long.
- Or they are too short to be understood or of any relevance.
This is the concluding part of on-page SEO that we will be taking a look at.
This part might contain a lot of tech jargons, however, it is important you take note of some simple things that can help improve your SEO ranking they are;
- Your site must be easy for google to crawl
- Your site should not contain duplicate content as they have an adverse effect on your ranking
- Your site should be able to render optimally for mobile devices
- Your site should be fast and load fully in less than 5 secs
- Ensure that your site includes keywords in its URL
- Ensure that your site has the right security certificate
Now that we have covered grounds on what occurs on the inside, it is time to take a look at what happens on the outside. Let us take a look at the four major sections of off-page SEO.
- Trust: this is becoming an important factor that is taken into consideration when Google ranks web pages. Recent updates from Google have eliminated spam and funny websites.
- Authority: there is two type of authority that Google uses to determine the general authority your website has. They are;
- Domain authority: this is concerned with how popular your domain name is.
- Page authority: this is concerned with how authoritative a single page on your web-domain is.
Your web-page authority is based on a scale of 1-100. If you have above 50-60 it means that your page rank is relatively high. 80-90 usually represents the highest in a specific industry.
Bounce rate: this is a measure of the people who leave your website after visiting the first page. Factors like content, load time, usability are some of the things that contribute to a reduction in bounce rate. Users tend to spend more time on a website that loads pretty fast and provides amazing content.
Domain age: domain age also matter in SEO ranking even though their influence is minimal.
Identity: creating an online brand or identity for your site is crucial to improving your site rank. This requires a lot of time before you can build on your brand identity.
By now you have already realized that the notion of “backlinks is the ultimate” is totally and completely wrong in SEO. They just represent a part of SEO just like other parts we have discussed already.
There are several ways by which you can create backlinks for your website.
Whatever method you adopt to ensure you don’t sit and wait for people to link to you, you have to go out and get the links.
When trying to get backlinks, you have to consider these factors.
- Quality of links: although links do not tell all the story, their quality says a lot. The quality of the link you have matters a whole lot more than the number of links on your site. Developing quality backlinks require a lot of networking and being able to offer value in exchange.
- Anchor text: these are text used by other websites to link to your website. It is important in SEO. It is always advisable for your anchor text to look natural, it should flow easily in the content of the site containing the anchor text.
This is another category of off-page SEO that we will be looking at.
Although we have nothing to do with most of the factors that affect SEO ranking, there are some things we can do to improve your chances of getting to some audiences. They include;
- Country: All users on Google search are show results that are relevant to the country that they are searching from. Business hours are displayed according to the time zone you are in.
- City: Google makes use of geo-targeting which takes search results a lot lower to the city level. This is why results from areas close to you appear in your search result.
- User’s search history: if you a user has visited your page before, or the website as a whole, your website is likely to appear again amongst the search result. This is because Google feels your website has a certain kind of relevance to them.
A good social media presence can help to improve your ranking.
This could happen directly via links or indirectly with the help of a PR boost, your social media profile plays a key role
There basically two key factors that influence your social media profile. They are;
- Quality of shares
- Number of shares
It is important not to forget that SEO in Singapore isn’t something that is very easy to execute and it is important to choose the right person to help your business.
If in the past you have been flunking on your SEO, not to worry, you get to start from right now to put things right.
Ensure that you carry out proper keyword research before the next blog post.
Make sure to use the result from the keyword data to optimize things like your title tags and Meta description.
On a final note, I will leave you with a question to ponder over for a few minutes.
How has your perception towards SEO changed after going through this guide? If you are keen to take up my SEO expertise for your business, click here.