Most website owners already heard the word SEO might already have done it. But do you really know how SEO works what it is and why SEO improvement is essential for your website?
What is SEO?
SEO is short for “search engine optimization.” It helps you improve both your quality and quantity of website traffic. And benefits your brand to appear through non-paid results (organically) in search engines like Google and Bing.
To use SEO, you need to understand what people are searching for online, the word they’re using, and the answer they are looking for. But what matters the most is what type of content they wish to consume. You connect with people that are searching online with the answer to questions and the solution you offer on your website.
The search engine crawlers need to find your website, and people need to understand what your page or post is about. You optimize your content so that it appears on top of the search engine results of a certain keyword.
There are two different SEO strategies:
White Hat: You focus on your human audience and build a sustainable online business. You create unique and relevant content and page titles. The articles you write have complete sentences with good spelling and grammar. And you integrate quality images and related links and references in your post.
You try to create the best content possible and make it easy to find with the search engine’s rules in mind.
Black hat: It is when you only optimize content for the search engines and not consider the humans at all. And you bend and break the rules to rank high in search engines to make a few thousand dollars fast.
You use duplicate content and integrate invisible text and stuffed keywords on your site. The website uses cloaked or redirects to other sites or pages with spam and crappy design only to make money.
These sites can get banned very fast when you not continuously lookout for search engine updates and find new ways to break the rules. The big problem is if you already get punished by a search engine, it can ruin your chances to build a long-term and sustainable online business in the future.
Why SEO matters?
Paid advertising, social media sites, and other online platforms can help to generate traffic to websites. But the majority of online traffic comes from search engines.
The organic search results appear more credible to searchers and receive way more clicks than paid advertisements. When you set up your SEO strategies correctly, you can generate long-term traffic and income with your online business.
If you create unique quality content and try to rank for relevant keywords, your traffic can continuously grow over time. But for advertising, you need to provide always new funding to get traffic to your site.
The better you optimize your website, the more information search engines get, which helps that your content can be properly indexed and displayed in the search results.
How Search engines find your website?
Search engines are answer machines that exist to discover, understand, and organize online content. So the most relevant results to the problem and question searchers are asking to appear on top of search engines.
That content shows up in search results, which is why your website needs to be visible to search engines. When your site can’t be found, there is no way the search engine can find and rank your content.
How do search engines work?
Crawl: Searching the internet for content and look over the code/content of each website address they find. Crawlers scan for hyperlinks, content, section, keywords, headings, and images with thousands of small bots.
Index: The discovered content gets stored and organized during the crawling process. When the page is in the index, it can be displayed as a result of relevant keywords. The index is a gigantic library of websites from all over the world, so it takes about 1 to 10 days that new or updated websites and content are indexed.
Rank: To offer the best user experience, search engines show results with the most relevant and quality content first to least relevant.
You need to make sure your website gets crawled and indexed so it can appear in search engine results. If you want to check if your site is indexed search in google “site:yourdomain.com,” so for this website, it would be “site:hostcomp.net.”
If you do not see your website or content, you have to index your site on Google and Bing first. These are the biggest search engines in the western world. To do this, you need a google and a Microsoft account. There you can submit your sitemap where all your pages are listed so both Google and Microsoft can index and rank your content.
SEO ranking factors
To find out how relevant content is, search engines use algorithms, a process or formula that uses specific information and rules to determine where to rank a website. The algorithms went through many changes over the years to improve the user experience and the quality of search results. These changes can hurt or benefit your website traffic.
But to rank higher and appear in search engine results, you need to make sure to use the following ranking factors:
- unique, targeted, fresh, and valuable content: Writing quality articles is a big part of getting a good ranking in search engines because engaging and original content is more important than ever with the new google core update.
- Create an external link to statistics or related articles it can help you with ranking. Also, use internal links where you link to other related content on your site.
- Use fitting graphics images videos and audios in your article
- Search for good keywords with small completion but high enough searches
- Integrate Snippets, which are the answer to questions and summaries of articles or reviews you see in search engine results. To do this, you can use a snippet plugin, or some SEO plugin with an integrated snippet tool.
- Improve Website Speed and mobile-friendliness
If you are a WordPress user, you can use the Rankmath plugin or Yoast SEO plugin, which helps you make sure you improve your SEO with the mentioned SEO strategies for articles. For other site builders, you need to look for tutorials on the platform on how you can place keywords to appear in search engines.
Increasing website speed and using Mobil friendly designs
Website speed shows how fast your webpage loads.
To find out if your site has a good loading time, you can test the speed with PageSpeed Insights or Gtmetrix. There you get metrics on what your page slows down and if you have to optimize images, Html compression JS and CSS minification to decrease server response time. You can find different WordPress plugins that help you optimize images and compress your web code.
Of course, also a quality web hosting is essential to reach a good website speed, so make sure to select a trustworthy and fast one. You need an easy to remember domain with a relevant keyword in it if possible. The website should have HTTPS / SSL as this an indicator of a secure website.
You can use a CDN(content delivery network), which are servers in different countries that deliver pages and other Web content to a user faster. This especially useful if you have many big media files images and videos; it will speed up your website.
Also, lazy loading is useful for website speed. It loads images only into the required section and delays the remaining pictures until the user needs it. Then the placeholder images will be replaced by the final image.
Check if you have a responsive design that is working on phones and tablets with different resolutions. To do this, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly test there; you see how your page looks on mobile phones.
If your site is not mobile-friendly, the amp (Accelerated Mobile Pages) WordPress plugin or another theme can solve that problem so all users can access your website through their phones better.
What metrics matter for SEO?
If you look into your google analytics account, you can see different metrics for your website:
- Clicks: the visits from search results on your page
- Time on page: how long a visitor spents on a page before leaving
- Bounce rate: percentage of all website sessions where users viewed only one page
- Pogo-sticking: if a user clicked on an organic result but quickly leaving and choosing another result.
These engagement metrics also determine how high sites rank, but it is more about bringing value to searchers. So when you don’t make changes, for example, easier to access content or better web design, it can hurt your ranking. Also, if you heavily advertise with ads everywhere and popups, it will drive the most user away from your site.
You can see the engagement metrics as a fact-checker.
There are two types of SEO you can do:
- Local SEO is for local businesses that want to have visitors only from a specific region where they operate. You need, for example, your address in google business listing to appear on google maps to attract local customers.
- International SEO is useful if you want to reach everybody in the world that understands the language you write your content in.
Of course, you can also make your site Multilanguage, where you translate all of your content to get more visitors on your website that speak Spanish or German, for example. For WordPress, you can use the WMPL plugin; you can easily translate your site into different languages and do SEO with region-specific keywords.
Searching the right Keywords
All your work won’t rank if you do not use a good keyword. You need to search for a keyword that is:
- Popular with a high-enough search volume
- Rankable It isn’t too difficult to rank high for the keyword in search engines.
- Relevant The search term needs to be relevant to your content on the page.
You find keywords if you use a keyword research tool, which shows you metrics like how high the average monthly search volume of keyword it is how difficult it to rank for. And you find related keywords that you can also integrate into your on-page SEO.
Long term keywords are the easiest keywords to rank for because it is a more specific phrase where people are looking. You have lesser competition if you try to rank for “best smartphones in 2021” as if you use the keyword “smartphone.” The good thing is your traffic is more target, but you still can gain enough visitors to your site.
Where you need to place Keywords on your site and article:
- in heading and subheading of the article
- in the first paragraph of the article
- in the Meta description and Meta title
- In your article URL
- In Image alt
It is important to search for your keyword before you create your content because it will help to integrate it easier in your text. Don’t use a keyword, which makes no sense grammatically, as this can hurt the quality of your article. And only use it when it fits in your post.
Yes, it is useful to integrate your keyword often, but you can also use other related words in your article because you can also rank for these words.
What the future SEO Trend looks like
While your traffic might go down when Google makes big algorithm changes, you need to be ok with it will go back up again. So put the user first and do SEO right because this will help you long-term with Google’s algorithm changes.
Overall User Experience will become more critical. That means not only to optimize for mobile and faster loading times but also the overall site experience.
The positioning on top is more important than ever, so you need to aim for it. While it is hard to get the first spot, you still reach a good amount of traffic for positions 2 and 3. But the difference in visits at the first position is huge.
Niches are ranking better because of increased authority. Focus on being an expert in your niche
The Content-length won’t matter as much anymore. It is more about your content quality and that people are getting what they are looking for faster.
Backlinks building isn’t as important anymore, so you are better off releasing your content, not building links, rather let it happen organically.
Global SEO is a way to get a more international audience. But this will take time as you need to translate your content and updated it for the different languages and countries.
Many factors are essential for SEO improvement. You need to set up your website for Seo and link your account to google search console and to bing webmaster. Then you have to make sure your pages are optimized for page speed and Mobil phones.
And it is important to search for good keywords and place them correctly in the text and your website.
Of course, it takes time to rank for keywords and to set everything up, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Your goals need to be to rank long-term and to build quality content that provides value to people.
Then you are on the right path to building a successful online business. Do you have any questions about SEO, then don´t hesitate to ask them in the comments.
Here a short SEO cheat sheet you can use to rank better in search engines.