Search Engine Optimization or SEO refers to the process of changing certain aspects of a website in a way that it ranks among the top results by search engines. It involves several tasks such as adding metadata, writing SEO-friendly content, addressing crawling errors, adding alt text with images, and more.
The purpose of SEO is to make a website attractive for search engines by updating the site as per their guidelines. Furthermore, website managers should also ensure that their website offers an invaluable user experience and meet their needs to achieve a higher ranking in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).
To increase the visibility of your website through search engines, you need to consider several factors. The most important SEO factors are as follows:
Google aims to become the ultimate choice of internet users. For this purpose, the popular search engine carefully examines websites before ranking them. A website can’t gain much exposure if the design, structure or formatting aren’t up to the mark.
Therefore, you should choose the right responsive theme for your website and optimize its speed for desired results.
Content Is Mega Important
Do you want your website to appear in top search results against desired search phrases? Then you should focus on adding high-quality content that adds value to readers. Instead of writing for search engines, you should create content for the target audience. Whether you intend to publish blogs or just rewrite content on different pages, make sure that quality and relevance are your top priorities.
Many website owners tend to ignore the importance of a well-written web copy. They publish content without proofreading it. Consequently, the writing is often full of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and formatting issues. Not only do these mistakes repel website visitors, but they also negatively affect search engine ranking.
You spent a lot of time in writing an engaging blog post and you thoroughly researched the topic to ensure that the blog contains credible information, but your blog post still failed to rank higher.
Your efforts may go in vain if your content isn’t relevant to the niche. Search engines strive to improve user experience by showing only the relevant content. If your blog or web page doesn’t answer their queries, you cannot expect Google or other search engines to rank your website higher than your competitors.
If you intend to write a blog post against specific keywords, then you should focus on relevance as well as quality. If your content meets guidelines and is user-friendly, then it is likely to perform well.
On-page SEO includes everything happening on your website and you have full control over these factors. Planning to optimize your website for the search engines? Then you should focus on the following on-page factors to make your website stand out:
Metadata involves meta description and title tags. Back in the day, meta keywords played a crucial role in website ranking. But they lost their significance over time as Google algorithm keep updating and changing priorities. So, now it’s almost useless to waste your time on crafting meta keywords.
The text you write inside the title tag is displayed as a search engine result. So, make sure it captivates internet users and perfectly represents your website. You can come up with a perfect title tag by writing the name of the article and complementing it with your brand name. However, if it exceeds the recommended length of 50-60 characters, then you can omit the brand name.
When Google displays a web page to users, it will use the title tag you have provided. But in rare cases, it may replace the title with other relevant content from the web page to ensure that it is relevant to users.
The meta description is another important SEO factor. It is basically a small piece of text that appears right below the title tag in search engine results. It provides an overview of the web page content.
- Headings and Subheadings
Remember your school days when you or your classmates used to get reprimanded by teachers for writing essays they couldn’t read? The same goes for online content. If you write the entire content on a web page in the form of a single paragraph, then visitors won’t be able to understand it. This will increase the bounce rate and hurt your website ranking.
To avoid this issue, you should use subheadings to increase the readability of the content.
A single web page must not contain more than one H1 tag – the title of the page. You can use H2-H6 tags to divide an article into different sections. If your website is based on WordPress, then you can easily insert the right tags through the site builder. Otherwise, you need to manually add them as HTML tags.
- Internal and External Links
Linking to other web pages on the internet can positively impact your website performance if done right. When you write a blog post or article, you should consider adding a few links to other websites. This practice suggests that you have done your research and Google starts trusting you.
On the other hand, it is also a good idea to add links to different pages of your own website. It improves the website structure and also increases the visibility of those pages.
Off-page SEO refers to actions that occur outside your website and are often beyond your control. The most important off-page SEO factors are as follows:
Backlinks divert traffic to your website from other websites. When another blogger mentions your website, the link juice improves your website’s search engine ranking and increases the number of visitors.
Unlike the prevalent myth, backlinks are extremely valuable for improving search engine ranking. Some people buy links to build credibility. But keep in mind that this approach is against Google guidelines and may lead to a ban on your site. PBN backlinks may give you short-term results, but they can cause uncontrollable harm if detected.
Therefore, you should rather focus on building quality backlinks through organic ways.
To build natural backlinks, you should try to become an authority in your niche. For this purpose, start sharing unique and informative content on your blog to add value. You should also interact with other bloggers by commenting on their posts and sharing your opinions. This networking will prove fruitful in the long run and direct traffic to your website.
- Social Media Signals
Social media is a great tool to reach your target audience. Due to its increasing popularity, Google considers social signals to determine the reputation of a website. The more users share, like, and retweet your content on social platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, the higher ranking you can obtain.
So, it’s important to publish relevant and shareable content on blogs. You can add videos, infographics, quotes, and images that interest your target audience. When they share your posts on their social profiles, they will help to promote your blog and play a role in improving your position in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).
SEO Approach: Black Hat vs. White Hat
When optimizing your website for the search engines, you can take one of two routes:
- White hat
- Black hat
The white hat approach follows Google guidelines and involves ethical actions. Black hat SEO, on the other hand, is based on unethical practices and manipulates search engines to achieve a better ranking.
Some of the most common examples of black hat SEO are buying PBN links and keyword stuffing. However, if you want to make the most of white hat SEO, you should turn to guest blogging on reputable websites to get attention.
The third type of SEO is Gray Hat SEO which falls between black hat and white hat SEO. Website managers that rely on gray hat try different techniques such as buying old domains, duplicating content from other websites, and cloaking.
SEO is an on-going process that takes up a lot of time. But if you are consistent and keep learning from your experiences, you can see the desired results.