What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Is the process of increasing website traffic by having your website visible at the top of search engines for relevant keywords related to content or services you offer on your website.
SEO is done at the three levels; on-page SEO, Off-page SEO and technical SEO.
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing individual web pages. This involves both the content and HTML source code of a page, page titles and Meta description which improves Click through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CRO). For an effective On-page SEO to be done, you have to carry out enough keyword research.
Keyword research helps identify popular words and phrases people enter into search engines when searching for services online. This helps understand user search intent which is one of the paramount ranking factors.
Off-page SEO involves building relevant backlinks to your content. For the content to rank, it requires endorsement from relevant website. Getting search referrals sends positive signals to search engines that the content on your website is relevant to that particular topic. As result, search engines will give you higher ranking or priority.
Off-page SEO also involves local SEO. This helps a website rank higher locally. It involves listing on local directories with consistent name, address and phone (NAP).
Technical SEO, helps search engines access, crawl, interpret and index your website without any problems.
1. Keyword Research
You need to know what kind of words or phrases to optimize. What terms are users entering into search engines? This ensures that your website is ranking for relevant keywords. You don’t want your website to be ranking for irrelevant keywords.
There are several keyword research tools that you may use. I will only highlight a few:
- Ahrefs keyword explorer.
Helps you discover thousands of great keyword ideas, analyze their ranking difficulty and calculate their traffic potential. However the tool is not free. But it’s worth an investment.
- Google keyword planner
This tools is available for Google AdWords user. It gives insight into how often certain words are searched and how those searches have changed over time. This can help you narrow your keyword list down to the ones you really want.
- Google Search Console
Google Search Console is one of the most powerful, free SEO tools out there. Once set up, you can use your website metrics like clicks and impressions.
You are then provided by the really queries which brought about the clicks and impressions. Queries with high impressions are the ideal keywords.
- Semrush free option
- Moz keyword explorer
- Related queries
- Google “people also ask”
- Google autocomplete
- YouTube autocomplete
2. Content Generation
Content is at the core of any SEO strategy. In ranking, search engines are trying to provide most accurate answers to users. A webpage with content that is answering the queries is displayed first. Obviously with other factors in consideration.
Of course, your website should be well-designed, with a great user interface, and all the technical stuff that makes your site rank in Google should also be covered. But without good quality content, your site does not stand a chance in the search engines.
Therefore after an extensive keyword research, it’s now time to create the content using your identified keywords.
Here are benefits of great content;
- Quality content reduces bounce rate and increases session time- Google considers your website bounce rate as an important factor to rank your website – the longer users stay on your websites, the greater are your chances of getting better rankings on search engines.
High bounce rate means your website is just a “click bait” and does not have what users are searching for. As a result your website will start to gradually lose rankings unless you make the changes.
- Quality content helps you generate backlinks- One of the best SEO strategies is to gain high-quality backlinks from high-authority websites. For Google, high-quality backlinks indicate credibility and trust. The more quality backlinks you have, the higher you are likely to rank on Google.
3. On page SEO / Content Optimization
Just because you got great content does not mean you will just rank automatically. The content must be optimized. You have to specify your keywords, Meta description and titles for use by the search engines.
Improve readability by using short paragraphs, active voice with transition words. Use headings that tell the story as most internet users don’t read but just scan through the content. By just reading the heading, your readers should be able to know what you are talking about.
Eliminate destructions and include call to action texts where necessary. Some of these distractions include your sidebar, ads, or irrelevant pop-ups. Respect your users’ attention. Give them what they came to see. Avoid anything that takes away from their problem being solved.
- Title Optimization
This will greatly impact CTR (Click Through Rate) which is a great ranking signal. High CTR will give you better rankings and better conversions if your page is well designed.
Include the keyword and its synonyms in the title but do not overstaff.
- Meta Description
The meta description is the short paragraph of text of a webpage that describes its content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched-for phrase is within the description, so optimizing the meta description is crucial for on-page SEO.
- Image Alt Text
Alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen. Alt text is an important part of image optimization for on-page SEO.
- Outbound linking
Outbound links, also called external links, direct visitors from pages on your website to other relevant sites on the Internet. The links can be either do-follow or no-follow. No-follow tells search engines not to follow links while do-follow links pass on ranking power from your website to the targeted page.
Here are some reasons why you need outbound links:
- They increase relevance. If you provide do-follow links to high authority pages, you build a search engine’s trust in your website that you are a legitimate player in your field. Search engines as a result will give your website content priority as far as the topic is concerned.
- They improve website reputation. It’s also very common that people don’t have time to visit five different high authority websites to get all the information they need, so providing shortcuts to where they can find that information will help you be seen as an authority and an expert.
Outbound links are one of the most important and versatile sources of ranking power, because search engines view them as third-party endorsements of your website.
4. Inbound links Building
Backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that other external websites are endorsing your content.
5. Technical SEO
- Page Speed
- Mobile Responsiveness
6. Local SEO
- Google My Business
- Local Directories