What is SEO and why it’s so important for your blogs growth.
You might have already heard this magic three letter combination. Well, in case you’re new to this, then SEO stands for – “search engine optimisation.” In simple words, it’s a process of obtaining website visitors from “free” or otherwise known as “organic” traffic.
This traffic is your blogs life source. It comes from search engines like google, yahoo and bing.
Every minute millions of people worldwide search for information typing in their queries. And search engines deliver the most relevant results to them. So, to receive this free traffic you must rank as high as possible for the searched phrase.
Let’s face it. How many times have you clicked to page 10 or further in google to find something? I guess not that often. So you see, to be noticed and to receive this traffic you absolutely need SEO.
It includes both technical and creative things to improve your blogs visibility in search engines.
And this optimisation will help you to maximise the number of visitors for searched term from given search engines.
When speaking about SEO, then we can split it in two parts – on-site and off-site. The names are already self explanatory, but if we take a closer look, then this is what they hold underneath them.
Like the name suggests, then this holds the practice of optimising things on your blog. This includes actions like optimisation of your content, links, source code, keywords and other things.
It will not only help search engines to better interpret your site, but will also help visitors to better understand what this page is about.
Let’s start with keywords.
Long gone are the days where all it took was to put high value keywords in key locations on your blog. If you do however by some miracle stumble upon such article know that it is long since outdated.
Nowadays search engines are way more advanced and can understand what the page is about from the use of synonyms, relevancy, frequency of specific terms and other parameters.
But that doesn’t mean that the keywords are not important. No, they still are, but they no longer need to appear in key locations on your blog for your site to rank.
Closely related to keywords is content.
Now that you don’t need to stuff keywords in key places, then content topics being discussed are more related to the search queries. So, while still keeping the keywords in the picture, bloggers need to provide content that has in-depth analysis and is actually relevant to the search query.
It also needs to be unique, written in your own way and style as google hates straight up copied content. Failing to do so will give you a tough time in indexing and ranking.
Next thing on our list are links.
It’s important to have a well defined page url structure and internal linking. That makes the site search engine friendly and helps out bots to better crawl your site. Otherwise spiders will have hard time to crawl your structure and related pages.
Not only that, but site visitors should also be able to navigate around your site easily. It’s good practice that everything should be accessible with as few clicks as possible.
Another important factor is the clinks on your page – internal and external. Where internal links point to relevant content in your own site and the external point to other domain resources.
Lastly, we can look at your sites other parameters.
Other things include things like site speed. If the site is better optimised and loads faster it will be ranked higher than the one that is slower. Put yourself in a blog visitors shoes and decide which one you’ll prefer – the one that takes multiple seconds to load or the one that will open way faster.
I think the answer is obvious, which leads it to be an important factor in ranking and visitor retention.
Google also favours pages with SSL encryption a bit more than the ones that are without. It’s not a big factor, but still.
Another thing to keep note of is mobile friendliness. Nowadays big percentage of your traffic will come from mobile devices. So it’s very important to have a responsive, mobile ready design or you can wave goodbye to those visitors and lose a big portion of your traffic.
Also, you need to pay attention to your sites meta data, like page description which will show up in search engines. It should shortly describe the topic that is discussed on page.
This is the opposite of on-site and is referred to as actions you make outside your blog to make an impact in your blogs ranking.
So what are the most important factors with off-site SEO you must perform?
Basically it’s getting links pointing back to your site from other reputable and trustworthy sites that recognises the quality of your content. While it sounds simple it actually takes quite a time to get quality backlinks when you just start out.
You might think – “hey, I’ll just work on on-site SEO, that should be enough.” Well, it won’t! Off-site SEO is actually the most important thing as it could have at least 50% impact on your rankings.
No one really knows how the google algorithms exactly work, plus they are always changing, but you can be sure that quality off-site links to your site will always be valuable.
So backlink building is the main operation for off-site SEO.
There are multiple ways how to gain links to your site. For example, they can be gained by:
- Visitors sharing your content or simply linking back to your site.
- Building links yourself – forum posts, signatures, online directory and many others. Remember though that many activities are considered “black hat SEO” and could lead to a penalty, thus negatively impacting your ranking. So be careful if you do go down that road.
There are also multiple factors that matter for the backlinks. For example, some metrics are: the relevancy of the post that your site is mentioned on, authority of the domain and sites popularity. Also, you wouldn’t want your sites link to be inserted in a page where is a great mixture of various low quality links.
Remember! It is better to have fewer good quality backlinks then a lot of low quality links.
And that would mostly cover the basics of SEO that any beginner should be aware of. Stay in touch to get more information on SEO.
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