Beginner’s Guide to SEO

More and more businesses are realizing the power of online marketing to promote their products and services. But when everyone’s goal is to make it to the front page of Google results, how can you keep up with the competition?

Simple. Use SEO.

What is SEO? Why do you need it?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, one of the many forms on internet marketing strategy that you can use to increase visitors to your site. How? From the phrase itself, Search Engine Optimization considers how search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, work, and uses this information to optimize content on their sites to make them more “search engine friendly”.

Search engines use complex mathematical algorithms to know which websites appear on the first page of search results. For instance, searching for the keyword “search engine optimization” on Google will give you the top websites that are optimized for that keyword. Usually these sites could be one of two things: they already have a lot of visitors, or they are implementing effective search engine optimization techniques to boost their page rankings.

Learning search engine optimization is a must in the digital age because let’s face it, you’re going to have a lot of competition out there. You’re not going to be the only one that sells Product A anymore, and you want to stand out from the rest. Search engine optimization gives you an edge if you are looking to promote your products or services online, and it does so in an “organic” way.

Common SEO Techniques

seo-techniquesSearch engine optimization may sound too technical, but the most common techniques used in search engine optimization are so simple you can get started right away. Here are three most common and effective ways to increase your page ranking:

Write quality content that contains a top keyword phrase. Initially you would need some research work to know which keyword phrases in your niche are the most searched for, and then keep using that exact phrase in your content. This may seem like a no-brainer, but believe me, I’ve seen sites with great quality content that do not rank well in Google results just because they didn’t focus on a keyword phrase.

Cross link between pages of your own site that provide relevant information. Link popularity is one of the key factors that help search engines determine the rankings of sites. By cross linking between your own content, you instantly boost the popularity of your links and help readers discover content that could be interesting to them. Just make sure your content is relevant, and don’t cross link on every page, or your links may become “diluted”.

Update your content regularly so search engines keep “crawling” your site. Search engines use a method called “crawling” to determine what a site is and what it talks about. If you write quality content that uses the keyword phrase “search engine optimization”, for example, search engines will index your site and show it when someone searches for that keyword. But your site will not stay there forever, as more and more people create websites that also talk about the same topic.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

black-hat seoSearch engine optimization is not only about enhancing websites for search engines, but also optimizing content for users so they stay interested and keep coming back for more.

Now because search engines use mathematical algorithms to determine the popularity of a site, it is possible for someone to cheat the system and use these techniques without actually having quality content, for instance. This is known as black hat SEO.

Black hat SEO uses techniques that deceive search engines into thinking that content in your website (if any) is actually related to a specific keyword phrase. This is common among “get rich quick” scam sites that need to have lots of visitors instantly so they can trick people into stealing their money. These sites eventually get caught, and search engines penalize them accordingly.

White hat SEO, on the other hand, is focused on the long run, and uses techniques that initially appeal to the readers, such as creating quality content with appropriate keywords, and then optimizing their websites for search engines. My SEO consulting only offers the best white hat SEO services out there, so your site can reach the front page of Google results.

There are other types of internet marketing out there, and as an Internet marketing consultant with more than 8 years in the field, I know which works where. But if you’re looking for an easy but effective way to get up to speed, then SEO is the way to go.

URL Optimization: Best Practices for Successful SEO

When talking about search engine optimization, the first thing that will come to people’s mind is keyword. It is essential for the SEO campaign to have a keyword to use, be it in the content or even in the URL. URLs, as a matter of fact, require the presence of the keyword in order to let visitors know more about your website.

seoThe structure of the link must be optimized as much as possible. After all, making sure that the link has the proper structure can improve the results of your SEO campaign. It would be beneficial to remember some best practices for proper optimization of URLs when one wants to have better SEO results.

Take note of the words used in the URLs.

The most important element to have in the link is the keyword, of course. Having the keyword in the URLs can really provide you with numerous SEO benefits. Other elements include the domain, subdomain, folders, and page elements.

When structuring URLs, it is essential to consider several important factors, such as:
1.Descriptive URLs.

When you are not using keywords in the link, it is better to use descriptive words instead that best describes the content of the page. The more obvious the link is, the better the SEO results will be.

2.Keywords. Having keywords in the URLs is a good thing.

However, you should also consider where to place these keywords. As much as possible, one should put the keywords at the beginning since search engines tend to give less importance to words at the end of the URLs.

3.Shorter URL.

It is actually better to have shorter URLs since these are quicker to time and easier to remember. Moreover, the fewer the words used in the link, the more value the search engine spiders can give to your website.

4.Repetitions.

Never use the same words in the URL. For example, having the same name for a section as well as a subsection can be quite confusing.

5.Long keywords.

It might be unavoidable for you to have long keywords. If that is the case, then you better avoid using categories as well as subcategories in the link.

6.Keyword stuffing.

Never stuff keywords into the URLs.

7.Capital letters.

Never use capital letters in the link.

8.Unnecessary parameters.

For URLs, it is highly recommended to avoid parameters like % or ?. Clean URLs score higher in SEO. It is more usable too.

9.Page title.

It is not necessary to make the URLs the same with the page title. For example, if you are making a blog, you are not required to make the blog address the same as your blog title.

Know More About the Static vs. Dynamic URLs

Dynamic URLs are basically those links generated by CMS and web servers. Most of the time, such URLs are generated with lots of unnecessary parameters and characters. URLs with these unnecessary stuff are non-SEO friendly. On the other hand, static URLs are handmade links. Static URLs appeal more to search engine spiders, especially when you make these links easier to decipher.

Avoid Duplicate URLs

Duplicate URLs can get you penalized with search engines, even if you are not aware of these duplicated links. It is especially easier to have duplicate links when the URLs for your website are dynamically generated. Coping with duplicate links is possible with two options. The first option is to use the canonical tag after choosing the best link. The second option is to use a 301 redirect where the duplicated link redirects visitors to the main website. You can use either one of these, whichever suits your needs the most.

Learn How to Use Subdomains

Subdomains are highly useful when you have several different parts to your website. When using subdomains, you must be extremely careful that this will not be considered as a separate entity. Pay attention so that it can be considered as a part of your website. Excessive use of subdomains can really affect your SEO results so be sure to do it properly and meticulously.

Know How to Use Word Separators

Word separators are basically those characters that separate one word from another when it comes to the URLs. Nowadays, the highly recommended word separators are dashes and hyphens. This is due to the fact that search engines are already programmed to read through these characters.

It is not recommended to use underscores as word separator just yet, though. Using underscores should be minimized. The reason for this is that search engines are still working on having their spiders read underscores as word separators in URLs.

Space is not entirely recommended as a word separator. When the URLs are converted, the space will be rendered as %20. That is not an optimal way to render a URL so one should avoid using space as word separator.

3 Pillars of SEO At The Present Time

seo

Those that have a limited knowledge of the acronym seo will often times assume it just means that you do one or two things. In the past, you could easily do that. You could set up a page and change the title tag and create a wealth of traffic just with a few edits. That’s not the case today, as you will need to work with internet marketing on a larger scale. In fact, this can easily become incredibly difficult over time. The problem becomes the definition, and that is in contrast to what popular opinion is. Working with search engine optimization means that you have to work on 3 pillars that all come together to shape the umbrella’s path. The same can be said about internet marketing, which is crucial to establishing the right kind of traffic. Organic traffic does not just come though, it takes time to process and can be a matter of implementing several different pieces. The following are the 3 pillars that you need to work with if you want to compete with larger sites today.

Keyword Selection and Focus

The first thing that you will need to do is focus on keywords that are relevant to your niche. Focusing on these will help you create influence wherever possible. This is not a repetition quota, but rather a focus on the searches that you want to target. When you isolate certain phrases, you are going to be leveraging the results that are found on the web and point them to your page in a very targeted manner. Without doing that, you’re going to end up seeing diminished returns overall. Do not focus on high competition words, instead, focus on smaller keywords so that your density flows naturally through your site. This takes time, and effort. You could do it on your own or hire a seo company to focus on these things.

Backlink Generation

The second pillar of seo is backlink generation. When you’re looking at creating market share, you need to focus on backlinks. Creating these is not easy, as you will need to make sure that you’re gaining things the hard way or through the very nuanced selection cycle. This means that you need to create links that are going to help you chase the right elements overall. Generating the right options means that you will need to curate content that is impactful. If you can make an impact with your content, you will get more people interested in what you’re doing. That means that you will have natural sharing power, and that is far better than other solutions that you will find on the web. The goal here is to ensure that you are engaging the right components to get you noticed on the web. Links go a long way to building recommendation and authority.

Speed of Site

The next pillar that you want to tackle, and perhaps one of the most important elements when dealing with organic traffic is the speed of your page. If you have a content management software installed find a way to cache it faster so that your delivery mechanism is far speedier than your competition. Furthermore, optimize all the images, code, and everything that you want loaded into the browser so that it works as fast as possible and even with mobile technology. The speed of your site will impact your rankings and flow of traffic, guaranteed.

 

The above pillars are just the beginning framework of seo today. You will find that there are other components that come into fruition as well and that’s something worth looking into as a whole. Optimization strategies hinge on the above, and then branch out from there