SEO is an on-going process, and it’s done on many levels. I have a feeling you might have heard of the word SEO but don’t know the meaning and what works it does, you might be thinking it’s just a way to improve your blog visibility on search engine. Let me burst your bubble SEO don’t just happen like magic on your website or blog like I said it’s an ongoing process.
So don’t let anyone tell you that you need an expert to setup your blog or website SEO it’s a simple fundamental which can be learnt in a seconds, Lol that’s if you a computer, it will take you minutes to learn all about SEO and I may say days to apply the strategies.
The questions now is why lay out the basics all in one post?
I might have to convince you on this one, this post is going to be a long one so get ready to learn all in one post because I will keep you smiling still the end of this post, I have used years studying a lot about SEO and working on different websites and blogs SEO in order to get them to front page which I was able to do, and I will teach you all if you keep reading. If you looking for a way to rocket your traffic so you can increase your visitors and sales you should take a seat and get your popcorn as this will be an interesting content. Just follow the guidelines below:
Before we go deep into some aspects of SEO let me quickly explain the meaning of SEO
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which means SEO means optimizing your website to rank well in search engine results improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engine.
In addition, SEO is a subset in search engine marketing on digital marketing if you haven’t read my digital marketing guide I advise you should to understand more about digital marketing and other subsets on digital marketing. You might care to know how search engine works..
Search engine performs some activities in order to deliver search results, I will be listing this activities search engine performs;
• Calculating relevancy
• Retrieving results
It is said that search engines do update their relevancy algorithm dozens of times per month, I will also be explaining this as time goes, keep reading.
Firstly, why don’t we think about SEO first before building our website or blogs, but in most cases it’s the opposite after we done with the creation of the website or blog we then think about SEO, I will tell you it’s not the best way to start improving your website or blog. Most of my clients comes to me after building their websites or blogs and I believe most of you that where you come in; building your website or blog before thinking about SEO.
Now you finally here to to improve your website or blog in search engines, one thing you will find rare in most SEO blogs is that once you don’t plan for SEO on your website or blog before building the only way to correct your mistake is to modify it to be search engine friendly, what am simply trying to say is modify a few things to make it search engine friendly and there you can start seeing improvement.
Have you ever thought of it that SEO might not be your website or blog problem, web viewers can make you crazy sometimes, so to you most have some certain aspects worked out on your website or blog. When I started learning SEO I could remember my first blog, I will keep working day and night to improve the SEO so I could get traffic but that was not the problem but when I created my second blog I figured it out that the problem affecting my SEO was my blog why am I saying that most times domain names matters your viewers might not remember the name next time when trying to visit you, so I recommend you using a simple domain name that can’t be forget and easy to remember.
Checking If indexed
Its very important to know if you have been indexed on search engine most might know this if not, go to Google and type “site: and your domain name” don’t add space anywhere for example “site”deegeek.com.ng” and press enter or click search button and Google will show you a list of pages it has indexed on the specified site. Look down and you can see how many pages Google has indexed.
In this case you can see Google has indexed 4 pages, if you’ve got over hundred pages on your site and Google’s indexed ten, clearly…you have a problem. Most times It could be that Google is having problem getting to all the pages on your site, or perhaps you have so few links to the site that it just doesn’t think the site is worth indexing fully, which affects SEO, so always check…
Keywords in SEO
Keywords plays a vital in SEO, it’s the foundation of a good SEO if you don’t understand anything about keywords it means you haven’t learnt anything about promoting a site through SEO.
What is Keyword?
In other to understand the meaning of keywords you can separate both and pronounce it, you should get a layman understanding about it, well keywords are words that people type in search engines to receive response in which the search engine return a page of search results which might include your site, but if you haven’t thought of the keyword you won’t even appear on such person results when he uses the keyword.
keywords can be a single word or a multiple word, that where the word “keyword phrase” comes in which means multi word typed into search engine, but we call a typed term either one or five word. The keyword.
This is another problem most people face daily trying to get traffic from search engine without even doing keyword analysis, you should try spending close to one hours playing and making keyword your best friend and try figure out what people are really search for, its keyword that connects customers to your site, so note that most you get it wrong you are making a big mistake.
How To Find the Right Keyword (Research)
One very popular keyword analysis tool is the Google AdWords keyword planner…It’s really designed for use by AdWord for pay-per-click advertisers, but it’s popularly found been used with SEO people, mainly because it’s free and it’s great data and You don’t need to spend any money, but you will need to create an account. This used to be open to the public, but these days you must have a Google AdWords account before you can use it, If you don’t have an AdWords account, go to AdWords and create one now.
Once you have created an account load the keyword tool, select keyword planner and you can get started from there, there are different ways to find keywords that people do type on search engine, but you have to know that keyword is of three different type when selecting the one that suits you; low competitive keyword, medium competitive keyword and high competitive keyword. This three level of keywords which you yourself would have to choose which you would go for.. most low ranked site go for low competitive keyword in order to rank better on search engine and improve their search engine rankings.
Like I said Have low competition (smaller amount of results will mean your chances of ranking higher improve).
There are many keyword research tools, I have made a list of best keyword research tools.
Let’s discuss an important concept for deciding how broad or narrow you want your keywords to be. It’s called, “The Long Tail.”
The Long Tail
Popularized by Chris Anderson, the Long Tail describes a phenomenon where lots of low traffic keywords can collectively send you more visitors than a few high-traffic keywords.
For example, we you search on Google a keyword like “Web design site” and you see ckdigital, they get thousands of visits from that keyword but collectively there volume is a lot larger than any keyword.
How does the long tail apply to you?
When you combine them all, your long tail (unpopular) keywords should make up roughly 80% of your traffic. So, when you’re researching keywords, don’t just focus on the ones getting massive amounts of traffic. Take note of some of the less popular ones too, and then incorporate them into your overall strategy.
About Mobile Friendly
Before you begin work on your SEO, there are a couple of things we need to look at, the issue of mobile sites and HTTPS. Both Google and Bing now determine whether a site is mobile-friendly or not, and if it’s not, then the site will downgraded in the search results.
Some Basic Page Components You Need Mostly
SEO is mostly about providing content to search engine for them to index and despite all the progress that has been made in indexing various different media types, from an SEO perspective, content really means text So there are some page components that won’t help you much with the search results, in particular images, flash animations, and PDF files, I’m not saying that these things won’t be useful on your site adding a Flash animation to well-optimized site won’t do it any harm for instance, and there are good reasons for using these media types.
But often they are used for the convenience, or because the designer likes working that way now and then, I’ll see sites that are almost totally created with images. Even the text in the site is embedded in the pictures the text is in effect invisible to the search engines, but if you want the text indexed, you need to put it into the site as actual text. More often designers use images to create headers because it gives some more control over the look, but it means the search engines won’t read them, what am trying to say SEO is all about text so when adding an image on your content maybe introducing alt and writing about the image would explain better and help rank higher on search engine.
There are good reasons to use frames, iframes, and pop-ups, but you need to understand the problems from an SEO perspective there are really two problems with these things. Firstly, as we saw with PDF and Flash files designed to be placed within frames can end up orphaned, appearing in the search results outside of the navigational context they were designed for. Secondly, each framed or pop-up page represents an opportunity cost; you’re reducing the number of nicely optimized pages you’ll have in your web site.
Another important part in SEO, if your URL is not looking too well organized am afraid search engine might not crawl that them and the moment search engine is not able to index those pages then they can’t be indexed which means you will not be ranked on search engine. Getting keywords into file and directory names is a powerful way to give search engines information about the subject of your pages, let’s take a quick look at what makes up a URL. We start with the domain name of course, for web sites, we generally use the www subdomain for the main site.
Next, we have a directory, often called folders these days of course, We can have multiple folders, subfolders within subfolders. Then we may end with a file name, and that file name may end with a file extension. Thanks to blogging software, it’s become common these days to not end file names with a file extension.
I want you to note this things when working on your SEO URL
- URLs should not contain extraneous characters ( $ @ ! * % = ? )
- Shorter URLS typically rank better than longer ones
- Numbers and letters should only be used in URLs.
- Do not use underscores. Search engines prefer dashes.
- Sub-domains can rank better than sub directories.
Other SEOs also talk about no-following internal links, such as to their terms of service, but page rank sculpting does not work anymore. If you want to block pages such as your terms of service, the best way to do this is to exclude it in your robots.txt file.
Building Title Tags
The title tag is the single most important component on a web page, The title tag is intended to describe the contents of the page and it’s short, so if the search engines find keywords in there, it’s reasonable for them to assume they’re important. The title tag generally appears at the top of the page’s HTML code, as shown here
It also appears in the tab for that page. It also appears in the history list and last, the back and forward button lists If I press Ctrl+D to bookmark a page, the title will be used as the default bookmark title, The search engines use the title tag in two ways; They use it for ranking purposes, They read the text and they use the text to help figure out what your page is about, They also use it as the link in the search results page when they provide an entry linking to the page.
<title> DeeGeek experiencing Life in with the Geeek</title>
The code above shows how a title tag code looks like and its meant to be placed in <head> section.
The bottom line: when coding your title tags, make sure keywords are in the title. To further maximize search engine results, each page should have a unique title tag.
Meta tags are little pieces of information stored in a web page but hidden from the person viewing the page, They’re intended to be read by machines, not people. These tags appear near the top of the source code in the head section of the document, that is, before the ending head tag ( </head>) The most important part in SEO for your website is the main meta tag you should be concerned which is called the, “meta description tag.”
The code below shows what a meta descrption tag looks like;
<meta name=”description” content=”Looking for a way to attract visitors to your website? Why not check deegeek for SEO tutorials”/>
The meta description tag is a simple description of the web page. The tag is used to provide text in search results, the snippet of text underneath the link to the site. So this text is extremely important from a conversion standpoint. It’s a call to action, a way to talk directly to the searcher and to encourage the searcher to click on your link. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem to carry much weight for ranking. Google has actually stated that they don’t use the tag for ranking at all, that it is purely used to provide text in the search results.
Though, Google was indexing the text and using it for ranking to some degree, or probably not giving it much weight. On the other hand, being that Yahoo seems to ignore the text, as far as ranking goes, that doesn’t mean you won’t want keywords in your description tags; you still do. In fact, if there are no keywords in the tag, it will rarely appear in the search…
Then there is the keywords meta tag, a tag designed to hold a list of keywords related to the page contents. There are various other meta tags you’ll run across, many of which are more or less irrelevant from to SEO, things like that generator tag, which shows what tools was used to create the page; content-type tag, which defines the character set used in the page; and the copyright tag Some site owners use various meta tags, even making up their own to stuff keywords into them in the hope that the search engine will read them. It’s a total waste of time.
Why Ignore Keyword Tag?
Well, because the keywords meta tag just isn’t very important. That surprises many people, because so many have heard that SEO is all about the keywords meta tag: you pick the right magic keywords, put them in the keywords meta tag, and you are done. The funny thing is, despite this misconception, the keywords meta tag hasn’t been important since literally the last century. In the early, naive days of the World Wide Web, the keywords meta tag was intended to be used to provide keywords that described contents of the page, so the page could be indexed like a book in a library. That was before web site owners started trying to one-up the competition by stuffing the tag with all sorts of keywords, relevant or not, just to attract traffic….
Search engines today has stopped paying attention to it, Today the keywords meta tag is virtually irrelevant. Google states that it doesn’t do anything with it; it just ignores it. Yahoo used to claim to use it. Then they claimed they didn’t. Then they said they did.
Clearing source code clutter Increases Page Speed
Keeping your source code clean makes it as easy as possible for the search engines to get to the important keyworded, indexable content by reducing unnecessary code in your pages, uncluttering your code is not a bad thing to do, and in any case, there are other benefits, such as reducing the time it takes your pages to load in a browser.
Cleaning up the clutter may help search engines index your pages more efficiently, and speeds up your site, so spend a few minutes cleaning your code.
Search engine need content that’s means text right? So always make sure your contents have lot of text in them. It’s true that the search engines also give a lot of weight to links from other sites pointing to your site and in some cases, that can overcome a lack of text. For instances, if you’re in a competitive business, if a lot of other sites are competing for the keywords you are after, then you need to do everything you can to compete, and that really means you really do need text. If you could remember I said using too much images, PDF, flash players without much text affects your SEO.
The first thing to remember is simple. Think keywords. Most sites are full of wasted opportunities, places where good keywords could have been used, but instead they turn up missing. Why have a heading that says Information when you can have a heading that says Information About SEO in real Application? Don’t say News, say SEO Application news. Everyone who creates content for your web site must understand the keywords you’re interested in. One trick is to print a page of keywords and pin it on the wall behind your computer monitor.
Glancing up now and then reminds you the golden rule, ‘think keywords’. When you create headings, ask yourself, can I put keywords in here? When writing body text make sure you include keywords. Now, I do recognize that there is a balance here, which you can put so many keywords in, it really starts to sound clumsy, but it’s rare to find a site that doesn’t have plenty of keyword opportunities that can’t add many, many more keywords without going too far. I’m sometimes asked what keyword density is necessary.
There are tools designed to measure a page’s keyword density, telling you what percentage of the words on the page are made up with your keywords. People often worry that their site will be penalized by the search engines if they use too high a density. Search for the term ‘keyword density’ if you’re interested in playing with these tools, but personally, I don’t believe in them. My rule is simple. If it’s sounds clumsy, you’ve gone too far. If it doesn’t, you’ll be okay with the search engines, and it’ll sound okay to people reading the page. One of the best places to put keywords is in the h tags, h1 tags, heading tags.
These tell the search engines that the text is important. After all, you don’t put irrelevant or incidental terms in headings, so the search engines have every reason to think headings contain significant terms. It’s common these days for designers to format headings using CSS rather than H tags. Sometimes I run into designer who simply don’t want to believe that it makes any difference to them. To them I say, Google says use h tags. I also often see lower-level h tags being used. The primary heading on the page may be formatted as an h2 or h3 tag for some reason.
I recommend that you use h1 tags for the primary heading and then h2s, possibly h3s, for lower-level headings. You can always use your style sheets to make the headings look any way you want to, of course. You’ll want the keywords scattered within in the body text, too. Let’s say you’re optimizing a page for the phrase Olive Oil Face Cream. You’ll want the phrase in the headings of course, but you’ll also want to make sure the words appear in the body text a number of times. Don’t just write ‘our wonderful cream’; write ‘a wonderful olive oil face cream’. You may also want, here and there, to stress the keywords in some way, include them in bulleted items, bold-text them, use the strong tag, italicize them.
Another place you can put keywords is the image alt attribute. For instance, if you have a picture of a pot of olive oil face cream, put the words ‘olive oil face cream’ into the image’s alt attribute. As for the page’s title tags, don’t simply use the same tag over and over, make sure each one is different. By the way, you might also want to consider using keywords in image file names, and even image directory names, just as you do with page names. When I’m optimizing the page for a particular keyword phrase, I like to see the term perhaps 15 times or more, scattered throughout the page.
Of course, it depends how much content is on the page, and again, if it sounds clumsy, you’ve gone too far. A quick word of caution: don’t stuff keywords. That is, don’t throw dozens or hundreds of keywords into a component hoping to somehow scam search engines. It’s likely to have the opposite effect and make the search engines ignore the component, or even the page. For instance, this tag is okay, but this is a problem. Page content then is all about keywords, getting enough keywords into our pages and in the right places to attract the attention of the search engines, but not to the degree that you annoy them.
So once again, when you’re building page content, don’t forget, it’s all about keywords.
You’ve probably heard about sitemaps, but many people don’t understand that…there are actually two different kinds of sitemaps:HTML and XML. Site owners have created basic HTML sitemaps to help both site users and the search engines find their way through the site. For users, it’s another navigational tool while for the search engines it ensures that every page can be found through plaintext links.
If search engine can’t find pages, then they can’t index them, in other to make search engine index your pages and know when new pages are added you need to introduce sitemap to your site sitemap links looks like; https://deegeek.com.ng/sitemap.xml the work of sitemap is to provide a way for search engine to travel through your site and find pages they can index, if not found in sitemap they can’t be indexed. So adding sitemap to your site is also a way of improving SEO in a way of crawling your contents.
Building Links Within your Site
Links within your site serve two purposes, as far as search engines are concerned they help search engines find their way through your site, but they also, if they contain the right information, tell the search engines what the reference pages are about. For the first year of Google’s life, it was actually called BackRub. The system (BackRub) got its name from the term backlinks, links pointing from one site back to another.
Google’s link analysis was revolutionary and the other major search engines followed suit using links to help them figure out what individual webpages were about and how important they are. Links help your site in a number of ways; first, they help search engines find your site, the search engines have search bots, programs that in a sense travel around the web going from site to site, page to page, by following the links that they find.
One thing Google looked at, and still looks at, is the anchor text, the keywords in the link, Google assumes that if you have words in a link, there is a good chance that the words relate in some way to the page being referenced by the link.
If you have no links pointing to your site, there’s a good chance that the search engines won’t bother indexing the site even if you submit a site map. Why am I saying that because; if nobody cares enough to link to your site, why should search engines care enough to index it. As we also learned earlier, the anchor text in a link tells search engines what the page being linked to is about.
It’s important to build links within your content as Google looks at such content more and ranks it higher than other related content without links, but don’t make the links too much than text. 5 to 10 should be a good linking range.
Adding Location Information
You may want to make sure that the search engines know where your business is located, that they can associate your web site with that particular location. First, you might want to use the geo meta tags. Google says it doesn’t use these tags, but reportedly Bing does and as you can create the tags very quickly and easily, you might as well do so and put them into the top of each page.
Search for ‘geotag generators’ and you’ll find services such as geo-tag.de. This site lets you pick a location on a map and in return, the system gives you the tags. Simply copy and paste into your pages. What next? Well, make sure you put your address into every page in your site, including the zip code, make sure the address matches exactly the address you’re using in the local directories.
Understanding the Panda, hummingbird and Penguin updates
There exist 3 of Google’s Top Algorithm updates. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Google Algorithms, this is their explanation of an Algorithm;
“Algorithms are computer programs that look for clues to give you back exactly what you want”
Google’s Panda Alogrithm
Early in 2011, Google began making significant changes to the way that it ranked websites. It released a variety of updates to its ranking algorithm, most notably in what was known as the Panda update. Google has had thousands of updates over the years, and in most cases doesn’t publicly name them. But when they do really significant updates that they want to announce to the world, they often do give them a codename. In the case of Panda, the update was named after Navneet Panda, one of the more influential engineers in that particular update.
The Panda update, which was rolled out in phases over a number of months, was extremely significant because it did something quite new. Until Panda, Google was essentially focused on page ranking based on keywords. When somebody searched for particular keywords, Google tried to find the pages that best matched those keywords with Panda though, Google added a step. It is now also trying to eliminate pages based on other non-keyword factors. Pages that may be a perfect keyword match. i.e: quality content ranks better.
Panda detects the thin contents (page having few contents which are likely to be unuseful) and serve them as low quality page. Panda has huge emphasis over the duplicate contents which happens when someone copies the content of the page from other sources in internet where panda finds that is not the original content and you’re likely to be punished by the panda consequences will make your page unvisible in search results.
Google’s Penguin Alogrithm
Penguin assigned with Google from 24 April 2012. The job of Penguin is to reduce the unnatural backlinks which are generally created to gain the trust from google & get advantages on search results. Link are supposed to be important part things in SEO.
Generally, a link can be termed as vote to our site. A link from high reputed site to our site means a recommendations to our site. The important part here is Anchor text which is a description of the link which tells us about certain page we are going to visit.
where, “href” is the hyperlink referral (pointed site from a page)
“Technology & SEO Blog” is a anchor text that tells about the link we are going to visit. It affects in the search results as it tells the link is about Technology & SEO Blog depending upon the large weight of links from different sites pointing towards your page. It’s generally counted on Google’s Page Rank depending upon quality backlinks from reputed & high (Page Rank) PR sites.
“nofollow” tells google not to pass any page rank (or a vote) to the site which generally happens in the site having user gernerated contents like Social media, Forums, Blogs etc where moderated each page is not possible.
Penguins determines where your links are trustworthy or not, that means large number of links which are untrustworthy (selfmade or unnatural backlinks) are likely to reduce the trust of Google in our site which would certainly deduce the ranking of our site. To get rid of Penguin hit better not to deal with paid links or artifical links from blog/forum spam posts.
Google’s Hummingbird Alogrithm
Hummingbird initiated fly with Google on 26 September 2013 which was assigned for Google to better understand user’s queries. Its completely new animal for Google which have to filter the users queries and pull out the relevant search results.
I want to spend my holiday and which is the best trekking place in nepal ?
Our Hummingbird detects “best trekking place” that user wants to go there within the term “Nepal” meaning inside nepal only.
The speculation is very useful when users gives search commands via Google voice search which needs to be effective and would help in next generation users search experience. The point is that hummingbird is made to understand what does a search query given by users mean and to give a related search results.
In layman understanding…
Panda: For Content Quality
Penguin: For Quality Backlinks
Hummingbird: For long Tail queries, even if a page is not optimized for them.
The more web sites that link to your web site, the higher your web pages will rank.
The reason links have a high value in SEO is that it is easy for anyone to do research, modify their content, or create content, but is hard to convince hundreds or thousands of web sites to link to you. In the eyes of a search engine, the more trustworthy, non-spammy sites are linking to you, the more authority you must have on the topic.
Before we get into how to build links, here are some things you need to know. In general:
- Links within content are more effective than links in a sidebar or footer
- Links from related sites are better than links from non-relevant sites
- Anchor text plays the most important role in link building. If you want to rank for “top keywords in seo” then you want the anchor text of the link to be “top keywords in seo”.
I have made a list of some things to avoid when building links:
- Links from spammy or irrelevant sites.
- Site wide links can hurt more than they may help.
- If all of your links are rich in anchor text, it can hurt you.
- Reciprocal links (I link to you and you link to me) are not too effective.
If you buy text links and get caught, you can get banned from a search engine.
Here are a few ways you can increase your link count:
Social media – getting on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Digg or StumbleUpon don’t just drive a ton of traffic. The increase in visibility also improves your chances of getting linked to.
Directories – There are many directories on the web. Take the time to submit your web site to the ones that compliment your content.
The top 100 – If you want to rank for a specific keyword, the best links you can get are from sites that already rank in the top 100 search results for that keyword. Note that some of the sites that rank for the term you are trying to rank for are your competitors, so they will not link to you, but some will not be your competition and you can always shoot them a nice email asking them to link to you.
Forums – Many forums allow you to create signatures, in which you can link back to your web site. As long as those links are not no-followed, they will help with your rankings.
Competition – The easiest way to get links is to see who links to your competition and write them an email telling them the benefits of your web site compared to your competition. Roughly, 5% of the web sites you email will also add your link.
Dead links – There are billions of links on the web, so expect a good portion of those links to die over time. Web sites go down and many of the links pointing to that web site are still active. If you email those web sites informing them of the dead link, and that your content is similar, there is a good chance they will replace the dead link to one going to your website.
Here we go, it’s been a very long article, right? If you implement all the advice here, you should see improvement on your SEO and increase in your traffic.
It may take time for search engines to update their records about your site, as they crawl billions of websites.
Also, note that it will take time to figure out what works for your site. What works for site A might not work for site B. There aren’t any shortcuts in SEO. If you do anything shady to speed things up, eventually you will get caught and punished. It’s never worth it.
I have seen tons of site using bot traffic and they say their site is generating much traffic, the truth is your only the person viewing your site because if no human is viewing it and bot traffic is useless they work like when Google visits your site for crawling and indexing.
Put this in a sticky note:
Figure out what people are looking for
Create a site that gives it to them
Optimize for search engines, so they help people find you
It’s not just smart SEO. It’s what search engines want you to do.
Google’s main goal is to have the best websites for every given topic show up at the top. So if you work hard to create the best website, and then promote it effectively, eventually you will make hay.
In conclusion to the guides, we have learnt that it’s important for your content to have Keywords, meta descriptions, Backlinks, and linking to…
We also learnt it’s important to make sure you undergo good keyword research and build backlinks and linking to.
If you do everything I mentioned in this guide, you will see improvements in your search engine ranking and importantly your traffic which are coming from search engine. If you’re working in a very competitive area, then you’ll find a strong linking strategy is essential.
Don’t forget to give us your comments on how this article helped you solve SEO problem on your website.
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