What Is SEO Optimization? The Answer Is Amazingly Simple: SEO is and acronym for “search engine optimization”. It is the means of increasing the quality and quantity of Free, Natural, Organic Traffic from the SERP (search engine results page) of the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Although the answer to “What Is SEO Optimization” Is Amazingly Simple, its implementation is somewhat more challenging.
What goes into SEO?
- Quality of traffic. What is meant by Quality of traffic? Well, If you are looking for people that want to by Apples from your farm, and you end up with people looking for Apple IPhone, these visitors are pretty useless to you. On top of that, if you [aid for them, they cost you money. So by quality we mean visitors that are looking for your products. The right type of visitor.
- Quantity of traffic. So now you have the right people clicking through to your site from those search engine results pages (SERPs), you will want more traffic. More traffic is much better.
- Organic results. Ads are a significant portion of many SERPs. If you are a startup. you probably do not want to have to pay for traffic so, the more organic (free) traffic the better.
SEO – How It Works
Consider a search engine as a website you visit. You type (or say) a question into a box/microphone and Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or any other search engine you’re using Draws replies, a long list of links to web pages, that could possibly answer your question.
As true as that might be, have you ever pondered what’s behind those mystical links? Where they come from?
It works like this: The search engine you’re using (usually Google) has what is known as a crawler that goes out and gathers information from all sites that it can on the internet, about what the content they can find on the website. They, the crawlers then bring all that information back to the search engine to build an index.
When you ask a question, that index is then sent through an algorithm (each search engine has its own) that tries to find the best match, in that index, to your query.
There are a lot of things that are considered in that search engine’s algorithm, and this is how they were ranked by a group of SEO experts, in their order of importance in 2013:
That’s all on the Search Engine side.
The on page part is the O in SEO. The Optimisation to be done by the people that produce the content. That’s you!
Optimization consists of many facets from Keywords, relevant Images, alt tags, Links, Meta Titles etc.
Content is Everything
Content quality should not be underestimated. If you have a poorly written article or an article that has no useful information and does not answer the visitors question, the visitor will likely just click out of your site and find an article that gives him or her what he or she is looking for.
The article should cover the subject extensively so that the visitor does not have to search another site. If you have two or three articles covering different aspects of the topic, place links to the other articles, in relevant places, to lead your visitors to another of your pages. This keeps him on your site longer and he will probably have more trust in you because you have articles that answer his questions. Your Site trust will also grow with the search engines.
Start with Keywords
Let us start by understanding what a keyword is. Put simply, a Keyword is a word or phrase that is searched in a search engine. But it goes much further than that.
- Relevance Is King Keep to your niche. If your niche is Left-hand golf clubs, don’t change to other topics. Keep it relevant.
- It must make human sense. How to make a money online does not make sense yet it features high in the keyword search tool (probably because of non English speakers or careless penmanship). You would not use that term in a conversation. The easiest way to check if the keyword would make sense is to try to use it in a normal conversation, after all, how would a person ask someone else? How to make money online is the correct keyword. Google and other search engines would check it for making sense.
- Competition vs Traffic. There must be sufficient traffic to make it worthwhile but you need to weight the traffic against how much and what is the quality of the competition. If the first 10 SERPs are from huge, well-known companies, you are unlikely to rank on the first page, so is it worth the effort?
Headlines and titles are what catch your visitors attention. They should be relevant but unique and attention grabbing. They should give an indication of what is coming next, but in such a way as to grab the visitors attention and make it difficult to leave without first reading that paragraph.
Answer the Question
People generally ask a question in the search engines. How do I change a spark plug, where do I buy raw coffee beans, what is the weather in Durban tomorrow etc. Your article must answer the visitors question if you are to succeed or they will just leave your site. The longer your visitor stays, the more the search engine will consider your site as authoritative and that means more visitors.
Don’t Link To Affiliate Links From Every Page
The whole point of an online business is to make money so, of course you are going to have affiliate links but, there is a “Ninjay” trick as my friend Jay Neill would say. Search engines do not like affiliate links on every page. These links do not score you Brownie Points with the search engines.
If you have an affiliate product that you want to sell from your site, create a review page for that product that send people to that product via your affiliate link. Once that is in place, you can link to that “Review” page from any of your other relevant pages. So, even if you have 5 pages promoting that product, they would all point to your review page which would give your visitor more detailed info on the product and the review page would then send the visitors to buy the product via your affiliate link. One affiliate link instead of five.
What are search engines looking for?
1) Relevancy This is probably one of the most important items that the search engine looks for. I your question is ” at what temperature does Aluminum melt” and the search engine churns out an answer about what is made from Aluminum, you will not be happy because your question remains unanswered.
Search engines try to provide the most relevant answer to your question, so if your heading is “Melting Aluminum for casting” and your content is about extruded aluminum, the search engine will probably not rank it well. They each have their own pretty elaborate algorithms to find the most relevant content, after all, they make their income by getting visitors and if they do not provide relevant information, they will lose users (visitors).
There are however other factors that are based on relevance that will influence the SERP and these are things like:
- The searcher’s location
- Time of Day
- Their search history etc.
2)The quality of your content The search engine will determine:
- How regularly do you publish articles
- are your articles useful
- Do you publish videos & other types of media
- Are they popular
- are they well produce
- are your article written for Humans or Search Engines.
The more of these criteria your articles meet, the better your site will rank.
3) User experience The user (a human) is everything and you need to make this or her experience as pleasant as possible by:
- ensuring your visitors navigate your site easily
- that your site is easily searchable
- has clear and relevant links to related content
- Menus are logically laid out and visible
4) Site speed A page that is slow to load often leads to visitors clicking away. A site that works well on a desktop or laptop may not work well on a notepad or mobile phone. Make sure that you page is AMPed.
5) Internal linking Internal links show your visitors that you have other relative content and should entice them to follow that link. If you get this right, you will serve your visitors well and they are likely to “like”, “Share”, “Pin” your posts and this tell the search engine that your site is authoritative and popular.
6) Authority An authority website is a site that is trusted by its users, other websites and search engines. Links from an authoritative site was considered valuable as it is a vote of confidence in your site. The more quality content that you have on your site, the more likely you were to get links from authoritative sites, which in turn means that your site’s authority would increase too. Th jury is still out on how true this still is.
7) Meta descriptions and title tags These will not necessarily improve your SERP ranking, but by using them when publishing articles could certainly increase the chances of a searcher clicking on your result.
What is a meta description? It is a short descriptive paragraph that appears under your page’s URL in the SERP.
Here it is in word press.
Write a clear and succinct paragraph (about 156 characters is good) which is relevant to your headline and the content in the article itself.
8) Properly tagged images Many people don’t include the alt attribute when they upload images to their content. I would suggest that this is definitely something you include because Google cannot ‘see’ your images, but can ‘read’ the alt text.
9) Evergreen content News stories last for a short time and then they do not really attract more visitors as they are generally no longer relevant. It would be far better to write and evergreen article covering that topic. For example, if the news is a rash of car hijackings in your town, would it not be better to write an article on how to avoid being hijacked than writing about the actual hijacking.
People will always want to know how to avoid hijackings and the search engines might consider this more authoritative.
The down site to comments is that you need to be very mindful of spam comments and you should remove them A.S.A.P. and ensure that you remove any unwanted links in the comments that will draw your visitors away from your site.
11) Social Being social on the different platforms like Facebook, twitter, pintrest etc has definite advantages but, and it is a big but, limit the time you spend on mindlessly browsing these sites. Browsing does not bring visitors. Spamming these sites does no good either, and it is best to master one social platform before trying the next.
What are search engines NOT looking for?
Beware of the following practices as they will do your site more harm than good.
- Keyword stuffing
- Link buying or excessive link exchanging
- Annoying ads
- Duplicated content
- Hidden text and links
The answer to the question “What Is SEO Optimization” Is Amazingly Simple as i said, and as you have seen, putting it into practice is far more complicated. However, if you wish to succeed online, you really need to master it.
“Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.” Jim Rohn
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