Did you know that a whopping 51% of shoppers use Google when they research an online purchase? So, if your website doesn’t have a strong presence on the search engine, you’re most likely missing out on a significant amount of business. And that’s exactly why understanding SEO has become a must to survive in today’s cutthroat competition.
In its simplest form, web SEO is all about improving your website’s visibility in the search results of the search engines. Though there’re various methods that can be used to improve your site’s SEO page rank, in this guide, I’m going to focus on the five most important areas that you’d need to work upon.
While search engines are ever-evolving in nature, these are the fundamental areas of SEO search engine optimization that typically don’t change. Of course, it’ll take time to master these elements but once you do, understanding SEO will become much easier for you.
1. Keyword Research
When it comes to performing expert SEO, keyword research is the first thing that you need to focus on. These vary from single words to groups of multiple words. Basically, these are the terms and phrases that your target audiences use when they search for something relevant to your business.
When you effectively research and optimize keywords, they can dramatically improve your site’s SEO page rank.
There’re different methods that you can use to find relevant keywords.
You can start with our very own Google. Simply leverage its features namely Google Autocomplete, Related Searches, and People Also Ask. All of these are great sources of relevant keyword ideas.
Using keyword tools is another effective option to find important keywords. Fortunately, there’re some free ones but they usually come with a limited number of features. You can try Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Search Console.
However, you should always try to use a paid tool such as Ubersuggest and Keyword Research Tools by Semrush. This is because these tools also provide other valuable SEO metrics apart from offering keyword suggestions.
2. High-Quality Content
Content optimization is essentially one of the most important elements of understanding SEO. High-quality, valuable content can greatly increase SEO of your site.
However, you should note that valuable pieces of content can do their trick only when they’re properly optimized. Or else, they might attract Google penalties, recovering from which may be extremely difficult.
Here’re some tips for proper content optimization.
Identify Your Topic First
Decide on your topic based on the keywords that you’ve found from your keyword research. This greatly helps in organic search engine optimization by the content being found in search engine results.
Take Care of the Format
As attention spans of online readers have incredibly reduced these days, it’s a must to break down your core content into small sections.
Ideally, you should keep paragraphs 1 or 2 sentences long. But you can also use 3 or 4 shorter sentences. You should also include sub-headers for optimal readability.
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3. High-Quality Inbound Links
While high-quality inbound links are the most difficult ones to earn, they come with the maximum SEO benefits, in terms of links.
So, your third element of understanding SEO should be to earn high-quality links from other websites/domains. When an external authoritative website links to your site, it translates into the credibility and authority of your site’s content.
Here’re some effective methods to do this.
Publish High-Quality Content
Publishing valuable content should be the first method to earn high-quality inbound links. After all, this is your content that helps external websites decide whether or not they should give you inbound links.
Focus On Newsworthy Topics
Creating content on trending topics is another good way to earn high-quality backlinks. While this kind of content might not offer the lasting value of evergreen content, it can help you earn relevant links quickly.
Target Sites That Has Your Competitors’ Guest Posts
Identify sites where your competitors publish guest posts. Then find out the type of content that the site accepts. Finally, create similar content and see if those sites’ webmasters agree to give you inbound links.
4. Proper Internal Linking
A proper internal linking structure is as important as earning high-value backlinks. It makes your site more easily crawlable by search engine bots and helps to improve its user engagement. It also helps to reduce the bounce rate of your site, which gives a good signal to the search engines.
Here’s how to do this right.
Include Navigational Elements
People must be able to browse your site as easily as possible. Be sure to include proper navigational elements such as a clear menu, logical categories, and breadcrumbs if you’ve got lots of pages.
Use a Sitemap
A sitemap contains a well-structured list of your site’s all pages. This essentially helps to improve its crawlability to search engine spiders.
Follow the Golden Rule
This rule says people should reach any page on your site within a maximum of 3 clicks away from the homepage. Also, focus on using relevant and description anchor texts for the internal links.
Your fifth element of understanding SEO is making your site mobile-friendly. With Google’s mobile-first indexing in effect, Google bots now crawl and index sites’ mobile versions rather than their desktop versions.
First, you need to see whether or not your site is mobile-friendly by using this tool. If it isn’t, you can try the following strategies to accomplish this crucial SEO task.
Use a Mobile-Friendly or Responsive Template
This is one of the easiest methods to make your site mobile-friendly. Simply, choose a responsive or mobile-friendly template on your CMS and it’ll do the trick. Moreover, if you’re using WordPress, you shouldn’t have any problem finding such a template.
Optimize Image Sizes
When we’re talking about mobile devices, the file sizes of the images matter heavily in determining your site’s user experience. The images must be crisp and clear and still have the smallest file size possible. It also helps the pages load faster, which creates a positive image of the site.
Hopefully, understanding SEO has become a little easier for you after reading this guide. If you still need some SEO help, you can consider choosing a feature-rich SEO plug-in such as Yoast WordPress if you’re using WordPress.
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