What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
Search engine optimization is simply the process carried out on a website or single webpage that helps improve its visibility in search engines. Such as google or bing when users are searching for a specific keyword.
When you talk of search engine optimization or SEO in short form it means getting free organic traffic from search engines without using the paid ads traffic method. This traffic is being sent to your website based on the keyword the website content is ranking for.
For example. Your website is a health niche site, digital marketing, or any other niches and you have quality content on that website.
What the search engine will do is get those content and rank them on its page so when people are typing those keywords you already included in your articles.
Chances are you may appear on the first page of the outputted result enabling the user to land on your website without you paying for it.
How does search engine optimization works
One important factor about search engines like google and bing is that they use bots to crawl web pages on the internet. This bot move from one website to another collecting data about those pages then put them in an index.
The index is like a store owner who knows where those products are being kept so when someone is looking for a specific product it knows where to get them.
Search engine algorithms also analyze pages in the index, using different strategies to consider the ranking position of pages that appear in the search result for a given keyword.
Why is it so important
Search engine optimization is very important to any website owner because the visitors you are getting on your website are people who are actually interested in the article you are writing about.
Unlike paid ads that people come to your website not because they are really interested in your content but because they just stumble on your ad banner. Then decide to click on it without fully knowing what the advert is all about.
SEO helps both global and local. There are millions of search queries every day on a search engine. People are looking for solutions, products, and services and if your contents are indexed and well ranked.
Then you will get more users to your web page who are truly interested in your services and more.
Hopefully, you have understood what search engine optimization is all about. In the next part, you are going to understand how Google’s search engine works.
How Google search works
There are many other search engines on the internet. But you will agree with me that Google search is the most used search engine around the world.
Google search has its own unique way of storing and outputting information. This search engine process over millions of search queries every day. I know I personally use it more than five times a day.
In your mind. You will be asking how do Google search filters and processes all these search queries. Then output the best result.
The answer is. Google algorithm process all the information indexed on its platform. Then pick the most relevant ones to show in the search result.
Google uses these three methods to generate results from the web pages:
First step: Crawling
Google bot crawl from web page to web page to gather information. The first thing this crawling does is when a person type any keyword in the search bar,
It will look for keywords, web pages, and descriptions that have already been crawled then list them out on the search result.
For better user experience the spider knows some pages the user has already visited in the past. So it makes it easy to give better results.
Note: Google does not accept payments to crawl a site or rank it higher.
Second step: Indexing
When Google discovers a page, it will analyze all the data in the content such as video, images, catalogs that are embedded on the webpage. When this process is being carried out, it is called indexing.
The information gathered on this web page is stored in the Google index. simply call it Google big database.
Third step: Ranking
Google ranks contents base on quality. The engine doesn’t want to show the same article to one person so it analyzes every webpage is indexing to be sure it is not a duplicate before pulling it out in the search result.
Other factors are language, location, and device. The same search queries may output different results in different countries. For example “shoe store near me” in Nigeria may not give the same result in the USA.
SEO factors that will help your site rank higher in search engine
They are many factors that can help rank your website higher in search engine but in this article. I have listed the most important ones.
1 Page loading speed
Google’s main objective is to improve users’ web experience. Fast loading website is one of the factors that will help in achieving that. Over the year’s page speed has been said to be one of the leading forces in SEO ranking.
In July 2018 Google press release cited that their search engine algorithm update focused more on mobile page speed. They included that a website that does not load fast on mobile devices will face a penalty.
You can use this Google mobile testing tool to check if your website
2 Domain age and authority
According to a study published on Ahrefs, it showed that almost 60% of websites that appear on the first page of Google search results are three years old or more.
The study also cited that over a million less than a year old pages find it difficult to rank higher.
Another factor that search engines look at before ranking a web page is the domain authority. This involves the content quality, backlinks and social shares, and the domain score.
You can use this Moz site explorer tool to check your website domain score. Just enter your domain URL in the toolbar, then click analyze to see the result.
3 Content length and quality
You have to take this part seriously if you really want to rank higher in the search engine. Google loves long and quality content.
If your topic requires more in-depth go for it, don’t just write long content that is of no use. Rather pick topics that will allow you to go deeper in your research and writing.
Another factor to check when writing your article is by doing keyword research. Don’t just write articles that people are not searching for. So in your niche look for the keyword, people are typing in the search bar and write content about them.
4 Duplicated content
If you want your website to look good and superior in the eye of search engines then avoid copying and paste content from other web pages.
Like I have already said in this article that Google loves quality content. The search engine wants to reward site owners for their hard work in writing good content.
So if Google sees your site is full of content from another website that is already indexed. It may penalize your site or the owner may sue your site for copyright.
How to prepare your website for SEO
1 Conduct keyword research:
Years back, finding keyword for any article is very easy, article with 300 words can rank on a search engine in the next day, but now is very difficult for your content to rank on the first page of Google.
Recently, having just good content is not enough to attract more free traffic. You need to conduct proper keyword research to know what your targeted audience is searching for on the internet before writing your article.
Keyword research will help you to know how many people are searching for that article you want to write. The daily, monthly, or yearly search volume will be shown to you, depending on the keyword tool you are using. Two of my favorite keyword research tools are Ubersuggest and H-supertool.
2 Write quality and engaging content
When you want to write content on any keyword, first, visit the websites that are ranking high in the search results to check if the content is up to 1600 words, which is the standard article length.
If their content is longer then increase the length of your own and add more value to it. This will tell Google that your content is providing more quality information.
3 Get quality backlink
When high profile websites start to link to your website. Google sees the linking as your site has good credibility. Building a quality backlink will help rank your website higher in search results.
Getting quality backlinks is not easy but if you can do it, then you will see good results. You can email influencers and bloggers in your industry to peach your article to them and give page links back.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO is the process of optimizing your website articles for search engines and users. Primary on-page SEO practice involves optimizing title tags, content, internal links, and URLs.
What is Off-Page SEO?
If you really want your website to rank on Google search engine and boost your brand credibility and also gain organic traffic. Then you have to work beyond your website.
Off-Page SEO is simply all the search engine optimization practices done on other websites to build backlinks for your web page.
I know you have understood what search engine optimization is all about. There is still more to learn to help you build a successful website that will generate free organic traffics. In the next part of this content, you will learn the basics of the Google keyword planner.
What is a Google keyword planner?
Google keyword planner is built for marketers to help them carry out keywords research. And to find out the keyword their competitor is ranking.
Google keyword planner is totally free. You will not spend any money to gain access to Adwords. You can create a google account if you don’t have one. But if you already have an account with google then visit the Adword to use the keyword planner.
First, when you gain access to the AdWords account. You will be asked to set up a campaign. I know you will be asking I said is free, yes it is free. You can use the keyword planner without spending any cash.
Google keyword planner has two options for you to get started:
a. Finding keywords: discover keyword ideas that will help you gain more audience who are really interested in your service.
b. Get search volume or forecasts: This part is where you will see the historical metrics for your keywords. Also, see how they have been performing.
To discover new keyword ideas, enter the words, phrases, or URL related to your website in the search bar. Then google will output keyword suggestions.
This is just the basics of Google keyword planner.
Search engine optimization is very important to digital marketers, bloggers, and business owners. It will help you get quality free traffic to your website without you paying. Also, give you an audience who are interested in the site topic.
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