SEO

SEO Basics: A beginner's guide to SEO

4th Feb, 2021
BY: RAHUL RANJAN   COMMENT (2)
SEO Basics: A beginner's guide to SEO
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SEO(Search Engine Optimization), What is this term and what does it do?

It was a time when there were only a few websites available and it was easy to appear on the first page of the search engine with the use of the correct title, meta keywords, and description.

Getting ranked top on google is every site owner's desire. But nowadays, more than thousand of websites getting built per day, and getting ranked at the top of search results is not easy anymore.

In this article, we are going to learn about SEO and how it can help us improve our listing on search engines like Google, Bing, and many more. 

Before going to know about SEO, let us first understand website traffic.

The number of visits made by users on your site or web page is referred to as website traffic. It is the main factor used to determine the website's online presence and popularity.

There are four types of website traffic:

  • Direct traffic
  • Referral traffic
  • Organic traffic
  • Social traffic

Direct Traffic - It refers to the users who directly visit your website by entering the webpage URL in the browser. If the user knows the website already then he doesn't need to search for it on google and can directly visit it by entering the URL in the browser.

Referral Traffic - Whenever a user pays a visit to your website using any external link, from another website then that traffic is referred to as referral traffic.

Organic Traffic - Organic traffic refers to the traffic(no of users) on your website that comes through a SERP (search engine results page). It does not include clicks received from paid search results. 

Social Traffic - Social traffic refers to the traffic(no of users) on your website that comes from social media to your website. For example, if a person visits your website by clicking on a link mentioned in your Facebook post then that contributes to Social Traffic.

What is Search Engine Optimization(SEO)?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the web page visibility on the search engine result page. Search Engine is the most used platform that drives the traffic to the websites. SEO is considered to be one of the most important factors to appear on the top search results.

Why SEO is important?

Google search result for php profile page

 

Who doesn't want to be in the top search results? Being at the top of the search engine results page will always help you generate more organic traffic. 
The Search algorithms designed by Search Engines are written in such a way to provide users with the most efficient search experience. SEO helps you optimize your website in many terms to improve your webpage score.


How can you improve your webpage's SEO?

We talked a lot about SEO, let us now start learning about the efficient SEO techniques that work really great.

Increase Website Speed

Well, who wants to visit a website which takes more than 20seconds to load?
Website speed is a really important factor when it comes to user experience. Google realized it long back and added it as a ranking factor. The best load time considered for a webpage is under 3 seconds.
You can check your website speed using PageSpeed Insights, a free tool by Google to analyze the speed of the website.

7topics PageSpeed Insight

Talking about speed, there are multiple techniques you can use to boost the speed of your website:

Reduce server response time
Server response time is the amount of time it takes the server to respond to the request made by the client. TTFB (Time to First Byte) is used to measure the length of time between the HTTP client making its request and receiving the first byte of data from the server. It depends on the factors like frameworks used, Database Queries, External resources.

Opting right hosting service
Selecting a web host is a big decision and it is the main fundamental block of the website. With the right web host, you can boost your website performance.

Get fast Web hosting on Bluehost at 43% off

Minify Resources(HTML, CSS, and JavaScript)
It is better to remove unnecessary and redundant data without affecting the appearance and functionality of the browser. It reduces the page size by removing code comments and formatting, unused code, replacing larger methods and variables with shorter ones, and so on.
You can use the below tools to minify your HTML, CSS, and Javascript code:

Defer JavaScript
When the document is rendered on the client's browser it starts from the top and renders everything one by one. If in between it finds any scripts, then it will try to load that script first and then will resume further rendering after that. Waiting for a larger script to load reduces the page speed. By using defer you can improve load time as it will load script once the document is fully rendered. To defer javascript you can add defer attribute in a script tag:

<script defer src="script.js"></script>

Optimize images
Large size images slow down your web pages and create a bad user experience. Optimizing images can reduce the file size, and can increase web page speed. If your image does not have a transparent background, then always consider JPEG over PNG. JPEG is less in size and better in quality. You can use online tools to optimize and compress images. It is always suggested to have clear images, don't compress it too much that it loses its quality.

Browser Caching
Browser caching can speed up web page loading by storing some of the files locally on the client's browser. It is preferable to cache file which is not going to be updated too often like images, CSS & Javascript files.

Website Security
Google now uses HTTPS as a major ranking factor. A site that is not secure has to struggle really hard to get ranked on Google.

Being on the top in the search result boost the website's traffic. When users look at a website on the search result page, they may see the secure website as a signal of trust.

When it comes to website accepting digital payments and dealing with confidential data, being secure and trusted is the top factor that the user looks for. Nobody wants their data to be hacked by someone.

It is highly recommended to opt for an HTTPS certificate and convert all your web pages from non-HTTPS to HTTPS.

 

Use Meta tags properly

Meta tags are invisible tags that provide information about the webpage to the search engine and website visitors. Meta tags offer more details about your website to search engines and visitors who discover your site on the Search engine result page. 

Optimizing Meta tag to highlight important elements of your content can make your webpage stand out in the search results.

Well, there are many meta tags defined for multiple purposes, but here we will be only looking at those which are important from an SEO point of view.

Meta content type – This tag is used to declare the character set for the webpage and it should be present on every page. For Example:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

Title
It is the most important tag and contains information that is very important for the search engine. Every page must have a unique title tag that gives the main idea of the page.

<title>SEO Basics: A beginner's guide to SEO</title>

Meta Description
It is used to provide a small description of the webpage. It served as a small block of the description below the title of the page in search results. It is best to keep it within the limit of 160 characters and write it in such a manner that it catches the user's attention.

<meta name="description" content="This is the description of the page" />

Viewport
When it comes to working with different resolutions, it is better to define Viewport. The mobile experience is now a very important factor in terms of generating traffic.

<meta name=viewport content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

Keywords
When it comes to the meta keywords, it is no longer considered to be part of SEO. But to be on the safe side it is good to have keywords meta tag in the head of your HTML.

<meta name="keywords" content="keyword1,keyword2"/>

Easy to Read Content

It is really important to present your content nicely to your audience. Content readability is one of the important factors that engage users on your website. 

You can follow the below tips to improve your website readability:

Quality content
Always maintain the quality of the content, no one out there is willing to spend time on something which is not authentic and proper. Use online tools like Grammarly to check your spelling mistake and rectify grammatical errors.
Images to illustrate
It is really great images or screenshots for the content, to help users understand it more properly.
Adding relevant images improves the website's appearance and user experience. Always add images to illustrate examples properly.
Sub-headings
Whenever you are writing the content add sub-headings to separate different sections. The sub-headings should give a clear idea about the written paragraph. This can help them understand the content in a better way.
Short Paragraphs
Always keep your paragraph short, as a long paragraph will make it hard for the user's to read it, and also its appearance doesn't look good. Keep minimal and valid points in each paragraph, don't make it unnecessarily lengthy.

Proper use of Heading

The heading is a major ranking factor when it comes to Search Engine Listing. It helps both users and search engines learn about the written content.

If you use Heading tags properly, it can maximize your chance of getting placed on top of SERP ( Search Engine Result Page ).

Importance of h1 tag
h1 is the most important tag, as it is the highest level tag that shows what the webpage is about. You should always put your Webpage's main title inside the h1 tag. For example

<h1>SEO Basics: A beginner's guide to SEO</h1>

Some important points for the h1 tag:

  • It should give the main idea of the content.
  • Your webpage should have only one h1 tag.
  • It should appear on the top of your content.
  • It should consist of the most important keyword on that page.

Other heading tags
As we now know that h1 is the main and most important heading, but that doesn't mean other heading tags have no importance. You can multiple tags like h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 to add sub-headings to further paragraphs. Use heading tags in precedence like for important sub-heading use h2, less important sub-heading use h3 and so on.

User experience on Web Page

Website design is one of the important factors that can increase conversions. Poor design push people away from your website. You should always look out for reference and inspiration before finalizing a website design.

If you want to get ahead of others and increase your website traffic you should avoid doing these design mistakes.

Unclear fonts
While displaying content, the font, and its size matter a lot. It should not make it difficult for readers to go read it. Always use a font that is clear and easy to read. Never use too many different fonts on a web page as it will be become hard to make difference between content and it can make a worse appearance.

No Responsive design
When designing a website that covers a vast audience it is better to have Responsive designs. No responsive designs kill traffic from different devices. Google recommends the use of CSS to make your webpage responsive on various platforms.

Crazy navigation
Navigation plays an important role in website design. It acts as a gateway to different resources on the website. Some page uses which make user hard to navigate by adding long animations or non-working navigation. Always try to keep all important Categories/resources stacked in your navigation.

No Search Functionality
When the user visits a website, he may opt to search for other content on the website. Search bar increases conversion by providing relevant data on any particular topic from the website. 

Improper Image Sizing
Displaying a fixed size of the image on mobile not only force the user to scroll right to view it, but also make it pretty annoying. The image should fit in its block and resize according to the device dimension. It is always recommended to use CSS to make images responsive. 


Write Long Content

Writing long content does not mean, you should make it unnecessarily lengthy. Longer Content also helps in higher Search Rankings. 

Long content with good quality often tends to be more useful and provides more value to users. The user is never interested in searching for everything in bits and pieces.

They really love it if they find everything in one place.

Overall user satisfaction is the biggest factor you should consider while writing a post. The more user interacts with your content, the more likely it is going to get ranked higher.

When you create impressive long content, it is most likely for someone in a similar industry to link to your content. Having a backlink to your site helps you get more referral traffic, so isn't it great!
 

Analyze your SEO performance

It is better to keep monitoring the SEO performance of your website from time to time. There are many SEO tools available that can generate SEO report for your website. 

SEO reports can help you create the best strategy to improve your search visibility and resolve hidden errors.

It provides you with a complete list of errors that may be avoiding your website from taking a leap to the top search results.

Here are a few tools which can help you analyze your SEO performance:

SEMrush

SEMrush is a popular SEO tool that specializes in keyword research, competitor analysis, and Google Ad campaign optimization

SEMrush is an SEO tool that performs all the complex tasks like keyword analysis, SEO audit of your blog, monitoring competition's keyword strategy, checking for backlinking opportunities, and much more.

SEMrush helps companies run digital marketing and is trusted by internet marketers all over the world.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free web service provided by Google which allows to check webpage indexing status and optimize visibility of the websites. If Google encounters any issue or improvement points for your website, it may be the first tool to let you know.


Analyze and fix broken links

Nobody likes to enter into a dead-end, broken links not only make an impact on user experience but also worsen your relationship with a search engine. Neither anybody loves to visit a URL with a "Page not found" or "404 Error" status. So, it is better to fix them by analyzing them at the early stages. 

It may sometimes happen that you may have deleted a post, but someone might have linked your page on their website. You can use online free tools like Dead link checker to get broken link report.

The best strategy to avoid broken links is to redirect them to the homepage or to a different page with some suggestions.

Conclusion

There are really many more concepts that affect SEO. But no one knows how the algorithm behind the Search Engine result page works. No one can become an SEO expert overnight, all you need to do is keep improving. Here in the above article, I have tried to cover the most major factor that will help you optimize your search result visibility and improve audience conversion. Try these SEO tips to see improvements in your search results. Hope you really find it worth reading, please do leave your important feedback in the comment section below. Sharing is caring please share this post with your friends.

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2 COMMENTS
author
Aman Kumar
22nd Dec, 2020 at 12:19 pm
Nice article it really helps me learn the basics of SEO. Thanks for your effort.
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author
Rahul Ranjan
23rd Dec, 2020 at 06:56 pm
@aman Thanks for your feedback