The activity of optimizing web pages or whole sites in order to make them search engine friendly and getting higher positions in the search result is referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Today we are going to dive into the details on SEO techniques and its implementations on how to improve the visibility of your web pages for different search engines, especially for Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Focusing mainly on the growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results, SEO is a marketing discipline. To improve rankings, drive the traffic, and increase awareness in search engines, SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements which are required. From the words on your page to the way the other sites link to you on the web, there are many aspects to SEO. The element to make sure that your site is framed in a way that the search engines can understand them is what SEO is.
It is not only limited to building search engine-friendly websites when it comes to SEO. To make your site better for people too, SEO is used. We believe that the principles go hand-in-hand.
From finding the terms and phrases (keywords) which generate traffic to your website, to making your site friendly to search engines, to building links and marketing the unique value of your site, is what we are going to describe today. We are here to help you if you are confused about it!
Why website need SEO?
The major commercial search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo drive the majority of web traffic. Search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website. Whether your site provides content, services, products, information, or just about anything else is all true.
Targeted traffic is provided by the search engines which are unique as people look for what you offer. To make this happen, the search engine is the roadways. You miss out on incredible opportunities to drive traffic to your site if the search engines are unable to find your site.
Search queries – extraordinary values are carried by the words which the users type into the search box. Search engine traffic can make an organization’s success is what the experience has shown. Publicity, revenue, and exposure like no other channel for marketing can all be provided by targeting traffic to a website. Compared to the other types of marketing and promotion, investing in SEO can have an exceptional rate of return.
Why search engines unable to find out the site without effective SEO?
Most people can easily understand the basics as the world of SEO is complex. It can make a huge difference even with a small amount of knowledge. Some have a highly specialized focus while others take a broader and more general approach as firms that practice SEO can vary.
Crawling and building an index are the two major functions of search engines and provide search users with a ranked list of the websites which they have determined are the most relevant ones.
To bind all of the pages together, the link structure of the web serves this purpose…
To reach the many billions of interconnected documents on the web as links allow the search engines automated robots called “crawlers” or “spiders”.
They decipher the code from them and store selected pieces in massive databases to be recalled later when required for a search query once the engines find these pages. The search engine companies have constructed the datacenters all over the world to accomplish the monumental task of holding billions of pages which can be accessed in a portion of a second.
Processing large quantities of information very quickly, these monstrous storage facilities hold thousands of machines. They demand results instantaneously even a one-or-two-second delay which can cause dissatisfaction so that the engines work hard to provide answers as fast as possible when a person performs a search at any of the major search engines.
How do the search engines determine relevance and popularity?
Relevance means more than finding a page with the right words to a search engine. Search engines did not go much further than this simplistic step in the early days of the web and the search results were of very limited value. Smart engineers have devised better ways to match the results to searcher’s queries over the years. Hundreds of factors influence the relevance and we will be discussing the most important of these today,
To sort the wheat from the chaff (relevance), and then to rank the wheat in order of quality (popularity) as the engines employ mathematical equations (algorithms).
Hundreds of variables are there in these algorithms. We refer to them as “ranking factors” in the search marketing field.
The rough frame of how a search engine works?
In order to deliver the search results, the search engines perform several activities.
- Crawling – All the web pages which are linked to a website it is the process of fetching all the web pages. Crawler or a spider is the task which is performed by software.
- Indexing – Keeping them into a giant database from where it can later be retrieved, it is a process of creating an index for all the fetched web pages. Identifying the words and expressions that best describe the page and assigning the page to particular keywords in the process of indexing.
- Processing – The search engine processes it when a search request comes and with the indexed pages in the database, it compares the search in string in the search request.
- Calculating the Relevancy – The search engine starts calculating the relevancy of each of the pages in its index to the search string as it is likely that more than one page which contains the search string.
- Retrieving the Results – Retrieving the best-matched results is the last step in search engine activities. It is nothing more than simply displaying them in the browser.
Dozens of time per month, search engines such as Google and Yahoo often update their relevancy. It is mainly due to an algorithm shift or something else outside of your control when you see changes in your rankings.
The minor differences between their relevancy algorithms lead to major changes in results relevancy although the basic principle of operation all the search engines are the same.
What is SEO Copywriting?
The technique of writing viewable text on a web page in such a way that it reads well for the surfer and also targets specific search terms is what SEO Copywriting is. For the targeted search terms, its purpose is to rank highly in the search engines.
SEO Copywriting usually optimizes other on-page elements for the targeted search terms along with the viewable text. Title, Description, Keyword tags, headings, and alternative text are what these include.
The search engines want genuine content pages and not additional pages which is often called “doorway pages” which are created for the sole purpose of achieving high rankings is what the idea behind SEO copywriting is.
What is Search Engine Rank?
It displays thousands of results which are found in its database when you search for any keyword using the search engine. By the position of web pages which are displayed in the search engine results is how a page ranking is measured. Your web page rank will be number 1 and it will be assumed as the page with the highest rank if a search engine is putting your web page on the first position.
The process of designing and developing a website to attain a high rank in search engine results is what SEO is.
What is On-Page and Off-Page SEO?
There are two ways of optimization:
- On-Page SEO – Providing good content, good keywords selection, putting keywords on correct places, giving an appropriate title to every page, etc are all included in this.
- Off-Page SEO – Link building, increasing link popularity by submitting open directories, search engine, link exchanges, etc are all included in them.
Making sure that your content is visible
You must market your content on getting the technical details of search-friendly web development correct is important. To gauge the quality of the content on the web, the engines by themselves have no formulas. On the metrics of the relevance and importance, and measuring the metrics by tracking what people do, what they discover, react, comment, and link to is what the search technologies rely on. You have to get that content shared and talked about as you can’t just build a perfect website and write great content.
SEO- Tactics & Methods
The techniques of SEO are classified into two categories:
- White Hat SEO – The techniques here is what search engines claims are the part of good design.
- Black Hat SEO – the search engines do not approve these techniques and attempt to minimize the effects. They are also known as spamdexing.
White Hat SEO
If the following features are present, an SEO tactic is considered as White Hat:
- The search engine’s guidelines are confirmed by it.
- No deception is involved.
- It is the same content which a user will see and ensures that the content of the search engine indexes and subsequently ranks.
- Not just for the search engines but also for the users it ensures that web page content should have been created.
- Good quality of web pages is ensured by it.
- It also ensures the availability of useful content on the web pages.
Do not try to fool your site visitors and always follow a White Hat SEO tactic. You will definitely get something more and be honest.
Black Hat or Spamdexing
If the following features are present, an SEO tactic is considered Black Hat or Spamdexing:
- Rankings which are disapproved by the search engines and/or deception are attempted to be improved.
- From a page that is built for search engines to one that is more human-friendly redirecting the users from there.
- The users are redirected to a page that was different from the page which the search engine ranked.
- While serving one version of the page to human visitors, another version is served to search engine spiders/bots. This tactic is known as Cloaking.
- Using a tiny font size or hiding them within the HTML code such as “no frame” sections and also using hidden or invisible text or with the background color.
- Using keywords that are unrelated to the website content and repeating keywords in the metatags. This is usually known as metatag stuffing.
- To raise the keywords count, variety, and density of the page, calculated placement of keywords within a page. This is usually known as keywords stuffing.
- Containing very less content creating low-quality web pages and stuffing them with very familiar keywords and phrases, these pages are usually known as the Doorway or Gateway Pages.
- Creating mirror websites by hosting multiple websites using different URLs but all with similar content.
- Showing the contents which are similar to the original web crawler but redirecting web surfers to unrelated or malicious websites, creating a rogue copy of the popular website. This is usually known as page hijacking.
To improve the rank of your site always stays away from any of the above Black Hat tactics. To identify all the above properties of your site and ultimately you are not going to get anything the search engines are smart enough.
SEO- Website Domain
The first thing that you think about is your website domain name when you start thinking of doing business through the internet. You should consider the following before you choose a domain name:
- Who is your target audience?
- What would you be selling them? Is it just text content or is it a tangible item?
- What is the aspect which will make your business idea unique or different from everything else which is already available in the market?
In a domain, many people think that it is important to have the keywords. It can usually be done while keeping the domain name short, memorable, and free of hyphens as the keywords in the domain name are usually important.
Over your competitors, using keywords in your domain name gives you a strong competitive advantage. The click-through-rates are increased on search engine listings and the paid ads as well as making it easier to use your keywords to get keyword rich descriptive inbound links by having your keywords in your domain name.
It is better to avoid buying confusing and long domain names. Using either dashes or hyphens, many people separate the words in their domain names. The domain name itself was a significant ranking factor in the past, but the search engines have advanced features now and it is not a very significant factor anymore.
To make it easy to memorize keep two or three words in your domain name. By creating their own word, some of the most notable websites do a great job of branding. eBay, Yahoo!, Slashdot, Fark, Wikipedia, Google, etc are a few examples.
The other person should know how to spell it and they should be able to guess what you sell as you should be able to say it over the telephone once.
You should be able to answer the following questions:
- What is your purpose behind building your website?
- Why should people buy through your site and not from some other site?
- How different do you stand from the rest?
- What do you intend to sell and who is your target audience?
- Make a list of 5 to 10 websites which you think are amazing. Now think what makes them amazing?
- Create a list of 5 domain names. Make one of them quite funny. See which ones are the most memorable ones and tell them to half a dozen people. If the people do not know you well then you will be getting more honest feedback.
- Buy a domain name which is catchy, memorable, and relevant to your business.
SEO – Relevant Filenames
To look at the way you name your files is one of the simplest methods to improve your search engine optimization. We found after long research that search engines like Google give too much importance to the filenames. What you put in your web page and then giving a relevant file name to this page is what you should think on.
You will find file names highlighted with the keyword which you had given, so just try giving any keyword in Google search engine. Appropriate keywords should be there in your file name.
File Naming Style
- It should be short and descriptive when it comes to the filename.
- In a filename as well as in page title it is always good to use the same keywords.
- Do not use generic filenames such as service.htm or job.htm. Your filename should be the actual service name such as computerrepairing.htm
- Avoid using more than 3-4 words in file names.
- Instead of underscores use hyphens to separate the keywords.
- If possible use two keywords.
Examples of File Names
From the user’s point of view as well as SEO, listed here are some of the filenames which would be ideal.
Instead of underscores, here the keywords are separated by hyphens. The following is a good filename which Google sees:
SEO-relevant-filename as SEO relevant filename(good)
It is not a good option to have filenames with underscores.
Seo_relevant_filename as SEO relevant filename (not good)
It does nothing to your visitors when it comes to .html, .htm, .php and any other extensions and they are simple means of offloading some of the work of configuring your web server properly onto your visitor’s. You are asking your site visitor to tell your web server HOW to produce the page and not which one in effect?
It is a good idea to use filename without using extension is what many webmasters think. Not in a whole way but it can help you.
URL Sub-Directory Name
URL sub-directory name hardly matters from Search Engine Optimization point of view. You will not find any sub-directory name matching with your keywords as you can try giving any keyword in any search. You should keep an abbreviated sub-directory name from the user’s point of view.
Before naming your files, the following are the things which need to be kept in mind:
- Keep it short, simple, descriptive, and relevant to the page content when it comes to web page filename.
- In your filename, try to use a maximum of 3-4 keywords and they should appear on your web page title as well.
- Instead of underscore, separate all the keywords with a hyphen.
- The name of the sub-directories should be kept as short as possible.
- As Google chops, almost everything above that restrict the file size to less than K.
SEO – Design & Layout
The first impression of your site is the website design and its layout. The regular net surfers just reach those sites and come out even without creating a single click as there are sites which are too fancy.
To read the content of their interest, the search engines are very smart but after all, they are software and not human being. The search engine would not be able to parse the content of your site properly and finally, indexing would not be efficient which results in low ranks if you make your site too complicated.
As there are SEO experts, there are many opinions about the keyword density as the actual page content should have this of about 10% and should weigh in at about 200 words. While some say that the keyword density should be 5% and some say it should be 20%. It is good enough to go with 10%.
While designing a web page the following are few guidelines which should be kept in mind.
- The text content should be more than the HTML elements.
- There should be no frames. Search engines are enemies of frames and the same are the enemies of the search engines.
- In the page, topic avoids putting anything as it does not fit in.
- There should be no unnecessary directories. Keep files as close to the roots as possible.
- There should be no fancy stuff such as Flash, Splash, Animated GIFs, Rollovers, etc unless it is absolutely necessary.
SEO – Optimized Keywords
The term used to match with the query a person enters into a search engine to find specific information is what a keyword is. Search phrases are entered which consists of two to five words is what most people do. Search phrases, query phrases, or just keywords are what these phrases can be called.
To help in optimizing the keywords on a web page, the following are the concepts which are related to keywords.
As to how often a keyword appears in a website title or description, this is calculated accordingly. Since on some engines, if you repeat a word too many times, you will be penalized for “spamming” or keyword stuffing as you do not want to go overboard with frequency.
Repeat your keyword in the document as many times as you can get away with and up to 3-7 times in your list of metatags in general though.
Compared to the total number of words appearing on the same page, it refers to the number of keywords appearing on your web page. While determining the rank of your website for a particular keyword search, some search engines consider this.
Creating some smaller pages, generally, just a paragraph long which emphasizes a particular keyword is one technique which works particularly well. You can increase the “weight” of the keyword which you are emphasizing by keeping the overall number of words to the minimum.
In some cases in relation to other words with a similar meaning as the queried keyword, it refers to the placement of keywords on a web page in relation to each other.
That grades a keyword match by keyword proximity which is connected phrase home loans will outrank a citation that mentions home mortgage loans assuming that you are searching only for the phrase “home loans” for the search engines.
On how early or high up on a page the keywords are found is what it measures. In the first paragraph on the page and on the first heading is where the keywords should be.
It is very important where your keywords are placed. Placing keywords in the link text, the part which is underlined on the screen in a browser which can add more relevancies to those words is what is there on some search engines.
To find keywords for your website there are many different ways. The following are some good keyword ideas:
- To find your product or service, the potential words which the people would be using.
- With your product or service, the problems which your prospective customers may try to solve.
- The tags of keywords on the competitor’s website.
- Visible page copy on competitor’s website.
- On top of search engines having related search suggestions.
- Using the Google Keyword tool.
- Finding out proper keywords by analyzing your website. By an expert SEO copywriter, this task can be done.
- Particularly to the root word is and what Google considers being a match for that word while optimizing pages over time as you need to pay attention to stemming your keywords.
- To identify correct keywords for your site you can do brainstorming.
What is Word Stemming?
Allowing all forms of the word- singular, plural, verb form as well as similar words to be returned for given search query Google uses a feature called word stemming.
SEO – Optimized Metatags
There are two very important meta tags:
As a part of the search result, some search engines may display the meta description but the meta keyword tags should not appear in the search results.
The metatags are dead is what the general consensus among the SEO experts are. In their own sites, even many of these same experts continue to use metatags.
Adding the description meta tag does not result in a boost in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) but the description might be used for the description for your SERP listings in Google.
They use the Keyword Meta Tag when it ranks a page is what Yahoo says. Therefore it does make sense to add one for Yahoo and the other minor search engines which are still in use.
Meta Description Tag Tips
For a good Meta description tags, here are some important tips:
- In your meta description tag use keywords.
- Try to use multiple syntaxes of your keywords and try not to repeat the words overly often.
- In a description metatag of a single web page, there should not be more than 150 characters.
- As each page is different and stands a better chance of being found if you place a good title and description on it use a different meta description tag for each page.
Meta Keywords Tag Tips
The following tips can be used for preparing good meta keywords tags:
- Using synonyms
- Using unique keywords
- Do not repeat any given phrase
- As long as each time it is part of a different phrase you can repeat a word any number of times
SEO – Content is the King
The text, graphics, and even links to other websites as content basically include what you see on the site. As they are not Search Engine Friendly plus heavy graphics normally put the users out when they get downloaded especially over a slow network and you should also void using excessive graphics.
Higher ranking can be achieved, larger traffic you will be gaining and greater popularity of your website can be achieved with the superior quality of your content. In their index and search results, the search engines prefer good quality services.
In attracting visitors to your website relevant, fresh, and timely content is crucial. From the search engines, it helps you draw traffic and create audience loyalty.
Unique, High-Quality Content
People want your unique spin on a topic when people visit a website for information. How unique and the material of your content is? Is that uniqueness easy to find and to understand? Unique, high-quality site content is what the visitors want.
All the linked pages should have useful and easy-to-understand content and it is not only limited to your home page content.
The complete grammar and phrase can be understood by the search engines. While ranking hence a page against the other the content which is available on a page matters the most.
The search engine gives a red flag to the sites with duplicated, syndicated, or free content.
SEO Content Writing
The process of integrating keywords and informative phrases which make up the actual content if your website is what the process of SEO Content Writing involves.
The following are the tips which may help you in keeping it better than the others while writing your webpage content:
- For the specified target audience, the content should be directed.
- As per the search engine guidelines, the keyword density has strictly adhered.
- When it comes to the title, they should be eye-catching, compelling to your visitors to read on and want to know what is being offered on your website.
- Confusing, ambiguous, and complex language should be avoided. To make your content more understandable use small statements.
- Web pages should be shortened.
- The content on the web pages should be organized and evenly distributed.
- The content on the webpage should also be divided into short paragraphs.
Other benefits of great content
To make your site popular there are many other factors which contribute the most:
- People like to suggest it to their friends if your site is having something really unique.
- On the sites, other webmasters like to create a link of your site.
- Your site visitors look forward to the next content update and keep coming again and again as they have started to trust your site.
- The net surfers will click only that page whose content snippet looks more unique and interesting although you are listed out by the search engine.
It is difficult and time-consuming when it comes to creating, editing, and promoting high-quality content. The golden rule of SEO is that Content is the King in the end. It is for your site visitors and not because of the search engine. A page read by people is much better than the one read by the bots.
SEO – Verifying Web Site
How would you know if you have put all the HTML syntax in a correct way when you design and develop a website? What is wrong is wrong as most browsers do not complain against your wrong syntax.
SEO is not dependent on site HTML/XHTML verification is what many SEO experts claims. But why your site should be W3C compliance is what we will be discussing on.
Why HTML/XHTML Verification Required?
To verify your website before hosting it over the internet there are various reasons behind it:
- How well you have written your webpage is on which the quality of any webpage depends on. It should pass all the Quality Gates and should be syntactically correct.
- It might get confusing if HTML tags are not written properly and much of the web page content might not be indexed properly when any search engine does the indexing of your web page content.
- As many search engines do not support them, there might be many HTML tags which you are using in your webpage but they have been depreciated.
- The good webmasters always appreciate consistency, HTML Code Beauty, Process Compliance.
What is W3 Compliance?
Since 1994, W3C is the World Wide Web and they have provided guidelines by which websites and web pages should be structured and created.
You may get errors along with appropriate reasons while verifications. Using the refined version of HTML all the verifications will be done using XHTML DTD.
SEO – Hiring an Expert
It is difficult and time-consuming when it comes to creating, editing, and promoting high-quality content. You are not getting expected results if you are really serious about SEO and it would be better to hire an SEO expert.
The following are the tasks performed by an SEO expert:
- Clean up and code validation – search engine friendly and standards compliant is what the codes should be.
- Structure of the Site – ensure that the URLs are spider friendly and build a semantic structure/theme.
- On-Page optimization – Copywriting, page title, call-to-action, etc.
- Quality Link Building – from the relevant sites securing one-way links.
- Keyword Research – a list of key phrases build up relevant to your business.
- Quality Content – around the terms discovered through keyword research building optimized pages.
- Off-Page Optimization – Managing the blogs, press releases, article submissions.
You can take care of all the above activities if you are confident that you have the required skills, else it is advisable to take help from SEO companies or to hire an SEO expert.
How to choose an SEO Expert or Company?
To choose the correct SEO expert or SEO company is a difficult task. The following are some guidelines to help you choose one:
- Through your friends and business partners start searching.
- In the SEO Forums post your queries and get feedback from the community.
- Checking other sites which already have been optimized.
- Avoid going to SEO companies doing the automated submission.
- Avoid going to SEO companies doing Black Hat tricks.
- Avoid going for cheap SEO. High prices also do not guarantee quality so take care of that.
- If possible take guarantee for a particular rank and particular search engine.
- To find more information about them take guarantee if possible for a particular rank.
- Avoid going just for their fancy site and availability of good articles on their site.
- Avoid getting fascinated by the testimonials on their site.
SEO – Link Building
The SEO practice in obtaining links from external websites to your own to improve both direct referrals and search engine rankings is what Link Building is. Increasing your site link popularity is what link building is all about.
On the site whose ranking in a search engine is high, the website crawler goes to it again and again. By putting your site on a high-rank site you can verify this. You have 99.99% chances that your site is indexed within 24Hrs if your site link is available.
Increasing link popularity
To increase your website link popularity there are various ways:
- Manually submit your site in popular search engines and avoid going for automated submission.
- List your site on open directories as this gives a boost in link popularity and improves search engine rankings.
- To allow anyone to link to your site if you are featuring what they want and which is not available anywhere provide high-quality content.
- With the other webmasters leverage your personal relations. On the other sites put your site link. For more than reciprocal links one-way links often counts.
- In the link exchange program participants. Contact 20 such sites who are doing the same business for reciprocal links. The ranking of websites in the search engine will be affected by the link exchange between unrelated sites.
- It can help you increase your site popularity if you are subscribed in a forum and the forum does not have any restrictions to keep your site as your signature.
- In the bookmark sites such as Digg and Slashdot, submit your site. Go through their spam policy before submitting.
- In the blogging sites write good articles and also give few references for your links.
- To your site visitor keep providing good content. On your site try keeping them busy.
Mobile SEO Techniques
Using smartphones running on Android, iOS, or Windows, millions of users these days access the web. Making suitable changes in their website design to attract more viewership, it has become imperative that websites adapt themselves to this changing environment.
It might be difficult to use on a mobile device and it might even be difficult to view. In order to read the content, the version that is not mobile friendly requires the user to pinch or zoom. A mobile-friendly version is readable and immediately usable in contrast.
A website should be mobile-friendly to be effective on Mobile Search Engines with a recent Google update makes it mandatory. A website that is not mobile-friendly will not be having any impact on the regular search engines is something which is notable.
What is mobile SEO?
The process of designing a website to make it suitable for viewing on mobile devices of different screen sizes having lower bandwidth when it comes to mobile search engine optimization. We need to take additional care while designing a website for the mobile devices apart from following all the SEO rules which are applicable to a desktop website. If it has the following attributes a website is mobile friendly –
- Performing well on desktops as well as mobile devices, a good website has a responsive design. It makes the content consistent for the search engines as it only reduces the maintenance of the website.
- Without having to zoom the screen, the contents of a good mobile website are easy to read. Appropriate fonts, colors, and layouts are all there.
- Through a good mobile website on a small screen, it is easy to navigate. Using a finger, it provides links and buttons which can be easily maneuvered.
- A good mobile website takes less bandwidth and time to load on mobile networks and they are lightweight.
- In connecting the users to the content which they are looking for the Home Page of mobile websites plays the most important role.
The user-friendliness determines the ranking of a website.