Are you new to SEO? You may have heard of the importance of SEO.
Would you like to know what SEO stands for and what other foundations for search engine optimization? You are in the right place.
Before hiring others or investing money in SEO-related things, it’s always a good idea to know the basics first. This way you not only understand how it works, but spend your time and money on the RIGHT aspects of SEO.
So let’s dive into the details without fuss.
What does SEO mean (plus an essential SEO plan for beginners)
What does SEO stand for?
SEO acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website and its content with the aim of achieving a better ranking in the search engines for a certain keyword phrase.
SEO is the process of improving a website’s rankings in organic (unpaid) lists in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Proper search engine optimization improves the organic visibility of your website in search engines so that you can attract qualified visitors to your website (free of charge).
How does SEO work?
SEO is constantly changing. What worked a decade ago no longer works today, and what works today may not work after a year.
So let’s get a broader overview of what’s going on in search engine optimization in today’s scenario.
There are generally three components that search engines like Google use to rank a website in search results.
Let’s talk briefly about each one so you can better understand these steps.
1. Crawling: Search engines like Google use bots (also known as spiders or crawlers) that crawl websites and all websites on the web.
2. Indexing: In this step, Google Bots analyze the page content after crawling and store this content in their index (these are huge databases from which the content can be retrieved later).
Quick note: If you’ve updated a blog post or page on your website and it’s not indexed, Google will show the old version of that page in the search results.
3. Serve: After crawling and indexing, Google makes the results available to users (which are retrieved from its database, which contains trillions of websites and data).
In the last step, Google uses Hundreds of ranking factors to determine which pages to display in the top results.
Let’s discuss a real-world example to help you understand how SEO works in the current scenario.
When you search for “best fitness apps” on Google, Google displays the following:
As you can see above, Google shows us an excerpt (also known as a quick answer list) so that you don’t have to search countless websites online to find the best apps related to fitness.
Similarly, Google displays a variety of snippets for millions of popular searches or search terms.
What can we understand from this?
Google wants to deploy faster and more relevant Content for its users. So if you want to get more out of SEO, you should provide your target group with the RELEVANT and useful content.
Why is SEO important?
So why should you care about SEO?
In a survey by HubSpot researchThey found that 77% of people research a brand before looking at it.
Yes, before you buy something online, people want to learn more about a brand. So if you’re not a well-known brand, it’s even more important to increase your online visibility.
Improving your online visibility is the only way for customers to perceive your brand or company. If you want to generate more sales, improve your online visibility. To improve your online visibility, you need SEO.
Enough said! Now let’s discuss a GOOD strategy to improve your search engine traffic.
A 5-step SEO plan to increase your search rankings as a beginner in 2020
So far we have discussed what SEO is and how it works. Now let’s talk about an essential SEO plan that every beginner should implement for better search rankings in 2020.
Step 1. Create extremely useful content
Content is the king. You can’t get higher without great content.
What is great content anyway?
Great content is content that makes people stop what they do to read, share, and respond to. You should create useful, engaging, and informative (or entertaining) content.
One of the most effective ways to create great content is to spend more time researching and creating detailed content.
Did you know that Google prefers content-rich websites?
According to SerpIQ, the first result usually contains 2416 words and the 10th result 2032 words.
What did you understand? Google ranks detailed content higher. So if you want to get the first page rankings, learn to create extremely useful and detailed content (at least 2000 words or more).
Creating long content also has other advantages, including:
- Improved retention time (the time users spend on your website)
- You get more backlinks
- Longer content receives more social shares
- RankBrain rewards long content (RankBrain is Google’s third most important ranking factor)
Nevertheless, keyword research is extremely important before you create a blog post. Keyword research finds words and phrases that are used in search engines like Google.
Quick note: We have an incredibly useful and detailed eBook on keyword research for beginners that you can use to quickly find traffic generating keywords.
Concentrate on finding long-tail keywords when you’re just starting out as a blogger.
Long-tail keywords are easier to evaluate and send you highly qualified search engine visitors.
Long-tail keywords have less competition and higher conversion rates compared to short-tail keywords.
Take a look at the following figure to understand the difference.
As you can see above, more than 4 word phrases (long-tail keywords) have little competition, but lead to higher conversions.
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing your blog posts and pages for your target keywords. On-page optimization gives you better rankings for your focus keywords in search engines like Google.
Tools for on-page SEO: If you use WordPress, there are a variety of tools that can help you with page optimization. However, the following two plugins are strongly recommended.
1. Rank Math SEO:: We recently switched to Rank Math (previously we used the Yoast SEO Premium version). Rank Math allows you to optimize your posts for unlimited focus keywords per post. Simply select your focus keywords and this plugin will show you where to insert your keywords for better search rankings.
2nd WordPress SEO from Yoast:: Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins downloaded by millions of users worldwide. It helps you with on-page SEO, XML sitemaps and so on. The premium version offers even more functions and the details can be found in our detailed evaluation of the free and premium yoast evaluation.
From the sidebar of your website to the footer to the search bar on your website, navigation on your website is extremely important.
How both search engine crawlers and your website users navigate your site plays an important role in your search rankings (and your user experience).
If your website visitors can’t find what they’re looking for when they visit your website, they simply leave your website without wasting time.
Here is a rule of thumb to keep in mind: Your website navigation structure should allow anyone to visit every page of your website and find what they need within 3 clicks.
- This means that if someone wants to visit your contact page, they should be able to find them within 3 clicks
- If someone wants to buy a particular product on your website, they should find it within 3 clicks
- If someone wants to sign up for your email list, they should be able to do so within 3 clicks
Do you understand?
Here are some useful tips to make the navigation structure of your website easier for both your website users and search engine crawlers.
Use a navigation menu: If you look at the homepage of our blog, you will notice a navigation menu. Have a look;
Almost every single page and blog post can be found in this navigation menu.
From our premium products such as eBooks to various categories to popular posts, information about and contact pages – you will find everything in our navigation menu.
Most website templates and themes allow you to display a navigation menu on your website. Therefore, use it to facilitate access to your website users.
Use your footer wisely: Your footer is as important as the header navigation on your website. This is what our footer area looks like:
As you can see above, we have recorded a lot of things, including:
- Latest blog posts
- Popular Posts
- Important pages (such as data protection regulations, sitemap etc.)
- Information about page information
- Social media profiles (so that everyone can easily find and follow us on any social media site)
You can also keep your footer area simple by simply listing the social media profiles to track, your most important posts, etc. As your blog grows, you can make more changes and include more links as we did for better search searchability.
Implement a SILO structure: The silo site structure allows you to divide the content of your website into different categories and subcategories. Using a silo structure, Google search crawlers can easily determine the relevance of each post on your blog based on your keywords.
Here is an illustration of a deep silo structure.
How can you implement it? Simply divide the main topic of your blog into several categories so that you can create specific blog posts for each category.
For more information on implementing the silo structure for better search engine optimization, see a simple implementation tutorial.
According to a survey by MozMore than 37% of business owners spend between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000 a month building external links.
Link building is undoubtedly the most important ranking factor on Google. If you want higher rankings for your keywords, you need more links. As simple as that.
Most people think that link building is difficult. That’s why they never spend time building links. It is also not rocket science. Apart from that, here are the three best evergreen ways to create high quality and relevant backlinks in every niche.
1. Write guest posts for others: Guest posts are the evergreen strategy for creating highly relevant links. However, you need a suitable guest post strategy to start building the link, as you cannot simply spam other email inboxes with your guest post fields.
Make sure you find the right blogs in your industry to start your journey to guest blogging. How do you find the relevant guest posting websites in your niche? Use the following Google search strings to find relevant blogs and websites in your niche for guest posts.
- [your topic] “Write for us”
- [your topic] “Become an author”
- [your topic] “Guest entry”
- [your topic] “Guest article”
Alternatively, you can read this post, which has over 250 guest blogging sites in so many niches.
2. Steal your competitors’ backlinks: Your competitors are your biggest sources of link building. When used properly, you can spy on your competitors’ websites to start building cleverly.
So how can you steal your competitors’ backlinks? You can use competitive research tools like SEMrush (get a 30-day free trial of SEMrush here).
If you are at SEMrush, go to the link building tool Backlink Analytics and enter any domain (e.g. the domain of your competitors).
As you can see above, the SEMrush link building tool gives us a quick overview of the backlink profile of your competitors’ domains.
As soon as you click on the “Backlinks” section, a list of all sources of your backlinks is displayed.
It looks like this:
Do you see that? Once you know the backlink sources of a domain, you can use various link building strategies like blogger outreach, broken link building, guest posts, etc. to get those links to your site.
3. Build relationships: Most people underestimate the power of building relationships. If done correctly, building strong relationships with other bloggers can go a long way. The key here is to network with everyone, including;
- Influencing factors in your industry
- A list of bloggers
- New bloggers
- Micro influential blogger
Make sure you create a list of 20 to 30 (or even more) websites in your industry, and start with the following steps to build relationships.
- Send emails frequently (to praise their work or suggest something useful to their audience)
- Buy their products (and call them on social media)
- Subscribe to their email lists
- Leave thoughtful comments on their blogs
- Write guest posts for them
Do everything you can to build close relationships with other bloggers (including linking to their blog posts). Sooner or later, they’ll respond the same – not everyone, but at least some bloggers will do the same for you.
Step 4. The page speed is important
Increasing page speed can increase page views by 25%.
The speed of your website is very important.
If your website takes longer than 2 to 3 seconds to load, it can affect your overall result.
According to the Hosting tribunalHere are some interesting page speed statistics.
- 1 second delay reduces pageviews by 11%
- A 1 second delay reduces 7% of the conversion rate
- With a charging time of 1-3 seconds, the probability of a bounce rate is very low – only 32%
- Annually, a 1 second delay can result in a loss of revenue of $ 2.5 million if your shop generates $ 100,000 a day
The page speed in particular is a Google ranking factor. This means that you will find that your page’s organic rankings will increase if your page loads faster and that if your page takes too long to load, the rankings will decrease.
Quick note: Would you like to extend the loading times of your site? Read our in-depth WordPress website acceleration tutorial, where you’ll discover countless practical ways to improve your website’s speed.
So focus on improving the speed of your website and overall page load times.
Did you know that your web hosting plays a HUGE role in the speed of your website?
Yes that’s true.
Check out the speed of our website once we switch to WPX hosting.
As you can see above, our website loads in one second (only 0.6 seconds to load).
Thanks to WPX Hosting, numerous useful functions such as cloud CDN, highly specified SSD servers, excellent caching etc. are used to provide the ultimate speed for all sites hosted on their servers.
You can read our in-depth report on WPX Hosting for more details, including a special discount to get started with hosting. If you are looking for an affordable host, we recommend visiting SiteGround!
Step 5. Track your SEO results
Yes, SEO gets complicated every year. The only way to get worthwhile results from search engines like Google is to focus on creating high quality content over quantity and giving your users top priority.
Always remember one thing: SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Read it again!
If you want to get the best results from search engines, you have to plan long term. Don’t expect results overnight. Don’t buy thousands of backlinks from Fiverr sites as they won’t help you in any way.
Make sure you are tracking your SEO results.
You can use tools like SEMrush to create projects so you can track everything from your organic keywords to keyword positions, backlink growth, new content ideas, etc.
If you plan to track your SEO results, here are some things you need to track.
- Organic traffic growth
- Keyword rankings
- Average time on page and bounce rate
- Top landing pages that attract organic traffic
- Link growth (including new and lost links)
While there are a lot of other aspects that you can track, the above things are essential. By keeping an eye on the above, you understand the behavior of your audience, what kind of content you create, how you create backlinks, etc.
Relevant resources for SEO beginners:
Final thoughts on the SEO basics
By learning the right search engine optimization, you can increase the visibility of your search. By increasing the visibility of your search, you can attract more visitors, which ultimately leads to more conversions and sales.
So make sure you learn and implement SEO basics to improve your organic ranking.
I hope you understand what SEO means and what SEO basics you need to implement for better search engine results. If you have any further questions about SEO basics and fundamentals, let us know in the comments.
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