A Sneak Peek Into the Fundamentals of SEO
Have you ever wondered how content ranks on Google and other search engines so easily? Well, it’s easier said than done. A lot goes around ranking content on Google and other search engines, and that is where SEO comes in. (Yes, SEO is actually how you, I, and anyone else have ever been discovered).
In this blog, you will learn basic information regarding SEO and what goes around it.
What is SEO?
SEO is the abbreviation of “search engine optimization.” But what does it really mean?
Well, SEO Search Engine Optimization is the optimization of the search engine to help a website or piece of content rank higher in the Google search engine (yes, that’s really it!).
What is the Difference between SEO and Paid Advertisement?
The main difference between the two is that for SEO, one does not have to pay to rank the content; rather, it involves organic ranking. In simple words, search engine optimization refers to optimizing a piece of online content in such a way that Google displays it at the top of the page, particularly in the top 10 search results.
For example, if a person searches for a “pizza recipe” in Google, they are probably wanting to know the recipe to make it. If you wrote an article on making pizza, then you can get your content ranked by making it easier for people to find your recipe. But if you are talking about the flavors of pizza rather than the recipe, then your content won’t get ranked in the search results for “pizza recipe.” There are multiple aspects to getting content ranked on Google, and that is what SEO is all about.
When compared to other search engines, Google is used as a search engine 69.8 percent of the time, according to Net Market Share.
Therefore, in order to understand how to rank higher in search engines, we need to look into the fundamentals of SEO. (Basically, what the blog is about)
Fundamentals Of SEO – On-page and Off-page SEO
On-page SEO and off-page SEO are equally important in building valuable ranking content. (Yes, there are types too but don’t worry, it’s not rocket science).
When wanting to improve the ranking of content, on-page SEO is critically important. Having keywords in your web pages and websites, writing high-quality user-oriented content, regularly uploading content, and having keywords in metatags and titles are some of the on-page SEO demands to look out for.
Also, Read More About Content Marketing in 2023.
Off-page SEO is responsible for optimizing a website outside its domain, such as earning backlinks. In other words, it means creating relationships that people would like to share. Although it’s hectic, it’s an essential part of SEO success.
Black Hat Vs. White Hat SEO
There are some people who go for quick results, which is a risky process. In SEO, this term is referred to as black hat SEO’. Black hat SEO revolves around keyword stuffing, link scraping, and other sneaky tactics to rank content quickly. These tactics can result in the content ranking faster, but it may soon de-rank.
On the other hand, white hat SEO builds a sustainable and long-term online business presence. If a business focuses on “white-hat” strategies, it can get free traffic that is likely to stick around.
Black Hat Tactics
When wanting to rank for a specific keyword, websites duplicate the content. Their sites try to stuff the keyword multiple times in their text and publish the same content. Google, on the other hand, penalizes content that is duplicated.
A black hat SEO strategy of invisible text is to include heaps of keywords at the bottom of the article. The font color of the keyword is then colored the same as the background. But Google’s algorithm can recognize this strategy and quickly penalize such content.
Keyword stuffing is commonly used in many articles, and the tactics are improving over time. Websites stuff keywords in the text where they don’t even belong just to increase SEO. Evidently, Google also penalizes content that does not seem natural.
There is always a right and wrong way to redirect content. The wrong way to redirect content is to purchase a bunch of keyword-rich domains and redirect all of them to one specific site.
Poor Link Building
Website owners buy packages from different freelancing platforms that promise them links in exchange for money. These links aren’t authoritative, so they don’t help the site’s domain authority. Only relevant sites that have content related to the website’s niche will increase domain authority.
Gray Hat SEO
Most people have heard of white hat and black hat SEO, but only a few know about the gray hat SEO strategy.
Gray hat SEO strategy means that it is in between both the black and white hat strategies. Gray hat SEO is nearly as manipulative as black hat SEO, but it is legally right.
Google has said in the past that it is not a big fan of guest blogging for link building. But there was much more to its statement than what it originally said.
For instance, if websites post content through guest blogging to increase their brand recognition, build awareness, and produce worthwhile content, then Google is a big fan of their content. So, when this kind of guest blogging is done on websites with relevant niches, links to the original site are also made.
The famous term, “Content is king,” has been viral for several decades, which has been proven right over time.
User on Google is only satisfied when they find the right content they are looking for. When a person searches for “workout to lose weight,” Google puts all of its efforts into showing them what Google thinks is the best workout to lose weight. It doesn’t just look for workouts with the most calories burned or the easiest workout or throw a bunch of fitness gyms nearby. Instead, it tries to give you the most effective workout that will help you achieve your target, one that has had more consistent views and ample time spent.
Google is designed in a way to provide individuals with the best possible experience when searching for something. In short, the search engine is optimized to provide the best possible content.
But what does it really mean in terms of SEO?
Well, it means that websites need to generate the greatest content of all time to do well with SEO.
Elements of Content – QIC
Quality content is a type of content from which users can benefit in multiple ways. For instance, if your title says “How to boil an egg?” and in the blog, you are talking about its benefits, your user will bounce to other websites instantly. But, if you step-by-step guide your user into the basic details of boiling an egg, your content will actually hold worth. Therefore, any blog that solves the problem of the individual is likely to be quality content.
The user’s intent is much more valuable than the content, in literal terms. This means that Google wants to understand what a person is searching for when they type in something. Similarly, content creation is based on the intent of the user.
The biggest content flaw is that it tricks the user into clicking and then doesn’t do what the user wanted. It not only directs the user to other pages but also de-ranks the content or maybe blacklists it.
Multiple content writing platforms have set a benchmark for creating consistent content. Consistently publishing new content and updating old ones improves Google rankings.
Google thinks a site is authoritative if it has consistent content, and updating previously published content makes it more accurate and fixes broken links. These techniques make sure that Google maintains the rank of the blogs.
Keyword research is the most important fundamental of SEO. Unfortunately, most businesses think that keyword research is a one-time process and they stop doing it. But because trends change all the time, keyword research is an ongoing process that needs to be updated often. SEO experts are continuously doing keyword research and updating their SEO content accordingly.
SEO keyword research is performed for two main reasons: to rank content on Google and to create niche-related content. Keyword research provides SEO experts insights into what users are searching for and how often they are searching.
After keyword research comes keyword selection, which is equally important. Knowing which keyword to use to target the right audience is the art of an SEO expert. It is crucial to understand the intent behind the keyword to understand how competitive it is related to the topic.
Choosing the right keyword –
The right keyword to target an audience wanting to expand their online business with a $50000 investment will be “online business growth with investment” or similar keywords. This keyword will mostly be used by people who want to invest money in growing their online business. It will not target those individuals who have nothing to invest in and are looking for business development tips.
Competition Analysis –
There are some keywords that are difficult to rank due to their widespread use in the market. It is possible that the keyword you may have selected is the right one in terms of niche, but the competition to rank is high. Your competitors are already ranking it. What could be done in these situations is to rank your content as the second best. Then, gradually increase your keyword ranking for the first one. It’ll build authority with Google and also target a keyword your competition is not ranking for.
The site’s HTML is very important when keeping the fundamentals of SEO in view. Why? Because without proper headings, tags, titles, and subheadings, it’ll be difficult for Google to understand what the blog is about.
Usually, when individuals discover that HTML is part of SEO optimization, they get confused. But HTML for SEO is nothing more than changing tags and descriptions. It is not about understanding the HTML code.
Let’s have a detailed look into the elements of SEO HTML.
- Title tags: A title tag is what appears on the search engine of Google when someone searches for something.
- Meta description: It is a small description of the blog in 156 characters. It portrays what a blog consists of and is responsible for enticing the reader into clicking on the link. The text must contain the main keyword of the blog to rank the blog on the first page.
- Subheadings: H1, H2, and H3 are responsible for enticing the reader into reading your full blog. It also ensures that your reader understands what is inside your blog and what a relevant section is talking about. Your subheadings should strategically include keywords and it should feel stuffed.
- Alt-text: When incorporating infographics or images into an article, alt text enables users to recognize what the image is about. You can also insert keywords in the alt text as an SEO strategy.
- URL Slug: URL slugs are responsible for telling google what the blog is about. You can add your keyword into the slug as an effective SEO strategy.
Why are the Fundamentals of SEO so Fundamental, if that even makes sense?
All types of content need SEO marketing incorporated into them to be able to let search engines discover your content and that too, know what the content is about. It makes it easier for the content to be ranked and discovered, not just by the search engines but also by the people who are going to give it a read (isn’t that why we write content?).
Nevertheless, the fundamentals of SEO are a very vast topic that cannot be compiled into one blog. There are many more minor details that are essential for an effective SEO strategy. The SEO marketing journey is a continuous process that cannot be achieved through shortcuts. With the right SEO strategy, websites can rank highest and stay at the top for as long as they want, provided they don’t opt for black hat SEO.
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