SEO: Beginner’s Search Engine Optimization Guide

In this highly competitive era, where almost everyone including from big corporate companies to individual owns their own websites to beat the competition and enhance their marketing strategy. However, towards same direction attempt to achieve more attractive, engaging and interesting website pointing to gain more and more traffic. Beyond this, these are not enough. Therefore, if you verily desire to drive more and more traffic you must achieve top rank in search engine result page like Google, Yahoo, MSN etc. Towards this endeavor you are required to implement SEO (Search Engine Optimization) method. As high rank you will achieve there is more probability to get traffic.

SEO: Beginner’s Search Engine Optimization Guide

Content

Introduction
Advantages of Good Site Architecture
Keyword Research
Site URLs and Server Technology
Static URLs and Dynamic URL Parameters
Keywords in URLs
Design Page Structure and CSS
On Page SEO Factors and Considerations
Meta Keywords and Descriptions
Headlines and Page Headings
Internal Anchor Text and Links
Content Considerations
Marketing
Link Building and Link Development
Blogs and Social Media
Analytics and Tools
Common SEO Problems

Introduction

What do you think about SEO? Hopefully, you would be acquainted with term SEO. If not, nothing to worry, I am here in the same intention. SEO is the abbreviated form of Search Engine Optimization and referred as a practice to render your website effective and attractive so that the search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. can designate your site and bring at top in search result page. Now, you might be getting excited to know more about SEO and implement accordingly to your site but in the mean time one query may strikes your mind. How Search engines works and ranks websites in result page. Let me make a statement for this. Actually, Search Engines used to read and archives websites regularly in order to make it easy to find for people. For instance. If any person is searching for website development and your site concerns with same and optimized properly, then it should sit in the first or two search result page of every search engine.

However, In bottom line, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of transforming a website more comprehending by search engines and the motive behind this is to enhance the ranking of your website and thus bring more and more traffic. Naturally, when your site rank at top in search engine result page the people will prefer to visit your site instead of navigating search page. Practicing in Search Engine Optimization is neither too confounded nor too easy, but it requires some set of skills. Therefore, I am going to present SEO: Beginner’s Search Engine Optimization Guide that incorporates some basic sets of practice which seems to be relatively stable since earlier time.

It would be a comprehensive guide to explain the practice you may adopt to SEO your website. Moreover, this useful guide also deliver an overview about how to set up your site, how to optimize your website performance in search engine rankings, tips, strategies and suggestions that will help to render your site successful.

What Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not

  • SEO is not concerned with operating search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
  • SEO is about generating detailed and clean web pages which can be read by automated robots easily.
  • The search engine like Google can easily read and index your web-page after when you ensure that your web-page has basic set of rules, the source code has correct information with keywords and other detail information.

How Search Engine Work

Search Engine employ a set of programs called as spiders which used to scan the web pages and determine the content of your site and designate other links present to scan later.

  • Spiders, also known as web crawlers, scan the content of your web pages.
  • They send the scanned result to an algorithm to be analyzed and broken down.
  • When the spider designate any other website or page link, they are stored.
  • Hereafter, the linked-to pages crawled by other spiders.
  • However, more links your website incorporates from other website and pages, more frequently your website is crawled and visited.

Search – an explanation from Matt Cutts

In this video, Google Engineer Matt Cutts explains the basic elements of SEO and what is search. The web pages that achieve high ranking in Google or other search engine supposed to get excellent number of hits.

In this MSNBC news clip, the Sr. Vice President of Network Solutions, Stephanie Leffler describes 3 most significant SEO tips including the importance of links, proper use of tags and develop a good content.

DATA Analysis: What Search Engines Look At

In order to determine the page rank of a website or web-page according to queries made by users in Search, Search engines used to look over a combination of more than 200 factors.

  • Web pages Information (also called on-page factors) such as; Page Content, Title Heading
  • Off-site factors which incorporates how significant is the page linking to you, what words are being employing to link to you and the period since the link to you has existed.
  • Your search engine rankings directly depends on the combination of on-site and off-site factors.

SEO Advantages of Good Site Architecture

With good site architecture you can procure the benefits beyond the aesthetic considerations, which includes:

Easy Expansion – In account of manageable sections in your website you can add new sections in very affable way and tends to grow in future.

Easy Navigation – In context to change sections, advanced and intermediate users can manipulate the websites’ URL manually.

Easy Maintenance – As the website is distributed into manageable sections it is convenient to maintain them with flat structure.

Well-Defined Hierarchy – The pages incorporating general information appears at the top and as you navigate deeper more specialized informatis will open.

However, the requirement for a good site architecture includes

  • A better comprehending of your site’s subject matter.
  • Knowledge about how visitors/users perform to congregate information and that can be procured through Keyword research.

Keyword Research

Keyword Research is a very critical element that’s why occupy a worthy place. It makes you educate about how users search information. Keyword Research is very significant as it capable to provide better understanding of your website’s subject it is about.

Before you bring Keyword Research in practice, you are required to understand some basic ideas:

  • Singular vs. Plural – Both Keyword Research Tool and Search engines keeps singular and plural words asunder. For example, Shoe and Shoes both displays the distinct search result.
  • Word order and Prominence The order of words is quite worthy when typed in a search box. Milk and Fruits displays distinct results than Fruits and Milk.
  • Head Keywords – Head Keywords are based on one or two word concept which comprises a wide meanings as well as have a high search volume. However, the diversified possible meanings render it confounded to comprehend what the visitors is actually looking for.
  • Long Tail Keywords – Such kind of keywords incorporates at least four to five words and are referred as multiple keywords. These are specific and also deliver a clear intent on which users focuses. e.g. Mens Nike black golf shoes.

When attempt to keyword research it is very earnest to accumulate all of your keywords and develop a clusters on a particular subject or topic.

Siloing and Theme Pyramids in Site Architecture

When you are going to build a website you are supposed to strive for simple and easily comprehendable site architecture. It is concord as good practice for both search engines and users. However, in order to achieve this you are required to organize your site with clear sections also called as siloing or theming. For easy comprehending look this:

example.com/tv/
example.com/tv/plasma-tv/
example.com/tv/plasma-tv/samsung/

Keyword Research Basics

An explanation about how to research keywords

Site URLs and Server Technology

Those people have a wide length of technology to opt amongst who build and run websites. Some of the renowned programming platforms are:

  • Hypertext Preprocesor (PHP)
  • Active Service Pages (ASP)
  • JavaServer Pages (JSP)

All these platforms constitutes their own language but has one similarities that they all can serve pages out in HTML format. When approaching in SEO there is no advantages to opt one above other. You can go with any platform which suits you on the ground of cost of operations: designers, hiring developers, webmasters and programmers.

Whenever you are supposed to build a new website or restructuring and re-design you should employ the W3C recommendations and build website by implementing scripting language identical to server side. Through employing scripting language you can migrate from one technology to another and without modifying its underlying structure or your website’s URLs.

Canonicalization

It is accessible to render your website to work under both: https://www.webgranth.com and https://webgranth.com. But several search engines scan both and refer it as duplicate content, thus likely to penalize your website accordingly. However, you may check this through:

  • Opt an employ consistently either http:// or http”//www
  • Set-up your web server to 301 and redirect all coming traffic from the style that is not in use to the style you implemented.

Static URLs and Dynamic URL Parameters

In various cases programming implementations employ parameters rather than of static URLs. A URL incorporating parameter looks like this:

example.com/page/?id=widget; while a static URL resembles as
example.com/page/widget/

Most of the search engines comprises capability of both to index and rank. Therefore, for best practice in SEO it is recommended to employ static URL instead of dynamic.

Keywords in URLs

Employing Keywords in URLs works and proved as beneficial for both the users and Search engines. Incorporating keywords in URL says about what the page is about to Search engines as well as signal users about what information that page include. For example, see and find which is more clear and useful; example.com/123456/7890 and example.com/image/flowers/

Delimiters in URLs

Delimiters are useful to employ in URLs which separate words. However, employing hyphen (-) is concord as best practice. Though, search engines are capable to comprehend other distinct characters including underscore. In context of human usability issues hyphen is being preferred.

JavaScript and Flash

Search engines are not supposed to be so efficient towards the form of information they read and interpret.

  • Currently, they are able to comprehend only text-based content which sits directly on the page.
  • It seems to be very confounded for Search engines to read and interpret the content of your page, especially in the case when your web application runs on Flash or JavaScript or any other non-text platform to display information.
  • Eventually, your search engine ranking will suffer.

Design Page Structure and CSS

Generally, website and design put a lot of impact over usability and marketing. However, some SEO concerns are also about which you should be acquainted of:

  • When W3C code compliance and proper semantic markup never put any impact then it is not a requirement in context of achieving a high-rank page in search engine.
  • You are supposed to take lot of care when creating pages to remove the errors as many as possible.
  • A site or page where bulk of coding errors are present likely to excursion search engine spider in contrast of one having fewer errors.
  • The valuable page can be rendered in more logical fashion through employing appropriate standards and markup.
  • Through implementing CSS you are required to assign the main body of a page’s content first otherwise in return any side navigation or top banner may appear first.
  • The text which comes first on your page is valuable for search engines.
  • To build a website most of the website owners put CMS on priority.
  • These CMS systems are quite obvious to create an maintain from mid to large sized websites in very easy and convenient way.

On Page SEO Factors and Considerations

Those elements who sits actually on a web page are On-Page SEO factors. On the other hand, links from distinct other websites are called off-page factors.

  • By most of the SEO professionals the title element is consider as the strongest on-page SEO factor, so it become very critical to pay attention over this.
  • You should prefer such a title which is eye-catchy, short and incorporates keyword as many as possible.
  • Be ensure that the title is clean and affable to read as well as it’s not unintelligible keyword-stuffed title. Because it appears in the search result page with your website.
  • You can etch your site name with title in the purpose of branding.
  • It is possible to place you site name either as prefix or suffix with the title as per your wish and preference.
  • If you are a renowned brand or big company, you can incorporate your name at the beginning of page title, which in return deliver a trust on your brand.
  • Small level companies should prefer to put their name at the end of title, enabling the browser to focus on keywords incorporated in your title.

Meta Keywords and Descriptions

Due to abuse in past these factor are mostly disregard by search engines.

In some cases the identical keywords and description has been noticed by search engine throughout the entire website and hence affect ranking.
When search engine displays your website in search result page the meta description appear below the title.

However, it is recommended to employ unique description that should be eye-catchy and well written.

Headlines and Page Headings

Page Headings are also known as H tags which are referred as structural elements and implemented to distribute the page in valuable sections.

  • The classify the H tags from H1 to H6, where H1 is referred as the most significant as well as H6 is least.
  • You are required to ensure that your page incorporates only one H1 tag.
  • You can employ other H2 to H6 tags as many you want but care should be taken about Keyword Stuffing.
  • Most people used to render their title with H1 tag.
  • By default H tags appears in bold an large, but offer freedom to edit accordingly as you would like to appear this on the page. You can accomplish this through employing CSS.

Bold and Italics

You can format the text with Bold and Italics which also make a impact in search engine ranking. But care should be taken as it may put a negative impact if used frequently.

Internal Anchor Text and Links

Internal Anchor Text are referred as the clickable words which is linked to other parts or your site or any other website. However, when you are supposed to click Anchor text you will be redirected to another site or page and the concerned page will appear.

  • Anchor text is a mechanism which is employed by all websites throughout the globe.
  • When you incorporate a link with word SEO, search engines comprehend this page on the end of the link is abut SEO.
  • It is recommended to employ keyword for anchor text rather than of any other words.

Content Considerations

The articles and pages on your website are content but template doesn’t comes in the array. You are supposed to create the content for your website should be interesting, entertaining, informative, educational, funny or compelling which plays an earnest role to encourage the visitors to visit your site repeatedly and hence results in enhanced ranking in search engine result page. However, the more interesting and unique content is, the more worthy to your website’s visitors.
Furthermore, we can classify the content in three distinct categories:

Boilerplate Content: Boilerplate is consider as general information which incorporates about us page, contact information, testimonials, privacy contract and other terms of services. However, these page are concord as to let the visitors know about you, learn to trust you as well as share information.

News Content: Likewise other news content in newspaper and magazines it has also short-life span and can retain its importance from few hours to months. But eventually, people will stop searching and the page will get very low traffic.

Evergreen Content: As the term coined Evergreen content has a long life-span and buoy up its importance always. Many websites employ a combination of news and evergreen content. For instance, Technology and gadgets websites incorporates more news content, whereas websites which contains the content about Abraham Lincoln will have more evergreen content. As the news content kicked by latest updates but evergreen content remains same without any alteration.

Marketing

Marketing for a website is too much identical with marketing for any other business. Likewise the methods of marketing adopted by other business, you are also supposed to advertise, reveal press releases, do campaigns and visit other places to make people acquainted about your website. However,
following are some key goals which have been widely accepted world wide towards marketing a website:

  • Make people to visit your website.
  • Enable people to link to your site.
  • Convincing visitors to tell people about your website.
  • Compelling people to repeatedly back to your site’s pages.

Link Building and Link Development

Links are referred as most significant method to let search engines discover your website through entire web as well as a primary key factor in its ranking. Moreover, with links search engines proclaims that how authoritative and trustworthy your website is and figure out the subject of your website.

The link of your website linked to other trusted websites says search engines that your site is more valuable and reliable. Search engine also used to scan the anchor text . Links also inflate in value with time and as long as it sits on a place, it become more trustworthy, reliable and authoritative. Beyond all of this it drive more traffic to your site and enhance ranking power of your site.

Directories

Once you built your website, you are required to attempt and acquire links from other reliable sources. However, it is recommended to earn links from your specific industry as it will be proved as more helpful and valuable rather than of other websites which don’t belong to your industry. Even every link in other site is obvious. As there are several methods present for building links but many of the people used to initiate with directories. Myriad of directories are over there out of which some directories charge a fee for inclusion as well as free directories also exists where you can put your link. Before putting a link in directories you are required to analyze the following things:

  • Prefer not to join those directories who allows every site that applies to in. However, look for such sites who kicks low-quality sites.
  • If any directories ask for review fee, first find out how much traffic they are capable to send.
  • In order to evaluate potential traffic you can view whether the directory is listed or not with particular search term. If directory appears in the list, it is a good signal that will send traffic.
  • If directory doesn’t rank with particular term, check whether it is listed in search engine index or not and how recently it was crawled. The last crawl can be checked by clicking cache link located on the search engine result page.
  • The pages which appears in the index and being crawled frequently are referred as more reliable and trustworthy.
  • Pages that don’t appear in index and haven’t crawled recently is about worthless.

Press Releases

Press Releases generally employed to drag the attention of journalist, industry news magazines, periodicals and websites and incorporates the following achievements:

  • Most of the press release websites alliance with distinct search engine news feed. However employing them may tend your site to present in front of right people in very effective way.
  • Most of press release sites act as a link pointers to your site but don’t pass any link value.
  • When your press release will pass through the eyes of any journalist, blogger or news site may writes about you and eventually you will got a link from them.
  • Don’t emphasize on link in press release service, but consider it as potential to bringing more traffic and secondary links.

Content and Article Syndication

Content and Article Syndication sites offer you to publish your articles and content over other distinct sites. In return of free content you will earn a backlink in their website. In order to justify whether to employ this strategy for link-building and marketing or not, first of all you are required to go through the popular articles in your category and analyze how much traffic they can drive and how well they rank in search engine result. Moreover, you can also lets the article syndication sites to designate the third-party websites who are interested to publish your other articles.

Link Exchanges, Reciprocal links and Link Directories

Towards the endeavor to link-building link exchange is considered as one amongst the best practice and of course it make sense for your users. In this practice you can offer other website owners to place your link in their site as well as in return you will have to place their link in your website. No doubt it works and adopted by many of the peoples.

Paid Links and Text Link Advertising

By following search engine guidelines you can opt for paid links and text link advertising. Here, you will pay for links and advertising that is a valuable practice. You can purchase a link for advertising value which can deliver traffic, search engine approve the link however, it may be penalized if purchased just for influencing search engine rankings. Moreover, without violating Google guidelines if you wish to sell or buy text link advertising you are required to implement with nofollow, intermediate page or JavaScript which are blocked from search engine spiders.

Viral and Word of Mouth Marketing

This method is also known as linkbaiting. In this process you are supposed to create content that gets word-of-mouth marketing and viral in nature that can help a lot to earn more links. Such kind of content created towards this context is generally marketed on social media sites. As long as without artificial and purchased votes when your contents will be famous, you will be considered within guidelines of search engines.

Blogs and Social Media

Blogs: Blogs has been emerged as a new concept of website publishing. The content in blog are supposed to be arranged, organized and published as journal format. Blogs are generally incorporate less formal content like conversation-like style of writing as well as help publishers and owners of website to interact in more affable way with their users, customers and other publishers.

However, with conversation-like writing and journal format of blogs you can earn link in very easy and convenient way from your community. But the content must seems to be valuable to the members of your community and compel to link to. In order to render a blog truly successful it is suggested that you should publish frequently as well as participate in the community.

Social Media: Social Media and bookmarking sites incorporates community members who acts almost like editors. They used to designate web pages, articles, stories, videos or any other interesting and engaging content and vote them. Many Social media as well as bookmarking sites look for fresh content regularly as well as also requires a constant flow of new material in account of frequent publishing. However, in order to achieve a great result you should attempt to involve in the community and submit stories not only from your website but also employ other sources. Before submitting stories you must go with site’s own written and unwritten rules of each social media website.

Analytics and Tools

When your website became live and running you would like to know how many visitors are coming to your site, how they get into their, what pages they are viewing and how long they stay there. In order to get an insight report including visitors performance you can employ analytics tool. The most common, easy and affable to access and reliable tool is Google Analytics which is completely free to sign up and implement. See our another post Google Analytics: A Guide for Beginners for insight information.

Linking Strategy

A general and good linking strategy is to gain link gradually from as many trusted sources as possible. You may employ distinct anchor text for your site’s home page as well as sub-pages. However, if you earn too many links in account of identical words in the anchor text in short period of time and from non-reliable and untrusted websites the search engine can make a negative impact or filter your website.

Common SEO Problems

Though you can build a website incorporating great and quality content as well as employ an robust marketing plan, even might be foiled by some technical issues. So, take a look over these most common errors:

robots.txt File

A robots.txt file intimate the sections or pages of your website to be crawled by search engines according to your wish. However, care must be taken as a minor mistake can tend to block search engine spiders from a section or whole website you want indexed. Google Webmaster incorporates a tool by means of which you can verify whether your robots.txt file perform according to you or not.

Response and Header Codes

When a page is served by web server it employ a special code through which it says the browser or spider about the current status of the page being served. If a 200 response code interacts with you it means the page serves is normal. In case, if not configured properly this response may even appear through some web servers when it found a file is missing.

A 404 response code appear in case a file or page doesn’t exist. In order to improve the usability and retain the visitors you can set-up a custom 404 page incorporating a message explaining the reason and invitation to re-visit the page with aspected time. Read more about  HTTP Status code and response code.

Duplicate Content

The content of a page throughout the entire web should exist only under one URL. It is referred as an issue when there are multiple same content over the Internet. However, it seems to be confounded for search engine to designate which version of content is more concerning with search query made by users. With duplicate content the site owners agonize rankings in search result page as well as loose traffic. The major issues you may experience with duplicate content are:

Search engines can’t designate which version to exclude or include from their indices.
Search engines become confounded either to direct the link metrics like authority, trust, link juice, anchor text and etc. to one page or hold it asunder amongst multiple versions.
Search engines find it difficult to rank which version associated with query results.

Duplicate Titles

The title for your every webpage of your site must incorporate a quality and unique title. When a search engine points out duplicate titles it will attempt to adjudge the more relevant and quality page as well as eliminate another title from the index.

Duplicate Meta Descriptions

When search engine identify identical meta descriptions in several number of web-pages, these web-pages likely to be filtered for poor quality and eliminated from the index.

Poor or Low Quality Content

Towards the endeavor of creating good number pages exponentially, most people used to employ shortcut or automated method which in consequences pages including fill-in-the-blank or gibberish content come into existence. Search engine are capable to designate this very easily and hence filter these sites from the index.

Blackhat SEO and Spamming

Many people violate search engine guidelines to get a higher ranking in search result page through implementing various methods and tactics such as Keyword Stuffing, Paid Linking, Link Spamming, Sneaky or deceptive redirects, Artificial Link schemes and many more. However, you should avoid such tactics or tricks that seems to be employ for manipulating search engines or artificially enhanced ranking, you would be listed in blackhat SEO or spamming. Eventually, it has aftermath for the site where you implement this.

However, in bottom line I would like to conclude that practicing good SEO takes time as well as you will have to put your best efforts towards creating unique and quality content and robust community voice.

Webgranth

Admin from India is a founder of WebGranth, an entity of Sparx IT Solutions with over 8 years of experience on different verticals of web design & development. In his quest to spread the knowledge regarding web development, he has been contributing in WebGranth by submitting his valuable blogs.