Simple Ways to Optimize Your Website for SEO

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Appedology.com | Date: November 13, 2020 | Posted by: Admin | Category: Tech
Simple Ways to Optimize Your Website for SEO

TABLE CONTENTS

SEO Basics

Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. More than one billion questions have been asked on Google Lens on any given day, people conduct more than 2.2 million searches. And that’s just on Google — there are other search engines too that people use. Showing up in the top searches of Google’s front page is often the deciding factor between a successful business and one that’s, well, not. What exactly does a website need to optimize when we speak of search engine optimization? It’s a package, it is design, and writing and links. And more. SEO is the skill of ranking high on a search engine in the unpaid section, which are the organic listings of a search engine. Yeah that’s still as clear as mud, I know. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of priming your online content so that search engines want to and willingly display it as a top result for searches of certain keywords.  What are the components for SEO? Well, there’s you, the website owner/blogger/content writer, there’s the search engine, and then the searcher. Let’s say you want to post an article about fun games for the next office Christmas party, you would want the search engine (90% of the time, that’s Google) to show it as a top result to anyone who searches for the phrase “Office Christmas Party Games.” SEO is the science you use in your article to increase the probabilities of Google including your post as one of the top results when users search for certain keywords. Now, I googled this next bit of information; 92.26 percent people use google as a search engine, followed by Bing at 2.83 percent and Yahoo! At 1.59 percent. Then there’s Baidu at 114 percent, DuckDuckGo and Yandex at 0.5 percent each.   Heard the one about what’s the best place to hide a dead body?  Dump it on the third page of Google search results. So in essence if your blog post, article, or product is on any other page of the Google search results than the first, then it’s not really ranking at all.

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO

SEO Basics

Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. More than one billion questions have been asked on Google Lens on any given day, people conduct more than 2.2 million searches. And that’s just on Google — there are other search engines too that people use.

Showing up in the top searches of Google’s front page is often the deciding factor between a successful business and one that’s, well, not.

What exactly does a website need to optimize when we speak of search engine optimization? It’s a package, it is design, and writing and links. And more.

SEO is the skill of ranking high on a search engine in the unpaid section, which are the organic listings of a search engine. Yeah that’s still as clear as mud, I know.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of priming your online content so that search engines want to and willingly display it as a top result for searches of certain keywords. 

What are the components for SEO? Well, there’s you, the website owner/blogger/content writer, there’s the search engine, and then the searcher. Let’s say you want to post an article about fun games for the next office Christmas party, you would want the search engine (90% of the time, that’s Google) to show it as a top result to anyone who searches for the phrase “Office Christmas Party Games.”

SEO is the science you use in your article to increase the probabilities of Google including your post as one of the top results when users search for certain keywords.

Now, I googled this next bit of information; 92.26 percent people use google as a search engine, followed by Bing at 2.83 percent and Yahoo! At 1.59 percent. Then there’s Baidu at 114 percent, DuckDuckGo and Yandex at 0.5 percent each.  

Heard the one about what’s the best place to hide a dead body? 

Dump it on the third page of Google search results.

So in essence if your blog post, article, or product is on any other page of the Google search results than the first, then it’s not really ranking at all.

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO

Google guards their search algorithm well and not all of the over 200 determining factors are public, but back track a little to learn this: there are two types of SEO, black hat SEO and white hate SEO (remember the old westerns?)

Some people are in it to make a few grand really quickly while others are in it for the long haul. Black hat SEO techniques are a get-rich-quick, one-shot wonder scheme, which focuses on optimizing your content only for the search engine, not considering humans at all. There are lots of ways to bend and break algorithms to get your sites to rank high, and black hat SEOs make a few thousand dollars fast. 

However, this results in spammy, crappy pages that often get banned quickly and can lead to strict punishment for the marketer, ruining their chances of building in the future. So you might make a few grand, but will constantly be looking over your shoulder not to get caught, and for search engine updates, plus come up with new ways to dodge the rules.

Alternatively white hat SEO builds a sustainable online business, all you need to do is focus on your human audience, give them the best content possible and make it easily accessible for them by following the search engine’s rules. That’s the one, all legit business or entities would follow any given day.

Here are five fundamental steps to SEO success:

Figure out what your customers are searching for

Define how to optimize your web pages for your target keywords

Ensure your website is accessible to both search engines and humans

Get other websites to link to your site, and finally:

Start measuring your SEO success

 

On Page and Off Page SEO

Let’s say you have a great dining area in your restaurant but the kitchen is a disaster, roached falling off the walls, grease, grime, the works, and it has to be an open-kitchen. Once customers see the state of your kitchen, say goodbye to anyone who accidentally came in to dine. The same would happen if your dining area was a mess but your kitchen was spotless. That’s exactly how On Page and Off Page SEO work. 

So your great dining area attracted customer, but they bounce right out once they see the kitchen. When a visitor leaves your site after viewing only one page, Google considers that a bounce. The higher your bounce rate (number of visitors who leave your site instantly), the worse your page will rank on Google.

 

And the second example is where they never engaged with your website to begin with because it was not appealing enough. You can follow several strategies on your page to get the former right and then even more outside of that (off the page if you will) to ace the latter.

On-page SEO 

The main strategies for on-page optimization are: 

Content: In almost Biblical times, way back in 1996, Bill Gates predicted “Content is king.” That still holds true, because any Google search engine customer is happiest when they find the best results to their questions and searches.

 

If you Google “easy homemade espresso,” Google focuses its resources to delivering what Google believes is the best recipe for homemade espresso (that takes little time and uses few ingredients or steps) on the entire web.

It won’t just look for the quickest recipe, or the easiest recipe, or throw addresses of online coffee shops at you. It tries to give you exactly what you asked for.

Google always tries to give you the best experience possible by directing you to the greatest content it can find. So your best bet to do well with SEO is to produce great content. That means a lot of effort on your part. SEO is no different than any rewardable skill: great results will always come from big effort.

Coming up with great content is not easy, it means that you have to be a learner and a teacher simultaneously. You don’t always start content writing from ground zero. You can often begin by researching and reviewing pre-existing, online content that others have created and then working on it to make it better, longer, and more informative, and of course current. Of course you may have your own ideas already, plan ahead of what you will encompass in your work and break it into compelling headers.

Even if you’re a complete rookie, take a professional approach to great content by simply making writing a daily habit and work upwards from there.

 

Keyword research:  – Let’s start with the basic definition of what keywords are in terms of SEO, these are the words and phrases that people type into search engines. They’re also known as search queries or “SEO keywords.” This is crucial. You ideally want to include your targeted keyword in your post’s headline and throughout the article, but first choose your keywords, even before you start writing.

Out of all on-page SEO factors, this is the one you should spend the most time learning. 

Google algorithms are constantly evolving and becoming more efficient, it is safe to say Google has gotten smarter over the years. While you should use keywords throughout your content, squeezing them into your text as much as possible will lower your rankings rather than improve them. Keyword stuffing will always backfire. It’s not about simple semantics, Google also interprets the meaning of searchers’ keywords, 

It will not just look at your keywords but its synonyms too, to understand what you mean when you type in something like “papa johns nyc.” Google will know that you are not looking for a relative, but guesses it’s about food, even if you haven’t typed it the exact name or context of what you want. Creepy, super-smart AI (in a nice way).

Keywords are the foundation of SEO. You may write award winning epics and post them online but if nobody is searching for what you’re writing about, you won’t get any traffic to your work, from Google—no matter how hard you try. 

Quality: With great content and proper key word implementation quality is a given. You work on the other two consistently, adding to your user’s experience through visuals, animations, aesthetics and videos, adds to your quality. And above all, you provide your end-user quality when you answer their questions to the best of your ability. Keep holding onto that and just focus on the readers and what’s best for them.

Fresh Content: Posting frequently improves Google rankings. That doesn’t mean you go crazy trying to come up with new idea every single day, but make sure topics of interest are up to date, revised and re-written, and new information added regularly. As long as your content is thorough and in-depth it is good to go.

Direct answers – Google will provide searchers with direct answers right on the SERP – Search Engine Result Pages. If your content is clearly written and if Google recognizes it as an answer to a particular question, it will show up directly beneath the search bar. Cut out the jargon, make it easy to understand and make it helpful. Your content may be written by you, but it should never be just about you, keep your audience and their questions in mind constantly while framing your answers.

Choosing the Wrong Keywords: This is as important as choosing the right ones. If you offer fairly exclusive, expensive consultation services but write rank first for blogs for “Free Business Growth Tips” you will attract people looking for ‘free’ tips. How many would convert to clients for your service? Did that audience or ranking help you in any way? It would be better to pick different topics or keywords and give up the thousands of visitors for the few who visit your website with the intention of initiating a business relationship with you. 

Forgetting About the Competitors: You choose the best keywords, make a content rich blog, frame your best ideas and are raring to go using keyword volume tools that give you the best numbers on keywords that get the most searches. If you don’t keep in mind the domains and page authorities and any linking root domains they may use, you will take months and years to achieve the same results in terms of ranking.

Focus on Intent: Organic searches are always looking for some specific information or detail, so it’s not the words that count but the purpose behind the search. Try to decipher what people are looking for and not just what they are typing and then give them that. So you pull up a list of keywords in some tool, ranked it by search volume and run down the list in your content. It would help more if you expanded your options like Google does when you type in a search. In doing so you are more likely to offer the best content to someone searching.

Site Architecture: A good website architecture leads to a great experience for the user when he or she navigates your page. It focuses on things like fast loading times, a safe connection, and a mobile-friendly design.

 

It’s never too early to start. Create a site map (architecture of your site) before even buying the domain, it will help build great user experience (UX).Keep all pages on your website well indexed for easy navigation. Should you choose to add links, the more the web of links between pages of your site, the easier it is for the spiders (a spider is a program that visits websites and reads their pages and information to create entries for a search engine index) to reach all of them, giving the search engine a better understanding of your site.

You can create sitemaps using a simple plugin if you’re on WordPress or an online XML sitemap generator.

 

Mobile-friendliness: If your page isn’t mobile-friendly, you are lost. More than 54% of Facebook users access social media exclusively on their mobile devices. If we consider that Facebook has over 1.65 billion monthly active users, that number represents nearly 900 million mobile-only users! While there are several ways to make your pages mobile-friendly, start by checking how mobile-centric it is right now.

Page Loading Speed: We often choose to forego a website if it takes more than a few seconds to load. Today time is our most precious commodity, and long loading times kill visits and conversions. Google has researched that in 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 32 percent. At 1 to 5 seconds it increases by 90 percent, 106 percent for loading delays of 1 to 6 seconds and at 1 till 10 seconds the probability of bounce increases by 123 percent. 

Off-Page SEO

Four main ways to optimize off-page SEO are:

Trust

As more spammy, obscure content gets dumped online, trust is getting increasingly important for Google. It wants to see whether your site is legit or not, and most likely if you look like a big brand, Google would trust you.

Quality backlinks from authoritative sites (like .edu or .gov domains) also help. There are four parts to building trust. 

Authority: Google determines the overall authority of your site by a mix of two kinds of authority that you can build: domain authority and page authority.

Domain Authority is based on how well known your domain name is. Coca-cola.com is very authoritative, for example, because almost everyone in the world knows and recognizes it.

Page authority, relates to how authoritative the content of a single page (for example a blog post) is.

Remember please that statistically 70% of US consumers look for a ‘known retailer’ when deciding what search result to click. So having a recognizable brand name is even more important than the price or quality of the product in question!

Bounce rate – Your bounce rate measures how many people view only a single page on your site before immediately leaving again.

Content, loading times, usability, and attracting the right readers are all part of decreasing your bounce rate. The right readers will spend more time on a site that loads fast, looks good, and has great content. Video is another great way to engage users, but you need your video content to stand out, be meaningful and align with your content.

Let’s say, you ask a specific question and have now checked the first four results. The first two aren’t helpful and you click off after the first few seconds. The third is good but the fourth is a perfect match for what you need and you spend the maximum time on that website. You have now given Google data that the first two sites do not give a satisfactory result to the user query and will not hesitate to drop them or lower rankings.

Domain age: With domains on the Internet, domain age matters.  So, if you haven’t gotten your site up and running yet, consider finding an affordable, expired domain and using it. Google looks at the domain age evaluating that if you’re up there for a long time, it must probably mean you’re publishing quality content, and that you’re not a spam site that goes up and then disappears from the radar. 

Brand Identity: Having an online brand or personal identity is a huge trust signal for search engines, but it does take time to build.

Having a recognizable brand name is even more important when it comes to purchases and transactions, and when the price or quality of the product is in question!

 

Demographics

While most of these factors are out of your control, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of reaching a certain audience.

Country – All searchers see results relevant to the country they’re in. Open times of recommended stores and restaurants appear according to your time zone.

Language: Search engines interpret words differently. A “comforter” in the US is a blanket for their bed, whereas someone in the UK might think of pacifiers because that’s what it is there.

Search history – If the user has been on the same page before, or even if they’ve just visited your site in general, you’re more likely to show up because Google thinks you’re a relevant result for them. 

Search engine optimization isn’t optional anymore. While it does take a lot of effort to get it right, it might kill your online presence if you don’t. Don’t worry if you’ve already made a few SEO mistakes, commit to getting started today as it can take you 6 months to a year to see results.

Do your keyword research before you write your next blog post. Use those keywords to optimize the basics, such as your title tags and descriptions. And in time you will get those rankings. Just remember it won’t happen overnight, so start now and keep at it.

Don’t forget the key points, SEO stands for search engine optimization. If you are targeting competitive keywords, SEO can take upwards of 6 months to a year. Search engines do not penalize for duplicate content. And, yes SEO matters. The vast majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, and nearly 75% of searchers start their searches on Google.

Do you want more traffic? Start working on the pointers given above and if you want the professionals to do it for you, come have a chat with us at Appedology. We are determined to drive traffic to your website and we know how.

Google guards their search algorithm well and not all of the over 200 determining factors are public, but back track a little to learn this: there are two types of SEO, black hat SEO and white hate SEO (remember the old westerns?) Some people are in it to make a few grand really quickly while others are in it for the long haul. Black hat SEO techniques are a get-rich-quick, one-shot wonder scheme, which focuses on optimizing your content only for the search engine, not considering humans at all. There are lots of ways to bend and break algorithms to get your sites to rank high, and black hat SEOs make a few thousand dollars fast.  However, this results in spammy, crappy pages that often get banned quickly and can lead to strict punishment for the marketer, ruining their chances of building in the future. So you might make a few grand, but will constantly be looking over your shoulder not to get caught, and for search engine updates, plus come up with new ways to dodge the rules. Alternatively white hat SEO builds a sustainable online business, all you need to do is focus on your human audience, give them the best content possible and make it easily accessible for them by following the search engine’s rules. That’s the one, all legit business or entities would follow any given day. Here are five fundamental steps to SEO success: Figure out what your customers are searching for Define how to optimize your web pages for your target keywords Ensure your website is accessible to both search engines and humans Get other websites to link to your site, and finally: Start measuring your SEO success

On Page and Off Page SEO

Let’s say you have a great dining area in your restaurant but the kitchen is a disaster, roached falling off the walls, grease, grime, the works, and it has to be an open-kitchen. Once customers see the state of your kitchen, say goodbye to anyone who accidentally came in to dine. The same would happen if your dining area was a mess but your kitchen was spotless. That’s exactly how On Page and Off Page SEO work.  So your great dining area attracted customer, but they bounce right out once they see the kitchen. When a visitor leaves your site after viewing only one page, Google considers that a bounce. The higher your bounce rate (number of visitors who leave your site instantly), the worse your page will rank on Google.

And the second example is where they never engaged with your website to begin with because it was not appealing enough. You can follow several strategies on your page to get the former right and then even more outside of that (off the page if you will) to ace the latter.

On-page SEO 

The main strategies for on-page optimization are:  Content: In almost Biblical times, way back in 1996, Bill Gates predicted “Content is king.” That still holds true, because any Google search engine customer is happiest when they find the best results to their questions and searches.

If you Google “easy homemade espresso,” Google focuses its resources to delivering what Google believes is the best recipe for homemade espresso (that takes little time and uses few ingredients or steps) on the entire web. It won’t just look for the quickest recipe, or the easiest recipe, or throw addresses of online coffee shops at you. It tries to give you exactly what you asked for. Google always tries to give you the best experience possible by directing you to the greatest content it can find. So your best bet to do well with SEO is to produce great content. That means a lot of effort on your part. SEO is no different than any rewardable skill: great results will always come from big effort. Coming up with great content is not easy, it means that you have to be a learner and a teacher simultaneously. You don’t always start content writing from ground zero. You can often begin by researching and reviewing pre-existing, online content that others have created and then working on it to make it better, longer, and more informative, and of course current. Of course you may have your own ideas already, plan ahead of what you will encompass in your work and break it into compelling headers. Even if you’re a complete rookie, take a professional approach to great content by simply making writing a daily habit and work upwards from there.

Keyword research:  – Let’s start with the basic definition of what keywords are in terms of SEO, these are the words and phrases that people type into search engines. They’re also known as search queries or “SEO keywords.” This is crucial. You ideally want to include your targeted keyword in your post’s headline and throughout the article, but first choose your keywords, even before you start writing. Out of all on-page SEO factors, this is the one you should spend the most time learning.  Google algorithms are constantly evolving and becoming more efficient, it is safe to say Google has gotten smarter over the years. While you should use keywords throughout your content, squeezing them into your text as much as possible will lower your rankings rather than improve them. Keyword stuffing will always back fire. It’s not about simple semantics, Google also interprets the meaning of searchers’ keywords,  It will not just look at your keywords but its synonyms too, to understand what you mean when you type in something like “papa johns nyc.” Google will know that you ae not looking for a relative, but guesses it’s about food, even if you haven’t typed it the exact name or context of what you want. Creepy, super smart AI (in a nice way).

Keywords are the foundation of SEO. You may write award winning epics and post them online but if nobody is searching for what you’re writing about, you won’t get any traffic to your work, from Google—no matter how hard you try. 

Quality: With great content and proper key word implementation quality is a given. You work on the other two consistently, adding to your user’s experience through visuals, animations, aesthetics and videos, adds to your quality. And above all, you provide your end-user quality when you answer their questions to the best of your ability. Keep holding onto that and just focus on the readers and what’s best for them.

Fresh Content: Posting frequently improves Google rankings. That doesn’t mean you go crazy trying to come up with new idea every single day, but make sure topics of interest are up to date, revised and re-written, and new information added regularly. As long as your content is thorough and in-depth it is good to go.

Direct answers – Google will provide searchers with direct answers right on the SERP – Search Engine Result Pages. If your content is clearly written and if Google recognizes it as an answer to a particular question, it will show up directly beneath the search bar. Cut out the jargon, make it easy to understand and make it helpful. Your content may be written by you, but it should never be just about you, keep your audience and their questions in mind constantly while framing your answers.

Choosing the Wrong Keywords: This is as important as choosing the right ones. If you offer fairly exclusive, expensive consultation services but write rank first for blogs for “Free Business Growth Tips” you will attract people looking for ‘free’ tips. How many would convert to clients for your service? Did that audience or ranking help you in any way? It would be better to pick different topics or keywords and give up the thousands of visitors for the few who visit your website with the intention of initiating a business relationship with you. 

Forgetting About the Competitors: You choose the best keywords, make a content rich blog, frame your best ideas and are raring to go using keyword volume tools that give you the best numbers on keywords that get the most searches. If you don’t keep in mind the domains and page authorities and any linking root domains they may use, you will take months and years to achieve the same results in terms of ranking. Focus on

Intent: Organic searches are always looking for some specific information or detail, so it’s not the words that count but the purpose behind the search. Try to decipher what people are looking for and not just what they are typing and then give them that. So you pull up a list of keywords in some tool, ranked it by search volume and run down the list in your content. It would help more if you expanded your options like Google does when you type in a search. In doing so you are more likely to offer the best content to someone searching. Site Architecture: A good website architecture leads to a great experience for the user when he or she navigates your page. It focuses on things like fast loading times, a safe connection, and a mobile-friendly design.

It’s never too early to start. Create a site map (architecture of your site) before even buying the domain, it will help build great user experience (UX).Keep all pages on your website well indexed for easy navigation. Should you choose to add links, the more the web of links between pages of your site, the easier it is for the spiders (a spider is a program that visits websites and reads their pages and information to create entries for a search engine index) to reach all of them, giving the search engine a better understanding of your site. You can create sitemaps using a simple plugin if you’re on WordPress or an online XML sitemap generator.

Mobile-friendliness: If your page isn’t mobile-friendly, you are lost. More than 54% of Facebook users access social media exclusively on their mobile devices. If we consider that Facebook has over 1.65 billion monthly active users, that number represents nearly 900 million mobile-only users! While there are several ways to make your pages mobile-friendly, start by checking how mobile-centric it is right now. Page Loading

Speed: We often choose to forego a website if it takes more than a few seconds to load. Today time is our most precious commodity, and long loading times kill visits and conversions. Google has researched that in 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 32 percent. At 1 to 5 seconds it increases by 90 percent, 106 percent for loading delays of 1 to 6 seconds and at 1 till 10 seconds the probability of bounce increases by 123 percent. 

Off-Page SEO

Four main ways to optimize off-page SEO are:

Trust As more spammy, obscure content gets dumped online, trust is getting increasingly important for Google. It wants to see whether your site is legit or not, and most likely if you look like a big brand, Google would trust you. Quality backlinks from authoritative sites (like .edu or .gov domains) also help. There are four parts to building trust. 

Authority: Google determines the overall authority of your site by a mix of two kinds of authority that you can build: domain authority and page authority. Domain Authority is based on how well known your domain name is. Coca-cola.com is very authoritative, for example, because almost everyone in the world knows and recognizes it. Page authority, relates to how authoritative the content of a single page (for example a blog post) is. Remember please that statistically 70% of US consumers look for a ‘known retailer’ when deciding what search result to click. So having a recognizable brand name is even more important than the price or quality of the product in question!

Bounce rate – Your bounce rate measures how many people view only a single page on your site before immediately leaving again. Content, loading times, usability, and attracting the right readers are all part of decreasing your bounce rate. The right readers will spend more time on a site that loads fast, looks good, and has great content. Video is another great way to engage users, but you need your video content to stand out, be meaningful and align with your content.

Let’s say, you ask a specific question and have now checked the first four results. The first two aren’t helpful and you click off after the first few seconds. The third is good but the fourth is a perfect match for what you need and you spend the maximum time on that website. You have now given Google data that the first two sites do not give a satisfactory result to the user query and will not hesitate to drop them or lower rankings.

Domain age: With domains on the Internet, domain age matters.  So, if you haven’t gotten your site up and running yet, consider finding an affordable, expired domain and using it. Google looks at the domain age evaluating that if you’re up there for a long time, it must probably mean you’re publishing quality content, and that you’re not a spam site that goes up and then disappears from the radar. 

Brand Identity: Having an online brand or personal identity is a huge trust signal for search engines, but it does take time to build. Having a recognizable brand name is even more important when it comes to purchases and transactions, and when the price or quality of the product is in question!

Demographics

While most of these factors are out of your control, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of reaching a certain audience.

Country – All searchers see results relevant to the country they’re in. Open times of recommended stores and restaurants appear according to your time zone.

Language: Search engines interpret words differently. A “comforter” in the US is a blanket for their bed, whereas someone in the UK might think of pacifiers because that’s what it is there.

Search history – If the user has been on the same page before, or even if they’ve just visited your site in general, you’re more likely to show up because Google thinks you’re a relevant result for them.

Search engine optimization isn’t optional anymore. While it does take a lot of effort to get it right, it might kill your online presence if you don’t. Don’t worry if you’ve already made a few SEO mistakes, commit to getting started today as it can take you 6 months to a year to see results.

Do your keyword research before you write your next blog post. Use those keywords to optimize the basics, such as your title tags and descriptions. And in time you will get those rankings. Just remember it won’t happen overnight, so start now and keep at it. Don’t forget the key points, SEO stands for search engine optimization. If you are targeting competitive keywords, SEO can take upwards of 6 months to a year. Search engines do not penalize for duplicate content. And, yes SEO matters. The vast majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, and nearly 75% of searchers start their searches on Google. Do you want more traffic? Start working on the pointers given above and if you want the professionals to do it for you, come have a chat with us at Appedology. We are determined to drive traffic to your website and we know how.

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