- 1. What is SEO?
- 2. Why is SEO Important?
- 3. How do Search Engines work?
- 4. What is On-Page SEO?
- 5. What is Technical SEO?
- 6. What is Off-Page SEO?
- 7. What is SEO Content?
- 8. What is The Importance of Content Marketing in SEO?
- 9. How to Do Keyword Research?
- 10. What is Search Intent/User Intent and Why does it matter?
- 11. What are Google Ranking Factors?
- 12. How to Learn SEO?
What is SEO?
The SEO definition, or rather Search Engine Optimisation, is labelled as a set of processes whereby the content, titles and even URLs of a webpage are specifically optimised and designed to be found and recognised by search engines. This is done by combining practices, strategies and actions to increase the visibility of certain content and web pages. The addition of certain keywords or phrases in the content ensures that search engines like Google can easily pick up on what the page is about and rank it highly. Rankings are extremely important for a website as the higher a page is ranked on a search engine the more traffic that it receives. It is also important to make sure that the content is specifically geared towards a certain topic and that the content is optimised with words and phrases that are meaningful to the content. While the SEO meaning and definition may be broad, the general gist of this concept is that search engines use it to provide better content to their users!
SEO is becoming more and more relevant as the amount of content out there increases and the competition between similar brands and businesses grow. It is now more important than ever to make sure that your content is seen first and by the right target audiences! It is no longer just about how good your products are, but how well they are marketed.
Why is SEO Important?
As technology becomes an important part of business and marketing moves from physical displays to online presence, one of the main things to ensure is recognition. With so many different brands and businesses competing against each other, being first on a search engine result page when a certain phrase or word is typed into a search engine can mean all the difference.
SEO is a clever way for search engines to manipulate and control exactly what comes up first when users type certain words or phrases on the search engine. Without it, the pages with the most links or even the most pages could be the ones that pop up first, unfair when you think about how software could be used to manipulate these traits. SEO has made it possible for content to be the main priority when it comes to ranking, ensuring that its users receive the best and highest quality of content.
How do Search Engines work?
Gone are the days of scouring through newspapers, magazines and books for information on what a brand does or how they function, nowadays we pop a word or two into a search engine and voila, thousands of web pages with information are at your fingertips! Search engines work by using specific and targeted algorithms and searching, or crawling, through thousands and thousands of different pages and links to find content that would be relevant for what you are looking for. They do this by relating the words or phrases that you type into a search bar to specific things on a page like the keywords or phrases that are repeated, the date that the page was updated and they even look at the previous user engagement on a specific page. What is astounding is that these crawlers do this in seconds!
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the practice of optimising the actual content displayed on your web page. The way your content is structured, the words that are used and where they are placed and even the meta titles and descriptions all influence and make up on-page SEO. Every aspect of your page that is on display falls into this category, meaning that it is probably the most important type of SEO and a lot of focus should be placed on this content. SEO copywriting involves optimising the content that you place on your webpage to be sure that a search engine will be able to correctly place it and rank it highly.
Why Do On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is extremely important and those who initiate this type of SEO see results almost immediately. The content that you write and place on your website is what is read by a search engine, and the information that you supply is how it matches your content with results. On-page SEO is therefore how a search engine can correlate your content with results and can match it with certain relative searches. Content that is not optimised according to SEO rules may not be ranked highly or receive the traffic that it would have had had the content been structured to match how a search engine works.
On-Page SEO Checklist: What Are On-Page SEO Factors?
An SEO audit refers to the process of examining all SEO features and making sure that they are in line with good practices and will be effective tools to draw in traffic. The following are just a few of these most important on-page SEO factors to consider when designing your on-page SEO:
- Use your keywords: One of the easiest ways for a search engine to register your website’s content with a specific search engine question is through SEO keywords. Ensuring that the relevant keywords are used a certain number of times and are placed throughout your content, you are already on your way to ensuring that your content is SEO optimised. It is important to remember that the keywords you use should not be placed haphazardly across your content but they should rather be structured well and slide into your content seamlessly.
- Make sure that your metadata is optimised: Your meta description and meta titles inform a search engine of what the content on your page is about. It is incredibly important that this data reflects your content well and contains keywords that match with what is on the webpage. It is important to remember that search engines like Google can sometimes rewrite metadata to match your page, so it is imperative that the content you have written matches the search results you hope to rank highly for.
How to optimise for On-Page SEO?
One of the best ways to analyse whether or not your on-page optimisation has been effective is to see where you rank on a web page. There are several different SEO tools and websites that you can use to analyse your page or you could simply type a few relevant words in on google and see whether your page pops up and where it ranks. When thinking about analysing whether or not your content has been optimised well, it is important to remember that you are simply looking to see your rankings and whether or not your content is recognised under certain search tags.
How to Check a Competitor’s On-Page SEO?
The same can be said for a competitors on-page SEO rankings and how one can analyse their competition. SEO analysis goes a long way in improving your own SEO and analysing the competition is a great way to come up with keywords! Typing in the relevant keywords and checking as to whether or not they are ranked highly will indicate whether their content has been appropriately optimised according to SEO rules. It is important to check competitors and their rankings as this may impact your own brand and business. Learn from what they have done right and wrong to ensure that you rank higher than the competition and draw in traffic.
A more accurate way to test out a competitors on-page SEO is by using free SEO tools like Ahrefs to examine their main keywords and organic traffic. Not only does this let you know how good or bad a business’s online SEO is going but it also may provide you with relevant information with regards to the keywords that you are using.
What is Technical SEO?
When speaking about technical SEO we are referring to the different actions that are performed to create a better user experience as well as the different features that help search engines crawl a web page. The way that your SEO website is structured and the speed that the page loads are just two of the many aspects that relate to how technical SEO can better equip your webpage with higher rankings.
Why is Technical SEO Important?
Technical SEO increases the ability of crawlers (and the ease at which they can engage with a page) and it also influences the user experience. These two features are incredibly important concepts to consider and they affect both your search engine rankings and whether or not a user makes a purchase or completes a specific action. Without technical SEO, webpages, users and search engines cannot interact with ease and this has been known to greatly affect the effectiveness of a webpage.
Technical SEO Checklist: What are Technical SEO Issues?
Technical SEO issues refer to the problems that crop up that have to do with the user experience and the ability of search engine crawlers to recognise your content and rank it highly. With over 200 ranking factors labelled by Google, it is important that technical issues do not negatively impact your ranking. The following are just two checks to do to ensure that technical SEO on your page will not negatively impact your ranking and user experience.
- Fix any link issues: Any issues with links, both internal and outbound, can create issues for both the user and the crawlers examining your web pages. By ensuring that all links used on your page take users to the correct URL, you can positively impact both the user experience and the search engines ability to monitor the content on your webpage.
- Change to HTTPS protocol: A protocol refers to an agreed-upon method of transferring information and many different kinds exist. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) encrypts any information that you place on a webpage to avoid any cybercriminals getting hold of any important information. This protocol ensures that passwords, identity numbers and even credit card information is completely secure. In 2014, Google announced that using this protocol would be a ranking factor as it ensures the safety of users and promotes the protection of data.
- Get local SEO services: Local SEO services refer to the process of ensuring that your online presence is more visible and accessible through local search results. This type of SEO adjustment is extremely beneficial for those who have an address or serve a particular area. Local SEO can both improve the experience of a user and draw more traffic to your page!
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO refers to the tools that are used to indirectly influence the ranking of a webpage. These efforts are not direct but they are extremely important and influence the longevity of a webpage’s rankings. While the content on a website is extremely important, Google has over 200 ranking factors that impact how a web page is read and using each of these factors is necessary if you want to ensure that you have a high ranking. Backlinks are a great example of how off-page SEO works and using them is a tactic that many brands use to bring in traffic and attract the attention of search engines.
Backlinks refer to links from another website to your webpage, so if someone puts a link on their website that leads to your page you have a backlink. The number of backlinks that you have leading to your page works both to increase the amount of traffic that your page receives and also provide a good way to get better rankings on search engines.
SEO Backlinks are very important and influential features for search engines and they can greatly impact how valuable a search engine finds your content. If you have many different backlinks that lead to your page, it means that other websites are finding your content interesting and valuable, leading search engines like Google to believe the same.
What is important to remember when creating backlinks is that Google and other search engines do not appreciate links that lead from what we refer to as ‘Toxic Links’. These kinds of links come from websites that are not trusted and do not have high authority. The higher the authority of a page, the more significant and impactful a backlink will be! This is called domain authority and it can significantly influence your SEO and the ranking of your page on search engines.
What are Toxic Links and How to Find Them?
Toxic links refer to backlinks that are detrimental to your SEO and may even be responsible for lowering your rankings on search engines like Google. Not every backlink is useful, and websites that are considered low-quality pages that have links to your page may take you down with them. The following are just a few examples of how toxic links are made:
- The website has been created with no other content except backlinks.
- The content on the page has no relevance to your page.
- The webpage is considered to be a black-hat link building page.
For those who are unsure of whether or not they may have toxic backlinks, there are several different tools that can be used to measure how effective your backlinks are. MajesticSEO, Semrush, Ahrefs and Pre Post SEO are just a few of the best and most effective tools to use when examining your backlinks.
How To Do Link Building?
One of the easiest ways to build links is to create relationships with brands and websites that have similar or relevant content compared to you. Outreach ensures that you are creating long-lasting relationships with other brands who will display your link and may even promote your website if you are not a direct competitor. Outreach is seen as a very successful way of earning backlinks and this tactic promotes longevity. By having links on relevant pages, you have the chance to both increase the traffic that comes to your page and you also increase your ranking on search engines. Content marketing and building useful tools for a webpage are two ways that can ensure that websites want to have your page tied to theirs and it offers the opportunity to exchange information and resources, even if you are competitors.
Link building can be time-consuming and many brands simply do not have the time to slowly build relationships. If you are looking for a quick solution and are hoping to not take the time to create relationships and have long-lasting backlinks, you can also use paid links. While this tactic is not necessarily seen as a good SEO tactic, brands who are hoping for quick and easy growth and have the cash to spare can purchase backlinks from reputable websites.
Why is Link Building Important?
Link building is an important process and websites that are hoping to generate organic traffic and increase their rankings on search engines need to participate in link building. Having external links that lead potential customers to your webpage can help to increase sales and may impact how quickly your brand progresses. For those who are new to digital marketing and have just started out, forming relationships with other brands and having them link back to your page could increase the speed at which your website grows. It is important to remember that backlinks should be only used if they are from reputable websites with similar or relevant content to yours.
What is Black-Hat Link Building and Why You Should Not Do That?
Black-Hat link building is a way that some website builders try to cheat the system by ignoring the general practices, rules and guidelines of SEO practices. This is done by boosting rankings while ignoring searcher intent and the standard SEO rules and practices that have been developed and instilled by the search engines themselves. Many different website engineers choose to use black-hat link building because they assume that the quick progression and greater search visibility will remain in place, but it can actually have the opposite effect and can be detrimental to a webpage.
One of the main reasons why Black-hat link building can harm your page is because it goes directly against a search engines terms of service, and if (or rather when) you are found out, they reserve the right to lower your rankings or even kick your web page off of the search engine entirely.
What is SEO Content?
While backlinks, images and other factors are important to consider when thinking about the optimization of a webpage, one of the most important elements on your web page will be the content.SEO content refers to the optimization of your content so that search engines can easily recognise what your page is about and rank it highly on relevant search pages. Content is extremely important and without good and well-researched data, pages will have lower rankings and have far less traffic as opposed to sites with relevant, insightful and informative content.
Professional SEO services and prominent search engines like Google will always put content at the top of the priority list when it comes to creating a webpage. Content should be filled with keywords that relate to the topic, well-researched data and should be kept up to date.
What Makes Great Content?
Great content is filled with relevant, well-structured and interesting information that draws your customers to take a certain action. While things like keyword density and other SEO aspects are also extremely important, it is even more pertinent to remember that the information you are writing and the content you provide is what is going to convert traffic into sales.
What is The Importance of Content Marketing in SEO?
Content marketing and SEO are two concepts that walk hand in hand, one without the other often leads to lower-ranking, little interest and lower levels of traffic going through a page. While SEO focuses on drawing users in and generating traffic, content marketing focuses on the quality of the work and makes sure that it is relevant and geared towards a specific market. To simply put it, SEO is responsible for attracting the attention of potential customers while content marketing is responsible for holding these customers’ attention and driving them towards taking a certain action.
How to Do Keyword Research?
Keyword research refers to the process of analysing certain words or phrases and using them in your content with the intention of attracting a search engine’s attention. A big part of this process is analysing the words that your target market uses when looking for products or services that your website promotes or provides. One of the easiest ways that search engines like Google can analyse certain content is through looking at the actual content itself, which words are used a lot through the text, how they are placed and the user’s intent. Keyword research analyses what users will Google or type into a search engine when looking for a specific product or service. If your content has been noted by the search engine to have this relevant information, your ranking will increase.
The first step in keyword research is getting an idea of what your customers or target market are typing into search engines. The following process gives a brief idea of how one can go about doing keyword research:
- Find your ‘seed’ keywords: The best way to start your keyword research would be to get a few ideas going and find words that describe your webpage and the content on it. If you are a webpage that is selling and promoting fruit vendors, what would you assume that people are typing into Google? Words and phrases like fruit, fruit sales and vendors selling fruit may be the first things that come to mind. These are your seed words and they are the first step in finding out what your target market is researching. Below is an example of how marketing agencies may set out these seed words.
- Do a bit of research on the keywords your competitors are using: By taking your seed keywords and entering them into a search engine, you can see whether or not your competitors’ pages are found. If the keywords you are using are not getting you to the pages you were hoping to see, you can use the auto-suggested keywords that search engines provide and try using these words. Once you have found a few similar websites to your own, you can use websites like Semrush, Ahrefs or surfer SEO to examine the top keywords used by these pages and examine the organic traffic that is generated to each site.
- Use keyword research tools: While examining a competitor’s keywords is a great way to get a few ideas, there may also be many keywords that they are not using. SEO tools and keyword generators like Semrush or Ahrefs. Both of these tools are great ways to generate keywords that will draw the attention of Search engines and be beneficial to your content. They are also good website SEO checkers and will help a brand or business determine the correct keywords for certain content. Below is an example of what the Semrush keyword overview for Fruit comes up with:
- Examine your target audience in more detail: While using seed words and competitors to come up with different keywords, there may be other words out there that are impactful and have just not been brought up through either of these processes. By getting to know your target market and interacting with them, you may be able to find and generate words that will positively affect your content!
What is Search Intent/User Intent and Why does it matter?
Search intent is how we understand the reasoning behind a user’s search on a search engine. Making sense of why a user would use a certain word or phrase makes it that much easier to estimate what the best keywords to use will be. SEO marketing relies on search intent to generate and identify how certain keywords and their placement will impact the ability of a user to find a certain webpage. It is therefore an incredibly important SEO practice and many SEO experts rely on using search intent.
There are four different kinds of search intent; informational intent, transactional intent, navigational intent and commercial intent. It is important for websites and SEO writers to know and understand each of these search intentions because it ensures that the correct information and content is generated to answer certain types of questions. The following is a brief overview of each of these different intentions:
- Informational intent: This type of search is when a user is trying to find out more information about a topic. Examples of this could be ‘How to’ searches or even searches that are giving information about a certain topic, for example, a person looking for information on World War Two would be searching with informational intent.
- Transactional intent: Transactional intent refers to when a user is attempting to find a certain product or service to purchase. An example of this type of search could be ‘Buy Netflix membership’. The user plans to make a purchase immediately.
- Navigational intent: Many people use search engines to find a specific website and they can type in and search by using the name. An example of this would be if someone had to type Markethinkers into google with the intention of getting to the Markethinkers website.
- Commercial intent: This type of search is similar to transactional intent as it is a search that someone performs when they are thinking of making a purchase. A search that is directed towards finding ‘The best place to buy apples’ or ‘the best brand of earphones to buy’ would be examples of commercial intent. This type of content is similar to transactional intent but would be less focused on price and more focused on the qualities of the product or service.
So why is search intent important and how does it affect a website and SEO? Search intent and SEO work closely with one another and while SEO is responsible for generating a higher ranking and placing a webpage in more search results, search intent is the practice of optimizing content to find the best commercial intents that are in line with your target keywords. Each of these aspects is extremely important and they work together to ensure that your web page is optimised to suit your target audience and attract organic traffic to your web page.
What are Google Ranking Factors?
With such a large amount of information and data on the internet, certain algorithms and ranking factors are used to sift through all of the different websites and information that is available. Without these tools, searching for specific information would be nearly impossible and search engines would not be nearly as effective. Ranking factors refer to the different systems that are in place that help to sift through all of the data and information on the internet. These factors help a person to find content that is meaningful and relevant to what they are searching for.
Ranking factors are made up of a series of algorithms that have been carefully designed and implemented by search engines like google. These algorithms measure certain features on a webpage and rank them according to their relevance, ensuring that users are given the best information as quickly as possible. Search algorithms and ranking factors are designed to enhance the user experience and have been created to rank certain features above others. Things like content reliability, backlinks, keywords used and many other features all influence Google ranking factors.
How to Learn SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years and has become a significant part of the marketing process. Websites require SEO agencies and SEO specialists now more than ever as the competition between different brands and businesses grow. It is no longer acceptable to just make sure that your content has a certain amount of pictures or certain keywords, there are now several different things that need to be done to ensure that your content is written according to SEO rules and remains relevant.
This has ensured that SEO jobs are in high demand and learning how to optimise content has become a great career that many writers, marketers and others from all sorts of careers are looking into learning about. There are many different kinds of ways to learn and lots of SEO training that one can do. Many people may want to go the more traditional route and get a degree in SEO copywriting, however, there are many online resources and blogs that have tons of information about SEO and how to improve your skills.
For those who are hoping to do one or two SEO courses, sites like Semrush and Udemy have different courses to sign up for and complete. These kinds of courses often include a ton of material and information, ensuring that you are equipped with all of the tools that you need to understand and improve your SEO skills. When looking at the different courses, it is important to ensure that you are looking for something that suits your level, whether you are a beginner starting out or an expert hoping to brush up on your skills.
Another fantastic way to learn the ropes of SEO is to follow different blogs. The reason why blogs have become so popular is since they are always up to date and offer changes and updates in real-time. As a marketing SEO company, our blog is one that we would recommend. The Markethinkers blog has many different resources, posts and pages that provide relevant information about SEO and other types of marketing. Markethinkers is an SEO agency and with a team of marketing and SEO experts behind every post, you are guaranteed to learn a thing or two about SEO and the world of digital marketing, whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned pro looking for some new SEO strategy tips!