A Guide to Understanding Search Engine Optimization for Noobs

Top-ranked websites get more business but it’s not easy to get ranked. Experts rely on SEO to improve the image of a website in the eyes of search engines.

We can define two paths including on-page and off-page. On-page includes incorporating relevant keywords and writing and optimizing content. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is about earning backlinks.

SEO is More About the Users

Most SEO experts make the mistake of only focusing on pleasing search engine algorithms. We need to understand the job of those algorithms and try to align our goals with theirs.

Google might be bigger than its next three competitors combined, but even it has to keep providing the best experience to retain its users. It is trying to show the best results to its users so they will keep using the Google search engine.

If you want Google to rank you at the top, simply focus on providing the best user experience.

  • The title and meta description of your page should be descriptive and relevant.
  • The page must load as quickly as possible.
  • The website should have a friendly user interface.
  • Content should be relevant, useful, and easily readable.

As long as your target audience is getting a better experience from your website, search engines will prefer to rank it. However, you must prove yourself better than your competitors.

All New Updates Are About User Experience

Google search engine uses an algorithm called PageRank to determine the rank of each page when a relevant query is searched.

This algorithm comprises several sub-algorithms, each focused on one important ranking factor. These algorithms are updated almost every day, and a major update is released every few months.

With each major update, people notice a change in the rankings of their websites.

All SEO experts noticed that all recent updates have been more about user experience while older updates focused more on backlinks and content.

For example, the following updates were mostly about enhancing the experience for the users of the Google search engine:

  • Page Experience update released on June 25, 2021
  • Product Reviews Update released on April 8, 2021 and December 1, 2021
  • Featured Snippet Drop released on February 19, 2021
  • May Core Update, May 4, 2020

These updates have proven that search engines are now more worried about how users interact with your websites. Google has one of the most advanced and artificially intelligent systems that understands your content and user behaviour to determine the value you offer.

The more value you can offer, the better rank you can get on result pages.

Black Hat vs White Hat SEO

If you need to go for quick gains, the black hat SEO approach works great, but it involves sneaky tactics like link scraping. Keyword stuffing can also be categorized as a black hat strategy.

Experts do not recommend these tactics because it gets you results for a short time only. A website might get penalized by search engines like Google if it takes the help of black hat SEO.

In white hat SEO, you have to make strategies according to your target audiences. Properly labelled images, providing references, adding relevant links, and using standard-compliant HTML are essential for white hat SEO.

There are also grey hat practices that come in the middle. Sometimes, Google’s standards are not very clear and if there is any ambiguity, you can take the advantage of grey hat practices but make sure to read Google’s rules carefully.

Here is a Complete Breakdown

You don’t need to worry about anything as long as you are following the basics right. Search engines are quite simple and you only need to ensure that you don’t look for shortcuts. Here are a few things you should focus on:

Content is King

Do you remember the prediction Bill Gates made in 1996?

His motive was that content is king and this is true to date.

You should prefer to write blogs and articles that contain useful information. No one likes to read irrelevant and boring articles. Keep your audience in mind while writing content. You should know what readers would like to read when they land on a website.

  • They wouldn’t want to read long paragraphs; break down paras to increase readability.
  • Apart from it, content should be actionable enough to get expected results.
  • Research is important. When you write an article, be sure to add relevant facts after doing detailed research.

When you upload fresh content with accurate integration of keywords, the website’s ranking starts improving on all search engines.

Avoid misguiding people by adding random figures in content because it can affect the reputation of your brand. Adding strong references helps make content impressive.

Keywords Show Relevance

An accurate selection of keywords is important. If you are not sure about the relevancy of keywords, skip them and choose the ones that are highly relevant to the business niche. It is also crucial to analyse the competition as keywords with high competition require more effort and time to rank.

Keywords further have a breakdown including short-tail and long-tail. It is up to your strategies what type of KWs you choose. However, make sure to follow density guidelines.

SEO brings results but only if you follow the right practices. For example, copied content is useless and it even causes adverse results. Google penalizes sites that do keyword stuffing and publish duplicate content.

Analyse the Strategies of Competitors

Try to study direct competitors before designing a digital campaign. This can help you stay one step ahead of others. Try to write find a gap between what the audience wants and what the competitors have provided. Use that gap to attract prospects by writing on unique topics and providing useful insights on the blog section.

Only Build Quality Backlinks

Avoid buying backlinks from service providers that claim to build thousands of links in a few hours. This approach can get you in trouble. It is important to only get manual and quality links from relevant sites. You should hire link-building experts who strictly follow all Google guidelines.

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