What is SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization which means creating a website that is search engine friendly so that you are able to rank higher on the search engines.
Types of SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is of two types:
Onsite SEO: It deals with the code and structure of your website. To do onsite SEO you need to follow the following steps.
- Find your target keyword
Your target keyword is the keyword that you want to rank upon. You should find a target keyword that has low competition and high search volume. There are many tools which are available online that will help you find the perfect keyword for your website’s SEO. One of the most useful tools for finding the right keyword is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool.
- Insert your target keyword in the domain name (if possible), title tag, h1 tag and h2 tag. Make sure that your target keyword appears organically once or twice in the body of the page.
- Register your website on Google Search Console.
Google Search Console is a great tool that helps you find out whether your website is search engine friendly or not. The Google Search Console can do the following tasks for you:
- It can tell you the keywords on which your site is ranking.
- It can tell you how many times your website showed on the search engine results page (SERP) and for what keywords.
- It can tell you whether your website structure is proper or not (crawl errors).
- It can show you if any page on your website is not reachable by the search engine, whether the resource has moved or it contains any other error.
- It can help you submit a URL to the search engine that you want it to crawl.
- It can help you check and submit your robots.txt file.
- It can help you check and submit your sitemap.txt file.
- Configure Robots.txt file
Given below is a sample robots.txt file:
The above file tells the following information to the crawler:
- User-agent: * — It tells the name of the search engine bot. Here (*) means that the following command is for all the bots out there on the internet. If you want to command a particular search engine then you can use that bot name in place of (*). For example, Googlebot is for Google, BingBot is for Bing Search Engine.
- Disallow: — This command tells you which folders are prohibited for the search engine specified in User-agent command.
- Sitemap: This command specifies the location of the sitemap file of the website.
- Crawl-delay: It tells the search engine bots the delay in seconds in which they should crawl the website.
- Configure Sitemap.xml file.
A sitemap.xml file contains the detail of all web pages of your site. It tells the search engines a list of web pages that the search engine can index and crawl on your website.
- Check for crawl errors.
The most proper definition of a crawl error is given in the Google Webmasters Blog. Crawl error means:
“Googlebot tried to crawl the URL, it was able to resolve your DNS, connect to your server, fetch and read your robots.txt file, and then request this URL, but something went wrong after that.”
Crawl error can severely hamper your site’s ranking ability and should be corrected immediately. You can find crawl errors through Google Search Console.
- Resolve duplicate content issues if any.
If there are two or more copies of your web page then the search engines get confused as to which page to rank amongst the many copies.
In such case it becomes important to tell the search engine bots as to which is the original copy. There are many ways you can tackle duplicate content issues. This guide from Moz will tell you more about duplicate content issues.
Offsite SEO deals with getting high quality links from websites that are relevant to your website subject matter. There are a number of techniques that you can use to get high quality links to your website. But first some important metrics need to be defined.
Domain Authority: It means the importance a particular domain holds on the search engine. It is an amalgamation of many parameters such as: how old a website is, how much traffic the domain receives, how many websites link to that particular domain, etc.
Page Authority: It means the importance that particular page URL, inside the web domain, holds on the search engine. It is an amalgamation of many parameters such as: number of pages linking to the web page, how much updated that web page is, on how many keywords the page ranks well on the search engine, how much traffic the web page receives, etc.
How to find DA and PA?
DA and PA of a web page can be easily found with UberSuggest. Just log on to the website and enter your URL.
Doing Offsite SEO requires you to get links from high quality, subject matter related-to-yours websites having high Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). That means getting links from pages with low DA and PA has less value than getting links from websites having high PA and DA.
Given below are some really good link building techniques:
Broken Link Building.
Follow the steps given below for broken link building:
- Find out pages on which you want to get link from.
- Download broken link checker extension tool for chrome.
- Find out broken links on the page.
- Send email to the webmaster telling him about the broken link and asking him to replace the broken link with a link to your content.
If you want to learn more about broken link building technique go to this link from backlinko.
Resource Page Link Building.
A resource page is a page that contains many links to a specific topic. For example, given below is a resource page about the keyword “seo tutorial”.
You can use the following search keys to find resource page easily:
- “seo tutorial” + helpful links
- “seo tutorial” + useful links
- “seo tutorial” + helpful resources
Once you have identified this page find out the page authority and domain authority of the page. I have used Ahref back-link checker (https://ahrefs.com/backlink-checker) below:
Here URL Rating is the same as Page Authority. Looking at the stats given above the DA and PA of this page is good. Now contact the website owner and ask him to give you a link of the SEO resource that you have written in your blog (assuming you have made one).
Link building through competitor analysis.
This method involves the following steps:
1. Find competitors who rank on your target keyword
2. Find websites through which get got their back links.
3. Get links from those websites or websites similar to them
To find out your competitor links you can use any tool.
Let me explain this to you with an example. By searching Google for the target keyword “Best SEO tutorial 2019” I see the following websites that rank on the first page:
Clearly, if you have written something on a similar topic then you want to fight for the first page.
Now let’s check where the last search result got its link from. A quick search on the ubersuggest (https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/) tool helps me get the back-link profile given below:
Remember to analyze the follow links only with good PA and DA, because you want to look at links that are helping this page rank.
Now go through each link individually and see if you can get similar links. Do this with all your competitors and make a list of sites that you can possibly get link from and then go ahead and get those links.
Link bait content
One of the best forms of link building is when you create content worth linking to. When you create such link worthy content, it is called link bait content.
Link bait content could be anything ranging from guides, tutorials, info-graphics, original research material, experiments, etc.
Once you create such content, promote it so that it gets discovered and people link to it.
Some not so good link building techniques:
A directory site contains links to other websites. It is basically an encyclopedia of website links. Some directory websites let you post links for free and some are paid. Google generally penalizes link that you get from these directory sites, so its better to refrain from building link through this method.
There are many websites where people go and share links of content they care about. They share it to people with similar interests so that people could discuss, comment, like of dislike these links. The best example of such a website is Reddit.com. When you are in reddit, you share your links with other people and people can either like, dislike or comment on those Reddits. The reddits which become popular receive a ton of traffic. Digg is another site where you can share links with people who can then discover your link when they browse through Digg.
Sites like Reddit.com and Digg.com are social bookmarking sites and posting interesting links on such sites is known as social bookmarking.
Sites such as PRWeb, PR Newswire, PR.com are press release websites. These websites help you publish your content to numerous websites through which they have tie ups. You just need to pay their fees and they will distribute your content to numerous websites. This is the fastest form of link building but a tad bit expensive.
If you have a content that you would like to share with a fellow blogger, you can mail that blogger directly asking him to give you a link back and in return you will publish an article written by you in his blog. This is one of the widest methods used in link building and if done right, it can give you a ton of traffic.
Make a list of blogs that you want to link back to you. Contact those blog owners through mail, social media, whatsapp, etc. and tell them that you will be happy to link to their website if in return they give you a link back. It’s a barter method and should be done in bulk because it is not that effective until you have a good rapport with the bloggers whom you want link from.
There are many websites that will be happy to post your original content to their site for free. You can become one of their writes and link back to your blog. Some of the sites are: wikihow, ezine, hubpages, etc.
How to approach SEO?
There are a lot of approaches to SEO, I am highlighting the most useful one.
- Search for your target keyword on Google.
- Find out your competitors.
- Find out who is linking to your competitors.
- Get similar links.
Let’s see this with the help of an example.
- For example you want to rank on the keyword: ” Top hollywood movies of 2019.”
- You will get a list of websites that are ranking on the first page of Google.
- The top result is from the esquire website. Let’s see who are the linkers to this page. A small search on the tool ahref backlink checker will get you the linkers to this page.
- Now go to each of the linker of your competitors and see if you can get similar links. Make sure that you leave out the no-follow links.
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