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What is SEO and how it works?
Well, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’, which is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results in search engines. It aims to improve your website’s position in search results pages. Remember, the higher the website is listed, the more people will see it.
What is SEO in simple terms?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results.
What are the 4 types of SEO?
- On-Page SEO. On-page SEO, also sometimes referred to as on-site SEO, is the process of optimizing the content on your website. …
- Off-Page SEO. Off-page SEO is pretty much everything that does not happen on your website. …
- Technical SEO. …
- Local SEO.
What is SEO in Google?
SEO – Search engine optimization: the process of making your site better for search engines. Also the job title of a person who does this for a living: We just hired a new SEO to improve our presence on the web.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
Who is this guide for?
If you own, manage, monetize, or promote online content through Google Search, this guide is for you. You might be the owner of a growing and thriving business, the website owner of a dozen websites, the SEO specialist at a web agency, or a DIY SEO professional passionate about the mechanics of search: this guide is for you definitely. If you’re interested in getting a full rundown of the basics of SEO according to our best practices, you’ve come to the right place indeed. This guide doesn’t provide any secrets that will automatically rank your site first on Google (sorry!), but following the best practices will hopefully make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand your content.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small changes to parts of your website. Individually, these changes may seem like incremental improvements, but combined with other optimizations, they can have a noticeable impact on user experience and your site’s performance in organic search results. You are probably already familiar with many of the topics in this guide as they are essential parts of any webpage, but you may not be able to get the most out of them.
You should build a website in a way that benefits your users and focus any optimization on improving the user experience. One of these users is a search engine that helps other users discover your content. SEO is all about helping search engines understand and present content. Your site may be smaller or larger than our sample site and offer very different content, but the optimization topics in this guide apply to sites of all sizes and types. We hope our guide gives you some new ideas for improving your site, and we’d love to hear your questions, feedback, and success stories on the Google Search Central Help Community.
Glossary Here is a brief glossary of important terms used in this guide: Index – Google stores all the websites it knows of in its index. The index entry for each page describes the content and location (URL) of that page. Indexing is when Google fetches, reads and adds a page to the index: Google indexed several pages on my site today.
– Google saves all websites known to it in its . The index entry for each page describes the content and location (URL) of that page. is when Google retrieves a page, reads it and adds it to the index: . Crawl – Searching for new or updated web pages. Google discovers URLs by following links, reading sitemaps, and many other ways. Google crawls the web looking for new pages and then indexes them (if applicable).
– The process of searching for new or updated websites. Google discovers URLs by following links, reading sitemaps, and many other ways. Crawler – Automated software that crawls (retrieves) and indexes pages from the web.
– Automated software that crawls (retrieves) and indexes pages from the web. Googlebot – The generic name of Google’s crawler. The Googlebot constantly searches the Internet.
– The generic name of the Google crawler. SEO – Search Engine Optimization: The process of making your website better for search engines. Also the job title of a person doing this for a living: We just hired a new SEO to improve our presence on the web.
are you on google
Find out if your website is in Google’s index
Create a website: Find your website’s homepage URL. If you see results, you are in the index. For example, a search for site:wikipedia.org returns these results.
If your website is not in Google
Although Google searches billions of pages, it’s inevitable that some sites will be overlooked. When our crawlers miss a website, it’s often for one of the following reasons:
The website is not well connected to other websites on the internet
You just launched a new website and Google hasn’t had time to crawl it yet
The site’s design makes it difficult for Google to crawl its content effectively
Google received an error trying to crawl your site
Your policy is preventing Google from crawling the site
How do I get my page on Google?
Google is a fully automated search engine that uses web crawlers to constantly crawl the web looking for sites to add to our index. You usually don’t even have to do anything except publish your site to the web. In fact, the vast majority of sites featured in our results are not submitted for inclusion manually, but are found and added automatically as we search the web. Learn how Google discovers, crawls, and serves websites.
We provide webmaster guidelines for creating a Google friendly website. While there is no guarantee that our crawlers will find a particular site, following these guidelines can help your site appear in our search results.
Google Search Console provides tools to help you submit your content to Google and monitor your performance on Google Search. If you want, Search Console can even send you notifications about critical issues Google finds with your site. Sign up for Search Console.
Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself when starting your website.
Will my website show up on Google?
Am I providing quality content to users?
Will my local business show up on Google?
Is my content quickly and easily accessible on all devices?
Is my site secure?
Do you need an SEO expert? An SEO expert is someone who is trained to improve your visibility on search engines. If you follow this guide, you will learn enough to be well on your way to an optimized website. Additionally, you should consider hiring an SEO expert who can help you audit your pages. Deciding to hire an SEO is an important decision that can potentially improve your website and save time. Make sure you research the potential benefits of hiring an SEO as well as the damage an irresponsible SEO can do to your website. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants offer useful services to website owners, including: Reviewing the content or structure of your website
Management of online business development campaigns
Expertise in Specific Markets and Regions Before you start looking for an SEO, it’s a good idea to become an educated consumer and become familiar with how search engines work. We recommend going through this guide in its entirety, and specifically these resources: How Google crawls, indexes, and serves the web
Google Webmaster Guidelines
How to Hire an SEO If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the sooner the better. A good time to hire is if you are considering a website redesign or planning to launch a new website. This way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is search engine friendly from the ground up. However, good SEO can also help improve an existing website. For a detailed overview of the need to hire an SEO and what to look out for, see Do You Need an SEO.
Help Google find your content
The first step to getting your website ranked on Google is to make sure Google can find it. The best way to do this is to submit a sitemap. A sitemap is a file on your website that informs search engines about new or changed pages on your website. Learn more about how to create and submit a sitemap.
Google also finds pages through links from other sites. Learn how to encourage people to discover your site by promoting your site.
Tell Google which pages you don’t want crawled
For non-sensitive information, block unwanted crawling using robots.txt
A robots.txt file tells search engines whether they can access parts of your site and therefore crawl them. This file, which must be named robots.txt, is placed in the root directory of your website. It’s possible that pages blocked by robots.txt can still be crawled, so use a more secure method for sensitive pages.
# brandonsbaseballcards.com/robots.txt # Tell Google not to crawl URLs in the cart or images in the icon folder # because they are not useful in Google search results. User agent: googlebot Disallow: /checkout/ Disallow: /icons/
You may not want certain pages on your site to be crawled because they may not be useful to users if found in a search engine’s search results. Note that if your website uses subdomains and you do not want certain pages on a specific subdomain to be crawled, you must create a separate robots.txt file for that subdomain. For more information on robots.txt, we recommend this guide on using robots.txt files.
Learn about several other ways to prevent content from appearing in search results.
Allow Google to crawl your internal search results pages. Users don’t like clicking on a search engine result only to land on a different search results page on your site.
Allow crawling of URLs created as a result of proxy services.
Use more secure methods for sensitive information
A robots.txt file is not a convenient or effective way to block sensitive or confidential material. It only tells well-behaved crawlers that the pages aren’t for them, but it doesn’t stop your server from serving those pages to a browser that requests them. One reason is that if there are links to those URLs anywhere on the internet (e.g. referrer logs), search engines might still be referencing the URLs you’ve blocked (showing only the URL, not a title link or snippet). . Also, non-compliant or fraudulent search engines that do not honor the Robots Exclusion Standard may disregard your robots.txt instructions. Finally, a curious user could examine the directories or subdirectories in your robots.txt file and guess the URL of the content you don’t want to see.
Use the noindex tag in these cases when you just don’t want the page to show up in Google, but don’t mind if anyone with a link can reach the page. For real security, use appropriate authorization methods, e.g. B. requesting a user password or removing the page entirely from your site.
Help Google (and users) understand your content
Let Google see your page the same way a user would
Suggested action: Use the URL inspection tool. It allows you to see exactly how Google sees and renders your content, and helps you identify and fix a range of indexing issues on your site.
Create unique, accurate page titles
Control your title links and snippets in search results
When your document is displayed on a search results page, the content of the
Describe the content of the page in detail
Choose title text that reads naturally and communicates the topic of the page content effectively.
Use of text in the
Element unrelated to the content of the page. Use of standard or vague text such as “Untitled” or “New Page 1”.
Make sure each page on your site contains unique text in the
Use of a single title in all
Use short but meaningful
Using extremely long text in
Items that are not helpful to users. Fill in unnecessary keywords in your
A page’s meta description tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about. A page’s title can be a few words or a sentence, while a page’s meta description tag can be a sentence or two, or even a short paragraph. Like the
Meta description tags are important because Google may use them as snippets for your pages in Google search results. Note that we say “possibly” because Google may use a relevant portion of your page’s visible text if it closely matches a user’s search query. Adding meta description tags to each of your pages is always a good practice in case Google can’t find good text choices for the snippet. Learn more about creating quality meta descriptions.
Accurately summarize the page content
Write a description that will both inform and interest users when they see your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result. While there is no minimum or maximum length for the text in a description meta tag, we recommend ensuring it is long enough to be fully displayed in search (note that depending on how and where, users may they search, may see different sized snippets) and contains all relevant information that users need to determine if the page is useful and relevant to them.
Writing a meta description tag unrelated to the content of the page.
Use generic descriptions like “This is a website” or “Baseball card site.”
Fill in the description with keywords only.
Copy and paste the entire content of the document into the meta description tag.
Use unique descriptions for each page
A different meta description tag for each page helps both users and Google, especially for searches where users may be looking at multiple pages on your domain (for example, searches using the site: operator). If your website has thousands or even millions of pages, creating meta description tags manually is probably not feasible. In this case, you could automatically generate meta description tags based on each page’s content.
Using a single meta description tag on all pages of your site or a large group of pages.
Use descriptive headings to indicate important topics and help create a hierarchical structure for your content so users can navigate your document more easily.
Imagine you are writing an outline
Much like writing an outline for a large piece of work, you should think about what the main and sub-points of content on the page will be and decide where to use heading tags appropriately.
Placing text in heading tags that would not be helpful in defining page structure.
Use heading tags where other tags like and are more appropriate.
and maybe more appropriate. Erratic switching from one heading tag size to another.
Use headings sparingly on the page
Use heading tags where appropriate. Too many heading tags on a page can make it difficult for users to search the content and determine where one topic ends and another begins.
Excessive use of heading tags on a page.
Very long headings.
Using heading tags only to style text and not to present structure.
Add markup for structured data
Structured data is code that you can add to your website’s pages to describe your content to search engines so they can better understand what’s on your pages. Search engines can use this understanding to display your content in search results in a useful (and eye-catching) way. This, in turn, can help you attract just the right type of customer to your business.
For example, if you have an online store and tagging a single product page helps us understand that the page contains a bike, its price, and customer reviews. We may display this information in the search results snippet for relevant searches. We call this rich results.
In addition to using structured data markup for rich search results, we may use it to provide relevant results in other formats. For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, tagging opening hours allows your potential customers to find you exactly when they need you and let them know if your store is open or closed at the time of their search.
You can tag many business-related entities:
products you sell
Videos about your products or your company
Your company logo and much more
View a full list of supported content types.
We recommend using structured data with one of the supported notation markups to describe your content. You can add the markup to the HTML of your pages or use tools like Data Highlighter and Markup Helper.
Check your markup with the Rich Results Test
Once you’ve tagged your content, you can use the Google Rich Results test to ensure there are no implementation errors. You can either type in the URL where the content is located or copy the actual HTML that contains the markup.
Using invalid markup.
Use Data Highlighter and Markup Helper
If you want to try structured markup without changing your site’s source code, you can use Data Highlighter, a tool built into Search Console that supports a subset of content types.
If you want the markup code to be copy-pasteable on your page, try Markup Helper.
Modifying your website’s source code if you are unsure of how to implement markup.
Track how your tagged pages perform
The various Rich Results reports in Search Console show you how many pages on your site we recognized with a specific type of markup, how many times they appeared in search results, and how many times they were clicked in the last 90 days. It also shows any errors that we have discovered.
Adding markup data that is not visible to users.
Creating fake reviews or adding irrelevant markup.
Manage your appearance in Google search results
Properly structured data on your pages also makes your page eligible for many special features in Google search results, including star ratings, fancy decorated results, and more. Check out the gallery of search result types your page may qualify for.
Organize your site hierarchy
Understand how search engines use URLs
Search engines need a unique URL per piece of content in order to crawl, index, and refer users to that content. Different content (e.g. different products in a shop) as well as modified content (e.g. translations or regional variations) must use separate URLs in order to be displayed appropriately in search.
URLs are generally divided into several different sections:
Google recommends that all websites use https:// whenever possible. The hostname is where your website is hosted, typically using the same domain name you would use for email. Google distinguishes between the www and non-www versions (e.g. www.example.com or just example.com ). When adding your site to Search Console, we recommend adding both the http:// and https:// versions, as well as the www and non-www versions.
The path, filename, and query string determine what content is accessed from your server. These three parts are case sensitive, so FILE would result in a different URL than file. The hostname and protocol are not case-sensitive; Upper or lower case would not matter.
A fragment (#info in this case) generally identifies which part of the page the browser is scrolling to. Since the content itself is usually the same regardless of the fragment, search engines generally ignore any fragment used.
When referencing the home page, a trailing slash after the hostname is optional because it leads to the same content ( https://example.com/ is the same as https://example.com ). For the path and filename, a trailing slash would be considered a different URL (signaling either a file or a directory), for example https://example.com/fish is not the same as https://example.com/fish / .
Navigation is important for search engines
The navigation of a website is important so that visitors can quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the website owner considers important. Although Google’s search results are provided at the page level, Google also wants to know what role a page plays in the overall picture of the website.
Plan your navigation based on your home page
All websites have a home page or root page, which is usually the most visited page on the website and the starting point of navigation for many visitors. Unless your site only has a handful of pages, consider how visitors get from a general page (your root page) to a page with more specific content. Do you have enough pages on a certain subject area that it would make sense to create a page that describes those related pages (e.g. root page -> listing of related subjects -> specific subject)? Do you have hundreds of different products that need to be classified on multiple category and subcategory pages?
A breadcrumb is a series of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allow visitors to quickly return to a previous section or the root page. Many breadcrumbs have the most general page (usually the root page) as the first leftmost link and list the more specific sections on the right. We recommend using breadcrumb structured data markup when displaying breadcrumbs.
Create a simple navigation page for users
A navigation page is a simple page on your site that shows the structure of your site and typically consists of a hierarchical listing of the pages on your site. Visitors can visit this page if they are having trouble finding pages on your site. Although search engines also visit this page and get good crawl coverage of your site’s pages, it primarily targets human visitors.
Create a naturally flowing hierarchy
Make it as easy as possible for users to move from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and work them effectively into your internal linking structure. Make sure that all pages on your website are accessible via links and that no internal search function is required to be found. Where appropriate, link to related pages so that users can discover similar content.
Build complex webs with navigation links, for example by linking every page on your website to every other page.
Go overboard with chopping up your content (so it takes twenty clicks to access from the home page).
Use text for navigation
A navigation based entirely on images or animations.
Script or plugin based event handling required for navigation.
Create a navigation page for users, a sitemap for search engines
Include a simple navigation page for your entire site (or major pages if you have hundreds or thousands) for users. Create an XML sitemap file to ensure search engines discover the new and updated pages on your site and list all relevant URLs along with the date their main content was last modified.
Let your navigation page become outdated with broken links.
Creating a navigation page that simply lists pages without organizing them, such as by topic.
Show useful 404 pages
Users occasionally land on a page that doesn’t exist on your site, either by following a broken link or entering the wrong URL. Having a custom 404 page that graciously directs users back to a working page on your site can greatly improve the user experience. Consider including a link back to your root page and providing links to popular or related content on your site. You can use Google Search Console to find the sources of URLs that are causing “not found” errors.
tag when requesting nonexistent pages). Block crawling of 404 pages by robots.txt file.
Only provide a vague message like “Not found”, “404”, or no 404 page at all.
Using a theme for your 404 pages that doesn’t match the rest of your website.
Simple URLs convey content information
Creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your site not only helps you organize your site better, but can also create simpler, friendlier URLs for those who want to link to your content. Visitors can be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs that contain few recognizable words.
URLs like the following can be confusing and unfriendly:
If your URL is meaningful, it can be more useful and easier to understand in different contexts:
URLs appear in search results
Finally, remember that the URL to a document will usually appear in some form in a Google search result next to the document title.
Google is good at crawling all kinds of URL structures, even if they’re quite complex, but it’s good practice to take the time to make your URLs as simple as possible.
Use words in URLs
URLs containing words relevant to your site’s content and structure are more user-friendly for visitors navigating your site.
Using long URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs.
Choose common page names like page1.html.
. Excessive use of keywords like baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards.html .
Create a simple directory structure
Use a directory structure that organizes your content well and makes it easy for visitors to know where they are on your site. Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL.
Deep nesting of subdirectories like …/dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html .
. Using directory names unrelated to the content within.
Specify a version of a URL to access a document
To prevent users from linking to one version of a URL and others to another version (this could split the reputation of that content between URLs), focus on using a URL in the structure and internal linking of your pages and to refer to it. If you find that users are accessing the same content from multiple URLs, setting up a 301 redirect from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL is a good solution. If you can’t forward, you can also use the rel=”canonical” link element.
Allow pages from subdomains and the root directory to access the same content, e.g. B. domain.com/page.html and sub.domain.com/page.html .
Optimize your content
Make your website interesting and useful
Creating compelling and useful content will likely affect your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users recognize good content when they see it and will likely want to refer other users to it. This can be done through blog posts, social media services, email, forums or other means.
Organic, or word-of-mouth, helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.
Know what your readers want (and give it to them)
Think of the words a user might search for to find some part of your content. Well-versed users may use different keywords in their searches than someone new to the topic. For example, a long-time football fan might search for “fifa,” an acronym for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, while a new fan might use a more general search query like “football playoffs.” If you anticipate these differences in search behavior and take them into account when writing your content (with a good mix of keyword phrases), positive results can be achieved. Google Ads offers a handy keyword planner that you can use to discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword. Also, in the performance report, Google Search Console gives you the top searches your site is shown for and those that brought the most users to your site.
Consider creating a new useful service that no other site offers. You can also write an original research paper, post an exciting message, or leverage your unique user base. Other sites may lack the resources or expertise to do these things.
Write easy-to-read text
Users enjoy content that is well written and easy to follow.
Writing sloppy texts with lots of spelling and grammatical errors.
Awkward or poorly written content.
Embedding text in images and videos for text content: Users may want to copy and paste the text, and search engines can’t read it.
Organize your topics clearly
It’s always beneficial to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense of where one content topic begins and another ends. Breaking up your content into logical sections or subdivisions helps users find the content they want faster.
Output large amounts of text on different topics on one page without paragraphs, subheadings or layout separation.
Create fresh, unique content
New content not only keeps your existing visitor base coming back, but also brings in new visitors.
Reprocessing (or even copying) existing content that brings little additional value to users.
Duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content on your site.
Learn more about duplicate content.
Optimize content for your users, not for search engines
Designing your website around the needs of your visitors while making sure that your website is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results.
Inserting numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines but annoying or nonsensical for users.
Blocks of text like “Common misspellings used to reach this page” that offer little value to users.
Deceptively hiding text from users but showing ads to search engines.
Act in a way that encourages user trust
Users will feel comfortable visiting your site if they believe it is trustworthy.
A site with a good reputation is trustworthy. Cultivate a reputation for expertise and trustworthiness in a specific area.
Include information about who publishes your website, provides the content, and their goals. If you have a website for shopping or other financial transactions, be sure to have clear and satisfactory customer service information to help users solve problems. If you have a news site, provide clear information about who is responsible for the content.
The use of suitable technologies is also important. If a shopping checkout page does not have a secure connection, users cannot trust the site.
Make competence and authority clear
A website’s competence and authority increase its quality. Make sure that the content on your website is created or edited by people who are knowledgeable about the subject. For example, providing experts or experienced sources can help users understand the subject matter of the articles. The presentation of an established consensus on pages on scientific topics is good practice when such consensus exists.
Provide an appropriate amount of content for your topic
Creating quality content requires a significant amount of at least one of the following factors: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill. Make sure the content is factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive. For example, if you describe your page as a recipe, provide a complete recipe that is easy to follow, not just a list of ingredients or a basic description of the dish.
Providing insufficient content for the purpose of the site.
Avoid distracting ads
We expect ads to be visible. However, do not allow the advertisements to distract users or prevent them from consuming the content of the website. For example, advertisements, supplementary content or intermediate pages (pages that appear before or after the expected content) that make the website difficult to use. Learn more about this topic.
Place distracting ads on your pages.
Write good link text
Link text is the visible text within a link. This text tells users and Google something about the page you’re linking to. Links on your page can be internal – pointing to other pages on your site – or external – pointing to content on other sites. In either case, the better your anchor text, the easier it will be for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about.
With appropriate anchor text, users and search engines can easily understand what the linked pages contain.
Choose descriptive text
Write anchor text that gives at least a basic idea of what the linked page is about.
Writing generic anchor text like “page”, “article” or “click here”.
Use of text that is off-topic or unrelated to the content of the linked site.
In most cases, use the page’s URL as the anchor text, although there are certainly legitimate uses for it, such as: B. Promote or refer to the address of a new website.
Write concise text
Aim for short but descriptive text—usually a few words or a short sentence.
Writing a long anchor text, such as B. a long sentence or a short section of text.
Make it easy for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor text of your links. Your content becomes less useful if users miss the links or accidentally click on them.
Using CSS or text styles that make links look like regular text.
Normally you think of external websites when you link, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links makes it easier for users and Google to navigate your website.
Using overly keyword stuffed or long anchor text for search engines only.
Creating unnecessary links that do not help the user navigate the site.
Be careful who you link to
You can transfer part of your website’s reputation to another website if your website links to it. Sometimes users can take advantage of this by adding links to their own website in your comment sections or message boards. Or you sometimes mention a website negatively and don’t want to reveal your good reputation to them. For example, imagine you are writing a blog post about comment spamming and you want to visit a website that recently comment spammed your blog. You want to warn others about the site, so include the link to it in your content; However, you certainly don’t want to give the site any of your reputation through your link. This would be a good time to use nofollow.
Another example where the nofollow attribute can come in handy is with widget links. If you’re using a third-party widget to enrich your website experience and engage users, check if it contains links that you didn’t intend to place on your website with the widget. Some widgets may add links to your site that are not your editorial choice and contain anchor text that you as the site owner may not control. If removing such unwanted links from the widget is not possible, you can always disable them with nofollow. When creating a widget for functionality or content you provide, make sure to include the nofollow links in the default code snippet.
Finally, if you want to nofollow all links on a page, you can add the tag inside thetag for the page. See our documentation for more details on robots meta tags.
Fight comment spam with nofollow
To tell Google not to follow linked pages or give credit for your page, set the value of a link’s rel attribute to nofollow or ugc . Not following a link means adding rel=”nofollow” or a more specific attribute like ugc inside the link’s anchor tag, as shown here:
When would that make sense? If your site has a blog with public commenting enabled, links in those comments could give your reputation to sites that you may not want to vouch for. Blog comment sections on Pages are very vulnerable to comment spam. If you don’t follow these user-added links, make sure you’re not giving your site’s hard-earned reputation to a spam site.
Many blogging software packages automatically follow user comments, but those that don’t can most likely be manually edited to do so. This advice also applies to other areas of your site that may contain user-generated content, such as guest books, forums, shout boards, referrer lists, etc. If you’re willing to pay for links added by third parties (e.g. if a commenter on your site is trusted is), it is not necessary to use nofollow for links; However, linking to sites that Google classifies as spam can damage your own site’s reputation. The Google Search Central documentation has additional tips for avoiding comment spam, such as using CAPTCHAs and enabling comment moderation.
Optimize your images
Use HTML images
Use HTML image elements to embed images in your content.
Use the HTML elements or
How do beginners do SEO?
- Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website.
- Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query.
- Keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines.
- Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
You’ll get the most out of this guide if your desire to learn search engine optimization (SEO) is matched only by your willingness to execute and test concepts.
This guide aims to describe all the important aspects of SEO, from finding the terms and phrases (keywords) that can drive qualified traffic to your website, optimizing your website for search engines, building links and marketing the unique value of your site .
The world of search engine optimization is complex and ever-changing, but you can easily understand the basics, and even a little SEO knowledge can make a big difference. Free SEO training courses are also widely available on the web, including in guides like this one! (Woohoo!)
Combine this information with some practice and you’re well on your way to becoming a savvy SEO.
The basics of search engine optimization
Ever heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? It’s a theory of psychology that prioritizes the most basic human needs (like air, water, and physical security) over more advanced needs (like esteem and social belonging). The theory is that you can’t meet the needs at the top without making sure the more basic needs are met first. Love doesn’t matter if you have nothing to eat.
Our founder, Rand Fishkin, created a similar pyramid to explain how people should approach SEO, and we affectionately dubbed it “Mozlow’s Hierarchy of SEO Needs.”
It looks like this:
What are examples of SEO?
- Keyword optimization. First is keyword optimization. …
- Optimizing on-page elements. …
- Improving the backend of your site. …
- Creating user-friendly pages. …
- Creating content. …
- Building links. …
- Analyzing your competition. …
- Optimizing for voice search.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
If you don’t have an SEO strategy in place, you probably won’t get the results you want. And if you have a strategy but it’s failing, the quickest way to get answers is to enter your URL for an SEO audit here.
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On this page, we share what an SEO marketing strategy is, what a part of it is, and nine examples of SEO strategies to include in your results-oriented SEO plan.
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What is an SEO strategy?
An SEO website strategy is the process of planning, optimizing, and organizing your website so that it ranks higher in search results. A good SEO strategy will allow you to better match search intent, driving more credible traffic and leads to your business.
What goes into an SEO strategy?
Now that we’ve answered, “What is an SEO strategy?” Let’s look at the three main components that make up one before we dive into some SEO strategy examples:
Onpage SEO: Onpage SEO involves optimizations that you make on your website. They make changes to elements that appear on different pages of your website so that they appear in more relevant search results. Off-page SEO: Off-page SEO includes elements that are not directly on your website but affect your ranking. The best known are backlinks. While these elements aren’t on your site, they affect your rank in search results. Technical SEO: The last component of SEO is technical SEO. Technical SEO includes elements in the back end of your website that affect how users experience the front end of your website, such as: B. the speed of your website.
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Examples of SEO strategies: 9 examples of what makes a good SEO strategy
So you are ready to find the right search engine optimization strategies for your business. To learn how to do SEO, check out these nine example SEO strategies to develop a winning plan!
1. Keyword Optimization
First is keyword optimization. Keyword optimization is one of the most important elements of an SEO marketing strategy, as keywords help determine where your website appears in search results. If you want relevant leads to find your information, you need to optimize your website for the right keywords.
So how do you find relevant keywords for your site? First, start by conducting keyword research. You can use numerous keyword research tools like KeywordsFX to find relevant terms for your website.
When looking at your list of generated keywords, you should stick to long-tail keywords. These are keywords that contain three or more words. Long-tail keywords are great for your website because their specificity will drive more qualified traffic to your business.
Once you’ve found relevant keywords, you’ll want to incorporate them into your website. Include your keywords often, but not too often, as this can lead to keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing has a negative impact on your rankings, so make sure you’re not overusing your keywords.
2. Optimization of onpage elements
One of the most important SEO techniques is optimizing on-page elements. On-page elements affect your site’s ranking because they serve as a signal to Google if your page is relevant to someone’s search. Here are some on-page elements to optimize:
Title tags: Title tags are the first thing users see when they search.
These tags inform them about the context of your page. People get a glimpse of what to expect from your site.
Search engines also use your title tag to determine if your page is relevant to search results. So you need to optimize them to reach the right people.
When creating your title tag, you should use your keyword as close to the beginning of the title tag as possible. It will help you show both visitors and search engines that your page is relevant. Second, you want to make sure you stay within the limit for your title tag.
Title tags should be less than 60 characters to ensure they aren’t truncated in search results. This is another reason to use your keyword at the beginning rather than the end of your title tag. Finally, you should make sure that you create a title tag that is engaging and will grab your audience’s attention. A title tag like “10 Photo-worthy Vacation Spots to Visit This Summer” will grab more attention than a title tag like “10 Vacation Spots to Visit”.
Meta Description: Along with your title tag, your meta description is another important element in search results.
The meta description is a short blurb that tells searchers what to expect on your page. Think of it as a little taste of your content.
Your meta description also tells search engines what to expect.
It helps them determine if your page is relevant to search results. When writing your meta description, you want to make sure you stay within the 150 character limit while providing as much relevant information as possible. Make sure to include your core keyword as well!
URLs: The last element we mention for onpage optimization is URLs.
URLs are a crucial component of your on-page optimizations. You want to tweak this element to make sure it’s memorable so your audience can remember the URL and come back to your page later.
It’s also important to optimize your URLs so search engines can read them and better understand how relevant your page is to search results.
To create an optimized URL, embed your page’s keyword in it. Do not use random numbers and letters as search engines and humans will not understand or remember them. Keep your URL simple, but also make sure it gives your audience a glimpse of your page.
3. Improving the backend of your website
Next on our list of example SEO strategies is improving your website’s backend. The backend of your website, while not visible, is crucial for your website’s ranking. You must have a website that is functional and functioning properly to ensure your audience has a positive experience.
Here are two search engine optimization strategies you can use to improve your website’s backend:
Speed up your website: The first step to improving your website’s backend is to speed up your website’s loading time. Users hate waiting for pages to load – 83% of users expect your site to load in three seconds or less. Because users expect websites to load quickly, Google wants to rank websites that load quickly at the top of search results.
If you don’t optimize your website’s load time, you’ll miss an opportunity to rank higher in search results. To improve your website load time, use Google PageSpeed Insights to get an insight into your website’s current load time. Google will then give you helpful tips on how to improve the loading time of your page.
If you are familiar with working on the backend of your website, you can make these changes to improve your website. For people unfamiliar with backend coding, there are always page speed optimization services available from a digital marketing company. You can have professionals like those at WebFX optimize your website to improve load times and improve your search engine rankings.
Make your website mobile-friendly: More and more people are using mobile devices, so you need a website that offers a decent mobile experience.
If you don’t, you’re neglecting over 50% of web traffic that comes from mobile users. Additionally, Google uses a mobile-first indexing system, which means your mobile-friendliness affects your site’s ranking. So how do you make your website mobile friendly?
The best way to create a mobile-friendly website is to incorporate responsive design into your website. Responsive design ensures your website adapts to whatever device someone is using by scaling it to the device.
4. Create user-friendly pages
Next, our list of SEO techniques focuses on user-friendly pages. This element is one of the essential elements of an SEO strategy as it affects how your audience interacts with your website. If you don’t have a user-friendly website, your audience will leave your website.
Creating user-friendly pages helps you rank higher in search results because users spend more time engaging with your pages. When people spend more time on your site, it sends a positive signal to search engines that your page is relevant, which helps you rank higher. Follow these best practices to improve user experience:
Break up the text on your pages into small paragraphs of 2-3 sentences. Shorter paragraphs of text improve readability and make it easier for your audience to scan your content. Avoid jargon. A lot of people think jargon is a great way to show they know their stuff, but it often does more harm than good. Your audience may not know what the terms mean, which can be overwhelming. The best thing you can do is avoid all slang. add visuals. While your information is important, your audience can easily become overwhelmed when they see blocks of text. Adding visuals, such as photos and videos, can help break up the text and make your pages easier to flip through.
5. Create content
Next on our list of example SEO strategies is SEO content creation. Content creation is a crucial component of an SEO website strategy as it helps you drive traffic to your website and keeps visitors on your site longer. You can create numerous types of content, including:
Blogs Videos Infographics Guides eBooks And more
You should use a mix of these content formats to keep your strategy fresh for your audience. When creating SEO content, make sure it is high quality and informative. It is better to create 10 detailed and high-quality articles than 100 short and poor-quality articles.
Creating educational and quality content will help you retain leads and help your website rank higher in search results. If you want to learn how to do SEO effectively, you need to focus on creating quality and informative content. Better content will drive more traffic, higher engagement, and better rankings for your business.
6. Building links
When you learn how to do SEO, you will learn the importance of link building. Both backlinks and internal links are crucial elements of an SEO strategy.
Backlinks are links to your website from other websites. These links help build your site’s credibility and trustworthiness and drive valuable traffic to your site. Internal links are links from your site to other pages on your site. These links help keep traffic on your site longer and help Google find and index pages on your site.
So how can you get started with these two links?
For backlinks… Start creating valuable and relevant content. When you have content that is informative and helpful, you have more opportunities to earn backlinks for your content as it is of high quality and depth. You can contact industry authorities and invite them to view your content.
For internal links… Use your current content to link to other pages on your site.
For example, if you write a page about the best places to visit in Pennsylvania and mention Gettysburg, you could link to your other page: “Why visit Gettysburg, PA?”. in the appropriate section.
7. Analysis of your competition
When compiling a list of SEO techniques, don’t forget to add competitor analysis to your list! When trying to get better rankings in search results, it’s important to know who you’re up against and how to outperform them. Whenever you want to rank for a keyword, search Google for that keyword and see what results you get.
See who is ranking for this keyword. Check out their pages and see what type of information they cover on the subject. If you’re looking at a competitor’s site, answer these questions:
How do you structure your site? Does the site contain multimedia? How long is your content? What makes the site good? What is missing from the page? What could I do better?
It’s important to answer these questions to give you an idea of how to approach your content. You don’t want to copy your competition word for word, but you can check out their articles for inspiration. For example, let’s say you are a traveling company and you have decided to write an article about the top 10 places to visit on the East Coast of the United States.
They check the search results to see what other companies are writing and answer these questions:
How do you structure your site?
Most of my contest pages are structured with numbered lists with large paragraphs for each number.
Does the site contain multimedia?
Each page has traveler photos, but they don’t look destination specific.
How long is your content?
Most content pages are around 1500 words.
What makes the site good?
The pages cover a lot of good spots and the numbering structure makes it easy to find the different destinations. They also have bright images that catch the eye.
What is missing from the page?
The site is missing some personalization. The photos are somewhat generic and not relevant to the locations listed.
What could I do better?
For my page, I could use a numbered list, but create smaller paragraphs that make it easier for readers to skim. I might also introduce videos since none of my competitors have videos in their articles. Also, I could add site-specific photos to make my audience feel more connected to the places.
As you can see here, answering these questions will help you better understand what your competition is doing, what you can emulate, and where you can improve your content to make it stand out.
8. Optimization for voice search
Did you know that more than a billion voice searches take place every month? If you don’t incorporate voice search optimization into your SEO strategies, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to help your business reach more users. Voice Search Optimization allows you to optimize your website for verbal search.
When it comes to optimizing for verbal search, you need to make sure you’re optimizing for the way people search verbally. Verbal search and typed search are different – people search longer and more grammatically correct queries using voice search. When users search verbally, they also formulate their queries as questions.
So, for example, if someone wants to find the best places to hike in Pennsylvania, they can type in “best places to hike in PA.” However, on a voice search device, they would likely search, “Where are the best places to hike in Pennsylvania?” When optimizing for voice search devices, you want to make sure you’re optimizing for the way people search verbally. From the query format to the use of slang, you need to consider this information when optimizing your website.
9. Monitoring and Optimization
Another example of our SEO strategy involves monitoring and optimizing your site. When you put the time and effort into maximizing your SEO strategies, you don’t want them to go to waste. You need to track the performance of your strategy so you can tweak and adjust it to get the best results.
Monitoring and optimization are crucial elements of an SEO strategy. They help you maximize your budget by adjusting your plan to ensure you get the most out of your strategy. As you monitor your SEO strategy, you’ll want to make sure you’re checking metrics like:
Traffic Bounce Rate Pages Per Session Click Through Rate (CTR) And more
By incorporating monitoring into your SEO marketing strategies, you can adapt to make your campaign perform better.
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Create your SEO strategy today
After reviewing these SEO strategy examples, you can get ideas on how to create a strategy that will drive results for your business. If you’re not sure which SEO marketing strategies are right for you, WebFX can help. We are a full service digital marketing company specializing in SEO.
We can help you create a campaign that will increase results for your business. In the last five years, we’ve generated over $3 billion in revenue and over 7.8 million leads for our clients. Ready to help your business grow with SEO?
Contact us online or call us at 888-601-5359 today to speak to a strategist about our SEO services!
How can I do SEO for my website?
- Choose the right URL.
- Create titles and descriptions for each page.
- Utilize anchor text.
- Add alt text to all your images.
- Give your site structure with the right headers.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
You have created an excellent website – congratulations! Now all you have to do is get people to do it. In order for your website to appear in the top results on search engines like Google and Bing, you need to know a little bit about the world of search engine optimization, or SEO.
So what is SEO and how to implement it? While many shy away from the subject, it’s actually not the creepy monster that some make it out to be. The first step in the right direction is using Wix SEO, a free and efficient tool that creates a unique SEO plan tailored to your website. We also recommend visiting the Wix Learn SEO hub for everything SEO-related, from beginner to advanced.
With so many websites on the internet today, there is no guarantee that your website will rank first on Google. However, there are many simple things you can do to increase your website’s chances of ranking well. In just an hour you can improve your website with Wix’s SEO features. Read on to learn all about it.
How to improve your website’s SEO in 5 steps:
01. Choose the right URLs
Before your website goes live, you need to give it a name. Also known as your domain name, this is the address that visitors enter to find your website. Like the giant sign above a storefront, it’s one of the first things visitors see when they come to your website. Because of this, it’s also the first place Google tries to understand what your site is about and decide how to rank it.
With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that the URLs of all your pages are clean and beautiful. That means no special characters, no hashbangs, no page id. You understand it.
The ideal domain will contain your company name and perhaps a relevant keyword or two relevant to your business. For example, if you are a construction contractor, you may want to purchase a domain name such as www.yournameconstruction.com.
Would you like to know more? Check out this post if you need more advice on choosing the right domain name.
The same goes for choosing the right URLs for all pages on your website. Whether it’s a product page or a blog page, make sure the URL you use reflects the content of the page and the keyword or keywords you want that page to appear in search results for.
If you’re a contractor offering painting services, make sure to include that in the slug of the URL for this page. Something like www.yournameconstruction.com/house-painting-services.
02. Create unique titles and descriptions for each page
Did you know that you can write a unique title and description for every page on your website? These are short texts that accurately and clearly describe what your company does. Ideally, they can be mixed up with a few keywords and phrases.
Ever hovered over a tab in your browser? This short sentence that appears under your mouse is the title of the page. Although the description is not visible on your page, it is very important to search engines. In fact, the title and description are among the first elements that search engines track to determine your site’s ranking. Also, once your site appears in a search results page, web surfers will read your title and description to learn what your site is about and decide whether or not to check it out.
Looking for expert advice on writing a stunning title and description? Check out this guide to on-page optimization.
03. Use anchor text
As you write the text for your website, consider where you can use anchor text within your website. anchor what? No, this has nothing to do with sailing. Anchor text is the clickable text on a hyperlink that allows visitors to be taken directly to another web page, either within your website or anywhere on the Internet.
Effective anchor text should be used to help users navigate your site and find what they are looking for. It should also include keywords and phrases related to what you do. For example, if you own a t-shirt printing business, the words “Check out our selection of print-on-demand t-shirts” on your home page can link to your online store via anchor text full of – You guessed it – t-shirts.
Anchor text is a great way to improve your SEO, but remember that over-linking or anchors that don’t really help your readers can trigger some red flags on Google.
04. Add alt text to all your images
To understand what is displayed in a photo or graphic, search engines look for “alt text,” a concise written description (no longer than just a few words) of each image on a website. When writing alt text, be sure to describe exactly what’s in the image, but also try to include your company name or a few keywords related to what you do.
Pro tip: You don’t need to write alt text for images that are purely functional or design-related, such as: B. a background image that consists only of shapes. If the image is unrelated to your site’s theme, you can skip the alt text.
Would you like to find out more? Take a look at this article on writing SEO-friendly alt text for your images.
05. Give structure to your website with the right headings
Every page of your website should have a title, subtitle, etc. When search engines scan your site, they understand your content better when you use the correct text hierarchy. The most relevant part is the title of your page and you should define it as H1 (in the text editor).
The H1 should describe the content of the page and you should not have more than one H1 per page. Choose your title carefully and don’t forget to include your main keywords. Your H1 in the heading hierarchy is followed by H2, H3, etc. While H1 corresponds to your title, H2 and H3 correspond to your headings and subheadings, respectively. The clearer your text structure is, the easier it will be for search engines to process your website’s content.
Bonus: Take your strategy to the next level with Wix SEO Wiz
If you’re really serious about your SEO, which you probably are since you got to the end of this article, we’ve got just the thing for you – Wix SEO.
Here’s what Google itself had to say: “For Wix users, this [Wix SEO Wiz] is a pretty cool experience because they can see their page in search results immediately after creating it. There’s no waiting, no asking, ‘Am I searching or not?’ They’re on Google in seconds.”
You can also check out Wix Learn’s SEO tutorials for more in-depth content and information.
From the Wix team
Is SEO easy to learn?
The answer is simple. Learning SEO is hard because there is a lot of information to read about search engines and how the optimization process works, and this can be overwhelming at first.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
If you are just starting out with SEO and are wondering what it takes to go from beginner to expert then this post is for you. You will learn how to approach the SEO learning process and walk the path to make it less difficult than it seems.
I started SEO 18 years ago and it took me a few years to get a proper understanding of what SEO is and how it works.
Luckily things have changed and you don’t have to spend years learning SEO. There is a wealth of online resources you can use to start learning SEO and why not become an SEO expert in no time!
Is it hard to learn SEO if you don’t know anything?
A popular question that many people ask is, “How hard is it to learn SEO when you’re starting from scratch?”
A valid question considering that not all people know what search engine optimization is about and what it entails.
The answer is simple. Learning SEO is difficult as there is a lot of information to read about search engines and how the optimization process works, and it can be overwhelming at first.
However, if you take it step by step and follow a structured learning approach (study plan), everything will start to make sense and the whole process will become easier.
A study plan keeps your focus on the important aspects of SEO and helps you gradually build your skills and knowledge over time.
What is the SEO learning curve like?
It gets very steep in the beginning, because in addition to SEO, you need to familiarize yourself with concepts related to search engines and digital marketing.
This is necessary to understand the role of SEO in online marketing. Once you pass this stage and start practicing SEO, it will be smoother and easier to manage.
Do I need a computer science or marketing degree to learn SEO?
No, you don’t need any formal training to learn SEO. As you will see below, there are many online courses you can take to become SEO certified.
When Does SEO Learning Stop?
SEO learning never stops. Google makes hundreds of changes to its search algorithms every year, and that means you need to constantly expand your skills and knowledge.
The Best Way to Learn SEO One of the best and quickest ways to learn SEO is to take a good SEO course. A quality course will help you understand SEO without having to spend endless hours searching for this information in random resources on Google.
How long does it take to learn SEO?
It depends on the effort and time you will put into it. SEO is not just a theory, but an extremely practical discipline.
SEO theory will tell you what you should do to make your website SEO friendly, but it’s how you apply SEO principles in practice that will affect your rankings and traffic becomes.
From my experience you can learn the basics in under 6 months if you follow a solid study plan and put in the effort.
During this time, most of the time is spent practicing SEO and not just reading the theory.
The reason I put 6 months as the minimum period is that it takes time for SEO to work and you may have to wait a few months (or longer) to see the impact of SEO related changes on a website .
SEO Learning Plan for Beginners
I mentioned above that one of the best ways to learn SEO as quickly as possible is by following a study plan, and that’s exactly what you’ll read about below.
So if you want to learn how to do SEO yourself, follow these 7 steps:
Step 1: Learn how search engines work
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and since the whole process has to do with how to increase a website’s visibility in search engines, it makes sense to know how search engines work.
Video: how search engines work
I highly recommend reading the related guides below and watching the video above. They give you a very good idea of how search engines approach crawling, indexing and ranking websites in their results.
Step 2: Understand the role of SEO in digital marketing
Before diving into the basics of SEO, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the role SEO plays in digital marketing.
SEO is part of search engine marketing. SEM is the process of getting traffic from search engines either organically (through SEO) or through paid search ads.
SEM is one of the channels available in digital marketing. Other channels are social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, etc.
So, SEO is not the same as paid advertising and is not the only component of search engine marketing.
Step 3: Understand what SEO is and why it matters
The next step is to understand what we actually mean when we talk about search engine optimization and why it is an important process for any website.
SEO can be defined as a set of rules you can apply to a website to make it appear in the top positions in search engine results pages (SERPS) for related keywords.
Why is that important?
The majority of search engine traffic goes to the websites that appear in the top 5 positions of search results.
This means that if you want to get traffic from Google and other search engines, your website needs to appear at the top of the search terms that are important to your business.
Step 4: Learn about the different SEO processes
Now that you know what SEO is, the next step is to learn how it works.
There are more than 255 SEO ranking factors to consider when optimizing a website and they are broken down into a number of sub-processes for your convenience.
Each sub-process is responsible for a set of SEO rules.
The most important are:
Technical SEO – the process responsible for crawling the indexing phase.
– the process responsible for crawling the indexing phase. On-Page SEO – the process responsible for optimizing the content of a page so that search engine crawlers can better understand it.
– the process responsible for optimizing the content of a page so that search engine crawlers can better understand it. Off-page SEO – the process of promoting your website on the web with the aim of getting links from other websites. Links in SEO act as a “vote of confidence” and can positively influence a website’s ranking in the search results.
Step 5: Learn about keywords and the keyword research process
If you’re at this point, you should already know that everything in SEO starts with a keyword.
SEO keywords are search terms that users enter into a search engine that are relevant to a specific website.
Having gotten past the technical SEO phase, which has to do with infrastructure-related settings, the other SEO phases are heavily keyword-related.
The process of finding out what keywords to target in your content is called keyword research.
So, mastering keyword research is an essential part of your SEO learning plan.
Step 6: Learn how to measure SEO performance
The next step has to do with measuring SEO performance. This is crucial because if you don’t know what to measure and which KPIs to analyze, you won’t know if your SEO campaigns are successful or not.
To measure SEO performance, you need to learn how to use two important tools: Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
The Google Search Console (GSC) gives you insights into how your website is performing on Google. You can see which pages are getting traffic from Google and for which keywords.
Google Analytics shows you what users are doing when they visit your website. You can find out which pages they visit, how long they stay on a page, and a number of other useful metrics.
Step 7: Use SEO
Finally, it’s time to put SEO to work. It’s the only way to verify what you’ve learned in the steps above.
The best approach for beginners is to pick a topic you’re passionate about and start a blog.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or overly popular, just pick a topic you know well, set up a website and start optimizing for search engines.
At this stage, you most likely need to revisit some of the guides and remember how to do keyword research, how to optimize your page titles, how to check if search bots can access your content, and many more things.
To avoid getting lost, it’s best to create an action plan and use checklists so you can keep track of what you need to do at each stage. The two guides below will show you exactly how to do this.
SEO Certifications and Courses
One of the easiest and most effective ways to learn SEO from scratch is to enroll in an SEO class.
As you saw in the tutorial above, there are many SEO concepts to master and many things to learn, and having everything you need to know in one place can save you a lot of time and effort.
A good SEO course will teach you both the basics of SEO and the more advanced concepts. With relevant real-life examples and easy-to-understand instructions, it can make the learning process easier and faster.
SEO Certifications – This list contains the top 10 SEO certifications to sign up for today. All courses include SEO certification which can come in very handy if you are pursuing a SEO career.
SEO Training Courses – A list of free resources that can help you get started with SEO.
Is SEO free?
A lot of people are drawn to SEO because it’s “free website traffic”. And yes, you don’t pay when someone clicks on your site in the organic search results. But make no mistake: SEO is NOT free.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
Google search results are divided into two main categories: paid search results and organic search results.
The goal of SEO is to rank your website in organic search results.
You can also get your website in the paid section of search results using pay-per-click (PPC).
With SEO, you focus 100% on ranking in organic results. SEM is when you use both SEO and PPC to get traffic from search engines.
So yes, SEM is a broad term that encompasses SEO and PPC. This means that SEO falls “under” the upper category of SEM.
With that explained, let’s dive into some of the key differences between SEM and SEO.
SEO vs. SEM: Key Features
SEO is the practice of continually optimizing a website to rank in the organic, non-paid search engine result pages (SERPs).
Google uses more than 200 ranking signals in its algorithm. However, SEO can be broken down into four subcategories: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, and user interaction signals.
On-Page SEO: This is where you optimize your website based on keywords your target customer is searching for on Google, Bing, and other search engines. For example, a best practice for on-page SEO is to include your main keyword in your title tag, meta description, and website URL.
Off-Page SEO: Off-page SEO is all about getting signals of trust and authority from other websites. This mainly involves building quality backlinks to your website. But Google can also use other off-page signals to gauge your site’s authority, like E-A-T and social media sharing.
Technical SEO: This is where you ensure that Google and other search engines can crawl and index all pages on your website. Technical SEO also includes things like making sure your pages load quickly. And that your site architecture is set up correctly.
User Interaction Signals: The way users interact with your website helps Google determine if your page is suitable for someone’s search. For example, if your page has a high bounce rate, it could be a sign that your page isn’t responding to someone’s query. And if Google thinks your page is a poor fit for that keyword, they can knock your rankings down a bit. Or completely from the first page.
Remember: SEM is a high-level term that includes SEO. So everything I outlined above for SEO also applies to SEM. But besides SEO, SEM also includes PPC. And PPC is an area that has its own set of features, best practices, and more.
Bidding: Whether you use Google Ads or Bing Ads, paid search ads are all about bidding. With PPC, you bid on a specific keyword. And when someone searches for that keyword, your ad will appear.
Ad placements are usually proportional to how much someone is bidding. So if you are the highest bidder, you will appear above all other ads.
And when someone clicks on your ad, you pay the amount you bid. The amount you pay when someone clicks your ad is known as cost per click (CPC).
Quality Score: Quality Score is an extremely important Google Ads metric. It’s basically Google’s way of figuring out if your ad is a good match for what someone is searching for.
Google calculates Quality Score based on a combination of click-through rate, the quality of your landing page, and the overall Quality Score of your Google Ads account. And if your ad has a high Quality Score, you get a discount for every click.
Ad Copy: Writing compelling ad copy is a HUGE part of being successful with PPC. Why? Great ad copy = high CTR. And a CTR means a good Quality Score. That means you pay less for the same click.
The opposite is also true. If your copy doesn’t get people to click, your Quality Score will suffer. And your PPCs are going to get super expensive.
Ad groups and account management: This is where you use the data in your Google Ads account to optimize your ad spend.
SEO vs. SEM: How long it takes to see results
One of the main differences between SEO and SEM is speed.
The fact is: SEO takes time. Much time. Especially if your website is new and doesn’t have a lot of backlinks yet.
In fact, analysis showed that it takes an average of 2 years to rank on the first page of Google. And many of the top ranking sites were first published more than 3 years ago.
That doesn’t mean that you should calculate that it should take 2 years to rank on Google. If you target long-tail keywords and implement SEO best practices, you can start seeing results in a matter of months.
For example, when I started Backlinko in early 2013, my website essentially had no domain authority.
But thanks to a lot of hard work and a focus on SEO, I was able to generate some organic traffic within a few months.
However, it took me years to really increase my rankings and organic traffic.
On the other hand, if you focus your SEM efforts on PPC, you can see results pretty much instantly.
You can run an ad in the morning and get traffic and conversions in the afternoon.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll get ROI on day one. In many cases, it can take months of testing and tweaking to see a positive ROI from PPC.
Still, there’s no question that PPC starts working much faster than SEO.
SEO vs. SEM: How Much They Cost
Many people are attracted to SEO because it is “free website traffic”.
And yes, you don’t pay when someone clicks through to your website in organic search results.
But make no mistake: SEO is NOT free. Not even close.
For example, let’s take a quick look at one of my pages, which is currently ranked #1 on Google for “On Page SEO.”
#1 is a great place. I get traffic from this keyword literally every day. And I don’t have to do anything or pay for that traffic to come in.
But it took A LOT of money, time and effort to get that first place.
At a high level, I needed to build Backlinko’s domain authority by consistently publishing world-class content. And promote that content with email outreach.
Then I had to find that keyword using a paid SEO tool. This tool alone is costing me $355/month.
Then there was the content itself. It took me over 20 hours to write this post.
Then we hired a graphic designer to take all the screenshots. We also worked with an illustrator to create these beautiful custom illustrations.
There was also a developer who coded and served the actual page.
And that was with no guarantee that this site would rank for anything.
Compare that to an SEM approach that is 100% PPC.
In this case, spend cash in advance. But at least you know that with this effort you will get some results.
(You can even set your account to automatically bid to appear in a specific position).
So, in the short term, PPC is usually cheaper than SEO.
The big problem with PPC is this:
If you stop paying, your traffic will go to zero.
But with SEO, once you rank, you’re pretty much done. Your investment is all upfront. Once you actually rank, you don’t need to invest a lot of money into maintaining your current ranking.
So yes, when it comes to cost, SEO and PPC have their pros and cons. Because of this, most businesses use a marketing strategy that includes a mix of SEO and PPC.
SEO or PPC: What to focus on
Should You Focus 100% of Your Digital Marketing Efforts on SEO? Or should you combine SEO and PPC and launch an all-out search marketing campaign.
When to only focus on SEO
You’re on a very tight budget: If you’re a startup or small business with a tiny marketing budget, you probably want to focus on SEO. You may not see any ROI on your SEO budget for months or years. But it still makes more sense than burning your marketing budget on PPC ads that might only run for a week.
You can rank for informational keywords: Informational keywords are terms like “What is X” or “How to X”. Although these types of searches don’t convert very well, they do get a lot of search volume. So if you feel like you can write AMAZING content on topics that customers are searching for in Google, SEO is probably your best bet.
For example, my entire business is built on ranking for informational keywords that my target audience (pro marketers) are searching for.
You can wait: SEO and content marketing take time to work. So if you can play the long game and wait 6-12 months for legitimate traffic to roll in from Google search, go for SEO.
They are good at link building: Creating quality content is an essential part of ranking on Google. But it’s not enough. If you’re serious about ranking, you also need to employ a few different link building strategies to get other websites to link to you.
When to focus on PPC
You Have a Consistent Ad Budget: One of the nice things about PPC ads is that you can set a strict budget. That way, it’s impossible to spend more than you planned.
That said: it’s easy to burn that budget quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing (and if you’re just starting out with paid ads, you won’t).
That means you need a regular monthly budget to play with to figure out what combination of keyword targeting, ad copy, landing pages, and bids works best for you.
You can manage an Adwords account: On the surface, PPC sounds super easy. Bid on keywords. get traffic.
But in practice, managing a Google Ads account is no joke. You need to consider keyword targeting, ads, Quality Score, ROI, conversion rates… and process all of that data to make decisions about how to get the most out of your ads.
You have the opportunity to launch and test landing pages: One of the first things you will learn about PPC is that you need targeted landing pages for each ad. Or at least every ad group. So, to get the most out of PPC, you need a way to quickly launch many different websites. And run A/B tests to see which performs best.
When to do both (SEM)
When Should You Tackle SEO and PPC Simultaneously?
Let me answer this question with a real life example:
When I started my first website, I ran all of my SEM myself. I wrote content and optimized it for search engines (SEO). And managing my Google Ads (PPC) account. So, in addition to being a “Founder”, I was also a “SEM Manager”.
And because I was trying to do my website’s SEM myself, the SEO and PPC suffered. It was too much for one person to handle.
But if you feel like you have the staff to manage both PPC and SEO, go for it. Otherwise I would take one or the other.
What is SEO? How to Optimize Your Website for Google: A deep dive into what Search Engine Optimization is, what it entails and how to get started.
The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research: A guide to finding keywords for SEO. However, many of the strategies also apply to keyword research for Google Ads campaigns.
Google Adwords tutorial with step-by-step instructions: Super good tutorial to get started with Google Ads.
What are SEO tools?
SEO tools provide data and alerts about the overall health and success of your website. They help uncover areas of opportunity and identify weaknesses or issues that may prevent you from ranking and earning visibility in the SERPs. Just as actual tools each have a specific role, the same is true in SEO.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
If your website isn’t ranking as well as you’d like, it’s time to take a close look at your SEO strategy.
Proven and new SEO tools make it easier for website owners to figure out what they need to do to stay on top.
What are SEO tools?
SEO tools provide data and alerts on the overall health and success of your website.
They help uncover opportunities and identify weaknesses or issues that may prevent you from ranking in the SERPs and gaining visibility.
Just as the actual tools each play a specific role, so does SEO.
There are SEO tools that can help you:
SEO tools are incredibly useful – but you need to understand how to use them to get the most out of them.
There are even a few toolsets that can help you in more areas than just mentioned and give you a better overview of your SEO performance.
Do you need SEO tools?
The short answer: yes.
Imagine trying to build a table with just your hands.
You wouldn’t get very far, would you?
You will need tools – saws, a tape measure, a drill and screwdrivers to name a few.
Well, if you want to create a website, you’ll only get this far with your hands.
You can create a website, but without tools you wouldn’t know:
How many visits your web pages receive.
Whether traffic has decreased significantly.
If you have HTML errors.
The number of links you have.
What keywords you could use to get more visitors.
And so much more.
What are the best free SEO tools?
If you’re starting out in SEO or want to get better results for the low cost of $0, here are 110 of the best free SEO tools to use.
Free SEO Analysis Tools
Google Analytics is an invaluable resource that is practically indispensable for any digital marketer serious about SEO.
It offers a lot of useful data about websites, such as: B. the number of website visits, traffic sources and demographic location data.
With the detailed information from Google Analytics, digital marketers can optimize their content strategy and find out what works and what doesn’t.
Google Analytics is one of the best free SEO tools that every digital marketer should use.
2. Data Studio
With Google Data Studio, you can bring together data from various sources such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics and create sharable visualizations.
If you’re just starting out, this beginner’s guide to Data Studio will come in handy.
Advanced users learn how to use CASE statements for better Data Studio segments.
3. Keyword hero
Missing keyword data?
Leave it to Keyword Hero, which uses advanced math and machine learning to fill in the blanks.
This service is free from 2,000 sessions per month. Keyword Hero also currently offers a 90-day free trial.
Mozcast tracks changes, big and small, to Google’s search algorithm.
With Google making hundreds of changes every year, staying up to date with the latest developments will help ensure you’re doing everything you can to have the best SERPs.
5. Panguin tool
The Panguin tool provided by Barracuda Digital matches your search traffic against known changes to the Google search algorithm.
If you see a drop that matches an update, you’ve probably found the culprit and can work to fix it!
Free crawling and indexing tools
6. Redirect path
The Redirect Path Chrome extension flags HTTP status codes 301, 302, 404, and 500.
HTTP headers such as server types and caching headers as well as the server IP address can also be displayed at the push of a button.
In addition, all these details can be copied to your clipboard for easy sharing or adding to a technical audit document.
7. Link Redirect Trace
Use this Chrome plugin to ensure all your link redirects direct people and crawlers to where you want them to go.
8. Quick Click Website Audit
The Quick Click Website Audit is a bookmarklet-style extension that interfaces with many of the most popular online SEO tools used today.
When a link is clicked, the URL of the current page is extracted and fed into the selected tool, so you don’t have to copy and paste the links into all tools. It saves a few seconds, dozens of times a day.
9. Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Check your website for SEO errors.
10. Screaming Frog Log File Analyzer
Upload your log files to Screaming Frog’s Log File Analyzer to confirm search engine bots, verify which URLs were crawled, and examine search bot data.
Another SEO log analysis tool that provides real-time data and page categorization.
One of the original free SEO tools, Xenu is a crawler that offers basic site audits, checking for broken links, and the other usual suspects.
13. Where are you going?
Track where redirect URLs and shortened links go with Where Goes?
14. Check My Links
Check My Links is a nifty Chrome extension that scans your website and identifies the status code for every link on the page – including broken links.
Each status code is color coded with 200 status codes that return dark green, 300 status codes that return light green, and 400 status codes that return red.
Once identified, you can copy all bad links to your clipboard with one click.
15. Robots.txt Generator
Quickly create a correct robots.txt file so search engines know how to crawl your site.
Advanced users can also customize their files with Robots.txt Generator.
Checks URLs in bulk for Status Code, Redirect Status, Response Time, Response Headers and HTTP Header Fields with HEADMaster SEO.
Get real-time results, sort and study your results, and export your work to CSV.
17. Keep Alive Validation SEO Tool
Check URLs in bulk – or individually – to see if their servers support persistent connection, which makes your site load faster.
Use this tool to check what HTTP version your server is running on and if there are any external connections to your URL.
18. Hreflang tag generator
Generate hreflang tags to let Google know what language specific pages on your site are in. This allows Google to search those pages in that language.
19. XML Sitemaps
Create a sitemap with up to 500 pages for free without registering.
Download your sitemap as an XML file or receive it by email.
BROWSEO lets you see how your website looks to a search engine.
It basically strips your webpage of any styling and shows you the underlying structure. This way you can find out if Google’s bot is having trouble accessing important content on your website.
A nice feature of this free SEO tool is the SERP preview. This shows a preview of how your site will appear in search results.
You can see if your titles and meta descriptions are optimized enough and make changes if necessary.
21. SFAIK Screaming Frog Analyzer
A robust visualization of Screaming Frog’s crawl data using Google Data Studio.
22. SEOWL Google Title Rewrite Checker
This Google Title Rewrite Checker allows you to check if Google is rewriting the title of a list of pages, allowing for a deeper analysis of the title tag structure.
Free keyword research tools
23. Answer The Public
AnswerThePublic is a nifty tool that provides content marketers with valuable data on the questions people are asking online.
Once you enter a keyword, it pulls popular searches based on that keyword and creates a cool graph of the questions and phrases users use when searching for that keyword.
This data gives content creators insight into the concerns and desires of potential customers, allowing them to create highly targeted content that meets those needs.
Answer the Public also offers keyword suggestions with prepositions like “versus”, “like” and “with”.
It’s an excellent research tool that can help you create better content that people will enjoy and be more likely to share.
24. Keyword Explorer
This keyword research tool gives you up to 1,000 suggested keywords, a keyword difficulty score, a click-through rate date, and a SERP analysis. You can do 10 free searches per month.
25. Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is designed for advertising campaigns, but you can use it for keyword research by seeing how keywords perform in ads.
26. Keyword Sheeter
Get keyword volume, cost per click, and competition data with this free keyword tool.
27. Keywords everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is a must-have keyword research tool because of the huge list of sites it provides free search volume, CPC, and competition data for:
Respond to the public
Google Keyword Planner
Google Search Console
Moz Open Site Explorer
It is available for Chrome and Firefox.
This tool allows you to insert your Google Docs into WordPress while preserving your formatting without excessive code. Start with five free exports – no credit card required.
29. Also asked
Find out what questions people are asking about specific keywords so you can use Also Asked to write content that answers those questions.
Search by country and in different languages. You can claim three free searches to get started.
30. Google Trends
You can use Google Trends to see interest in a specific term from one hour back to 2004.
Sort by categories, country and type of search. See related topics, popularity by region, latest most searched terms, and comparisons with other terms.
31. Keyword surfers
This Chrome extension shows you the search volume directly in your Google search results. You can also see the word count and keyword count for top-ranking pages.
As the name suggests, CanIRank helps you find out if you can rank on the first page of search engines for a specific keyword.
Unlike other tools that simply provide data on how competitive keywords are, CanIRank tells you the likelihood that you’re ranking for a search term and uses AI to give you suggestions on how to better target keywords.
CanIRank provides great competitive analysis data and actionable steps to improve your website’s ranking with better SEO.
33. Seed Keywords
Think of a question or topic you want to research, send it to your contacts and let them choose the keywords they would search for to get the information they want with seed keywords.
34. Exploding Themes
Similar to Google Trends, Exploding Topics helps uncover topics that are about to become popular before they become popular!
Ubersuggest is a simple keyword research tool that scrapes data from Google’s Keyword Planner for keyword ideas based on a keyword you provide.
The tool also returns practical data for each keyword, including search volume, CPC, and competition level.
An excellent feature of Ubersuggest is its ability to filter out keywords that you are not interested in from the search results.
The tool recently added a feature that lets you input a competitor’s domain to get better keyword ideas.
Get the related keywords, also known as semantically linked keywords, for every search with Keys4Up.
37. Wordtracker Scout
Wordtracker Scout helps find out what keywords people are searching for when they are ready to make a purchase.
With KWFinder, you can discover long-tail keywords — those more specific, less-used keywords that return higher results because of their specificity.
Free Link Tools
39. Disavow Tool
Use Google’s disavow tool to get rid of toxic backlinks.
40. Moz Link Explorer
View each URL’s backlink profile and domain authority with Link Explorer.
41. Link Miner
Find out if a given URL contains broken links and discover the metrics of those links, including search and social data, with the Link Miner extension.
42. Backlink Checker
Use this backlink checker to discover all backlink data related to a specific URL.
View the number of referring domains, number of backlinks, domain and URL rating, and its Ahrefs rank, a domain’s position in Ahrefs’ top-performing websites list.
43. Linkio’s anchor text suggestion tool
Discover the best anchor text for any URL with this anchor text suggestion tool.
44. Send pulse
SendPulse allows configuring chains of emails, notifications, and SMS messages based on user actions, variables, or events.
45. Magic PR
Get a press release informed by SEO Best Practices with Magic PR.
This Chrome extension allows you to scrape data from any URL and export the information to a spreadsheet.
47. Help a Reporter (HARO)
Help a Reporter is a resource that connects journalists and experts who serve as sources for stories.
Turn your Gmail inbox into CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software with this free extension.
49. Google Company Profile
Connect with customers across Google Search and Google Maps with a free Google Business Profile.
50. Whitespark Google Review Link Generator
Use this tool to find your Google Review listing and generate a shortened link to your page.
51. Verification of local search results
Perform local searches with Google Search or Google Maps with Local Search Results Checker.
52. Moz Local Check business listing
Confirm that your company’s details are showing correctly in various directories with Moz’s Local Business Checker.
53. Whitespark Local Citation Finder
Track your citations, discover new opportunities and get your competitor’s citations with this local citation finder.
54. Check the handout generator
Print out instructions on how to leave a Google review for your business via desktop or mobile using Whitespark’s review handout generator.
55. Fakespot Review Checker
This Chrome extension lets you know if the product you’re about to buy is from a reputable seller and if not, offers an alternative.
56. Mobile SERP test
Show your local SERPS on different mobile devices with Mobile Moxie’s Mobile SERP Test.
57. Merkle Mobile-First Index Checker
See how your site stacks up against SEO best practices with the Mobile-First Index Checker, depending on whether it’s your desktop or mobile version.
58. Mobile Friendly Test
Test the mobile-friendliness of your website with the Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.
See how fast your website loads with GTMetrix. Find out what’s preventing it from loading as quickly as possible and see what steps you need to take to optimize loading speeds.
60. Cloud Flare
A free Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers that makes your content load faster by using a server that is closest to the person doing the loading.
Free multi tools
Semrush is an excellent SEO keyword research tool that, among other things, allows you to easily find out what keywords a page ranks for on the web.
It provides detailed information about these keywords, including their position in the SERPs, the URLs they drive traffic to, and traffic trends over the last 12 months.
This feature-rich tool makes it easy to find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and create great content around those terms and phrases.
Semrush also offers more features and unlimited access with different paid plans.
While they’re not cheap, you can start with a 14-day free trial if you want to test out the premium features. Or follow the guide to using features with a free account.
62. Chrome Development Tools
Edit pages in real-time with tools built right into Google Chrome DevTools. Diagnose problems as you encounter them.
63. Marketing miners
Get SERP data, rankings, tool reports and competitive analysis in the form of handy reports with Marketing Miner.
MozBar is a free SEO toolbar that works with the Chrome browser. It provides easy access to advanced metrics on websites and SERPs.
With MozBar and a free Moz account, you can easily access the page and domain authority results of any page or website.
With the page analysis feature, you can examine elements on each page (e.g. markup, page title, general attributes, link metrics).
You can find keywords on the viewed page, highlight and differentiate links, and compare link metrics of different websites in the SERPs.
If you need to do detailed SEO research on the go, MozBar is one of the best options to consider.
With a MozPro subscription, you can unlock even more advanced features like page optimization and keyword difficulty.
65. SEO Servant
Run on-page SEO analysis, check for broken links, get SERP preview and more with this Chrome extension.
View SEO metrics and run an SEO audit with this Chrome extension.
67. Leaves for Marketers
Learn how to automate tasks in Google Sheets and discover the best automation templates and tools through this curated list.
68. Leaf consolidator
Create workbooks using CSV exports with a table of contents and hyperlinks enabled with this simple Excel sheet consolidator tool.
69. Google Search Console
This list would not be complete without a mention of Google Search Console.
Aside from the data coming from Google, Google Search Console is rich in insights related to:
Keyword and URL performance.
And much more!
70. Small SEO tools
A suite of tools that make content creation easier, including a plagiarism checker, article rewriter, grammar checker, word counter, spell checker, paraphrasing tool, and more.
71. Internet Marketing Ninjas
From social tools and schema generator tools to webmaster tools and web design tools, check out Internet Marketing Ninjas free tool suite.
72. Ahrefs SEO toolbar
Get SEO metrics and SERP details from Ahref’s free Chrome or Firefox extension.
73. Bing Webmaster Tools
With keyword reporting, keyword research, crawl data and more.
Unlike Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster Tools only focuses on organic search. A must for anyone who wants to rank on Bing.
Woorank is a handy website analyzer that provides useful insights that can help you improve your website’s SEO.
It generates an SEO score for your website and an actionable “marketing checklist” that outlines steps you can take to troubleshoot your website’s SEO issues.
Another cool feature of this free tool is the social shareability section. This section contains social network data such as the number of likes, shares, comments, backlinks and bookmarks on popular social networks.
Woorank also has a great mobile section where you can find info on how your pages render on mobile and how fast they load.
75. SEO Skill
Find a suite of SEO tools that includes a site auditor, SERP tracker, backlink tracker and more with SEObility.
Lipperhey offers free website analysis, keyword tips, SEO analysis and a backlink checker.
This tool offers you an audit of your technical SEO, content and popularity of your website.
You can also find out which keywords you should add to your pages.
Discover duplicate content, broken links and page authority and get both an XML sitemap and a detailed report with important website information with Siteliner.
79. Google SERP character counting tool
While character counting has long been an approach to evaluating meta description and title tag length, Google does not count meta title and description in character count. Pixels are used instead.
The Character Count tool provides both the character count and the pixel count to ensure you are creating meta tags that are not truncated by ellipses – represented by (…).
80. Natural Language API Demo
Use machine learning to determine the mood of text with the Natural Language API Demo.
Use this data to improve your product or website design.
81. Rich Score Test
The rich result test determines whether your website can support rich search results; H. if your Google result contains non-text elements such as images.
82. Structured Markup Validator
Google’s structured data tool no longer exists. The Schema Markup Validator is the recommended alternative.
83. Ryte Structured Data Helper
The Ryte Structured Data Helper gives you a practical overview and shows you how to validate the schema markup of your page quickly and clearly.
84. Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager lets you manage your website tags without editing any code!
85. Look at the rendered source
Differences between raw and rendered versions are shown line by line.
86. Higher Visibility Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool
Find out what your SERP snippet will look like with Higher Visibility’s Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool.
87. Schema markup generator by Merkle
Merkle’s schema markup generator tool helps create JSON-LD markup for articles, breadcrumbs, events, FAQ pages, and guides.
88. Animalz Revive
Find out which of your sites need an update or upgrade with Animalz Revive.
You can see the traffic for your pages, including the percentage of traffic your page has lost since its peak.
89. Free Copyscape comparison tool
Copyscape’s comparison tool helps to check the percentage of shared text between two different pages to weed out plagiarism.
Find out what content is best suited for a specific keyword and who the influencers are for a specific topic with BuzzSumo’s free features.
Hunter helps find all important email addresses associated with a specific domain.
Run a competitor analysis with SimilarWeb that shows you a specific domain’s traffic, top pages, engagement, marketing channels, and more.
Wappalyzer helps you find out if a particular website uses a CMS, CRM, e-commerce platform, ad networks, marketing tools or analytics.
94. Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine lets you see a website over time, including pages that are no longer on the internet.
95. SEO Explorer
SEO Explorer is a free keyword and link research tool.
Free rank checking tools
96. Ahref’s SERP Checker
See the domains that rank in the top 10 for a given keyword in 171 countries and get robust analytics from Ahref’s SERP Checker.
Find a dedicated SERP tracking tool with the appropriately named SERPROBOT.
Set up automatic notifications, choose the frequency with which your SERP is checked and get visual representations of changes.
Track SERPs for up to 10 keywords for free with Taptimize and get actionable SEO tips.
99. Bulk Google Rank Checker
Bulk Google Rank Checker allows you to bulk view your website’s SERPs for different keywords.
100. LSI graphics
Discover related keywords with LSI Graph. View their trends, traffic volume, CPC, competition and remove low search volume results.
Free website speed tools
101. Mobile Friendly Test
Google’s search algorithm puts a lot of emphasis on how mobile-friendly a website is.
To that end, Google’s mobile testing tool was developed to help you determine if your website is properly optimized for smartphones and tablets.
You simply enter your website’s URL and you will be informed immediately if your website is mobile-friendly.
The tool also offers suggestions on how to improve your website’s mobile-friendliness.
The Page Load Information feature lets you know if Google can properly access all the resources on a given page and what to do if it can’t.
This is Google’s open source website speed utility. Lighthouse offers audits on performance, accessibility, web apps, SEO and more.
103. Page speed insights
Find out how fast your website loads and how you can improve it with Google’s Page Speed Insights.
Track your website loading speed daily with SpeedMonitor.io.
You can also track a competitor’s website speed and run on-demand audits.
105. Website test
WebpageTest runs website speed tests from different locations using different browsers.
This useful tool measures page quality, including page load speed. There will also be tips and insights to help you improve.
107. Web Vitals
This GitHub extension measures core web vitals and gives you instant feedback on load, interactivity, and layout shift metrics.
WordPress SEO tools
WordPress is a robust SEO-friendly CMS platform with numerous plugin options to improve SEO.
While this post isn’t a WordPress-specific list of plugins, it’s worth mentioning a handful of important plugins worth considering.
RankMath, a newer SEO suite for WordPress, has 15 modules and offers SEO guidance with 30 different types of tweaks.
Yoast SEO is the most installed SEO suite for WordPress, with regular updates and new tools.
110. Ahrefs WordPress SEO plugin
Ahrefs WordPress SEO plugin gives you content audits, backlink checks, and tools to monitor and increase your organic traffic.
Here are additional lists of Google Analytics Plugins, Twitter Plugins and Website Speed Booster Plugins.
Reaching the SEO Highway Today and Beyond
There is no question that SEO is a strategic process, but it costs very little money to start implementing.
These free SEO tools will help you improve your website’s ranking, traffic, and conversion rates.
Tools like Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs offer many great features and can produce remarkable results when used correctly.
When you combine the efforts of all the SEO tools at your disposal, you are much closer to a successful SEO campaign.
Featured image: EtiAmmos/Shutterstock
What are the two techniques of SEO?
SEO techniques are classified into two broad categories: White Hat SEO – Techniques that search engines recommend as part of a good design. Black Hat SEO – Techniques that search engines do not approve and attempt to minimize the effect of.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
SEO techniques fall into two broad categories:
White Hat SEO – Techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design.
Black Hat SEO – Techniques that search engines do not approve and try to minimize their impact. These techniques are also known as spamdexing.
White Hat SEO
An SEO tactic is considered white hat if it has the following characteristics:
It conforms to search engine guidelines.
It does not involve deception.
It ensures that the content that a search engine indexes and subsequently ranks is the same content that a user will see.
It ensures that the content of a web page is created for the users and not just for the search engines.
It ensures good quality of the websites.
It ensures the availability of useful content on the websites.
Always follow a white hat SEO tactic and don’t try to fool your website visitors. Be honest and you will definitely get something more.
Black hat or spamdexing
An SEO tactic is considered black hat or spamdexing if it exhibits the following characteristics:
Attempts to improve rankings that are rejected by search engines and/or involve deception.
Redirecting users from a page built for search engines to a page that is more user-friendly.
Redirecting users to a page different from the page ranked by the search engine.
Serving a version of a page for search engine spiders/bots and another version for human visitors. This is called a cloaking SEO tactic.
Using hidden or invisible text or with the page background color, using a tiny font size, or hiding within the HTML code such as: B. Unframed sections.
Repeating keywords in the meta tags and using keywords unrelated to the website content. This is called meta tag stuffing.
Calculated placement of keywords within a page to increase keyword count, variety and density of the page. This is called keyword stuffing.
Creating low-quality web pages that contain very little content but are instead filled with very similar keywords and phrases. These pages are called doorway or gateway pages.
Mirror websites by hosting multiple websites – all with conceptually similar content but with different URLs.
Creating a deceptive copy of a popular website that displays content similar to the original to a web crawler, but redirects web surfers to unrelated or malicious websites. This is known as page hijacking.
Always stay away from the above black hat tactics to boost your website rank. Search engines are smart enough to identify all of the above qualities of your website and ultimately you won’t get anything.
What are the three pillars of SEO?
Instead, SEO is supported by three different pillars: discovery, relevance, and authority. Ensure that your website keeps these three future-forward SEO concepts in mind, and you’ll have a content marketing strategy that will increase your place on search engine results pages (SERPs).
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
Whether you’re managing marketing expenses for your startup or you’re a seasoned marketing manager, you probably want to keep your marketing expenses down while getting the greatest possible ROI.
Luckily, search engine optimization (SEO) services can help streamline your inbound marketing strategy without the need to expand your existing marketing or sales teams.
In years, no well-rounded content strategy has overlooked the importance of SEO in their content marketing plans. However, the world of SEO has changed a lot in the last few years, which means that it is not enough to place keywords in your content and hope that your website click-through rate will increase.
Unfortunately, the evolution also applies to digital marketing. This means that 350-word articles, which ranked first in Google, have been replaced with richer content. You will now see more than 2,500 word articles occupying those coveted first place spots. Keywords have been downgraded as Google’s algorithms become more consistent with users’ searches.
Instead, SEO is supported by three different pillars: Discovery, Relevance, and Authority. Make sure your website incorporates these three forward-thinking SEO concepts, and you’ll have a content marketing strategy that will increase your rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).
But first, it’s important that marketing managers understand the following three pillars and why they can impact SEO success so comprehensively.
Getting discovered by potential customers on Google starts with getting your website noticed by Google in the first place. This process involves using classic SEO tactics like building a collection of backlinks from trusted websites and strategically using both powerful and practical keywords on your site.
The good and bad thing about SEO is that unless you’re pushing for a really specific keyword (e.g. where can I find dog poop bags in Gary, Indiana), it takes a while to get to #1. I say good because it’s not like anyone can pay to jump to #ORGANIC right away. SEO is all about spending time making sure your website is a resource center for everything you offer.
Instead of trying to shove a product or service down their throats, create a website that focuses on the best interests of your aspiring customers.
Stay relevant online
Getting relevant on SERPs happens naturally through increased traffic to your website. Aside from building backlinks and developing a superior keyword strategy over that of your competitors, creating a user-friendly website will ensure traffic gets to your site and stays there.
Ease of use is more than a clean-cut, aesthetically pleasing website. It’s a site where your goals are clear and users know exactly what to do next. Webmasters often put together the best images, content, and videos, but just can’t organize them in a way that users enjoy absorbing your content. Have a home page that highlights the key elements of your organization with clear calls to action that will get it where you want it to be.
Combined with the above SEO strategies, high traffic shows that your website is trustworthy, which brings us to the last pillar of an effective SEO content marketing strategy: having authority.
Be a voice of authority in your industry
Relevance and authority often go hand in hand. Although you can be relevant with sub-par content, only companies with quality, actionable content can climb the SERPs. Not only does Authority give you more visibility through search engines, but it can also position you as a thought leader in your industry and set you up for tons of backlinks and citations from blogs, articles or industry-related content.
That is ultimately the goal. Having a website with relevant content that visitors share. Original images with alt tags and buttons for sharing to social networks. A comment section where visitors leave their 2 cents. All of this gets picked up by search engines, thus considering you an industry leader.
Common SEO Mistakes
Even if your current content marketing strategy has these three pillars in mind during the design process, many marketing departments and managers still make common mistakes. Some examples of faux pas are:
– Publishing content regularly without sticking to a well-developed strategy based on concepts like your ideal buyer persona or the buyer’s journey
– Placing too many keywords on a website, leaving readers – and Google – confused and unwilling to read further
– Creating and sharing content that is not original
How a pillar page can improve your strategy
Before we dive in, you might be wondering what exactly are pillar pages? According to HubSpot, a pillar page is the main page for a specific topic or offering. The pillar often contains information on all parts of a topic on a single page, with links to additional topics in blogs, articles, or other sites, all of which link back to the original pillar.
Not to be confused with a landing page, most commonly used as the end of a social media post with a specific purpose. This purpose can be as simple as downloading an e-book, watching a video, and subscribing to a newsletter.
Typically, a pillar page is your starting point for readers. On this page, they learn more about your topic or offer, but don’t discover all the details until they continue to your site via articles linked from the pillar page.
Well-designed pillar pages allow readers to efficiently browse the information you offer, and help you build your relevance and authority while also discovering (and hopefully sharing) unique or trend-setting information from your business.
SEO is an interesting process. I say interesting because in the ever-changing world of Google algorithms, they suddenly change the rules once you feel you get the hang of it. Granted, the changing rules are a good thing for us as search engine users because they help us find what we need faster, but having to change your entire strategy can be annoying.
But that’s the price of playing in the big leagues. Learn the tricks of the trade and you’ll find that an SEO strategy can get you one step closer to increasing inbound leads.
When you’re ready to step up your content marketing and SEO strategy, a top-notch inbound marketing agency or digital agency can help you maximize your results. Our team at Whitehat Inbound Marketing is always happy to chat with you about how an effective SEO and content marketing strategy will help you get the most out of your marketing and sales efforts.
To learn more about a new way to generate thousands of B2B sales leads, click on the link below:
Does SEO cost Money?
Technically, SEO is free. You’re not paying money for SERP placement. Google ranks content based on a number of factors including the E-A-T trio: Expertise, Authority, and Trust. They’re going to highly rank those who are seen as valuable resources for users.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
The most honest and direct answer is: it depends. It depends on what kind of SEO services your company provides and how many professionals are needed to do the job.
There are many affordable options for individuals, businesses, and agencies when it comes to great SEO.
However, not everyone can afford some of the more aggressive SEO pricing out there. There can be many different costs associated with your goals, from focusing on the cost of keyword research and implementation to assisting with technical recommendations and fixes, the prices of your SEO packages will vary. Here are the aspects of SEO pricing I will cover:
Cost and pricing plans for SEO services
A recurring SEO plan for a well-established website may require less intensive work, but will likely require more reporting and long-term adjustments. If you are just starting out and launching a new website, you need to understand that you are expecting higher SEO costs up front, but then you have the option to move down to a cheaper and more standard monthly plan as your website grows in the search engine results pages (SERPs) established.
Or, if it better suits your business model, you can speak to a specialist about handling recurring work while keeping it on pre-order. I’ll talk a little more about the best plans (in my humble opinion) in a moment.
Mainly, most websites look at these key aspects of SEO. This is also what you’re probably paying for when you sign up for an SEO package:
Updating pages on your site
Monitoring and updating of the internal linking structure
Backlink outreach and implementation
And much more
So how much does SEO cost? That depends on how much you have to do to outperform your competition. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Oh, and also how much the tools and/or outsourcing will cost.
As I mentioned earlier, if you switch to monthly SEO pricing plans, your upfront SEO costs will likely be more than what you pay for. It’s often the case that an SEO agency will take an in-depth look at your site and make a whole host of changes and recommendations, and then move into more niche work and focus areas each month.
SEO is free – or is it?
Technically, SEO is free. You pay no money for SERP placements. Google ranks content based on a number of factors, including the E-A-T trio: expertise, authority, and trust. They will rank highly those that are considered valuable resources for users.
But was SEO really free? The costs for in-house SEO specialists or even freelancers can be quite high. And depending on the work your website requires, this can take a significant toll on your wallet over time. Not to mention that using an SEO tool also costs money. Or, if you hired an SEO agency, you have other costs to deal with as well.
But who are we kidding? Time is money and SEO is time consuming. SEO also requires a certain amount of knowledge and experience to ensure you’re doing the right things – especially if you want to make highly technical updates to your site’s code or architecture.
A specialist or company knows the best way to improve your rankings, from creating quality content to optimizing your business for proper SERP listings. You will also know which tactics to avoid such as B. Black hat SEO techniques that could result in penalties that would make all the money you have invested in your SEO strategy worthless.
And you will likely need tools like ours to perform some of the following functions:
Analytics on your own website
Analysis of competitor websites
Information about your backlink sources
Competitor backlink source information
Keyword research and keyword difficulty analysis
Tracking search results
Ongoing site audits
Social media campaign tools
Social Media Tracking
Brand and reputation monitoring
You don’t necessarily have to do any of this. In fact, you may not have to do any of this. You could spend zero on tools. But tools help you do more, do it more efficiently, and become more relevant with the complexity of your website and the complexity of your search market. You can set a price for tools. For example, here are some of the Semrush plans and their associated prices:
Exactly from February 2022
Tools are the easy part of the price. Outsourcing is much more difficult.
What are the prices for SEO packages?
Most SEO companies and even many freelancers have packages. That makes it easy to rate them. But that assumes a package meets your needs. When you have so many variables, SEO really becomes a bespoke process.
A custom plan is not that easy to price. More specifically, the plan needs to change as your analytics and intelligence will keep you informed of your changing SEO landscape. Add to the confusion the many ways SEO can be priced:
One time fee
pay for performance
The best course of action is to talk to a few different SEO specialists or agencies and talk to them about the prices and costs of their SEO packages. There may be different options for you, from less intensive updates to collaborating with someone as needed. But getting a few different quotes and seeing what their priorities are can help you determine an SEO service plan that fits your budget.
Which SEO pricing model is the best?
Pay-for-performance is the best SEO pricing model in my opinion. The company or specialist you engage will use their best efforts to deliver results; This will help your site update faster and you’re good to go. I’m not too keen on packages either. I think the retainer model offers the most flexibility to fit your needs. A retainer allows you to shift focus or priorities without incurring additional expense. A set monthly advance can mean asking for extra work means extra money.
If you have recurring revenue, you can afford the retainer model. When your income hops around like a kangaroo on roller skates like mine, it might be better to pay for certain actions. If that’s the case, be prepared to be a little more involved in the process, at least enough to know what specific actions you need to request or approve.
There is no easy answer to the question “How much does SEO cost?” If you:
Take the time to learn some basics about SEO and risk management
have some patience
Hire knowledgeable people who know the right white hat SEO techniques
get off the ground with an effective investment model
You should find that even if you pay a seemingly high SEO price, you will enjoy a very profitable ROI if the strategy is executed correctly.
Do I need SEO for my website?
SEO is made up of multiple elements, and knowing what they are and how they work is key to understanding why SEO is so important. In short, SEO is crucial because it makes your website more visible, and that means more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into customers.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
SEO is made up of several elements, and knowing what they are and how they work is key to understanding why SEO is so important. In short, SEO is crucial because it makes your website more visible, and that means more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into customers. Check out the SEO tools you can use for optimal ranking.
It’s also a valuable tool for brand awareness, building relationships with potential customers, and positioning yourself as an authoritative and trusted expert in your field. So here’s everything you need to know about SEO and why it’s important to thrive in today’s digital world.
The crucial elements of SEO marketing
Long gone are the days when keywords were the only important SEO technique, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still crucial. The difference is that today keywords need to be well researched, carefully chosen, and used judiciously in your content to be effective.
But what exactly are keywords? Keywords are words and phrases that prospects use to find content online, and that brands can then use to connect with prospects searching for their products and services.
In the key steps of keyword research, it is important to look for keywords with high search rates and low competition, and to include short-tail keywords (e.g. dog), long-tail keywords (e.g. terrier puppies for sale) and choosing local keywords (e.g. puppies for sale in Boston) to incorporate into your content. Along with a primary or seed keyword, you should also have secondary and tertiary keywords as they still add value to your business. Finally, use keywords to optimize all your titles, URLs and other on-page SEO elements (more on that later…).
Content is an essential part of SEO as it is the means by which you reach and engage your audience. It is important that you know your point of view and create appropriate content.
For example, if you own a nursery and want to increase your visibility, you can publish a series of blogs about gardening, choosing the right type of plants, growing tips, and more. When a person who wanted to know about gardening searched for this information, your blog popped up and you were able to build a relationship with that prospect by providing valuable information. The idea is that when the time comes for the prospect to buy a plant, for example, you are the first nursery that comes to mind.
Today’s content needs to be educational, but also interesting, relevant and shareable. Content comes in a variety of forms, including:
Content of the website
Blogs (it’s easy to start your own practice blog!)
White papers and e-books
Social Media Posts
Off-page SEO involves external optimization practices that take place outside of your website, not on it.
The main technique used for off-page SEO is backlink building, as quality backlinks to your website from external websites tell search engines that your website is valuable and of high quality, which helps build authority.
There are many tactics for building backlinks, and some current best practices include guest blogging, creating lots of infographics that get shared frequently, and using influencer marketing in your content.
PS You can read a complete guide to on-page and off-page SEO to ensure you know the difference and make the best of both. Additionally, some experts are beginning to refer to off-page SEO as “reputation building.”
Local SEO is becoming increasingly important as more and more people use mobile devices to search. Today, 60% of all searches are done on a mobile device, and nearly half of those searches have a local intent.
So let’s say you own a restaurant, then local SEO would ensure that people in your area who are looking for the best restaurants in town would come across your website.
In addition to using local keywords, other local SEO best practices include claiming directory listings, creating location-specific pages for your website, and creating pages for your business (aka landing pages) in Google My Business and Google Maps local directories .
search engine marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to paid marketing efforts and includes things like native ads, Google AdWords, social media ads, pay-per-click (PPC), Google Shopping ads, display ads, and more.
While SEM isn’t always an important part of a comprehensive SEO strategy, it has its place as it can help you reach new and highly targeted audiences. You can also make SEO and SEM work together.
Examples of SEM advertising activities are:
Paid and targeted campaigns
Keyword-based text specific to your business or product
Performance indicators such as click-through rates (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC)
Understand the importance of SEO for modern businesses
Visibility and Rankings
One of the most important functions of SEO is to increase visibility, which means it’s easier for prospects to find you when they’re looking for something you have to offer. Visibility is directly related to your ranking.
The higher you rank on a search engine results page (SERP), the more likely prospects will see you and click through to your website, so improving your organic page ranking is key. The more effective your SEO efforts are, the higher your ranking and the better your visibility, which is especially important when you consider that a quarter of web users never click past the first SERP.
Increased web traffic is one of the main goals of SEO, and you increase traffic when you improve visibility and rankings. Think about it for a moment: ranking first in a Google search gets nearly 32% of clicks, and moving up just one spot in search results can increase CTR by a staggering 30.8%.
The golden grail for many marketers is the “featured snippet,” which is often referred to as position #0 because it appears above the top-ranked URL. This is usually content sourced from a landing page on a blog that answers a question people are searching for and can give your organic click-through a huge boost.
So, if you want more people to find your site through a search engine, you need to employ SEO practices that will help you rank in the top five positions, and ideally number one.
Page Authority (PA) is becoming more and more important for search engines as it is becoming more and more important for web users. Essentially, authority means that your website is trustworthy, quality, relevant and has something to offer.
Values range from 1 to 100 and the higher your number, the more authority your site has. You can determine your PA score using tools like Moz, and while it’s difficult to influence, many SEO experts believe it has to do with link profile – getting external links from credible and well-visited sources.
Creating a better visitor experience
Another reason why SEO is so important is that all the time you invest in generating great content and on-page SEO optimization improves your website’s user experience. This creates a seamless and positive customer experience.
For example, if you take steps to make your website responsive, it will become usable for all your mobile visitors as well as people who visit it from a laptop or desktop. Similarly, by increasing your page loading speed, you reduce your bounce rate and encourage visitors to stay on your site longer. Consumers expect a page to load as quickly as possible, taking no more than three seconds to load! The longer the loading time, the higher the bounce rate and the lower your conversions.
Remember that search engines are fallible
SEO is important because search engines are not perfect. If you don’t take steps to counteract their mistakes, your website will pay the price.
For example, if a website doesn’t have proper link structure, search engines may not be able to crawl and index the website properly, which can result in lower rankings. Coding errors can completely block search engines and make it impossible for your website to rank, no matter how much time you invest in other SEO efforts. Other common areas where search engines can run into problems include:
Images, Flash, audio files, videos and other non-textual content
language and semantics
It would be easy to spot these problems and know how to avoid them by taking the SEO specialty course at DMI!
First published August 2018, updated October 2021
Is SEO better than Google Ads?
Key PPC vs. SEO take-aways
Improvements to SEO can help your website rank higher on Google Search by making it more relevant to users, while PPC ads like Google Ads are paid online advertisements which allow businesses and website owners like you to bid on the chance to show an ad next to searches on Google.com.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
There are a number of things to look out for when trying to improve your website’s SEO. Here are some tips to get you started:
Make sure that the texts on your website are clear, helpful and descriptive.
Explain your topic in simple, easy-to-understand language.
Add relevant keywords i.e. H. Words you think a user might search for when searching for your offer online.
On the subject of keywords, while it’s a good idea to include search terms in your website text, make sure you don’t overload your page with too many search terms or post fake pages that you don’t want users to see. This can result in Google considering your pages as misleading and ignoring your site. So think about what is easiest for a user to navigate and understand.
There is no cost to appear in organic search results like Google’s, and making changes to improve your site’s SEO can have a big impact on your search rankings over time. Learn more about how Google’s organic search works and find tips to get started here. With Search Console, you can track your progress and see how your content is performing.
SEO In 5 Minutes | What Is SEO And How Does It Work | SEO Explained | SEO Tutorial | Simplilearn
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What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. Simply put, it means the process of improving your website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business on Google, Bing and other search engines. The more visible your pages are in search results, the more likely you are to attract attention and attract potential and existing customers to your business.
How does SEO work?
Search engines like Google and Bing use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from page to page, gathering information about those pages, and including them in an index. Think of the Index as a giant library where a librarian can pull up a book (or web page) to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Next, algorithms analyze the pages in the index using hundreds of ranking factors, or signals, to determine the order in which pages should appear in search results for a specific query. In our library analogy, the librarian has read every single book in the library and can tell you exactly which one contains the answers to your questions.
Our SEO success factors can be viewed as representative of user experience aspects. This is how search bots accurately assess how well a website or webpage can give the searcher what they are looking for.
Unlike paid search ads, you cannot pay search engines to get higher organic search rankings, which means SEO professionals have to put in the work. This is where we come in.
Our Periodic Table of SEO Factors organizes the factors into six main categories and weights, each based on their overall importance to SEO. For example, content quality and keyword research are key factors in content optimization, and crawlability and speed are important factors in website architecture.
The newly updated SEO Periodic Table also includes a list of toxins that distract from SEO best practices. These are shortcuts or tricks that might have been enough to guarantee a high ranking in times when the methods of the engines were much less sophisticated. And they might even work for a little while now—at least until you get caught.
We also have a brand new niche section that dives deep into the SEO success factors behind three key niches: Local SEO, News/Publishing and Ecommerce SEO. While our entire SEO Periodic Table will help you with best practices, knowing the SEO nuances for each of these niches can help you thrive in search results for your small business, recipe blog, and/or online store .
The search algorithms are designed to display relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Optimizing your website and content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in search results.
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Why is SEO important for marketing?
SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing as people perform trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent, to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands, complementing other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
However, search results have evolved in recent years to provide users with more direct answers and information that is more likely to keep users on the results page rather than directing them to other websites.
Also note that features like Rich Results and Knowledge Panels can increase visibility in search results and provide users with more information about your business directly in the results.
In summary, SEO is the foundation of a holistic marketing ecosystem. When you understand what your website users want, you can implement that knowledge in your campaigns (paid and organic), website, social media properties, and more.
How can I learn SEO?
Note: Stay tuned for our updated SEO Periodic Table 2021 arriving at SMX Advanced on June 15th!
For a helpful introduction to SEO, our Periodic Table of SEO Factors gives you all the key concepts you need to know, including the elements for successful on-page and off-page SEO, as well as the “toxins” or tactics that can harm yours placements.
The table and accompanying report also consider three niches of search:
The periodic table of SEO factors serves as the basis of this SEO guide. Together, these resources will help you learn more about SEO and underpin your strategy for success.
Search Engine Land’s SEO guide
Complementing our periodic table of SEO factors, Search Engine Land’s SEO guide walks you through the basics of search optimization so you can develop a solid strategy for driving organic traffic to your site.
In the guide below, we explain these factors in more detail and highlight tactical tips from search engine optimization experts that will help your website attract more visitors from organic search.
Daily SEO News & Expert SEO Advice
In addition to daily news from our editorial team, Search Engine Land publishes daily articles by experts covering SEO topics primarily from the public’s perspective.
Browse the SEO channel for the latest SEO news and expert columns. Sign up to receive Search Engine Land’s daily email newsletter, summarizing search engine marketing news and exclusive analysis and insights.
Search Engine Land’s SEO library
Besides SEO in general, Search Engine Land also offers search engine optimization sections specific to the major search engines:
Get SEO news and advice delivered to your inbox
Subscribe to our daily brief newsletter for a roundup of the latest SEO-related news, tips, and tactics from Search Engine Land and other sources across the web.
What is SEO and how does it work?
Are you at the beginning of your SEO journey? Maybe you’ve heard that SEO can help drive traffic to your site and get you higher rankings, but not sure how it works or what areas to focus on? Well, you are in the right place. Read on to find out what every digital marketer should know about SEO.
Define Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Let’s start with an obvious question: what exactly is SEO? Well, SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” which is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results on search engines. The aim is to improve the position of your website on the search results pages. Remember, the higher the site ranks, the more people will see it.
Good SEO involves many different activities, such as:
Identifying relevant keywords with good search traffic potential
Creating quality, useful content and optimizing it for search engines and for users
Including relevant links from quality websites
measuring the results
Today, SEO is considered an essential marketing activity.
Differences between paid and organic search
From the start, it’s important that you understand the differences between organic, natural search, synonymous with SEO, and paid search. There are five main differences:
The first difference is that paid search results appear at the top of search engine results pages, and organic results appear below.
Another key difference between paid and organic search is time. With paid search, you get near-instantaneous results, sometimes within minutes; whereas with organic search, results take longer—often weeks, months, and even years. So, you need to play the mid- to long-term organic search game.
When it comes to paying, as the name suggests, paid search traffic gets paid. You pay per click (PPC) on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. This means that you pay a fee every time a user clicks on your ad. So instead of relying on organic traffic to your site, buy traffic to your page by paying Google to show your ad when your visitor searches for your keyword. For organic search, traffic is free but requires an investment of resources and time.
In terms of return on investment, or ROI, it’s actually a lot easier to measure with paid search. This is partly because Google provides more keyword data for you to collect in Google Analytics. However, with paid search, ROI can stagnate or decline over time. In organic search, ROI is a bit more difficult to measure, but it often improves over time. In the long term, organic search can offer a very good return on investment.
In terms of traffic percentage, around 20% to 30% of searchers click on paid results and 70% to 80% of searchers click on SEO results. So the lion’s share of clicks actually go to organic results.
Similarities between paid and organic search
It’s not just about differences – there are also similarities between paid and organic search:
Keyword research: They use a search engine for both paid and organic searches, and both require a user to enter a keyword. So, you need to do keyword research for both organic search and paid search.
They use a search engine for both paid and organic searches, and both require a user to enter a keyword. So, you need to do keyword research for both organic search and paid search. Landing pages: Both search types require you to create landing pages. For SEO, the landing page needs to be connected to your website. For paid search, it can be the exact same landing page that you use for organic search, or it can be an entirely separate, standalone page that sits outside of your website.
Both search types require you to create landing pages. For SEO, the landing page needs to be connected to your website. For paid search, it can be the exact same landing page that you use for organic search, or it can be an entirely separate, standalone page that sits outside of your website. Traffic: Generating traffic is a key goal of both paid and organic search. Most importantly, both paid and organic search traffic include user intent. That is, someone asks Google a question or searches for information – they are in an active mindset and are therefore more likely to take action once they find that information.
The three pillars of SEO
As a digital marketer, knowing how to get your brand, website or business found by searchers is a core competency, and understanding how SEO is evolving will keep you at the top of your game. While SEO often changes in small increments, its key principles do not. We can break down SEO into three core components, or pillars, that you need to be familiar with – and act on regularly:
Technical Optimization: Technical optimization is the process of performing activities on your website that aim to improve search engine optimization but are not related to the content. This often happens behind the scenes.
Technical optimization is the process of performing activities on your website that aim to improve search engine optimization but are not related to the content. This often happens behind the scenes. On-Page Optimization: On-page optimization ensures that the content on your website is relevant and provides a great user experience. It involves targeting the right keywords in your content and can be done through a content management system. Common examples of content management systems are WordPress, Wix, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Shopify, and Expression Engine.
On-page optimization is the process of making sure the content on your website is relevant and provides a great user experience. It involves targeting the right keywords in your content and can be done through a content management system. Common examples of content management systems are WordPress, Wix, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Shopify, and Expression Engine. Off-Page Optimization: Off-page optimization is the process of improving your website’s search engine ranking through off-site activities. This is mainly driven by backlinks, which help build the site’s reputation.
How do search engines actually work?
Search engines are used by people when they have a question and search the internet for the answer. Search engine algorithms are computer programs that look for clues to provide searchers with the exact results they are looking for. Search engines rely on algorithms to find web pages and decide which to rank for a given keyword. Search engines work in three steps: crawling, the discovery phase; Indexing, i.e. the filing phase; and ranking, this is the retrieval phase.
Step 1: Crawling
The first step is crawling. Search engines send out web crawlers to find new pages and record information about them. We sometimes call these web crawlers “spiders” or “robots.” Their purpose is to discover new web pages and also to periodically check the content of pages you have previously visited to see if they have been changed or updated.
Search engines crawl websites by following links they have already discovered. So if you have a blog post and it’s linked from your home page, when a search engine crawls your home page, it looks for another link to follow and may follow the link to your new blog post.
Step 2: Indexing
The second step is indexing. During indexing, a search engine decides whether or not to use the crawled content. When a crawled webpage is deemed worthy by a search engine, it is added to its index. This index is used in the last ranking phase. When a web page or piece of content is indexed, it is filed and stored in a database where it can be retrieved later. Most websites that offer unique and valuable content are included in the index. A website may not be included in the index if:
Its content is considered duplicate
Its content is considered low quality or spammy
It could not be crawled
The page or domain was missing inbound links
Step 3: Ranking
The third step is really the most important step and that is the ranking. Ranking can only be done after the crawling and indexing steps are completed. So once a search engine has crawled and indexed your site, your site can be ranked.
There are more than 200 ranking signals that search engines use to sort and rank content, and they all fit under the three pillars of SEO: technical optimization, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization. Some examples of signals that search engines use to rank websites are:
Keyword presence in title tag – Whether the keyword or a synonym was mentioned on the page and in the title tag
– Whether the keyword or a synonym was mentioned on the page and in the title tag. Website Load Speed – Whether the website loads quickly and is mobile friendly
– Whether the website loads quickly and is mobile-friendly Reputation of the website – Whether the website and the website for the searched topic are considered reputable
Sorting and ranking results
Google’s main search algorithm is called Google Hummingbird and it is responsible for deciding how search engine results are sorted and ranked.
Google also has a machine-learning search engine sub-algorithm called RankBrain:
When RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, it uses artificial intelligence to understand it better by connecting it to similar searches.
It allows Google to understand these searches by converting keywords into well-known topics and concepts, which means it can return better search engine results – even for unusual searches.
Rather than trying to be the best keyword-optimized result, RankBrain rewards sites that provide user satisfaction and deliver the result that the user expects.
Get the most out of RankBrain
A good SEO strategy is to optimize your website to improve user experience and satisfaction and try to get the most out of the RankBrain ranking factor.
The three most effective ways to do this are:
Optimize for medium-tail keywords (key terms consisting of two to three words).
Optimize page titles and descriptions for clicks, so your listing is more likely to be clicked during a search. CTR is the percentage of people who see you on Google and then click through to your website.
Optimize content to increase dwell time (the length of time people stay on the page) and reduce bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave the page after viewing just one page).
Remember, Google’s three most important ranking factors are:
Set SEO goals
Setting SEO goals is an essential part of any SEO strategy. It’s important to set SEO goals – and align them with your overall business goals – because:
They drive buy-in from key stakeholders.
They will help you formulate your SEO strategy.
They ensure that goals are achieved.
What to measure
While setting goals can feel like a tedious task, measuring those goals can really help you make progress with your SEO over the long term. So what kinds of things should you measure?
Examples of SEO goals
Here are three examples of SEO goals that can serve as a guide for setting relevant goals for your own business or website:
“Move fifty percent of our top 20 keywords to the first page of Google within nine months.” This goal focuses on keyword ranking.
“Increased our organic traffic by 20% year over year in Q3 and by 25% in Q4.” This goal focuses on increasing organic website traffic.
“Increase our SEO market share from 3% to 5% in the next fiscal year.” This goal focuses on growing market share.
Setting goals for different types of businesses
The focus of your goals depends on whether your business is transactional or informational.
If your business is transactional and you have an e-commerce element, your goals should be tracking sales and lead conversions. However, if you’re not running an ecommerce website, your focus should be on lead generation.
If your business is informational, you’re more likely to set goals that focus on brand awareness or website traffic.
Finally, remember that SEO is never finished even after you have fully implemented your SEO strategy. With SEO, you may have to change tactics midway, play a long game and wait for the end results. But with a solid SEO foundation — and a little patience — the benefits of your SEO strategy should become apparent, resulting in a better user experience for customers and more conversions for your business.
What Is SEO? Learn Search Optimization Best Practices
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, a set of practices aimed at improving the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results. Since organic search is the most familiar way for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is essential to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.
Why is SEO important?
To understand the value of SEO, let’s split our definition into three parts:
Organic Search Results: The unpaid listings on a search engine results page (SERP) identified by the search engine are most relevant to the user’s query. Ads (PPC, or pay-per-click ads in this context) make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic search results differ from these ads in that they are positioned based on the search engine’s organic ranking algorithms rather than advertiser bids. You can’t pay for your page to rank higher in organic search results.
Quality of organic traffic: how relevant the user and their search query are to the content on your website. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they come to your site because Google tells them you are a resource for Apple computers, when in reality you are a farmer selling apples, those visitors are likely to leave your site without one Completion of all conversions. Quality traffic includes only visitors who are genuinely interested in the products, information, or other resources your site offers. Quality SEO leverages the search engine’s efforts to match a user’s search intent to the webpages listed in the SERPs.
how relevant the user and their search query are to the content on your website. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they come to your site because Google tells them you are a resource for Apple computers, when in reality you are a farmer selling apples, those visitors are likely to leave your site without one Completion of all conversions. Quality traffic includes only visitors who are genuinely interested in the products, information, or other resources your site offers. Quality SEO leverages the search engine’s efforts to match a user’s search intent to the webpages listed in the SERPs. Amount of organic traffic: The number of users who reach your website through organic search results. Users are more likely to click search results that appear near the top of the SERP, which is why it’s important to use your SEO strategy to rank relevant pages as high as possible. The more quality visitors you bring to your website, the more likely you are to see an increase in valuable conversions.
If you are an agency or in-house SEO looking for resources to educate your clients or business stakeholders about search engine marketing, we encourage you to copy, personalize, and share this presentation on the basics and value of SEO.
How does SEO work?
Search engines like Google and Bing use crawlers, sometimes called bots or spiders, to gather information about any content they can find on the web. The crawler starts from a known web page and follows internal links to pages within that site, as well as external links to pages on other sites. The content of these pages, as well as the context of the links it follows, help the crawler understand what each page is about and how it is semantically related to all other pages in the search engine’s massive database, called the index.
When a user types or speaks a search query in the search box, the search engine uses complex algorithms to pull out what it believes to be the most accurate and useful list of results for that search query. These organic results can include text-rich webpages, news articles, images, videos, local business listings, and other niche content.
There are many factors that go into search engine algorithms, and these factors are constantly evolving to keep up with changing user behavior and advances in machine learning. Here is how a group of experts ranks their importance:
SEOs use their understanding of these ranking factors to design and implement search engine marketing strategies that balance on-page, off-page, and technical best practices. An organization hoping to achieve and maintain high SERP rankings and, as a result, generate lots of quality user traffic, should employ a strategy that prioritizes user experience, employs non-manipulative ranking tactics, and evolves in concert with search engines and users. behavior changes.
It should be noted that other digital marketing practices such as conversion rate optimization (CRO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media management, email marketing, and community management are often closely related to SEO are, however, these other tactics are generally outside the scope and definition of traditional search engine marketing. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these areas, the Moz Blog has categories related to all of these topics as well as others.
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How can I learn SEO best practices?
Moz offers the web’s best resources for learning SEO. If you are completely new to the world of search engine marketing, start at the very beginning and read the updated SEO Beginner’s Guide. If you need advice on a specific topic or want to explore more content for all skill levels, check out all of our learning options below.
You’re there! Discover free articles like this one on a variety of topics from SEO basics to local search to strategies for mobile and international websites. The Learning Center is organized by topic for easy navigation, and each article contains links to other content that you might find useful along the way.
For those serious about investing in their SEO education, Moz Academy offers an extensive catalog of on-demand courses taught by experienced instructors and designed for hands-on learning. In addition to a variety of courses for all skill levels, we offer the opportunity to earn valuable industry credentials with our world-class certifications in SEO Essentials and Technical SEO.
Written and curated by the top experts in the industry, our SEO guides cover everything from testing your website for technical success to hiring the best SEO managers. They are organized by skill level and are available for free.
The Moz Blog has long been recognized as one of the most valuable places on the web for SEO information. It’s easy to browse by category and features contributions from experts across the industry. The blog hosts our popular Whiteboard Friday series, as well as valuable updates on all aspects of SEO several times a week.
Our webinar series features talks on the latest innovations in search engine marketing hosted by the Moz team of subject matter experts. It’s the marketing conferencing experience on demand.
Powered by our community of over 500,000 digital marketers, Moz’s Q&A forum features hundreds of thousands of SEO questions and answers from people just like you. Join the community and post your own question or browse discussions on everything from Moz tools to other areas of marketing.
Your SEO success story starts here. Have fun with your studying!
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