SEO or search engine optimization is making a website to rank high on search engine results. It is a multidisciplinary process that takes several approaches to achieve the desired outcome. SEO involves aspects that can be seen at a glance such as choosing the right URL for a webpage, having the most relevant title, an optimal Meta description and quality content… just to mention a few. There are also other components embedded within the website layout which might need a professional eye to pick out. But there is much more to search engine optimization which I will try to simplify in this piece.
Before we dive in, keep in mind that SEO is a field that keeps growing by the day. We cannot unequivocally state that it has been studied wholly. In fact, a lot is yet to be uncovered. In many cases, the studies of SEO are retrospective. The experts look at what inclusions the high-ranking sites possess compared to others. This information can then be used to predict what will help you rank high. You can relate this to a sports match with an opponent whose tactics you are not so well conversant with. After several games, you start learning his tactics, and you analyze how other opponents are playing him. This information can be quite beneficial when you play the next match. Get it right though; Google isn’t your opponent or rival unless you are running a parallel search engine. However, this field has never been static; Google is constantly making updates to its algorithms which determine the position of a website on search engine results pages (SERPs).
So by analyzing what high ranking websites are doing, you can begin to see a picture of what Google likes. However, remember that there is more going on at the backend. To be successful, you need to come up with a strategy that will encompass the several aspects that can take you to the top ranks. This can be done with the help of an SEO company around you, or you can do the search engine optimization by yourself if you have the know-how.
At a time when there are well over a billion websites in operation, there definitely needs to be methods to categorize these sites. The niches of the sites are one way of doing this but assigning positions on SERPs is what matters most to a website owner and SEO. Google ranks websites in order of quality. If your content is original, informative and of high relevance to your niche, you will be ranked well, and when this is coupled with other SEO best practices, your site will have an edge above the rest.
Say you have a business and you are looking for more customers online. You need to be offering quality products and services to attract more customers. When you have incentives such as discounts on bulk purchases and giveaways, you get even more buyers. People can learn about these offers when you put them up on your website. Google is also in business, and its customers are the internet users who use their search engine as a gateway to other websites. More people will continue using Google if it delivers excellent results when they search for info on the net. And without a doubt, Google wants to keep its customers coming like any other business. When you search for ‘SEO agency,’ for example, Google has the task of outlining to you a good SEO agency that can help your website grow in rankings. The Google bots will be put to work, and they will search their listing for the most appropriate website that offers the services you are seeking. The best sites, according to Google will be on the first page and you can then scheme through the results with their attached descriptions (or meta descriptions) and click on the one that looks great at first sight. The number one website on the first page of search results normally gets the majority of clicks, and that translates to more traffic.
For Google’s customers to keep coming, the websites listed on the top ranks have to be relevant to the users. People should get what they are searching for seamlessly. Therefore, Google has its spiders that crawl websites, and they can accurately determine which sites are offering excellent quality. In the case of an SEO agency, the customer reviews will be analyzed, and the site of an SEO company with more 5-star reviews will have one of the top spots. Other factors such as the location of the agency in relation to the searcher’s location are considered. Google will list the SEO agencies that are near you. Other factors that will determine how you rank include how friendly your site is to the users and the offsite SEO techniques that you are using.
Therefore Google ranks websites in order to deliver quality to their customers. You have to bring something worthwhile on board to get that top spot. Your content needs to be authentic, and your website needs to be appealing to the users. What Google endeavours to achieve is an equilibrium between its bots and the human internet users. The search engine bots are designed to find a website appealing to their eyes if it is equally appealing to humans. This keeps away the web owners who want to use black hat SEO methods to steal their way to the top yet they don’t offer beneficial info to internet searchers. The ultimate goal for Google is to rank sites based on merit. This means that you have to do some work to expect great results.
As we have mentioned, the elements of SEO are dynamic. What could have given you a position one ranking on SERPs in 2014 might not get you there in 2018. This means that even after you have done all the work in boosting your ranks, you shouldn’t take your foot off the gas. You need to do maintenance and serial tracking to evaluate your progress. Thankfully, Digital Cycle can do all this work for you, and you will achieve great outcomes.
Here is what will take you to the top of Google’s search results in 2018.
Keyword research is this old trick that has been in use by SEO for a long time. The only thing that changes is how it is done and how the keywords are incorporated into your content. With the coming of Google’s Hummingbird, there have been some people saying that keyword research isn’t as crucial as it was some years back. However, keywords are still ranking, and when you have them integrated well, in the correct density and placed at prime points in your webpage content, you will achieve impressive results.
Therefore, you need not look away from keyword research. In fact, you have to intensify the practice. Use factual data, and if possible, you can seek an expert’s input to do the assessment for you so that you know what will bring more traffic to your site. Proper keyword research means understanding the wants of your customers. You have to look at your business from the clients’ perspective. SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, and Moz are some of the platforms have nice keyword research tools that you can use to evaluate the keywords in your niche.
With the bestselling keywords, you will capture the attention of more internet users, and when they are well targeted, you will have more conversion rates.
Link Building is another SEO method of old, but you also need to know what kind of links are considered to be good by Google. These are the links that will get you a better rank on the SERPs. Backlinks are defined as links from other websites directing users to your website.
The best way to get backlinks is by creating relevant content which other web owners will find useful to their users. In this respect, it is like a free-flowing process. You create quality content, internet users love it, and they refer others to you, and other sites also find it very useful.
Another way of link building is reaching out to sites in your niche, and you tell them ‘hey guys, I got this webpage which might do so well to fill some knowledge gap.’ Some EO experts also recommend that you look for broken links on pages within your field and come up with the relevant content. After this, you can tell the web owners that a particular link leads to a page with a 404 code and then refer them to your webpage. Always remember to check which sites are linking to you. When you get backlinks from low-quality sites, it does your website more harm than good.
Of course, underhand methods shouldn’t be attempted when you are seeking a good ranking. Getting those reciprocal links between two websites will possibly attract penalties. These methods no longer work so don’t reach an agreement with another website to link to you so that you can link to them. It should only be done if it’s relevant.
The value of great content in SEO rankings cannot be underestimated. You need to be providing something that is palatable for the internet users and by extension, the search engines. You should be offering a solution that the market is seeking. This is why you need top quality content. The content you create should not only be readable but also comprehensive and very informative.
When you create topnotch content, the search engines will have a preference for your website, you will have a low bounce rate, and you will get more links. All these will ultimately boost your rankings.
The competition on the web is getting tighter. Beating guys like Wikipedia or other global big names can be an uphill task, but when you go local, you have better chances of getting to the top. When you employ local SEO, you are more likely to get increased conversions. Consider a situation where you have a storefront shop, and then you create a website for it.
When you do your Local SEO well, you will be able to attract more people to your business. Someone working on 32 York Street, Sydney will find it easy walking to a shop a block away. And Google knows this. All you have to do is craft the local SEO well; put up a consistent address on directories and have a local map directing people to your shop. You can also do some community work and local promotions to attract more customers to your site.
The question on metadata gets mixed reactions from SEO specialists. Though the keyword in a meta description might not influence your rankings directly, I would still say it does, albeit differently. When you give attention to the title, URL and meta description, your web pages will appear more presentable on the search engine results. This means that users will have an idea of what your website is about just at a glance. With this, you are better poised to attract more traffic. It will also be easier for someone who is a returning customer, and they didn’t bookmark your site. More clicks and more returning visits will be interpreted as good quality by Google, and you will eventually find yourself at the top positions.
What we have outlined here are just but the SEO basics. But that’s how it all starts. When you are spot on with the basics, you will be able to incorporate the other supporting pieces with less hassle.
Most people are worried about how long it will take for them improve their ranks in search results. Well, with the competition currently on the market, it can take some time. But when you do the whole process in a well-curated manner, you can see the outcomes within a shorter time. Making it to the very top can take a bit of work, but when you have professionals at it, you will still be able to achieve that. One thing in this SEO business, don’t be overambitious. When you set realistic goals, you won’t end up with loads of frustration.
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