Improve Your Site’s Ranking With SEO (The Last SEO Guide You Ever Need)
You want your business to show up on the first page of Google search results. But it’s hard to know where to start, or how to rank higher and stay there.
With this SEO Guide, you’ll learn what SEO is, how it works, and how you can use it to increase traffic to your website. You’ll get the inside scoop on industry-leading SEO tactics and the latest tools and tricks.
This guide contains everything you need to make your website a top performer in search engine results pages (SERPs).
The world of Search Engine Optimization, digital marketing, and content marketing is becoming more and more competitive, however, once your basics are strong then there is no looking back.
In this article, I will try to get your basics straight and help you form a perfect launchpad for your SEO journey!
What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Before we start, we must first understand what is Search Engine Optimization.
In simple terms, SEO is how you optimize your website to get maximum traffic on your website whenever people search for a keyword similar to the subject matter of your website.
SEO is the way by which you increase the quality and quantity of the traffic coming on your website by understanding what people are searching for, what kind of content they are looking for, what are their queries and finally it depends on how effectively you provide the answers to those queries and fulfill the needs of the user.
Search engines like Google or Bing will rank your content/webpage higher if you have a responsive website and you’re matching the user-intent which in result increase your website traffic.
You can use this traffic on your website to market and sell your products, do affiliate marketing, content marketing and earn revenue and a lot more.
We will discuss every other aspect of the SEO in this SEO Guide ahead.
Why Seo Is A Must For Your Online Journey?
In today’s world, the traditional marketing dogmas are being challenged and the world is consuming more internet than ever before for their every small and big question.
From deciding what to wear on new year’s eve to why NASA is doing research on some far-away celestial bodies and this has begun the new era of Marketing for the marketers and businesses across the world and that is Digital Marketing, or Internet marketing by creating quality content.
SEO is at the core of this Digital Marketing era, without proper SEO you won’t get much traffic on your website.
With the increasing penetration of the internet and smartphones’ power, the SEO industry has grown unprecedentedly. Let me draw your attention to some interesting facts and figures:
93% of the people start their internet experiences through search engines by typing a query on a search bar, and 63% of all the Google searches are done through mobile devices.
Now coming to SEO, the Global SEO industry worths more than $80 billion and if you have an excellent SEO strategy, it can give you a conversion rate of more than 14%, while traditional marketing campaigns have a conversion rate of just a little over 1.5%.
Another interesting fact is that 73% of the users don’t scroll past the first page of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), this just shows how important it is for you to rank higher on the SERPs, to gain maximum traffic and eventually the maximum conversion rate.
A good SEO for your website can do wonders for your online journey in many ways such as
- Increase in traffic
- Increase in conversion rates
- SEO and digital marketing is a lot cheaper than traditional forms of marketing hence gives you the best Return on Investment
- SEO is at the core of organic traffic.
- A good SEO helps you create a brand and it also increases the trust and credibility of your content and website
- Good SEO strategy improves the engagement on your website (very important if you are into affiliate marketing or if you are selling courses, memberships or subscriptions)
- Every consumer researches the internet before buying anything and that is where you can convey your message to the consumers if you have good SEO.
- Understanding SEO helps you to understand the consumer’s behaviour on the internet and what they really need.
- The best thing about SEO is it is quantifiable. You can analyse every aspect of SEO, like keywords, clicks, and also how much traffic a particular page or content is driving. These numbers can help you create the best SEO strategy
What Is A White Hat And Black Hat Seo?
In every industry or sector, some people play by the rules and some people don’t care about the rules and the same thing applies in the SEO industry as well. Let’s talk about them in this section.
White Hat Seo
In simple words, White Hat SEO refers to the type of search engine optimization that abides by the rules and guidelines of the search engines like Google to maintain the standards of quality content.
White Hat SEO is ethical and does not involve any malpractices. White Hat SEO promotes positive ratings by search engines and upholds the integrity of content creation.
The following are the White Hat SEO Actions:
- Providing useful and relevant content and information to the users. Always remember, the Content is king.
- Use relevant keywords in your content that can bring users to your website and drive organic traffic. And by this, we do not mean Keyword Stuffing, by this we mean, understand the search intent of the user and use the relevant keywords in your content.
- Natural link-building is at the core of White Hat SEO and it also helps you to maintain your credibility. Natural Link building will always help you to bring organic traffic to your website from across the internet.
- On-page optimization plays a big role in White Hat SEO, using relevant keywords, optimizing the page in such a way that it is easy to navigate, metadata, proper URL structures, etc. all these are part of on-page SEO and are always promoted by the Search Engines.
The advantages of White Hat SEO are immense and it includes, less cost, protection against penalties by Google, it is ethical and hence good for the long term and lastly, the rankings you get by following White Hat SEO practices are stable and consistent and hence motivates you to keep creating good quality content.
However, it takes time to grow if you follow only White Hat SEO strategies as it has limited scope, hence, marketers need to follow other ways which aren’t Black Hat SEO but falls into the Grey area of SEO marketing, for the purpose of wider reach and high conversion rates.
Black Hat Seo
Black Hat SEO is the opposite of White Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO refers to the way by which Marketers try to get their content/website to rank higher on the search engine results page by flouting or not following the guidelines provided by search engines like google and bing.
The Black Hat SEO techniques do help you to rank higher on the SERPs however, the Black hat SEO techniques are unethical and are disapproved by the search engines. Using Black Hat SEO techniques can lead to websites getting banned by the search engines or heavy penalties by the search engines.
Google and other search engines keep an eye on the websites that are using unethical tactics to get ranked higher on the SERPs and have been denounced by the search engines from time to time.
Black Hat SEO techniques are rejected and often looked down upon by the SEO community because it leads to good quality content remain behind while the bad content gets more visibility.
To promote quality content and also considering the needs of users to get correct and detailed information, Search engines have maintained a strict protocol and have framed certain guidelines and if any tries to surpass them, then those websites face a permanent ban or heavy penalties from search engines.
The following Tactics are considered as Black Hat SEO techniques:
- Doorway pages
- Content automation
- Hidden texts or links
- Article spinning
- Webpages with malicious activities like phishing, viruses, trojan, etc
- Automated queries to google
- Buying links or link manipulation
- Unverified or malicious redirects
- Negative SEO (pulling down upon your competitors)
For long term SEO, credibility and branding you must follow White Hat SEO tactics.
What Are The Basic Seo Guidelines
In this section, we will talk about basic guidelines provided by Google Webmaster, Bing Webmaster, and things that you must avoid if you are in for Long Haul.
Before we go ahead you must understand that Search Engines want you to succeed and want that good quality content gets rewards. Google shares the same goal as of SEO community. Google also has many beginner-level SEO guides, digital marketing courses, and a lot more, for you to succeed and understand the technicalities in detail and with ease.
- Make your web pages user-friendly, easy to navigate, access and load.
- Don’t deceive your users into fake offers and other scams.
- Avoid unethical tactics to improve your search engine rankings. You must always focus on good quality content that can help your users. Always understand the user intent and deliver your content accordingly.
- Always focus on three principles of Content creation viz. Your content should be valuable, your content should be engaging and your content should be unique.
- Create content for your website as per your niche.
Things That You Must Avoid
- Automating your content
- Keyword stuffing
- Buying backlinks
- Plagiarising content from other websites
- Doorway pages
- Provide in-depth content that is engaging and easy to find by the user
- Keep the page titles clear and simple
- Bing respects organic link building. It signifies the popularity of your content and website
- Use alt attributes for images
- How fast your webpage is loading and its UX plays an important role if you want your content to rank higher on search engine
- Social media sharing is a positive attribute when it comes to ranking higher on Bing SERPs
Things That You Must Avoid
- Short content, webpages filled with ads and too many affiliate links on the webpage are not a good sign if you want to rank higher on Bing SERPs
- Buying links, link schemes and any link building through unethical practices can lead your webpages to rank lowers or sometimes can even lead to a ban
- Keyword stuffing is never a good idea
- Plagiarised content
- Short and descriptive URLs are good, so make sure that your URL structures are clean and precise
What Are The Things To Avoid While Doing Seo?
Before you begin with your SEO journey, there are few things that you must avoid while creating an SEO strategy for your business and website
- Not using the right keywords: You must be very careful while choosing the keywords. Your keywords must be very specific to your content, region and the audience you are targeting. You must look at various metrics such as Volum of the keyword, Cost per click, Search difficulty, etc. before deciding a keyword
- Not having proper page titles and meta-data descriptions: You must have different titles for different pages of your websites along with page titles, the meta descriptions also play an important role as it helps search engine to determine the subject of the page.
- Not setting clear SEO goals: Before beginning your SEO journey, do make sure that you set short, medium, and long term goals and make sure they are realistic and plan accordingly. Your goals must be clearly defined in terms of the target audience, target region, and your sales target as well.
- Ignoring Mobile users: Maximum searches are done using mobile devices and mobile devices can be carried to anywhere in the world hence, you must target Mobile users and develop your website in such a manner that it is easy to navigate on mobile.
- You cannot use old techniques in the new world: Immediately stop using old techniques like keyword stuffing, private blog networks, etc. these techniques are not only old but you can even face penalties for using such techniques. Search engines today respect, quality content, quality web pages and proper descriptions
- Do not ignore Branded SEO & E-A-T: SEO not only helps you to rank higher on search engine but it also helps you to build a good brand for yourself. Google gives an EAT rating i.e. Expertise, Authority and Trustworthy, if you do well on these three points then you are surely going to rank higher on SERPs
How Search Engines Work:
When we are talking about Search Engine Optimization, it becomes really important that we also talk about how Search engines work, as that will determine how your should develop your content and web pages.
In this section, I will brief you about how search engines like google, bing, and other work and how they rank different web pages as you see on SERPs. There are three different things that you need to understand when it comes to Search Engines i.e. Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking.
So let’s take one by one:
It is basically a discovery process. In Crawling, google sends its bots across the web page to find content related to the search query given by the user. These bots find all the different types of content like text, web pages, pdf, videos, images, etc. no matter what kind of content it is, the bots identify it by the way of links.
Initially, Googlebot starts by fetching a few web pages and then follows the links on those pages to find more and more related content. As the crawler or the bots move through these links and URLs, it keeps on adding them to Google’s URL index called Caffeine (It is a huge database of discovered URLs by Google Bots). Google then uses this Database to show you the relevant content that you were looking for.
The index is a massive database of relevant, safe, high-quality URL database that Google Bots have identified and the database keeps growing as new and updated content and webpages go online on the internet. This database helps Search engines to display relevant information to you according to your search query.
This is the most important part and this is where SEO plays an important role. When a user types a search query on google, google goes through its index and displays the relevant content on the SERPs.
The most relevant webpage, that google thinks can solve the query of the user is displayed at the top and the lesser relevant ones are ranked lower. This ordering of search results is called Ranking. The higher the website is on the search result, the more it is relevant as per google.
Hence, if you want your content to be displayed by Google, first it needs to be discovered by the Google bots and get indexed in the URL database, if your content is difficult to discovered and your website does not satisfy the indexing criteria, then it will never be displayed on the search results, you are invisible on the internet.
How Search Engine Optimization Works?
So, How Search Engine Optimization works? Well, it begins with crawlers or GoogleBots. These bots collect all the information on your webpage like page speed, meta descriptions, title tags, internal links, backlinks, ease of navigation, social signals, etc.
And then decides if they should display a particular page or post to the reader or not and if they should display then what should be the rankings in terms of the relevance of the article.
Google takes into consideration more than 200 factors or metrics to decide if a particular page or content is relevant to the user’s query or not and how efficiently it fulfills the user’s requirement. And hence there are also more than 200 different types of actions both for on-page and off-[age SEO that you can take to improve your website’s E-A-T score.
Hence, though these are bots and not humans to go through all the content present on the internet, their algorithms are pretty efficient to identify the right content for the right user, hence don’t take them lightly!
Hence, if you are following Google or any other search engine’s guideline properly and your SEO strategy is in place, then you are most likely to gain higher rankings on SERPs.
From here on in this comprehensive SEO guide, we will look at the technical aspects of SEO beginning with Keyword Research.
How To Do Keyword Research?
Right Keywords are like a magic stick to your content SEO and it is important to use the right keywords in your content (and of course not to stuff it after every sentence). Before you decide on a particular Keyword, there are numerous things that you need to consider, and let us discuss them one by one.
Understand What People Are Searching For
Before researching for the right keyword, you must define your target audience based on the product, information, or services you are trying to provide and ask three questions based on that
What people are looking for? (the search query)
How many people are looking for? (How many people have that query or a similar query)
And in what format they are looking for? (web page, video, images, pdfs, etc.)
Before you start plotting your SEO strategy you need to make some realistic goals, understand your business requirements, and most importantly the audience that you wish to serve. In a nutshell, you need to be very specific and clear about your goals and audience while choosing a keyword.
When you get the answer to these questions and have a proper SEO strategy, then you can go ahead and create great and informative content for your audience.
So, after you have decided the target audience, target region, have defined your niche now you can go ahead to discover the right keywords for your business and you can begin with the seed keywords.
Seed Keywords are natural keywords related to your business, for example, you sell cookies then cookies, chocolate cookies and all the different cookies on your menu is your seed keyword that people may use.
From the seed keyword, you can start discovering further keywords by using Keyword Research Tool. The keyword research tool will provide you with a list of different keywords that people are using to find a product similar to your product.
Once you enter the seed keyword in Keyword Research Tool, you will find many questions, longtail keywords, queries, and all the different variations of your keywords that you can use in your content, to gain visibility.
Also, not all keywords may work for you, the keywords that are used rarely or keywords that are not related to your content may cause your more harm than the benefits. Hence, you must select only those keywords which are relevant to your content, have high search volumes, and are moderately competitive.
Also, you must diversify your content and web pages with different keywords and topics to gain traffic from all the different people that are interested in what you offer.
What Is The Volume Of Those Keywords
One of the most important metrics to decide if you should place your bets on a particular keyword or not is to first look at the volume. Keyword volume basically means the number of people typing that particular keyword to find your or similar type of content.
Also, the high keyword volume does not mean that you will rank higher on the SERPs if you use that keyword, higher Keyword volume also means the competition is also high and it may be even more difficult for you to rank higher.
The brands bigger than you will probably take away the top 15 or top 20 ranks on the SERPs, hence for you to rank higher, you need to provide something extra to the visitors. On the contrary, if you place your bets on low-volume keywords then you may not get any visibility on the SERPs.
I guess I have something that can help you rank higher, the longtail keywords
The Long-Tail Keywords
Well, you may think that long keywords have less volume, which is absolutely true, like who will type “I want cookies” instead of just writing ‘cookies’ however, there is a catch.
Using Long-tail keywords can help you if you understand the user intent. Google does not know what a user wants when they write ‘Protein’, it can be anything about the Protein, hence it shows many different types of results and you may not be able to rank but when a user has a specific intent like ‘best protein powder, ‘protein powder for men’, ‘protein supplements, etc.
If so, Google will show only specific results that fulfill the user intent. These keywords may have low volume, but these keywords can provide a lot of ideas for content and help you grow on the internet.
For using the Longtail keyword it is important to understand the user intent and how you can deliver your content and fulfill the needs of the user.
To Find Long-Tail Keywords, you can use Google Autocomplete suggessions:
Competitor Keyword Analysis
Another way you can rank higher on SERPs by identifying and analyzing what your competitors are doing and what kind of keywords they are using.
You can use all those high volume or high priority keywords that your competitors are not using and deliver the content that is missing, filling the gaps can help you in the long run as you are providing very unique content.
When you use the high-volume keywords that aren’t used by your competitors but are relevant to your content, then there is no way anyone can stop you from ranking higher on SERPs.
Hence, it is important to analyze the competitor’s keyword to make your own unique Keyword Strategy.
Keywords By Region
Keyword by Region is another important and relevant way by which you can rank higher on SERPs and serve your audience.
When you target your audience specifically by the region, it can be town, state, city, or a country then there are higher chances that you will rank higher as you are delivering to the people in a particular region.
You can plan your keywords by region by using Google Keyword Planner or other tools and make your strategy according to a particular region.
Keywords By Season
In using Keyword being very specific and fulfilling user intent always helps and you should never ignore this. And another way you can be specific with your keywords is using seasonal keywords like ‘Christmas business quotation’, etc. and these keywords can be used in the particular festive season, holiday season, etc.
Using seasonal keywords along with offers and discounts can also help you to increase your conversion rates and increase your website traffic as well.
You can create seasonal content in advance and release them as and when Season arrives.
Understand The Search Intent
So far you have understood that how important the targeting search intent of the user is when it comes to your overall SEO strategy. Understanding User intent can give you a lot of insights about what is the information they are looking for, what is the format of the information, what is the timing of the search, etc. these insights can help you to decide and produce relevant content.
These are the most common queries on any search engine. Informational Querry like “How big is the pacific ocean?”, “What is the solar system?”, etc.
You must understand the informational query is important if you are trying to provide some sort of information
When a user or a searcher wants to reach a certain website or a web page they can use such type of query. For example Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.
To rank higher in the navigational query you need to first develop your website as a big brand on the internet that can drive traffic, just by the name
In such queries, the searcher is looking for a certain product or a service to purchase. It can be an electrical appliance, a SaaS product, or a movie ticket.
In such queries, the user is trying to do research over certain products or services. The searcher or user wants to compare few products and make a decision as to whether but or not.
This is a search query in which the user wants to find a nearby place, service provider, etc. The local query can be a nearby barbershop, nearby doctors, etc.
What Happens In The Backstage?: Seo Technicals
Now that you know what SEO is, how SEO works, what search engine is and how search engines work, we move to some of the technical aspects of websites and SEO so that you get comfortable with the basics of SEO.
These are few important things that you need to keep in mind while creating your own SEO strategy
In the content world, you not only just sell your content but you also sell the experience and if your website has poor User Experience then it can become really difficult for you to gain traffic and google also ranks those websites higher that are easy to navigate and provide an excellent user experience.
User experience may include fast loading, interactive, engaging content, easy to navigate, etc.
If your website isn’t made for Mobile, then you are leaving a lot on the table. Maximum searches on google take place through mobile devices. Google has acknowledged this trend and it promotes content that is easily accessible on mobile devices.
Hence, Google started Mobile-first indexing by which google promotes and displays those type of webpages or content, that is made for mobile devices or are easily accessible on mobile screens.
Improving The Page Speed
Website speed is also a very important aspect of SEO, if it is taking a lot of time to load your website, then users may not visit your page at all as that is inconvenient and time-consuming. So Google identifies such pages and ranks them low, while pages that load fast are ranked higher.
On-Site Search Engine Optimization
On-Site or On-page SEO refers to all those tactics you do on your web page, on your website on Content to improve your SEO. Everything that you do on your webpage to improve your SERPs ranking is called on-page SEO.
On-page SEO includes creating a good website, writing perfect meta descriptions, writing quality content, and using the right keywords. On-site SEO forms the strongest foundation of your SEO journey as everything you do for On-page SEO determines your Off-Page SEO journey
Why On-Site Seo Is Important?
- It helps search engines to crawl through your content effectively and determine if it is solving the user’s query or not
- On-Page SEO offers the best return on investment. If done effectively, you don’t need to do anything else for your Digital marketing needs.
- On-Page SEO is the best way to move ahead if you want to reap long term benefits.
- As on-page SEO heavily relies upon the content you create, it helps you to develop a trustworthy brand for your website.
- On-page SEO helps you to drive organic traffic towards your website
- People can find you on the internet just by typing a search query and Google will show your webpage if your content is specifically targeted and has been created by keeping user intent in mind
How To Optimize On-Site Seo?
- Provide pepper Meta Data and Meta description as that will help Google Bots to identify the content and see if it is relevant to the search query
- Quality beats everything. If your content is of high quality and creates value for the user, your On-Page SEO is all set!
- Understand the user intent and deliver the content based on that
- Stick to your niche and target audience based on that
- Your site structure, page load time, ease of use all these are an important part of your on-page SEO strategy.
- Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly
- Make your website secured with all the important security features.
Off-Site Search Engine Optimization
Off-Site SEO or off-page SEO is everything that you do for the SEO page Off the website. Off-page SEO helps you to develop the credibility, and trustworthiness of your website as it depends on how other websites are using your content for referencing and providing a link to your content.
Google assesses the E-A-T factors to assess your off-page SEO ranks. EAT stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. If you do well on these three aspects then goog will promote your content to higher ranks on SERPs.
The major portion of your Off-page SEO is formed by link building. Link building or backlinks are one of the most important aspects of digital marketing that helps you to increase traffic to your website and increase your brand visibility.
Why Off-Site Seo Is Important?
- Off-Site SEO helps you to rank higher on competitive keywords and helps to better place your content on SERPs
- Off-Page SEO helps you to build authority for your website, which will effectively help you to outrank others
- It helps you to generate credibility for your content and establishes you as a reliable source of information in the long term
- Helps you to get desired organic traffic on your web page.
What Are The Major Off-Page Seo Techniques?
- Quality link building, organic link building. Link building is one of the most important off-page SEO techniques
- Develop a brand, hustle towards brand building. Google loves brands as they signify the credibility
- Content Marketing. Everyone loves good quality and unique content be it the users or the marketers and even other websites
- Digital Public relations and interacting with your customers always help you to establish branding. Talk to your customers to give testimony of your services and talk to your partners to review your products, etc.
- Use Google my Business to list your business and website on Google
- Use the power of social media to further improve your branding and interaction with your target audience
Google uses E-A-T assessment to decide the quality of links and linked content and if you have a good E-A-T score then Google will promote your content higher on the SERPs. EAT stands for Expert, Authoritative and Trustworthy.
Your backlinks should lead the user to a more informative resource and help them gain more information about the subject they have searched for.
Dont’s Of Link Building
Google does not allow any link building through illicit and unethical practices or any kind of low-quality link building won’t help you ever. Also, if your link profile is bad and indicates the spam links then Google will penalize you heavily.
Here are a few pointers that you should avoid while doing Link building:
- Google and Bing both discourage inorganic or paid links. So be wary of paid and unnatural link building tactics.
- Link exchanges or reciprocal linking is not a good practice. “You link me and then I’ll link you”, google keeps a track of such practices and discourages them by levying heavy penalties
- Low-quality link building, or linking through paid directories is the thing of the past. Google and every other search engine discourage low-quality such low-quality link building.
Do’s Of Link Building
- Editorial link building or natural link building is always respected
- Links coming from popular and authoritative pages
- Slow and steady link building for long term
- Comes from relevant sources that are similar or relevant to your niche
- Links that brings organic and quality traffic to your page
How To Build High-Quality Backlinks
You can do Link building through many things and there are many ways, but you should always remember that the links you gain should be relevant to your content, should be organic and most importantly, it should fulfill your goals.
Let us go through some basic ways by which you can do link building for your website and create a brand for yourself.
You can ask your partners with whom you deal from time to time and also ask your regular customers to write reviews about your products or provide testimony and in exchange, you can offer them partnership badges and other things that can signify mutual respect between you and your partners and customers.
Blogging is one of the best ways to interact with your audience and stay in touch with them by providing new and unique content from time to time and helps your user to stay updated with new things happening in your niche.
Good blogs are often used as a resource by the website and hence provide you with a massive organic link-building opportunity.
Creating value for the customer is creating value for your business. To survive in the internet world, it is very important for you to make unique, high-quality content for your users that can satisfy their thirst for knowledge.
Unique content can also help you gain organic backlinks to your website as other web pages cite you in their content. Creating great resources for the internet always helps you to stand out and rank higher.
Your content should be informative, visually appealing, elicits emotions, addresses the need of the user, and is specific to your niche.
To build backlinks to your webpage, resource pages are one of the best ways to build them. But for this, you need to find pages that are relevant or similar to your content and are ranking higher on the SERPs.
The Magic Is In The Execution: How To Execute Your Seo Strategy
Every plan is a bad plan if it is not executed properly and also every plan is a good plan if executed efficiently.
Here are some pointers to make sure that you are executing your SEO strategy effectively and efficiently
- Set the realistic SEO goals and stick to it
- Find out what kind of Keywords and content is working for you and keep refining and upgrading them from time to time
- Clear communication is essential to every field including SEO. Communicate with your clients effectively and set the right time frames and metrics to measure your goals and keep check in any diversion if occurs for timely fixes
- Practice makes your SEO perfect. Practice different content, apply new keywords, keep a check on the performance and keep trying new strategies and develop quality content.
Is It A Success Story?: How To Measure And Monitor Your Seo Success?
It is very important to keep track of the developments happening within your website and measure your success. It is important to measure your SEO success to see where you are, what are the shortcomings in your strategy, what are areas where you are doing well, and finally which are the area where you can excel.
Let us see some of the important metrics and factors that you need to keep an eye on to measure your SEO success.
Know Your Goals
As we talked about goals, in the beginning, we need to talk about goals a little more. Your goals must be very specific and to the point because, if you don’t know have clear goals, you won’t have clear standards and if you don’t have clear standards at every point, you can’t measure your success.
So, to set your SEO goals you need to keep these two things in mind
- Your goals should be measurable. Try to define everything in terms of the number
- Be specific and sure about what you want. Vagueness is not a good sign
It is very important for you to measure all the metrics to keep a watch on how each metric is performing and keep control on everything so that any disruption happens, you can change your strategy quickly.
Let’s look at some of the important Engagement metrics that can tell you how consumers are behaving once they are on your website.
Conversion rate is one of the most important metrics for your website as this metric actually shows you how much returns you are getting from a particular type of content or a webpage. A conversion rate is derived by dividing the total conversions from a single action by the total number of unique visits.
A conversion can be defined as anything, number of inquiries, number of email signups, number of people who actually bought a subscription or paid for a product.
Time On Page
Time on Page metric shows you the time that a user has spent on your webpage. The higher the time means higher the engagement and users are interested in the content you are delivering
Page Per Visit
If your goal is to make visitors go to different pages of your website then this metric is important for you. Page per visit shows you the number of pages a user is going through in one visit to your website.
Bounce rate or bounced session refers to the number of times a visitor visited your web page and left without browsing your website further and didn’t spend much time on the page.
Scroll Depth is the percentage of content that a visitor is scrolling through. If the visitor is scrolling more than 75% of your content then it is a very good sign of user engagement and if the user isn’t going through enough content, then it is a time for you to find out the reason or put the important content above or improve the quality of your content.
It is one thing to rank higher in the SERPs and it another thing to get traffic on your website. Sometimes you may be ranking higher on the SERPs but still, you may not get enough traffic and that can be a really bad sign for your current SEO strategy and you need to improve your content, or title tags, etc. to get more traffic.
How To Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics can help you in many ways to gain insights into your traffic, conversion rates, keywords, etc. these insights can help you to develop a better strategy, better content, and improve your rankings in SERPs.
It can also help you to choose the right keywords for your content and website.
I am listing down few pointers where GA can help you
Isolate Organic Traffic
Google Analytics can help you to see the traffic coming from different channels. This will help you to get insights into actual organic traffic and traffic brought to your website by any certain campaign that you started.
Traffic To Your Site Over A Period Of Time
This feature of Google Analytics allows you to see the traffic within a particular time frame or over a period. You can even compare the traffic received during two different periods.
Number Of Visits Per Page
It is important to see how each page of your website is performing individually, hence Google analytics, help you to see the insights of every separate webpage individually and see which one is working the best and which one is not performing as per your expectations.
Traffic From The Campaign
To gain traffic, you can run many ad campaigns on Google, that will show your ad on top of the web page to gain more traffic to your website or gain leads. Google Analytics helps you to analyze every aspect of your ad campaigns including the traffic you get from these ad campaigns
Click-through rate or CTR is the number of times people clicked the search result of your webpage. If your CTR is high that can indicate that you have optimized your webpage properly and has proper meta descriptions by which users get the gist of your content.
Other Seo Metrics
Here are some other SEO metrics that can help you to measure many other aspects of your content or web page.
Domain Authority And Url Rating
It is important for you to know your domain authority and Url Rating as it indicates the trustworthiness and credibility of your website.
Backlinks in a nutshell are the link to your web page on someone else’s website from and by clicking upon them, users can reach your website.
If you have quality backlinks (that aren’t paid), it indicates that the information that you have provided on your webpage is trustworthy, accurate and deserves to be read by a larger audience.
More Backlinks= Greater The Rankings
Backlinks is the No.1 Ranking Factor:
This metric helps you to see the ranking of your webpage for the different keywords. For each keyword, the ranking of your web page may vary and you must put emphasis on those keywords that are helping you to rank higher on the SERPs.
Seo Website Audit
You must audit your website from time to time as that will help you to identify various shortcomings in your SEO strategy, keywords, accessibility of the website, etc.
You can use tools like Ahrefs or SemRush to audit your website.
In SEO Website Audit you must focus on the following aspects:
Crawlability Of The Website
The first step towards gaining visibility on SERPs is how easy it is for search engine bots or crawlers to crawl your website. If crawlers are not able to crawl your website easily or because of some unknown obstacle, then it is difficult for you to even appear on SERPs. So, make sure that your website is crawlable.
Is your website indexed in the google URL database?
If not then no matter how good your content is, it won’t be shown to the users. You can easily check if your website or any webpage of your website is properly indexed or not by just doing a simple search in the below-mentioned format:
Site: yoursite.com OR site: yoursite.com/specific-web-page
If you’re website or pages is not indexed, you can manually submit it to Google Search Console and index your website for rankings.
The meta description of every webpage should be different as every webpage of your website has different content. If the meta descriptions of all your web pages will be the same, then it will be difficult for you to rank higher on the SERPs.
Google bots look at meta descriptions to see if the content is relevant to the search query or not. It is advised to make meta description as per search intent of that page and you can also optimize it by using the keywords in it for which you’re looking to rank.
You can use wordpress plugins like Rank Math or Yoast to optimize Title and Meta Description of your article.
Quality Of The Content
The most important of all, the quality of your content. The relevant keywords, in-depth articles, the information and value addition it provides to the users, and many other factors determine the quality of your content.
Content Length With 2300+ Words Plays A Key Role In Ranking Higher In Google.
If you’re producing high-quality researched content with data and stats, then you can outrank all your competitors easily and rank higher on the SERPs.
It is also found that content with more than 3000 words get maximum social media shares.
After the release of Google Core Web Vitals Update, it is very important that your website pages are properly optimized if you want to rank on Google.
There are three specific page speed and user interaction measurements For Core Web Vitals:
largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.
Page Speed, the UI-UX of your website, and easy navigation through your website all these factors play an important role when it comes to SEO of your content and web page.
If your page is accessible and loads faster, you can be assured that users will visit your website rather than other websites.
That is all on the Comprehensive SEO guide, I hope that this Guide helps you in getting started with your SEO journey.
In this guide, we discussed key things regarding SEO such as What is SEO, what is a search engine and how it works, what is on-page SEO, what is Off-page SEO, what are links, some important SEO guidelines by google and bing
We also discussed the ways by which you can improve your SEO strategy, link building, and lastly, we also discussed how to measure your SEO success by using certain important metrics.
Lastly, always remember that in the SEO industry, content is king. If your content is of high quality and addresses your target audience’s needs and requirements, half of the battle is won.