Be an SEO Master
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, or better known as SEO, is the work and practice of increasing and obtaining quantity and quality traffic to your website through organic searches.
As you are aware, there are a ton of ads that pop up on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). These are NOT organic. Organic traffic comes from websites that are implementing good SEO tactics and procedures and making sure their SEO is in line with the algorithm of the moment.
That said, you want to pay attention to the quality of traffic coming to your website, as well. Quality traffic is when a user/visitor is visiting your site because they were told by Google (or whichever SERP they were using) that your website will have what they are looking for. If someone is researching Orange Theory (gyms) but ends up on a site that talks about orange the fruit, this would NOT be quality traffic for the site specific to oranges because the visitor would immediately leave the site or, better known as, bounce (more on that in the following lesson).
The quantity of your traffic starts to increase once Google trusts that your website is outfitted with proper SEO and has the information users are looking for. (There’s a lot that goes into this but we’ll get into this, yup... in the following lesson).
How Does It Work…?
Well, think of it as the cool kid telling everyone that the new kid, Johnny, is cool… The cool kid tells everyone at school that Johnny is cool. So, of course, everyone is going to want to hang out with Johnny because he’s been approved and deemed cool by the cool kid… The cool kid ‘organically’ got to know (searched) Johnny, assessed (reviewed or “crawled”) his coolness and deemed (ranked) him cool (1/3 [first page/third position]).
Google is doing the same thing…
When you conduct a search, Google sends out what they call spiders to crawl a plethora of websites that have information (content, meta, tags, keywords, phrase, etc.) that may match the search you typed (or said) into your search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc). The spiders then bring back the information they found from the websites they crawled and start to build an index.
At this point, the index is put through an algorithm (set of rules) to assess if the website holds enough information to answer your query and is following the algorithm that has been put into place. (Essentially, the search engine is assessing which website has the most and accurate information to answer your query while following the algorithm).
Once this has been assessed, it ranks the websites in order of quality (coolness) and they then show up/rank in order of quality on your SERP.
Now, all of that is the work of the search engine (SE…). What comes next, is the work of THE OPTIMIZER.
The optimization of SEO is where the digital world is in need of a human’s touch – and a lot of it.
Optimization is where we humans have the opportunity to do great things for our website(s). This is where we make sure we outfit and optimize our website so the cool kid is going to deem us cool. (Very important when being the NKOTB/new website).
Optimizing a website entails many, many, many elements, and takes many, many, many forms. From title tags, alt tags and internal links to meta descriptions, filters, external links and even domain name authority, optimizing a website takes detail, work, and patience.
Here is a list of just some of the main elements an optimizer is in charge of and will need to implement when doing proper SEO:
- Meta Description
- Tags (alt, title)
- Links (internal, external, broken, relevant, authoritative, meta, tags)
- Domain Name(s)
- Content (quality, quantity)
- Images (quality, links, tags)
- Videos (tags, quality, links, meta)
- Site Map
- Flow (navigation)
Meta Description: A ~160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarizes a page's content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained in the description. Optimizing the meta description is a very important aspect of on-page SEO. (More of on-page SEO later).
Alt: Alt text (alternative text) is a word or phrase that can be inserted as an attribute in an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) document to tell website viewers the nature or contents of an image. The alt text appears in a blank box that would normally contain the image.
Title: A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page, image and link(s). Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result, and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing.
Link Building: Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own.
HyperLink: A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet.
Anchorlink: An anchor link is a link on a page that brings you to a specific place on that page.
Domain Name: The part of a network address (url) that identifies it as belonging to a particular domain (url).
Site Map: An XML (eXtensible Markup Language) file that is full of your individual web page’s urls. A sitemap’s purpose is to provide easy access to all the pages of the website so the crawlers do not miss a page. (Think of it as a Page of Content).
The Obvious but Imperative:
Images and Video: Must be of high quality, proper and working links, meta descriptions and tags.
Content: Must be informative, be of quality writing and quantity (standard is about 1200/pg.).
Page(s): The number of pages on a website.
Flow: How the user navigates throughout the website.
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