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Heard of SEO before? You may have definitely come across it on blogs, journals, or even on social media. Then what begins to ponder on your mind is probably something related to Google right? Yes, you’re right! SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is another area of marketing that I can assure you, many didn’t get right at first including that expert reading this!
Search Engine Optimization is a very broad scope in marketing that involves various digital efforts to achieve specific marketing objectives but I would want to introduce you to the basics and everything you should know about it in the most comprehensive way possible. Let’s dive in!
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, this involves the implementation of webmaster guidelines established by search engines for the purpose of driving organic visitors to a web page. As a marketer, these guidelines have to be adhered to from content creation to link building.
How Does SEO Work?
The major aim of this digital activity is to Rank! lol take for instance there are only 10 slots available on the first row of an event, and this event would be attended by 10 million people, the event planners had given you those things you have to do to make it to the first row, that’s how the search engine works.
There are over 10 million web pages trying to rank for a keyword and everyone wants to get to the first page, the algorithm has been programmed to choose the best web page for that query which involves so many factors which I would be breaking down for you in our SEO category so I would advise you turn on our post notification and subscribe to our newsletter #winks
Are you scared? You don’t have to, it’s not as difficult as it sounds, let’s go further.
Types Of SEO
There are basically two major categories which include;
- Off Page
On-Page SEO is the optimization of a web page for search engines to crawl and understand the contents of that page with the aim of ranking for various queries or keywords. It can also be referred to as technical SEO because of the use of HTML ALT tags, Paragraphs, keywords, and contextual links.
Off-Page SEO involves digital activities carried out outside a web page to affect rankings and boost credibility or authority on a given web page. Examples are social media shares, external linking, and press mentions.
What are SEO Tools?
SEO tools are digital software or applications used to analyze web pages or an entire website for the purpose of detecting crawl errors, technical issues, and fixes. e.g Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, etc. We have over 300 free and paid web tools available for webmasters on the internet.
You can also utilize SEO plugins for WordPress or Wix, Examples of such plugins are Rank Math, Yoast, or All In One SEO among several others available on the CMS store. These tools can only guide you but don’t guarantee you ranking on search engines.
In this guide, we would be focused more on On-Page SEO, the nitty gritty of optimizing and indexing a web page for Google Search Engine (Case Study). Now that you know the basics let’s jump right in!
How To Optimize A Web Page For Search Engines?
There are 11 factors you should consider while optimizing a web page for search engines:
1. Title and Title Tags
The page title should be clearly descriptive and short as possible, Google recommends at most 60 characters. On your HTML code, you should attribute necessary tags such as h1 or whatever level of heading you are attributing the page title with.
The title should also contain keywords related to the content of that page, this would help the search engine understand what the web page is all about. If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, your title tag is automatically attributed to you.
2. URL Structure
The URL structure of a particular web page plays a big role in optimizing a web page for search engines, the URL must contain the primary keywords you want to rank for. It must not be excessively long, Google recommends 50-55 characters at most.
The algorithm tends to further understand the content with keywords found in a particular web URL e.g “How To Bath a dog” Seed Keyword -“Bath a Dog” URL would be https://example.com/how-to-bath-a-dog.
3. HTML and ALT Text
HTML means Hypertext Markup Language, Google crawls web pages in HTML markups because it’s a robot doing the work. Having proper markup and tags on your web page goes a long way to optimizing for search engines.
Your images should include alt text so Google understands the content of your image and also those who use hearing aids to reading web pages can understand the kind of image you used.
4. Meta Description
Meta Description can be defined as a brief narration of a given web page for search engines to understand the content of that page.
Your Meta description must contain your keywords and must be brief and catchy enough for potential visitors. In fact, research has proven that 65% of web clicks are triggered by the metainformation of a given web page.
5. Headings and Subheadings
Page headings and subheadings should be properly arranged in H1, H2, H3, H4, and H5, this would help Google better understand your content structure.
A proper table of contents is also important although not necessary, it allows users to jump straight to what they’re looking for without reading the whole page.
6. Keyword Placement
Keyword placement is referred to the usage of specific keywords on a given web page. As an article writer understanding where to place keywords matters in ranking.
This would help bots understand the kind of content on that page, you can check out our ebook on beginner’s guide to keyword placement.
7. Images and Multimedia
As ordinary as this may sound images and multimedia are very important for optimization, they boost the credibility of a page.
Audio, Visuals, Gifs, etc are part of the content structure of a page and helps in ranking, as I mentioned previously the use of Alt tags is necessary with your multimedia files.
8. Internal and External Links
Internal linking is the use of contextual do-follow links within a web page leading to another page on that website, these pages are related together thereby signaling to google that you linking visitors to another page with that keyword.
External links can be do-follow/no-follow links to a web page outside your website using contextual keywords. This helps google Bots understand the kind of page you’re linking to. Links are very important for optimization, especially internal linkings.
9. Robot.txt Rule
Robot Txt is rules assigned to a given web page for bots to adhere to although not all bots follow the rule. This instructs search engines to index and shows the results of a given web page on the SERP.
It could affect a web page positively or negatively depending on the instruction assigned to that page, you can use several tools to check if your website is been crawled by search engine bots.
10. Web Page Speed/Core Web Vitals
In 2020 Google introduced the Core Web Vitals as one of the factors for ranking, this includes page speed, mobile usability, and page experience.
Pages that load faster have 3x more chances to make it to the first page although I can’t assure you of ranking more than your competitor with a much slower page speed, I can tell you it’s worth it!
Plugins like WP Supercache and Litespeed Cache can be used on websites using WordPress, removing unnecessary CSS files and optimizing images increases page speed.
Schemas are structured data of a web page that search engines use to display rich results on the SERP. Schemas were introduced as far back as 2014 basically for a blog post before over 20 schemas were introduced and adopted.
Schema helps search engines utilize structured data provided by a web page to display a summarized version in search results.
SEO involves a whole lot of factors we would look at from time to time, advanced and expert level to do it the right way. This is one of the most demanded digital skills thereby it requires a whole lot of effort.
You can also learn how to set up and install WordPress from scratch. SEO is great but it takes time, consistency, and patience to do it the right way. You can also download our ebook on a more comprehensive guide to each and everything you should know on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)