Too many people ask me how they can sustain their online presence and often time I told them about SEO, but I discover that they often don’t want to listen.
They rather love to hear more on social media than even try to understand search engine optimization.
Let me say this to some very few social media freaks out there.
There are guided steps to take your business online, the use of social media just happened to be one of them.
Many prefer the use of social media because they feel it is closer to them and smarter and they could easily handle it.
I never understood the power of SEO in my early days as a digital marketing expert until I started my blog.
So much just seemed to be unveiled now. One of my discoveries is that social media is a short term marketing tool.
You want to stay in the face of prospective customers for a very long time without spending your companies profit on paid social media ads then you need to learn how Search engine optimization works.
What is SEO?
A simple layman’s term for SEO is free and unpaid search engine traffic, the higher the website is, the more people see it. If you want to learn SEO, you should be ready for a lot of technical and analytical work.
There are many techniques with different goals, however, the main goal is to rank the search engine result page.
When somebody intends to seek out something on the internet, the first place that they turn to for help is the search engines, most times we always want to be that person or that solution that the searcher seeks for.
It doesn’t matter whether you sell a product, service, write a blog, or anything else, search engine optimization is a thing every online business owner must do.
Why You Should Do Search Engine Optimization.
Just in case you are hearing of SEO for the first time and you want to get started here are very few reasons and benefits of doing search engine optimization
1. SEO Results to Higher Conversion Rate.
The effective ranking of your site on any search engine website can guarantee you high conversion rates. Your target market will become more aware of you as long as you maintain your top position on the search results.
2. SEO saves you cost.
SEO removes the need for paid advertising. You will continue to stay above the rest of the search results as long as you make use of relevant keywords.
3. SEO Builds Brand Credibility.
Coming out first, second or third may give your customers the idea that you are one of the top players in the industry. It shows that you are popular and many users have researched you, too.
4. SEO is a Long-Term Marketing Strategy.
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy as long as you continue optimizing your content and you keep improving.
5. SEO Takes You Ahead of the Competition.
SEO is one sure and legit way to help you stay ahead of your competitors. Imagine how far you’ll have aced the competition if all of your competitors are just using native marketing? Keep up with the advancements in the digital world and you will stay ahead of the competition.
Common SEO Terminologies You Should Know.
Before going any deeper into live SEO hacks I think it’s better to understand the basics of Search engine optimization which involves some basic terms you might have seen or heard of in time past.
1. On-page SEO.
This form of SEO simply has to do with a web page or a website itself. Writing good content, Meta tags, URL structure, building mobile-friendly web pages and using optimizing your website’s images are all part of On-page SEO.
2. Off-page SEO.
This is an SEO practice that covers all activities you can do to improve the website SEO authority through getting backlinks from other websites and they include. Guest posting, social media, collaboration with other influencers.
SERP means Search Engine Result Page. Whenever you search for any term via any search engine like Google per se, the result page that appears to you is called a search engine result page.
4. Black Hat SEO.
This has to do with dark practices to deceive search engines to rank a website.
Black hat SEO practices are usually very effective and work very fast but in the end, you will surely get penalized by the search engines and this might lead to your website being taken down from the SERP. You might never get organic traffic from the search engine again.
5. White Hat SEO.
This type of SEO is for the good guys. White Hat SEO is a long term strategy but it is best for any webmaster. Writing good content, Building relationships and Links are part of White Hat SEO.
A white Hat SEO practices make it mandatory to follow the official Google’s webmaster guidelines.
This post is all about White Hat SEO, sadly I don’t even know a thing about dark Hat SEO because it’s pretty much a waste of time and energy.
How Does Search Engine work?
The next big question that usually pops up in the minds of newbies who want to master SEO is how search engines work.
The answer to this question would help you get better at SEO. The Search engine works by following the processes as stated below.
Crawling means scanning the website, its sections, content, keywords, headings, hyperlinks, images by thousands of small bots.
Any data that can be found on the website is initially crawled by the search engine spider or bot. Bots crawl the whole internet regularly to update the data.
A search engine index is a gigantic catalogue or a library full of websites from all over the world.
After undergoing the process of crawling, the next step is to begin to index data that has been crawled. Bear In mind that indexing can take a lot of time, in my personal experience, indexing takes from 3 -10 days.
You can follow up the indexing of your website on Google by making use of an online tool called Google Search Console.
This is the final stage of the whole process and it occurs on the path of the end-user. Once the internet user sends a query via the search engine, the results are then dug out and displayed to the end-user via a SERP (search engine results page).
Mind you that results that are generated by the search engine to the end-users are based on the keywords that are entered by the user and how well those keywords are well answered by the content that had been index some few weeks or months back.
How To Get Started With SEO.
Search engine optimization is tied around three concepts which are
- Understanding Keyword Research.
- Proper application of those Keywords.
- Writing contents the proper way.
- Link Building.
Out of the above-listed SEO factors, the most important of all is keyword research, the ability to understand keyword research allows your SEO strategies to stand out.
Keyword research is a practice that every SEO expert should learn and understand perfectly, Keywords are just a set of excluded words that have been queried on the search engine continuously over a period of time, The Google search engine is designed to index this keyword in its engine and start seeking out relevant content that answers this queries, just see it as a question-answer kind-of-thing.
One of the common mistakes made by lazy bloggers and black hat SEO experts is trying to feed off the hard work of others by trying to spam blogs with links from their individual blogs and website, they seldomly do this by dropping off irrelevant comments combined with their links on the website of hardworking bloggers.
This practice used to work in the past but the search engine is becoming very smart to detect false and fake links and rank them below the search engine result page.
Here is an article I recommend you read to help you get started with Keyword Research, make sure to read this article then come back to this article.
The search engines can fetch your website billions in traffic and place your business in front of potential customers
Now that you have the basic understanding and concepts around search engine optimization I think it’s high time we start digging in into you you can start beating it at the art of search engine optimization.
To make it very easy for you, The Search engine is grouped into two and they are, On-page and Off-Page SEO. I am going to be taking each of these forms of search engine optimization one after the other.
1. On-Page SEO.
On-page SEO is the tradition of optimizing different web pages to rank more eminent and earn more consistent traffic in search engines. Now you know what on-page SEO is, it’s time you get started with hacking your way around on-page SEO.
1. Title Tag.
The title tags are usually in the form of Html H1 Tags
Title tags are presented on search engine results pages as the clickable headline for a produced result and are essential for usability, Search engine optimization, and sharing on social media.
The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content.
1. Watch your title length.
If your title is too long, search engines may cut it off by adding an ellipsis (“…”) and could end up omitting important words.
You should also make sure to add keywords in your title length.
2. Don’t overdo SEO keywords.
While there is no penalty built into Google’s algorithm for long titles, you can run into trouble if you start stuffing your title full of keywords in a way that creates a bad user experience.
2. The content of a page.
The content of a page is what gives it deserving of a search result spot. It is what the user came to see and is therefore very relevant to the search engines.
Most bloggers write weak content and try to get backlinks to it, but I must tell you that the game has changed
As such, it is important to create good content.
I wrote an article on how you can get started with content that ranks on Google.
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator), more commonly known as a “web address”, specifies the location of a resource (such as a web page) on the internet.
The URL also specifies how to retrieve that resource, also known as the “protocol”, such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, etc.
URLs are a minor ranking factor search engines use when determining a particular page or resource’s relevance to a search query.
If you are using a content management system such as WordPress then you should make sure that you edit your URLs to suit keywords so that you can rank on Google.
Here is an article that helps do keyword research.
4. Design responsive websites.
Making your website more mobile-friendly can help you rank well on search engines.
An Unresponsive website makes it hard for the search engine bot to crawl properly and this will make your website not rank on Google.
2. Off-Page SEO.
Off-page SEO site refers to actions taken outside of your website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs).
Optimizing for off-site ranking factors involves improving search engine and user perception of a site’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority.
This is accomplished by other reputable places on the Internet (pages, sites, people, etc.) linking to or promoting your website, and effectively “vouching” for the quality of your content.
Link building is an essential part of SEO, Link building is a process of getting links from other websites. The links are crawled by search engines which allows them to index the web content.
How then do I start doing off-page SEO?
1. Deep-link building.
This involves linking similar content in your website together. This link building is one of the most important, and SEO Experts use it. You should try as much as possible to link related content together.
2. Guest posting.
Guest posting means writing and publishing an article on someone else’s website or blog. One important fact you should understand about guest posting is to always guest post on a more website with a more high domain authority so that it can add more relevance to your website.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you get started with guest posting, click the link below to read it.
3. Blog Commenting.
Most blogs allow the reader to comment on every post and leave their website alongside, but make sure that you are not trying to spam such content with links because you might be blocked.
4. Use social media.
Another way to build very strong trust in your brand or blog is by being active on social media.
posting on social media like Facebook and Twitter can help your blog most especially if you have a lot of people sharing and engaging such content.
Here is an article I recommend you read to help you maximize the use of social media.
5. post on forums.
Posting on forums can help you get backlinks to your website, all you need to do is to include relevant links to your website then publishing a post on the forum.
Here is an article on how you can start posting on Medium.
6. Claim Your Google My Business Listing.
Google my business was launched by Google to help small businesses rank on Google locally.
If you’re just getting started with local SEO, your Google My Business listing is a great place to focus your early efforts. After all, when people search for a product or service near them, they’re usually very close to making a purchase.
Important SEO Analytics and Insights That You Should Know.
Website analytics is an important aspect of search engine optimization because it helps webmasters understand the status of their websites via the search engine.
There are so many data and insights that are usually made available to track the search engine optimization of any website.
Using the right tools to track and analyze your website’s performance will help you answer important SEO questions, such as:
- What keyword that you presently rank for.
- What country do your visitors come from?
- What are your most visited pages?
- The rate at which your website visitors are engaging your page.
- What channels bring you the most traffic( Google, Social media and many others).
Remember that you don’t need to analyze all the metrics all the time, as changes are bound to happen every time, most especially when a new algorithm change is made, but it is good to have a basic overview of what they mean to avoid data misinterpretation.
In this section, we are going to be analysing three tools that every search engine optimization expert should know how to make use of:
Google search console, Google analytics and a prefered ranking tool ( Mind you that there are various ranking tools out there, we just decided to choose one out of the majority).
1. Google Search console.
Google search console is a tool owned by Google, to help webmasters see how their website is performing on the SERPs.
The Google search console is a tool that cannot be replaced by any tool in the world, other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo have their own search console platform, but Google feeds everything.
Search Console consists of different dashboards from a basic overview of your website’s performance to reports of critical issues that you should address.
1. Performance – gives you insights into how your site functions in Google Search results.
2. URL inspection – gives you a report about Google’s indexed version of any of your pages.
3. Coverage – shows what pages are indexed on Google and reports any problems with indexation.
4. Sitemaps – This allows you to add a new sitemap and see your past submissions or problems.
5. Removals – serves as a tool to briefly block any page from search results. Note that the effect is not permanent.
6. Enhancements – gives information about your enhancements (such as AMP, site links, etc.) and user experience and usability issues.
7. Manual actions – show you of any violation that might affect your website via Google
8. Security issues – reports any detected security issues on your site.
9. Links – provides an essential summary of your links (both external and internal). See is the total backlink report for your website.
2. Google Analytics.
Another essential tool that is needed for every webmaster, it gives comprehensive real-time insights on how the performance of your website.
The difference between Google Analytics and Google search console is the fact that it gives real-time reports on your website performance, while the latter is strictly about your website search engine performance.
The reports are divided into 5 main categories based on what kind of data they provide. You can find them in the left menu of your Google analytic dashboard.
1. Real-time – the users’ activity as it happens in real-time.
2. Audience – everything you need to know about your visitors (demographics, interests, a technology used, etc.).
3. Acquisition – where your traffic comes from (traffic channels, top referring pages, etc.).
4. Behaviour – what the visitors do on your website (what pages they visit and how they engage with them).
5. Conversions – details on how your visitors convert (following your goals; e.g. purchase, subscription, affiliate link click, etc.)
3. Rank Tracking Tools(SEM RUSH).
Rank tracking tools are third-party tools designed to give you meaningful insight into how your website is ranking on the global internet and the search engine.
Rank tracking tools are similar to the above mentioned-tools like the Google search console and Google analytics, just that they are designed to give you more insights about your websites.
There are many rank tracking tools out there created by some third-party company offering a subscription-based service for more access to information. One thing about these tools is that they are not reliable enough as they fluctuate from day to day, That’s why it’s always good to look at the bigger picture rather than obsessing about every little change daily.
On the other hand, you can rarely conclude default reports if there is an unpredicted change.
One of the major reason why I recommend using a rank tracking tool is the fact that it gives you more insight on some important stuffs and data like; Recent changes on the website, Google algorithm update, The domain authority of your website, details of backlinks and many other important data that helps your website rank on Google.
Tools like Google search console gives a majority of this data, but might not be in real-time.
In this section, I am going to explain the brief use of one of these tools called SEMRush, mind you, there are so many other rank tracking tools on the internet, but SEM Rush seems to be the most reliable.
Below is an image of the kind of data that you get when you make use of a third-party tool like SEM rush to analyze your website.
1. Domain overview – This section gives you a brief overview of your domain, such as the Domain Authority, Organic traffic, Paid traffic, the number of backlinks that you have to your website (no-follow and do-follow) links, and your competitor analysis.
There are more informed about a website that a rank tracking tool provides you with insight with but these mentioned about is the most important one.
Frequently Asked Questions About SEO.
Most people question SEO a lot and I must tell you that I also did too, there are so many tutorials out there even blog posts and they tell you various things about SEO, some are true and some are not.
Here are some very few frequently asked questions on SEO usually asked by newbies.
1. How much does SEO Cost?
To be honest with you, SEO is free but if you intend to hire an expert from anywhere then you might be charged a few for it.
2. Once I start SEO, how long will it take to get rankings?
SEO isn’t an overnight strategy. The first few months are committed to getting updates to your site and expecting the search engine spiders to crawl and index the modifications.
Depending on your website, and the volume of work it needs, It takes 3-6 months to begin seeing new rankings.
3. Should I also do Pay-Per-click (PPC)?.
Depending on your particular website, industry and the competitiveness of the keywords you want to go after, if you sell a product or offer services then you should subscribe to pay-per-click advertising.
Now you have the basic idea of search engine optimization, here is an article I recommend you read to help you get started on the line with SEO.
If you are way back behind search engine optimization, here is an article I recommend you read to help you get started with website search engine audits.
There are a lot of ideas from various bloggers and marketers on the proper way to go about SEO.
Some even go as far as recommending some certain hack and trick or a plugin to use, some even tell you to wait up to three years that things might eventually come to a place and the search engine will find you in very good faith.
But I must tell you, there are no hacks or special tools to boost your search engine presence or traffic.
Of course, there are tools to assist you with so many SEO tasks but there are no secret tools to help you appear on Google without doing anything.
I recommend you stick to white hat ethical SEO techniques because it helps you stay much more longer.