SEO can be complex, and there is no one rule that fits all to explain how it works. This article will help you understand SEO and what it means for your digital marketing efforts.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website so search engines like Google and Bing will find it easier and list it higher in their results when someone searches for a topic related to yours.
This article will show you an overview of the SEO process and how it works. SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility organically, without paying for advertising. For this reason, a lot of people think that Google hates SEOs because they’re trying to “trick Google,” but this is not at all the case!
The SEO process has three major components:
On-page optimization, Backlink building and Social media signals.
These are the areas where you should focus your attention when working on growing your website’s organic traffic. Let’s go through each one of them briefly to help you understand their role in the SEO process.
On-page optimization is a set of activities that you perform on your website directly to help search engines understand what your page is about. Each website has a home page and subpages, for example /blog/post1, /blog/post2 etc. Each one of these subpages can have its own on-page optimization.
Every page a website has can be optimized for a specific topic and give you the opportunity to rank it in Google for that topic. For example, if your site is about yoga, each one of your pages can be optimized to target a keyword like “yoga poses for beginners” or “yoga poses for toning the body”.
Once you’ve understood your keywords and chosen them for each one of your pages, it’s time to create content around them. The more relevant content you have on your site, the better you’ll do in search engines. People need to find your content informative enough that they’ll want to share it with their friends and link back to you.
Backlink building is the practice of getting links from other websites that point to yours. Backlinks are an important ranking factor in search engines, so they’re definitely something you should pay attention to when working on your SEO strategy.
There are different kinds of links:
• NoFollow links are links that for some reason or another you do not want Google to follow. For example, if there’s a comment box on your website, you don’t want Google to crawl this link and count it as a link pointing to your website.
• Paid links are financial agreements between two websites where the first site will pay the second site to link back to them. These links pass no PageRank and are seen as spammy because the person paying for the link is trying to trick search engines into believing that their website has more authority and relevance than it does.
• Editorial Links are links that you’re getting from another webmaster who likes your site enough that they want to exchange links with you.
• NoIndex is a tag that tells Google not to show your site in their search results, but still index it so they can understand what your site contains. This tag is useful when you want just the opposite; for example, if your website has dynamic content (like news articles), you don’t want them showing in Google since they change all the time.
• DoFollow links are links that you want search engines to crawl and pass PageRank. This is usually the type of link you’re looking for when building backlinks.
Social media signals are very important ranking factors in Google these days too, so it’s definitely worth your while to spend some time building your social media influence. Social media profiles are not only important to bring more visitors to your website but also for gaining authority and trust in search engines.
Having a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest etc. will help you rank higher in search results because people will know they can trust you and that you’re an authority in your field. If you want to stay on top of things, I recommend that you set up Google Analytics for your website and check out the social media section in it.
You’ll be able to see which type of social signals your pages are getting more often. Make sure you spend some time promoting them on all your profiles because if they’re not getting any exposure, they probably won’t bring you any visitors either.
Google Authorship was a nifty feature that Google launched in June 2011 for all bloggers and webmasters to connect their blogs with their Google+ profile so search engines could see who’s publishing content. This way, if you publish a blog post on your website about “organic dog food”, Google would know who’s actually writing about it and they’d be able to tell your “expertise” in that area.
Unfortunately, this didn’t work out as planned and Google shut down the project this past July. However, even though Authorship is gone now, you can still use those links to pass some PageRank. If you’re using WordPress, I recommend that you install the plugin called “Co-Authors Plus”.
You still get to show your Google+ profile on each post and it will pass some PageRank back to your website. That’s not the only way to use authorship though. Since June 2012, you can also link Google+ with you YouTube profile.
According to Moz, this method is giving out way more PageRank than Authorship did so I definitely recommend that you do it if you use YouTube videos on your blog posts. The plugin for WordPress mentioned earlier will also help you link Google+ with your YouTube profile. Last but not least, Google Authorship can be used to connect your Google+ profile with content you publish on Medium.
Medium is a blogging platform similar to WordPress so it’s also worth your while to claim your “author” website once you publish something there. To do that, go to https://medium.com/@yourusername/recommend and follow the steps in order to verify your account.
Now, the last thing you need to do is connect this Medium profile to Google by using the same plugin that I mentioned earlier. This way, all posts you publish on Medium will show your Google+ profile picture and they’ll pass some PageRank back to your website too.
The easiest way to get more visitors to your website is by building backlinks. I’ve already mentioned the importance of backlinks and how they pass PageRank (read: What Is The Importance Of Backlinks in SEO? ) but I haven’t talked about what kind of links you should target when building backlinks.
If you’re not familiar with these concepts, let me explain first. There are two types of backlinks you should focus on: “do-follow” and “no-follow”. You can usually tell if a link is do-follow or no-follow by looking at the rel=”nofollow” HTML attribute that’s included in the code of your webpage.
You want to get as many do-follow links as possible because they pass PageRank to your website. Links that don’t have the rel=”nofollow” HTML attribute attached to them will not pass any value to you.
Do-follow backlinks are usually the most powerful ones but there’s also one important thing you need to know about them: Google can and will penalize your website if you get them from spammy websites.
If you can’t find a good article on a popular platform to link to, don’t go for low-quality directories or comment sections full of spammy links either. You need to understand that it’s not worth sacrificing the quality of your backlinks in order to reach higher search engine rankings.
The “secret” to getting links from good websites is simple. You need to out-perform their current content with yours because this is what they usually want the most: better content that attracts more readers. It’s never about money, it’s always about quality content. Not only because Google loves it but also because people will keep returning to your website if they find it useful.
Believe me, I’ve been on both sides of the coin. I used to write content that was only meant to get a high amount of backlinks but I grew tired of doing this so I started publishing articles that had more value for readers. The immediate effect? A dramatic increase in the number of visitors to my website and a decent amount of PageRank too.
I’ve already talked about building backlinks (check: How To Build Backlinks ) but I didn’t mention anything about where those links should be coming from. Should they mainly come from article directories, social bookmarking websites or forums?
According to the latest Search Engine Ranking Factor study by Moz (check: http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors ), those three domains rank at #8, #9 and #10 respectively for “do follow” links which means that they’ll pass PageRank to your website if you get an inbound link from them.
That may not sound like much but you need to remember that there are hundreds of other factors too (backlink anchor text, number of linking root domains, etc). If you want to see for yourself how powerful these three web 2.0 properties are, just pick an article from your niche and type any of the following in Google:
site:blogspot.com  “keyword” + blog post
site:tumblr.com  “keyword” + blog post
site:soup.io  “keyword” + blog post
So, if you want to get a lot of free backlinks for your website, you need to focus first on content marketing and then on outreach. Get a lot of people talking about the content you’re publishing and feature it on other web 2.0 properties until Google starts taking notice of it. It’s not complicated but it takes time.
In my previous posts I’ve talked about how to create content that’s interesting enough to stand out in your industry (check: How To Create Content That Outperforms Your Competitors ) but I haven’t talked about what kind of links you should target when building backlinks.
Lets end it here as i gave you alot of information to digest. if you have queries, suggestions or feedback feel free to reach out any time..
Do also visit this blog daily to get more of such information that will help you with your online business.
Thank You . Have a Nice Day!
(Also if you are looking for a reliable NYC SEO company, please do reach out. I will be more than happy to discuss a wining game plan for your business!)