What is SEO: Best Practices for Search Engine Optimization

Want to know about the Best Practices for Search Engine Optimization? In this blog, you will learn about the Best Practices for Search Engine Optimization. SEO techniques are trending these days because by using them, a web content creator gets more visibility and higher ranking on the search engines, which in turn brings more traffic, audiences, customers, etc., to their Web page or Website.

These are like mentioning the unique selling point (also called a unique selling proposition, i.e., USP) of your web content so that people get attracted and see your web page instead of other Web pages or Websites. Let’s deep dive into the finer points of SEO and the best practices for efficient Search Engine Optimization for your Webpage or Website.

What is SEO

Simply put, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques used to ensure that certain content or a website is found quicker than the competitors and, subsequently, help that content or a website to be ranked higher in the rankings of the search engine result pages (SERPs).

In other words, you can say that SEO is the science of improving the visibility of a web page to be found quickly when a person searches for related topics on search engines.

What Is SEO

How was SEO started

The idea of getting top ranking on the search engines was first opted by some webmasters in the mid-1990s. However, in the late 90s, search engines realized that many webmasters were manipulating the rankings of their Websites by changing some HTML attributes.

Unfortunately, the webmasters misused this process because the search engines heavily relied on keywords. One can divide the era of search engines into the period before and after Google since it was Google that revolutionized the search engine process.

Prominent search engines before Google, like Altavista and Infoseek, tried to frequently change their algorithms to ensure webmasters could not abuse the Website ranking system. However, they were not very successful.

Google Era: A Game Changer

Google introduced new innovative techniques like PageRank and, in the subsequent years, introduced changes that focused on the Web pages, which really had good content related to the searched topics.

Panda Algorithm updates introduced by Google in 2011 were a decisive step toward fair usage of the ranking system by penalizing Web pages that indulged in plagiarism and ensuring that Web pages with only good quality links thrived on their search engine results page.

Why Search Engine Optimization is so important

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become very important for all Web content and Website creators because it plays a critical role in ensuring that the Web page or a Website gets a top ranking on search engine pages, especially Google. Basically, using an SEO process helps the user optimize the search results for their content/Website.

As a beginner, you would need to understand how the process of searching on an extensive search engine happens. To explain it better, we will take an example of the biggest and most popular search engine,

Google. These days when a blog, Website, or any text/image/video content is uploaded on the Internet, the aim is to maximize the number of people viewing/reading it on Google.

Most importantly, SEO helps get traffic and more hits to your Web page in the most natural (also called organic in SEO lingo) way. These days, many individuals are learning through training courses about SEO techniques.

Even companies are hiring expert webmasters to apply these SEO techniques so that their Websites look aesthetic, natural, and programmed to get user searches.

How It Works

To understand how SEO techniques work, you first need to know how search engines like Google show the list of Web pages or Websites when a person searches for any topic. Here the searched keyword entered by the user on Google is the input, and the search result shown by Google is the output.

As soon as the search is made, for example, on Google, the Google server checks a huge number (The web now has more than 30 trillion unique individual pages) of Websites and Web pages.

Searching for a topic on these massive web pages has to be within microseconds, so Google cannot read every page in detail. Here is where the SEO techniques of those web pages play an essential part. To perform this huge search, Google uses software known as web crawler, which checks the entire web world whenever a search is done.

It is generally understood that whenever someone says ‘Search engine,’ people think of Google because, as per data given by Google, it has the maximum share of the search engine market, approximately 92%.

So, you can say that the term ‘Search Engine’ is synonymous with Google. So, once you know how Google Search works, it will be easier to understand the SEO process before applying SEO techniques to a Website.

Your content and SEO techniques go hand in hand, i.e., you can decide the appropriate SEO tools for your web content as per the type of topic you have chosen, and it can be vice-versa in a way that you can first research the keywords in demand these days from the keyword analysis Websites available on the Internet and then write your content around it.

Ensuring a good SEO for your web page is like keeping a fit human body that works perfectly. Just like a human body needs exercise to remain healthy, in the same way, the SEO of a web page needs to be reviewed and updated frequently.

Also, read – Does Elementor Harm SEO?

What Ranking Factors in Google’s Algorithm affect your Organic Traffic?

Google has professional, well-defined, and equal opportunity algorithms that check every web page before giving it in search results. So, let’s understand in greater detail what ranking factors in Google’s algorithm can help a web page to get a good ranking or negatively affect that web page.

Google algorithms

After every few months, i.e., in approximately 3-6 months, Google makes broad core algorithm changes to ensure that those whose contents are not matching the searched topics should not be able to take undue benefit of its algorithms.

Minor updates in the Google algorithms happen nearly 5 to 10 times every day. Hence, it is very important for genuine content creators to understand the changing algorithms so that they are not left out in the page rankings of Google when those algorithms are changed.

SEO-friendly URLs

Your Web page URL should be relevant to its content. Also, it should be very well written so that Google bots find it quickly and list it as a top-ranking page. It will also be a good idea to include a sitemap on your Website which lists all your web pages.

Mobile-optimized web page

You see mobile in every person’s hands these days. Even people from the lowest strata can be seen using a smartphone which was not possible a few years ago. Even the children in every household search topics through Google.

Google has also realized its importance, giving mobile-optimized Websites the first priority. So, your Web page must be mobile optimized to be open easily on mobiles.

Appropriate content length

The length of the content should be appropriate and as per the need to explain the topic correctly. According to research, contents of more than 2000 words usually get the top ranking on Google.

However, that definitely doesn’t mean that one can put unnecessary descriptions in his content because meaningfulness and relevance are also among the leading factors of page ranking on Google.

The loading speed of the web page

If a web page is very slow, search engines like Google will not give it a good ranking because audiences do not like the slow opening speed of web pages. Gone are the days when a few years ago, a person used to click on a web page and then do other quick stuff in the meantime knowing that page may take a few minutes to open. Nowadays, nobody waits for a Web page to be open beyond a few seconds.

What is On-Page SEO

As the name suggests, On Page SEO refers to the onsite optimization of Web pages, i.e., directly optimizing the content and HTML source code of a Web page. In simple language, it is anything that you can do on the web page to improve the rankings on a search engine.

This optimization technique helps the content creators to make a web page really a high-quality page. It is done through the content management system, wherein you can target the right keywords in your content.

Here are some practical ways to benefit by ensuring the correct implementation of On-Page optimization.

Meaningful and high-quality content

Even if numerous changes are made by Google to its algorithms, one aspect which remains constant and will always be, is that really meaningful content which is precisely what the user requires (i.e., content related to the searched topic), will always be in vogue and rank higher on Google. This is because Google always prioritizes matching high-quality content.

Appropriate keywords matching your content

One has to be very clever and aware of the keyword policy of Google. It is not sufficient to just include specific keywords in your content; rather, those keywords should be less common but high in demand.

You can use various tools available on keyword research websites to set the right keywords that will show you the most appropriate keyword for your web content. Even selecting too many keywords just for the sake of it also harms the ranking of a web page.

So the correct set of keywords should be decided sensibly to make a positive difference. It is suggested that you should use your most important keyword in the first two lines of your content to get the maximum page ranking benefit.

Links (also called hyperlinks) in correct places

Internal and external website links should be mentioned as appropriate sentences to enhance the content’s value and help make it more meaningful. For example, sometimes, there would be some points that need to be described in detail but are out of scope in the topic being covered in the content, so a hyperlink to another internal or external web page is given for visitors to read about that topic separately in more detail.

Correct use of HTML tags

This part is slightly more technical for beginners. However, we will try to make it easy for you to understand. Though compared to the initial stages of search engine optimizations, tags are not used frequently now by search engines, they still play an essential role in the ranking of many web pages, so it is vital to know about them.

An HTML tag is a snippet of markup language with HTML coding used to indicate the beginning and end of an HTML element in web content. You can imagine these tags talking to the search engines and telling them about the vital information for the SERP display.

Here we explain some of the important HTML tags which can be very helpful in getting a good ranking for a web page.

Title tag 

Google searches for the title tag in content and usually makes it the main headline when listing it for a searched topic. Your title tag should contain attractive keywords to lure the users into clicking on it. These are used to make the content headline clickable, and it is a good practice to keep a title tag for each page of your content.

Meta tags

These tags inform search engines about the descriptions within the search result snippets. Occasionally, Google picks these meta tags to briefly describe the content in one or two lines, attracting users.

Schema markup

This tag has rich features used by content creators to provide additional attractive information about their content to Google. This enhances the regular SERP snippets, and Google highlights them in a colorful way in the search result listing.

Some other valuable tags

There are some other semantic tags like the H1 heading tag (as it is for heading, used only once), H2 for section headings, and H3 for subsections, along with the canonical tag, which is used to avoid duplicate content.

Also, read – What are the most common Technical SEO issues you should fix

What is Off-Page SEO

This involves optimizing the web page through actions that are not on that web page. It is mainly achieved through natural links, which can help to establish a fantastic reputation of the web page if the content is really good.

Other off-page optimization techniques can be done outside the web page, including social media marketing, guest blogging, contributing to open source answering sites, and brand-building exercises.

That is why Websites consider advertising through social media as an essential off-page SEO tool to popularize their content, and many professional content creators do guest blogging, i.e., writing on each other’s blogs. If done rightly, these can prove a game changer and a significant way to get a great ranking on popular search engines like Google.

What is Internal Linking

Internal links are used when a particular topic in your content is described in a more elaborated way on another Web page of your Website. However, it would be on a different web page, so the link of that web page URL is given in the content.

This interlinking of pages within the Website helps the inter-visibility of the web pages. This type of linking is especially useful when you know that visitors will like the other topics on your Website and would also find it very useful to read the related subject.

This is more useful for popular Websites with good traffic. Inter-related web pages can help garner more interest from visitors in reading other contents of their Websites.

What is Backlinking

Backlinks are organic or natural links for your content that you get automatically when your content is extraordinarily written. Visitors find it very useful, and other Content Creators also get impressed to mention it as a reference.

You can also get backlinks by being a part of a group that uses each other’s content as a reference for related topics. Another very good way to get these backlinks is to contribute to knowledge-based open source content Websites like Quora, Reddit, etc., and insert the URL of your content there.

If your content is really good, it will get a lot of clicks and work as an excellent backlink. According to research, only 20 – 30% of people click on paid links, whereas 70% of links are those through natural backlinks.

What is Search Engine Optimization in the Internationalization context

Search engines must know which countries your content is targeted for because it would be useless if a person in India opened a web page that mentions useful products available only in America. Therefore, to ensure that your content reaches the correct audience in the targeted countries, you can make sure that your content is suitable for the target markets.

Remember that even if you are done with setting the correct search engine optimization techniques for your web content, it is still a never-ending process. This is because top search engines like Google keep changing their algorithms with minor changes every day and major changes 4 to 6 times a year.

That would keep you on your toes to keep evolving the optimization of your web page and make it suitable for Google and your audiences. Even if you have to change your SEO techniques at times, a well-organized SEO will mean that your web page will keep getting the top ranking nearly every time whenever a user searches a related topic.