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Guide to SEO – Search Engine Optimization

The objective of search engine optimization (SEO) is to improve your website rank in search engines for your most effective keywords.

Search engines work by using algorithms to evaluate websites by topic and relevance. Online Search is changing as search engine algorithms become more and more advanced using machine language. Google the most popular search engine, constantly tests its performance and revises the search results often.

The 2 most important factors affecting SEO are:
a. Content – High quality, relevant content is always number one factor in SEO
b. Backlinks – Provide site relevance and are Important with emphasis on their quality than their quantity

Good Quality Content
The most important factor for search engine ranking is to write good quality original content. Create authoritative and engaging content as a long term strategy to promote your site.

Authorative content can be written in the form of:

  • Blog
  • FAQ's
  • Research Article
  • Infograhics
  • Image/Photo
  • Explanation Video
  • Social Media Post

Showcase yourself as an expert by writing high quality content that engages users. Good quality content is the key to high ranking in search engines.

Other important factors include robust site architecture with good internal links, short loading times and mobile optimization amongst others.

The various SEO types are:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
  • Local SEO
  • Mobile SEO

On-Page SEO
On page SEO is the process of optimizing the content of your website. This includes the text, images and links on your website. Anything uploaded to your site's domain is considered – on page.

On-page SEO is the term used to describe the strategy when a website owner or webmaster does some changes on his website itself with the prime objective of making it more search engine friendly and useful to its users.

Professional Onsite SEO ensures that your web pages are fixed in such a way that the search engines will index them correctly.

Some factors for On Page SEO include:

  • Keyword Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Title & Meta Tags
  • Heading & Alt Tags
  • Keyword Density
  • W3C/html Validation
  • Navigation and Internal Linking
  • Robots.txt
  • H1 / H2 tags
  • SEO Copywriting
  • Sitemap
  • Check Broken Links

Fundamental to a good ranking is the technical performance of a page.

a. Keyword Analysis
Keyword Research is the most important component for Search Engine Optimization Process. When a person goes to a search engine like Google or others, they type in a word or phrase that they want information on. This is what is called a keyword.

Choosing the right keywords is the first step to better search engine positioning. These keywords are obtained by using several keyword research tools. Keyword Research Tools include analysis of business and analyzing all the words that relate to your company or product.

The keywords found after the completion of research are analyzed. In case of any alterations these keywords are again searched and confirmed after many brainstorming discussions with the clients and the researchers.

It is important to generate user friendly content along with it being SEO friendly with relevant keywords depending upon the business type, either its products or services. This is the reason why SEO is the combination of knowledge and science.

Keyword Research Tools:
Google Keyword Planner – https://ads.google.com/intl/en_in/home/tools/keyword-planner/

b. Competitor's web site Analysis
The purpose of doing competitor’s web site analysis is to get information and ideas about how your competitors are performing, what are your site rankings and what strategies will be needed for your site to lead your competitor. Process includes preparing report with website and covering information of competitor’s rankings.

Title Tag Optimization
The title tag has been and probably will always be one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings.

The <title> tag is required in all HTML documents and it defines the title of the document. This tag displays the page title in browsers toolbar and in the search-engine results (SERPs). It also provides a title for the page when it is added to favorites. A
descriptive <title> tag is important in helping search engines determine your web page's relevancy for certain keywords

In fact, fixing just the title tags of your pages can often generate quick and appreciable differences to your rankings. And because the words in the title tag are what appear in the clickable link on the search engine results page (SERP), changing them may result in more clicks.

Meta Tag Optimization
The meta description tag is meant to be a short and accurate summary of your page content. This description can affect your search engine rankings and can also show up directly in search engine results and affect whether or not the user clicks through to your site.

The Meta Description Tag is a part of HTML code that allows you to give a short and concise summary of your web page content. The words placed in this Meta Tag, are often used in the search engines result pages (SERP), just below the Title Tag as a brief description of your page. In the Search Engine Results Pages, after reading the Title, a user usually studies the description of the page and decides whether they wants to visit your site or not.

Keywords Optimization
Web site promotion has important relevance with key word optimization. There are instances where some product name is being known by different spelling for example colour – color. Some of the complicated words are being placed in search box of the search engines wrongly.

Take care of using all possible key words to find your web site in key word tag. Many times key words can be useful not in search engine submission but definitely in directories placement or trade leads.

The meta keywords tag allows you to provide additional text for search engines to index along with the rest of what you've written on your page. Meta keywords can emphasize a particular word or phrase in the main body of your text

Density of similar keywords leads to stuffing of keywords innumerably in the content which is tagged as spam by major search engines. Due to this it becomes essential to use these crucial keywords in correct frame of sentences, with relevant key phrases without
deterring the quality of content.

Search engine optimization process demands the combination of search engine friendly content and precise information so that the sole purpose of the generating website content remains unperturbed.

For on-page SEO, the keyword is still vital, but the trend is moving away from a single subject/keyword towards entire topics.

Robots.txt Optimization
Search engines have code called spiders or robots to search a website and bring information back so that web pages can be indexed in the search results and found by web users. If there are files and directories you do not want indexed by search engines, you can use the "robots.txt" file to define where the robots should not go One of the most fundamental steps when optimizing a website is writing a robots.txt file. It helps tell spiders what is useful and public for sharing in the search engine indexes

and what is not. It should also be noted that not all search spiders will follow your instructions left in the robots.txt file. In addition, a poorly done robots.txt file can stop the search spiders from crawling and indexing your website properly.

Content Optimization
There are aspects of the optimization process that gain and lose importance. Content optimization is no exception to this. Content is king. Through the many algorithm changes that take place each year, the weight given to the content on your pages rises and falls.

While there are many characteristics of your content that are in the algorithmic calculations, there are a few that consistently hold relatively high priority.

These are :
1. Heading Tags (H1 – H6)
When using your heading tags try to follow these rules:

  • Never use the same tag twice on a single page
  • Try to be concise with your wording
  • Use heading tags only when appropriate. If bold text will do then go that
    route

2. Special Text (bold, colored, etc.)
Special text (as it is used here) special is any content on your page that is set to stand out from the rest. This includes bold, underlined, colored, highlighted, sizing and italic. This text is given weight higher than standard content. Search engines have thus been programmed to read this as more important than the rest of the content and will give it increased weight. Reread your content and, if appropriate for both website visitors and search engines, use special text when it will help draw the attention to important information and also add weight to your keywords.

3. Inline Text Links
Inline text links are links added right into text in the verbiage of your content. It should be short and, whenever possible, be phrased with the most relevant keyword targets to the page the link leads to. It serves two purposes. The first is to give the reader a quick and easy way to find the information you are referring to. The second purpose of this technique is to give added weight to this phrase for the page on which the link is located and also to give weight to the target page.

4. Keyword Density
Keyword Density is the percentage of your total content that is made up of your targeted keywords. There is much debate with webmasters and the like as to what the "optimal" keyword density might be. Estimates seem to range from 3% to 10%.
The best way is to simply place your targeted keyword phrase in your content as often as possible while keeping the content easily readable by a live visitor. If you are simply aware of the phrase that you are targeting while you write your content then chances are you will attain a keyword density somewhere between 3 and 5%.
Stay in this range and, provided that the other aspects of the optimization process are in place, you will rank well across many of the search engines.

5. Alt Optimization
An alternative tag is the HTML tag that tells search engine what the images are all about. Since search engines cannot read text fixed in images, so alt tag tells search engines what the images are all about. Alt tag is helpful for visually damaged persons to understand the objective of images.

Structured data
Structured data is content written in a way that search engines can read it. So a website
can describe the page in detail whether it a job, recipe, article, video etc
Make structured data part of every webpage. Structured data has been proven to be a
large ranking factor; its future-facing value can be seen today in rich snippet SERPs and
social media sharing. In some verticals, it’s an absolute necessity.
Check structured data: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool

Page Load Time
Page Load Times as an Important search engine ranking performance factor. If the website page does not load fast, then customer will move to some other website.

Page Load time is the average time it takes for a web page to show completely on your screen. It can be reduced by optimizing images, cache, CSS etcPage load time is used in Google search engine algorithm and is a major factor in SEO.

A fast page load time will help increase your rankings.

Check page load time: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Mobile SEO
The number of mobile searches carried out is increasing exponentially. Mobile Search is currently one of the most important features in SEO. Mobile searches often use different functionality and are strongly influenced by features such as conversational voice-based search with Siri, etc., as well as being influenced by local factors.

Check Mobile optimization: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Off-page SEO
Off-Site SEO refers to search engine optimization techniques that are not performed on your own website or page. A good back link profile is still a cornerstone and an important SEO metric.

Backlink quality factors are probably the most important SEO metric on the off page side. SEO success was initially strongly based on PageRank which has always been oriented towards back links, and remains so to this day.

It is not only the number of links, but also the quality of the backlink structure of a page, itself subject to various factors, which is crucial to a good ranking. Over the last few years, content quality has become more and more important as search engine but optimizing the content on your pages is not enough.

For effective SEO you need help from other websites in the form of incoming links, commonly referred to as backlinks.

Some of the popular methods for getting backlinks include:

  • Directory Submission
  • Article Building
  • Article Submission
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Search Engine Submission
  • Blog Commenting
  • DMOZ Listing
  • RSS Submission
  • Forum Link Building
  • Press Release Service

Building Link Popularity
Link Popularity refers to the number of links pointing to your site, from other sites on the web. Search Engines consider your site to be more important and rank it higher if more sites link to your site.

Building links improves the popularity of your web pages. In general terms, the higher the PageRank of your website, the higher its importance for search engines and higher it gets ranked in the search engine result pages.

Search engines also take into account the PageRank of the pages that link to your site and its industry relevance to your own industry. Links from higher PageRank pages and relevant sites give your site a higher value.
There are two types of links you can establish on the web:

1. Link Exchange – Link exchange is an easier way to establish links from other websites to your website. It gives a link from the links page on your site to the partner sites. In link exchange process, you trade links with prospective partner sites by offering a link to their site from your own site. This method is a fast way to establish many links to your website but it is unlikely to bring any great
benefits.

2. Non reciprocal Links – Non-Reciprocal links are incoming links established on the other websites where you do not need to link back to them. They are also called one-way links´ or ´Incoming links.

There are many compelling reasons and methods to establish such one-way links which include linking back from a different website that you may own, publishing articles on sites, content syndication, listing in trade directories and press releases in news networks.

Some of the ways include:
Manual Directory Submission Service
Web directories are still an important source of one-way inbound links to a website. An on-topic link in the right category will increase your link popularity and deliver targeted traffic to your website

Article Submission
Write few articles related to your site’s content and submit it on high ranked article submission directories to deliver targeted traffic from links in the author’s information

Press Release
Online PR can generate a lot of traffic to a site. A newsworthy press release will build large numbers of inbound links from high ranked news portals

Blog Link Building
Create Blogs and submit it to Blog directories & social network sites

Forum Link Building
Create back links from forums related to your work. This is excellent source of traffic & quality links

Blog Commenting
Blog commenting has proven to be one of the most effective link building strategies as it helps you get quick links to your website. Blog commenting involves posting comments in various blogs.

RSS Submission
Submit your website RSS feed to RSS directories

Guest Posting
This is where you provide an article or blog post in exchange for a link.
There are some sites which provide you facility to create free web page or blog on which you can provide information related to your company / products directly or indirectly.
These sites are highly ranked by google and fetch many visitors. They give you do follow links and also help you to rank keywords in search engines. By doing this you get additional traffic of these sites and some links that contribute to your site.

Social Signals
Social signals are factors that correlate strongly to better rankings. Links and recommendations from Facebook Google, Twitter Pinterest etc are very important for SEO. The correlation of social metrics with better rankings remains high, with recommendations and related signals from the social graph strongly related to good Google rankings. Publish content to your social accounts, then nurture leads based on their social engagement

Wikipedia
Wikipedia is an exceptional case and can be regarded in principle as a universal Brand.
The domain ranks very highly, usually at position 1 or 2, for many keywords. Wikipedia has a significant influence both on the ranking distribution in search results, and on the correlations.

Infographics
Infographics has become some of the most wide-spread types of content generated for link building.

There are two types of backlinks:
a. DoFollow

DoFollow backlinks provide link weight to your website and boosts website authority

b. NoFollow
The No-Follow Backlink instructs the search engine to not to follow the link but is an important factor in rankings

Here is a list of some very high ranking websites that you can use to create content on and in turn get back links for your site and boost your rankings:

wikipedia.com
google.com/business
facebook.com
twitter.com
tumblr.com
linkedin.com
medium.com
www.quora.com
www.youtube.com
pinterest.com
reddit.com
blogger.com
wordpress.com
slideshare.net
flickr.com
vimeo.com
getpocket.com
dribbble.com
behance.net
slashdot.org
scoop.it
instructables.com
wikihow.com

You can prepare a complete report which includes the direct landing pages where your links are submitted. You can always cross check the linking pages and the live links.

These resources give you the basic tools and tactics for a successful link-building campaign, but keep in mind that all good link building is relationship building.

SEO Tools and Resources from Google:
1. Google Pagespeed Insights – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
See how fast your website loads and how you can improve it

2. Google Mobile Friendly Test – https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
See if Google considers your website mobile friendly

3. Google Keyword Tool – https://ads.google.com/intl/en_in/home/tools/keyword-planner/
Find the right keywords to use in your Google Ad campaign

4. Google Webmaster Tools – https://www.google.com/webmasters/
Check your website's search traffic and performance and fix issues

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide –
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en
Best guide on search engine optimization and how to improve search engine rankings

6. Google My Business – https://www.google.com/intl/en_in/business/
Helps businesses create and manage their information, which appear in Google Search
and Maps

7. Google Analytics – https://analytics.google.com/
Free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic

8. Google Structured Data Testing Tool – https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool

Provides Standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying content

Conclusion:
SEO is a continuous process. Analyze your web traffic and see which sources are generating the most leads. Authoritative content and high quality of backlinks remains crucial factors in SEO.