Basic Principles of SEO

SEO comes up a lot when it comes to building and managing a successful website.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, or a digital marketer working at a local SEO agency, you know that Search Engine Optimization is the most important aspect of a successful online campaign.

Ranking on the first page of search results will quickly launch any website or business to greater levels. 

SEO is important to your online campaign and subsequently your business in the following ways:

  • Most of the traffic that finds its way to your website will come from a search engine (93%).
  • Most Internet users never scroll past the first page of their search results.
  • Many marketers have realized the importance of improving the SEO of their website in order to grow organic presence. 
  • First result position results on google search have a 34% probability of being clicked.

Once you realize the importance of SEO, the next question that pops up is how to get the best out of it. In order to fully utilize SEO, one must understand its basic principles. Follow these guidelines and start doing SEO like a pro:

Keyword Optimization

Keywords are regarded as the main elements of SEO. Since search engines are programmed to offer results based on matching queries, it is only natural that the web pages with a sound keyword strategy would continue to show up in search results. 

You can find keywords by brainstorming keywords relevant to your website niche or utilize tools such as Google keyword planner. You can also conduct your own search in your related niche to find more keyword suggestions based on popular trends. A great way to find keywords is to use frequently asked questions on quora to create web content addressing these questions.

Title Tags.

Title tags are perhaps the most important of all search tags and should also be taken into consideration for a sound SEO strategy. Apart from matching search queries, search engines also analyze headlines in order to determine the relevance of the content to the search query. This is why each title in your content needs to carry a relevant keyword.

Meta Description.

In recent times, meta description keywords have ceased to influence SEO, however, the meta description itself still holds much sway in SEO. In addition to the headline, the only thing the user can see before opening the web page is the meta description. It provides the user with an idea of the content contained within.

Content Quality

After learning and applying every SEO trick in use, the only thing required to drive traffic to your website as well as retain existing users is the quality of your content. Your content has to be relevant to the search query in order to address the issue for which the search was conducted. The quality of your content encompasses both the plain text and multimedia content, hence both should be optimized.

SEO Audit

After applying all necessary SEO practices, you would need to stay relevant by conducting a regular SEO audit. Regular SEO audits are important for maintaining a constant level of productivity on your website. Examining your website regularly helps you to find weak spots that may slow down your website.

SEO is clearly a major part of any online campaign or marketing strategy. It involves a range of practices and principles to improve your website’s visibility as well as attractiveness to any visitor. If you can implement a sound SEO strategy, your website will become more active with regular traffic and more sales. 

Search Tags, What Are They, and How They Affect SEO

Every website is aimed at reaching the target audience. Search tags enable your website to be labeled properly.

When it comes to effective content marketing, one way of knowing that your website is reaching its largest audience is by visibility, traffic growth, and revenue.

In recent times search engines rank web pages not based on authority but on the quality of the content contained on the website as well. search engines focus on the relevance of the content as well as the overall user experience hence it is a good strategy to pay attention to these aspects.

SEO tags were significantly helpful in ranking web pages in the past however these days SC hotels have become surrounded by controversy and debates.

Aside from link tags (anchor tags), there are other important tags that you should be aware of. Let’s examine them as well as their impact on SEO.

Title Tags

These tags are located at the <head> section of a web page specifying in the title. Typically 9:50 clickable headlines in SERPs as well as social networks and browsers.

Title tags are used to communicate a clear idea of the contents of the webpage. In the past title, tags were regarded as “a cure for all ills” when it comes to SEO. However, stopping title tags with keywords does not convince Google these days. 

Google and other search engines tend to focus on the quality of the titles. User behavior has also contributed to the overall relevance of web pages. 

These tags are located at the <head> section of a web page specifying in the title. Typically 9:50 clickable headlines in SERPs as well as social networks and browsers.

Title tags are used to communicate a clear idea of the contents of the webpage. In the past title, tags were regarded as “a cure for all ills” when it comes to SEO. However, stopping title tags with keywords does not convince Google these days. 

Google and other search engines tend to focus on the quality of the titles. User behavior has also contributed to the overall relevance of web pages. 

Although the page title is the first thing a user sees on the SERP, search engines have been developed to the point of reading and understanding content to an extent. As a result, title tags aren’t the cure-all SEO solution. However, they are a crucial part of the big picture.

Meta Description Tags

These tags are an additional paragraph of text attached to the <head> of a web page. They are usually displayed in the SERP snippet which is usually displayed with the page URL on search engines.

Meta descriptions are not directly used as an official ranking factor however the importance cannot be denied. Meta descriptions directly influence the choice of the user because it gives them an insight into the content they’re about to select.

Heading Tags H1…H6

Heading tags are actually an element of the HTML format they usually used to identify Adams and some areas within the content of the web page friends tennis a paragraph text is easier to navigate with subheadings addressing specific points.

The hierarchy of heading tags Rangers from H1 all the way to H6. I would almost people only emphasize the importance of H1.

Careful utilization of each of these header tags may contribute significantly to the big picture and SEO ranking of your web page.

Italic and Bold Tags

Recycle used to highlight the most important parts of the content of the web page as well as to emphasize certain words, keywords for instance. However when it comes to SEO the search engine AI may consider such little changes however it is not a major determinant factor of your SEO ranking.

But before you go discarding these tags, you should consider that it improves the readability and user experience of your web page and this is something you don’t want to discard is it working directly reduce your bounce rate once the reason is comfortable reading your content they have no reason to leave in such a hurry.

Meta Keyword Tags

Initially, meta keywords were small snippets. They were only visible in the code of the HTML page communicating directly with the search engine as to what topic the webpage relates to. Don’t use meta tags. Search engines no longer use meta tags. However, back in the day, many people abused this tag by stuffing and spamming keywords, forcing the search engines to ignore meta keywords completely. As a result, SEO keywords will not impact your ranking and even if you stop it does not impact anything. in other words, meta keywords are obsolete and not worth the hassle.

Image Alt Attributes

Add this tag to your images. The alt attribute tag describes the contents of your image. When web visitors turn off/disable images, your alt tags show up, guiding your visitors. Not using the alt tag can result in poor user experience.

Use Image Alt tags as much as you can because this tag provides context to search engines to let them know more about the content of your images.

This attribute is quite important especially for e-commerce websites that use images to portray their goods to the consumer. In addition to this if your description is relevant to search engines will be able to rank your web page among image search results.

Nofollow Attributes

These are links leading out of your websites usually used for citing sources and referring to other relevant information. Adding these links to your web content will show comprehensive content well-researched and backed up by reliable sources.

Social Media Meta Tags

Facebook introduced an open graph that lets the user control how a web page would look when shared on social media. While Twitter has its own tags, opens graft is recognized by Google+ as well as LinkedIn.

In short, use Social media meta tags and provide more information about your webpages to best prepare them for being shared by your visitors on Social Media. Adding Social Media tags also makes your Social Media posts look better which will help to drive traffic directly from social media clicks.

One thing to always consider: small tweaks add up to the big picture and your overall results for SEO. So, you better make sure to examine and optimize each of these tags. Even if they are not a direct SEO ranking metric, they have their uses.

What is Robots.txt

Robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct web robots, especially search engine crawlers, on where and where not to access a website.

Whether you’re a DIY kind of person doing your own SEO, or you’re a local SEO agency, knowing what robots.txt file is and how you can use it is important to your SEO success.

Also, the robot.txt file is part of the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP). And that means it – robot.txt – is a group of web standards that regulate how robots crawl the web, access and index content, and serve that content up to users.

Confused? Let’s make it simple then. What robots.txt file does is to indicate whether specific user agents can or cannot crawl certain parts of a website.

The robot.txt file in its basic format is made of two lines:

  • User-agent: user–agent name
  • Disallow: URL string not to exclude

However, certain robot files may contain multiple lines of user agents and their directives. The three common directives include: disallow, crawl-delays, and allow.

How does a robot.txt work?

Robot.txt acts like a gateway that gives assess to search engines to dig through your website. Search engines naturally crawl the web to discover content. Afterwards, they index such content in a way to serve it up for the user.

Now, the search engine can’t crawl if robot.txt does not allow it. Why? Before any discovery and serving up can be done, the first thing a search crawler does is to look for a robots.txt file. Then it reads the file and follows the instructions.

Perhaps you are wondering why the search crawler has to look for the robot.txt first. What happens is robot.txt (when it permits the search crawler) gives specific instructions on how crawling can be more accessible and even faster.

Is a robot.txt file important?

This question is perhaps the commonest. Will robot.txt not render all your beautifully-scripted content useless?

The truth is, if mistakenly, you disallow Google-both from crawling your entire site, then robot.txt will be risky. On the other hand, when you use robot.txt to control access to just specific parts of your website, it will come convenient.

Some of the best reasons to use robot.txt file include

  • To prevent duplicate content from appearing in SERPs
  • To keep a specific/unique section of your website private (sections such as your engineering staging site)
  • To keep internal search result pages from showing up on a public SERP
  • To specify the location of sitemaps
  • To prevent search engines from indexing specific files (such as PDFs or images) on your website
  • To specify a crawl delay on your website to avoid the servers from being overloaded

Do you know the most beautiful thing yet about robot.txt files? As important as it is, it is not essential.

If there are no areas on your websites to which you want to keep private or control user-agent access, then you do not need robot.txt file at all. Another thing is that most don’t even if they have a robot.txt file.

How to tell if you have an active robot.txt? It is simple, type in your root domain, then add “/robots.txt” at the end. If no .txt page appears, then you do not have robots.txt page – voila!

Bounce Rate and What It Means for Your Page Ranking

Let’s talk about one of the oldest metrics in SEO, bounce rate. Have you ever visited a website, and upon opening the first page, you decided to leave?

If your answer is yes, what you did is regarded as a bounce. For your visit to our website to be considered as a bounce, you would not have clicked on anything on the page; not even a read more button.

Hence, the bounce rate can be described as a metric used to indicate the quality of your website by quantifying the quality of engagement with your audience.

Google analytics calculate your bounce by dividing all your single-page sessions (bounce) by all sessions on your website.

If the bounce rate on your website is high, three things are involved:

  1. First, the quality of the contents of your page is low or uninteresting to your audience.
  2. Your content does not match your audience. That is, people coming to your page do not find your information relevant.
  3. Your visitors find their information on the first click.

Does Bounce Rate Affect SEO?

A lot of beginners tend to think that the bounce rate is used to rank their page. However, looking at the three causes of a high bounce rate above, it is obvious why the bounce rate is not an accurate tool for ranking a page.

The truth is Google will not use your bounce rate in the search algorithm’s page ranking. However, your bounce rate might indirectly affect your ranking. It just doesn’t bode well that most of your audience bounce right back to the search page once they land on your website. The ranking factor might not directly use the bounce rate to rank your page; however, it might be a variable in their calculations.

Before getting into a panic over a high bounce rate, first examine the purpose of your website. If the purpose of your website is strictly to inform, a high pulse rate might not be such a bad thing. However, further engagement on your page doesn’t hurt.

It is much better that after getting the information that brought them to your page, please subscribe to your newsletter or read more content on other pages of your website. Only then will the visit on your website not be registered on the google analytics server as a bounce.

Increasing Your Engagement

If the purpose of your page is to attract further engagement, then you can use the bounce rate analytics as a direct indication of the performance of your page. For instance, if you have a page meant solely to get more subscribers for your newsletter, a high bounce rate is a clear indication of poor performance. Then, you need to fix the situation with measures like a clear call-to-action, or a subscribe button, and so on.

If you boil it all down, directly on its own, the bounce rate says little about the quality of your page. It doesn’t necessarily mean your page is doing poorly. What the bounce rate is telling you is the audience’s reaction to your page. It is left to you to decide the purpose for which you have set up the page and whether or not the reaction is desired.

A general rule of thumb, however, is to get as much engagement as possible because no matter what the purpose of your page might be, engagements engagement cannot be bad for your Google ranking. You can ensure a consistently high google ranking by getting familiar with the top 5 SEO analytic tools.

Top 4 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most coveted digital skills in the world right now. A lot of companies like to get to the top of Google search pages but don’t know about the common SEO mistakes!

That being said, you need to ensure that you don’t make any of these blunders when running an SEO campaign:

Using Incorrect Keywords

The first SEO mistake is not using the correct keywords, to begin with. As we all know, SEO is all about getting the right keywords for your website to rank for. However, you need to ensure that the keywords you choose are correct.

So one of the most costly mistakes people make when selecting keywords is doing so without considering the preferences of users and search engines for long-tail keywords. It is always possible to define your products and services in a specific way, you will also need to understand the words that your prospective customers will use when referring to them. Sometimes, the terms that you think are correct could mean something different for others. If this happens, then you would be generating the wrong keywords.

To avoid this make sure that you do your research before you begin the optimization. Tools such as SEMRush, AdWords, KeywordPlanner, and Google Trends will help make the entire step easy.

Stuffing Keywords

The second SEO mistake is having too many keywords! A lot of people believe that throwing the target keywords into every sentence is the key to ranking higher on search engines. Well, this is one of the most terrible sins you could ever commit as far as SEO is concerned. As a matter of fact, doing way too much with the keywords is seen by many search engines as spam ad it will go on to hurt your general SEO performance.

When you stuff keywords, the entire content begins to look unnatural, and your target audience will eventually find no use for it. In addition to that, Google has now deployed a special search known as Latent Semantic Indexing, which will recognize the topic of the content without the need for any keyword stuffing antics.

Unoriginal Content

The third and perhaps the most important SEO mistake is not having genuine content. We have people who believe that publishing sub-par content is an easy way to get readers. Back in the day, people found it easy to copy content and get away with it. However, in the world of today, this approach is frowned upon and heavily penalized.

You should never plagiarize or copy content from another website, ever! Instead of spinning content into a new page it is recommended that you create genuine content based on the topic of interest that is meaningful, relevant, and engaging. By doing this, you ensure that your website is able to maintain a proper ranking.

Since content is a major part of any SEO, you should make sure to not make any obvious content marketing mistakes.

Ignoring Meta Descriptions and Title Tags

And last but not least, another SEO mistake is forgetting to set the meta description and title tags on your pages and posts. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, getting a good article and infusing your keywords strategically isn’t all there is to SEO; also, you should be sure not to skip both the meta description and title tag.

When search engines crawl content they pay a significant portion of attention to the meta description and title tag. So, if done properly, they can boost your content performance markedly.

You should also remember alt tags for your images. These tags show how you are targeting your articles, and they are great ways to help keep you in the good books of the crawling bots that search engines use.

When you use optimum meta tags and you build quality links, you will start seeing some upward movement in your SEO rankings.