What is SEO? The In-depth Search Engine Optimization Guide

Home » SEO » What is SEO? The In-depth Search Engine Optimization Guide


What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained

Introduction

SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. It is the practice of improving a website content, inbound links, anchor texts, and technical perimeters. This is to get the websites pages and keyword positions up on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This is all to get free, natural or organic traffic and visitors to the website.

Unlike paid advertising, once you get ranked on search engines you keep getting visitors daily. And if you are doing paid ads or PPC once you stop paying, you stop getting traffic and visitors. The only difference between paid search engine marketing and search engine optimization. Is that SEO is a long-term process that gets long-term results. Paid advertising gets you traffic almost instantly after you set up a campaign and traffic stops as soon as payment stops.

Why is SEO Done?

So, you’re asking yourself why would anyone in the world want free or organic traffic to their site. You might think “free” no money can come from that. Why are website owners doing this? Well, free means not paid for from Google. Free means you rank based on your content and ranking factors (that Google will never disclose completely).

A good SEO expert finds the keywords in question and builds quality content around them to get rankings. This way you’re helping people by showing them all the info they might look for. If you also happen to be selling something related to your content… you see where I’m going with this. Even creating targeted social media accounts for your product or service is beneficial for rankings. Organic traffic is ranking for terms that the regular Joe is searching for.

Okay, SEO Explained?

Well, search engine optimization is not that hard. If you’re looking to make a website about something you hold dear to your heart, chances are you’ll get ranking yourself in no time. I mean you must look at the Googles guide to SEO to know the technical stuff. Like making your site faster not putting in more than on one H1 tag in for each page so Google bots know what each site is about exactly. , I could go on and on about the best practices Google recommends for websites. But all you have to do is be consistent and add quality content related to your website and you should be fine.

Not that hard is it? Well, here’s where it gets tricky while this is sound advice for personal blogs. This is Not for local businesses or the local search rankings. If you have a local business and are looking to rank on the Google map pack. You might be more inclined to be looking at local citations more than content creation. I mean you still have to link build & have some quality content. But if you’re only looking to rank in your city or town as long as it’s not too competitive you can usually do it yourself with some online learning.

Learning types of SEO

On Page SEO or Content Creation:

I have covered this to some point but let’s get more in-depth. What exactly is Onsite SEO, well its everything your end user or the person reading your blog will see. Is the site structure by which I mean the way the header menu, footer, inner-links, meta tags, etc… So, anyone visiting your site or searching for it does not have issues with the user experience. Another part of on-page SEO is the content itself. You can’t expect to rank for a keyword when the competitor has three thousand words of quality content you have one thousand (a hint from an SEO Expert). Another aspect we at Nickey Pickorita categorize as on page. The research involved before any successful campaign can be launched. That’s right the famous keyword research.

Now to cover keyword research there are two main keyword category’s SEO’s like to use or we use… Anyway, it varies from agency to agency but not by much. They are the transactional keywords and informational keywords. I know some of you might know of the old school long and short tail keywords. But this doesn’t do them justice. Not anymore anyway, there are a lot of variations we can also look at commercial, branded or navigational keywords. But these are not as important unless you have a well know business where your loyal customers are searching for your brand.

Off Page SEO or Link Building:

Now offsite SEO is a whole other ballgame while On Page you’re looking at your site. Now you’re going out and about searching for inbound links or votes from other websites to yours. It the past link juice, trust flow & citation flow showed how strong a link was. But in these last few Google’s algorithm updates. They have stopped looking at link juice and focused more on website relevance. So what’s the reason for this? People started abusing this by making PBN’s or private blog networks. This is where they would take an expired domain name (website dropped or forgotten by owners). They then make the website about anything and with a default theme, plugins etc and link to their money sites ergo boosting rankings. They frown this practice and is more leaning to Black Hat SEO than White Hat SEO but well go into the hats later.

Technical SEO or Web development:

Finally, we are on technical SEO or the stuff web developers should be held accountable to fix these issues. But unfortunately, like many of the IT industry, they are like unicorns. Only heard off and seen on rear occasions, I personally have never seen one… Let’s get back to Technical SEO. These are the things a site should have but the user does not see. So, all the code & hosting jargon. For example, an SEO’s rule of thumb is that an optimized site. Should have a secure sockets layer or SSL, mobile responsive design and no duplicate content or headings for starters. There is a lot in this section. As I mentioned earlier, it really should only be a developer’s job to implement these changes. And an SEO’s job to inform the web developer of what changes are needed. I would like to go more into this and there is so much more like accessibility, page speed, inner-linking to name a few more. But this is truly the technical side of SEO. We do not recommend changing these things unless you really know what you are doing.

White Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO & Everything in Between!

White Hat SEO is the practice of using quality SEO methods to improve a site ranking. These things include quality content creation, using outreach to link build. And following Googles recommendations to the letter. So, if you were to look at Google as a law enforcement white hat would be all the legal things, black hat all the illegal things and grey hat the in-between.

Black Hat SEO are some shortcuts that SEO’s use that Google frowns on, a lot of these practices get penalized. When Google does an update, they optimize the search results for the best quality results showing. And when frowned upon practices are exposed the rankings go quick. Some original or old black hat techniques. Have included keyword stuffing, spammy link building, and even poor-quality content. As I mentioned all the shortcuts that give poor results.

Grey Hat SEO is the stuff in-between so things that could be or are frowned upon but there is no way to police. A good example of grey hat, are PBNs if they are created properly they are identical to regular websites on the internet. This is why they can’t be exposed but poorly build PBN’s can. This because they either do not look like a website but a domain with a bunch of random blog posts on it. Or they have used the same hosting for all there PBNs and linked between them.

Conclusion

So, let’s recap first for a successful SEO campaign keyword research is vital. Next, we go to start the site structure and inner-linking organization plan so all your main landing pages are accessible. Next get hosting with a free SSL certificate if you’re on a tight budget. Look to get on a WordPress platform with a decent theme it should already be mobile optimized. Look to get premium WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO this will usually save you a fair amount of trouble and time later down the line. Also look to make your website as user-friendly as possible. It is also helpful to check out some major authorities in SEO like search engine lands, Moz, SEMRush or Neil Patel. To name a few for some more SEO information.

If you have made sure you have decent hosting and domain have paid for or done keyword research. So you would have a game plan of action forming already it might be wise to connect Googles search console or webmaster tools at this point. Once you have posted content completed the look and feel of your website, you’re ready for stage two. Stage two is reaching out to other websites for links. Once you have built up a decent backlink profile and on-page is done right, you should start to see rankings jumping for your keywords. One final tip I will leave you guys with is always check out your competition. Check search results for some of your target keywords and see what they did to get a few ideas in what direction you should take your website.