Free traffic is sweet right? Among other ways a webmaster can get free traffic, search engines are one of the most viable sources.
In this post, we will look at what Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is all about and some search engine optimization best practice.
Understanding search engine optimization
If you are a webmaster or you publish content online, one of your major goals will be to get people to see your content without you having to pay a dim.
The rate of Ads are raising every day this is because of the high rate of competition. Everybody wants the traffics, and people who have the money are buying all the attention out there, this has also lead to competitive bidding which has made paid Ads more expensive.
As a webmaster, if you can get all the free traffic you can get I think that will be worth it for you and your business.
To really understand search engine optimization, you need to get a clear idea of what Search Engine is.
A search engine is a tool online that helps people find what they are looking for. It helps people match their questions “keywords” with relevant content that is online.
On the other hand, search engine optimization is all about making your contents and platforms suitable for search engines to find them online. Google is an example of a search engine, there many other search platforms out there like Yahoo, Bing, etc. Google also is the top search engine platform online today. A study shows that about 90% of internet users make use of Google to look for information online. For this reason, most of the ideas shared here are focused on optimizing for Google search engine.
How search engine work
Search engines make use of Algorithms (code) to collect information from web pages. What happens is that when you publish a web content and it’s indexed (making your content available for search engines) search engine use a kind of code to crawl it (always collecting information about the web content). The information they collect is what determines when and how they show your content on the search results page (SERSP).
The goal here is to share with you some tips on how you can meet the requirements of search engines on reaching the kind of people you wish to reach with your content without paying a dim. (There is another way of obtaining web visitor from search engines but it involves paying for visitors, it’s called search engine marketing we will discuss it in another article.)
Talking about search engine optimization, when you have properly optimized your web content for search engines, your content will become available to people when they search the web using similar keywords you used in your contents. In that sense, Search engine optimization can be seen as the process of making your web contents suitable for search engines to show it to people whom you wish to see your web content.
There are two ways you can optimize your web contents.
Note, web content includes content made up of video, audio, image and text which are shared online. But here, we are focusing on website and blog content.
The two major ways to optimize your web contents include:
On page optimization
On-page optimization involves all the configurations that are done at the backend of a website or blog to enable it to rank higher in search engines. As a webmaster (blogger or Web content manager) On page optimization is your responsibility. You have to make sure that your content is properly structured to the taste of search engines, which is where you will reach people who are in need of your content for free. Most web content platforms have tools that can help you implement some of this SEO tips. For example, WordPress has plugins like ‘all in one SEO and Yoast, my two best pick, that can help you implement on page optimization.
To understand the best way to implement on-page optimization, think about your own experience. How do you use search engines? When you want information, how do you go about finding it in Google? Your experience or a little thwart of your own experience can be an ideal way to effectively optimize your web contents.
This might be a practical way you get information from search engines:
- Open a search engine, maybe Google search
- Key in some words ( keywords)
- Results show up,
- Then you read the titles and descriptions (excerpt) of the displayed content in search results and choose the one that best seems to be talking about what you are interested in.
If you look at search engine usage from your own experience, you might get the idea of how best to optimize your contents for search engines.
But if you don’t get it clear from your experience, don’t worry I have some tips here for you to implement an effective on-page optimization.
Here are some things you can do to optimize your web contents.
Use titles that capture attention
Titles are the first thing people see when result page appears. Choose titles that will capture the attention of people whom you want your content to reach. You can get more insight into the right kind of title for your content by using some Google webmaster tools or research tools.
Try using enticing description (excerpt)
Description or excerpts are those few words you always read below the title of a content on search results. Always use words that will highlight the information your content aims to address.
Use keywords in your contents
A keyword is a word or short phrase which identifies what a content is all about. People use keywords to search for information in search engines. Here is how it works, if I want to learn how to cook food, I can just go to any search engine and type “how to cook.” How to cook is the keyword, what search engine will do is to go to all the list of content that has a keyword of how to cook, bring them up and display them for me as search results. Then I can read through the titles and description on the results and click on the one that best serves my question.
Keywords are used to specify what your content is all about. So use keywords in your web content, it will help to identify your post when people sort for it through search engines.
They said an image speaks a thousand words. Use image related to your content in your content. Also, use a keyword in your images. Search engines can rank your image on the keywords you used on it, which when the image is clicked on can lead people to the main content.
Try including a keyword in my Url
I used the word “Try” because most times it might be complicated. But always try to include the keywords you use in your content in the URL (the link) of your contents.
Write like a human
How you write your contents matters also. Search engines always aim at providing their users with good and well-written contents, so you need to put that into consideration. Always write engaging content.
Share quality content
Search engines like Google give great attention to quality. Their goal is to show people contents that will answer the question that they are asking. The thing here is to make sure the content you are sharing provides the information your title and keywords promised it will provide.
Use headings and sub-heading in your writings
Heading and sub-heading make your writing clear and easily understood. People who don’t have all the time can scan your content and get the important points. This is also important to search engines because it helps them to achieve their goal of providing to user clear and readable contents.
Index your site
Indexing your web contents is like answering the question, do you want search engines to show people your web content? It’s all about giving search engines permission to display your web content in search results. WordPress has a plugin for this function.
Link to internal pages
Linking to your older post can decrease bounce rate, the idea of making people spend more time on your platform. This can send a signal to search engines that your contents are relevant which might prompt then to display your contents more often in search results.
Link to other websites with relevant content
This, you don’t have to overdo this because whenever you link to other websites you are giving them what we call link juice, you are giving them authority. Here’s how it goes, search engines will say since people are linking to this other web content it means it has good content, that might prompt search engines to rank that other website higher in search results.
It might also help you because search engines will also see your platform as a platform that direct people to useful contents online, which is important to search engines because their overall goal is to give users good web experience. So these can prompt search engines to rank your contents higher too.
Optimize your site for speed
You have to make sure your site loads faster. It’s part of some of the things search engines require to give their users good web experience.
Make sure your website is up to date
Always update your website. If you are using WordPress, make sure WordPress, theme and plugins are regularly updated. And if it’s a blog make sure you update your blog regularly at least once a week.
Off-page optimization involves those activities that are aimed at optimizing your web contents outside your platform. And most of them are outside your control. What this means is that there are some activities you might not be aware of that makes search engine see your content to be important and valuable.
The best way to implement off-page optimization is to do proper on-page optimization, especially creating quality and useful content.
Some of these activities outside your platform and control include:
People linking to your content
I talked about link juice earlier. When people link to your web content they pass link juice to your contents, like an authority, they are kind of saying this content is useful or important. Search engines always capitalize on these sort of authority when they are showing people results related to your type of content with authority.
When you create good and useful content, other writers online can link to your content in their own content, that creates the link juice I’m talking about.
Guest post and publishing on other content platforms
Guest post and publishing on other content platforms can help you get lots of site hit ( traffic) and you know search engine also consider traffic to your platform. When a lot of people are visiting your platform search engine get the impression that your contents are relevant to people, that can prompt search engines to rank your contents higher in search results.
Another way to implement these is to share the link of your contents with your family, friends and groups. By them visiting your platform (website), your site hit improves which also can directly improve your ranking.
Off-page optimization is mostly determined by outside circumstances, you don’t have a lot to do here than to do a proper on-page optimization.
I hope this post helps you understand how best you can optimize your platform (website or blog). If you have any questions feel free to drop it on the comments below.