As you might be aware, SEO is a process that requires using multiple strategies to bring traffic or visitors to your website. Before we understand SEO in detail, Let us first understand the absolute basics about what happens when you create a website and how do you get traffic on it.
What happens when you create a website and how do you get traffic on it ?
Let us understand this from an analogy from our physical world.
When you create a website, it is similar to creating a beautiful showroom. It is just that, the showroom has been created on a vacant road and it does not have any visitors right now. For example, let us say that you have created your website abc.com , Right now the website is not receiving any visitors since no promotion or marketing has been done for it.
Now, if you need visitors to this showroom, that is if you need visitors to your website. You need to do some promotion. Let us say, you start putting banners in the city that mention that if anyone wants to buy cool shirts, they can visit your website abc.com .
So, if you place the banners at popular places in the cities where people already visit. Then when someone looks at your banner, if they are interested in buying cool shirts, they can visit your website abc.com . A banner at a popular website can get you more visitors compared to a banner from a website which does not receive much visitors itself.
A banner from a website that is not popular, is like a banner which is placed in a forest area. So, if nobody visits the forest area, nobody will be able to see your banner to visit your website.
In the online world, if any website links to your website saying goto abc.com , then it is called a backlink. Here is an illustration of multiple websites giving your website backlinks. The text that they use to link to your website is called as anchor text.
A website which is already popular and which gets a lot of visitors and backlinks from other popular websites is called as an authority website.
When a lot of good websites link back to a website, then web search engines get to know about it through their automated web crawlers. Now, there are certain other factors as well that a search engine looks before ranking a website:
- On Page SEO Factors
- Off Page SEO Factors
- Google's algorithm looks for 200+ Ranking Factors
- Social Factors
For example, are people spending enough time on your website? are people talking about your website on social media by sharing its links. Anyone will only share a link on their social media profile if they like it. That is why it is repeatedly said by experts that good content is important, because if you have quality content on your website, only then will people like to share it on social media or provide a backlink from their website.
After considering multiple factors as mentioned above, If a web search engine's algorithm believes that you have a good website, then only it would start sending visitors to your website. So, when someone searches about those keywords on google which are relevant to your website, it can show your website in search engine result pages (SERP's). For example:
So, gradually your website / showroom starts receiving visitors. You can use both promotional strategies (paid promotion such as Pay per Click and Pay per impressions ) as well as organic strategies to bring traffic to your website.
By the way, If you are struggling with your online marketing, you can try using this one simple trick from today.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is divided into two parts :
- On Page Optimization
- Off Page Optimization
The beginner's guide – What is On Page Search Engine Optimization?
On Page Optimization is important, and it is required to be done along with Off Page SEO
The activity involved in optimizing a website once it has been developed, which is known as on-page optimization, is a very crucial part. It involves many strategies such as :
- Website Architecture
- Improving the load speed of website
- Using a good web host for a fast loading website
- Duplicate content monitoring
- Title tags, Header Tags, Meta Tags Optimization
- HTML Errors Validation
- Removing broken links from your website
- Sitemap Creation and optimization
- Persistent Navigation
- Having a secure website (by the way, you might be interested in checking out 13 dangerous mistakes people make and get their website hacked and how to avoid these mistakes).
An informative and exciting website with excellent content is important to attract visitors to the site. People who are experts in the field will do everything that is needed to create a unique and fast website.
Let us say you have a really great website with high-quality content. The service you offer is unique, and there is no competitor. But how will google get to know that you are the best in the field? It will happen when other websites will link back to you saying that you are good in your field.
In the real world, the competition is fierce, and there are hundreds and thousands of other people who may be providing the same services or products that you are offering. At such given conditions, it is evident that preference will be given to the one who has a little bit of something more, which others don't have. For example, better quality content, a faster site, a secure website or a website that has a lot of backlinks from other good websites on the web.
The beginner's guide – What is Off Page Search Engine Optimization?
Anyone who is into internet marketing or at least familiar with the process knows the importance of driving traffic to the websites. Off Page SEO basically tells Google, what other people think about your website. So, if a website has a lot of good or authority backlinks, google thinks that it might be valuable since people are linking back to it. People generally like linking to content which they like, otherwise why would they waste time in giving a link to anyone, right?
Off Page SEO refers to the techniques involved in the process of improving the position of website ranking for various keywords in the Search Engine Result pages (SERPs). It dramatically helps the website to get more web traffic. These activities or processes happen on the outside of the website. Link building, social media marketing, and social bookmarking are some of the strategies of Off Page SEO.
You may be wondering why you see a Wikipedia link almost every time you search for something on the internet. This is because Wikipedia is one of the most successful sites that had made good use of Off Page Optimization, mainly the ‘link building.' It has high-quality contents that are very valuable, and many other websites link back to it.
When it comes to link building, quality is far better than quantity. You will not get much traffic even if you have more than 20 sites that direct to your website if those sites have very less authority. Like we discussed above, if a website which doesnt have traffic itself is similar to having a banner at a forest. If you get a backlink from such a website, then it is not beneficial for you. However, your website has a high success rate if you have at least one backlink from a site that has a high authority. Now that the basic elements of Off Page SEO have been explained let us discuss the subject in detail.
What makes Off Page SEO so important?
There are several factors that the search engines take into account when ranking the websites. Off Page SEO is one of the critical factors as it gives them an idea of how much value the website has, or what perception the internet community has on a particular site. The search engines do this because it affects the quality of their service.
What if the search engine giant Google places a website with low-quality content and a slow speed among the top rated sites? This will affect millions of users worldwide, and the outcome would be catastrophic. People will not be happy with the search results. They would believe google is not giving them relevant results and hence not satisfying their search query. Google users will try using other search engines such as altavista, Microsoft's bing or yahoo search.
To explain it in simple terms, Off Page SEO acts as a messenger. It tells Google how the world sees your website. The search engines will automatically assume that your website is of great value to users if they find that your site is pointed out by valuable links.
What to do so that people link back to your website?
The answer is : Create Quality content
The content should be such that when people see the content, they automatically feel – Wow, this is amazing. This guy must be an expert in his or her field. Typically, this can be done by creating blog articles which are in good length ( a few thousand words in length ) and help in answering queries of users. It must provide value to the visitors of the website. For example, this guide that you are reading is a type of high quality content 😉
A website which has valuable and useful content is often mentioned on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These are also shared among groups and communities bonded by a similar interest. In addition, these websites are also referred by a lot of users and other websites in the form of backlinks. Such popular sites are also important to search engines, and this is why they pop up at the top lists of the first search result page.
Link building may seem like an easy task. But it can be daunting, and troublesome, especially for those who are new. If you want people to link back to you, the best option is to invest your time in creating quality content that is link worthy.
How can you benefit from Off Page SEO?
Google is a top-rated search engine. One of the many reasons why the search engine is so popular is because it delivers users with high accuracy search results or most relevant answers. Google's algorithm looks at more than 200 ranking factors to rank a website for any keywords.
The biggest benefit of Off Page SEO is traffic!
The website will score more in the Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs. This means the website will attract more visitors. If a website is on the top of the rankings for multiple keywords, it means that it will have more exposure on several platforms, including social media. It will also have more referrals on other websites, and this will keep on going as if it's in a never-ending chain reaction.
What steps or processes are involved in Off Page SEO?
As discussed above, an Off Page SEO is what you do on the outside. Writing another blogs guest post, or commenting are examples of promoting a site on the outside the boundary of a website, which is an Off Page activity. Following are the steps involved in an Off Page SEO.
It was admitted by Google that backlinks are amongst the top three factors which determine the position of a website when ranking. Studies have also revealed that ranking is significantly impacted by links. Link building is one of the most crucial Off Page SEO factors; let us discuss this subject in depth.
Back in the days when Yahoo search engine was a dominant force, the search result was ranked solely on the quality of webpage content. This was, however, forced out of the game when page rank Algorithm was invented by Google. This system focused more on the backlinks provided by other sites than just analyzing the page content. However, the quality of the content is never to be compromised. Because the quality of content is the core of a website. Tested by time itself, the Page Rank Algorithm had proved to be the most successful in determining the quality of a website contents. Although, google has not been updating Google Page Rank for websites for several years now and it says Page rank is not a very important factor in ranking a website. But, it still has its importance while google evaluates websites for ranking them.
Attempts have been made by many, in the past to push the site's rank by creating bogus external links. This problem was solved with the updated and advanced algorithm updates of Google such as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. It is important to remember that getting a handful of quality backlinks is better than hundreds of links with less value.
So, the question is, “what is a good/valuable link?”
An excellent and high-quality link should be authoritative, which means it should have a considerable impact on the ranking of your website. Search engines, especially Google, find it suspicious when they see a lot of links pointed toward your site. The links must be natural, like a blogger or a site owner who loves your content and decides to add a link to your website. In other words, your content must have quality which makes it valuable to the readers so that it deserves mentioning when others are creating content.
To determine if your web pages are genuinely trustworthy and valuable, Google considers the following factors.
• Origin of the link.
• Quality of the link. Is the link from an authoritative site?
• How recent is the link?
• Is the link profile natural?
• The reason why the site owner linked to you.
Different Types of Links:
For any website, there are mainly two types of Links:
- Internal Links
- External Links
Apart from these two, it is important to know how a link is attributed. There are two ways the links are attributed:
- No follow Links
- Do follow Links
Both of these are attributes. Google has mentioned that their web crawlers crawl do follow links and give preference to them and they do not value no follow links. So, there can be some websites which might give you a no follow link and some might give you a do follow link. Basically, a do follow link passes more link juice to your website. There are experts in the SEO community that believe that even no follow links are valued by google. They do hold some value. Do follow links are more desirable.
1. Internal links
Internal linking happens when you provide a hyperlink in one of your WebPages that leads to another page on your website. This is an excellent strategy in the world of SEO, but it needs to be kept under control, overdoing it will backfire your efforts. The best internal linking example would be Wikipedia. It has made good use of this approach. What this does is that it tells the search engines to know the type of other pages.
One of the most beneficial aspects of this is that the owner of the site has total control of the activity. In addition to the Search Engine Optimization values, creating an internal link will also improve user experience. Since you are the captain of the ship, it is up to you to create a type of reading path for the users. Mastering this skill can bring a drastic change to your website in SEO terms. These links will act as a shortcut to the pages the user is looking for, or the user can navigate your website with ease. Remember to add or provide only relevant links.
2. External links
Any link that you provide on your site, which leads to a page on another domain, is an external link. If another website provides, a link that directs to your webpage can be called an external link to your site or backlinks. Getting an inbound link or backlink has more significant benefits.
How to get valuable links? – Link Building Strategies:
Below are some of the link building strategies that you can use for your website. Please note that you do not overdo any strategy excessively so that you do not get penalized by Google.
Also note that it is important that you have relevant links pointing to your website. That is, the links should be relevant in the context of your website.
For example, if you have a sports website and you get a backlink from a technology based website, then the link might not be relevant. Google's algorithm analyses different type of backlinks that a website gets. Relevancy of links is also an important ranking factor.
1. Content / Blog Outreach Method
One of the best methods to getting backlinks is called blog outreach method. Please note that, it would not be easy, since you are manually reaching out to blog owners. This process would take time, but it can give good results. Below are the steps for this method:
A. Create high quality good content on your website.
B. Search for the keywords related to the top quality content that you wrote on your website
C. Analyze the number of backlinks of the top search results for that term. You can analyze this using a paid tool such as ahrefs or semrush.
D. Note down the urls which are giving a backlink to that website which is ranking first for the search term.
E. So, those websites that have given the backlinks must have liked the content of the original website. That is why they would have given the backlink.
F. Once you have compiled the list. You might want to follow those bloggers on social media first and comment on their blog articles and social media posts. This can help you in establishing a relationship with them first before asking for a backlink.
G. You can try contacting the owners of those websites through their contact page. When you contact them, you can mention to them since they have already given a backlink to a high quality article. You also have a great article that talks about the same subject and perhaps your article also talks about several more important points which might be relevant to their audience. So, he can check your article and if he thinks it is worthy, you can request that he can backlink to it as well.
2. Broken link building
This method or approach is one of the most effective ways to get valuable links. Broken link building is a fast and easy way. By using this strategy, you can acquire a good amount of links from a trusted and influential authoritative site. The reason is that there are tons of broken, dead, expired, or missing links on the internet.
No one likes to see 404 error messages when they are looking for something important on the internet. There are a bunch of factors which leads to this, and the links can break, hosting will expire, human errors such as typing mistake can happen, or even a technical failure. Broken links will always be there on the internet, and there is no guarantee that a link will never expire or break down. So, this method is worth mastering since it will be valuable as long as there are broken links. Your job is to find them and utilize them for a good cause.
You can find these links which are relevant to your niche. You can do so by running a backlink analysis through a backlink analysis tool such as ahrefs on a particular website. When you find one, contact the site owner and inform them about the problem. By doing this, you are doing a great favor to them so that you can expect favor from them in return. If they are willing to return the favor, the best option is to suggest a replacement link on your website that is a relevant article on your website.
3. Creating videos/podcasts and sharing them
You can create videos and post them on youtube and other video streaming sites such as vimeo, dailmotion. Youtube is considered the 2nd biggest search engine after google. There are a lot of people that can be relevant to your business. You can not just get viewers on these video websites for your videos, but also post relevant backlinks to your website.
You can also create your podcasts and share on podcast sharing websites. There are people who regularly listen to podcasts. This is another way of building not just backlinks to your website but also gaining a new type of audience.
4. Creation and Submissions of Presentations / Infographics / Pdfs
Infographics are used by many internet marketers to grow their email list, gain an audience, and get highly valued links. Many people have earned a very authoritative and highly valuable link using this method. Infographics can also be shared on infographic sharing websites such as imgur and Pinterest.
It is true that the human brain processes the data images or visual information much faster than a plain text. A lot of studies have revealed this fact. No wonder, then, infographics are growing in popularity. When we compare an excellent content with an infographics, the chances of it going viral is more with the latter. Researchers have found that infographics have a higher percentage rate at generating backlinks when compared to a blog post. Needless to say, investing in infographics is worth considering.
Power Points or Pdfs creation and Sharing
You can create power point presentations out of your already existing content. You can add some images in them and make them interesting. Different type of people like to visit different types of websites. There are people who want to understand a topic by looking at presentations or pdfs. You can create pdfs and presentations and then share on power point sharing websites. You can get a backlink from those when you post your presentation or pdf on them. Some of the popular sites for this purpose are slideshare.net , authorstream.com.
5. Press Release Submissions
Many times it happens that companies need to give information to the world. Press Releases are a great way to do that. The reasons for doing press releases might be:
- Company Growth / Milestone achieved
- Product Launch or promotion
- Website Launch / Mobile Application Launch
- Branding Change
- Community or Charity Launch
- Event Update or Promotion for an Event
- Any other important reason
A good news website will only publish your press release if they think it is worthy or worthwhile of doing so.
6. Answering questions on question answer websites
There are two important sites where people ask questions any topic. Quora and Yahoo Answers. You would have probably heard about them. You can become an authority on these sites by going to them and answering questions. In some of the questions, you can link back to your website if any article on your website is relevant to the questions.
7. Guest Blogging
Google had shared some time back that those people who indulge in guest blog posting only for the purpose of getting back-links might get penalized. Guest blogging is a process in which you write a blog post on some one else's blog as a guest author. It is a way to enhance your blog audience. The guest blogging should be done on blogs that are relevant to your niche.
For example, if you write about fitness, then a blog that also talks about fitness and health can be relevant where you can do a guest blog.
8. Social bookmarking
Social bookmarking is not as famous as it was a few years ago, but it still is a practical approach to promoting and driving traffic to your website. The most significant and widespread social bookmarking sites are; plurk, diig, and Reddit. These social bookmarking sites may not be as popular as it used to be, but you may get some valuable backlinks from these sites.
Importance of Social Media Marketing
There is no need to mention how social media is dominating the internet world. From a small scale to a large multinational business, social media plays a pivotal role for every business. One of the cheapest and the easiest way to promote a product or a service is through social media. For example, You can create Facebook Fanpage for your brand, Instagram page, Pinterest board, Linkedin Company page, Twitter profile etc. You can create
In the last couple of years, these platforms have forced their way into the search result ranking, and they are more likely to continue this in the future.
Social media platforms are the most effective means of reaching out to the world. Companies join these platforms not only to promote their business but to interact with the customers and get feedback and reviews. Our actions, such as going through the product review section before even looking at the description is already programmed in our brains. You can read about the online journey of a customer in detail in this article. Reviews and referrals are effectively disseminated through social media. Social media has an undeniable ability to reach out to billions of people in a very short amount of time.
How to avoid being penalized by the search engines, notably Google.
Even the professional bloggers agree that ‘links' are the most crucial factor on site rankings. But there is a catch, and an Off Page SEO guide cannot be said to be complete if Google penalties and unnatural links are not brought to light. If you are getting backlinks through unfair means, google might penalize you. A google penalty can bring your website down to its knees, because it is not so easy to come out and recover from a penalty. If a website is penalized by google, the website might stop receiving organic (free) traffic through google search results. Here are a few factors which attract penalties, and what you can do to keep a safe distance from the penalty zone.
1. Acquiring a lot of links within a short amount of time.
It is a natural thing to think that a person may have won a lottery or acquired a fortune from a rich uncle if he or she becomes rich in a short amount of time. But on Internet, this normally does not happen. Some people use automated softwares to get thousands of backlinks in a short span of time, in order to rank their websites. Google does not approve of such means and may penalize your website. To avoid this, make sure you are not using any unfair means on your quest to attracting traffic, or you might end up with a penalty. You can keep a check on this by using Majestic SEO, or Ahrefs. These are excellent tools to research the keywords, backlinks, and audit the website. You might have seen advertisements by certain web marketing companies that do SEO and give a guarantee to rank your website, It is better to stay away from such companies because they might be indulging in unfair or blackhat means. They might be able to rank your website in the short run, but if google finds out and penalizes your website, you can lose majority of your website's traffic that can come from google.
2. Focus on creating optimized contents for users, not for the search engines.
In a competitive world, it is a compulsive drive to create search engine optimized content. However, it can lead you to the drain if you are not careful. For instance, over optimizing or overusing the keywords is a dangerous practice, especially if the keywords in a blog post do not occur naturally. Keyword optimization is essential but at the same time, it is the users or a reader that deserves the top priority.
You can avoid this problem by using alternatives. For example, if you are writing about Microsoft, it is a good idea to make use of other options like windows 10, Bill Gates, Windows versions, and so on. All of these are related to Microsoft, so it is much better to use these alternatives instead of using Microsoft all over the article. Another benefit of creating a user-optimized content is that your content quality will naturally improve and hold more value. When any website owner or blogger visits your website, they might find your content link worthy and you can earn a backlink from other sites.
3. Anchor text diversification.
This means making use of varieties of keyword phrases, terms, and brand names. Your links will look suspicious if they have the same keywords. That being said, you have no control over the links, where and how they appear on the internet. This is the reason why using a brand name as an anchor text as often is highly recommended.
A successful SEO campaign is only possible if you invest in both on-page as well as Off Page SEO strategies. Making desperate attempts on SEOs won't do much good. Your first and foremost target must be a well-organized website filled with highly informative content that will provide something valuable to its users. You can start by providing the users with relevant answers they are looking for. A lot of questions can be found on Twitter, Quora, and other social networking sites.
Excellent content is the first thing you must aim for. It is the most effective SEO technique. If you can create a high-quality website, it can be assured that the rest will flow in naturally, although you may need to put some extra efforts. Avoid keyword over optimization at all cost, and it will only make you look desperate. Not forgetting the fact that internet marketing and SEO rewards your efforts slowly, so be consistent, determined, and patient.
If you think this article helped you in any way, I would request you to please share it with your friends and family on social media because it might help them too!