What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) boosts the rankings of your website in search results, resulting in more organic (non-paid) traffic.
The origins of SEO can be traced back to the 1990s when the first search engines appeared. It is now an essential marketing tool and a rapidly expanding industry.
PPC optimization is not used in search engine optimization because it relies solely on organic search results. Essentially, Search Engine Marketing represents both SEO and PPC.
Search engines are generally used by internet users when they are looking for something specific. As a service provider, you want to be able to address the question. It doesn’t matter whether you’re marketing a product or service, writing a blog, or doing something else entirely. Every website owner should invest in search engine optimization.
There are three critical aspects of SEO:
- Technical stuff – The cup illustrates all of the specific issues to consider (often referred to as specialized or on-page SEO). Without a proper cup, it would be impossible to hold the tea.
- Great content – The tea portrays the most important element of your website: the content. It’s as plain as that: low-quality content = no rankings.
- The sugar represents quality backlinks – Backlinks that increase the website’s authority. You can have great content and a well-optimized website, but you must eventually gain power by obtaining quality backlinks – the final ingredient in your SEO tea.
How does SEO work?
To achieve results from web pages, Google takes three steps:
The technique where the Googlebot visits updated pages to be added to the Google index is identified as crawling.
The very first step is to discover what pages are available on the internet. Because there is no central repository for all web pages, Google must constantly search for new ones to add to its list of available pages. Some pages are well-known because Google has visited them previously. Google discovers new pages as it follows a connection from a known page to a new page.
Additional pages are found when a website owner submits a list of pages (a sitemap) for Google to crawl. If you use a controlled web host like Wix or Blogger, you can tell them to tell Google to crawl any new or updated pages you make.
As Google finds a website URL, it visits or crawls it to see what’s on it. To determine where the page should appear in search results, Google makes the page and analyses both the text and non-text material and the overall visual layout. The more Google understands your site, the better we’ll be able to match it to people searching for your material.
How does Google figure out which pages were not enough crawling?
- Pages blocked by robots.txt will not be crawled but is connected to another page; they will be indexed. (Google will infer the page’s content from a link to it and index the page without parsing its contents.)
- Google is unable to crawl any pages that are not viewable by an anonymous user. As a result, some authentication or authorization defence prevents a page from being crawled.
- Crawl frequency is reduced for pages that have already been crawled and are considered duplicates of another page.
To improve your site crawling:
- Validate that Google can access your site’s pages and that they appear to be accurate. Google navigates the internet as an anonymous user (a user with no passwords or information). To properly understand the website, Google can see all of the photos and other elements. You can test your page’s mobile-friendliness by typing the URL of your page into the Mobile-Friendly test tool.
- You can upload an individual URL to Google if you’ve built or modified a single page. Using a sitemap to notify Google about a large number of new or modified pages at once.
- Make your homepage the only page you want Google to crawl. In Google’s sight, your home page is the most relevant page on your website. To promote a full site crawl, make sure your homepage (and all pages) have an excellent site navigation system that connects to all of your site’s important sections and pages; this will help users (and Google) navigate your site. For smaller sites (under 1,000 pages), making Google aware of only your homepage is sufficient, as long as Google can access all of your other pages through a path of links that begins with your homepage.
- Achieve a connection from your page to another page that Google is already aware of. After all, Google will not pursue links in ads, paid links to other pages, links in comments, or other non-following links.
Google attempts to find out what a website is about after it is found. Indexing is the term for this method. Googlebot processes each page it crawls to understand the content of the page.
Google explores the page’s content, catalogues photographs and video files embedded on the page, and attempts to comprehend the page in general. Between crawling and indexing, Google decides if a page is duplicate or canonical to another page.
If the page is considered a copy, it will be crawled much less frequently. This info is kept in the Google index, which is a wide database distributed over many (many!) computers.
To boost your page indexing, do the following:
- Build page titles that are concise and meaningful.
- Use page headings that communicate the page’s subject.
- To present information, use text rather than pictures. (Google recognizes some photographs and images, but not as well as it recognizes text.) At the very least, use alt text and other relevant attributes to annotate your video and images.)
When a user types a question, Google searches its index for the most relevant response based on various factors. Google will then consider its location, language, and computer to decide the highest quality answers and elements in other factors that will provide the best user experience and most suitable response (desktop or phone).
A user in Paris, for example, will get different results than a user in Hong Kong when searching for “bicycle repair shops.” Google does not allow payment in exchange for higher rankings, and all ranking is done algorithmically.
To increase your serving and ranking, do the following:
- Make your page mobile-friendly and fast to load.
- Maintain your page by adding valuable content and keeping it up to date.
- Adhere to the Google Webmaster Guidelines to ensure a positive user experience.
Making slight changes to parts of your website for search engine optimization (SEO) is common. When viewed in isolation, these changes can appear to be minor enhancements. Still, when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results.
The website should be built to support your customers, and any optimization should be focused on improving the user experience. A search engine is one of those users, and it helps other users find your content. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) assists search engines in comprehending and presenting the information.
While your site may be smaller or larger than ours and offer a vastly different set of services, the optimization topics we address below should apply to sites of all sizes and styles.
Are you on Google?
Analyze the website to see if Google has indexed it. – Check for your site’s home URL by doing a site search. You’re in the index if you see scores. A search for “site:wikipedia.org” yields the following results.
If your website isn’t listed on Google, it’s time to get it listed. Even though Google crawls billions of pages, certain websites will undoubtedly be ignored. When our crawlers skip a site, it’s usually because of one of the following:
- The website is not well linked to other websites.
- You’ve recently unveiled a new website, and Google has yet to crawl it.
- The site’s architecture makes it difficult for Google to crawl its content efficiently.
- When Google tried to crawl your web, it encountered an error.
- Google is unable to crawl the web because of your policy.
How do I get my site on Google?
It’s free and easy to have your website included in Google’s search results; you don’t even have to upload your website to Google. Google is a completely automated search engine that uses web crawlers to search the web for new sites to index constantly.
Rather than being manually submitted, the vast majority of the sites mentioned in our results are found and added automatically as we crawl the web. Google Search Console is a collection of software that allows you to upload content to Google and monitor how well it does in searches.
When you’re getting started with your website, here are some simple questions to ask yourself.
- Is Google indexing my website?
- Do I provide users with high-quality content?
- Is my local company listed on Google?
- Is my content available on all devices quickly and easily?
- Is my website safe to visit?
STEP 1: Learn what customers are searching for
To well-optimise your website, you need first to learn what your customers are searching for. The best starting point in figuring this out is considering the types of services and products you offer.
For instance, imagine that you run a hotel in Kuala Lumpur. It doesn’t take an SEO genius to find out that your customers are looking for words like:
‘hotels in KL.’
‘place to stay in Kuala Lumpur’
‘accommodation in Kuala Lumpur’
Once you are done with the first step, it is now time to hop on to the next step, doing some in-depth research.
a) Find out how people are searching for your business the most.
Coming up with the keywords your customers probably use when searching for your business is one thing. The next crucial step for you to take is to ensure the best and most common phrases or keywords your customers use via Google or any other search engines or an SEO keyword analysis tool – such as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.
b) Recognize that other people might be looking for the same thing.
Next is to look for more similar and related phrases that are related to the search.
In this instance, phrases as “KL city hotels” and “cheap hotels in KL” may come as other relevant keywords that you should identify.
c) Investigate the more detailed searches that your customers are doing.
Now that you know how people browse for your business, it’s time to look at the more in-depth searches they conduct.
Looking at Google autocomplete results is a good place to start. Start typing a question into Google’s search box, but don’t press Enter. Google will automatically recommend any related search words.
This will provide you with a better understanding of how your customers search for your business on the internet.
d) Look for topics that are popular and important in your profession.
Content marketing, or the art of producing meaningful and beneficial content, is one realistic way to attract your target consumers and clients. But first, you must determine what it is that you are looking for popular topics and engaging in your field and creating content related to said topics.
e) Expand your keyword list by looking anywhere else
Additionally, you need to expand your business keyword list and understand how potential customers are talking about the field or business you’re operating in, what problems they have, and so on.
So, here are some places to look for words people use when talking about your topic of interest:
Forums: There are several online forums where people talk about travel. A basic search, for example, led me to the TripAdvisor Dublin Travel Forum.
Quora/Reddit: When it comes to travel advice, Quora is probably not the first place that comes to mind, but you’d be surprised at how much information you can find there, even on this subject. When it comes to Reddit, the adage “there’s a subreddit for that” holds in most cases.
Facebook/LinkedIn Groups: LinkedIn is more targeted toward B2B markets, but there are groups for almost all on Facebook.
f) Learn about the metrics that go into the keywords you’re targeting.
When conducting keyword analysis, the majority of people concentrate solely on the following two metrics:
- The number of search volume (the number of monthly searches, on average)
- Keyword difficulty (an estimate of how easy or hard it will appear on the first page of search results for that term).
These are critical because they provide valuable information about the keyword’s ability and how difficult it would be to rank it.
Instead of focusing solely on search volume, you can try to determine the true potential for each keyword in terms of search traffic. In this way, you’ll focus your efforts on the most likely people to provide you with targeted traffic.
Step 2: Create pages optimized for search
Now that you have done Step 1 – in understanding what your customers are searching for, it is time to jump onto the next step, creating optimized pages or site for search intent.
Your website’s optimization efforts should ensure that your visitors have a good user experience (UX). Using design and typography makes it easy to consume the content and remove any unnecessary things such as pop-ups, opt-in boxes, and other annoyances.
a) Create content that aligns with ‘search intent.’
There are three main ‘types of searches people make:
Navigational: When they’re looking for a specific website, e.g.,’
Informational: When they’re looking to learn more about a specific topic, e.g.,
Transactional: When they’re looking to purchase a specific product/service, e.g.,
Naturally, searches with a high degree of commercial interest are more useful from a business standpoint since the people who conduct them are closer to purchasing. However, the search question itself does not always disclose the search intent.
Interestingly, the best way to understand the intent behind any search term is to see what pages rank for it.
b) Use short, descriptive URLs
Your page’s web address or URLs inform search engines about the page’s subject. It is preferable to get this right the first time, and you can stop altering it if at all possible.
The URL layout of a website should be as clear as possible. Consider arranging the content so that URLs are designed logically and in a way that humans can understand (when possible, use readable words instead of long ID numbers.)
To put it another way, never go for…
…when you might use a more descriptive word like:
c) Make catchy meta titles and explanations.
Search engines use two basic features on web pages when constructing search results: the meta title and meta definition.
The meta title tag does not appear on your website, but it determines the name of the browser tab, which is used by Google and other search engines when displaying the page in search results.
The title tag is an excellent location to write a headline that:
- Include the keyword you want the page to rank for, as well as any other relevant information.
- Enough to entice searchers to click and visit your site.
d) Build a logical structure with headers and subheaders.
To make it as easy for search engines to understand the layout of your website and the meaning of each section as possible, use the standard HTML format for headers (H1 to H6). This will ensure that your website is fully configured according to SEO guidelines.
This is to make it easy for search engines to crawl your site, categorize your content, and help human readers get the best of your site.
e) Optimize your images
Including images on your website are great for user experience, but search engines can struggle to make sense of them.
You should use the alt tag to identify and explain your photos to help Google (and other search engines) understand them. In the case of a picture of an umbrella, a reasonable alt tag would be alt=” Umbrella”.
f) Create a Schema
Schema is a common way to boost the appearance of your website in search results. You can use it, for example, to add ratings to your search results entry, making it more available.
Step 3: Make sure that both search engines and humans can navigate your website.
When running a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your business site, it’s important to remember that you’re working for two separate customers: your human readers and the bots search engines use to crawl and index your website.
The objective should be to have a positive experience for both humans and bots.
a) Make sure your website loads fast
Always remember to prioritize the loading speed of your website. According to studies, up to 40% of people abandon websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load.
b) Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
According to one research, mobile devices now account for more than 60% of all searches. One way to ensure that your company website is well configured is to ensure that it is mobile-friendly.
c) Install an SSL certificate
Google now uses HTTPS as one of its rating signals. The appearance of a padlock in the URL bar represents the use of SSL.
If you’re running an e-commerce site or accepting form submissions, not using an SSL certificate can be a security risk.
d) Create a sitemap
A sitemap is an XML file that keeps all of your lists of website’s sites. A sitemap helps search engines understand how your pages are linked and identify your content (i.e., see the overall structure layout of your website).
Sitemaps do not explicitly impact rankings, but they do speed up the process of discovering and indexing new pages on your website.
e) Upload a robots.txt file
While the sitemap shows the overall layout of the website, the robots.txt file tells search engines which sections of the site they should index and which they shouldn’t.
Since search engines give their bots a crawl budget—the amount of pages they’re allowed to crawl per visit—having a robots.txt file is suggested.
f) Link between related posts and pages on the intranet.
Strategic linking of different pages on your website is a perfect way to speed up the crawling of your site and direct search engines to your most interesting pages.
In our case, we can make a page that focuses onKLguide’ and have it link to separate pages that cover Kuala Lumpur Night Sights,’ KL restaurants’, and so on.
Step 4: Build backlinks from other websites
Another critical step in your business SEO strategy is to build useful backlinks from other websites. There’s clear evidence showing that backlinks are a factor with a strong influence on Google’s ranking algorithm. It is important to use your competitors because each niche is different. Techniques that work well in one niche might not work as well in another.
a) Swipe links from inferior content
Even when you think you have come out with the most outstanding content on a specific topic, there will always be other inferior content elsewhere online. Thus, it might be worth reaching out to the content owners who link to those pages to see if there’s any chance they’ll link to you as well.
b) Broken link building
The method of finding relevant broken pages on other websites that have backlinks pointing to them is known as broken link building. You then contact the people who link to the dead resource and demand that they replace it with a more appropriate connection on your web.
c) Guest blogging
Guest blogging is when you contribute content to another website in your field. When you follow three simple rules, guest blogging will help you create links:
- You produce a high-quality piece of content that is useful to the website’s audience.
- You are linking relevant resources on your website to expand their knowledge on the topic further.
Step 5: Tracking your SEO success
We have reached the final step in your website SEO strategy to track your SEO performance by focusing on the most critical metrics: organic traffic and the average ranking position for the keywords you’re targeting.
a) Measure organic traffic
You can measure your website organic traffic by using Google Analytics or Ahrefs Site Explorer.
You can easily access your organic traffic if you’re using Google Analytics by heading to:
Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels > Organic Search
b) Track your rankings
The following move is to track how your content is doing on Google by measuring its ranking. One approach uses Google Search Console to get information on your average location, impressions, and clicks on different keywords.
If you’re serious about SEO, you shouldn’t neglect the useful data and insights provided by various SEO tools, as they give you a tremendous competitive advantage and save a lot of your time.
Here are some essential SEO tools every website owner should use:
- Google Search Console
- The traffic analysis tool (e.g. Google Analytics)
- Keyword research tool (e.g. KWFinder)
- Backlink analysis tool (e.g. LinkMiner)
- Rank tracker (e.g. SERPWatcher)
When Will the Results Show?
To do well in SEO, your website must be search engine friendly, contain useful content on topics you want to rank in the search engines and be backed up by links from other websites.
Where do These SEO Requirements Come From?
Search engines place a high value on what website visitors consider essential, and they try to integrate this into their algorithms.
Give SEO time. Put in the work.
SEO performance isn’t something that happens overnight. SEO generally requires patience, perseverance, and a great deal of effort. SEO is also a never-ending process; search engines constantly change their algorithms, and your rivals are constantly trying to outsmart you.
“Are there no shortcuts?” you may ask yourself.
We’d never advocate using SEO strategies to cut corners (often referred to as black hat SEO) to get quick results since they don’t make for a long-term SEO strategy. As search engines catch up, what works today will harm you tomorrow.