Hello guys, gals, and ghosts of all types. Today I thought I’d bring you a little look into what is SEO optimization and how search engines use this tool to find and rank all the content on the internet. So, let’s get this party started and jump right in.
What is SEO and Why Do We Need it?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is why my title is slightly redundant as I am basically saying what is Search Engine Optimization Optimization. However, much like the CMA Awards, which stands for Country Music Awards, here in the United States, this is a common practice.
SEO is the umbrella term for everything related to the visibility of your website and its content.
Now that we know what SEO is, why do we need it?
Better SEO = faster indexing = more organic traffic = more people see your site and your content
Organic traffic makes up between 64-75% of all traffic. That’s a ton of traffic you’re missing out on if you’re not working on SEO for your site. Out of that percentage Google accounts for over 90% of global organic search traffic. This is why it’s a good thing to start off making Google like your site.
What You’re Actually Optimizing For
I can hear it now. Okay, so that’s what SEO is, but what am I optimizing for? Have no fear for here is the answer.
First of all, you need to identify a term that people search for which is called a keyword. Now, remember that while you are going for a very specific keyword that Google or any search engine will find keywords all over your sight. I’ll be explaining that in a different post which I will link for here when it’s up on my site.
The best way to determine the keyword you want is the:
1. Search Volume
- How many people search for a given keyword
- This tends to be given as a rough estimate, or an average monthly count
- The connection between what users search for and what your content provides
- Someone googling apples and coming across a site for tires isn’t very relevant
- How many other people are trying to optimize and rank for that keyword
The competition for keywords can be very fierce and unless you know the numbers will never be able to tell what the competition is. I myself use Jaaxy. It’s a site perfect for my needs and unlike Google Adwords shows the competition for the actual keyword and not the competition for people trying to pay for ads for the keyword. Read my review on Jaaxy here.
Try it for yourself – the first 30 keywords are free
Take a look at this picture. I pulled up my Jaaxy account and types in my title for this post. As you can see there are an average of 12,382 searches a month for what is SEO optimization.
The next number is the amount of traffic you would get if you got on the first page of Google, most likely in a month. That number is 2,105. That’s a lot of people to get in just a single month for a single piece of content.
The number after that is the QSR or Quoted Search Results. This is the number of competing websites that are ranked for the exact keyword. 45 is a low number. I’ll be talking about the term “low-hanging fruit” in just a moment, but that’s what it is.
KQI or Keyword Quality Indicator is a quick green, yellow, red system so you can see whether it would be a good keyword or not. Similar to a traffic light.
The last column is titled SEO and it’s the likelihood of getting ranked based on both traffic and competition. The higher the number the more likely it will be to rank. 90 is very good.
Take a look at the second keyword. There’s way less traffic, a ton more competition, and a very low score to get ranked. This is why I chose the keyword that I did.
Now on to the term “low-hanging fruit”. This is a term created by Kyle who is the owner of both Jaaxy and Wealthy Affiliate where I do all of my training and have my blog site hosted. This is a term for keywords that have at least 100 monthly searches and less than 50 QSR. While that may not seem like much, it’s easier to get ranked on page 1 of Google for 30 of these than it is for 1 with a massive amount of competition.
This allows organic traffic to come in, which increases the visibility of your site on the Search Engines, which makes you rank better.
Content for Search Engine Do’s
Speaking of, if you want to get ranked faster here are a few ways in which search engines will like you more. This is not an exhaustive comprehensive list. I’d be here all day otherwise.
1. Relevant Content
I’ve already explained why this is a necessary thing when it comes to keywords, and the same can be applied here. Search Engines like relevant content as it will keep people coming back to their search engines for more.
What do I mean by quality? Search engines like it when a person regularly publishes on a site, especially if that person or site is just starting out. This is why I currently publish 3 articles a week. It allows Google, Bing, and Yahoo that I’m serious about getting ranked because I publish so frequently. At least once a week is the minimum.
Search engines also want you to write for humans. This means to write as if you’re having a conversation. They don’t want a wall that’s nothing but keywords and makes no sense whatsoever.
How long are your articles? Length is also a big deal. Search Engine trends are pushing towards longer articles. They want the articles to be at least 1,000 words in length. However, they don’t like it if all your content is exactly the same length, so very it up a little.
3. User Experience
This contains to how search-able your site is, that you have relevant internal linking and that the content within an article seems to be related in some way. That last one can also pertain to your entire site. This is why my work-at-home reviews are actually being indexed so that they can be found in Google search while my Wicked review is not. Google considers it to be an anomaly.
4. Site Speed
This is how fast your site loads for other people. Mine needs work, but I will get to it, eventually.
5. Internal Linking
Search engines love it when you link to your own content. Much like I have done with my Jaaxy review, which you should totally read, it tells Google that you want others to read your content and that you think it’s worth linking to. Be proud of what you’ve written and believe that other people will find it helpful, entertaining, informative, and whatever else you want your content to be.
This one is something that will take time. Brand new sites have no authority whatsoever, but if you continue to put out quality content regularly it will slowly improve with time.
Authority sites are considered to be trusted by the users that read them, the industry they are in, how other websites perceive them, and search engines.
7. Evergreen Content
This is content that will continue to be relevant for a long time. My introvert posts are considered evergreen and so will this post here as I don’t see the search engines changing what they want from the content too much anytime soon.
This tells search engines 2 things. That people are coming and reading your content and that they feel compelled enough to be active on your site by leaving a comment.
They are also an easy way to see what people think about your site which can be linked back to authority.
Do you have social media accounts? Are your blog posts being put on them?
That’s something else Search engines look for. I believe that they are technically called back-links and it is other places, other than your own site, in which your site and content is posted. Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter are all good places to promote your content.
10. Cross-device Compatibility
Can your content be seen on PC, tablet, and mobile? With so many people using something other than their computers to consume media it is considered a good thing if your site is visible on portable devices.
Content for Search Engine Don’t’s
These are the 3 main things that search engines don’t like. Do it too often and you’ll end up being black-listed. This is where a site is made completely invisible to any organic traffic and since that makes up the majority of traffic that is a very bad thing.
1. Keyword Stuffing
This is where your content makes no sense because you’re trying to put more keywords into the text which affects readability.
2. Duplicated Content
This is the copy and paste method from another website onto your own. It’s perfectly okay to take elements of different sites and content and put it into your own words, but copying is a no-no.
Thankfully there is a wonderful site called Small SEO Tools and they have a free plagiarism checker. Click below to find out all about it or the link above to try it out for yourself.
3. Hidden Text and Links
Hidden text is where a text is made white on a white background so you have to highlight the page to see the words.
Hidden links are links that are put into punctuation.
Search engines don’t like it as it takes away from the user experience and the authority as practices like that are seen as shady to users.
All Put Together
This makes just the tip of the iceberg that is SEO. One could probably make an entire site based around that concept alone. Thankfully I have Wealthy Affiliate that gives me such wonderful training that I didn’t even realize I was doing SEO optimization until a few months into my stay there.
Did you find this post helpful? Can you relate? If you can, then please post a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.