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Learn SEO Basics From Team Digitise Today

In the previous blog you learned about what is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it’s importance, benefits, types and various other aspects related to seo. Now, it’s time to learn some seo basics. Moving further in learning seo we have specially curated this article to cover all the basic concepts of seo that an seo expert should follow.

Starting Up

1. Setup Google Search Console

1. Search

Go and search “Google Search Console ” in the Google search bar and get to the website.

2. Add your property

It asks you to add a property telling Google what kind of website, page or entity you want it to track down.

You need to choose between a domain property or an URL prefix property.

What are they?

Domain property – You select a whole domain property if you want Google to track all the subdomains of a property. It will encompass the subdomains beginning with “m”, “WWW” and other options.

It also covers multiple protocols, including HTTPS, HTTP, FTP and so on.

URL prefix property

This is the lower level of the property, and it only tracks a specific Url which means the Url with the exact protocol and subdomain you have entered.
For example, if you have entered http:// website.com, if you do this, the URL will not be tracked by Google, and neither will follow its other permutation.
It’s your choice and depends on your circumstances as well as what you want to track. If you’re going to follow a single URL, then the URL prefix property would be ideal for you, and if you want to track multiple URLs, then setting a domain property would be beneficial.

However, it may also happen that you want to collect information about subdomains and protocols. You can do this by including a “page filter” in the performance report in the search console.

3. Verification

You can’t assume to track the site or a URL just by putting the URL since Google doesn’t allow anyone to follow the site, but you need to prove to the search engine that you are the website owner or have permission to track the website.

You can do this by verifying the property; you don’t need to verify the property after adding it within the google search engine. It will start to track the data as soon as you add it; however, it will take some time to get the reports, and for some time, you will be unable to view it until you verify the property.

When you add a property in the Google search console, it prompts you to a section to verify the website via DNS. You can verify by adding the code within your site or adding it to the TXT record.

However, other options are also available to demonstrate the website.

You need to note down that it can show you some common errors that it’s unable to verify your website as it can take upto a few minutes after you have added a TXT record to be visible to Google.

Don’t panic at it but click on the verify button again and do the instructed steps.

Moreover, another issue you can face whilst verify your website is that it says “the information doesn’t match”.

It can happen due to a typing mistake or pasting it inaccurately, go back and ensure that you have inserted the correct information.

Furthermore, there are different ways for verifying a URL prefix; some of them are :

Html file – You need to upload a given html file to your site.

Html tag – You can also add a < meta > to the html rather than submitting a whole html file.

Google analytics code – You can verify the property by your Google analytics code by adding it to a page’s code. Add in the < head > sectional of your website; if you add it in the < body > section, it will not work.

Google tag manager – You can also verify the property with the existing GTM container snippet code. You need to add the < non script >portion of the google tag manager to a page. It must immediately come after the opening of thetag of the page.

Note – You can’t have a data layer or anything else between the snippet and the

Pro tip – If Google sites or a blogger page hosts the URL you want to track, you don’t need to do anything to get verified as the URL shall be added and verified automatically.

2. Set up Google Analytics

Open the analytics website and click on the sign-up button and add the required information about your site.

Add the URL of your website, which you want to link with your account.

Add the tracking code in the <head> tag of your header file. If you have built your site using the HTML files, you need to add the title in those files.

However, if you use a CMS like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, you can add the code by installing a plugin on your website.

3. Install SEO Plugin

Install an SEO plugin and configure it to provide the functionality and features to optimize your site correctly. You can use Yoast SEO and other SEO plugs.

If you use WordPress and don’t know Seo, you can contact your developer to see if you need to add the plugin or if the features you need are already included.

4. Generate and submit a sitemap file to the search console

A site map helps Google decide which pages must be crawled and the canonical version of those pages. A site map lists URLs that specify your Web content to get indexed and crawled by Google.

Google says :
A sitemap tells the crawler which files you think are essential in your site and provides valuable information about these files: for example, for pages, when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and any alternate language versions of a page.

You can submit the sitemap in various formats, but XML format is commonly used.
And ensure to refer to the site map in your robots.txt file.

5. robots.txt File

It informs the search engine crawlers which of the pages of your website they can crawl and which they can’t crawl.
Additionally, commonly it is used to prevent some of the sections of your website from being crawled and isn’t intended to be used as a way to de-index a Web page and stop showing it on Google.

You can locate your robots.txt file for your website at https://www.domain.com/robots.txt.
Check if you have one or not; if you don’t have one, you may need to create one, although currently, you aren’t in a situation where you want to prevent any web pages from being crawled.

Many WordPress SEO plugins allow users to create and edit their robots.txt file, but if you are using any other CMS, you need to manually start using a text editor and then upload it to the root of your domain.

6. Manual Actions

Sometimes you may figure out that your site has been negatively affected because of a manual action imposed on it.

They are caused by an apparent attempt to violate or manipulate Google’s webmaster guidelines, such as user-generated spam, structured data issues, unnatural links (both inbound and outbound), duplicate content, hidden text and so on.

Although many sites won’t be affected and never take manual actions, it’s better to take care of this and your SEO journey.
You can check this out in the manual actions tab of Google.
In addition to this, Google will keep updating you on whether your site has received any manual action or not.

Pro tip – If your website is new so ensure first to have a check on this.

7. Alt Tags

Sometimes you may figure out that your site has been negatively affected because of a manual action imposed on it.

They are caused by an apparent attempt to violate or manipulate Google’s webmaster guidelines, such as user-generated spam, structured data issues, unnatural links (both inbound and outbound), duplicate content, hidden text and so on.

Although many sites won’t be affected and never take manual actions, it’s better to take care of this and your SEO journey.
You can check this out in the manual actions tab of Google.
In addition to this, Google will keep updating you on whether your site has received any manual action or not.

Pro tip – If your website is new so ensure first to have a check on this.

8. indexing

This section of Seo is not challenging as you think about it. Still, you will be shocked to know that sudden de-indexing of your website was caused by accidentally leaving no index tags by the developers whilst moving the code from the staging environment to a live one.

To ensure that your website can get indexed and crawled by Google, you can run a site audit via AHREF, semrush and other SEO tools.
Or you can go into the search console and crawl your website.

Note – if it’s blocked, the search engine spiders can’t crawl the pages.

Moreover, double-checking the main page’s of your website can save many troubleshooting SEO errors for your website in the present and the future.

Keyword Research

Without undergoing proper and robust keyword research, you aren’t going to rank for the correct terms. Thus, you will not be able to attract the right organic traffic for your website, which can convert you into your paying customer in the future.

Doing proper keyword research can be challenging as a beginner because you don’t know what type of keywords you must select or search for or the key factors to include when doing keyword research.

Hence, to help you out, we list some essential points you need to cover in your keyword research to reap the benefits of your SEO efforts.

1. Identify Your competition

Doing a competitor analysis to check out what kind of keywords and SEO tweaks are helping them generate dozens of organic traffic is one of the quickest ways to get started with keyword research.

You can perform the competitive analysis of your competitors by using various tools such as AHREFs, semrush, etc.

2. Find Your Principal Money Keyword

These keywords are also referred to as pillar page keywords or head terms.
These keywords have high volume and competition, summarising what you are offering at a niche or topic level.
For example, let’s take the term * Reebok shoes”; this is considered a head term.

For competitive analysis, you can use semrush, AHREFs and other SEO tools to research your services and products to know your head terms.

3. Long-Tail Keywords

Every Keyword strategy is incomplete without the long-tail keywords.
In addition, long-tailed keywords deliver a high conversion rate even though they typically have a low search volume rather than the head term keywords.

You need to ensure that your SEO strategy targets long-tail keywords and head terms keywords.
In optimizing your website pages to ensure they can rank for various related keywords ( in your content ) and create supporting content alongside your actual content.

You can use keyword research tools like Ubersuggest and Serpstat to find the best long-tail keywords for your SEO strategy.

4. Make A Keyword Map

After locating the long tail Keywords, you must map them to your site pages and identify any shortcomings or gaps in them.

As per semrush, Keyword mapping is “In its simplest form, keyword mapping is a framework for the keywords you have chosen to target that mirrors your site’s structure. Driven by research, the ultimate goals of the map are to help you discover where to optimize, what content to build, and where you can add new pages to attract more traffic.

— Andrea Lehr
It is better to invest some extra time to figure out that you are using the right keywords for the right web pages rather than finding the wrong keywords within a short period.

5. Content & Search Intent

As you know that content is everything and is the base of your website and goals, you must ensure that the page content matches the searcher’s intent.

For instance, let’s say, You are looking to target the ” digital marketing” term on a national level. Then you might have figured out that there’s a high search volume and Keyword difficulty, and you might feel that you will not be able to rank your website in the top position.

But before giving up, you need to know that you must understand the intent of the content, which is ranking on Google. Until then, you won’t be able to know that your content can align with it as well or not.

6. Questions

The time has changed, and the search engines are now considered the “answer engines”.

For many people, it has produced a very high chance for all the bloggers and website owners to provide user-generated content and find the high converting keywords that people are using to search something on the Internet at the same time.

You can even use a tool like AlsoAsked.com, which scrapes and ” people also asked,” to find more ideas and questions which align with your content or answers.

7. keyword difficulty

If your website is new, it will struggle out for some time to rank in the competitive keywords until you have built an authority for your website with inside the digital world.

And for this reason, you need to understand how hard it’s going to be for you to rank on your targeted keywords.

Consider checking out the below-mentioned factors to know the difficulty ratio for ranking on a particular keyword.

  1. Check the keyword difficulty of the keyword which you are searching.
  2. Analyze its search volume for the specified country.
  3. Check the global volume as well as the keyword.
  4. Could you have a look at its CPC?

When you analyze your keywords on the factors mentioned above, you will find the right keywords for taking your projects up a notch.

On-page SEO

Great content and a great user experience are the keys to unlocking the lock of organic traffic and boosting your ranking. This is one of the SEO basics.

On the page, Seo applies to both the website pages and the blog posts as well.

Moreover, as the competition increases daily, you need to ensure that your blog posts and website pages do everything to outrank the other websites and content for essential search terms and gain the maximum benefits from this SEO basics practice.

It would be best if you took some actions to optimize your website and blog posts accurately and provide good content with great value to your audience.
So make sure to note down the below-mentioned points to teach them within your SEO practices.

1. Title Tags

Title tags are like a paintbrush in the seo painting and are the first thing any SEO expert would like to take a look at to help your page rank. 

A title tag tells the Google search engine what your page is about and how it’s unique. 

How do you optimize the title tag? 

Follow the steps mentioned below. 

  1. Put the top-performing keywords in the descending order 
  2. Use only one tag per page and place it in the < head > tag 
  3. It should not be more than seventy characters, including spaces 
  4. Using short titles, people tend to read more temporary labels more than long headings. 
  5. Titles must describe a benefit 
  6. Use your brand 
  7. Your H1 page heading must be different from the title tag. 

And ensure that there are no duplicate title tags and truncated title tags ( too long tags) because they are cut off on the search engine results page. 

You can find all these issues in your site edit report and update them by improving them. 

2. Meta Captions

A meta description is what is shown beneath the title on the search result page.
The meta description encourages a user to click on your listing rather than clicking on someone else’s. It can either positively or negatively affect your organic traffic CTR.

However, if you don’t have a meta description, Google will display the part of the content of your pages, but this can harm your site and stop the potential visitors from coming to your website. 

Moreover, if you have duplicate meta descriptions, then there can be a good chance for you not to present a new definition that encourages clicks.

3. Multiple H1 Tags

The main heading of your content is referred to as the H1 tag, and it should be only one per page.

One of the primary reasons for having multiple title tags is that your website logo is wrapped in one and the page’s main heading.

If you have multiple H1 tags, then you should consider resolving this issue.
You can find out about this as well in your site audit report.

4. Image Optimization

Alt tags are basically to name them correctly with a descriptive file convention naming and by optimizing the size and quality of the image.
You need to ensure that the primary images of your pages have the ALT tags to describe the content.

Additionally, ALT texts are also read by the search engines to understand the context and meaning of the picture.
For example, if your picture is of a woman standing with a gold necklace, then the ALT text might read as ” Young woman holds a gold necklace after purchasing it from the jewellery shop.” 

Moving further, you need to take care of file names because it’s best to provide as much information as possible.
For example, if your image is entitled “IMG _32421.jpg”, “IMG_32421.jpg”, “IMG_32421.jpg”, then rename it as per the context of your image.
If the image is about a model standing with a diamond necklace, rename it as “model with gold necklace”.

Consider having an image site map as it is helpful to help Google identify, crawl and index your images.
In addition, you also need to ensure that the images you are using are of the right size and the file type.
The below mentioned three sites can help you at the most incredible level for compressing your images.

  1. TinyPNG
  2. CompressNow
  3. Optimizilla

Moreover, Google supports six types of image files, which are :

  1. JPEG
  2. PNG
  3. BMP
  4. SVG
  5. GIF
  6. WebP

Note – Each file type has its pros and cons, and some file types such as GIFS might not be a good fit for the commercial purpose. 

Building inbound links is a fantastic link-building strategy to nurture your website visitors through your content and hold your authority.

Try to write the content to produce many or at least some inbound links in the article naturally.

6. content audit

A content audit and pruning are now considered a very beneficial way to find duplicate and thin content.

And remove that content from the website that is not of any use and harm your online reputation if it’s still available on your platform.

Moreover, you should perform a content audit every month to protect your online reputation. The website’s content is a significant reason why many people can be successful with their digital marketing campaigns within a short period.

7. Keyword Cannibalization

Definition by Yoast SEO: Keyword cannibalization means that you have various blog posts or articles on your site that can rank for the same search query in Google.

It is one of the most misunderstood concepts of SEO.
It’s an issue that is all about the intent of a page.

And not the keywords used in the title tags and the content.

If your site is suffering due to Cannibalization, you will struggle in competitive terms as the search engines will have a hard time deciding which pages rank for which keywords.

8. Orphan Web Pages

Most of the pages of your website must be interlinked or at least with some of the pages.

Because if Google cannot crawl a web page of your site with the help of the other links, it would be like it’s not inserting the authority or ranking on the search engine as to how it should be.

In your site map, if you have those pages that are not available at least with one link from another page, you will find those pages in the ” orphaned pages in sitemaps” in your audit report.

Run a site audit, check out your orphan pages, and link them with the other pages of your site or to any other relevant page.

9. Timely Updating Content

You must be aware that even the content naturally ages and becomes outdated after some time.

However, you can use your old content to repurpose it and form a new blog post or article.

Danny Goodwin od search engine journal says :
Updating your content can result in better search rankings, more links, more traffic, social shares, and new customers discovering you. Just don’t forget about the “marketing” in “content marketing”!

Moreover, if you have any content on your website which has outdated information or if it can survive without being updated with a new perspective, it’s one of your most significant content assets.

Bonus Practice

You will miss out on a fantastic opportunity to rank for the variations and keywords if you have not optimized your title tags and meta captions adequately.

You can know about it by going to your performance report in the Google search engine and identifying the keywords of each page with a good number of impressions but has low clicks and a low average position in the search engines. It means that your page is ranking somewhere else and is deemed from the relevant queries since you have not optimized the Web page by including the variations in your tags or keywords.

If you face this issue, then re-work and re-optimize those pages to uplift them within the positions and clicks.

So that’s all for today! We will be covering the technical Seo and off-page Seo in the third and last part of this guide.

And yes, we know that this is turning out to be a very long guide, but we are just trying to help you out with every aspect of Seo to master it within a short period and achieve your own or client project goals.

So keep reading and wait for the third part to have all the information you need to create a robust SEO strategy.
Till then, take care of yourself, and we shall see you in the third part of this SEO guide.

Cheers.

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