“Millions?” No, billions!
More than billions of searches are being done on Google every year.
Finding your customer in that billion number crowd is easy.
All you need to do is, Make your site useful for your target audience and optimize it for google.
That’s where SEO comes into the spotlight.
Implementing SEO on your site will help you get your website in front of your customer,
That results in high free traffic and conversions.
In this blog,
You will understand the top deadly SEO ranking factors that will shoot your website to the top rank in the SERP,
A search engine is a spot where you can type the questions, words, sentences, or phrases you want to know about,
In return, Google will get the most relevant and authoritative web pages with the exact information you want to know.
What’s the objective of a Search Engine?
The purpose of every search engine that runs inside this planet is,
to get the most relevant and trustable data and make it available and beneficial to the users.
You type a word, SEO books.
Now, the search engine will analyze millions of web pages with the keyword SEO books using a complex algorithm.
Then it returns the relevant and trustable page with the information you are looking to get.
Your mind can pop up with this question,
How does the search engine pick up the most relevant and trustable webpage from the billions of other web pages?
Your answer is below,
How on the planet? Does a search engine work?
If you slap your techy guy in the room with this question, He will get all the alien words inside the computer, data, and technology and shoots at you with brute force to make your brain go numb,
Just kidding 🙂
Nicholas Pappgiannis, The SEO practitioner and the author of the book Effective SEO and Content Marketing, says it simple,
The working of the search engines slices into five steps,
Web crawling: The Search engine crawls billions of web pages from the web.
Collects Information: After crawling, it gathers vital information for ranking the web pages on the search engine result page.
- Quality of the website.
- Authority of the site.
- Various trust factors.
Indexing: Means. It orders and stores the collected information in databases.
Applies algorithm: Then, the search engine uses the mind-bending complex algorithm to determine the ranking of the crawled and the collected webpages.
Shows result: Then, the search engine shows the most relevant and popular webpage that contains the close to exact information the user searched.
How does the search engine rank the webpage from the universe of the same web pages?
According to Andrew Lippastev, a Search quality senior strategist, “Google considers high-quality content and the super quality link building as the core ranking factor.”
Add one more to the list, The technical factor.
Technical factors include everything done in the back end of the website.
Like having a simple HTML code, Formatting the URL short and sweet with the main keyword, Redirecting the URL to the right page, and so forth.
(We will look at the technical factor in the coming section).
So, Google considers these three things the number one signal to rank the top websites on the search engine result page.
1. The technical side.
2. The content side.
3. The link-building side.
(We will look at each side shortly)
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
And, It means, Optimizing the website to rank better on the google search result page.
So, you get enormous traffic from the Ideal prospects you like to attract to your business.
Why do businesses focus on SEO?
Simple, for the cost-free customers.
Google is the search engine most humans on the planet use.
How many searches are happening on Google?
About 2 trillion searches are happening on Google every year.
(Let that sink in your mind for a second)
Optimizing your website for google gets you the gold.
The amount of traffic you will get once you optimize your website for Google is enormous.
And, The most noteworthy point is, That traffic comes to your website for FREE.
No cost from your side.
You will get valuable customers and profit if you convert those traffic well.
What is On and Off-page SEO?
On-page SEO means,
Implementing optimization efforts google recommended in the pages of your websites.
It includes Making your website load faster and creating content on keywords your target audience use often.
Off-page SEO means,
Implementing optimization efforts google recommended outside the pages of your website.
It includes Practising relevant and quality inbound link-building efforts.
How to keep track of your search engine ranking efforts?
There are bags of tools out there in the marketing forest to view and monitor your search ranking position,
But starting with Google is the heavenly way to heat your marketing wizard’s brain.
One of the beginners friendly and the simplest way to watch over your search engine ranking is,
Using Google Search Console.
To understand how to find your average ranking position in the Google using Google search console,
Get into the below website,
Missing these SEO ranking factors will be a disaster for you.
(As said earlier)
In SEO, there are three simple areas you want to concentrate your entire effort on,
1. Technical side.
2. Content Side.
3. Link building side.
The entire concept of SEO revolves around the above three areas.
Let’s see the factors lying under the technical side of SEO optimization,
you are getting into an E-Commerce website to buy your favourite book,
The webpage is loading, and you think, “There must be some problem in the network.”
Until your face turns red, your ears start pumping smoke, and your head lid starts floating in the air.
And you come out of the website with frustration.
That E-Commerce website lost one valuable customer, Just like that.
Not only for an E-Commerce site.
But also for any websites and businesses.
The study conducted by Aberdeen Group says, “Every one-second delay in load time equates to a 7 percent drop in conversion.”
Site speed matters a lot.
To find your site speed, you can use the most straightforward tool from google itself,
Google Search Console.
The Speed reports locate under the Enhancements section of Google Search Console,
Help you find the sections and URLs of your websites having speed performance issues.
You can even use the Google page speed insights, A free online tool to see your website speed data.
Or, Else, Neil Patel has a good tool for you,
Using his Ubersuggest tool, You can find your site’s speed data in seconds and suggestions for improving it.
Site speed increases the chance of your traffic conversion.
But, What if you had this extra super weapon to suck your traffic and put them into your lead world?
Pop-ups do convert if your offer is pleasing to your audience.
I hope you have the thunder-clapping content your audience will think of even when eating their favorite burger.
For Free ! and again, don’t take that credit card from your purse.
How to enhance your site’s speed?
Low site speed can be due to poor and dense coding in the HTML background.
Make the HTML coding clean and less complicated.
The second reason can be due to server issues.
Change your server if it is hurting your site speed.
WordPress server is one of the best. Also, It offers you tools and plugins for site speed optimization.
How’s your website’s map? The navigation.
The navigation structure of your website is crucial for your SEO game.
When search engine spiders crawl your website, It crawls based on your site’s navigation architecture.
Simple and logical navigation architecture makes google find your pages without effort.
The outstanding advice when it comes to setting up your site navigation,
1. Keep the structure of your navigation simple and in logical order.
Also, consider your target audience’s needs.
Asking these questions will help you,
- What are their needs?
- What are the sections of content they may look for on the website?
2. When setting up your navigation hierarchy, consider the search data.
e.g., If you are running a shoe store, and as per your search data, If kid’s shoes are popular, add this navigation above the men’s and women’s shoe categories.
Use keyword data to decide the hierarchy and priority of your site navigation.
3. Keep the number of clicks in navigation low.
More clicks people need to make, the more drop in conversions will happen.
So, keep the number of clicks minimum in your navigation part.
4. Put on that invisible cloak and watch your competition.
Your competition may have a great website architecture than you,
they may get more conversions than you,
That means there is something you can learn from them.
Get to their website or landing page and analyze them.
You might get an idea to provide better site architecture than your competitor.
5. Always have a search feature on your website.
That helps your visitor find the exact information they need from your site.
6. Breadcrumbs are the small sub-navigation element visible on each page of your site.
According to Google, “A breadcrumb trail on a page indicates the page’s position in the site hierarchy and may assist users in effectively understanding and exploring a site. By beginning with the last breadcrumb in the breadcrumb trail, a user can navigate up the site hierarchy, one level at a time.”
Having this on your website can add an excellent user experience, and it seems Google loves that.
Does your website have dittos? Duplicate pages or URLs.
Creating duplicate content, is it wrong?
Many books and articles on SEO say, “Duplicate content is considered as an SEO penalty.”
But, According to Google’s John Mueller, “Duplicate content is not necessarily a bad sign for SEO.”
“With that kind of duplicate content, it’s not so much a negative score associated with it.
It’s more that if we find precisely the same information on multiple pages on the web, and someone searches specifically for that piece of information, then we’ll try to find the best matching page.
So if you have the same content on multiple pages, then we won’t show all of these pages.
We’ll try to pick one of them and show that. So it’s not that there’s any negative signal associated with that.
In many cases, that’s kind of expected that you have some amount of shared content across some of the pages.”
So Duplicate content is not a bad SEO sign.
This doesn’t mean you must be carefree with the duplicate content on your website.
If you have too much same content, there is a high chance your target audience will get confused.
A bad user experience will show its head.
Avoiding duplicate content piling up on your website is the best thing you can do for your audience.
Reference: Duplicate content is not negative.
Redirects problems in the website.
Redirects means, The web page on your site moved to a different location/Url.
Sometimes you want to make changes to your webpage for various reasons.
In those times, you can go for 302 redirects, A temporary redirect of your current webpage (Webpage you are editing) to the other page.
In the eyes of your target audience,
They click the page you are editing, but instead of going to that page, they get redirected to another related page.
It’s the result of using 302 redirects, where the user gets redirected to other pages until you finish making changes.
Everything returns to normal as soon as you complete the changes to your current editing page and redirect the URL to 301.
Now, the user lands on the right page, the page you’ve done editing.
SEO value only 301 redirects (Permanent redirects).
Want to know if your website has a redirect problem?
Use the free Screaming Frog tool to find redirects on your website.
(Image source: Screaming Frog)
If you have 302 redirects (Temporary), ask your technical team to change that to 301 redirects, which is a permanent redirect.
Is your URL in good shape? URL format optimization.
URLs are the Identity card for your web pages.
Google analyzes the URL to determine the page.
So include the main keyword in the URL at the first instance itself.
In the above buffer’s Url, The page is trying to rank for the Keyword, Content Marketing strategy. The title of their blog is, How to create a content marketing strategy?
And, Can you see how they use that main keyword in the first instance itself without entirely typing their title in it.
The format of the Url matters too.
Keep the format simple. Don’t copy your page’s title as a URL.
And, Avoid using numbers in the Url.
Short and sweet, and Including the main keyword in your URL helps the google crawlers crawl the web page easily and understand the page.
Having this map and Robot is rewarding. Add sitemap and Robot.txt files to your website.
According to Google, “A sitemap is a file where you give information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, and the relationships between them.
Search engines like Google and Bing read this file to crawl your site more efficiently.
You can see the sitemap of any site, By scrolling to the bottom.
A sitemap makes it easy for Google spiders to crawl on your web pages,
the easier spiders find your pages, the easier it is to rank them.
Resources to help you:
What are Robot.Txt files?
It is a simple text file that sits in the root folder part of your website.
Why use it?
To prevent google from crawling certain pages of your website.
To find your website’s robot.txt file, Type this in Google abc.com/robot.txt.
If Google wants to crawl every page of your site,
Your robot.txt file should look like this,
Or, If you want Google not to crawl specific pages of your website, You can do this,
Disallow/Subfolder you want to be blocked/
Resources to help you:
Duplicate! What to do? Canonicalization is here.
What is canonicalization?
Sometimes your webpage may have a duplicate URL.
It can be the same URL living multiple times on your website.
Do google like this?
Nope. Google considers this an act of spam. And mark it as a penalty.
Which you never wished in the first place, right?
You can use the canonical tag to direct the readers to the correct URL, even if they click one of your duplicate URLs.
You have two duplicate URLs, A and B. You want readers to place their foot in the URL A instead of B(Even if they click the B URL).
What to do in this situation?
You can add a canonical tag in URL A.
So that every time readers click the B URL, they’ll get directed to the URL A.
As simple as that.
Carve this in your mind,
The job of the canonical tag is to solve duplicate URL problems that prevent Google from marking your website with a penalty.
Want to dive deep into canonical tags? Deplete your curiosity with ahrefs, Canonical tag; A simple guide for beginners.
What’s the Image? Alt tags for naming the images.
An alt tag’s job is to name your images.
Naming the Images helps three people,
- Normal users.
- Visually Impaired users.
It helps Google know, What the picture is.
If there is a problem loading Images, the Alt tag will help normal users to understand the Image.
It helps visually impaired users to understand the Image.
If you’re using WordPress hosting service,
Naming your Images will be too easy.
Select the picture you want to name and name it in the alt section, which you can find on the right side while you edit your blog/pages.
Don’t Include keywords for the Images, If you are using them to grip the target audience’s attention.
(Like the above Image, Used purely for attention grabbing purposes).
Instead, Write about the picture in a specific manner,
In that way, when your illustration does not load properly, your alt tag can help people understand the Image.
If you add your branded creative to explain any concept, add the keyword as an alt tag.
That’ll make your branded creative rank in the image search section.
Next, Let’s see the factors lying under the content side of SEO optimization,
Does your content have what your customer needs? Keyword Optimized Content.
When you are writing content for your webpage,
Add the main keyword throughout the content in logical places.
You want to rank for the keyword, Email Marketing subject lines.
So, when creating an article or blog about it, Include the above keyword in every place where it makes sense.
Don’t stuff keywords and make it look like an artificial Frankenstein made from the laboratory.
Your content must sound natural,
Not like a tape recorder that yells the same keyword everywhere.
Laser print this rule in your mind, One keyword for One webpage.
You decide to create a blog post on Inbound marketing strategy. Here the main keyword is “Inbound marketing strategy.”
Create the entire blog post about inbound marketing strategy, don’t include other keywords (Like, Instagram marketing) with the desire to rank for multiple keywords,
Google won’t work that way.
The magic formula is this,
One page + One content + On One main keyword = Content SEO optimization done.
Is your content keeping the eyeballs of your target audience? Engaging Content creation.
Content is the king, A most used notion in the digital marketing industry.
But, most people forget to decorate their king, to make him so appealing that people don’t want to take their eyes off him.
Content must be pleasing.
Only then, Your target audience will hand over their time to your content.
Even if you are in the B2B industry, Finding ways to create unique content will pay a fortune for you.
Think for a second,
How do you think your target audience will get value from your content If they sleep in front of it?
That clears all, right?
Ways to make your content glow and be more engaging for your readers?
1. Use relevant Images.
2. Use eyes pleasing creatives to explain the concept more engagingly.
3. Use the video. Videos are better than Images to steal your reader’s attention.
4. Be human. Don’t write paras as in your school’s textbook.
You are writing to a human, So, Exhibit your human nature and let them know, “I am here to help you solve your problem, as a human” through your content.
5. Experimenting might lead to great discoveries.
Brain Dean one of the well-Known SEO experts,
His blog can capture anyone with its engaging graphics and hold them with the metal chain.
The way he writes is different from the rest of the experts. He uses a lot of white spaces, I mean, A lot.
And, His art-dipped creatives have the potential to blackmail the eyes and keep them in one place.
That becomes his unique content tilt, making him stand taller and bolder than any business blog.
Like him, You can experiment with various factors to grab and keep your visitors’ attention in one place.
Using your creative content, Let me assume you kept your audience’s thumb smacking that back button in their phone.
Leave that to pop-ups; it’ll take care of that.
And, I am crossing my fingers here that you’ll have content that creates a storm in the clouds and blooms desire in your target audience’s heart.
If yes? Boost sales and conversions with this free and easy-to-use Optinly pop-up builder.
Is your content long? Long-form content wins.
Google says, “Make sure content is factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive.”
What does that mean?
Writing little content on the topic that must be written comprehensively should be avoided.
For example, If you are creating content around this topic, “How to create mashed potato?”
Make sure to create it completely. Don’t stop your value halfway.
Provide content from Basic to Advance,
If the topic you are writing demands it.
Topic names, How to do Influencer marketing? Need In-depth explanation.
But a topic like Listicles needs less in-depth content.
In short, Go epic and cover the whole thing, If the topic demands it from you.
That means, Writing long-form content that spans 1500-2000+ words.
Writing long and Including everything in your content, Makes your target audience get the complete information from you.
That can make you an expert and authoritative person in their eye.
EAT is real. Include the EAT factor in your content.
EAT stands for,
Google will throw your website into the 1st rank on the search engine result page If you have this EAT.
The year is 2018, and Google announces Medic Update.
What is that?
This medic update focuses on the above three things,
Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
To ensure that, Users are reading quality content with correct information.
If you search the word Acupuncture, the search engine result page will feature the information from the site mayo clinic.
(Image of Mayo clinic)
That is because,
Google thinks the person and the source writing the content on those pages are experts.
See, The EAT rule in its play.
How can you get into this world of EAT with your content and website?
Follow the below tips to increase your EAT,
- Concentrate on creating a detailed ‘About Us page. That tells about you as an expert and about your business.
- Create a page per your target audience’s intent, needs, wants, pain points, and problems.
- Showcase any hard-earned awards, credentials, or certificates to prove that you are a person who says the right thing.
- Write guest posts through the web to position yourself as an authoritative person.
- Respond to those positive and negative reviews you get.
- Keep the information on your page as accurate and flawless as possible.
- Let the visitors reach you easily by providing a contact page.
Is your content good-looking? Content Format matters a lot.
Google says, “It’s always beneficial to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense of where one content topic begins and ends. Breaking your content into logical chunks or divisions helps users find the content they want faster.”
Why format the content? Why not just paste the content on the screen and create a great wall of china with words.
Formatting helps users glance through the content with less effort resulting in a better user reading experience.
If the experience is good, the audience will share your content with others resulting in more backlinks.
Google says to avoid this,
“Dumping large amounts of text on varying topics onto a page without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation.”
That means creating a clear format for your content first, then filling it with your content.
The formula comes like this,
Format first, then the content.
Create a clean format that helps your target audience to follow the content without dripping sweat from their head.
Kick the winner back, Featured snippet optimization.
What is the featured snippet?
Featured snippets are those short answers you get at the top of Google’s result page.
Its purpose is to provide users with quick answers.
Try asking, “What is a featured snippet?” you’ll get quick short answers above google’s search result.
You will get quick answers from google related to your question.
But, What is the lovable fact here?
A featured snippet sits above the rank 1 page on the search engine result page(SERP).
Above the rank 1?
A giant exclamation mark might pop above your head after hearing this fact.
*Important note is: Featured snippet comes from the top 3 web pages in the SERP.
Optimizing for featured snippet won’t produce results fast if the page you are optimizing is not in the top 3 result pages,
But, Google and users will love your content if you optimize for the featured snippet. Cause, They will get quick answers satisfying their craving for information in seconds.
How to do that?
You can optimize for featured snippets through,
1. Provide a 50 word answer at the start of your blog or article content.
For example, “For the keyword, “What is meant by email marketing?” you can give a 50-word answer at the start of your article.
That will educate the audience about the article fast.
2. Creating List format articles.
3. Create many FAQ questions and answers about your product or service.
For example, The FAQ question, “How to get the website from WordPress.” will trigger the featured snippet result from WordPress.
Why create FAQ questions?
When people get doubts about your product or service, You must be there to solve them.
Fail to do that,
Your competition might scoop them like butter.
4. Including more bullet points and lists in your content without hurting the H formats.
Start with the H1 heading, then h2, h3, and h4 per your article format.
Don’t mix the H formats without logic.
e.g., Using the H3 head under the H1 head won’t make your blog look handsome. That is illogical formatting.
For example, If you ask this question with google, Food to build Muscle, Google picks up the H3 heading list from the webpage.
Can you see the importance of using the correct aligned H formats?
Now, You’ll see, The factors come under the Link-Building side of SEO optimization.
Where is that going? Where is it coming from? External and Internal Linking.
Seen? that blue text which takes you to another webpage when you touch it?
That’s called linking.
Where you link to other web pages to solve the user’s
query on the subject.
Internal link means You link to the relevant webpage on your website that solves your reader’s problem.
Here, the blue text is a link. when you click this, it will take you to another relevant page on the same website.
That is Internal Linking.
External Linking means, You link to another webpage outside your website.
So, When you click the externally linked text,
You’ll land on the other website page.
As per the book ‘Art of SEO,’ Google uses the links website to understand the relevance of the webpage,
And also to crawl the web pages from the world wide web through the provided link connection.
Google, when crawling, will look at the link and determine,
Where is the link going?
What is the destination page?
Is the destination page relevant and quality?
Providing both Internal and External Linking to the relevant and quality website that can solve readers’ questions is,
Valuable for your SEO performance.
How popular are you? Back-Links are the boss here.
“Back-Links are like a heart sign or Thumbs-up signs on social media. The more you have it for your website; Google will show it to more people.”
Back-Links are the links you get from another relevant site.
Those websites link you because They think your article or content will be more helpful for the readers.
Google uses this signal to determine the weightage.
With more links you get from the relevant and quality site, The power of your website will surge and pierce through the clouds.
Help you to get ranked on the search engine result page.
On average, The page that ranks #1 in google SERP gets thousands and millions of Backlinks. That depends upon the competition and popularity of the keyword.
Keywords with high competition and popularity require an increased number of backlinks.
How do you get quality back-Links?
Let me tell you the hard truth,
The top road to getting quality links from a website is,
To create epic and deep content on your topic and promote it,
Deep content is content that covers everything on a topic without missing anything behind it.
(Deep content word count can explode beyond 2000).
If you do that,
Many people will link back to your website without hesitation.
Why? It’s because you have the content that can change lives or business with one go.
You are saving your target audience time here.
Epic quality content must be your first strategy.
Then, Adding the below strategies will get you some extra links helping your SEO,
1. Using paid media.
2. Building a good relationship with publications, Influencers, and Industry experts will help you get links from them.
3. Social media promotion.
4. Publishing an Email newsletter to get traffic to your website.
5. You can use your YouTube videos to get backlinks naturally. Include links pointing to your content or site in the description section.
6. Create a research piece of content and promote it. It will fetch you tons of links from various sources.
Beware of doing this in your adventure of back-links for your web pages,
1. Don’t get links from low-quality web pages.
To avoid getting low-quality back-links from websites, you can use the Google search console’s disavow feature,
2. Don’t link to your home page, which provides no value to the readers.
3. Do not use pointless anchor text like “Click Here.”
Instead, make it descriptive and Include keywords in it.
If you are pointing to a webpage about SEO tips means,
Use the anchor text as SEO tips,
Or use any other combination without leaving your keyword.
4. Do not pay and get Back-link from others.
Point laser focus on creating epic quality content and promoting those content to reach your desired target audience.
Then, You will see back-links numbers sliding higher in your analytics.
As a beginner, Where to start your SEO optimization adventure?
“There are many possibilities in the beginner’s mind; in the expert’s mind, there are few.”
As a beginner, you need to wet your hair before drenching yourself with the entirety of SEO optimization.
And, Where can you start?
Using free SEO audit tools available in the market, you can find your strength and weaknesses in the SEO game,
And correct it.
According to Karthik, a Digital Marketing Specialist from Optinly, A popup builder for websites,
As a beginner, you can follow these steps,
1. Go to the Free SEO auditing tool like, Neilpatel’s Uber suggests.
2. Paste your URL in the search bar.
3. And click search.
4. The analysis page is shown.
5. Click ‘Side Audit’ from the left side navigation part to view your SEO score and Issues.
All you need to do is,
Find out the Issues and follow the advice the audit tool gives you.
To win in this SEO game,
You must have consistency and calmness,
SEO is a long-term game.
A small change you made today will reflect in the future website ranking.
But, Don’t forget Google and your beloved target customer.
Consider both google and your target customer’s needs when optimizing for SEO.
Keep these three crucial areas in mind,
3. Link building.
Optimize each of the areas to surge your SEO power bar.
Never forget your target audience, Be empathetic and kind towards their pain points and problems,
And, Make a website that works like fluid on every device.
Create content that can solve your target audience’s problem with google’s rules in mind.
Help the people to find your content and website without wasting their time.
If you do the above,
You can already find yourself standing on the stage of victory.
Which of the factors above will you start implementing today?
Comment your viewpoints below and share this content with your colleagues.