The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Digital marketers all over the world can attest to the vital role of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This offers a huge opportunity for blog writers to make their articles grow more and increase their profitability. In fact, making sure that you write quality blog posts only comes secondary to making sure that these blog posts are optimized.

Why? As a beginner, you may ask that. Well, take a look at the following statistics:

  • 60% of marketers say that inbound such as SEO or blog is their highest quality source of leads. – Source: HubSpot
  • Leads through SEO have a 14.6% close rate. – Source: HubSpot
  • SEO attracts 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media. – Source: BrightEdge
  • 92.96% of global traffic comes from Google search, Images, and Maps. – Source: Sparktoro
  • 90.63% of pages get no organic search traffic from Google. – Source: Ahrefs

These statistics are compelling in a horrifying way. Basically, you get the idea that without employing SEO strategies, your blog will remain a ghost on the world wide web. That defeats the purpose of having a blog in the first place.

You want to reach as many of your targets as possible. You could be spending so much time and effort on writing or designing your blog, but if you lack understanding of why SEO matters and how you can navigate it, then you are headed to nowhere.

Understanding SEO

SEO, as you already know, stands for search engine optimization. This concept refers to the strategy of ranking high on a search engine without the need to pay to be on the list of search results. 

People search online for the following reasons:

  • get information
  • look for entertainment
  • solve problems
  • do shopping
  • reach certain people

Although these are seemingly general reasons, these activities can be very complex the more you think about each of them as a business owner or a marketing professional.

These activities trigger billions of customer journeys on a daily basis. Multiply these by the number of devices? You get an overwhelming idea of how difficult it is to intercept an “innocent” search and introduce (or reintroduce) your website or blog posts to your target customers.

Now, let’s back off a little bit. What is it precisely about SEO that we need to understand?

To further understand the general hierarchy of SEO, Moz came up with a really creative and comprehensive hierarchy of SEO needs. 

Mozlow's Hierarchy of SEO needs

The elements you can find in the infographic are highly essential to successful SEO. These elements must be well-coordinated. Otherwise, overlooking a single element can affect your SEO efforts negatively to the point of getting penalties. You cannot go further to the higher level if you haven’t built the foundation of establishing a strong SEO of your certain blog article. 

Yes, you can get penalized for violating some rules surrounding SEO. You can avoid that by understanding better the significant processes involving the essential elements of a successful SEO campaign. Everything is done by studying the structure and foundation first. 

Importance of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) offers a great opportunity to ensure easy searchability and increase traffic in your blog article. Remember that SEO will let you practice increasing the quantity and quality of your website traffic. An increase in traffic means that there is an increase of chance in your visibility among different search engines. Increasing the visibility of your blog article in different search engines will boost awareness among different customers. 

Knowing the basics of SEO will continue to foster growth in your blog website. When SEO is set up properly in your blog articles, this will increase profitability in your blog website. This can be done through ranking the right keywords, ensuring an increase in interaction among clients, and an increase of online traffic driven by different search engines. 

Take note that using the wrong SEO techniques can harm your website. Hiring an SEO professional may be costly, but this promises you a great opportunity to ensure further visibility in different search engines. Knowing the basics of SEO will save you a lot of time and money in terms of letting your blog article be easily visible in different search engines.

Executing a strong and established SEO on a blog website will ensure a strong presence in different search engines and social media channels. In addition, this will further contribute to the awareness and growth of a certain blog website. 

Content Optimization for Search

Search engines like Google want to provide the best answers to the searcher’s questions. In order to do that, they update their algorithms and guidelines every now and then. 

Changes in terms of content optimization in different search engines affect the visibility of a certain website. In this way, utilizing different content optimization strategies will ensure that there is a stable presence of your blog article in different search engines. In this way, when a client or customer searches for a certain topic, your article is easily seen. 

To do this, you have to keep up with the strategies that work in order to optimize your content accordingly. Nowadays, Google values quality more than any other criteria. Traditional linking hacks and other techniques no longer work as good as they used to. 

When creating content, make sure you take the necessary steps to optimize both the text and the images. In this section, you will get to know what content optimization for search strategies you are going to use for the easy searchability of your blog article. 

Optimizing Blog Content

Optimizing your blog content is all about improving its searchability. The more strategies you employ in further searchability of your article, the better.

According to HubSpot, the following tips help in optimizing blog content:

  • Identify 1–2 long-tail keywords that match the search intent of your target reader
  • Place these long-tail keywords in the strategic areas of your post
  • Optimize your meta description, topic tags, and URL structures
  • Look for internal linking opportunities

To check for your progress in terms of keyword and topic search in your blog content, Google Search Console regularly tracks the performance of a blog post and updates it whenever necessary. It also helps to create evergreen content especially if you want to maximize your blog posts by repurposing content. These tools are affordable and easy to navigate. 

Optimizing Blog Images

Google can also index images and showcase them among search results according to how relevant they are to a user’s search intent or query. 

It is not enough that you pick the best-looking images. You also need to optimize the following aspects of blog images:

  • filename
  • alt text
  • file size
  • image to text ratio

How you name your file matters to Google. This is crucial in terms of searchability. The textual descriptions give Google an idea about what the image is. If you wrongly name an image, you may target the wrong type of page visitors. 

Be careful in choosing too many images as the quantity can affect the performance of your pages. You also do not want to crowd your blog content with too many images. Using your images as stock pictures in a certain blog, or using images that can be used for other purposes, are some things you can consider to make sure that there is easy searchability of your blog images. 

Building Backlinks

Links play a huge role in SEO, which is why every beginner blogger also needs to know how to build backlinks. Backlinks enable blog websites to increase interaction among other clients and other websites. As one of the tools in SEO, backlinks provide a huge opportunity for blog websites to increase their visibility among different search engines. 

Also called inbound links, backlinks are links coming from other websites. These links point to one of your pages. The more backlinks you get from other websites, the bigger the possibility for Google to consider your website or blog a reliable one for garnering this much attention.

Just like when getting referrals, backlinks must come from reliable sources as well. You want websites with a good reputation or authority to refer to your blog. Otherwise, Google might see the links as spam.

You can check the quality of the links you are getting by monitoring your PageRank among other essential metrics in SEO.

Monitoring SEO metrics

The most successful SEO campaigns are the products of several iterations of improved and trustworthy processes. This is why it is extremely important to constantly monitor your blog’s performance in relation to the SEO metrics.

Among the key SEO metrics are the following:

  • Clicks 
  • Time on page
  • Bounce rate 

According to Moz, examining your engagement metrics works better as this correlates with a higher ranking. Several tests have been conducted to check which factors affect ranking the most.

Backlinko pointed out about 200 factors in an attempt to cover as much area as possible. These factors are grouped under the domain, page-level, site-level, backlink, user interaction, Special Google Algorithm Rules, brand signals, and on-site and off-site web spam factors.

Google puts emphasis on the click data being the determining factor behind ranking websites in the organic listing. However, click data could entail a lot of things. And the fact that their algorithm remains a mystery, it’s important to remember how you can never go wrong with investing in quality content—nothing less.

You May Also Like