Seo is an ongoing process and is best learned in practice, but i have tried best to keep minimal key points in SEO to know and remember.
Search Engine Basics
The web is a technical platform; this means it is a collection of technologies developed as open standards by the World Wide Web consortium and other standardization bodies.
In layman’s term a big popular website is like a large office building with lots of roads (Links) leading to it.
Think of links to a website like roads they connect different buildings in neighbourhood together.
Always keep in mind that search engines will have problems crawling & indexing your website content if it is not built and structured correctly.
Technical seo is the foundation to the seo strategy, below things should be kept in mind to improve technical seo.
When you connect to a non-secure website (without http or https) all communication between computer & the server is basically in the open, anybody can intercept the traffic and see what’s going on.
When a security certificate (ssl) is added to the site the connection between your computer and website is in encrypted form, means no one can see the data.
Here Https means “hyper text transfer protocol secure”.
Https has been a ranking signal in google’s algorithms since 2014.
It is important to have your website on https, so you can get full referral data in google analytics.
Google doesn’t show data between http and https sites.
When http site connects to https site of user, google shows it as referral and it will most likely show under direct traffic.
Data sent via https website is secured via “transport layer security protocol”.
50% users expect the site to load in less than 2seconds.
Every additional second of page load speed can drop conversions by 20%.
Site speed is also considered a ranking factor in google algorithms.
The more is the site speed, google’s algorithms can crawl more pages and content in given time.
Time here refers to:
Time to first byte (How much time server takes to respond to first request).
Total download time for the page.
Full render time.
Below given websites (website load testing tools) are suggested to check all these parameters for a website.
For site speed test: One can refer below site speed checker websites to check speed of site.
2. Google Pagespeed insights: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Robot’s .txt and xml Sitemaps:
Xml sitemaps are like behind the scene list of all the URL’s on your page.
Xml sitemaps are like a backup for your page architecture.
The primary route for content discovery is your internal page linking structure, so make sure site is structured well and easy to navigate.
Whenever anyone starts work on new website, one must login to google search console and check if the sitemap is submitted and indexed.
If you see that the site map is submitted, indexed and crawled but the indexed page count is less than it should be, that shows that somethings not right.
Robot’s.txt is a text file that is stored in the root of your site directory that instructs the search engine’s about which page to crawl.
Say, If you don’t want search engines to crawl a particular page one must put a directive in robots.txt file, this will keep the page out of google’s index, but its not going to remove a page which is already indexed.
If you want to remove a page from googles index one can use Meta robots tag “NO INDEX FOLLOW command” to hide a page from google’s index but still have spiders to crawl and follow links on the page.
If one uses “NO INDEX NO FOLLOW” command the page will not be indexed and the spiders will not follow any of the links on that page.
Webpage Redirects (or) redirect website (or) html redirect code:
A “301 html redirect code” is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of the link equity to the redirect page.
“301 redirect” refer’s to http status code for this type of redirect.
“301 redirect” is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.
Structural data markup for structured data seo:
Structured data is on page mark up that helps the search engine’s have a better understanding of the information on the website.
Structured data tells search engines what content means and not what it says.
Structured data markup tool: Schema.org (schema markup) (or) check with google’s structured data testing tool.
Website Status codes (or) important http status codes: Each page on website returns status code to the browser (or) spider that requests the page.
Http status code 200 - Means everything is good; spiders should crawl and index the page.
Http status code 301- Moved permanently or Permanent redirect.
Http status code 404- Intended page doesn’t exist.
Http status code 500- Server error- nothing visible to spiders and browsers.
Http status code 503- Temporarily unavailable error that tells users & spiders to come back later.
When starting seo work for a site one need to check status codes on every page of the site.
Best way to check is by “running a screaming frog crawl test”.
Seo Website Audit:
While performing audit for a website, one can perform below listed activities with given free website audit tools, by just typing the term in google you will get the tool website.
Inspect element feature in chrome ( https://developers.google.com ).
Use Screaming frog crawl test for all site information ( https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk )
Inbound links are the most weighted signal of relevancy in google’s algorithm.
Simply said, seo is incomplete without building (or) earning relevant links to your website.
It is important to get links from relevant sources, there needs to be a connection present for the reason for that site to link to your website.
It’s no longer about quantity; it’s about quality of links.
How to guage the links: -
Authority of linking domain or the page where the link resides.
Anchor text (or) clickable text of the link also carries weight.
Type or placement of the link also matter’s- followed link in the main body of the text has more value than a link with no follow attribute in the comments section of the blog.
Ideal link is from a site that gets high traffic & users follow link from that site to your site.
The other site also needs to have authority with sites, linking to it.
Page and topic content should be relevent.
Link should include important keyword anchor text.
Relevancy of link is important than the overall number of links.
Anchor Text: It is the actual link text that humans see on a page, It is the clickable text that is typically underlined and in different colour.
Four types of anchor text:
Exact match: It has exact match keyword in the link.
Brand: It has brand name in the link.
Generic: It has click here, read more, view website kind of text in the link.
Naked URL: Actual URL of the page/website that the whole link points to.
Exact match is the best as well as dangerous too, it is advisable that all links should not be in exact match phrase as it does not look original & natural it shoul be a mix of all.
Bad links: Are the Links from sites with bad neighborhood are considered bad links, shady industries like online casino’s, adult sites etc. are considered bad links.
Links from blog networks are also not good links as they exist to manipulate algorithms.
There is no point in blasting links from all corners to your site.
Content relevant links from relevant website are considered good and give authority.
Link Analysis: Below given are some link analysis tools which can be used.
MOZ (moz.com), MAJESTIC (majestic.com), AHREFS (ahrefs.com), meant for pulling and analysing inbound links.
When you start sites seo work check full link profile.
Link Building (or) link building tips: It is the process of reaching out to other website to link to your site.
Thinks to avoid in link building process:
Private Blog network (PBN’s) or link wheels.
Links from Press release websites.
Links from Article spinning or Article directories.
Blog comment spam etc.
Link building based on content: It refers to link building based upon following forms of content.
Text content, Images, Videos, Infographics, White papers, guides.
The simple and best process is to create good content, do the outreach and get the links.
Broken Link building: This is a link building strategy in which you look for high quality authoritative pages that have links pointing to your pages that no longer exist, and you let them know that you’ve got a brand new page with a piece of content that answers the same queries or need, this is called broken link building.
Onpage Signals (or) importance of on-page seo
Points to remember!
One can’t do seo without optimising content on page or website.
Onpage content signals are one of the most weighted elements in google’s algorithm, it is vital that how you write and optimise site content.
One should write content for humans and not for search engines, content, which is relevant and people will like to read.
Keyword Research: Below are the free keyword research tools for keyword research in seo.
Uber suggest, Answer the public, Moz, Semrush.
The more specific and focussed your query the slimmer and longer are the terms.
Seo content guidelines (or) Seo content writing tips: Write content that truly answers the question the user is asking.
Content should sound like you are directly talking to a customer and include all relevant keywords.
Only stuffing keywords is of less help.
On page optimisation:
How buying tickets online saves your time—Right example.
Sub heading (h2), then next (h3).
One can refer below this link for more information : 10 on page SEO Essentials
Seo for Mobile
Web page design (or) website design ideas for beginners: Google recommends responsive design as it makes web pages render well on different devices, providing access to the same content & ensuring a similar user experience regardless of the device used.
AMP: Accelerated mobile pages (designed for speed) it is a google backed project.
PWA: Progressive web app’s, it works like and app but don’t have to download from an app store.
AMP creates pages based on strip own HTML that load instantly.
PWA is high grade of app’s & websites.
Great user experience should be the single point focus while designing for mobile pages of website, some mobile web design best practices given below.
Google’s algorithm uses over 200 factors when it indexes and ranks pages.
SEO is an ongoing process and all factors in totality add up to the results.
Everything together makes a difference over the time and not just a single factor.
Google personalizes search results based on your search history; this ranking signal shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Local Seo Strategy (or) how local seo works
Local seo is different from traditional seo, google has separate algorithm for local seo that is google pigeon/google hawk.
In local seo proximity is a weighted factor in ranking but not the whole and sole one, other important factors are content and backlinks.
Local seo is difficult as local seo factors come into place.
Due to google’s recent algorithm update, businesses with physical store front gets more weight and ranking. For those who do not have physical store front it is quite difficult to rank in local seo.
In local algorithm’s not followed links still can make a difference and carry weight.
In local seo strategy, content has to be towards the relevant phrase and local area.
It is also important to include location keyword in all important page elements so as to localize content such as given below.
Title tag, H1 heading, Content, Image alt text, URL, Meta Description for every page on your site.