If you want to own a successful website or blog, you need to understand the basics of what SEO really is. Most people approach SEO as a way of organizing your website for search engines and for the human reader at the same time. This can become complicated if you do not understand what search engines are looking for, and what they are not looking for. Here, we will look at several aspects of search engine optimization and how to best use it.
What Is SEO?
There is no single definition for SEO. The term is an umbrella term for the various methods used to ensure that a website is visible to search engines. The term covers the information that is found behind the scenes of a website and what is visible to the people viewing your website. The most profitable form of web traffic comes through organic search, so we will focus on the principles behind this.
Why Your Website Needs SEO
When SEO is approached correctly, you can create your entire website’s architecture from the initial efforts. You can develop an easy to navigate blueprint for both search engines and your website’s visitors. By creating your website’s layout around the planned SEO, you can improve its rank dramatically in search engines.
What are Search Engines Looking For?
Search engines look for several things as they scan through your website. You can ensure that search engines are able to catalogue your website easily by organizing information by using tags, and completely filling out your metadata. Here are the most important things that a search engine will look for:
- Relevancy of information
- Content quality
- Potential for user experience
- Speed of the website
- Cross compatibility for devices
- Internal linking
- Authority of the information provided
- Title tags and meta descriptions
- Schema markup
- Image that are properly tagged
- Content that is evergreen
- Use of sub-directory root domains instead of subdomains
- Strong headlines and permalinks
- Comments and dialogue
- Strong local SEO
- Compatibility with social media
While there are other factors involved in ranking your website in search engines, these are the most prominent aspects inspected by popular search engines.
What Search Engines are Not Looking For
There are several practices that are “black hat” actions. Not only will using these practices cause your site to use rank, they can bring the worst penalties Google can impose. The worst penalty is being blocked from search results all together. Here are the most damaging black hat actions your website can become guilty of:
- Keyword stuffing
- Purchasing links or overusing link exchanges
- Using intrusive ads
- Overly intrusive mobile app ads
- Duplicate content
- Text or links that are hidden from view
By avoiding these common mistakes, your website will develop reputation with readers and with search engines.