Search Engine Optimization plays a pivotal role in getting the organic traffic to your site. By just taking care of few things like Keywords, page optimization, original content, internal linking of pages, using alt tag for images etc we can improve our site SEO.

If you haven't read Part I, read it here SEO: Rank higher in Google Search

Keyword Research

Find out which right keywords to target in your web page content, and how to craft that content to satisfy both users and search engines needs that will create a high rank for your page. The power of keyword research lies in better understanding your targeted market and how they are searching for your valuable content and services. Here are some site for Keyword Research:

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Discovering keywords

You can enter those keywords into a keyword research tool to discover various content related to those keywords, search results and similar keywords.In the process of discovering relevant keywords for your content, you will notice that the search volume of those keywords varies a lot. There are two scenario i.e. high competitive words that your audience is searching for and low rank search results that can be useful because they're far less competitive.

Pro tip: Diversify!
Note that your entire websites don’t rank for keywords but individual pages do. For famous websites, we can see that the homepage ranking is higher for many keywords, but many other websites receive more organic traffic to pages other than the homepage, which is why it’s so important to diversify your web pages by optimizing each page for uniquely valuable keywords.

Search Volume

The higher the search volume for a given keyword, the more work is required to achieve higher rankings. Higher the search volume, the greater the competition and effort required to achieve organic ranking success. To get the most advantage, we can target specific keywords with lower competition. In SEO, we call those long-tail keywords which are highly specific and serves our purpose.

  • Keywords by competitor - Have an eye on your competitor, the keywords that they are using and you can diversify those keywords by taking keywords from various sites.
  • Keywords by season - Some of the articles fetch traffic once a month or on certain time frame like Christmas, Diwali, Good Friday, Canada Day, etc and you can prepare your site content around these keywords and publish your content on appropriate time.
  • Keywords by region - You can search the Google Trends that are specific to Geo-locations. You can target a specific location by specific towns, counties, or states using the Google Trends. Geo-specific research can help make your content more relevant to your target audience.
Pro tip: Questions are SEO valuable asset!
Search for the questions that people are asking in your niche, and add those questions along with their answers to an FAQ page, which can help you yield incredible organic traffic to your website.

Determining the value of a keyword

How much value would a keyword add to your website? These tools can help you answer that question, so they’d make great additions to your keyword research:

  • Moz Keyword Explorer - It extracts accurate search volume data, keyword difficulty, and keyword opportunity metrics.
  • Google Keyword Planner - Google's AdWords Keyword Planner has  been the most common starting point for SEO keyword research.
  • Google Trends - Google’s keyword trend tool is great for finding seasonal keyword like "sale during Christmas” will peak in the weeks before Christmas.
  • SpyFu- Provides some really neat competitive keyword data.

On-Page Optimization

On-Page Optimization means the minor or subtle changes that we do on our web page that creates a great and massive impact on organic traffic, some points on it:


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Creating your content

Create your unique content, check for any grammatical errors and other errors, check plagiarism of the written content and make sure your content is not copied from other sources and should be 100% original.

Duplicate content

Don't duplicate your content by coping it from another site as it reduces the search rating. So use rel=canonical tag to point to the original version of the web content in case it is from different source or use it to point to your own page.

Cloaking

Show the same content to the search engine like you are showing to any human visitor and never hide text in the HTML code of your website that any person can't see. If you do this fraud, google will reduce your rating.

Keyword stuffing

You don't need to include keywords on your page certain times. Many people mistakenly think that if you just include a keyword within your page’s content, it will automatically rank higher in search engine result but the truth is, search engine looks for mentions of keywords and also check if the page itself is adding value to content rather than just pure keyword usage.


Other optimizations your pages need

After reading this section, you’ll understand other important on-page elements that help search engines understand your content better which includes the header tag, internal links, link accessibility, anchor text and much more which you will learn here.


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Header tags

Each page should have a unique H1 tag that describes the main topic of the page, which is often automatically created by using the page title. The topic of the page is introduced in the main <h1> heading, and other additional heading tage (h2,h3 and so on) are used to introduce a new sub-topic.

While writing the articles, make sure to link the necessary articles that you have already written before so that readers can refer them and also they can continue reading all the important content that you have to offer.

Links that require a click (like a navigation drop-down ) are often hidden from search engine. So, instead for navigation links always provide anchor links that are directly accessible on the page

Anchor text

I link to a page on my site using the anchor text “SEO: Rank higher in Google Search” that’s a good indicator to search engines that the page is all about learning about SEO and how to rank higher in search engine But by overdoing it on your page can appear to search engines that you’re trying to manipulate a page’s ranking. It’s a best practice to create anchor text naturally.

Image Optimizing

Optimize your images using the free tools like Optimizilla, ImageOptim etc which are available free online

Alt text

Alt text (alternative text) within images is a principle of web accessibility, which is used to describe images to the visually impaired via screen readers. Always include alt text descriptions so that any visually impaired person can understand what the pictures on your website is all about.

Submit an image sitemap

To ensure that Google can crawl and index your images, submit an image sitemap in your Google Search Console account. This helps Google discover images they may have otherwise missed.

Conclusion

In this beginner guide we have learnt basics of SEO, how site traffic can get affected by using proper SEO. How do search engine works using Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking etc. What the search engines are up to, factors affecting the ranking of the website. The sitemap.xml file that contains all the URLs of the site, basic principles of the search engine and various engagement matrix which represents the user interaction etc.