From 👶🏻 Novice to 🔪 Ninja, Here’s Your Go-to Guide 💡 to Learn 📖 SEO in 2020.

Are you a beginner in the world of SEO? Hiring an SEO company is a big decision. It is even more crucial to hire the right one. The right SEO partner can potentially improve your site performance and save significant time. On the other hand, failing to select the right partner can risk your business and bring adverse effects to your reputation.

Gaining a basic knowledge of SEO can help you make the right decisions. However, getting SEO right on the first hand can be challenging. So, at Organik Monster, we’ve created a complete, go-to guide that covers everything you need to know about SEO to be successful.

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       SEO Basics

Are you a newbie? Are you wondering where to start and how to master SEO in 2020? Fortunately, you’ve landed in the right place! This chapter focuses primarily on demystifying the fundamentals of SEO that help you accelerate your learning process.

Learn SEO Basics

Do you know the number of searches made per second?
Around 63, 000 searches have been received per second by Google alone.
Approximately, an average person makes at least 3 to 4 searches per day on the Internet.
A big number for you to tap, right?
You can gain a competitive edge by positioning your brand in the top results on the search engines.
But how?

Being on top of the search results can be achieved in two methods.

  • Paid
  • Organic

Each of these benefits businesses, but the difference lies in the cost and users’ trust in the brand.

Focusing on Paid research incurs costs, and it’s a short-term success. As long as you pay, your brand will be on the first page. Even the cost of acquisition will also be higher.
On the contrary, focusing on Organic Search requires lots of work and time, but it benefits you in the long-run.
Interestingly enough, the top 3 Google’s organic results get 75.1% of all clicks. Users trust organic results more than paid results.
Therefore, organic results receive higher click rates, and leads are more likely to convert than, in comparison, with Paid Results.
As a result, if you want to create a sustainable business model, then you need to work on SEO to position your brand in the top organic listings.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves a set of strategic activities that help you optimize and rank your website organically (non-paid sections) in the search results and thereby drive quality and relevant traffic to your site.
SEO helps you to get your brand in front of the eyeballs of the right audience when they search for it.

How search works?

Internet is a giant library. People often type in their queries on the search engines to get relevant information.
Search engines are ultimately created to deliver better search experience to its users. It scans billions of web pages and comes up with top results that it considers as relevant to the query.

How SEO helps search?

SEO helps search engines to understand better about web pages. Therefore, if a relevant query is conducted by a user, search engines will shortlist web pages that include specific keywords and other signs that show it is relevant to the query.

These pages will be ranked on the search results. Google alone considers 200 ranking factors. Here’s the list of such factors.

SEO is becoming an essential marketing channel, and it is evolving continuously.

Is it difficult to learn SEO?

It is purely based on one’s interest and willingness to learn. There are a lot of SEO resources available over the internet to aid beginners to master SEO.
Before we proceed, let’s have a quick overview of SEO techniques and practices.

SEO Techniques

On-page SEO

On-page SEO is more about the process of optimizing individual web pages (both content and HTML source code), which makes it easier for web crawlers to scan and display web pages whenever a relevant query has been made on the search engines.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is more about getting quality backlinks from websites that are active and relevant to your niche. Google will consider sites that have more quality backlinks as authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy. It is a boost to your organic ranking.

SEO Practices

Black Hat 🎩 Vs White Hat SEO 👒

Black Hat SEO is only focused on optimizing websites for search-engine friendly, forgetting about humans at all. Though it seems to deliver excellent results in the initial stage, it will be marked as spam or banned from the system eventually.
In contrast, White Hat SEO considers its audience and focuses on delivering a great experience to them. Following White Hat SEO practices help you thrive in the competitive world.
Choose your way wisely!

Gray Hat SEO lies somewhere in the middle of both Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO. However, it is less risky than Black Hat SEO. It is the process of incorporating legal methods to rank sites, which may or may not result in banning your site. The practice of Gray Hat SEO is still open to debate.

          How it works?

In this chapter, we discuss how search engines work, the way people utilize them, and the ever-evolving process of search engines on delivering a greater experience to users.

Search Engine- How it works

To be a successful SEO professional, the first step you need to take is to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanism behind search engines and its ranking algorithms.
Contents are generated every single minute. People post on their social sites, blogs on useful/interesting topics, host a website, etc.
So what will happen if someone hosts their brand-new site online or uploads a web page?

It will get crawled.

Search Engines have thousands of active bots that regularly crawl this giant internet world to discover and explore web pages.

Once the page gets crawled, the next process that takes place is indexing. Indexing is the process of understanding and storing the content in an organized way. It helps search engines to pick the most relevant and useful results if a user makes a query.
Let’s dive deeper,

Crawling 🕷️

The process of crawling involves discovering and exploring web pages that exist on the internet. Active Search Engine Crawlers will carry out this process. These crawlers are computer programs that systematically crawl to stay up-to-date and deliver relevant content to its users. They are also better known as Bots, Spiders, and Automatic Indexers.
These crawlers will read everything (Content, Heading, Headlines, Meta tags, Descriptions, PDF files, image, and video) they find on a particular page.

Furthermore, these crawlers will follow the links (HTTP) they find on a specific page and use it to discover other new web pages. This way, the bots crawl all the web pages and place them in the repository of known pages.

Best Practices

To get crawled faster, follow these practices.

  • Create your Website sitemap.
  • Block pages that you don’t want search engines to crawl with robots.txt.
  • Make sure that your homepage is linked to all pages, and it is good enough to navigate.
  • Create original & useful content.

Indexing 🗄️

Indexing involves storing all the content with its location in a huge set of databases. It understands, stores, and catalogs the web pages to fetch data easily. It takes up to eleven days to index a page. If your page is indexed, then it is much likely to show up on the search engine result pages.
Best Practices

To get indexed faster, follow these practices.

  • Make your page titles short, unique and meaningful.
  • The heading should convey the message straightforwardly
  • Use keywords in page titles, headings, and other sections
  • Optimize images & videos with alt text and other appropriate attributes

Ranking 🏆

Indexing involves storing all the content with its location in a huge set of databases. It understands, stores, and catalogs the web pages to fetch data easily. It takes up to eleven days to index a page. If your page is indexed, then it is much likely to show up on the search engine result pages.
Best Practices
To get better rankings, follow these practices.
  • Create Google My Business profile
  • Make your site load faster
  • Optimize for mobile devices
  • Update quality content regularly
  • Use AMP to turn your site user-first & deliver a frictionless user experience
Search engines, in general, have their own set of ranking algorithms. Many of these ranking factors are well-known, yet few of them are not unveiled.
Here’s the list of most important ranking factors you should work on,
  • Domain Age, URL Page, and Authority
  • Easy to Crawl
  • Website Speed
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Keywords & related phrases in page titles, headings & sessions
  • Make your page titles short, unique and meaningful.
  • The heading should convey the message straightforwardly
  • Use keywords in page titles, headings, and other sections
  • Engaging & Original content
  • Optimize images & videos with alt text and other appropriate attributes
  • CTR & Higher Session Duration
  • User Experience
  • Internal Link Building
  • External Link Building

Pro Tips: Content and Backlinks are the essential factors that help you rank your site. Create fresh, unique, relevant, and keyword-rich content. Equally, getting as much as quality backlinks from relevant and active domains can improve your site’s authority and ranking.

You’ve now got a thorough understanding of the process behind search engines. It’s time to look at how people use it, which helps you to optimize your site for both search engine-friendly and user-friendly.

Remember, gaining a top position on the SERP result is not an end goal. If your user didn’t find it useful, then it will affect your ranking. Therefore, consider making a user-first approach as the topmost priority.

SERP Updates

Competition is intensifying. Every single day, new sites are getting hosted on the internet. Once the newly created site or changes are indexed, it might impact the organic results too.
Being on the top position requires one to monitor their ranking position and making quick changes to outrank competitions.

Search Engines, with its updates, are making the gaming surface harder. Search engines are changing their algorithms to understand queries and deliver the most relevant content. Minor updates will don’t have much impact. However, a major algorithm change can have a drastic change in your ranking. Keep tracking the SERP updates regularly.

SERP Features

Search Engines are evolving and focusing on delivering the right answers to users’ queries. Google is adding featured snippets to its search results, which help users to get complete information about their search. These rich snippets are influencing Google Search Users. As they’re visually compelling and covers all and most important information, users are more likely to click on those results than other organic results.

The List of Google’s Rich Snippets,

  • Zero Position
  • Featured Snippets
  • Answer Boxes
  • Local Pack Results
  • Knowledge Graph
  • People Also Ask
  • Video Featured Snippet
  • Ratings Snippet
  • Sitelinks
  • Recipes
  • Events
  • Q&A
  • Top Stories
Making your website ranked on any of these featured snippets will drive higher and quality traffic to your site.

         Keyword Research

Keywords play a pivotal role in determining the success of your SEO. It impacts almost every SEO task you carry out. SEO without proper keyword strategy is like a movie without a proper plot. It’s pointless- you don’t know what you're serving, what your audience is looking for and no longer engage them! 

Search Engine- How it works

Keyword Research is the process of exploring terms (keyword) your audience enters into the search box while looking for services/products related to your business. These keywords should be optimized in your content and other SEO tasks to increase your site’s relevance and ranking for such terms on search engines.
In earlier days, keyword research was just performed to discover high traffic rendering keywords and stuff them into the content. Over the years, search engines are sophisticated and strictly banned sites employing such practices. 

Consider Google’s advanced ranking component- RankBrian. Leveraged by AI & ML technologies, RankBrian understands the intention behind search queries and delivers relevant answers. So, finding the right keyword is the prime job. Let’s see how to do keyword research properly,

#1 Discover keyword ideas

To come up with a variety of keywords, first, you need to identify your Seed Keyword. Seed keywords are the base words that help you develop more keyword suggestions & ideas.
If you own a bakery, then phrases like Bakery Shop, Bakery Items, Cakes, and Cookies will be a great start.
The ideal places to look for keyword ideas,

Google Suggestions

Google Suggestion is the most reliable platform that provides you keyword suggestions from the SERP. Google’s Features like Autocomplete, People Also Ask, Related Searches, and Q&A are a goldmine for SEO professionals to discover the right keywords. Google provides these suggestions based on the user’s search queries.

Google Autocomplete

While entering your seed keyword, you can see the suggestions that appear in the drop-down.

People Also Ask

You can build keyword ideas from this section.

Searches Related To

Here’s another way Google offers professionals to identify the relevant keywords.

Google Keyword Planner (GKP)

There are lots of free tools that help you generate tons of keyword ideas. The popular one is GKP. It’s designed to generate keyword ideas for Google Ads.

#2 Analyze Keyword Metrics

Once you discover the keyword ideas, analyze the keywords based on these crucial metrics.

Search Volume

Once you discover the keyword ideas, analyze the keywords based on these crucial metrics.

ProTip: Use Google Trends to analyze which keyword is getting traction among users and which is losing the traction.

Keyword Difficulty

It lets you know how hard it is to rank for a particular keyword. It is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the harder to rank for it.

Note: In GKP, it’s common among users to get confused with ‘Competition Score’ as ‘Keyword Difficulty Score.’ The score, here, refers to the competition levels in Google Ads, not the ranking difficulty of a keyword.

Search Intent

It refers to the intention behind the users’ queries. Analyzing the SERP results of a particular keyword is crucial. It gives greater insights on,
  • Top ranking sites for that keyword.
  • Identifying user’s intention.
  • Probability of ranking your site on the 1st of SERP.

Example: You own a cake shop. Optimizing keywords like ‘Homemade Cake Recipes’ won’t help you as they’re not intended to buy. Know your users’ intentions behind the keywords. Don’t waste your efforts on optimizing the wrong keywords. Search intent is categorized into 4 types.

  • Navigational- Intends to find a particular brand/site (Gmail.com).
  • Informational- Intends to find information (Best places to visit in Chennai).
  • Transactional- Intends to buy or make a transaction online (Airtel Recharge)
  • Commercial- Intends to research before making a purchase (Redmi Note 7 Review).

#3 Long Tail Keywords

Niche-related keywords with high search volume and low ranking difficulty can make up a good combination, but ideally, it’s not easy to strike balance between these metrics.

Focus on long-tail & middle tail keywords. Search volume for long-tail keywords is low. They’re specific, easy to rank and drive more conversions.

  • Broad Keyword- Cake
  • Middle Tail Keyword- Eggless Cake
  • Long-tail Keyword- Best Eggless Cake for celebration

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords

LSI is another option to aim for a particular keyword. It’s a technique to find the related words of your keyword and use it in your content to instruct Search engines that your page is related to this particular search.
Once you find the ideal keyword, include it properly in these sections of your page.
  • Page Heading
  • Title Tag & Meta description
  • Within the First 100 words
  • Subheadings

          Content & SEO

Are content and SEO two different entities? Smart SEO practitioners know that both Content and SEO need to work in conjunction to deliver desired results. In this chapter, we see how to get benefitted from this synergy.

A prevailing thought, exists among some marketers, is that Content and SEO are two different entities. They think that good content doesn’t require SEO, but it is not!
Content and SEO need to go hand in hand to deliver the desired results. No matter how good your website is optimized for Search Engines, it’ll be of no use if your content is not engaging. And, vice versa!
Content helps you deliver the right message. And, it is SEO that takes your content to the right audience.
Therefore, it is wise to think about how to get benefited from this synergy- Content & SEO, rather than arguing about it.
Let’s see what type of content you can create and how.
There are no magic tricks when it comes to creating content. The #1 rule is: Be original and informative. The more informative it is, the higher the engagement will be.
The length of the content may vary. However, Google tends to rank content that goes beyond 1000 words. The more comprehensive your content is, the higher the ranking will be.

Types of content

Blogs

Starting a blog can be a great thing for brands to build their audience and engage with them. Do keyword analysis and identify topics that your audience likes to read. You can create long-form blog posts like guides or How-to content.
It is one of the best ways to educate about your services/products to your readers, stay on top of your readers’ mind-which will eventually lead to higher conversions.
By publishing high-quality posts, you can become a thought leader in your industry.
  • Do extensive research & add unique data points
  • Create original & value-added content
  • Build a unique brand voice

Product Pages

Product pages are the heart of your website. Describing product specifications, features, adding images and including customers’ testimonials can boost your conversions. Furthermore, these product pages can also be used as landing pages for your AdWords, Remarking or Social campaigns.
  • Keep your page simple
  • Include your product images
  • Explain your pricing plans and process
  • Write compelling copy
  • Deliver a great user experience

Reviews

For brands, getting reviews from industry experts helps to build authority, increase brand visibility and gain trust among customers.
As a blogger, it is a lucrative market to tap in. Trust is the key player in influential marketing. If you’re able to build trust among your readers and follow ethical practices, then you can earn a lot from sponsored reviews or blog posts.
  • Choose your specific niche/topic
  • Write unbiased reviews that add value to readers
  • Be consistent

Case Studies

Case Studies have a profound impact on your targeted customers. These success stories let you show the world how you helped your clients overcome their challenges.
  • Do in-depth research on a particular use case.
  • Interview your clients
  • List down the pain points.
  • Elucidate the solution and the benefits they reaped.
  • Introduce the team behind your success.

Infographics

Visuals are compelling and indeed increase your user engagement. Well-designed infographics can help you deliver the core points.
  • Be consistent in following the color template, font type & size.
  • Include vital stats & key points.
  • Keep your sentence short.

Top lists

Writing top-listed blog posts are popular as it helps readers to get entire information at a glance. As it’s easy to read and consume information, it drives more traffic to your sites and will likely increase social sharing.
  • Include numbers in your headings to increase CTR.
  • Keep your post structure simple
  • Highlight key points, stats & add the ‘Click to share’ option.
  • Ask readers to share their tips in the comment.

Podcasts

Podcasting Interviews with industry experts or sharing useful tips can help you build audiences, get social shares and backlinks. Adding podcast transcripts boost your SEO activities and drive traffic to your site.
  • Use the right tools to deliver a good experience
  • Asks questions/provide tips that address industry-related challenges

Videos

Videos offer numerous benefits: Increased user engagement, likes, shares, backlinks, and higher conversion rates.
  • Practice your script
  • Invest in right tools (or) Hire a video developer
  • Include the transcript

Ebooks

Ebooks act as an effective lead conversion tool. Brands require readers to provide their email ID to download the ebook. But, no one will give their details unless they think of something as valuable. Give your readers a good reason to download!

  • Create compelling headings
  • Include attracting visuals & highlight data
  • Keep it easy to scan
  • Create a separate landing page for your ebook or include in the relevant product pages
  • Create a separate landing page for your ebook or include in the relevant product pages
  • Use pop-ups to promote & persuade readers to download

         On-page Optimization

On-page SEO still plays a vital role in improving your ranking. In this chapter, we’ve combined a host of essential on-page SEO techniques that help you optimize your site for search engines and users.

On-page SEO is optimizing content (What you can see) and HTML codes, the technical stuff (What crawlers only can see), of a web page to boost search rankings and enhance user engagement.
In this chapter, we’ll walk you through the important on-page optimization practices that not only help you optimize your site for search engines but for humans too!

Http Vs Https

Search engines are striving hard to provide relevant information to users’ queries. Simultaneously, it wants to ensure secure access to the sites.
Google, in the year 2014, announced that sites with HTTPS get a little boost in their ranking. It marks sites without HTTPS as “not secure”.
As a result, sites with HTTPS are gaining users’ trust and higher CTR than sites without HTTPS.

Indexation

Another primary factor you should consider is page indexation. Simple site structure makes the crawling and indexing process easier.
Use Google’s Search Console to find out whether your web pages are indexed. Plus, it gives insights on your website performances and suggestions to improve your sites’ visibility.
If your website is complex, then create a sitemap for your site. It’s an XML file that lists all your web pages, which makes the crawling process easier for bots.

Keyword Research

SEO is not about search engines. All of our efforts are driving towards gratifying users by giving them the information in the simplest form. To carry out, you need to understand what your audience is looking for than what you assume.

Keyword research helps you find out your audience’s exact problem/interest and the exact words they use to describe it. Focus on these targeted keywords and create content relevant to these topics. Speaking their language will likely increase user interactions.

SEO & User-friendly URLs

Search engines use your page URLs to find out the context of your page. That means, optimizing your URLs with targeted keywords can lift your ranking and CTR.
Create short, unique and keyword-rich URLs. It’s best to use hyphens between words while creating URLs.

Title Tags & Meta Descriptions

Title tags and meta descriptions have little impact on rankings, but it helps users and search engines to understand the page relevancy to the query. Use focus keywords, but don’t overdo.
Both also act as a Call-to-action. Creating persuading title and description content will draw readers’ attention and increase CTR.
Note: Keep your title tag and meta description under 60 and 160 characters, respectively.

Content

Create content that is keyword-rich, informative and descriptive. Structure it in a way that helps readers to find the information easily. It is best practice to include social sharing buttons on your website to get your content shared and attract a massive audience.

Image Optimization

Images and visuals are a great way to engage with your readers and increase session time. Invest time in creating appealing images, infographics, and videos that encourage readers to share.

Optimize your image sizes and quality with proper file names. Additionally, use transcripts for videos and keywords in the alt tag and other key attributes. It helps search crawlers to understand the image.

Outbound and Internal Link

Outbound and internal links are crucial aspects of SEO. Outbound links are links between sites. Internal links are links within your site.

If you find some useful information related to your content and think that your readers benefit from it, then provide an external link to that site.
Similarly, building internal links helps you spread link juice, improves session time, and makes indexing easier.

Website Speed

In a fast-paced world, humans are less tolerant than ever. Websites that load slowly might affect your users’ experience which tends them to hit the exit button. Google will analyze these user signals while ranking a page.
Compress your image files. Invest in the right web hosting provider and enable server cache. These factors can help you increase your page speed.

Mobile Optimization

Google prefers mobile-first indexing. Simultaneously, mobile searches are on the rise. If users don’t find your site responsive, it leads to bad user experiences and bounce rates. Make your site responsive by implementing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).

        Off-Page Optimization

Off-page optimization goes beyond building links. Let’s see the important off-page SEO techniques that help you raise your rankings in the search engine.

        UX & SEO

Off-page optimization goes beyond building links. Let’s see the important off-page SEO techniques that help you raise your rankings in the search engine.

        Technical SEO

We’ve discussed the important aspects of SEO in the previous chapters. We’ll now focus on the emerging, key SEO trends that help you stay on par.

        Get Certified

We’ve discussed the important aspects of SEO in the previous chapters. We’ll now focus on the emerging, key SEO trends that help you stay on par.

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