Updated: Sep 1
For anyone using Google, or those owning a website, or those, writing a piece of content, believe me, they all need SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization which means optimizing your content so that it stands out amidst the competition on a search engine.
Search engine crawlers use several algorithms most of them unknown to the common public in that case the only savior for our content to rank higher on SERP (Search Results Page) would be SEO tactics.
The major steps involved in optimization would be:
Keyword research and analysis
Create good content
Optimize On-Page SEO
Strategize Off-Page SEO
Here are some commonly used SEO tactics:
Keyword research: Identifying relevant keywords and phrases that users are likely to search for when looking for information related to your website's content.
On-page optimization: Optimizing various elements on your website's pages, including title tags, meta descriptions, headings, URL structure, and content, to make them more search engine-friendly and relevant to the targeted keywords.
Technical SEO: Ensuring that your website is technically sound and accessible to search engine crawlers. This includes optimizing site speed, mobile responsiveness, crawlability, XML sitemaps, and fixing any technical issues that may hinder search engine indexing.
Link building: Acquiring high-quality inbound links from other websites to improve your website's authority and credibility. This can be achieved through guest blogging, content promotion, influencer outreach, and creating valuable content that others naturally want to link to.
Content creation: Producing high-quality, informative, and engaging content that aligns with user intent and addresses their needs. Content can include blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and more.
User experience (UX) optimization: Ensuring that your website offers a positive experience for users by improving page load times, navigation, mobile-friendliness, and overall usability. Positive user experiences can lead to increased engagement and improved search engine rankings.
Social media promotion: Leveraging social media platforms to promote your content, engage with your audience, and attract more traffic to your website. Social signals, such as likes, shares, and comments, can indirectly influence your search engine rankings.
Local SEO: If you have a local business, optimizing your website to target location-specific keywords and implementing strategies like Google My Business optimization, online reviews management, and local citations to improve your visibility in local search results.
Monitoring and analytics: Continuously tracking your website's performance using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console. Monitoring keyword rankings, traffic sources, user behavior, and other metrics can help you identify areas for improvement and adjust your SEO tactics accordingly.
There are different classifications of SEO :
Black Hat vs White Hat
On-Page vs Off-Page
SEO can be broadly classified into three main categories based on the areas they primarily focus on:
On-Page SEO: On-page SEO tactics involve optimizing the elements within your website's pages to improve their visibility and relevance to search engines. This includes optimizing meta tags (title tags, meta descriptions), headings, URL structure, internal linking, keyword usage, and overall content quality. On-page SEO ensures that your website is easily discoverable and provides a positive user experience.
Off-Page SEO: Off-page SEO tactics primarily focus on improving your website's authority and credibility by acquiring external signals. The main aspect of off-page SEO is link building, which involves obtaining high-quality inbound links from other websites. These links act as votes of confidence for search engines, indicating that your website is reputable and valuable. Other off-page SEO tactics may include social media promotion, influencer outreach, and online reputation management.
Technical SEO: Technical SEO tactics involve optimizing the technical aspects of your website to enhance its accessibility, crawlability, and indexability by search engine bots. This includes optimizing site speed, mobile responsiveness, XML sitemaps, robots.txt file, canonical tags, structured data markup, and ensuring proper website architecture. Technical SEO ensures that search engines can effectively crawl and understand your website's content.
It's worth noting that these categories often overlap, and a comprehensive SEO strategy usually incorporates elements from each category. For example, creating high-quality content (on-page SEO) can naturally attract external links (off-page SEO), while ensuring proper website structure (technical SEO) can enhance the user experience (on-page SEO). A well-rounded SEO approach addresses all three categories to maximize visibility, relevance, and user satisfaction. Black hat SEO and white hat SEO are two contrasting approaches to search engine optimization. They differ in their methods, intentions, and adherence to search engine guidelines. Here's an overview of each:
Black Hat SEO: Black hat SEO refers to aggressive and unethical tactics that aim to manipulate search engine rankings, often by exploiting vulnerabilities in search engine algorithms. These tactics prioritize short-term gains over long-term sustainability and user experience. Examples of black hat SEO techniques include keyword stuffing, hidden text and links, cloaking (presenting different content to search engines and users), paid link schemes, and content scraping.
Black hat SEO can lead to immediate improvements in rankings but carries significant risks. Search engines continuously update their algorithms to detect and penalize such manipulative tactics. Websites employing black hat SEO may face severe consequences, including getting deindexed or receiving manual penalties that negatively impact their visibility and rankings. Engaging in black hat SEO is strongly discouraged as it can harm your online reputation and long-term success.
White Hat SEO: White hat SEO, on the other hand, focuses on ethical and sustainable techniques that align with search engine guidelines and prioritize user experience. It aims to improve rankings through genuine optimization, valuable content creation, and positive user engagement. White hat SEO techniques include keyword research and optimization, creating high-quality and relevant content, improving website structure and navigation, acquiring natural and authoritative backlinks, and optimizing user experience.
White hat SEO takes a long-term approach, emphasizing the value and relevance of content to attract organic traffic and build a loyal audience. It aims to establish a trustworthy and reputable online presence while complying with search engine guidelines. Although white hat SEO may take longer to yield results, it offers sustainable growth, improved user satisfaction, and reduced risks of penalties or search engine backlash.
It's important to note that search engine algorithms are continually evolving to better detect and penalize black hat tactics. Search engines, such as Google, explicitly encourage webmasters to focus on providing valuable content and user-friendly experiences rather than attempting to manipulate rankings. Adopting white hat SEO practices is not only more ethical but also more likely to lead to long-term success in the ever-changing digital landscape.
Black Hat SEO involves all the manipulated tactics of content optimization in order to show the crawlers that the page contains rich content for the searched keyword whereas White Hat SEO uses all organic optimization techniques.
While On-Page SEO involves optimization related to the content and its markers whereas Off-Page SEO deals with brand authority of the site and site owner.
Generally marketers use all or most of it to rank their content higher. Ace Digital Marketers give more importance to White Hat SEO as Black Hat SEO is considered doomed. Nevertheless Black Hat SEO still exists. Most marketers use a hybrid of both which they call Grey Hat SEO.
On-Page SEO mainly includes attributes related to content :
Look for keywords in Title, URL and meta description.
Include the keyword in the content without over stuffing.
Use of Schema and Subheads in the content.
Site architecture plays a major role.
Canonicalization is a technique to avoid duplicate content.
Use of mobile-friendly sites.
Use of HTTPS and SSL certificates.
Off-Page SEO on the other hand mainly deals with outward attributes :
Trust that audience has in your site which could be derived from -
Domain Authority - popularity of the domain name.
Page Authority - Popularity of page content.
Bounce Rate - No of people viewing single page before leaving the site.
Domain Age - age of the site, older the better.
Identity - Brand or personal Identity.
Backlinks - total number of links to your page from other sites and their quality including the anchor text with which they are linked with.
Region - Country or City of origin and the target audience.
Social Shares - presence on social media involves both number and quality of shares.
I have covered most of SEO tactics and practices used across web. Hope this brings some relief to those who are new to Digital world and are looking for some insight on the basic idea of what actually happens behind a search and how SEO is used to get desired results from a search.
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