Search Engine Optimization Strategy

SEO fundamentals

So let’s begin SEO from the foundation. SEO which is the short form of search engine optimization is one of the ways to bring traffic to a website.

You can see on the right diagram, how you can inject traffic into your website and online stores from different channels. By now we have talked about all of them but SEO. When you are working on your website, you must follow some instructions to improve your webpages from an SEO perspective, and then the more traffic your web pages have, the higher they rank in search engines.

But before that let’s talk about how you can use some specific plugins to make your work easier in SEO when you are building a web page.

Working on your webpage SEO depends on what platform are you using to build your website. We are going to talk about the common one which is WordPress. There is a plugin that will help you to improve your webpage SEO and that is: Yoast

Install it on your WordPress dashboard and when you want to edit each webpage, there will be a new setting added for SEO. It includes several parts which you must fill:

  • Page title
  • Slug
  • Meta description
  • Focused keyword

This plugin also gives you great tips which will help you rank higher in SEO.

The domain of a website has a great effect on ranking in search engines. The keyword you select can have a connection with your domain which divided into 3 types:

  • EMD: Exact match domain
  • PMD: Partial match domain
  • Branded: no match

Backlinking and its types

Backlinking is one of the common strategies in SEO but itself has a lot of tricks that most people don’t know about, even people who are advanced in digital marketing miss this, and here we are going to talk about them.

The backlink is when another website link to your site, but it must be one way, meaning if you link back Google won’t like it.

Search Engine Optimization Strategy

Anchor text categories

Anchor text is the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web. The anchor text has 6 different types that are written below.

  • EMK = exact match keyword
  • PMK = Partial match keyword
  • Branded = A word or phrase connected to a web page
  • Generic = like: click here, visit here
  • URL = The exact URL of the webpage
  • LSI = latent semantic indexing = It is a synonym of the keyword

Each of these must be from a different domain, and different IP (you can use VPN)

SEO Note !!!

Do not over-optimize a webpage with the focused keyword, meaning do not use the keyword many times, because search engines will suppress it

Tiered link building

This strategy is the next level of backlinking which as its name indicates we are going to have tiers in the system.

  • Tier 1: backlink from Pinterest to Instagram – Generic
  • Tier 2: Backlink from Instagram to Medium – LSI
  • Tier 3: Backlink from Medium to the website – PMK

To this system we call tiered 3, building it is simple and possible but most people don’t know that it will create a good SEO effect for the final link to your website.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.

All major search engines such as GoogleBing, and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.

Every search engine has an algorithm to grab the information from websites, arrange them. After arranging they show them to us according to our demands. We are going to learn the important factors that affect search rank. how should we use them in our best interest and grow our website and business?

Once you understand the rules, you just have to work on it and you will get the result you want. Even though SEO looks a bit complicated but you can learn it fast and easily.

SEO includes 3 major sections:

  • Keyword research
  • Build a web page with SEO structures
  • Drive traffic to it from different channels

Together we are going to learn and practice all these 3 steps to master SEO.

Keyword Research

1- Keyword conversion and bounce

Keywords are the queries we search for in search engines and there are 2 types:

  • Broad
  • Longtail

Broad keywords are the ones that are 1-2 words and have a huge search volume. For example “WordPress template”, “chocolate cake” and “job”. As you can see they are very broad and many topics can be inside them. Broad keywords have a huge bounce rate and low conversion rate which is not good for marketing. Also, it is extremely hard to rank in these types of keywords.

On the other hand, we have longtail keywords in which they are more specific and include 3-8 words. To have the same examples on longtail keywords we can say:

  1. WordPress template for online T-shirt store
  2. How to make chocolate cake at home
  3. I’m looking for a job in New York

As you can see all of the keywords above include several words and they are specific for a situation. Longtail keywords have a low bounce rate and a higher conversion. The main reason is that people find exactly what they were looking for.

2- Different types of broad and longtail keywords

We can point out the different types of these keywords which later help you to find a better choice for your web page. Broad keywords have only one type which is called “general“such as “sales”, “best laptop”, “London hotels” and so on.

But on the other hand longtail keywords have 3 different types which are “informational“, “transactional” and “general“. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Informational: How to sell T-shirt online
  • Transactional: Buy a laptop in London
  • General: eCommerce WordPress website

Above you can see 3 different examples for longtail keyword. It is much better to select longtail keywords with low competition.

3- Create a keyword list

Before working on your web pages it is very important to search and create a list of potential keywords in your niche. There are many different tools and places you can search for a keyword and in this part, we are going to use some of them to create our list.

Wikipedia:

Search for your own niche in Wikipedia and there try to pay attention to the words highlighted. This way you can find more good ideas connected to your business. For example, we are going to look for “digital marketing“ in Wikipedia, and let’s see what we will find there. I’m going to write the highlighted words below as a list:

As you can see we have selected 10 keywords that are connected to digital marketing. If you have a business in this niche, with this list you have a pretty good idea of what topics you can work on and create a web page. Also, some of the words above weren’t highlighted in Wikipedia, you just need to pay more attention and read it fast to find suitable keywords.

As a first step using Wikipedia we have found several broad keywords and we have to keep going deep and deep until we get to the right keywords for our web page.

Uber suggest:

The next tool we are going to use in our keyword research process is Uber suggest. You can write the topic of your niche as an example here we will search for “digital marketing“. Uber suggests is going to show us more information about the keywords which are very useful. Below you can see the result of our search:

4- Competitor keyword research

The next step in our SEO tutorial is to take a look at our competitor’s website and see which keywords they are ranking in search engines. For these steps, we are going to use several other tools that provide this information.

Spyfu:

Spyfu.com is one of the great websites which give us this chance to make research about our competitors and find our way up in SEO. If you don’t know who are your competitors, go to Google, and search for your niche. From there you can find different websites and check them out, see which ones are working in your niche.

You can also click on the button “view all organic keywords” and see the complete list of it. This is the part you should add more keywords to your list so later we can improve them and select the best ones for our web page.

Similar web

Before we go to the next part, there is another tool I would like to introduce which is Similarweb. Let’s take a look at our example using a similar web and see what we will learn more about.

A similar web gives us some additional information such as website ranking worldwide, category, and country. If you scroll down you find more information such as top countries, referrals, traffic sources, and much more, which can be very useful in our research.

5- Keyword planner

By now in this SEO tutorial, we have created a list of keyword suggestions which we need to analyze. To analyze our list we are going to use some Google products such as keyword planner. Open keyword planner, sign in (sometimes when you sign in it will redirect you to other pages, if so click on tools and again select keyword planner). Click here to go to the keyword planner home. Select find new keywords, and paste the keywords you already found out. The keyword planner will analyze our list and also provide other suggestions. Below you can see the image of the result keyword planner is showing us.

Look at the keywords keyword planner is a suggestion and select the best ones and add them to your list. I strongly suggest you pay attention to competition level and search volume because later we are going to validate our keyword list and I want you to get ready for that step.

Add the new keywords to your list and remove the ones you think are not good. In the next part, we will use another tool from Google to compare different keywords.

6- Google trend

In this part, we are going to use Google trend to compare our top keywords and select the best one. Let’s take an example and compare the keywords together.

  • Digital marketing course
  • Learn digital marketing
  • Digital marketing training
  • Online digital marketing

As you can see it is obvious that our first keyword, digital marketing course is ranking higher than other keywords. If you are focusing on a specific country, you can change the location to the target you want. The result will be different. Using Google trend we can compare several keywords that are almost the same but different in one or two words. It is important to compare similar keywords otherwise the result won’t be precise.

Moz Bar

Another useful tool we can use here is a chrome extension Moz Bar. Install and activate it on your browser, and now when you search for a topic in Google, under each website you see a new bar. There we can see PA which stands for page authority and DA which stands for domain authority.

PA is how much their page is ranking on Google based on SEO structure they had on their page, traffic, backlinks, and so on. DA is how their domain address is effecting on ranking in Google. If PA and DA are higher than 40, it is very hard to outrank them. If you are new to SEO and you don’t have much traffic on your page, you should focus on keywords that the competitors’ web pages have lower than 40 PA and DA. This way you can be sure that you can get to the first page of Google with a little hardworking and it is not impossible.

7- Keyword validation

Now it is the time to look at our list, use the tools we have learned and find the best keyword for our web page. We are going to use Keyword Planner, keywords everywhere (chrome extension), Moz, and Google trend to validate our keywords.

Import all your list into Keyword planner, and pay attention to the volume, CPC, and competition. Select the ones which have high search volume but their competition is lower than 0.3. CPC is important if you are planning to run ads otherwise you don’t need to pay attention to it at this stage.

Select the top 10 keywords and then bring them into Google and check their PA and DA. Remove the keywords in which their PA/DA is higher than 40.

After that select the top 5 keywords which have the lowest PA/DA and import them into Google trend. Compare them together and select the best one which has the most popularity.

Build A Web Page With SEO Structures

8- Page title, URL & headline

During this part of the SEO tutorial, we are going to build our web page following SEO rules and structures. The first important part after creating a new page on our website is to select the right page title, URL, and headline. We are going to practice this on a WordPress website but it is almost the same in any other web service. Create a new page and click on edit.

Write your page title using the keyword we selected in the last part, and it should be less than 50 characters. To count the letters you can use letter count. The reason that your title should be less than 70 characters is because more than that Google won’t show it and you start to lose the chance to attract users.

There are several useful tools to analyze your title from different views, let’s go over them together.

Coschedule

The first tool we are going to use in our SEO tutorial is coschedule which will analyze your headline and give you tips on how to improve it. If you practice with these tools, over time you get better and better at writing headlines. Let’s try our headline here and see the result together.

Aminstitute

The next useful tool we are going to check out in this SEO tutorial about the headline is Aminstitute. It is much harder to get a high rate on this website, and above 50 usually is a good headline.

Now it is your turn, place your headline and select your category and see how much you rank and how you can improve your headline.

URL

It is very important to use your keywords in your URL but not the common words. In our example we can have:

SEO-tutorial-course-wordpress-website

9- Yoast plugin

The next step in our SEO tutorial. One of the great advantages of using WordPress for your website is that you can use many powerful plugins which make your work much easier. In this part, we are going to use the Yoast plugin to improve the SEO of our web page. Please login to your WordPress dashboard > go to plugins > add new > search for Yoast. Install and activate the plugin, then come to your page and at the bottom of the screen, you will see new options added for SEO. Yoast plugin will help you to set everything up correctly and also it will give you tips on how to improve your page.

As you can see in the image above, click on edit snippet. Before we have selected our page title and slug is the URL shown in the Google search result. The other important part is the meta description. If your page doesn’t have a meta description, search engines like google will take the first 150 words from your web page to show in the search result. But it is externally important to add a meta description.

Google Search Console:

Add a new property

To add a new property that you’ve never accessed before:

Re-add a former property

If you were granted access by another user, you can re-add a property as long as any verified owner exists for the property (not necessarily the one who granted you access before). If you are a verified owner, and your verification token is still valid, you can re-add the property to your list.

If you removed the property yourself without unverifying yourself

  • Click Add Property in the property list dropdown on the menu bar and add information about the property. Your access will be regranted automatically.

If someone else removed your access, or you unverified yourself

Either:

  1. In the verification popup, select a verification method to prove that you own the site and follow the verification instructions on the page. Google-hosted sites (such as Blogger or Sites pages) are automatically verified. Learn more about verification.
  2. If your site supports multiple protocols (http:// and https://), you must add each as separate property. Similarly, if you support multiple domains (for example example.com, m.example.com, and www.example.com) you must add each one as a separate site. Additional steps:

We recommend creating a separate Search Console property for each domain or folder that you want to track separately, as well as the most general URL that contains them all.

Build and submit a sitemap:

  1. Decide which pages on your site should be crawled by Google, and determine the canonical version of each page.
  2. Decide which sitemap format you want to use. You can create your sitemap manually or choose from a number of third-party tools to generate your sitemap for you.
  3. Test your sitemap using the Search Console Sitemaps testing tool.
  4. Make your sitemap available to Google by adding it to your robots.txt file or directly submitting it to Search Console.

Sitemap formats

Google supports several sitemap formats, described here. Google expects the standard sitemap protocol in all formats. Google does not currently consume the <priority> attribute in sitemaps.

All formats limit a single sitemap to 50MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs. If you have a larger file or more URLs, you will have to break your list into multiple sitemaps. You can optionally create a sitemap index file (a file that points to a list of sitemaps) and submit that single index file to Google. You can submit multiple sitemaps and/or sitemap index files to Google.

General sitemap guidelines

  • Use consistent, fully-qualified URLs. Google will crawl your URLs exactly as listed. For instance, if your site is at https://www.example.com/, don’t specify a URL as https://example.com/ (missing www) or ./mypage.html (a relative URL).
  • Don’t include session IDs from URLs in your sitemap to reduce duplicate crawling of those URLs.
  • Tell Google about alternate language versions of a URL using hreflang annotations.
  • Sitemap files must be UTF-8 encoded, and URLs escaped appropriately.
  • Break up large sitemaps into smaller sitemaps to prevent your server from being overloaded if Google requests your sitemap frequently. A sitemap file can’t contain more than 50,000 URLs and must be no larger than 50 MB uncompressed. Use a sitemap index file to list all the individual sitemaps and submit this single file to Google rather than submitting individual sitemaps.
  • Use recommended canonicalization methods to tell Google if your site is accessible on both the www and non-www versions of your domain. You need to submit a sitemap for only your preferred domain.
  • Use sitemap extensions for pointing to additional media types such as video, images, and news.
  • If you have different URLs for mobile and desktop versions of a page, we recommend pointing to only one version. However, if you feel the need to point to both URLs,  annotate your URLs to indicate the desktop and mobile versions.
  • If you have alternate pages for different languages or regions, you can use hreflang in either a sitemap or html tags to indicate the alternate URLs.
  • Non-alphanumeric and non-Latin characters. We require your sitemap file to be UTF-8 encoded (you can generally do this when you save the file). As with all XML files, any data values (including URLs) must use entity escape codes for the characters listed in the table below.  A sitemap can contain only ASCII characters; it can’t contain upper ASCII characters or certain control codes or special characters such as * and {}. If your sitemap URL contains these characters, you’ll receive an error when you try to add it.

On-Page SEO Checklist:

1) Title Tag- Between 50 – 60 characters limit

2) Description Tag- Between 80 to 320 characters limit

3) Heading Tag- H1-Main Tag and H2 to H6 related to Post

4) Meta Tag- Related to post keyword in website

5) URL Structure-

  • Including search engine, friendly URLs for each of your pages is highly recommended, as these bring better crawling. Shorter URLs seem to perform better in search engine results,
  • Example of a good permalink: https://www.domain.com/post-title-separated-with-dashes

6) Keyword Density-

  • Including relevant keywords throughout your content is very important, as it helps search engines work out what your content is about. However, try not to excessively repeat and overuse keywords just for search engine robots. This can lead to your site being banned from search engines.
  • To avoid this, try to keep your keyword density to roughly 2-5%. If you find this hard, get out a  broaden your writing vocabulary. This way, you are still writing about the same thing, without the risk of being banned.

7) Image Tag-

All your uploaded images have titles, so treat them just the same as your page titles. Including relevant keywords can help people find your site when searching on Google Images. You can also include Alt Text and Descriptions for your images, making them even more useful with SEO.

8) Description Optimization-

  • Of course, there are exceptions, but for a general information-based blog, creating posts with at least 1000 words is the new standard.
  • It’s always better to be well-researched and overly informative than it is to not provide enough information. This is especially true if you’re targeting highly competitive keywords.
  • Suggestion: Analyze other posts for your target keyword and see how many words they have
  • While there is no “official” count, longer posts tend to rank better because there is typically more information there. For instance, this post is over 2,000 words.

9) Robert.txt file-

Robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct web robots (typically search engine robots) how to crawl pages on their website.

10) Sitemap –

A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site.

There are three

  • primary kinds of site map: Site maps used during the planning of a Web site by its designers.
  • Human-visible listings, typically hierarchical, of the pages on a site.
  • Structured listings intended for web crawlers such as search engines.

11) Internal Linking-

  • Placing links to your other website pages is a great way of improving your site and used properly, internal links can be a useful weapon in your SEO arsenal. Not only does it make it much easier for your visitors to navigate around your site and find all of your content, but it also ensures that your site gets properly crawled allowing the search engines to find all of your pages.
  • It also helps to build the relevancy of a page to relevant keywords and phrases, whilst also helping to increase the Google PageRank of your pages.

12) External Linking-

  • Apart from linking to your own blog posts, it is a great idea to link out to external websites as well. Again, only do this if the information on the external website is relevant to the information in your post.
  • While linking out to external websites, you should link to trusted websites only. And if you have doubts about the authority or popularity of a website, you can use a unfollow tag to avoid passing your link juice to potentially bad sites.
  • You should use do-follow links for trusted websites and nofollow links for those that are less trustworthy.
  • But somewhere authoritative like Wikipedia, or CNN, or a major player in your niche, will not only be trustworthy, they’ll likely have relevant content that your readers will love

On-Page SEO Checklist:

Here is a checklist you can use to make sure you are doing everything possible to rank higher in search engines.

  • Keyword placement:
  • Keyword in the title.
  • Keyword in the permalink.
  • Keyword in the first paragraph.
  • Keyword in the image alt tag.
  • Use LSI keywords in the body
  • Use the LSI keyword in H2 or H3.
  • Shoot for around a 1.5% keyword density.

Other things:

  • Remove all stop words from permalink.
  • Add multimedia (video, slides, infographics).
  • Minimum 1000 words.
  • Optimize images before uploading (compress and resize).
  • Optimize page load speed.
  • Create a Meta title of less than 65 characters.
  • Create a Meta description of less than 320 characters.
  • Internal links to related articles.
  • Outbound links to relevant high-quality sites.

Other things not mentioned here:

  • Make sure to add an image for Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Make sure to have social sharing buttons either at the end or floating on the site of your post.
  • Have related posts after each post to lower down the bounce rate.

Things not to do:

  • Don’t put more than one H1 tag (your post title is H1).
  • Don’t repeat the same H2 and H3 tags. Read about heading tags for SEO.
  • Don’t stuff keywords.

Things to focus on:

  • Use your keyword in the post title.
  • Use long-tail keywords.
  • If writing in an evergreen niche, remove dates from the posts. (Use Date Exclusion SEO plugin.)
  • Content length: The longer the content, the better it probably is. But don’t try to needlessly increase the content length.
  • At the end of the blog post, ask users to take action.

Off-Page SEO

  • Off-page SEO will help make your website popular on the internet, so you can get more visibility.
  • With the on-page techniques, we can get visibility in search engines. But only off-page SEO techniques will help improve your website position in SERP. Take a look at the list of top 13 best off-page SEO techniques now in the trend.

1. Creating Shareable Content

Amazing content is always the KING in search engine optimization. Creating amazing and shareable content is a smart way of generating more and more natural backlinks to our website or blog. Research often and keep your content always fresh and updated.

2. Influencer Outreach

If you have created any kind of content which is share-worthy, then don’t hesitate to reach out to influencers in your industry. Tell them to check your blog and ask for link backs from their blog. Make sure you get the links from completely relevant domains.

3. Contribute as Guest Author

There are a number of good and quality blogs that are open for guest posts from various authors. Write an amazing research piece and reach them with the content for a guest post. Don’t focus on the quantity of links but rather focus only on quality links. Also, don’t keep posting multiple times on the same guest blog site.

4. Social Media Engagement

A major Off-page SEO technique is social media engagement. If you want to make your business, website, or blog popular, engage with people on multiple social media platforms. Social media presence will help grow your business and also help you get more backlinks.

5. Top social networking sites Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites are one of the best platforms to promote your website. When you bookmark your webpage or blog post on popular social bookmarking websites, you gain high traffic to your webpage or blog.

Social Bookmarking Sites

  1. https://delicious.com,
  2. http://stumbleupon.com,
  3. http://digg.com,
  4. http://slashdot.org,
  5. http://diigo.com,
  6. http://technorati.com/

6. Forum Submission

Participate in search forums that are related to your website and business and make a connection with that community. Reply to threads, answer people’s questions, and give your suggestions and advice. Make use of “Do-Follow” forums.

List of high PR forums

  • https://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/
  • http://www.addthis.com/forum
  • https://bbpress.org/forums/
  • http://www.careerbuilder.com
  • http://www.chronicle.com/forums

7. Blog Directory Submission

Directory Submission is constantly working to build quality backlinks. Choose an effective directory and select a proper category. It takes quite some time to deliver good results, but these results stand out over a longer time period.

Free directory submission list

  1. http://www.boingboing.net
  2. http://technorati.com
  3. http://www.networkedblogs.com
  4. http://www.elecdir.com
  5. http://www.a1webdirectory.org/

8. Article Submission

Submit your articles in a high PR article submission directory. You can also give links to your website. Make sure your content is unique and of high quality. Low-quality content and content that has more keyword stuffing might get rejected. Choose the correct category and give a good title to your content.

Free Article Submission sites

  • http://www.thefreelibrary.com/
  • http://www.magportal.com
  • http://ezinearticles.com
  • http://hubpages.com/
  • http://www.brighthub.com/

9. Question and Answer

One of the best ways you can get high traffic is from question and answer websites. Join high PR question and answer sites and search for questions related to your business, blog, or website and give clear answers to these questions. Give a link to your website which will help in bringing you more visibility.

Question and Answer Websites

  • https://answers.yahoo.com/
  • http://askville.amazon.com/
  • https://www.quora.com/
  • http://www.blurtit.com/
  • http://www.ehow.com/

10. Video Submission

If you want to make your videos popular, head to popular video submission sites. Give a proper title, description, tags, and reference links. It is one of the more popular ways to get quality backlinks because all video submission websites have high PR.

Video sharing sites

  • https://www.youtube.com/
  • https://vimeo.com/
  • http://www.ustream.tv/
  • https://vine.co/
  • http://www.hulu.com/
  • http://www.break.com/
  • http://www.metacafe.com
  • http://www.dailymotion.com/in

11. Infographics Submission

Make creative infographics. These days, infographics are getting popular on the internet. Submit your infographics on infographics submission websites and give reference links to your webpage or blog. The image sizes differ with different websites.

Infographics Submission Sites

  • http://visual.ly/
  • http://www.reddit.com/r/Infographics
  • http://submitinfographics.com/
  • http://www.nerdgraph.com/
  • http://www.infographicsarchive.com/

12. Document Sharing

Create attractive documents relating to your business or blog. The documents should have unique content and should be in either pdf or ppt formats. Submit these documents in the document sharing websites.

Document Sharing Sites

  • http://issuu.com/
  • http://www.slideshare.net/
  • https://www.scribd.com/, http://en.calameo.com/, http://free.yudu.com/

13. Business creation-

  • To get more traffic from business listing sites website owners need to analyze the type of business they are in to and submit in a top local business listing sites like yellow pages, just dial, IndiaMART, Hotfrog, yelp
  • Procedure: Register in the site and enter the business details like company name, working hours, services, top priority keywords, address, contact no, images, videos
  • Local people who are looking for a particular product or service in local search engines find these listings more suitable and more chances to enquire.

Benefits: Getting a permanent backlink from a high authority site

Note-Promoting Website See Two Metrics

1) Domain Authority > 40 (Mozbr for check DA)

2) Alexa Rank < 30,000