What is SEO? Why is SEO important? What are the types of SEO? How long before I start seeing the results of my SEO efforts? Find answers to all of these questions and more in this quick SEO Guide for 2019.
Millions of articles are published online on a daily basis. Also, as of January 2019, there are about 1.5billion websites all over the world. The implication of this is that there is stiff competition for attention online. The question now is how do you stand out? How do you get found in the midst of all the noise? This is where you need SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
What is SEO?
As the name implies, SEO involves putting tactics in place to enable a search engine to you reliable enough to recommend your site/content to their users. Some of such tactics are highlighted in this quick SEO Guide for 2019.
Search engines, especially Google, is concerned about creating the best experience for their users. So the ideal focus of SEO should be the users.
Why is SEO important?
The first five results on Google search results page (SERP) get 67% of the clicks. The remaining 33% is shared across other pages. This goes to show why you must ensure your content gets to the first page, and if possible, as the first option on the page.
There is even a joke online that further goes to show the importance of SEO. It is “If you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of Google search results”. What this means is, go on any page other than the first page and you may never be found.
Types of SEO
There are two main types or approaches to search engine optimization – black-hat SEO and white-hat SEO.
The simple difference between the two is, while white-hat focus on the users, black-hat tries to trick the search engine.
Below is a quick comparison of the two:
Since you want to focus on the user and you do not want to get punished by Google later, then white hat SEO strategy is what you want to use.
Now that you have decided to use the white hat strategy, you should know your effort needs to be divided in two directions – on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
As the name implies, these are the works you do on your page to help you rank higher on a search engine. Find your on-page SEO checklist below:
- High-quality content (content is king, remember?)
- Keyword research and usage
- Post frequency
- Direct answer
- H1 or Title tags
- Meta description
- Load speed
- Internal linking of contents
- Page structure/architecture (i.e it should be easy to navigate)
These are tactics that you don’t have 100% control over but can be achieved with extra effort and consistency. Your off-page SEO checklist includes:
- Low Bounce rate
- Domain age
- Backlinks (quality ones though)
- Anchor text
- Searcher’s history
It’s worth noting at this point that SEO is not like a “get rich quick scheme” – you have to put in the work and be patient. The results usually do not come immediately, it takes time and requires a high level of consistency.
Make sure to link your pages to Google Analytics so you can easily track your progress. Cheers!