Learn more about SEO to improve your website’s ranking on search engines!
If you’re not already familiar with SEO, how it works, and why it’s important, you can learn the basics here.
If you have already heard about SEO and understand the basics of SEO rankings, this blog will help build on your foundational knowledge and confidence as you move forward on your SEO journey.
White hat vs black hat SEO: Know the difference
White hat SEO refers to SEO techniques and strategies that abide by search engine rules and aim to provide value to audiences.
Black hat SEO, on the other hand, refers to techniques and strategies that attempt to spam or trick search engines. This can result in penalization by search engines and websites can be de-indexed from the database as a result. A penalized website can have serious implications for businesses, making it extremely critical to be very careful when choosing an SEO strategy.
How do search engines work?Search engines work through three main functions:
- Crawling: Search engines send out a team of crawlers or spiders to scour the internet for new and updated content (webpages, images, videos, PDFs etc.) and add it to their database of URLs.
- Indexing: Search engines store and organize the content found during the crawling process. Once a page is in the index, it has the potential to be displayed as a result to relevant search queries.
- Ranking: Search engines provide the snippets of content that best answer a searcher’s query, which means that results are ranked by most relevant to least relevant.
Did you know?
When it comes to SEO, not all search engines are one and the same. Most of us put our effort into optimizing for Google, but those same tactics might not work for search engines like Bing or Yahoo.
Onsite vs Offsite vs Technical SEO
Onsite SEO is all about making your website pages, titles, tags, and other content optimized for your keywords.
Offsite SEO requires a little more effort. This involves making sure other – reputable- sites link back to your own but it can also include social media and reviews.
Technical SEO covers everything that impacts the crawling and indexing of your site by search engines. This includes site speed, structured data, XML sitemaps and canonicalization.
If your main priority is to optimize your SEO strategy for Google, try to follow Google’s webmaster guidelines. We’ve highlighted the key takeaways for you below!
✓ Things to do:
- When building webpages, keep your users in mind, not search engines!
- Don’t try to deceive your audience.
- Avoid black hat methods intended to improve search engine rankings.
- Prioritize valuable and engaging content.
✗ Things to avoid:
- Creating pages with little to no original content.
- Cloaking, which refers to deceiving search engine crawlers by showing them different content than what you show your visitors.
- Hidden text and links.
- Doorway pages, which are pages that are created to rank well on search engines.
- Stuffing pages with irrelevant keywords.
Did you know?
It’s best to send emails either 10 minutes before or 10 minutes after the hour. These brief timeframes correspond with people leaving or going to meetings. And what do many of us do when we have a few minutes to kill? Catch up on emails on our phones!
Check out these additional simple SEO tips:
- Create original content. While it’s okay to publish work from others – especially if you feel that it would be valuable to your readers – always aim to prioritize original content. The more your site stands out from your competitor’s sites, the better your rankings will be.
- Create content around keywords. Every SEO strategy starts with a keyword search. When you’ve narrowed down your primary and secondary keywords, build your content around these to lead searchers to your page. You can use this keyword tool for assistance!
- Include titles and meta-descriptions. Your keywords are at the core of everything you write, and that includes your titles, H1 and H2 tags, and meta-descriptions.
- Use short, accurate URLs. An effective URL should include your targeted keyword(s) and should be short and easy to understand.
- Use internal and external links. Internal links direct users to other pages on your website, while external links direct them to other useful websites and resources. Both positively impact your SEO.
- Ensure quick load times. Review your website and remove any images or plug-ins that are slowing down your load times.
With these quick tips, you should be ready to take on an SEO strategy on your own. There are tools like SEMrush, RankMath and Yoast that can help you with website audits, competitor and keywords searches, and readability to ensure you’re on the right track!
Should you hire an SEO consultant or agency?
Depending on your willingness to learn and capacity to dedicate time, you can perform some basic SEO methods on your own. However, if you have a more complex site and no bandwidth or additional resources, you might benefit from the help of an expert. Contact us for more details!