What is SEO for a website? How to do SEO of a website? These are two important questions for website owners across the world. Earlier in a post titled “What is SEO in Content Writing?”, we discussed how your “content” can be made SEO-friendly. In this article, we are going to discuss how your website can be made SEO-friendly. So that it ranks higher in Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERP).
What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. To optimize your website or blog in such a way that it consistently ranks on the first page in Search Engine results, that is SEO.
SEO is broadly categorized as Black Hat SEO, White Hat SEO, Grey Hat SEO and Negative SEO.
- 1 Black Hat SEO
- 2 White Hat SEO
- 3 Grey Hat SEO
- 4 Negative SEO
- 5 Why SEO is Important
- 6 How does SEO Work on Google?
- 7 Types of SEO Techniques
- 8 How to Do Technical SEO?
Black Hat SEO
Adopting unethical means to rank higher on search results pages is Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO techniques such as Keyword Stuffing, cloaking and Private link networks deliberately manipulate Search Engines. Always focused on Search Engines, Black Hat does not care about a human audience. Needless to say, Search Engines penalise such tactics and hence Black Hat SEO is not recommended.
White Hat SEO
The exact opposite of Black Hat, White Hat focuses on a human audience. White Hat ethically follows all the search engine rules and policies. It focuses on Optimization Strategies, techniques and tactics that legally enhance a website’s search rankings.
Grey Hat SEO
Grey Hat strategies may be technically legal but ethically dubious. These methods may improve your site’s ranking but over a period of time these may become Black Hat. Not recommended in the long run!
Very similar to Black Hat techniques, Negative SEO means hacking your competitor’s website or building thousands of spam links to his property. It is illegal to push a rival down so one can improve his site’s search rankings.
Why SEO is Important
Simply building a blog or website is not enough. There should be traffic to your website. Traffic is brought to your website via Search Engines, Social Media posts, Email subscriptions, Advertisements etc. Search Engines remain the most long term factor as social media, emails or ads bring in limited traffic.
By using SEO techniques, your posts can rank on Google Search and bring in organic traffic to your website. And to monetize your blog, you have to have sizable traffic on it.
How does SEO Work on Google?
Google has some 200 different parameters in its algorithm to judge your post and website. When you target a keyword and complete SEO steps around that keyword, your post is likely to rank on search engine results pages.
When deciding the rank, Google monitors user activity. Do readers spend a lot of time on your blog? Do readers read multiple blog posts? If users spend less time and the bounce rate is high, Google is likely to rank you lower. A high bounce rate indicates that either the content is not engaging or the User Interface is not effective.
Types of SEO Techniques
Technical SEO affects the entire website rather than an individual post or page. Setting up an SSL Certificate (https), setting up Robots.txt, submitting XML Sitemap, analysing mobile responsiveness and Permalink Structure all come under the purview of Technical SEO.
On-Page SEO is one of the few things you have full control of in SEO. It is used when you are writing content or at the time of publishing your blog post. Whether it is the length of your article or or length of the blog URL. Whether it is internal or external links or the use of keywords and images in your post. You are in complete control of On-Page SEO settings.
To know more about On-Page SEO, click on the in-depth post below
The actions one takes outside the website to improve rankings on Google Search. The common perception is that Off-Page SEO is all about Backlinks. But the concept goes beyond that.
Social Media mentions, when someone talks about a business on forums, on social media, it definitely helps in growth, in Online Reputation Management. And Google analyzes these online mentions and the positive reputation of a business to help it achieve higher rankings in search results.
To know more about Off-Page SEO, click on the in-depth post below
How to Do Technical SEO?
SEO Friendly Domain Name
Domain names play a role in SEO. Global domain names like .com, .net, .org should be used if your blog is targeting a global audience. Then there are country specific domain names like .in for India, .ru for Russia, .uk for the UK etc.
It is advised that you go for a country-specific domain name only when you are targeting audiences in a specific country.
Please avoid domain names like .xyz, .tk or .ml as these can affect your website’s credibility.
Good Hosting Platform
If you operate a blog on Blogger, you don’t need hosting because Blogger provides free and unlimited hosting. And if you own a blog on WordPress, you would need a good hosting platform.
Initially you don’t have to spend a lot of money on hosting as traffic will be thin on your website. But as traffic increases, you would have to buy better hosting services. This is because your website’s load time depends a lot on good hosting.
Reduce Page Load Speed
Page Speed affects SEO to a large extent. Therefore it is advisable that you reduce it as much as possible. For this it is important that you use a lightweight ‘theme’ for your blog. Page Speed is also determined by how good a hosting platform and plan you have chosen.
Use this website to check your Page Speed and make improvements:
Blog Architecture Design
Use a simple theme for your blog. Make navigating your website as easy as possible. Add important widgets. Make sure the Header, Footer, Sidebar and body of your blog are optimized. See to it that the scrolling is smooth and the content loads effortlessly. Your website’s architecture is very important from an SEO point of view.
Create HTTPS SSL Certificate
Google Algorithms clearly indicate that an HTTPS domain will rank higher when compared to an HTTP domain. This is because a user’s safety is important to Google. When a user is typing a search term, search engines would want to direct him to secure connections. SSL certificates are free with most hosting platforms. So make sure, your website’s URL has an https at the start and not an http. For example, https://smartshoppingindia.in.
Build a Mobile-Friendly Site
Over 50% of internet traffic globally, comes from mobile phones. If your website is not optimized for mobile phone usage, imagine the kind of traffic you are losing to the competition. Open your website on a mobile phone and see what kind of user experience it offers.
Google Search Console has a Mobile-Friendly Test Tool that you can use to test the Mobile-friendliness of your website. Refer to the screenshot below:
Fix 404 Error Links
If you had a page on your website that was deleted for some reason, it shows up a 404 error. You should be fixing 404 errors on your website.
One way is to temporarily remove such links via Google Search Console. Refer to the image below:
Another way is to go for permanent removal of URL from Google Indexing. Refer to this detailed article on a Google Support page.
If you have rewritten the post or penned down a related post, you can always redirect the 404 page link to the new page.
404 error links or Broken Links can be easily checked by using this website:
Submit Website to Google Search Console
To link your blog to Google and have your posts indexed by the search engine, you have to submit it on Google Search Console. You can easily monitor traffic and article rankings on the Search Console.
These are the comprehensive answers to “What is SEO for a website?”, “How to Do SEO of a website?” Let me know in the section below what are the steps you are going to take to prepare your website for better rankings.
SEO is an extremely vast subject and with time and effort you will get a hang of what works and what does not. On that note, let me wish you all the best. Do let me know if you have questions and I will try my best to come up with suitable answers.