What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is the process of increasing the visibility of a website when people search for a service, solution for a problem, etc., in Google or other search engines.
When we do SEO, it’s practically about trying to make our website meet Google’s expectations as much as possible. These are called ranking factors, and Google uses more than 200 when ranking websites. Don’t be scared; we won’t list them all here. 🙂
SEO can be divided into 3 categories, these are as follows:
1. Technical SEO
2. On-Page SEO
3. Off-Page SEO
1. Technical SEO
In the case of technical SEO, we improve the technical side of the website so that it meets as many requirements as possible.
What is included in technical SEO?
– Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools registration
– Website architecture
– Website Speed
– Duplicate content
– Mobile Optimization
Of course, this is not a complete list, just some examples.
Google Search Console registration
First, Google needs to find your website. If Google doesn’t even know about the existence of your new website, it’s in vain to wait for it to appear in the search engine. So you need to make it known that you have a new web page or website. (You can do this in the Google Search Console.)
If you have done this, Google will crawl and index your pages. That means your website will be available for Google and can appear in search results.
Website architecture is how your websites are structured, and the website pages are connected to each other. You want to make it easier for Google’s crawl robots to visit all pages of your website without any problems. So the website pages must be properly linked to each other.
By the way, this is good for Google’s robots and website visitors as well because they will find what they are looking for more easily.
Website speed is also a ranking factor. So the faster your site, the better. The speed, as well as the website architecture, should be improved not only for the sake of Google but also for the sake of the users. If your website is slow, more than half of your visitors will leave. This leads to another problem, which is called a high bounce rate. Can you follow me? 🙂 Can you see how a slow website can start a chain reaction? It definitely needs to take care of it.
How can you speed up your website?
There are several options to do that. (You can find my Instagram post about it here.) First of all, see what your site could improve on. You can do this on the Google PageSpeed Insights website.
If you run a check on your web page, the items that can be improved will be highlighted in red.
After you run an analysis, your website will get a score.
What values are good?
For desktop, if it reaches 90% or above. So the values written in green are good. In the case of mobile, a value of 80% is okay. It is much more difficult to reach the highest values on mobile.
If you got a score that is in red, then you definitely need to improve it.
In the case of duplicate content, the same website content appears on several different pages. Of course, this should be avoided. It is important to note that a single sentence or paragraph does not count as duplicate content. So you don’t have to worry about copying the first three sentences of your blog post to other websites or pages. This does not count as duplicate content. However, if an entire page appears the same way on other pages or websites, that is duplicate content.
Nowadays, it is essential that websites use HTTPS. Most hosting providers have already added this to their hosting packages for free. If you don’t use it or if it’s not set up correctly, the browsers will indicate this to the website visitor and trust me, this is not good for your business. So you should use HTTPS.
It is also important to use essential security plugins and solutions.
It is also essential to optimize the website for mobile. This includes responsiveness and the fact that the page can be easily handled, navigated, read, etc., even on mobile devices. Of course, you also need to optimize for speed on mobile. (E.g., replacing larger images with smaller ones or not loading them at all on mobile devices, or removing unnecessary design elements on mobile)
2. On-page SEO
As the name implies, this kind of optimization is about the website and its content.
These may include:
– Content optimization (keywords)
– Header Tags
– Meta titles, descriptions, image alt descriptions
– …and many, many more. So this is not a complete list, of course.
Users, when looking for something, they enter keywords in search engines. It’s worth using those keywords on the website’s pages. This way, your website pages can appear as results in the Google search engine for the given keywords. It sounds simple, but it’s much more complicated to do well. It matters what keywords we try to include in the website’s texts and how often. It is difficult to appear in the search engine for general keywords because there is a lot of competition.
For example, it’s much easier to appear in a search result for a keyword like “Tommy’s pizza restaurant in Beverly Hills” than “Pizza in Beverly Hills”.
You can say, “Okay, I won’t use too generic keywords, only long-tail ones. Problem solved.” (like Tommy’s keyword in the above example.)
The problem is that not too many people will enter this long-tail keyword when looking for a restaurant. Most people will just enter a general keyword like “Pizza in Beverly Hills” or “Pizza Restaurants”.
So these general keywords bring more traffic but are more competitive.
What’s the solution?
Try to use more long-tail keywords, especially if your website is new.
Do not overdo it.
If you use a keyword too frequently, Google notices, and your website may be penalized for “keyword stuffing”.
Using appropriate header tags (H1, H2, etc.) is also essential. (For example, each page should have only one H1 header tag. There can be more than one H2, H3, etc., on the same page.)
Use short, descriptive URLs with keywords.
Example of bad URL: https://example.com/my-blog/why-is-onpage-seo-so-important-today-article2134
Example of a correct URL: https://example.com/blog/why-onpage-seo-important
Titles and descriptions
It is important that the title contains the keywords that will appear on the page. The meta title and description appear when the page is displayed in the search result. It is also essential that these metadata are also filled in correctly.
When you upload images to your website, don’t forget to fill in the image alt description.
For all titles and descriptions, it is important that they contain the right keywords and are relevant to the content of the given page.
3. Off-Page SEO
This includes SEO tasks that we don’t perform on the website but still impact the website’s position in the search engine or can result in more website visitors.
Some of these are the following:
– Link building
– Social Media (This has no direct impact on the ranking achieved in the search engine, but many of your website visitors can come from there.)
– Online reviews
First, let’s clarify what a backlink is. A backlink is a link that points to your website/page from another website. The more such backlinks your website has, the more important it is for Google.
Backlinks are included in the three most crucial search engine ranking factors.
How can you get quality backlinks to your website?
One way is to have a quality website with high-quality content. So it is worth blogging with the best possible content that is valuable to your target audience. Sooner or later, your website will be referred to as a reliable source on the given topic. Over time, your website will be able to get more and more quality backlinks. Don’t forget you have to have quality blog posts to achieve these results.
Of course, there are many other ways to get backlinks. Unfortunately, I can’t go into such details here; you can find much information online.
It is essential for any business. The bigger your social media audience, the more people will visit your website.
You can even share your blog posts on your social media. And your followers can share it with each other, who then return to your website to read your blog. And if they are on your website, they are only one click away from purchasing your product or ordering your services.
Another important thing is that ads can be much cheaper on social media than on Google. Small businesses may not even be able to afford a Google advertising campaign, so they consider advertising on social media.
One of the most important things is to have reviews of your services wherever possible. E.g., on your own website, on social media, and on other websites like Trustpilot.
It’s not worth using fake reviews and anything else that is fake. So do not purchase fake followers, fake likes, etc. It’s not worth it. After some short-term results, your social media account will be banned. It’s just a matter of time.
Also, do not use any prohibited, illegal SEO techniques. (It’s called Black Hat SEO.) Just like in the case of social media, Google will penalize your website and remove it from the search engine.
Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO is an essential plugin for any website. With this plugin, many SEO tasks can be done on websites. It is worth installing and configuring even the free version. With this solution alone, a lot can be done to improve the SEO of a website.