SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the set of activities done to optimize a website or blog on the Internet so as to get better rankings in the search engine. The main motive of SEO is, therefore, to get high organic traffic from the Search Engines. Organic Traffic is also known as Free Traffic or Natural Traffic, for which we need not pay to anybody.
Most of the Search Engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo follow some algorithms in order to rank the different webpages across the world wide web for different keywords. Nobody actually knows how the algorithms work exactly but on the basis of experience of different webmasters across the world, a lot of SEO techniques are known which can be used to optimize the websites for better rankings and traffic. Not only textual searches are included here but all other types like Video Searches, Image Seach and academic searches, etc.
Everybody is crazy about SEO. In a quick look, everything in SEO seems to be really easy but it isn’t. It requires lots of efforts to do SEO and make your website enough appealing to the search engines for a better organic traffic response. Different people across the Internet share different guides and techniques of SEO. Not every guide is correct, so you have to make sure you follow the right resources in order to get the right knowledge of Search Engine Optimization.
Types of SEO
SEO is primarily categorized into two major types.
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Site SEO
Let’s understand each of these types in detail.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO is the process of SEO done only on the pages of the website itself. It includes all the possible optimizations that can be done with the website structure, design, and content. As it is done with the webpages itself, therefore its called On-Page Search Engine Optimization. On-Page SEO is more important than Off-Site SEO. The reason being it includes the improvement of the content of the website and as you may know, Content is the King.
Therefore, the major part of it is to improve or optimize the website content. It includes everything you can do to make your content more and more appealing to the search engines. We’ll talk about the different On-Page SEO Techniques in the later section of this article.
What is Off-Site SEO?
Off-Site SEO is optimization activity out the website. It includes only one major activity and that is Link Building. It is the process of building quality backlinks for your website. Backlinks are the links given back to your website by some other relevant website. To find out more about backlinks consider reading the following linked article.
Most of the search engines treat backlinks as an important factor to judge the quality and importance of a particular website on the Internet. In the earlier days, more the number of backlinks a website has, easier for it was to rank for different keywords in the search engine. But there was a flaw in that case. People started to make fake backlinks from low and poor quality websites.
Therefore, Search Engines improved their algorithms and make them less dependent on backlinks and focus more on actual website content. Still, Backlinks from quality websites matter a lot. 10 Quality Backlinks are better than 1000 poor-quality backlinks. We’ll focus on Off-Site Search Engine Optimization in the Techniques section.
Search Engines don’t actually reveal how the algorithms actually. The only way to find out the techniques that actually work in SEO is to test the different possible ways. A lot of webmasters who have done SEO in the past assuming different things and techniques and have become successful now share those techniques. Not just a few people, a lot of people who have become successful in gaining huge organic traffic from the Search Engines with their optimization efforts, share those techniques which they used to do so. So, collectively the Internet contains a lot of fo SEO guides, tips, and techniques.
Here in this section, I’ve explained the different techniques of SEO on the basis of their types i.e. On-Page and Off-Page SEO Techniques.
On-Page SEO Techniques
There are different aspects of webpages and its content that can be optimized to let the search engines prioritize them. It includes things like having a proper density of keyword across the text content of the webpage, having keywords in the title tag and making use of heading and including keywords in a perfect match in those heading tags. Further, it includes, linking the different article of your website and out of your website as a procedure known as internal linking and external linking. There are a lot of other things like good content length, title length, image alt attributes and more.
I’ve already written a well-explaining article for On-Page SEO Techniques. Consider reading the following linked article to have a better understanding of On-Page SEO and its different techniques.
Off-Page SEO Techniques
As already explained, Off-Page SEO is all about building quality backlinks for your blog or website. Therefore, the goal of all techniques here would be to gain links from other sites.
As I explained in my articles that I had written about Backlinks that you’ve to maintain a good ratio of do-follow and nofollow backlinks. Therefore, you should keep this factor in mind while building backlinks for your blog or website.
Some of the most common ways of building the links are listed and briefly explained below.
Guest Posting is the activity of publishing content on other blogs and website. A lot of blogs and websites allow visitors to submit their own content to be published on the website. In return of proving them content, they may link back to your website and can some contact information of yours with their readers, usually at the end of the article.
Guest Posting has got several benefits. First and the major benefit is that you get one or backlink to your site. The next benefit is the Referral traffic and new audience for your website. If you get successful in publishing your content on some high traffic website, you may get a lot of Referral Traffic from the website. Referral Traffic is the volume of visitors that will come to your website by clicking on the link provided to your website on the other website where you published the guest post. It is considered as the best way to get do-follow backlinks.
Social Media Sharing
Social Media Sharing is another great way to build links to your website. But most of the times, the social media backlinks of nofollow types. You can put social media sharing icons on your website. This is the best way to let your organic traffic visitors share your articles on social media sites, really quick and hence also let them build Social Media Backlinks for you.
Social Media Links are considered as highly relevant in Search Engine Optimization and Rankings. You can also share updated about anything new that you add on your website or publish on your blog on the Social Media pages that you’ve made for your website. Consider building pages for your blog on most of the popular Social Media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Blog Commenting is another popular way among bloggers to build backlinks. Again, most of the blogs do not allow to have do-follow backlinks in the comments. Therefore, is a good way to build nofollow backlinks. But still, they are significant. Try to find out blogs in your niche. In other, find the blogs which have similar content as of your blog or website and try to put relevant comments. Never write comments just for promotional purpose or keeping only the link building in mind. Search Engines are smart enough to find non-relevant comments these days. Try to add value to the overall content of the site with your comment on the site page. Keep it genuine.
A lot of people make use of Black HAT SEO Techniques and Link Building techniques, which are not at all recommended. A lot of people offer link building services of freelancing platforms like Fiverr. Don’t prefer buying those services.
Terminology in SEO
If you want to have superior knowledge of Search Engine Optimization, don’t skip reading this section. It’ll add a lot of value to your existing knowledge of what SEO is and how it works. You can consider this section as the most important part of this article as the things you’ll find out here will really help you a lot for the optimization of your website for better rankings.
Traffic and Types of Traffic
The volume of visitors is known as Traffic. It is a highly used term in the world of Internet and SEO. Further, traffic is classified into different types.
- Organic Traffic is free or natural traffic, that usually comes with good search rankings.
- Referral Traffic is the traffic that we get from other websites because of some kind of links given back to our website by other sites.
- Social Traffic is the incoming traffic from various Social Media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- Paid Traffic is the traffic that we get in return of paying to an advertising agency or platform.
- Returning Traffic includes those people who visit your blog or website more than once.
Likewise, traffic can be classified on the basis of its nature in several more types.
Keywords are the queries that people put in the Search Engines. Usually, in SEO, we have to find out the keywords which have a good volume of searches are not so competitive for our website to rank for. Writing content on just anything without any other thought would be the most foolish thing if you want to get organic traffic from the search engines. You should write content for what people are actually searching for. In that case, you need to find a good volume and low competition keywords.
Keyword Research is the activity of finding good keywords for your website to write content and create webpages for. The main purpose of Keyword Research is to find those keywords which follow the following conditions.
- Keywords are relevant to your website.
- They are having a good volume of searches.
- Having the competition level that your website keeps the ability to beat.
Competition of the keywords is a very important factor. Even if your website has the most superior content but if your website is not as authorized by the search engines as other sites are, you won’t be able to rank for the keyword. There are a lot of tools available these days, which can help you in Keyword Research. I’ve already written articles on two of the most popular keyword researching tools, links to which I’ve given below.
- Google Keyword Planner – How To Do Keyword Research?
- SEMrush Review – Grow Your Traffic Like Miracle!
The density of the keyword that you’re targeting in the overall content is known as Keyword Density. It is really simple to calculate. The mathematical formula to calculate Keyword Density will be as defined below.
Keyword Density = No. of occurrences of Keyword/Total Number of Words * 100
Keyword Density should not be too low or too high. It is recommended to have a keyword density of 1 to 2%. But you should not follow the numbers first and try to use the keywords as many times as required naturally. Over usage of keyword in the content is known as Keyword Stuffing.
These are the keywords which are slightly longer than normal search queries. They also have a lesser volume of searches but the thing is they are highly convertible as they are searched by the people having high intent of purchase. Such keywords can be found by using Keyword Research Tools. They are often targeted by the websites for Affiliate Marketing and Digital Marketing purposes.
Anchor Tag and Anchor Text (Follow and Nofollow Links)
In HTML, to add a link in your content, we use Anchor Tag. An example anchor tag is given below.
<a href="https://your-website.com">The Text to Link</a>
href the attribute of the anchor tag, you have to put the link and between the opening and closing tag of the anchor tag, you put the text to link or the text to be displayed for the link. The anchor tag without the
rel attribute is of do-follow type and search engines also analyzed the links of the pages of the dofollow links while crawking the current page. But if the link is nofollow, they won’t do so. Anchor tag with
rel attribute and
nofolow value makes a link nofollow. An example of a nofollow link is given below.
<a href="https://your-website.com" rel="nofollow">The Text to Link</a>
Permalink is the URL of any webpage of the website. For example, the slug or permalink for the current article that you’re reading is
It has a very high significance in SEO. You must have a readable permalink instead of having an ugly permalink that contains mysterious numbers or date-time numbers. The permalink structure that includes words and keywords like the permalink structure of this website, WTMatter, is considered as Search Engine Friendly.
These are frequently used words to connect the words to form sentences. Examples of stop words are a, an, the, for, of, etc. You should try avoiding these keywords in the permalinks or slugs as a good SEO practice. But it is not necessary. Sometimes, Stop words makes sense and give the actual meaning to the permalink. So, this something, nothing much to worry about.
When your website page includes the same content as of some other page of your website or some other website, then you in SEO, it is recommended that you should specify the link of original content page in a tag, meta tag, known as Canonical Tag. It tells the search engines that this page is a copy of some other webpage content. This is really important. Because, Search Engines do not prefer copied content and by telling this thing to Search Engines yourselves, you can prevent any kind of penalization to your website by the Search Engines.
Crawler and Crawling
It is basically a tool or program used by the Search Engines to retrieve the information of different webpages across the Internet. It simply Crawls the webpages so as to understand them and then further index them in the Search Engine. This activity is known as Crawling and it is done by the Search Engine Bots. Sometimes, a Search Engine Crawler is also termed as simply Bot, Spider or a Web Crawler. One the Search Engines discover new links on the Internet, they crawl it first.
After Crawling the webpages, when search engines find them good to go to be listed in the pages of Search Engines for different keywords and queries, it is known as Indexing. The first task of any webmaster should be the first index all of the webpages of the website in the Search Engine to make the website pages discoverable to the Search Engine Searchers. To Index the webpages, it should be first discovered by the Search Engines. Although, Search Engines are powerful enough to discover the new pages of your site but you can always do something for faster indexing of your webpages and new websites.
You can submit your website sitemap which contains all the links of your website pages. Search Engines scans your sitemap regularly for new links discovery. Search Engines like Google offer special tools for this purpose of a better relationship between the Search Engine and the website. Google offers the Search Console for this purpose.
I’ve already published detailed articles about Sitemap and Submission of new URLs in the Search Engine, links to which are given below.
Domain authority is a scale to measure the authority of a domain on a scale of 1 to 100. First of all, it is not an official factor provided by Search Engines. It is just an estimated factor that is being calculated by Moz, on a regular basis. A lot of people and Digital Marketers judge your website according to Domain Authority. It is a pretty good factor. More score you will have, better are the chances of your website to rank for new keywords. Means, this score is pretty efficient to tell how you well your website is authorized and accepted by the Search Engines. Moz calculates this score by analyzing a number of factors of your website which includes backlinks as well.
Subdomains and Subdirectories
A subdomain is nothing but the part of the main, larger domain. For example, the main domain is example.com, then the subdomain will be hello.example.com, en.example.com
Subdomains are often used by different websites for different categories of the content of for different languages.
For example, en.website.com, for the English version of the website, while hi.website.com, for Hindi version of the website.
Likewise, to categorize the overall website, subdirectories are used. Examples of sub-directories are example.com/category-1/, example.com/category-2/
In earlier, www was used to be attached in front of the domain names like www.example.com or www.your-site.com. It basically becomes a subdomain of the main domain. But these days, it is preferred not to use www in front of your domain names.
Keep it simple, like https://wtmatter.com
Plagiarism means copied or unoriginal content. Content is the most important thing for what people visits your blog or website. In SEO, you have to maintain original and quality content on your website. If you are getting your site’s content from some content writer, you should always check it for plagiarism. There are a lot of Free and Premium Tools available online, which can help you detect any kind of plagiarism in your content, really quick.
Grammarly is my favorite tool to check Plagiarism. Here’s how you can check plagiarism with Grammarly.
I’ve also published a list of some of the Best Plagiarism Checker tools, link to which is given below.
Internal and External Links
Links to other webpages of your website that you give in any of the webpages of your website are known as Internal Links. Likewise, the links to other websites that you gave in your site’s pages are known as external links. Internal and External links, both matters a lot in SEO. You might have seen Wikipedia pages, they have internally linked the other Wikipedia articles really well. That’s one of the major reasons why Wikipedia pages rank at the top for most of the keywords, they’ve articles for. You can also see my articles, like this one, I link to other related articles of my website wherever I feel they could be relevant. While linking to other websites, make sure which website link should be nofollow and which should be dofollow.
Inbound and Outbound Links
The links to your website by some other website are called Inbound Links. Backlinks are known as Inbound Links. On the other hand, outbound links are links given by your website to some other website. Outbound links are similar to external links.
Search Engines sometimes show the content of some website pages for some searched queries at the top of Search Results. These queries are usually the questions that include the words how, why, where, etc. An example of a featured search snipped is given below.
This featured snippet is an example for the Searched Query, What is a Backlink. It’s a matter of happiness if your website pages are appearing in Featured Snippets. These featured snippets are even better than the number one position in the Search Engine Result Pages and can derive a lot of organic traffic. But Google or any other search engine not just add any website in the featured snippet. It should be very relevant properly structured so that Google algorithms can identify the answer to the searched query in your webpage content. It is also sometimes termed as Rich Snippet.
Heading Tags are the different HTML Heading tags ranging from H1 to H6. You should try to make use of heading in a proper way in your website content. Headings help search engines to understand your content in a better way. Also, include your target keywords in your heading tags.
Meta Tags (Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords)
There are some meta tags including Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords, Canonical URL Tag, that are placed in the Head Tag of a webpage. They are useful in providing a search engine and people quick insights about your webpage content. The search result snippets prepared by Search Engines by using these tags. The title that appears in the Search Engine for any of your webpages is the title written in Meta Title Tag, the description appear below your site’s link is the text written in Meta Description Tag.
If you don’t set your Meta Description manually, Search Engines try to automatically pick up some relevant part of your website to show in the Search Engines as a description of your content. It is recommended that you set the meta description of your content manually and try to include the keyword in the meta description which you are targeting for.
Meta keywords tags were formerly used to let the Search Engines know about the content of your website. But people started to make use of unethical ways. They tried to make search engines fool by putting non-relevant keywords and tried to get rankings which they don’t deserve. Therefore, Search Engines improved their algorithms not to rely on Meta Keywords much for Indexing purposes. In earlier days, meta keywords were very prominent for SEO.
Search Engines makes use of different factors to decide the rankings of the different webpage in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). These factors as known as Rankings Factors. It is believed that there are over 200 such known factors. Different Seach Engines may be using different rankings factors and website authority signals for ranking purposes.
Link Redirects and Cloaking
When a user visits a URL, redirecting him to some other URL is known as a redirect and the technique is known as redirection. It is often used by the affiliate marketers to cloak the affiliate links. Affiliate links are usually ugly in look. To make them beautiful, affiliate marketer created pretty and branded shortlinks specific to their blog or website’s domain and redirect them to the actual affiliate links. This process is known as Cloaking.
There are different status codes of Link Redirects. Status Code 301 is used for permanent redirection and Status Code 302 is used for Temporary Redirection.
A Sitemap is the map of your website pages in a single file. A Sitemap can be of different formats. It can be a simple text file or an XML file. Different types of search engines support different types of sitemaps. Usually, XML sitemaps are supported by all of the major Search Engines. Submitting a sitemap to the Search Engine is one of the initial steps of SEO.
PageRank is one of the algorithms used by Google for the ranking purposes of different websites and webpages. It basically checks the different websites on the internet and their links to each other. Consequently, this algorithm figures out which website is most valuable and therefore making rankings according. It is not the only algorithm used by Google, but there might be many other.
ALT is an attribute used in the image tag of HTML. The text written in this tag is displayed on the HTML Page if because of some reason the actual image could not be loaded or the image link is broken. As a good SEO practice, it is recommended to have an ALT attribute set for all of the images of your website. There is one more reason behind it. It helps your website images rankings for the Image Search Engines like Google Images. Search Engines try to figure out details about your image using the text in this alt attribute of the Image Tag.
Black Hat, White Hat, and Gray Hat SEO
Making use of unethical techniques for Search Engine Optimization is known as Black Hat SEO. Using only ethical and genuine SEO techniques is termed as White Hat SEO. White Hat SEO is completely safe and could not have any negative effects on your website. While Black at SEO is risky and your website could be penalized by the search engines.
Gray Hat SEO is something between Black Hat and White Hat SEO. In Gray Hat SEO all those techniques are used which might not be completely White hat but at the same time, they could have any negative effect on your website. Gray Hat SEO is being done by a lot of SEO and Digital Marketing agencies to rank the websites of their clients under time and budget pressure.
NoIndex and Nofollow
Website owners might have some pages for a specific purpose, which they might not want to be indexed in the Search Engines. In that case, to tell search engines not to index a page of your site, you have to add a Meta No-Index Tag in the head section of your website. Likewise, to tell the search engines, not to follow a link on your webpage, you’ve to specify the rel=”nofollow” attribute in the anchor tag of that particular link.
CMS (Content Management System)
There are some software which helps in better management of the overall website content and helps in easy On-Page SEO are known re CMS. WordPress is the example of a CMS. It is also the most popular CMS in the world, empowering over 35% of all website on the Internet. A lot of plugins and extensions are available in WordPress that helps you in easy SEO. You can do complex things really quick and in an easy way.
For example, you cand download the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, which really makes the job of On-Page SEO easy and non-time consuming. This plugin also automatically creates a sitemap for your website and update it regularly as you publish new content.
Content Marketing & SEO – Content is the King
You might be aware of this famous phrase, Content is the King. Yes, really, it is. Content matters the most. That’s why the majority of the work in SEO is about creating and optimizing the content of your website. Once, you have successfully find the keywords with good search volumes, you have to create SEO friendly content for those keywords.
Even if you do not focus much on Off-Site SEO and building backlinks but you focus all around on creating quality content and optimizing that quality content using the different On-Page SEO techniques, your website will be embraced by the search engines. Therefore, to whomsoever I teach about SEO, I always say one thing, focus on content, more quality content you’ll have, the better rankings, you’ll get.
There are so many organic traffic success stories who have gained thousands of visitors to their website daily just because of their quality and useful content, which people actually search over the Internet a lot. The only thing then matters is keyword research.
There are several more terms in SEO which you should know about. As SEO is a part of Digital Marketing, I’ve explained all those terms in my Digital Marketing Explanation article, link to which is given below.
The Conclusion of SEO
SEO is a very fast field and you’ll learn a lot more when you’ll start implementing the various techniques of SEO. Life becomes very fascinating when you start getting results because of your efforts put into optimize your website. But I’d like to give one advice here, not just optimize for Search Engines, optimize for your website visitors. Humans are the end-users of your website. You’ve to impress the reads at the end of the day and not the search engines. Try to provide valuable content to your website readers. Follow your audience, search engines will automatically give you better rankings.
Hope you found this article useful and if so do share it with others who might find it useful as well. Don’t forget to subscribe to WTMatter for latest updates of such useful articles. If you have any questions related to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), feel free to ask me via the comments section below.