All About Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

search engine process flow

Search Engine Process

Search engine bots crawl websites and index them within their database with several factors that constitute to the rankings. Once the pages are indexed, they will be shown in SERP. When a user queries any information in the search, the search engines will retrieve the results from their indexation. Different search engines follow different ranking factors in displaying the order of results. Ranking Algorithm fetches and sends data from index. Most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, and few uprising search engines are duckduckgo etc.

search engine ranking factors

Search Engine Rankings

Search Engine ranking has mainly four functions. Crawling Engine, Indexing Engine, Ranking Engine, Modification Engine.

Crawling Engine: Search engines crawl a website.

Indexing Engine: Set of documents stored in search engines database.

Ranking Engines: All ranking factors that determine website ranking in SERP.

Modification Engine: Ranking factors that personalize user experience, time related, fact checks.

seo approach

SEO Approach

SEO Approach mainly consists of Research, Data Analytics, On page & Off page.

Research: Understand on how users search in search engines.

On-site seo: Improve website content and technical aspects on website.

Data Analytics: Contiuous Keywords performance and KPI monitoring.

Off-site seo: Optimisation done outside of website, like maximising the backlinking to website.

Keyword research

Keyword Research

Understand on how users search online to fulfill search demand. Analyse and understand the best keywords to be used on the page. Relevancy, Search volume, Competitions of keywords to be analysed and used. Right keywords to be used based on user intent to leverage the organic rankings in SERP. Keyword research is a key component in SEO optimisation. Several keyword research tools out therte like Adwords, keywordtool, answerthepublic, etc

Importance of Keywords

Importance of keywords

Keywords are so important as they are core of how search engine works. Pages optimised with keywords will always have better visibility. Deliver relevant content to match to user search query/demand. Keywords can be used as a metric to determine the website performance. Keywords play a major role in driving organic traffic which is directly proportional to organic revenue.

Keyword categories

Keyword Categories

Keywords are mainly categorised into 4 kinds.

Generic: Phrases that doesn't include brand name.

Branded: Phrases that include the brand name or variation of brand name.

Local: Geographical keywords that increase visibility for specific local terms.

Natural Language: local everyday language.phrasing question query.

Keyword Types

Keyword Types

Keywords are of two types, short tail and long tail.

Short Tailed: Generic keywords whose meaning is broad. Thes are usually high in search volume. High competition as most marketer will use this type. Low probability of conversion.

Long Tailed: Very specific keyword phrase or questions whose meanings are precise. These usually have less search volume and low competition. In terms of conversion, these long tailed keywords have high probability of conversions.

Determine Keyword Value

Determine Keyword Value

Keyword values are determined by Relevancy, Search volume, Competition.

Relevancy: Understand web users intent & interest when using certain generic and branded keywords.

Search Volume: Identify the size of the web user demand and opportunity in determining whether the keyword is worthy of ranking.

Competition: Identify the keyword level of difficulty to rank the keyword.

Finding Keyword Value

Finding Keyword Value

On the chaos of choosing right keywords, here is a golden rule. Choosing keywords with projection of competition vs search volume.

High search volume with low competition keywords are always preferred, they have better chance and probability of rankings and conversions.

Going with Low search volume & High competition, High search volume & High competition, Low search volume & low competition are never preferred as they have low tendency to rank and convert.

Keyword Methodology

Keyword Methodology

Ideation, Keyword pool and Finalise are three way process for effective keywords usage.

Ideation: Learn the main context of page context. Understand how user makes searches, Discover keyword phrases/terms.

Keyword Pool: Discover more relevant keywords using keyword planner tools. Collect data to determine keywords to use. Example search volume and competition.

Finalize: Choosing the best keyword to use within keyword pool in webpage by keyword value.

website audit

Website Audit

Website Audit is a major guide to identify and improve website.

Analyse the website's on-page performance. Ensure website SEO guideline and best practices. Identify key are of improvement. HTML tagging, Content, Technical aspects. Provide suggestion and recommendation for fixes. Work with webmaster to make necessary changes. Verify if all SEO elements are optimised as per guidelines.

On page SEO

Onpage Optimisation

Onpage optimisation is specifically the changes made on the website. Improve website relevancy and technical performace like server response time to very fast and page load to be super fast. Ensure all the onpage elements comply to the seo guidelines and best practices. Onpage optimisation has several factors that constitute HTML tagging, technical and content optimisations which are explained below indetail.

Onpage Optimisation factors

Onpage Optimisation factors

Three main factors that constitute for Onpage optimisation are.

HTML Tagging: Title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, canonical tags, hreflang tags etc

Content: Textual content, Image, Media, Keyword density, Internal linking

Technical: sitespeed, cache, code structure, rendering, lazy loading, header responses

Off page optimisation

Off page optimisation

Off Page optimisation is specifically done outside of website. Mainly about link building via publisher, blogger, media sites etc. This helps domain authority by bringing more trust value for search engines and users. The Websites with more Domain Authority will always rank better in SERP.

Off page optimisation factors

Off page optimisation factors

Key factors that improve the off page strength are the the links pointing back from high authority sites to our sites. The High Authority links to target pages will boost the Authority and citiation of our website. The boost can be achieved by famous publishers and famous artists. Now a days it is common to see Artists advertising or sharing about a product or review in social media which gets more shares and links pointing back to original website.

seo data analysis

SEO Data Analysis

SEO Data Analysis consists of 3 main components.

SEO Objective: Increase organic traffic, improve non branded traffic, Improve organic click through rate, improve organic impressions and increase organic conversions.

SEO KPI: Targeted Keyword ranking on first page of search engine (SERP).

Analysis: Metrics to Measure or track are Organic traffic, impressions, Click through rate, pages per visit, bounce rate, user behaviour, demographics, visit duration.

seo url

URL optimisation

SEO friendly URL to be human readable text that was designed to replace the numbers (IPs which are used connect servers). Best Practices are to have clean and readable urls, use hyphen instead of underscores for word seperators in urls. Ensure the url contains target keywords.

image optimisation

Image ALT for SEO

An attribute added to image tag in HTML to describe what the image is about.

Helps search engines to understand what that image represents. Improve visibility in google image search. Tells reader about the image incase image is not loading. Best practices are use target keywords, keep images close to relevant content, Avoid keyword stuffing and duplication.

image alt example

Image ALT example

The more descriptive the image is, the better search engines understand. The example clearly briefs on the how to follow the best practices of image alt tags. The clear representation of tag helps search engines to show our results when users intent is clear about the search, thus helping with more conversion chances.

H1 tag

H1 Header tag optimisation

Header tags are crucial as part of optimisation. H1 should be the first crawlable element when a bot crawls the page. Header tags always improve readability and crawlability. Provide content structure and hierarchy. Optimized for featured snippet. Improves user experience. H1 tag always signals search engines about the page context. Header tags helps search engines to understand better about what the page is. Header tag plays a major role in ranking and the way result appear in SERP.

header tags order

Order of Header tags

The Order or hierarchy of usage of header tags is important and good to follow the order of H1, H2, H3 and so on. Advise is to use one H1 per page. Not to exceed more than one H1 tag usage on a page. H1 tag signals the page context, so having more H1s will eventually dilutes the page context signal to search engines.

Canonical tag benefits

Canonical Tag Benefits

Canonical tags are used to signal search engines to pick up preferred page, when we have multiple pages with similar context. Majorly helps to avoid duplication as similar pages might be indexed. Helps to prevent the search engine bots confusion. To avoid bots from missing out the original content. Search engines will sometime ignore the page that have duplication.

canonical types

Canonical Types

Canonical tags are generally implemented between two pages of same site, self referencing, or between two pages of different site.

Same Domain canonical: Canonical tag reference between pages which are hosted under same domain.

Self referencing: Page canonicalised to itself which signals it is the preferred page on that domain.

Cross Domain Canonical: Canonical tag reference to pages between different domains.

Href lang tag

Href Lang Tag

Hreflang tag is used specifically to signal search engines like about the preferred page for language and location specific locations of search. When we have website with multiple languages, we can convey google to pick the right language version based on country of search with Hreflang declaration. You can also target the country of preference from google search console too.

Canonical vs Hreflang

Canonical VS Hreflang Tags

Major difference between canonical tag and hreflang tag are on the usage and their need

Canonical Tags: Tells search engines which version of the same language content to be indexed and display.

Hreflang Tags: Tells google which language you prefer, so search engines will display that particular page when user performs a search in location respective to language.

sitemap

Sitemap

Sitemaps are a simple text or xml files, most commonly xml files which are generated with all page urls of a website and submitted to google via search console. Which are a easy path for google to know, crawl and index. This is indeed a faster way to get all your pages notified to google. There are some restrictions on the file size and limitations on number of urls to be on a sitemap.

Robots.txt importance

Robots.txt Importance

Robots.txt is a simple text file which has to be placed under root folder of domain. Importance of robots.txt file as follows.

Tells search engines which pages and files are allowed to crawl. Manage and improve bots crawlability. To avoid wasting search bot crawl resources, as bots crawl lots of similar or unimportant pages.

Robots Syntax

Robots.txt Syntax

Robots.txt file has syntax to follow. User agent is used to represent name of the search engine bots. Disallow attribute is used to represent the path of files or pages that are to be excluded from search engine bots crawling. Crawl-delay is used to specify that the bots must delay for specify amount of time before crawl. Allow attribute is used to specify the path for all allowed files or pages for search engine crawling.

Facts about robots.txt

Facts About robots.txt

robots.txt is case sensitive: The file must be named "robots.txt" (not Robots.txt, robots.TXT or otherwise).

robots.txt file is publicly available.

Some user agents may choose to ignore your robots.txt file.

Each subdomain on a root domain has a separate robots.txt file

Structured Data

Structured Data

Structured data or schema markup are effective way of letting search engines know about the way the resutls to appear in SERP. Structured can be implemented in many ways , most popular and google suggested way is to use JSON LD representation. Multiple kinds of schema like product type, article type, review type etc. Google has a dedicated page published with more detailed information about schema types and syntax to follow. Schema will be implemented on the HTML code as JSON script.

Google schema helper

Google Schema Helper

Google provides schema markup helper, which can be used to tag the type of markup you looking for a page. These is one more similar tool on technicalseo expert which does similar on assisting generation of schema markups. Google also provides schema markup tester and structured data testing tools which allows us to test and validate. It also highlights and warns errors and warnings if any with syntax of markup.

content optimisation

Content Optimisation

Famous saying and universal truth "Content is king". Content optimisation is a process of improving overall quality of website content based on search quality guideline. text content, media content, content structure and user experience.

Content Optimisation is important to match user search demand and intent. To provide accurate answer. To improve overall user experience. To answer users questions.

search quality raters

Search Quality Raters Guideline

Search quality rates usually checks the quality of results appear in SERP. Their role is simialr to quality assuarance team at any company. Search quality rates ensure best content to appear in SERP with any changes by data and engineering teams at Google.

Interested to know more on SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is an art and can be achieved comfortably by following the google guidelines which are explained in detail in this article. SEO is a ever growing field, all you learn from trail and error method and learn from the approaches which works well with a good prediction and common sense. We provide SEO and web development services for all SME's. For any more information , do not hesistate to reach out to us. We are always at your disposal.