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SEO in 2020 : [New] Complete Step by Step SEO Guide

If you are new in the world of digital marketing or blogging, then you might have heard about SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization.

It is the most important factor that brings millions of Organic traffic to your website without investing even a single dollar.

In this Guide on SEO, I am going to introduce you to What is Search Engine Optimization and What are it’s most important types, Let’s learn!

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO is the marketing process that is used to grow the quality of website traffic without any paid investment usually involving techniques to optimize your website for ranking higher on Search Engines.

It involves optimizing the content of your website so that search engines can promote it through natural means to organic visitors.

SEO is important for your website because it not only improves the ranking but also involves working on user experience and site flexibility. 

People tend to look for their queries on big search engines and if these engines start showing your content to them – then you are ready to boom!

Even big companies who already have enough budget to gain traffic through paid advertising – are spending a lot to improve their website for ranking on Search Engines.

Why SEO is Important For a Website?

A lot of people search on the internet if they need to buy something. For example, if someone searches for “ buy Boya mic ” and you are one of the sellers of this product – then getting listed on one of the top positions in the search result will give you a lot of profit. 

Search Engine Optimization is important for businesses as it gives them potential buyers who are just looking with an intent to buy something. It also provides qualified traffic to blogs without any cost.

Let’s take an example to understand how Search Engine Optimization can benefit your business.

Ali has a guitar shop and wants to take his business online.

He hires a digital marketing team for his business which promises him with loads of online customers in less than three months.

Ali was impressed by the immense popularity of his shop on Google searches in only one month.

Now, what has the marketing agency done which Ali could not or didn’t have the experience? 

It has a team of specialized people who have many years of experience with Search Engine Optimization and they know how it works! 

They optimized Ali’s website in a way that it showed up on Google whenever a person searches “ Buy Guitar ”. 

I think now you have an idea that SEO is not an easy thing that gives results within days or weeks or months but surely if you master it , you will be getting traffic that you couldn’t have ever expected!

Black Hat vs White Hat SEO

There are people who want to get results as fast as they can and don’t want to end up waiting for the big game.

These kinds of people go against rules and try to fool the system. 

Instead of working on their content, they focus on how they can mislead search engines to rank higher.

They make their content in such a way which is optimized not for potential readers but for search engines. 

After all, they are illegal and can be banned anytime. 

On the other side, White Hat SEO involves optimizing your content for potential readers who will share and spend time on your article. 

This time is counted by search engines and thus helps in ranking higher.

White Hat techniques are always used in accordance with the rules and regulations. 

There is no chance of violation if you use White Hat SEO.

Types Of SEO

There are many types of Search Engine Optimization that determine your rank in a search engine. 

  1. On-Page SEO
  2. Off-Page SEO
  3. Content SEO
  4. Technical SEO
  5. Mobile SEO

On-Page SEO

On Page SEO

On-Page SEO refers to optimizing internal web pages present on the website to rank higher on search engine sites.

It includes writing high-quality content with rich headings and images. 

Click here to Learn how to Write SEO Ready Blog Posts That Rank On Google

On-Page SEO requires Keyword research and choosing the best keyword for your topic, Effective Headline, and Meta description.

Off-Page SEO

Off Page SEO

Off-Page SEO involves all the activities that are performed outside your website to improve the website’s organic traffic.

It is much more than link building.

Off-Page SEO requires creating a big social media presence in order to grow domain authority.

Guest posting, adding subscribers and building email lists are a major part of Off-Page SEO.

Content SEO

Content SEO

This is all about your content and it’s quality.

It requires good use of keywords and avoiding keyword stuffing at the same time.

You need to spend a good amount of time on keywords before writing down your article.

After you write your content, you can check your content SEO score at smallseoscore SEO checker tool.

It will rate your article on a scale of 1 to 100 on the basis of its SEO optimization.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to the website and hosting optimizations so that your website is properly crawled and indexed by search engines.

It involves website speed, image optimization, and many more technical aspects as the name suggests.

As of 2020, Technical SEO has become a much important part of SEO optimization.

Submitting sitemaps to search console and adding robots.txt file can improve your indexing.

Mobile SEO

Mobile SEO

As the name suggests Mobile SEO works to improve user experience on Mobile devices.

About 60% of Google searches are performed on mobile phones and that’s why it becomes extremely important to optimize your website for smartphones.

First of all, you need to work on page loading speed – remove unnecessary plugins, themes, and compressing images.

Check your website loading speed on Mobile as well as Desktop here.

On-Page & Off-Page SEO: Why both factors are Important?

Marketing Strategy

On-Page optimization refers to increasing your content quality without messing up the site’s technical part whereas Off-Page optimization involves building the presence of your site externally.

Both of these techniques are important in increasing the domain authority of your website ( reputation in front of Search Engines ).

When someone comes on your website through the search results page, then he will look up for the information and click on the back button. This is called bounce rate. 

It is the number of people that leave your site instantly after coming on it. The higher this number, the less chances of you ranking higher.

To decrease your bounce rate and make your website worth staying for – you need to focus on both On-page and Off-Page SEO.

To understand in detail let’s take an example of a book. What are the chances that you will read a book you have never heard about? 

Well, it depends on some factors. You will read it if it’s cover title attracts you and if the content inside is great enough. 

But someone has to recommend this book to you because you didn’t know it even existed, right? If a great author or a good friend of yours suggests it then you will start it surely.

After that, It depends upon the content if it can make you stay. 

Now, the cover and the content of the book comes in On page optimization and the reference of good authority people is Off Page optimization.

Both of these are necessary if the book author has to gain lots of readers. The same happens with your website.

Let’s learn about On-Page SEO and how to do it.

On Page

It is the part where viewers interact with your content and decide whether to share it or not.

You can increase the quality of your content by focusing on your writing abilities and trying to be as relevant to the visitor’s query as possible.

So where to start?

Writing Professionally

First of all, you have to learn the art of writing professionally which will not come unless you start practicing it daily.

If you take blogging seriously, then before coming to WordPress, you can just start with a free blogger blog and try to publish writings daily.

It will help you in writing as well as who knows the blogger blog gets viral!

Remember, you are writing articles for humans not for robots.

It takes a little bit of time before you start getting knowledge about how to start, convince, review, inform, or teach.

Try to include headings and categorize your article wherever necessary. It improves the readability of your post. 

Also, add your focus keyword or keywords in headings. 

Try to remove any complex word and use a simple tone otherwise, your visitors will first have to open a new tab to find the meanings first.

Content

Your content should include focus keywords or phrases but not too much. The density should be around 3% and nothing more.

You can check the density of your keywords before posting the article here.

Your content should be divided into three sections – the start, the main body and finally the conclusion.

Start your post with a short intro that includes the keyword once and gives a glimpse of what you are going to cover in the article.

Length Of the Content

This is the information that you will gain by researching the top 10 articles that are already ranking on the search results page.

Go through those posts or websites and get an idea about how they have covered the topic.

Try to think about what is missing in those articles that you can cover.

It is not necessary to have a longer article in comparison but to cover all the important points that people are really looking for.

Of course, in the end – all search engines are working to provide the most relevant pages to its searchers.

Images and Graphics – Important for On-Page SEO

Use Images in Blog posts

Infographics are one of the most important things to add in your posts which will make it more professional and user friendly.

When you are adding images in your posts, don’t forget to attach alt text to it. The alt text should clearly define what is shown in the image.

This will make the image appear in Image search results where the users can directly click on the “ visit website ” and come to your post.

Also, add meta description and tags of your posts and categorize every article in specific categories.

Internal Linking

Linking to your own blog posts in your latest blog posts is called internal linking. This is really a good way to increase session time and the domain authority of your website. 

Whenever you are uploading an article, make sure to add links to your previous article saying “Hey! Also check out our post on…”.

Also, go to your old posts too and in them, link to your latest articles as much as you can.

Updating Old Posts

This might seem a little difficult and messy but you really don’t need to write a new guide or article in 2020 if you already wrote one for 2019.

Just go to your old blog posts and add the latest updates to it. You will be building a detailed blog post over time if you make it a habit.

Keyword Research

Keyword Research

Choosing your keywords and using them in your content carefully is the most important part in On-Page SEO. But before doing that, you need to find good keywords through research. 

Before writing your content, you must know what to write about. Choosing your topic or keyword for your post is the part that needs the most time and importance

There are two things you need to know about any keyword before you start writing content on it.

  • Are people actually searching for it? If yes, then what is the approximate number per month?
  • If many people are looking for it then surely there will be a strong competition. What is the possibility that you will rank?

You don’t need to buy expensive ebooks for learning keyword research. Just go to Hubspot’s guide to keyword research and read for free.

Keywords are the best part of Search Engine Optimization. Using the correct keywords can directly boost your ranking in Search result pages.

Google understands what you mean when you search a keyword. Its algorithm looks across the internet for similar searches that might include your keywords.

So, Google knows what you are looking for even if you don’t use the direct keyword. If you are searching for “Christopher Nolan 2017 Movie”, then the results will show up about Dunkirk which was released in 2017.

If you observe, you have not used “Dunkirk” in the search query yet the most accurate result is shown. This is because the keyphrase that you used – “Christopher Nolan 2017 Movie” was present on pages titled “Dunkirk”.

How to do Keyword Research 

To start with, you need to have a clear idea of what you are going to cover in your post. After that, you need a bunch of tools for the research purpose.

The best ones in the industry are SEMrush and ahrefs keyword assistants which are paid tools but if you are just a beginner we have a free way for you.

You can use Ahrefs Free Keyword Generator tool or Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest which are pretty useful. Google itself has a tool for doing keyword researches for advertisers called Google Keyword Planner.

Just go over to their search bar and type in a focus keyword about your topic.

The research tool will show you a bunch of keywords followed by the competition as well as the search volume. 

Find the perfect Keyword to target from the list. A perfect Keyword will be the one having a good amount of monthly search volume as well as low competition. 

Long-Tail Keywords

Let’s say you chose the keyword “shoes”. There is no doubt that a lot of companies are bidding on ads and working hard to rank on this keyword. 

That is why Long Tail Keywords are introduced. These are the keywords that add some extra information along with a very popular keyword.

An example would be “Best Formal Shoes in 2020” or “sport shoes for playing cricket”. 

By using keyword research techniques mentioned above, try to find some long keywords that have a good amount of searches per month and have small competition.

These are the keywords that will help you rank fast.

Finding Trending Topics and Keywords

Trending topics and perfect keyword research can boost your organic traffic overnight. Here are a few ways you can find trending topics for your blog.

  • Google Trends – Official Google website that automatically provides you with trending ideas. You just have to select your categories and region. For email updates, subscribe to Trends.
  • QuoraA Question answer website that gives you an idea of what people are actually looking for and then you can frame those questions in your articles.
  • BuzzsumoA tool for content research which can help you suggest the type of content that is getting the most engagement according to the given keyword. 

Off Page SEO

Off page SEO optimization

Now that you have your content optimized and Images added BUT no one is there to see it. Why?

Of course, you need people to know about your website and content so that It starts building a reputation for itself. It needs some kind of reference or a word of mouth from a similar website which is very successful in the same niche.

In order to rank on Google, you need to prove that your content is actually pretty great. 

But how will you do it?

Let’s understand this from an example.

Chris opens a bicycle repair shop in a particular area in his locality but he is not getting enough customers. He is really sad and is thinking about closing his business. 

One day, he shares his problem with one of his friends, Toby. 

Toby suggests him to go talk with big bicycle shops in his locality and tell them that you have opened a repair shop nearby.

Chris applies this kind of marketing and soon enough, he was not able to believe the massive amount of money he was making. 

Approximately, every bike shop in his locality was suggesting his repair shop whenever a cycle was told. Slowly and gradually – the butterfly effect started and he gained a lot more reputation for his shop. ( Butterfly effect means simple and small things eventually give birth to a massive phenomenon )

Now I am going to tell you about some important terms related to “ Off-Page SEO ” using this example.

When each bike shop refers the customers to the repair shop, It is called giving backlinks in the world of SEO. Backlinks are basically links to your website posts that are present on other websites.

The amount of people that actually went to the repair shop through reference is called link juice. In the SEO world, It means the number of quality visitors or traffic that comes through backlinks.

The number of customers on the repair shop coming through a reference is directly related to how big and reputed the shop is which is promoting it.

Yes, the same goes for backlinks. The higher the authority of the website linking to you, the higher It will gain a reputation for Google and eventually rank higher. 

See, all search engines want to show a perfect result to the searcher and make sure that the results they are showing are from a trusted source. 

They analyze factors such as backlinks, domain authority, and page authority of a website and a lot more to calculate the ranking position that your website deserves.

Types of Backlinks

Do-Follow backlinks

Do-Follow backlinks allow search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo to follow the link to the website.

These are the links that pass link juice and help in the SEO of the website. These kinds of links are mostly found within the content of a website.

No Follow backlinks

Contrary to Do-Follow backlinks, No Follow backlinks do not pass any link juice, and hence, search engines can not follow this link to the website.

These links are present mostly in the comment section or profile description of websites. Instagram bio and Facebook page link are examples.

Domain Authority and Page Authority

Domain Authority is a metric that is calculated and introduced by MOZ. It gives a score out of 100 for any website which predicts how good a website is going to rank in any SERPs ( Search Engine Result Pages ).

Page Authority is also a similar kind of score calculated for pages of a website that predicts how well a page can rank in a search engine result page. A higher score corresponds to higher rankings in Search Engines ( most of the time, it is Google ).

Why Domain Authority Is Important?

In simple English, the DA of your website is the overall reputation that is calculated by search engines on the basis of 180+ factors including backlinks, internal linking, On-page SEO, Off-Page SEO, site speed, site age, etc. 

One should always keep an eye on the DA of his/her website regularly by visiting the official domain authority analyzer by moz.

How to do Off-Page SEO?

Now you know about some basic important terms related to Off-Page SEO, Let’s see how to start with your own authority building strategy.

After posting a sufficient number of high-quality On-Page optimized articles on your website, start working on building links and authority of your website.

But before that, you have to check a few things on your website.

SEO Strategy

The first is Internal linking. When you link to your website’s other pages within your article, it is called Internal linking. Internal linking is also one of the 200 Google Ranking Factors according to Backlinko

Try to maintain a good amount of quality internal as well as external links in your pages. External links should go to relevant pages.

A little bit of research is necessary to be done at the time of keyword researching. 

When you have decided a focus keyword for your article, you have to go on Google and analyze the top 20 or at least 10 results. 

What to analyze?

  • What is it’s rank on Google SERP?
  • Estimate monthly visits the page is getting.
  • The number of backlinks pointing to this result page.
  • What is the domain authority score according to Moz?
  • The number of social media shares.

According to Neil Patel, On average the top 10 results on Google have 1681 backlinks and a domain authority score near about 79. But if you carry out Off-Page analysis of top webpages smartly, you can even rank with one 10 backlinks if you shift to long tail and LSI keywords.

LSI Keywords

These are basically the synonyms or more precisely Latex Semantic Indexing [LSI] terms. LSI keywords help search engines in understanding relevant and exact keywords for the searcher.

Neil Patel also gave a nice example to explain LSI Keywords. Think like this.

There can be two different result pages for the term “ Apple ”, one can be referring to the company and the other to the fruit. Then how will Google know that a page is either about the tech giant or the fruit?

If I have a blog post about the “ Apple Company ”, I would include keywords such as “ Macbook ”, “ iPhone ”, “ Operating System ”, “ Software ” etc. 

Apple search result page

Similarly, if I was writing an article on “ Keyword Research ”, I would include “ SEMrush Keyword tool ”, “ Keyword Planner ”, “ Search Volume ”, “ SEO ” etc. 

Keyword research serp

Link Building

Building high-quality do-follow and no-follow backlinks to your website through commenting, guest posting, paid advertising etc.is called Link Building. 

Start with commenting on similar blogs in your niche and building relationships with them. 

Social Media 

As soon as you publish your article, consider sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram bio, Quora, Pinterest, Linked In, etc. These will be your no-follow backlinks which will help in SEO.

Social media

Creating a social media presence is crucially important to increase the domain authority of your website. Try to make your website’s social media account on as many platforms as you can.

These account profiles will be indexed fastly and whenever you will search about your website name on Google, these pages will automatically show up. This is called “Creating Domain Authority through Social Media”. 

Having a social media presence tells Google ( or other search engines) that your website is not spam.

Creating High Authority Backlinks

You already know how to make No-follow backlinks to your website i.e. by commenting on blogs, mentioning your links on social media, etc. but how to make Do-Follow Backlinks?

Do-Follow backlinks are created when the owner of the site allows your links to be followed by Search Engines. You can get Do-Follow backlinks through guest posting, website submission forums, broken link building, and some social media platforms.

Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging involves creating content for any other website in exchange for a backlink to your domain. Just reach out to webpages and send them a message saying, 

“Hi, I am [ Your Name ] and I have [ your experience ] much experience in blogging about [ Blog niche ]. I am interested in writing a guest post on your blog [ Website Name ]  in exchange for a backlink. Thanks! ”. 

Broken Link Building

It is the SEO strategy of building backlinks by reaching out to resources on the Internet which currently point to broken or dead links and asking them to replace those links with your high-quality content link.

To create backlinks through broken link building, you have to first find broken links on a similar niche website as yours. You can search for broken links on a website by using Ahrefs broken link checker.

Hunter.IO get email address of websites

The next step is to find the email address of that website.  

Hunter.io is a free chrome extension that can help you in finding the email address of any website. Simply install, sign up and log in to start using.

After that, write a well-crafted e-mail ( that also sounds human ) regarding the broken link and suggest a replacement. Use your existing post’s link or write a post that fits the context. 

If your e-mail suggestion impresses the owner, he/she will surely link back to you. This is called the basic “Broken Link Building Strategy”.  

Technical SEO  

One of the important things to make sure whenever you start a new website is Are Search Engines really able to crawl and index my website? How will they know I wrote an article today? 

This is what technical SEO is all about.

It involves checking your website for technical errors, making sure your website is easily accessible, and indexing your site in the search engine database.

In simple English, If you want your website or blog to rank on Google then you have to let it know that your site exists in the first place.

Technical SEO is not about the content but about the infrastructure of your website.

Technical SEO Checklist 

  1. Registering your website with webmaster tools such as Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
  2. Submitting your site’s XML sitemap to webmaster tools such as Google and Bing.
  3. Optimizing Robots.txt file.
  4. Increasing website loading speed on mobile as well as desktop.
  5. Optimizing the URL structure of your site.
  6. Optimizing 404 error pages.
  7. Adding breadcrumbs, schema markup, and structured data to your site.
  8. Optimizing website navigation.
  9. Enable HTTPS and an SSL certificate.
  10. Mobile-friendliness.

Technical SEO also includes optimizing your website for mobile devices. 

Loading speed is a key factor in Mobile SEO optimization and Google prioritizes faster loading pages on the top positions. It also released Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) especially for mobile devices in order to load pages faster.

You can add AMP on your website through WordPress plugins. Install and Google will automatically crawl your pages.

Conclusion

Search Engine Optimization may look like a difficult topic to learn but It is just one of those lessons which can only be learned through practice and dedication. It also becomes interesting when you start getting hands on it.

To sum up, SEO involves creating an awesome website, registering it to search engines with webmaster tools, uploading high-quality content with proper research, building a reputation in your niche, increasing domain authority, and finally maintaining it for that massive incoming traffic.

In case you are curious to know more about search engine optimization, subscribe to our website’s email list and bookmark us in your browser. We have got a lot of FREE SEO GUIDES waiting for you on our website, check them out now. 

Thank you for your time!

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