SEO Basics -The First Steps to Higher Rankings in Search Engines
Generating website traffic is such a crucial and important task for every webmaster. In some cases, not being able to generate traffic creates a problem and could lead to the failure of an online project. Generating natural, organic traffic is a sure way to remain in business and be very relevant. Quite often you will hear website managers asking the question: How do I get traffic to my website?
Being able to generate traffic for a website requires addressing and properly configuring certain key areas of your website. This is the basic aspects of search engine optimization outside improving the speed of your website. To best discuss this topic we should break this down into categories.
1. Title Tags
The title Should contain keywords and keyword phrases that are important to your site. Our recommended maximum number of characters for this tag is 60. Todhost tries not to go beyond 55 characters. When counting your characters remember that spaces are considered as well. Titles should appeal to the reader otherwise even a top position will lose a lot of clicks. For example, shoes, Nike shoes, best shoes, review shoes is unlikely to induce a click. What may induce a click would be like: Shoes - Find out the latest styles on branded shoes.
The meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of a web page. Search engines such as Google often display the meta description in search results, which can influence click-through rates.
Meta descriptions can be any length, but Google generally truncates snippets to 155–160 characters. It's best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they're sufficiently descriptive, so we recommend descriptions between 50–160 characters. Keep in mind that the "optimal" length will vary depending on the situation, and your primary goal should be to provide value and drive clicks. Try to repeat your keywords that you used in your title in a proper sentence and in 3rd party. Avoid words like I, Me, Myself etc.
Meta description tags, while not tied to search engine rankings, are extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs. These short paragraphs are a webmaster's opportunity to "advertise" content to searchers, and searchers' chance to decide whether the content is relevant and contains the information they're seeking from their search query.
A page's meta description should intelligently (read: in a natural, active, non-spammy way) employ the keywords that page is targeting, but also create a compelling description that a searcher will want to click.
For keywords, it is simply not necessary because Google has said it is no longer used in ranking websites.. However, the use of keywords may still help the search engines understand your website's primary focus. When used, our recommended maximum number of characters for this tag is 250. Any more than that may be considered spamming. Keep your keywords focused upon what your site is about. Google has said the keyword metatag plays no role in determining how websites are ranked.
Don't think that if keywords should be used on an assortment of different keywords, your site will be a seller. Targeted marketing is associated with your keywords.
Use keyword-rich phrases
Use relevant, keyword rich phrases in your headlines as well as throughout your content to let both your readers and the search engines know what your post is about. But beware, too many keywords will not only turn off your readers but can result in search engine penalties for keyword stuffing. Use keywords thoughtfully and sparingly, sticking to a more natural feel. In addition to using keywords throughout the body of your post, take advantage blog tags by tagging a few relevant keywords for each post; most general blogs have tagging capabilities already built in.
Check keywords with high impressions but low number of clicks
Keywords with a high number of impressions and very low number of clicks may indicate that there is a big traffic potential but you are not ranking high enough (or you were ranking for a short period of time and not anymore).
Consider Popularity of the keyword
The popularity of the keyword usually means the search volume – how many people search for the given phrase. It is usually calculated as a monthly average based on the last 12 months.
There are two basic sources of search volume data used in keyword research tools:
- Google data – search volume data from the Google Keyword Planner database
- Clickstream data – search volume data based on the behavior of internet users (collected from browser extensions, plugins, etc.)
Various keyword tools use different sources and different ways of data post-processing. As a result, there may be differences in search volume values.
Keyword difficulty is a metric that estimates how hard it is to rank for a certain keyword. The higher is the keyword difficulty, the harder it will be to rank for the keyword with your website.
The difficulty metrics used in keyword tools take into consideration the authority of the websites ranking in the 1st SERP.
If there are many low-authority websites in the first SERP, there is a high chance of ranking for the keyword.
How is the website’s authority calculated? In most cases, the calculation takes into account on two things:
- Number of backlinks – how many pages link to the given website
- Quality of backlinks – depends on the authority and relevance of the linking pages
There are various well-established authority metrics. The most popular are Domain Authority and Page Authority by Moz and Citation Flow and Trust Flow by Majestic.
To work with the keyword difficulty metric correctly, it is important to remember a couple of things:
- Don’t take the keyword difficulty as the only clue. The metric should serve only as a guideline, not an absolute value. If your content is better and more relevant, you can outrank websites with higher authority.
- Don’t compare the numbers between different tools. Each keyword research tool uses different data to calculate their keyword difficulty so the values will differ. Instead, compare the difficulty metrics between the keywords.
- Don’t forget about the subjective factors. No metric can tell you exactly how hard it will be FOR YOU to rank for a certain keyword. There are many subjective factors you need to consider, namely:
- your SEO skills,
- your website’s authority,
- the relevance of your content.
Keyword Relevance (search intent)
SERP analysis should be an integral part of every keyword research.
Firstly, you can better evaluate the keyword difficulty by looking at the authority of the ranking websites.
Secondly, it helps you to discover the search intent behind the keyword to see whether the keyword is relevant to your content.
There are 4 basic search intent categories:
- Navigational – user is searching for a specific website/brand
- Informational – user is searching for general information
- Transactional – user wants to buy something online
- Commercial – user wants to do the research before purchase
4. Keyword Nesting
Description: A term used in searching to indicate the sequence in which operations are to be performed. Enclosing words in parentheses identifies a group or nest. Groups can be within other groups. The operations will be performed from the innermost nest to the outmost, and then from left to right. keyword nesting is nesting your top 5 most important keywords in the html page that the public will see. I would recommend using the keywords that you've used in your title, description.
5. Head Tags not to be confused with (head) tags def.
HEAD or HEADER (of HTML document)
The top portion of the HTML source code behind Web pages, beginning with and ending with . It contains the Title, Description, Keywords fields and others that web page authors may use to describe the page. The title appears in the title bar of most browsers, but the other fields cannot be seen as part of the body of the page. To view the portion of web pages in your browser, click VIEW, Page Source. In Internet Explorer, click VIEW, Source. Some search engines will retrieve based on text in these fields.
Head Tags should be a repeat of your title tag. Most webmasters put their head tag right after the body tag. A head tag will look like this (h1) (/h1) with the ( and ) being replaced with &.
6. Anchor Links
Anchor text is the words that you click to follow a link. Clicking these words will open the page or document linked. Some people also call it “link text.” Anchor Links is one of the most important html tags that your site needs to gain search engine page rank especially in Google and msn.
Why Is Anchor Text Important?
Anchor text is important for search engines and human users because it provides “clues” about the content it’s linked to.
Search engines look to anchor text to clue them in on what the linked page is about, to help them index and rank that page. They now evaluate content based on the context of a link (the words around it) rather than relying fully on the anchor text alone.
- Prioritize writing natural, descriptive wording over manipulating anchor text to match targeted keywords.
- The anchor text linking TO your site’s pages should be made up of an optimal proportion of anchor text types.
- Use descriptive words -Using descriptive words saves processing time for your readers and helps them engage with your content.
- Make sure the words you use as anchor text make sense when someone clicks through.
Aim for the length that best helps the reader.
Make anchor text stand out.Make sure readers can easily see the links in your content. The common blue underlined text is probably most easily recognized, but websites now use a variety of ways to signal clickable anchor text to readers.