A concrete guide to SEO in 2017

Complete SEO Guide

Search engine optimization means enhancing the rating of your website on Search engines like Google or Bing for keywords related to your commercial enterprise.


When people want something, the first thing that comes to their mind is "Google it". If a potential purchaser searches for your products or services, will they locate your website?

It’s not enough to be visible while people search for your organization name. What about those thousands of people that do not recognize your business?

Let's say you sell fashion items in Nigeria, If a potential consumer search for your services or products, will they able to find your website?

Having your website or e-commerce site name ranked by google is truly only a small part of SEO.

Right here’s what we suggest: when your online site is built and discovered, it might appear on the 10th page of google.

Awesome right? Incorrect.

When people do a search, they normally don’t leave the first web page of the search engine results.

Of a Fact, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of google.

You don't know!!!  Let's recall it once more:

75% of customers who search for a product on Google does not go beyond the first page!

What does this mean?

it means that in case your website isn't on the primary page of google (that is the first page),  it won’t reap the benefits of search engine optimization.

Number one spot on google? Is it viable to your personal website or E-commerce site?

Before answering this question, you really want to comprehend this:

On a google search engine web page, there are usually paid advertisement (which appears first on the search engine result page and sometimes at the bottom). Followed by the best result Google thinks is a solution to your search query(SEO).

Know this, the first indexed website gets  60%  attraction of all site visitors due to its position.

Reminisce about this for a sec…

For every 10 persons that look for your service, 6 of them will click on on the first natural (search engine optimized) link that appears on the result page.

Shouldn’t this be your Website?

Basically, when it comes to Search engine optimisation practice, there are two ways it can be done;
  • Black hat practice
  • White hat practice
Black Hat SEO practice is the illegal way of doing SEO and search engines always penalize those websites that rank using this practice.

White Hat, on the other hand, is the legal way of doing SEO. Search engines love the white hat a lot. For you to get your search engine optimisation right, White Hat is the recommended practice.

Getting White Hat SEO right is easy, all you need to do is follow the guidelines below.

How White Hat SEO is Done

When doing your SEO for either an e-commerce site, blog or a company's website, there are two areas you will need to focus.
  1. On-page SEO 
  2. Off page SEO 
We will deal with them one after the other.

On-page SEO


This type of White Hat SEO focuses on the structure of your website. Its main aim is to ensure that your site is user-friendly and search engine friendly.

It practices include;
  • Title and Meta description optimisation
  • Url structure
  • Website Navigation
  • Readability
  • Image Optimisation
  • Mobile Friendliness
  • 404 error pages
  • Website Speeds
  • Quality Contents
Now let see how we can use these practices

Title and Meta Description: Wheather for an article on your website or for the website itself, your title and meta description as it own role to play in search engine rankings. For this part of SEO, Keyword, or Keyword Phrase is the key. Ensure that your title and meta description carries the same keywords that can be found in the body of your content. 

let say you wrote an article titled "how to build an e-commerce website using WordPress".
Notice that the main keywords in this article will be WordPress, e-commerce, and website. ensure your meta-description also carries these keywords in it.

thus your meta description might read something like this;

"Learn how to create an e-commerce website without stress using WordPress"

This meta-description did not only have the keywords embedded in it but also explain what should be expected from the article or the website.

URL Structure:  When it comes to URL structure, you need to but two things in mind
  • keywords and
  • how easy it can be remembered
For the former, which is keywords, apart from the website name which normally carries a branded URL - other pages or article links must carry at-least one of your major keywords if not all for Search engines to easily find them.

Take, for example, you wrote an article about "the effect of breast feeding on children".

Your keywords will definitely be " breast feeding" and "children"  which will then make your URL structure look more like this;

"www.yourwebsitename.com/breastfeeding-effects-on-children"

Fortunately, Keywords works hand in hand with a memorable URL like the one given above. Your URL structure should be within three to six words.

Navigation: Your website navigation also matters. Search engine crawler thinks like humans and thus take a friendly website seriously. Visitor on your site should be able to move from one page to another and return back without any difficulty.

One navigation function that most people prefer to use is called “breadcrumbs”.

A visitor on a website with breadcrumbs will by not easily wander off and that applies to search engines crawlers too. Your reader should be able to navigate your website with ease.

Readability: Search engines like Google read text using crawlers and because they are now not real people going through styled texts, a more satisfactory approach is to make search crawlers understand the context of your HTML textual content.

below are some recommendations;
  • Make use of h1 tags on homepage
  • H2 and h3 tags should be used typically on your articles;
  • Format texts with a description in italics.
  • make use of bullet points when necessary.
  • make use of the bold, italic attribute when necessary
  • ensure you use indents for quotations
read how you can make your content readable here

Image Optimisation: Optimising pictures on your web page makes search engines like google crawlers capable of reading or finding it. It's very difficult for search engines crawlers to examine an image on a website. When an image that isn't optimised is crawled, search engine sees a big space in between text and will determine that such content was not nicely arranged and therefore would possibly reduce your web page ranking or even see such content as irrelevant.

To resolve this Issue, ensure you make use of; 
  • Title tags: this should be related to your content.
  • Alt tag: this attribute makes search engine crawlers read your image as text. The alt tag should be the same as the content title.
Images also contribute to slowing down your website speed and thus you need to also optimise it by reducing the size.

Mobile Friendliness: Of course we know that most people access the internet using their mobile phone. According to Google - users spend 177 minutes on the internet using their using their mobile phones - For you to take advantage of this, your website needs to be responsive to all screen size, particularly mobile devices.

Also, mobile friendliness is now at the core front of Google search engine result when it comes to Seo. If you are going to design your website from the scratch, ensure you notify the web developer to make the website mobile friendly. If you are using WordPress or blogger search for a template that is mobile friendly and responsive.

404 error page: 404 error pages are is a user-friendly page that appears when readers try to access a page that doesn't exist or has been deleted. For search crawlers, 404 error pages notify them that a particular page is not available on your website.

If you have deleted several posts on your blog or website before, note that these pages might still be indexed by search engines and will still be crawled, without a 404 error page, crawlers will see your website as lacking structure and thus not user-friendly.

The negative result will be taking you off search engines rank pages. To create a 404 error page is easy.

For bloggers, download templates that automatically comes with a well structured 404 error page. Just search for it on Google or you head over to your blogger dashboard
Go to settings
Select search preferences
Under the "error and redirection," you will see "custom page not found"'
Edit it using HTML tag and voila your 404 error page has been created.


For WordPress users, Yoast SEO plugin comes with a 404 error inbuilt feature.

Website Speed: One of the major ranking factors apart from the ones mentioned above is your website speed.

Imagine you searched for something online and then the first website link that pops up from the result spent more than 1 minute to load, how will you feel?
Disappointed right? True

It the same way search engine crawlers feels when they check your website speed and it does take time to load. A slow loading website not only loses SEO benefits but also customers.

A lot of things can affect your website speed.
  • Your website host - use Bluehost, GoDaddy and Hostgator for best performance.
  • Javascript - minify complex javascript
  • Images - optimise images
  • And some HTML codes - minify complex HTML codes.
To test your website speed use Google's page speed or for better result go for Pingdom


Quality content: What ranks more? Quality contents or lengthy content? This has been a debate among bloggers, but the truth remains that quality content beats it.

Creating relevant and quality content is the most important factor when it comes to SEO. It is the bedrock of your website and also the determinant for search engine ranking.

In this post,  I wrote on how quality blog post or contents.

Search engine crawlers dislike plagiarism and spelling errors. That is why when creating a blog post, you must be extra careful. Cross check or proof read your work before publishing as simple wrong spellings can affect your SEO negatively.

Off Page SEO

When it comes to off page SEO, we are basically talking about using social sharing to help boost our SEO.

If you have ever noticed, there are sometimes you search for something on Google and the result is a link from either facebook or twitter or other social media platform that redirects to the main website...

So let us get started.....

When it comes to off page SEO, put the below 3 points in mind
  • Backlink building
  • Social Media
  • Social Bookmarking

Backlink Building: To be fair and square backlink building is the most difficult part of search engine optimisation, yet it is the fastest way to sky-rocket to the front page of search engines. 

A research carried out by Backlinko last year revealed that link building has more impact on SEO than any other factor. In fact, Google named it has their top 3 ranking factor for search engine result page (SERP).

However, when it comes to link building several factors need to be considered;

  • Quality of the link
  • Authority of the page or site that is backlinking you
  • Site relevance
  • "nofollow" and "do-follow": "NoFollow" links are not recognized by search engines but "do-follow" is.
Now that you have these factors in mind, how do we get backlinks? follow these simple tricks
  1. Share your post on forums: share your post on several forums with a link back to the main article. just drop a snippet of your post and redirect readers to finish reading it by clicking the link to the main article. In Nigeria, Nairaland, Naibac, gurulodge. Then there is Quora, Reddit, Facebook groups and many others places you can get backlinks from.
  2. Notify your fellow bloggers in your niche let them know you have written an interesting article, email them with your link.
  3. Ping: Pinging is another way to get backlinks. there are several tools to aid you to ping. For blogger users, Feedburner automatically pings out your link to notify indexing site. Another tool you can use is dropmylink
You can get a concrete detail of backlink building here

Social Media: Of course you don't have to be told that once you have created a nice article, the first place to share it is on social media. There was a time social media wasn't considered as a factor for SEO. But now the amount of shares, likes, retweets and the referral links it sends to your website notifies search engine crawlers that the website is relevant and engaging and thus can boost your search engine ranking in a way you can never imagine.

Ensure to share your articles on Google+, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest.

You can also decide to run a promotion for the article you have written using Facebook ads.

Let us move to the last one

Social Bookmarking: Social bookmarking is another off page SEO practice that boosts search engine rankings. If you regularly create relevant, interesting and quality post, people will want to bookmark your website so as to get notified when there is an update from you.

They are online bookmarking site tools where readers can add a website the want update from regularly. Search engine bots usually crawl these tools to see how relevant a website link is. This is possible because of cookies. Through the use of cookies, crawlers are able to monitor readers behavior online and when they notice that several people bookmarked a particular website then they notify search engines to push that link up to the first page.

An example of a bookmarking site and the most popular of them all is StumbleUpon.

Now how do you ensure your website is bookmarked? follow these guidelines...
  • Create relevant and quality content
  • Make accounts on bookmarking site. There are lots of them
  • Email your subscribers to also bookmark your website.

So that's all for Off page and On page SEO.

Conclusion

Honestly, the above practice is the best way to do SEO, but also note that it won't happen overnight. It takes consistency, hard-work, and the above mention guidelines to rank on search engines, avoid Blackhat SEO practice, its end game is deadly.

With this, I bid you goodbye. Till my next post. 
A concrete guide to SEO in 2017 A concrete guide to SEO in 2017 Reviewed by Odiagbe Marcel on August 31, 2017 Rating: 5
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