What is SEO? Choosing SEO as Your Career

Do you Know What is SEO?

When I face my first SEO Interview the first question was What is SEO?. They ask me the question because they know I was new in the SEO field.

Now I have 10+ Years of SEO experience, I can share detailed information regarding What is SEO? and as a beginner How you can learn SEO Quickly.

Whether you are searching for a job or want to learn something on the internet, you start looking at the Search engine website.

When you search for something in the Search engine, the website shows some relevant results. The whole process of bringing your website on the list is known as SEO.

SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization, Its simple process consists of various steps that we going to check today.

In this What is SEO guide, I am going to share Basic fundamentals of SEO and how you can use SEO strategy in your business to bring more customers.

After Reading Full content, you will learn:

  • The basics Fundamental of SEO [ How Search Engine Works ]
  • Why SEO matters for online and offline business
  • The SEO Technical words you must understand
  • How to prepare an SEO strategy
  • How much time SEO efforts take to see results.
  • Learn to Start a career as an SEO Expert
  • Know the Industry experts to learn SEO

So, I am very excited to show you everything related to SEO that you can optimize your website for search engines.

Let’s start learning What is SEO?

Know the Search Engine Market Share

SEO is not only about Google, Many websites that offer searching facility and showing results that take you to another website. We have gathered some data showing the Search Engine market share of 2019. Let’s see it first

Search Engine Market Share

Image Source: https://www.reliablesoft.net/

According to Statcounter Google holds almost 92% of market share which is Huge number, that is why Google is most important when you start learning SEO, at the same time also focuses on Bing, Yahoo, Duckduckgo Search Engine optimization.

Why is SEO important for businesses?

Almost Every second approx. 40,000+ search queries executed by Google and that’s too much to calculate for a day.

Google Search Query Per Second

This means whatever business you are running, there are more chances that your customers are looking for your products on the internet.

If you are not available online your customer will go to other places that provide better product knowledge and service information.

And If you have a website and not using the right SEO techniques you might be losing more traffic, customers, and revenue. Let’s see how!

1. More website traffic

Let’s see the case study of one of my clients. Below is Google Analytics data showing different sources that we are getting traffic. If you notice we have 43% of traffic is coming only from the Organic search result, which is huge if you compared it with Social traffic, direct traffic, or other traffic.

So Imagine, If you have a website and if you did right Search engine optimization you can bring more than 60% free traffic.

2. More traffic more revenue

For online business the revenue calculation is simple, If you bring more visitors your revenue is increased.

But when you increase your organic traffic by just 10% every month, your growth will be double in a quick time. This is because you are getting highly targeted traffic that searching for your products and services.

For well-established businesses, almost 60% of revenue is generated from organic traffic if you have multiple traffic sources generating equal traffic.

3. More Visitors to your store

If you have a local business and if you are not using google local listing then you are doing a big mistake. In 2020, Google gives more priority to a local business listing and the first page results are full of local listing.

Let see the example, I am living in Surat and Planning to visit New York City and want to buy clothes.

I don’t know anyone in Newyork city to know the popular store so I started finding on Google with a Query ” top clothing store in new york city”. Google has suggested to me below results and 90% chance is that I will visit one of the stores.

Local Listing of New York Clothing Store

So if you don’t have local business listing optimized you will lose potential customers like me. This is why SEO is more important for local and online businesses.

SEO Glossary: 14 SEO terms you’ll need to Master

There is around 400+ SEO terminology that you will come in contact but out of that, you need to keep eyes on the below terms.

1. DA (Domain Authority):

In my early SEO learning Stage around 2010 we were using Google page rank to measure website authority, higher the page rank higher the quality of the website.

DA is metric created by moz giving website authority from 0 to 100. Higher the authority higher chances of ranking.

2. SEO Update:

Whenever search engine updates their website database and searches term related position, People notice keyword ranking fluctuations, and this process is known as SEO Updates.

3. Backlink:

When a website links another website its knows as backlinks. If you link your own website pages then we call it as Internal link and when you link other website pages we called it as external links.

4. Google Penalty:

When you work against google policy, your all search engine ranking down, this is generally referred to as Google Penalty.

5. Black Hat SEO:

Its process of manipulating search engine algorithm, by getting quick automated links, adding hidden text and unethical practice to get higher search engine ranking. The techniques were working fine till 2009, but now the search engine algorithm getting smarter and you can catch easily. My best advice is that you avoid black hat SEO techniques.

6. White Hat SEO:

It’s the practice that Google and most of the guru suggest to follow. SEO Process followed according to search engine guidelines. The strategy focused on improving overall user experience, trust rather than focusing on first-page ranking.

7. Organic CTR (Click-through Rate):

Whenever a user searches on Google if your listing visible and user click, its called organic CTR.

Example: If 100 visitors notice your listings and out of that only 10 people click, then your organic CTR would be 10%.

8. Bounce Rate:

We can monitor the bounce rate from Google Analytics. Whenever visitors land on a website page and close that instantly we called it a bounce rate. In most of the cases visitors visit 2 or 3 pages and then close the website, the bounce rate falls near to 30% to 80%, Less bounce rate means higher conversion.

9. Keyword or Search term:

Whenever users search a term in Search Engine its know as Keywords. For example whatever I search in Google “What is Search Engine Optimization?” is keywords.

10. Impressions:

Number of times when users search in google or search engine and find your website in search result page it is known as an impression.

11. Meta Title and Description:

Meta title and description

Let’s look at the word written in blue headlines ‘Google Analytics ‘ is knows as Meta Title tag and similarly text below blue headlines is knows as Meta description tag. This text is not visible on the website front end.

12. Keyword Rankings:

The position where your website available in the search engine result page.

13. SERP (Search Engine Results Page):

The once you search for the term in the search engine a result comes, it is known as SERP

14. Search Intent:

There is always search intent behind the query, Whenever users search something for information, shopping, or looking for a solution.

SEO Strategy With 8 Important Google Ranking Factors

After reading all the above points finally you decided to start SEO for your own website, But you are stuck at where you can start.

Before we jump to create an SEO strategy lets look at the Google search engine ranking factors published by sparktoro.

Google Ranking Factors

Here I am going to shows 8 important Google SEO ranking factors that you must include in your strategy.

Signal #1: Target Right Less Competitive Keyword

Keyword Research is the first part of any SEO campaign. When a customer searches something on Google for your business, and if you are available on first position chances are that you bring that customer on your website and sell something.

So the question is How you know what keywords are your customer searching?

The answer is simple you can find targeted keywords related to your products/services with any of the following techniques.

  • Search on Google and take notes from Suggestion.
  • Add related words from the bottom of the page.
  • Write keywords from Google trends
  • Use Keyword tool – Keyword planner, Ubersuggest
  • Ask friends and family members.
  • Take keywords from Youtube suggestion
  • Check Questions and Answer related to your topics.
  • Monitor your top competitor’s website content, title, description, heading tags, image alt tags.
  • Use SEMRush tool to know your competitor’s organic keywords

So make a seed list of keywords and optimize your website according to

Find Keyword Search Volume:

Check how many monthly searches are available for the keywords. Once you prepare a list you can easily get search volume through tools.

Write Keyword Intent

Some keywords have high converting intent but the traffic volume is less, so don’t forget to write keyword intent for each targeted phrase.

Keyword Difficulty

Based on your search volume add 1 more column of how difficult is to rank those keywords. You can do this by doing a competitor analysis. Find keywords that have less competition and high intent of conversion.

Keyword Benefit Analysis

By doing some math you can easily know the benefit of ranking in the first position. Let’s take an example if your targeted keywords have CPC of  US$2 and search volume is 1000, then ranking keyword at first position value will be 2000, similarly, it will be less for the Same search volume with less CPC.

I am taking CPC in the calculation because the marketer is paying high for highly converting keywords.

Signal #2: Improve On-page SEO

Once you finished step one your next step is to integrate keywords with your website architecture, content, and link building.

The process of optimizing a single landing page with search engine standards is known as On-Page SEO

Here, we are going to see only important on-page SEO ranking factors.

SEO Architecture:

Make easy website architecture that users and search engine bot can reach your website with just single or double clicks. This will help in Indexing and crawling your website all Important pages.

URL Structure Analysis:

Once you have defined SEO architecture it’s time to create Landing page URL. Whenever you create a new URL make sure it,

  • Make it short around 50 to 55 characters long URL rank higher.
  • Add targeted keywords
  • Avoid use of underscore Instead, use a hyphen to separate words.
  • Avoid using parameters.

Meta tags:

Writing catchy meta tags helps you to increase your website organic CTR. Whenever you write meta tags keep below things in mind.

  • Always use your primary keywords in title and description.
  • Search Engine only shows a limited text of title and description so make it relevant otherwise your bounce rate will be increased.
  • Avoid Keyword cannibalization in the Title tag.

Website Page Title:

This is the Second important tag after the meta title tag that search engines keep in mind to decide the relevancy of a page.

This is also visible on a page so make it a combination of your targeted keyword and that forces the audience to read the full page.

Heading tags

Heading tags help search engines in deciding the relevance of a page.

When we say heading tags then we are talking about H1, H2, H3, H4 tags. Always, keep discipline on adding heading tags in sequence. Take care of the mentioned points.

  • Use targeted keywords synonyms in heading tags.
  • Keep a heading tag length around 20 to 70 characters.
  • Use heading in a hierarchy.

How to Write Body text:

While Creating SEO Strategy page content plays a major role. You have often heard the phrase “content is king” right?

Also, SEO Gurus are talking about creating long content to rank higher. This is not a myth, it’s true. If your targeted keywords have a long content then you must create longer content to outrank.

Below are some points that you can APPLY to create engaging content.

  • Simple, Read more about the topic and your targeted keywords. Find problems associated with your targeted keyword. Give a permanent solution so that users will not use the back button to search for other solutions.
  • Always write point to point content mixing with your search terms, synonyms. Use Images whenever required. If you need to give reference to an external website for a better solution, Just do it.
  • If you have a more detailed solution in your own internal pages then Just link it with proper anchor text so users can click.
  • If possible add videos related to that topic to increase time spend.

Once your website page time spend improves, Google will start giving you more importance to websites that have poor time spent for the same solutions.

Signal #3: Technical SEO Improvement

IF you have spent lots of time writing content and making good looking with stylish fonts and colors. If your website is not developed as per the technical SEO guidelines than 90% chances are that you will not rank higher.

Technical SEO is the process of making website code search engine friendly, It contains

  • Easy Indexing and crawling so Search engines can find your website
  • High-Quality experience in terms of loading, speed, reading.
  • Code Standards – Header, Body, Footer with proper tagging.
  • Do W3C validation and fix common errors.

So while creating a technical SEO strategy you can focus on the following points:

Page speed

When your website loads below 3 seconds you have done a great job in terms of technical SEO. Visit the google page speed insight tool and check your website performance. Higher the page speed score more the chances of getting a higher ranking.

Whenever I have to test website speed I do mostly on two websites to monitor total request, image optimization, and page loading time.

Page Speed Insight

Here is the result of my website internal page in Google Page Speed Insight. If You have a website you must try to check your website speed.

Page Speed Insight Results

Gtmetrix

Now look at the gtmetrix speed data.

Gtmetrix Speed test

Both websites share some suggestions to improve speed. Just check all recommendations one by one and start fixing.

Mobile-friendliness

In 2020 if you plan to design a new website, then make it with a mobile-first concept. Use Google mobile-friendly test to know how your website is seen by Google.

Google Mobile Friendly Test

Once you check the results, it will show you whether your website is mobile-friendly or not.

Use of HTTPs

Without any doubts and extensive research make a thumb rule that your website loads with https.
Even Google has officially announced that it will use https as a ranking signal.

Privacy is a serious concern for internet users. HTTPS ensures Users that whatever data you proceed on the website is safe and secure.

When you use https to make sure that you force 301 redirects for HTTP to HTTPS.

Use of WWW or Without www

Load your website with or without, make sure you use either one option. This is useful to avoid duplicate content issues. If you force anyone version with 301 redirections your problem will be solved. Just keep this point in making your technical SEO strategy.

Signal #4: User Experience optimization

From 2019 I have noticed my website some ranking patterns regarding the user experience. When my website’s overall time spent increases within the next week, my website organic traffic starts improving.

3 major UX signals impact your organic ranking. Let’s see how we can add them to our strategy.

Time Spent

The simple way to Increase time spent on websites is to keep visitors engaged with a page for a long time.

It’s difficult but you can try by doing.

  • Writing point to point content with short paragraphs and differentiating it with headings
  • Solving user problems
  • Showing relevant information.
  • Adding Images and videos

Keep track of Pages per session

Once you bring customers on a website and notice how they interact with your other pages. If users spend a long time on a website by visiting more pages in a single session then it gives a strong signal to Google that the visitors are liking the website.

With proper internal linking you can improve your page per session ratio.

Monitor Bounce Rate

It is one of the strong signals that Google is looking to maintain the organic ranking of websites. If you have high Organic ranking and high bounce rate then it sends negative signals to Google.

So to reduce the bounce rate highlights the main important points on starting so that users keep engaged on the website.

Signal #5: Content marketing

“Content” Provides information to users regarding what services or product is all about.  The best way to create content is via a user-focused problem-solving blog. A high-quality problem-solving blog will increase traffic and revenue in a quick time.

View all your keyword research data and filter query that has informational or problem-related intent and plan if you can make a blog post.

Once you have high-quality content people will start promoting on social media and their own website that naturally increases your backlinks.

Signal #6: Link building

Link Building is also a part of SEO strategy. Backlinks are the backbone of ranking keywords on the first page first positions. When someone links your website to their website, Google considers it as backlinks.

There are lots of ways to build high-quality backlinks but just focus on creating links from high authority niche websites whether they are directories, blogs, comments, local directories, forums, or any community in your niche market.

There is no limit on how many links you can acquire, but make sure that it looks natural to search engines.

  • Try to get anchor text links with keyword diversification, do not repeat your money keywords.
  • Try to add links from a different top-level domain with Unique IP.
  • If you are planning to get links from web 2.0 sites then do it in the right way
  • Avoid unnatural link patterns.
  • Balance Follow and no-follow links.

Signal #7: Improve Local SEO Presence

It is one of the most trending topics in SEO. With Local SEO you can bring more customers at your shop.

Google is highly promoting my local business listing in India as well. Almost all product and service-related keywords have a local listing.

So it’s very important that you prepare a local ranking strategy by optimizing your maps, content, Address, timing, and do proper NAP with other website addresses.

Plan to Get High-quality backlinks from local active directories.

Plan to acquire high-quality local reviews from people who have a strong profile.

Signal #8: Reputation Management

If your website is new there are no questions, but if you are preparing a strategy for an existing website that has lots of customers then take this as a priority.

When your company starts growing at the same time your customer’s good and bad experience also increases.

Some customers are highly satisfied with your products and left positive reviews that boost other customer confidence as well.

In some cases, you might start getting negative reviews for one of your products and that affects your business. So it’s very important for you to learn how you can manage your online reputation. Here are a few tips you can consider in strategy.

  • Monitor your brand mentions
  • Run some social cause campaign
  • Prepare detailed solutions related to your organization.
  • Ask people to share their feedback.

Career in the SEO industry

Once you finish SEO training, it’s time to make a strong career in the SEO industry. So the first question that comes to your mind is how much salary you will get for your first job?

The industry has some salary limitations but for individuals it’s not, you can earn as much you want. Let’s look at some SEO Career options.

A. Get Job in SEO Company:

Ideally In India salary depends on the talent you have, for an expert you can easily get around 20k per month.

In the United States, as per the average base salary for an Experienced SEO specialist is around $70000. But Once you are an experienced marketer there is no limit to earning.

B. Work as SEO Freelancer:

You can provide freelance SEO services through websites like UPWORK, Fiver, Freelance and charge as much you want.

C. Create Website & Sell Products

The third Career option is to start a niche website and earn through ads revenue or selling products online.

D. Start Teaching SEO

The Fourth Career option is teaching SEO for students. Either you can provide physical classroom training or sell online courses. If your skills are too good to rank any highly competitive keywords in a timely manner you can ask as much money as you can.

How long does SEO take to work?

SEO will not give you overnight success, Like doing work in a single day and getting next day results.

It’s an ongoing process focusing on multiple factors. But the truth is if you do good job results are always positive.

Just focus on Search engine fundamental guidelines and prepare an SEO calendar and execute it on time.

Generally, you will start noticing free traffic and results from 4 – 5 months of putting regular efforts.

Still, for higher position SEO depends on the below points.

  • Keyword and competition selection
  • How much time you are working on solving website issues
  • How much money you spend on content creation and distribution.
  • Your website working history and domain age.

The Internet has lots of opportunities to explore, so just keep focusing on working and search engines reward your long term efforts.

Final Thoughts on SEO.

Whether you are planning to start your own business or you are a student to learn SEO I believe I have given you detailed information that will help you in making the right decision.

As a business owner If you know how SEO is working you can easily allocate your time and budget that produces long term positive results for your company.

SEO is a time-consuming process, but If you learn, it is highly rewarding skills. So we must learn it and apply it in business to increase branding, traffic, and sales