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SEO stands for search engine optimization. What that means is that you follow certain techniques that allow you to move up the search engine rankings. In this article we are going to take a look at different types of SEO techniques that exist and that you can implement on your website to help it rank better in search engine results.
According to Search Engine People, the first page of google receives around 75% of the incoming traffic. First listing pulling in 33% of that traffic. You can still get traffic if you are not on the first page, but the amount drastically drops the further you get from the first page.
I mentioned Google above specifically because 63% of the search queries came in from Google. However, Bing is ahead of Google in long tail search queries. So don't completely ignore Bing, because initially when you start ranking for keywords, you are going to be ranking for longer queries or more obscure queries.
Moz is a marketing company that focuses on SEO as the primary traffic generator for their clients. Most of their tools are paid or have a freemium model where you can try them out on a number of queries. Moz has complied a lot of data and put together metrics that give their clients detailed insights into their online profile. Their metrics can show you where you stand against your competitor in search engine results so that you can more accurately direct your efforts towards methods that will bare fruit and move you up the results.
I am not going to advocate for Moz metrics as the gospel truth but I do personally use their MozBar Chrome extension to get an estimate fon the difficulty of keyword I am trying to rank for.
Basically once you install the MozBar, it will give you domain and page authority under each search result. The higher the number for each is compared to your website, the more difficult it will be for you to rank above that site in the search result.
Page Authority (PA)
Page authority is a metric that Moz uses to determine how well a page will rank in search engine results. It's on a 0 to 100 scale. New pages start with a authority of 0 and as you improve your SEO efforts on that page, the number will go up. The smaller the number is compared to other websites in the search results, the harder it will be for your website to pass them in rank.
Make sense? If not, let me know in the comments and I will try to improve my wording 🙂
Domain Authority (DA)
Domain authority is like page authority except it encompasses the entire domain. It is also on a 0 to 100 scale. The higher the value of a domain authority, the harder it will be to pass it in ranking.
Types of SEO techniques
Black hat SEO
Goal of black hat SEO is to game the system and get to the top of the results. Content is usually not the main focus. The point is to earn money from the traffic that top links get, through either ad earnings or selling something on the page and perhaps even selling it off to someone interested in owning a high ranking website or domain name.
If you are planning on keeping the website for a long time, this is not the technique you want to go with because it highly susceptible to penalties from the search engine and any algorithms changes. Any account associated with these websites, like your ad sense account, webmaster account can also be penalized.
What kind of techniques are considered black hat SEO?
Keyword stuffing is when you basically just put the keyword you are trying to rank for as many times as you can on the page. Sometimes just writing nonsense sentences. Hiding keywords in white text so that the page doesn't look weird to visitors. Stuffing keywords in the alternate text. Alternate text is meant for visually impaired computer users, so that they are able to understand what the image is.
This may get you a lot of visits but no one is going to stick around if the article not useful.
Here is a video I have previously linked that is directly from Google about keyword stuffing.
Showing a page to the crawling spiders. This page has keywords that help it rank. When someone clicks the link though, the user is taken to a different page that is not highly ranked. So you just using the rank of a page to help direct traffic to page that otherwise wouldn't be getting any.
Private blog networks
As I'll discuss further down, backlinks from high authority websites is one of the ways to increase your page and domain authority. Private blog networks (PBNs) are bunch of domains that have high domain authority. They all have links that are directed to your "money site". The site which you are trying to rank in Google so that it makes money from eventually being high up in the search engine results.
This is manipulating the results because the links your money site is receiving are not earned and neither do they come from websites that have valuable content.
Lots of websites using PBNs were penalized when Google's Penguin update was released.
Kind of similar to PBNs in that high authority sites link back to your money making site. These links are paid for and again this is manipulating search results because the links are not occurring because of the value your website provided.
White hat SEO
White hat SEO are SEO techniques that put the reader first and follow the rules set up by the search engine companies. These are techniques that focus on providing value and answer the query that lead readers to the website. This is the type of SEO that I am going to focus on in rest of this article. It is more sustainable and gives you longer lasting results that are safer from algorithm changes. Not only that, it will also help you grow into respectable brand.
On page SEO
On page SEO are types of SEO techniques that you apply directly to your web page and website in order to help improve the chances of ranking in the search engines.
Keywords are essentially queries by users looking for something on the search engines.
Simple one word keywords are usually dominated by websites that have a strong authority so they are nearly impossible to rank for as a small business or a new blogger.
What you want to focus on is longer search queries. As they have lower competition.
Once you find a keyword with a good amount of search volume and low competition. Go ahead an write an article with a ton of helpful information surrounding the keyword.
This article will have a better chance at ranking than one focused on more popular keyword.
Search engines are big on user experience. They want to make sure that people who use their search engines are able to get answers without trouble.
If your website takes too long to load, it will annoy people and result in a high bounce rate. That's why site speed will also affect your ranking.
You can check your site speed here and below are some ways you help increase your page speed.
- Compress images: Images make up a large part of page's size. Larger the page, the longer it takes for it to load. Compressing images shrinks the image file size. I use Smush on my website to automatically shrink the image file size when it is uploaded. If you happen to use the JPG format then remember that you will lose some image quality so it is best to start with a high quality image.
- Browser caching: When someone accesses your website, all the files have to load each time. You can reduce the number of files that have to load each time by enabling browser caching. This will store some files locally on the user's browser so that when they come back to your site, some files are ready to go, which reduces the amount of time it takes to load it. WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are two plugins that enable caching.
When someone visits your website and leaves without visiting any other pages, that results in a bounce. A high bounce rate is bad for ranking. It also results in people not hanging out on your website long enough which signals to Google that your website is not helpful. In order to keep people on your website longer, you should post long engaging and helpful posts. You should also have links within a post directing people to other associated or similar posts so that they explore your site and thus decrease your bounce rate.
Not only that, when a page has gained authority from outside sources through backlinks, and you post links to other posts within the site from that page, it will share some link juice with those post pages as well. This will help raise their authority as well.
52% of all searches in 2018 came from mobile devices. Google and Bing already penalize sites for not being mobile ready. So it's important that your website is mobile ready. Pretty much all the themes these days are mobile ready so make sure to update your website if it hasn't been already.
Off- page SEO
Off page types of SEO techniques are ones that you apply off site, around the internet to help raise your website's profile so that it moves up the search results.
Backlinks are links directed to your site from outside sources. Backlinks coming from relevant and authoritative websites outweigh ones coming from random and new websites.
There are many ways to get these backlinks. I will discuss some below. However best way to get them is to post really good articles so that websites want to link to you and users want to click through and read your articles.
I also use a website called Drop My Link to find places to share my links for do follow backlinks.
Do follow links are links that tell the search engine to pass on some authority to your website from the site that is that is sharing your links. Any links pointing to information that I used on my site from another site are always do follow links. If it is an affiliate link, then I make them no- follow links so that the search engine knows that I may be getting paid from these links. Your affiliate links should always be no-follow.
Now when I talk about social media, I am not talking about merely creating a profile and leaving it there. I am talking about sharing content on these platforms, engaging with your followers.
If you share engaging content on these platforms, people are going to be clicking through to read it and hopefully share it. This will raise your website's profile.
There are Facebook groups that are geared towards link sharing. I personally would not participate in those, especially if they are made up of a very general audience. You risk looking spammy in Google's eyes.
Even though Pinterest is not a social media platform, I am going to stick it in here. Pinterest is my main traffic strategy right now and I get most of my traffic from there. It is a great place to start getting traffic. You can read more about how I make my website Pinterest friendly here.
Forums don't usually appreciate people dropping links. Best way to gather link juice from forums is by being an engaging helpful member. Your profile allows you share a link in the signature of your posts and sometimes these are do-follow links which is great but sometimes they are not which is ok too.
When people get to know you in these forums and you provide helpful answers, sometimes linking to your articles, it will help your website grow. Just make sure you follow their rules about link sharing.
Similar to forums, commenting on relevant blogs and articles helps people in the community get to know you, it can bring visitors to your website and also open doors for collaborations with more successful websites. You can use the Drop Your Link website to find commenting opportunities that give you a do follow link.
Make sure you comment because you have something to say and genuinely contribute. Don't spam. Not only will that be a bad look for you, your comment is likely not going to be accepted anyways.
You also want to comment on relevant websites so that you get visitors who are actually interested in what you post.
Guest posting is when you post an article on another website as a guest writer. This is great because these websites have a larger search authority than your website so if you get a do follow link from, it will help your site's profile.
Again you can use the Drop Your Link website to find guest posting opportunities in your niche. Read and follow their rules. Don't hold back a good topic. Put together a pitch for a well written article they can't resist. Make sure to read their rules pages to be sure that they allow at least one do follow link to your website.
As a new website, guest posting may be one of the fastest ways to build up your site authority. Although it can be difficult to find opportunities where the website owner replies back. I personally think that engaging with websites you like and commenting on their articles is one of the best ways to build a relationship that may lead to a chance to guest blog for them.
SEO is a long term strategy so please keep in mind that you are not going see the results from your efforts right away. It takes time, many months at least before you will start seeing positive changes. So try many ways to bring in traffic in addition to different types of SEO techniques I discussed here.
I personally am using Pinterest as my main strategy. I plan on starting to expand my efforts to Facebook and guest posting is third on my list. What ways have you tried and what has been working for you? Share below.