What is SEO and how to hack it – Ultimate Guide 2020

Jun 4, 2020

Do You know What is SEO? Does SEO really help to rank on top of Google? How to make your blog post SEO friendly? What is SEO site checkup?

How to increase traffic on your website through SEO optimization? What are some Ultimate hacks in 2020 to boost your traffic through SEO?

Don’t worry no more questions. There are about millions of searches on Google for the keyword SEO.

So, if there are a million of searches then I think SEO is the most important topic and necessary formula to rank on Google.

I will give you all the answers to all your questions related to SEO. So, Let’s explore step-by-step about SEO.

Note: This full step-by-step ultimate SEO guide is written in simple language so that it’s understandable to anyone. This guide is for all if he is a beginner, intermediate, or advanced.

Enjoy Reading!! ( I am so curious because this gonna going to be a very interesting guide).

What is SEO and its types?

What is SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the art of getting quality traffic to your website and ranking high on Google in organic search results.

SEO evolved in 1996. Before it, websites rank randomly. But then Google thinks that there should be an algorithm to rank these websites so from there SEO evolved and the ranking of websites was on the basis of the quality of content and some other factors.

SEO tells Google what your content is about, like when you write an article about any topic and the searcher types the keyword in the search engine which you have used in your article or what your topic is about then the search engine (mainly Google) shows your article as a top article.

There are about Google’s 200 ranking factors. Backlinko combined all these factors in one article ( great job).

SEO is a whole game, that you have to play in order to rank on top of Google’s search engine page results. So, let’s explore and see how to play this game.

So, Are you ready to play this game? If anyone is not then get ready to play because this is gonna going to be a very interesting game.

I think now you have understand What is SEO? So, let’s see its types

Types of SEO

There are three types of SEO-

Three types of SEO- On Page, Off Page and Technical SEO.
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How Search Engine Works?

Search Engine Working
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How Crawler Works?

Search Engine crawler crawls your web page source code. The bots and crawls your whole website through source code.

How crawler moves from one page to another?– Crawler moves from one web page to another through links. Whenever you insert any internal or external link; the crawler moves from one webpage to another through these links.

After collecting data the complete data gets stored in the local server. Now, in the local server, the whole data is mixed. ( no indexing).

How Indexer Works? – Now, the data moves from the local server to the indexer. Generally, the indexer indexes the data; it means gets stored in a particular category.

There are many different categories like news niche websites category, health niche websites category, etc. There are millions of websites in these categories.

So, firstly crawler understands that your content is related to which niche websites category and indexes it properly in the indexer.

How SERP’s appear?

For e.g.- You search a keyword; Today’s news or English news in the search engine. Now what happens is, the search engine sends a request to the ranking algorithm.

Ranking Algorithm collects data from the main server ( where millions of websites are stored) and decides which website to rank 1st, 2nd, 3rd….. After this whole process, SERP’s ( Search Engine Result Pages) appear.

So, this was the whole process of how crawler works and how SERP’s appear.

Google doesn’t give quick random results when anyone searches a keyword in the search engine, but Google goes through this whole process to provide the top pages ( best information) related to what the user is asking.

Google has made new algorithmic evolutions like RankBrain ( AI machine learning technology) since the past years.

SEO Hats

Difference between white hat, gray hat and black hat SEO
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White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO means properly following the Goggle guidelines and not using any malicious practice to rank on top of Google. This is a totally human audience-based.

  • How to be under this Hat?– Create quality content.
  • Relevant page titles, links, and images.
  • Create content for humans not for search engines.

Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO means creating content for search engines not for the human audience. Using malicious practices or not following google’s guidelines to rank on top of search engine pages will put your website under this hat.

  • How to avoid this Hat?- Don’t create duplicate content.
  • Don’t pay to anyone to build links.
  • Build links to the relevant websites.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing and cloaking.

Using spammy practices will only benefit in the short term but when google recognizes your intent or malicious practices then no one can stop from getting your website banned.

Gray Hat SEO

This is the middle hat. This hat is neither black nor white but lies in between them.

Which website comes under Gray Hat?– Creating content just for the purpose of ranking but the content is relevant;

It means when someone creates content just for the purpose of ranking ( using some spammy practices to build links) on top of SERP’s but Google finds that the content is valuable for the visitors, then those websites come under this hat.

Gray Hat is not good in the long run. ( I want to say there is a limit of everything).

Look the difference between White Hat SEO vs Gray Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO in detail

So, the question is Which Hat is good in the long run? I think you have got your answer after comparing all three hats.

White Hat is the clear winner. I don’t say that follow each and every Google’s guidelines. Like Google says guest blogging is not a good practice, but according to me guest blogging is a good practice to build quality links.

So, be under a white hat. See what are the Google’s guidelines and track daily Google algorithm updates through SEMrush Sensor. ( mozcast, penguin tool are alternatives).

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO refers to optimizing individual web pages ( on-page and HTML source code) to rank higher in search Engine Result Pages.

Keyword Research

How you will write if you don’t know What to write? What are the right keywords? What is the audience searching for? So, for this, you have to do keyword research. So, Let’s start the journey of keyword Researching.

It is the research on analyzing the valuable keywords and providing a direction to your content.

How to do Keyword Research?-

Explore your niche and define goals- It means the first step is to explore and study about your niche. You should have complete information related to your niche.

Define your goals. Ask yourself ” Who I am?” What is my website about? etc. Goals help you to remain focused and give direction to you.

List of topics and keywords– Make a list of all the topics related to your niche. You can use excel to organize the list of all the topics. For e.g If your niche is related to blogging guide then you can make a list of topics like-

So, when you know what are your topics , now it’s the turn to collect seed keywords.

Search the topic and collect keywords related to your topics. Collect the keywords that the audience must be searching for. Don’t choose random keywords. Choose 2-3 best keywords.

If you are a beginner to the keyword research then you can look for detailed beginner’s keyword research by Hubspot

Keyword Analytics Tool

So, for choosing the right keywords related to your topics you have to use the best keyword analytics tool.

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
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SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool

There are many tools out there, after using all the tools, I like SEMrush tool best. SEMrush provides a Keyword Magic Tool which gives depth analysis about volume, keyword difficulty, trend, CPC, and much more.

If you don’t want to do depth analysis, then you can try the Free Ubersuggest keyword research tool.

Searchers Intent

Before selecting the right keywords, put yourself in the audience’s shoes; it means you should know what the audience is looking for related to your topic.

Ask yourself different questions- ” What and Why are they searching? Are they searching to buy something? ” etc.

For example- If anyone searches for query “Top WordPress hosting plans” and the different results appear; websites showing different results.

Now, different websites will tell which are the top WordPress hosting plans but here, the searcher intent can be that he wants to choose hosting through comparisons.

If any website tells the visitor that what are the top WordPress hosting plans by comparing different hosting providers. Then the chances are that the traffic on that website will increase and the page appears on top #1 position in SERP’s.

So, don’t just focus on what the searcher will type but you have to understand the searcher’s intentions.

Don’t make one type of content for different searches, but write different content for different types of searches.

Searchers Intent
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Example #2- Assume that you are selling any course. So, you want to tell the target audience about the course, course fees, comparisons, only basic information, courses near me.

So, now if the searcher types the particular query then if you have combined all the information ( buying, comparisons, and all) in one article then I think the visitor will not be happy.

Because, he just wants to know the price, or comparison, or only information. So, he will not waste his time reading the whole article.

So, Make different articles for different topics ( don’t combine all).

Google wants to provide the accurate and best information to the audience. So, if you know what your target audience search intent is; then it will be easy for you to rank on top of Google. Google sees user experience (new update in the future for ranking).

How to know what the audience is looking for? – When you type a keyword in the search bar the google shows some more topics related to your keyword in the column.

Also, Google suggests related topics at the bottom of the top searches plus what other questions the audience is looking for related to your keyword.

Related keywords In Google
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Competitive Research- You should also have an idea of what your competitors are doing. To beat your rivals and to boost your business, competitive research is necessary.

There is an option in the keyword tool of adding your competitor’s URL. You can type and look at which keywords are working for them. 20% of keywords are bringing 80% results ( Pareto Principle).

Mistakes to avoid while doing Keyword Research

1. Don’t pick the wrong keyword- When we are trying to analyze the keywords we generally make a big mistake.

I will tell you the mistake with the help of an example- Like, if you search a keyword “digital marketing” and imagine you provide a paid digital marketing course.

and when you pick the keyword “digital marketing courses”. This keyword includes both free and paid digital marketing courses.

So, when anyone searches for “free digital marketing courses” and with the use of the wrong keyword in your content your page appears in the search engine result pages.

Then, when the visitor will click on your website and see that the course is paid, then without wasting any time he will bounce back.

This will increase your bounce rate and have a negative impact on your ranking.

2. Keyword Tail Mystery- Do you believe that long tail keywords are best?

So, firstly we will understand what are long and short-tail keywords. The keywords that have short lengths are short and the keywords that have long lengths are long-tail keywords ( so simple).

“What is digital marketing?” is a long-tail keyword while “digital marketing” is a short tail keyword.

We should choose long-tail keywords because the competition is less on long-tail keywords. But it’s always not the case.

Like For e.g you searched a keyword “How to increase website traffic”, the results show different keyword ideas.

Long-tail and short-tail keywords.
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As you see in the image the long tail keyword “how to increase your WordPress website traffic” the traffic for this particular keyword is only 10 but the competition is 36 which doesn’t mean higher but high according to the traffic of the keyword.

So, choose the keyword which has low competition and average volume, if it’s short-tail or long-tail keyword.

Points to remember before choosing right keywords
  • Volume- Avoid keywords with low traffic. ( <100)
  • Competition- Competition for that keyword should not be high.
  • Trend- See if the keyword is still trending or not. ( traffic is increasing or decreasing.)
  • Know which is your primary keyword ( main keyword) and your secondary keyword ( related keywords).

Now, how and where to optimize the selected keywords. So, we will look at keyword optimization in content, titles, URL, and meta description.

So, If you want to go more deep in the keyword research then you can look for backlinko keyword research definitive guide.

Content

We all know a basic phrase that “Content is the king” and will also be in the future. This prediction was made in 1996 by bill gates and is still valid.

Built quality and valuable content. While writing the content our intentions should not be “ how to rank on top of google?” but our intention of writing the content should be providing valuable knowledge related to the topic to the audience.

You know a secret, that people like long content.

No. of visitors on the 5000 words content is more than that of 2000 words long content.

Now, I am not saying you, just make your content long by adding invaluable information.

Make your topics deeper to provide complete and valuable information to the audience.

Like my intention is to; provide more depth valuable information about every topic ( step-by-step simple guide.) and easy to understand.

Required Length of the Content
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As you can see in the above image the difference between different tick signs in front of the text.

Red signs say the content length is not reached even to the minimum level. Light Green sign says content length is average.

Orange sign tells that content length is short, while the dark green sign says tells content length is optimal. So, for dark green signals write the content of at least 2500 words.

Don’t copy/paste content-Some newbie’s make a mistake of copying and pasting the content and then publishing it.

If anyone is doing out there then be aware your site is going to ban. Google will ban your website for the plagiarism.

Write your own unique content. Before posting your post copy your content and paste it in the plagiarism checker. ( should not be more than 5%). If the content is 100% unique post it.

Ultimate hacks to write a better content

Content Readability
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  • First Priority should be that your content helps your users and teaches them.
  • Solve problems and provide deep knowledge ( long content).
  • Tell your own experience in the content.
  • Include the Introduction and Conclusion.
  • Give more examples and facts.
  • Make use of the letter ‘you’
  • Write simple words and use a more active voice.
  • Include infographics, images, videos, charts, and graphs in your content.
  • Don’t write long paragraph lengths. It should be no more than 3-4 sentences.
  • End your content with a question and Call to Action.
  • Make It is a goal and write with full focus.

Fresh Content

The audience likes fresh content. If they see that the content is not fresh they don’t find it interesting to read. So, publish fresh content on a weekly, daily, or monthly basis.

One trick to make your old content fresh is by updating it. Add some content to your old post and republish it.

The date of publishing will be changed to the current date and the content will become fresh.

Keyword Optimization
Content keyword Optimization
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Now, how to use the keywords in your content. If we do not use the right keywords in the content then the google crawler gets confused about what the content is about.

There are two types of keywords primary and secondary keywords. Primary are the main keywords and the secondary one are the related keywords.

So, include your primary and secondary keywords in the first 100 words. ( which is mainly your introduction).

Include your keywords while writing the content. Don’t overoptimize them otherwise Google algorithm will think that your intention is to rank on google, not to provide valuable content.

Don’t optimize your content with a single keyword- What the newbie makes the mistake is they optimize their content with a single keyword.

Optimize your content with multiple related keywords. With single keyword optimization, you will face a problem in making a detailed and deep content.

And, you know that thin content has a negative impact on ranking ( because the content is king).

Keyword Density in content
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Difference in tick signs.

Title

This is what will appear in the first line when this post shows up in the search results. Now, the first and important part is Title. The more CTR ( Click through rate) is on that website who write persuasive and SEO friendly titles.

Titles helps to give an idea to the crawler, what the content is about.

How to write persuasive titles?

Title readability
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  • Emotional- Headlines with a strong emotional sentiment ( positive or negative) tend to receive more clicks. Words like magic, instant, miracle, etc.
  • Power Words– Use Power words in your headlines Like- Ultimate, Ultra, Hack, top, Imagine, etc.
  • Questioning words– The question word that is searched multiple times is ‘How to’. So Use How to, Why, What, etc.
  • Numbers- Use numbers in the titles. Like – Top 10, Best 10, 2020. Use the current year number in your titles so that the audience thinks that the content is fresh and find it more engaging.
  • Make sure that your title should be between 50-60 characters.
Examples of some engaging titles-
  • Top 10 Ultimate Hacks to train your brain.
  • The Ultimate Guide to affiliate marketing- Simple hacks 2020.
  • How to earn $10K from your first sale- Ultimate hacks 2020.
  • Get some more ideas about how to write catchy titles through more examples
Keyword Optimization
Keyword optimization in SEO post title
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Add your focus or primary keyword in the title. Add the main keyword in front of the title. Write your title from the Edit Snippet option in SEO plugin ( If you want).

Mainly assume that your title contains 9 words. Then make sure to use your main keyword in the first 3 words of your title.

Meta Description

When Google shows the search engine result pages a short description or excerpt under the title and URL is known as the meta description.

Now, you have to conclude the whole article in 120-160 characters. So, What is the use of Writing Meta Description?.

Meta Description provides an overview of the post to the user. An Engaging meta description means more CTR ( Click through rate).

Use Rank Math or Yoast SEO plugin to write a powerful meta description.

Those who don’t write meta descriptions Google pick some starting lines by default and show it in the result pages.

Notice ‘…’ at the end of some meta descriptions. It means the meta description is not optimized.

The most important secret of meta description is that it appears when you share your articles across websites and social media channels.

How to write a meta description- Step 1: Install Rank Math SEO plugin

Edit snippet option in Rank Math SEO plugin
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Step 2- A red color box will appear at the side of the setting on top of your post editor. Click on it. Click on the Edit Snippet option.

Meta description writing box
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Description shown here is by default not optimized by me.

Step 3- There you will see the options of title, URL, and description. Click on it and write the description.

Ultimate Hacks to write a meta description

Write a meta description
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  • Use your main keyword and subheadings in your meta description.
  • Write an engaging question and use power words.
  • Write a unique meta description and add Call to Action words. ( Get now, Click here, Search Now, Get FREE, etc).

Keyword Optimization

It’s essential to use your main keyword in the meta description ( excellent if you use your keyword in front).

Heading and Subheadings?

Do heading and subheadings are important for SEO?– Headings and subheadings don’t come under the ranking factor but come under the crawling factor.

Heading and Subheadings provide structure to your website. It makes crawling easy for the search engine crawler.

It’s important to contain one <H1> tag. H1 type heading tells the crawler from where the content starts.

The importance is same like the numbers in front of H. H1>H2>H3>H4>H5>H6.

Ultimate heading and subheadings writing hacks-

Heading and subheadings
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  • Use only 1 H1 and it should not be more than 70 characters. Answer user intent with h1 because they are the most visually notable content on that page.
  • Use a focused long-tail keyword in your H1.
  • Use your focused keyword in your subheadings.

URL

URL or you can say permalink appears under the title in the search engine page results. URL is generally a web address the specifies the location of the resource. A URL consists of a protocol, domain name, and path.

URL impact is minor on the ranking factor. But as you know small factors add and become large factors.

URL generally increases site visibility and give an idea to the audience and search engine what the article is about.

How to write a URL-

How to write a URL ( Permalink structure)
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  • Use lowercase letters. Use hyphens between them.
  • Don’t use underscores, spaces, and uppercase letters.
  • URLs should be simple, relevant, and concise.
  • Don’t use year number such as 2020 etc.
  • Don’t exceed the URL limit i.e. 75 characters.
  • Use your focus keyword in the URL.
  • Well written URL’s can serve as anchor text.

ALt Tags

These are the tags that contain information ( alternative text description) about a particular image. These are in form of < image src=”example.jpg” alt text= “alt text”>

How Alt text helps?

  • If the image doesn’t load or displayed in the user device then alt text appears.
  • Search Engine crawler doesn’t view the images properly so gets the idea from alt text what the image is about.

Ultimate Alt Text writing hacks

How to write a alternative text.
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  • Describe what the image is about in a few words.
  • Alt text length should be short. ( max 9 words)
  • Add your focus keyword in the alt text.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Don’t add an “image of “or “photo of” in front of the alt text. ( crawler knows that it is an image).

Schema Markup

Schema markup
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You can call it an intelligent markup. This markup gives a better understanding to the search engine what your content is about.

Whenever you search recipes, hotels near me, jobs near me, reviews, etc, you have noticed the rating given, a few words description, name, etc.

So, that all things are done through Schema Markup.

Add Schema Markup in your post-

 Add Schema Markup through SEO plugin
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  • Install Rank Math SEO plugin.
  • Go into the Schema Section of the plugin.
  • Select the Schema type ( Book, course, music, article, etc.).
  • For e.g, I selected the book schema type. Then it will show the options like headline, URL, Author, Rating ( Maximum and Minimum), and review location.

So, add schema in your post to give a better understanding of your page to the search engine and increase user engagement.

Internal and External Linking

Itnernal and External Linking
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Internal linking means linking your own web pages. External linking means linking to other websites’ web pages. Why Internal and External linking is important?

When the search engine crawler comes to your website and the pages, the crawler moves from one page to another through links.

Internal and external Links help the crawler; to collect the information about the content, crawl different pages, and also increases crawl depth.

Add at least 2-3 internal and external links on your page. Also, using too many links can be spammy.

External Link factors-popularity and trustworthiness of linking page, anchor text, and content relevancy.

Don’t use external links to the newbie or less popular websites. External linking is more effective than internal linking.

E-A-T algorithm

This is the newest update in the Google algorithm in 2020. It is not considered a ranking factor until now but will be considered a major ranking factor in the future. So, start working on that.

Expertise

E stands for Expertise. It means you should be an expert in the field you are writing about. (your niche).

For e.g I don’t have a degree and no experience in the health category then I can’t write content related to health.

How Google will check your Expertise?- Google will check your bio section, on other websites ( presence and profile on other pages), what users are saying, etc.

Authority

A stands for Authority. Example- You are writing a blog related to e-mail marketing then the links you add in your website.

Are the links correct, redirects to top websites, information is related to your niche.

So, these factors increase your page authority which improve your ranking.

Trust

T stand for Trust. Trust factors include what the users are saying about the content, value of content, clicks or shares, personal branding, etc.

See- How to write SEO friendly content

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to server optimizations that help search engine crawlers to index your site and improve organic rankings.

Site Health Checkup

It’s important to keep your site healthy ( same as our body), so for that regular checkup is necessary.

So, you can do site health checkup with the site auditing tool out there.

My favorite tool is only one i.e. SEMrush, with the SEMrush tool you can get detailed information about your site health.

If you don’t want detailed information then you can use the Free Ubersuggest Tool.

But to fix errors you should have detailed information about the issues and how to fix them. So, use SEMrush Audit Tool ( 7- day FREE trial).

So, Now Let’s talk about some of the important issues and how to fix them.

Canonicalization

Having similar content ( duplicate content) under multiple URLs is referred to as canonicalization.

How canonicalization issue occurs- Generally sometimes content becomes duplicate. For e.g. two versions of a page

( example.com/page and amp.example/page). ( example.com/page and example.com/print/page)

So, when AMP and non-AMP versions of printable and non-printable versions of pages occurs it causes duplicity of content and thus canonicalization.

Duplicate content doesn’t always mean having the same content under URLs. It happens sometimes that URLs cause duplicate content issues.

https://www.example.com/page.html, https://www.example.com/PAge.html

https://www.example.com , https://example.com etc.

So, there are many such examples of canonicalization ( which occur mainly due to URLs).

How to fix canonicalization

You can fix canonicalization issues through canonical tags ( to specify which is main version)

The crawler doesn’t know which is page is important and which should be treated as duplicate content. So, we have to give hint to the crawler which page is the main version.

This hint is given through adding canonical tags to the page or content which is not important, or we want not to show in SERPs.

Like, we have taken an example of AMP and non- AMP versions. Now, you want the AMP version to rank ( main version) and non-AMP version pages to not rank ( not important).

So, add a canonical tag to the non-AMP version of the page. Now, the question is How and where to add canonical tags.

Add canonical tags to the HTML header of the page source code. Only use one canonical tag per page.

Code: <link rel=”canonical” href= https://domainname.com/samplepage”/>

So, by adding this tag you will give hint to the crawler that this content should be treated as duplicate content ( unimportant).

You can also use an alternative which is Rank Math SEO plugin

Canonical URL option in Rank Math SEO plugin
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Canonical URL option in advanced Rank Math SEO plugin
  • Install Yoast SEO plugin
  • Open your post on which you want to add a canonical tag.
  • Now, scroll down to Yoast SEO plugin and go into advanced options.
  • See the option of Canonical URL and there you have to just write the URL ( http://domainname.com/)

Redirects and Errors

When any visitor clicks on your URL but gets redirect to different URLs, this is called redirection. In simple language, you can say Redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to different URLs.

But If the page shows 4XX status code (404) then it is called and error.

redirections and error monitor
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Redirections and errors option in Rank Math SEO plugin
301 Redirects

It is also known as permanent redirect means shifting from one URL to a different URL permanently.

It happens sometimes that we have to move the content to a different URL ( changing domain, https).

Like, if you changed your domain name then the content gets shift to the new domain name.

So, now the question is Why 301 redirection is important?.

The answer is simple only you know that you have moved content or delete content but the crawler and the user doesn’t knows.

Example- Take two URLs- URL 1 and URL 2. If you have moved your whole content from URL 1 to URL 2 then the search engine crawler and the user only knows about URL 1, not about URL 2.

So, to provide information to crawler and user 301 redirection is important.

Then, What happens to the authority, backlinks and domain score of URL?

So, 301 redirect passes between 90-99% value or you can say ranking power of link ( no worry)

So, 301 redirects is used when you are moving your domain name permanently or changing your URL from Http to Https.

302 redirect

This redirect is temporary. It means that the content is redirected temporarily to different URLs. ( comes back to original URL after some time).

It generally happens when we update the content.

This redirect doesn’t pass any ranking value or page rank to a different URL. It indicates that the page shouldn’t be indexed.

So, this redirect can be used for A/B testing and for temporary changes.

By using 301 redirect you tell the search engine crawler that the URL 1 is of no use now, focus, and index URL 2.

While by 302 redirects we tell the crawler that the shift is temporary and the main URL is URL 1 only.

Redirect a web page through making changes in “.htaccess” file in Apache Web Server.

4XX status code

When the visitor visits the web page and the page shows 404,403 and 402 error code then it is called 4XX status code. It has a negative impact on your ranking and is bad in terms of SEO.

Fix this error now- If content exists fix the broken URL and if the content doesn’t exist redirect it to 301 code error.

HTTPs and SSL

Alert! for all the website owners who don’t have https connection. Google had said that if your site is not secure, it will heavily impact your ranking.

HTTPs  secure connection by installing SSL certificate.
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Why It is important?- SSL means Secure Socket Layer. This layer secures the data transferred between the users and websites.

Install the SSL certificate in cPanel of your web hosting provider. Take the hosting plan which includes a Free SSL certificate. You can go for Siteground GrowBig Plan ( value for money and provides many features).

HTTPs appears in the URL when you install the SSL certificate (lock sign).

HTTPs connection is most important for those websites that are collecting people’s information like passwords, phone number, card information, etc. ( shopping, business websites, etc.)

So, I recommend you all install an SSL certificate ( because it is a ranking factor also) and enjoy a secure connection.

Page Speed and Mobile-friendliness

About 80% of the searches on the search engine is done through mobile phones. And the bounce rate of mobile phones is more than that of desktop and tablets.

So, today making your site mobile-friendly is a necessary and important thing.

Ultimate hacks to make you site mobile-friendly
  • Architecture- Make your website responsive. Choose a mobile-friendly theme that also loads fast.
  • A page builder is also required to make your theme responsive. Don’t rely on free themes. You have to invest some money on the page builder and a mobile-friendly theme.
  • So, If you want value for money theme then I suggest you buy Divi from Elegant themes ( contains builder, themes for unlimited websites, and many features in just $89 70 from my affiliate link). Get 20% instant discount on Divi
  • Increase the font size of your theme.
  • Whenever you customize your theme, see how it looks in the mobile through the mobile view button.
  • Increase the size of the buttons you use on your website.
  • Optimize images and increase page-speed. Don’t use Flash
  • Run a mobile-friendly test weekly. Check mobile usability from Google Search Console. Run your mobile-friendly test now

The most important factor to make your site mobile-friendly is page speed.

You know if the page loading time is greater than 1-2 seconds users lose attention and bounce back.

70% of the pages contain large size images and more than 7 sec load time. Also, not all persons have a 4G connection to access the Internet.

Google ranking algorithm prioritizes the pages more that are mobile-friendly and have less loading time.

Page speed insights
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Ultimate Hacks to increase your Page Speed
  • Great Web Hosting. Cheap Hosting = Cheap quality. I highly recommend you to start with green geeks powerful hosting.
  • Minify CSS and javascript code.
  • Optimize images. Reduce image size through enabling lazy load image option. ( Install Shortpixel Plugin).
  • Use browser caching ( Install W3 cache plugin for high performance).
  • Reduce the no. of redirects.
  • Keep your website’s HTML code clean.
  • Don’t use too many images and videos.
  • You check your page performance in Page Speed Insights Tool

Robots.txt

A robot.txt file tells the search engine crawler where to go and where not on the site.

When the crawler comes on your website the crawler first sees the robots.txt file, to see that the file is giving some instructions or not.

Some bots follow while some doesn’t follow robots.txt file.

Crawl Budget– Search spiders come on your website with a pre allowance or set time; means how much time the crawler has to spend on your site. (It decided early on the basis of site authority, size, and reputation).

In that period of time crawler has to collect the complete information of the website and store it.

So, sometimes if you don’t want some pages to be crawled and indexed ( due to certain reasons) then we can use this robots.txt file.

Because the time is set( crawl budget) so if you don’t want the crawler to waste time on unimportant pages you can block them using robots.txt file.

We can use robots.txt file to i.) give instructions to the crawler which pages are not to be crawled or indexed ii.) give instructions to the crawler which pages are to be indexed or crawled.

Edit robots.txt file in SEO plugin
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Snip of Rank Math SEO plugin

How to check and edit- Edit the robots.txt file content in Yoast SEO plugin from tools option or from titles and meta option in Rank Math Plugin.

Also, you can edit and test your robots.txt file in Google Search Console through robots.txt tester.

Sitemaps

Sitemaps.xml files ensures that the site be crawled properly and be done quickly.

These files organize the page’s information due to which crawler easily crawls all the pages.

When the crawl comes to your website it crawls every page ( through links) but here the pages are not defined or organized, so crawler faces difficulty and as you know time is set ( crawl budget).

So, sitemaps provide the organization and connection of the pages and make crawling easy.

There are two types of sitemaps- XML sitemap and HTML sitemap.

An XML sitemap is written for search engine spiders while an HTML sitemap helps lost users to find a page on your site.

How to create Sitemaps
Sitemap option in Rank Math SEO plugin.
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  • XML Sitemaps- Keep the XML sitemap option ON in Yoast SEO or Rank Math SEO plugin.
  • The alternative is, Go to xml-sitemaps.com. Create a sitemap and paste it into the Google Search Console Sitemaps Option.
  • HTML Sitemaps- Create a web page and paste it into the root directory of your website.
  • To view sitemaps type domainname.com/sitemap.xml, domainname.com/sitemap.html.
Add sitemap URL in google search console
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Ultimate Hacks to keep your site healthy

  • Write long content ( at least 1000 words).
  • Write unique meta descriptions including your focus keyword. ( 120-160 characters)
  • Write unique title tags including your focus keyword ( 30-65 characters)
  • Have an HTTPs connection ( install SSL certificate).
  • Increase crawl depth, add schema markup, and use canonical tags.
  • Redirect all error codes to 301.
  • Create XML and HTML sitemaps.
  • Don’t use Flash. Increase your page speed and make your site mobile-friendly.
  • Add a doctype for all your pages.

Hreflang tag

This tag is also known as a language tag. Hreflang tells Google which language you are using on your webpage. This tag is used if you have a website that contains content in multiple languages.

It means if you have written your post in Spanish, Hindi, German, or any other language then you can add this tag in the source code to tell the crawler about language and country (an idea of target audience).

Because people love the articles in their native languages. It decreases the bounce rate, increases CTR, and improve your ranking. (a nice SEO practice).

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO means the activities are happening off the page not on the page.

Authority

Authority score of website
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Domain Overview through SEMrush tool

Domain Authority

It was developed by Moz. There is no relation of domain authority with Google ( not also in 200 ranking factors).

It lies between the 0-100 logarithmic scale. Higher the domain authority number higher the number.

For e.g. If your site domain authority is 70 and your competitor domain authority is 80 (great) then your competitor ranking ability is more than me.

Some competitors will have high domain authority than yours ( high ranking ability) while some will have low domain authority than yours. ( low ranking ability).

So, domain authority is calculated based on your link profile ( how many backlinks you are getting).

Page Authority

It was also developed by Moz and is measured on the 0-100 logarithmic scale.

Page Authority means your page’s ability to rank. Page Authority considers factors like domain authority and link profile.

If your domain authority is high then it means your page authority is also high.

So, to increase your domain and page authority you should try to get external links from high authority websites.

You can check your page authority through moz extension or any other tools out there.

With the help of this extension, you can also check your competitor’s page and domain authority.

Link Building

It means getting inbound links from different websites. The connection of one web page with different web pages of different websites is through links.

When we get links to our web page from different websites pages then this is called a backlink.

Quality and Quantity of Links– Here quality of links matter not quantity.

For e.g. Here I have written this article about SEO; Case I: I get one or two backlinks from any of these top websites- ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, Neil Patel, etc.

Case 2: I get 10-15 backlinks from different websites that are less popular and low in authority.

So, which case matter most. Obviously, Case 1st because I am getting a quality backlink ( if it is one or two).

Power of backlinks- In Case 1st I got 2 backlinks so according to the authority, popularity, and ranking so maybe the power of backlink is 50. So, my power becomes 100.

Now, In Case 2nd I got 10 backlinks and according to the authority, popularity, brand, ranking power of one backlink maybe 5. So, my power becomes 50.

So, here you can see quality always wins over quantity.

Take three websites W1, W2, and W3. Here W2 is my website. W1 is the website from where I have got a backlink and the website to which I have linked (external linking) through my page is W3.

Now, assume I get quality backlinks, so my power is 100. Due to which my page authority, domain authority, and my ranking factor increase.

So, let’s assume the power of W1 is 200, after getting backlinks from W1 my power becomes 100 so this power benefit will also get to the W3 website ( i.e. the power can 40-50).

It also matters that you are getting your link from which part of the content. Links from Top> middle > bottom ( on basis of power).

No Follow backlinks- The backlinks that contain a nofollow tag in their HTML source code. These links don’t pass the authority and are not counted by the crawler.

Do-Follow backlinks- The links that contain a dofollow tag. These links pass the authority( power) ( link juice) to the linked website and the crawler counts these links and their anchor text.

What does Backlinko says about link building for SEO?

Anchor Text

Top anchors
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This is the text on which the link in embedded is known as anchor text.

Check the anchor text on the websites from which you are getting backlinks.

Anchor text should be relevant to the website you are linking because anchor text gives an idea to the search engine and user what will be the content on that website.

For e.g If I put an external link on the word backlink and it opens a website giving information about backlinks, then that is relevant anchor text.

And, if it opens a website containing the information about SEO not only backlinks so that is not relevant anchor text.

Or, instead of writing the word backlink, I write “Click here”, or any other keyword, then these words are also not a relevant anchor text.

Embed the link on relevant anchor text that comes naturally in the flow of writing. Don’t embed links on the keywords that you have to add like Click here etc.

What to see about anchor text on other websites
  • Too many exact match anchors – W1 website links to you with a keyword SEO, W2, W3, W4.. websites also embed the link of your website on the same keyword. So, it negatively impacts your page authority and rankings.
  • Natural anchors- These are the anchors used related to your keyword or web page. Like instead of SEO, the websites use SEO hacks, SEO guide, SEO 2020, then these are natural and best anchors.
  • Domain name– Make sure the other web pages don’t write the anchor “www.domainname.com”- Click here. These are bad anchors.

How to get quality backlinks

How to get quality backlinks
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  • Content- It’s the simple write quality content to get quality backlinks. Write competitive content.
  • Guest Blogging- Create a blog post on other websites. Find top websites in your niche and try to communicate or make a connection with them.
  • Infographics- Anchors are not just text but anchors can be images and infographics also. So, Create a high-level infographic, so that other website owners include infographics in their posts.
  • Comments- Comment on other blog posts. You can write a comment like- “Hi, I like your content, it’s amazing and full of valuable information but I think the infographic that you include in your post needs a better design. You can lookout for a better infographic relate to your topic. ‘Your Link Here’ By ……
  • Write testimonials and align social signals.
Backlinks Competitive Research
Backlink Competitive research by SEMrush Tool
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For beating your rivals and ranking on top of Google you need to do backlink research.

You can use the SEMrush Backlink tool. Click on backlinks under the domain analytics section.

Now, type your domain name and see what is your backlink report.

Now, there you will see the option of “Add a competitor”. Enter your competitor domain name under this section.

Compare backlink reports. See from which websites your competitor is getting backlinks.

Visit those websites. Comment and try to connect with them.

SEO Content Template
SEO content template tool by SEMrush
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Basic Backlink Recommendations for SEO
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Another awesome tool by SEMrush is the SEO content template tool. This helps you write an SEO- friendly article.

Type the keyword and this tool will give recommendations on the basis of the top 10 results that appear on the SERPs related to your keyword.

See all the suggestions, the best thing is that it recommends you the domain names of the website from where you should try to get a backlink.

Practices to avoid for link building

  • Don’t use spammy links in comments. Don’t copy the same comment on different blogs.
  • Reciprocal Link- Like if your website is about sports and you are linking or getting a link from a news website. ( irrelevant link exchange)
  • Don’t use any automation tools.
  • Don’t buy links.
  • Keep optimal link velocity ( build links slowly)

Building quality backlinks take time. It can take up to 3 or 6 months. So, have patience to keep on trying different link building strategies ( non-malicious).

Pogosticking

When the user types a query in the search engine, then SERPs (search engine result pages) appear, then the user clicks on the first result page, the user bounces back and clicks on the 2 or 3 result page. So, this bouncing back is called pogosticking.

If the user bounces back and sees other page results then it means that the user was not satisfied.

So, pogosticking negatively impact your ranking on the search engine result pages. ( gives a bad signal to search engine, because user satisfaction is the first priority).

The whole play is around SERPs.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate
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When the user lands on a landing page and starting reading the content, but doesn’t go deep into the content ( not clicked on the internal or external links) and bounces back then this is called bounce rate.

Pogosticking is different from the bounce rate ( don’t get confused). Pogo sticking play is around SERPs while bounce rate play is around landing page.

If the user bounces back without going deep, then it doesn’t mean the user was not satisfied ( what if the user got his answer of query in first paragraph).

So, a high bounce rate doesn’t mean that the page doesn’t satisfy the user or doesn’t provide valuable information.

In terms of ranking, the bounce rate can be between 25-60%.

Social

You know some newbie bloggers get their most of the traffic through social promotions.

Like quality of backlinks quality of shares also matter. If your content is shared by influencers then their shares are of high quality than others.

Ultimate hacks to get more social shares

  • Quora– Give answers to the questions related to your niche. Find questions that have more followers and fewer answers. Write a detailed answer and provide your links in that answer. Quora helps in driving massive traffic to your blogs.
  • Facebook– Make a Facebook page. Post on a daily basis and boost your post to get more likes and shares. Promote via Facebook groups.
  • Share and post in LinkedIn groups related to your niche.
  • Share your content in twitter chats. Tweet when your audience is online. Use hashtags and use keywords in your tweet.
  • Make a Pinterest account. Pin on a daily basis. Post an infographic related to your post. You can also advertise it.
  • Use images with call to action while promoting your content. Design good images.
  • Write catchy headlines. Curiosity should never end.
  • Add social share buttons on your website.

So, be crazy on social media in promoting your content.

If you have reached here, then Congrats, you have learned all about SEO; means you have learned the 20% that will give you 80% results. So, now it’s time to avail of the bonus for you.

Bonus

SEO vs PPC

  • SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization while PPC stands for Pay Per Click.
  • SEO means to rank on organic page results while PPC means to rank on the top of page results through ads. ( Search Engine Advertising)
  • SEO doesn’t require any investment while PPC requires investment (Advertisers have to pay the PPC each time their ads are clicked ( because it is Pay Per Click)). Organic Traffic comes through SEO while paid traffic comes from PPC.
  • Pro of PPC is that you can boost your traffic through ranking on top of google but the con is that it requires investment.
  • Pro of SEO is that traffic is natural without any investment while the con is that organic page results remain under paid results.
  • You have seen an Ad sign in front of the URL in SERPs that all are through PPCs.
  • So, you can Pay Per Click in Google Adwords. Choose the right bidding amount (PPC) and the right keywords to rank on top of Google ( because the competition is there in ads also).
SEO vs PPC
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Advertisers have to pay the PPC each time their ads are clicked ( because it is Pay Per Click)

So, search engine advertising is a good approach to boost your traffic and brand visibility ( good approach if you are ready to invest).

Get SEMrush FREE 7-day TRIAL now

Infographic Conclusion

SEO Game
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What is SEO infographic
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ON-Page SEO inforgraphic
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Technical SEO infographic
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Off-Page SEO inforgraphic
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Google Ranking Factors Infographic
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User experience
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Hack Blogging
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Share this infographic as much as you can. Every share counts for us. I appreciate your effort.

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