SEO Basics: The Ultimate Guide

SEO basics

SEO known as search engine optimization is the process of making your website easily found by search engines by following specific practices to improve website ranking. Search engine optimization is the best way to get organic traffic to your website directly from search engines and also the best way to advertise your website for free.

 Search engines go through billions of webpage when they want to provide an answer to the various questions asked by people. In this process, they carry out three major activities:

1.     Crawling:
Crawling is a process undertaken by search engines that involves collecting information about a webpage. The crawler scans the web pages for links and also checks if these pages are updated or new pages are being added. It is these links that search engines crawlers follow to discover new pages and the process continues.
The frequency at which a crawler crawl a web page depends on the complexity or hierarchy of the website. When a website becomes too complex to crawl, the crawlers may give up and back out from crawling the website.

2.     Indexing:
After web pages have been crawled by search engines, the next process is to index them. Indexing is the process where the collected data are stored. It is from this stored data that answers to a query are provided. So when you search for something, it’s not that you are searching the web, but from the list of websites gotten from the search engines index.

3.     Fetching:
Fetching is the last process performed by search engines. It involves a process where search engines find the most relevant pages in its index and return the results based on the search query. They determine which pages to return based on the relevant keywords.


1.    On-page SEO techniques
2.    Off-Page SEO techniques

-          On-page SEO techniques
On-page SEO techniques are used by webmasters to optimize the on-page elements of their webpages. They include the following

·         Optimize page titles and meta description

Page titles and Meta description are the information used by both search engines and web visitors. Especially for the purpose of SEO, optimizing your page titles and meta descriptions could go a long way in improving how search engines see your site which could translate into how they would rank your website.


Page title: How to do article marketing in 5 easy steps

Meta description: "Article marketing works great only if done right and could give lots of exposure if you are looking to promote a blog, business website and if you are into affiliate ..."

This is how it shows on search engine result pages:

sample meta description

Always include your target keyword in both your page titles and Meta descriptions. They are the first things search engine crawlers see and this would give them an idea of what your page is about. In the example above, you can see that the target keyword is “how to do article marketing”. This was included in both the page title and Meta description. You should also do the same for your page titles and Meta description.

   Optimize images
Images are almost part of any online content. This is to improve the overall reading experience. It is therefore necessary to optimize them. There are 3 steps to optimize images for use in web contents:

 ü  Use the appropriate file name
The first step to optimize an image is to make sure the image file is named correctly. Search engines use this to identify what the image is about. If for example, the image is of a car, the file name should be car.jpg. Make sure the filename is specific and direct with no long sentence. It should be named after the keyword of the image.

ü  Include the image alt attribute
The alt attribute describes what the image is if the image is unable to load properly or if the image cannot be displayed by the browser. The alt attribute should be short and descriptive.

ü  Use the appropriate size
Heavy images affect the general performance of a web page. Images with smaller size load faster and reduce the loading speed of the webpage. The ideal size for an image is 50kb if the image is part of a webpage. If the image covers a full page, the ideal size is between 80kb- 100kb.

·         Optimize URL structure
Optimizing the URL structure for better understanding by search engines and web users can affect SEO for your website. This can be done in the following ways:

ü  Insert keywords:If you are targeting a keyword to rank for, you have to include them in your URLs. Make sure your keywords make your URLs descriptive.

ü  Make them short
Keep your URLs short to make things more organized. It makes it easy to understand.

ü  Avoid using dynamic symbols
Do not use symbols like underscores, question marks, or capital letters because they can make the URL difficult to understand for search engines. Instead, use hyphens to separate words like in the example below:

·         Link internally: 
Internal linking is one of the best on-page SEO techniques to improve web page performance.

John Mueller of Google 2015 says “We do use internal links to better understand the content of your sites”.

Internal linking helps search engine crawlers to discover new pages on your website. It also helps to pass link juice from top pages to lower pages in the website which can help increase its page views.

The anchor text you use for internal linking is important so let it have your keywords in it. Don’t use one anchor word many times in a web page just to link to another page, make sure there is variety in the anchor texts you use to avoid been seen as spammy.

·         Write relevant content

Always strive to give valuable content to your readers. Make sure they are as relevant as possible. When your contents are original, you’ll rank on search engines; of course not without other factors but it will rank with time. Do not write for search engines; write to provide relevant answers to the query of web users. Make the content long because the longer it is, the more chance it has to rank on search engines.

                     OFF-PAGE SEO TECHNIQUES

Off-page SEO techniques are practices outside your website but have an effect on the ranking of your website. Off-page SEO techniques mostly revolve around link development. Below are a couple of off-page SEO techniques:

1.    Post of forums
Although posting in forums does not have much effect on SEO because the links are no-followed links but could help drive a good amount of traffic to your site. Join niche forums, respond to questions asked and also create threads to help others. Be sure to add links to your website in your profile.

2.    Practice blog commenting
Blog commenting thought to be outdated, is still relevant in driving traffic to your site with could improve SEO. Doing blog commenting just to build backlinks for SEO is bad. It can backfire. If you find something interesting in a site, comment naturally on how you feel about it. Most websites have space where you can include your website after commenting. This could really drive traffic to your site if do it well.

3.    Use social media
Using social media to spread the word about your content increases your social signals which may not have a strong effect on SEO but could add to the overall SEO strength of your site. Also, include social sharing buttons on your site to allow users to share your content to other people.

 Although SEO takes time before you can see its effect, in the long run, it is really worth the effort. Take one step at a time and you will see results if you are dedicated.
I will love to hear from you. What do you think of these techniques and what problems are you facing with SEO? Comment below.

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