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                            [body] => SEO for Beginners: An Introduction to SEO BasicsRead Now >An Introduction to SEO Basics. 1.20 Years of SEO: A Brief History of Search Engine Optimization2.How Does SEO Work3.Why Do People Visit Websites Today?4.Why Search – and SEO – Is Important5.71 Mind-Blowing Search Engine Optimization Stats6.Meet the 7 Most Popular Search Engines in the World7.SEO Strategy vs. Tactics: What’s the Difference? A Lot!8.Google Webmaster Guidelines: Everything You Need to Know & Understand9.How People Search: Understanding User Intent10.44 Free Tools to Help You Find What People Search For11.Why Links Are Important for SEO12.Why Keywords Are Still So Very Important for SEO13.Why Content Is Important for SEO14.9 Essential Types of Webpages Every SEO Pro Needs to Know15.How Long Does SEO Take?16.How to Spot SEO Myths: 20 Common SEO Myths, Debunked17.Learn SEO: The 38 Best Blogs, Resources & Publications18.The Best SEO Conferences to Attend19.202 Top SEO Experts You Should Be Following20.How to Become an SEO ExpertA Complete Guide to SEO. 21.SEO Fundamentals: Your Guide to SEO Success Factors22.5 Things Every SEO Strategy Needs23.How to Know Your Audience to Master Your Marketing Campaigns24.The Three Pillars of SEO: Authority, Relevance, and Trust25.Why Your SEO Focus Should Be Brand Building26.Why & How to Track Google Algorithm Updates27.A Beginner’s Guide to SEO in a Machine Learning World28.Why Keyword Research Is Useful for SEO & How to Rank29.See, Think, Do, Care: A New Way to Communicate Your SEO Strategy30.How to Create Perfectly Optimized Content: 16 Essential Elements31.Making SEO & User Experience Work Together32.Local SEO for Beginners: How to Get Started33.An Introduction to Mobile SEO34.Agile SEO: Moving from Strategy to Action35.The 9 Most Important SEO KPIs You Should Be Tracking36.SEO Strategy: 3 Trade-offs You Must Consider37. What to Do When Things Go Wrong in SEOWhat is SEO? At its core, search engine optimization (SEO) is about increasing your website’s visibility in the organic search results of major search engines.To get that visibility, you must understand three core components:What types of content search engine users and your customers want or need.How search engines work to discover, index, and serve content in search engine results pages.How to properly promote and optimize your website to tell search engines more about it.While search engines and technology are always evolving, there are some underlying foundational elements that have remained unchanged from the earliest days of SEO.This is why, in collaboration with some of the field’s top authorities and experts, we created these in-depth overviews and tutorials – to define SEO for aspiring SEO professionals and explain how search engine optimization really works now.How does SEO work? SEO is a fast-paced and dynamic field. It can also sometimes be frustrating, especially if you’re relying on outdated tactics that no longer work.That’s why it’s crucial for you to stay well-informed and learn continuously. Search engines are always updating their algorithms to provide quality search results to their users.Marketers must continue their SEO education to keep up with what tactics works now, and what tactics need to be removed from your search marketing plan.SEO is also more complex than ever today.It takes more than just building links, creating any old content, and adding a few keywords to improve your organic search rankings and increase the visibility of your business or brand.You need to keep track of and understand:Emerging trends (e.g., voice search)New features in search related products and tools (e.g., Search Console)Technological advancements (e.g., machine learning).Your audience (e.g., how they behave and what they want).So how do you develop an SEO strategy to dominate your competition in Google and other search engines?Because, ultimately, SEO isn’t only about being found on search engines and driving traffic to your website. It’s about providing a great experience and generating leads and revenue.To create a positive user experience and generate leads from search, you have to do more than target the right keywords. You have to understand the intent of the search user and develop content that provides solutions for their problems.Once you understand your searcher’s intent, you will be able to create content that meets the needs of search users and is optimized for search engines to discover and index it.FAQ. What is SEO?SEO stands for search engine optimization, the process by which marketers attempt to get more visibility for their website in search engine results pages on Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and other search engines.How does SEO work?Through the use of technical, on-page, and off page SEO tactics, marketers effectively tell search engines what their website is about and why it should rank well in search engine results pages.Latest Articles On SEO. 1.Google: One Part Of Site Can Hurt Entire Site Quality2.How Google Reviews Impact Map Pack & Organic Search Rankings3.6 Expert Tips For Small Business SEO Strategy In 20224.Does Domain Extension Affect SEO? Google's John Mueller Explains5.6 Important Lessons Learned In Building An In-House SEO Team6.Landing Page SEO Best Practices & Tips For Success7.SEO Competitive Analysis: The Definitive Guide8.How Can Different Departments Avoid Keyword Cannibalization?9.6 Core Web Vitals Extraction Methods For CrUX With Pros & Cons10.Author Archive Pages And E-A-T11.15 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money12.Huge Update: Leading Rank Tracking Tool, ProRankTracker, Upgrades For 2022LinkedinFacebokTwitterEmailSMS
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                            [body] => The Beginner's Guide to SEO Rankings and traffic through search engine optimization . Explore the chapters:   Chapters IntroductionSEO 101How Search Engines Work: Crawling, Indexing, and RankingKeyword ResearchOn-Page SEOTechnical SEOLink Building & Establishing AuthorityMeasuring & Tracking SEO SuccessSEO Glossary Next IntroductionWelcome to your SEO learning journey!You'll get the most out of this guide if your desire to learn search engine optimization (SEO) is exceeded only by your willingness to execute and test concepts.This guide is designed to describe all major aspects of SEO, from finding the terms and phrases (keywords) that can generate qualified traffic to your website, to making your site friendly to search engines, to building links and marketing the unique value of your site.The world of search engine optimization is complex and ever-changing, but you can easily understand the basics, and even a small amount of SEO knowledge can make a big difference. Free SEO education is also widely available on the web, including in guides like this! (Woohoo!)Combine this information with some practice and you are well on your way to becoming a savvy SEO.The basics of search engine optimization. Ever heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs? It's a theory of psychology that prioritizes the most fundamental human needs (like air, water, and physical safety) over more advanced needs (like esteem and social belonging). The theory is that you can't achieve the needs at the top without ensuring the more fundamental needs are met first. Love doesn't matter if you don't have food.Our founder, Rand Fishkin, made a similar pyramid to explain the way folks should go about SEO, and we've affectionately dubbed it "Mozlow's hierarchy of SEO needs."Here's what it looks like:Try Moz Pro, free!Strong data and smart analytics are must-haves when it comes to SEO work. Try Moz Pro free for 30 days and see why so many marketers trust our SEO tools! Start my free trial As you can see, the foundation of good SEO begins with ensuring crawl accessibility, and moves up from there.Using this beginner's guide, we can follow these seven steps to successful SEO:Crawl accessibility so engines can read your websiteCompelling content that answers the searcher’s queryKeyword optimized to attract searchers & enginesGreat user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UXShare-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplificationTitle, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankingsSnippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPsWe'll spend time on each of these areas throughout this guide, but we wanted to introduce it here because it offers a look at how we structured the guide as a whole.Explore the chapters:Chapter 1: SEO 101What is it, and why is it important?For true beginners. Learn what search engine optimization is, why it matters, and all the need-to-know basics to start yourself off right.Chapter 2: How Search Engines Work – Crawling, Indexing, and RankingFirst, you need to show up.If search engines literally can't find you, none of the rest of your work matters. This chapter shows you how their robots crawl the Internet to find your site and add it to their indexes.Chapter 3: Keyword ResearchUnderstand what your audience wants to find.Our approach targets users first because that's what search engines reward. This chapter covers keyword research and other methods to determine what your audience is seeking.Chapter 4: On-Site OptimizationUse your research to craft your message.This is a hefty chapter, covering optimized design, user experience, information architecture, and all the ways you can adjust how you publish content to maximize its visibility and resonance with your audience.Chapter 5: Technical SEOBasic technical knowledge will help you optimize your site for search engines and establish credibility with developers.By implementing responsive design, robot directives, and other technical elements like structured data and meta tags, you can tell Google (a robot itself) what your site is all about. This helps it rank for the right things.Chapter 6: Link Building & Establishing AuthorityTurn up the volume.Once you've got everything in place, it's time to expand your influence by earning attention and links from other sites and influencers.Chapter 7: Measuring, Prioritizing, & Executing SEOSet yourself up for success. An essential part of any SEO strategy is knowing what's working (and what isn't), adjusting your approach as you go along.The SEO GlossaryUnderstand key terms and phrases.Learning SEO can sometimes feel like learning another language, with all the jargon and industry terms you're expected to know. This chapter-by-chapter glossary will help you get a handle on all the new words.How much of this guide do I need to read?If you're serious about improving search traffic and are unfamiliar with SEO, we recommend reading the Beginner's Guide to SEO front-to-back. We've tried to make it as concise and easy to understand as possible, and learning the basics of SEO is a vital first step in achieving your online business goals.Go through at the pace that suits you best, and be sure to take note of the dozens of resources we link to throughout the chapters — they're also worthy of your attention. Getting excited yet? You should be! Search engine marketing is a fascinating field and can be lots of fun! If you get confused, don't give up; we have folks who can help you with instructor-led SEO training seminars.We're excited you're here! Grab a cup of coffee, and let's dive into Chapter 1 (SEO 101).Last Updated: July 28, 2021How to Rank on Google. If you want to know how to rank a website start-to-finish, look no further than our How to Rank on Google checklist. Just 25 steps to ranking success — read our guide and see how! Read the checklist
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                            [body] => Search Engine OptimizationA Beginner's Guide from AhrefsYour SEO journey starts here!If you want to learn SEO, you’ve come to the right place.Over the years, we’ve published tons of free educational materials on our SEO Blog and YouTube channel, helping millions of people to get more organic traffic to their websites in the process.But the issue with these resources is that their content is unorganized. There's no clear starting point or pathway to SEO knowledge.That's why we created this guide. Whether you're just getting started on your SEO journey or already know the basics, this page is your gateway to SEO mastery.What is SEO?SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of growing a website's traffic from organic search results. It involves things like keyword research, content creation, link building, and technical audits.Read moreSearch Engine Optimization ExplainedRead moreSearch Engine Optimization ExplainedPaid resultsBusinesses pay Google to be here.Organic resultsNobody can pay Google to be here. SEO is all about putting your website there.The Beginner's Guide to SEOThese six chapters are all you need to build a strong foundation of SEO knowledge and start ranking higher in Google. If you want to dig deeper, each chapter has links to plenty of more advanced learning materials.Chapter 1 / How Search Engines Work. Before you start learning SEO, you need to understand how search engines work.Chapter 2 / SEO Basics. Learn how to set your website up for SEO success, and get to grips with the four main facets of SEO.Chapter 3 / Keyword Research. The starting point in SEO is to understand what your target customers are searching for.Chapter 4 / On-Page SEO. This is where you optimize your pages to help search engines understand them.Chapter 5 / Link Building. Links are how search engines discover new pages and judge their "authority." It's hard to rank for competitive terms without links.Chapter 6 / Technical SEO. It's important to make sure there are no technical faux pas that prevent Google from accessing and understanding your website.SEO Glossary. If you've read anything about SEO before, you'll know there's lots of industry jargon. But to keep things simple for now, here are a few key terms and concepts you should know.Backlinks: Links from a page on one website to another.Keywords: The words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for.Long-tail keywords: Keywords with low search volumes.SERPs: This stands for Search Engine Results Pages. They're the pages that Google and other search engines show in response to a user’s search query.SERP features: Non-traditional search results (not a 'blue link') like videos, tweets boxes, or featured snippets.Featured snippets: Answers to search queries pulled from a top-ranking page that show up near the top of the SERP.Rich snippets: Search results with additional valuable information displayed alongside them (e.g., star ratings, cooking times, etc.)Outreach: Emailing relevant bloggers and journalists to tell them about your content.The Wall of Twitter SEO Wisdom. We handpicked some tweets with smart ideas on SEO that generated a lot of discussion and reactions. Follow the authors on Twitter for more valuable insights.Looking for more resources? Check out our blog and YouTube channel.ahrefsblog↗ahrefstv↗
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                                    [1] => Chapter 1:Core Web Vitals
                                    [2] => Core Web Vitals: What You Need to Know
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                                    [4] => How We Improved Backlinko’s Core Web Vitals
                                    [5] => Chapter 2:Google Passage Ranking
                                    [6] => How Google Passage Ranking Works
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                                    [11] => Visual Search is Taking Off
                                    [12] => Visual Search Technology is Insanely Good
                                    [13] => People WANT to Search With Images
                                    [14] => How to Optimize for Visual Search
                                    [15] => Chapter 5:Domain Authority 2.0
                                    [16] => Be An Expert (Or Hire One)
                                    [17] => Be Transparent
                                    [18] => Get Cited
                                    [19] => Chapter 6:Video Continues to Surge
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                                    [21] => Grow Your YouTube Channel
                                    [22] => Embed Video Content Into Text-Based Blog Posts
                                    [23] => Chapter 7:Master Search Intent
                                    [24] => Identify Each Keyword’s Intent
                                    [25] => Create Content That’s a 1:1 Search Intent Match
                                    [26] => Re-Optimize Old Content for Search Intent
                                    [27] => Chapter 8:Combat Decreasing CTRs
                                    [28] => Include Your Keyword in Your URL
                                    [29] => Use Emotion (Without Going Overboard)
                                    [30] => Write Meta Descriptions for Every Page
                                    [31] => Bonus Chapter:Quick SEO Tips for 2022
                                    [32] => Publish “Research Content”
                                    [33] => Create Visual Content (Especially “Concept Visuals”)
                                    [34] => Optimize Your Podcast Show Notes for SEO
                                    [35] => Build Backlinks as a Podcast Guest
                                    [36] => Publish Content Hubs
                                    [37] => Now It’s Your Turn
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                            [body] => The Definitive Guide To SEO In 2022 This is the ultimate guide to search engine optimization in 2022. And let me be clear about something: This is NOT your average “SEO in 2022” predictions post. Yes, I’ll cover the most important SEO trends this year. But you’re also going to see new strategies that are working great right now. So if you’re looking to improve your SEO next year, you’ll love this updated guide. Contents. Chapter 1Core Web VitalsChapter 2Google Passage RankingChapter 3Optimize for Featured SnippetsChapter 4The Rise of Visual SearchChapter 5Domain Authority 2.0Chapter 6Video Continues to SurgeChapter 7Master Search IntentChapter 8Combat Decreasing CTRsBonus ChapterQuick SEO Tips for 2022Chapter 1:Core Web Vitals. According to Google, core web vitals became a ranking factor in 2021. And in this chapter, I’m going to show you exactly how to get your site ready for this upcoming Google update. (Including a real-life example of how I dramatically improved Backlinko’s core web vital scores.) Let’s dive in. Core Web Vitals: What You Need to Know. Core web vitals are a set of three specific web page experience metrics that Google considers super important: Largest contentful paint First input delay Cumulative layout shift According to Google, core web vitals will directly impact rankings. That said, they also point out that core web vitals aren’t a make or break ranking factor. In other words, you can still rank with poor core web vitals scores. That said, there’s really no reason NOT to optimize your site’s core web vitals. So it makes sense to set some time aside to work on them. Here’s how. How To Improve Your Core Web Vital Scores. To be clear: The exact steps you take to improve your core web vitals depends on your site. For example, a site that runs on Shopify will be different compared to one that runs on WordPress. That said, here’s the process you can use to figure out what you need to fix. First, pop open the Google Search Console and click on “Core Web Vitals”. Then, take a look at how the pages on your site stack up. (I basically ignore the desktop scores. Google’s mobile-first index means that mobile scores are what really matter.) You want to really zero in on “poor URLs”. In my opinion, Google is going to punish poor URLs more than boost up good URLs. So you want to prioritize getting your URLs out of the red. Again, how you tackle this depends a lot on the core web vital that you’re struggling with. For example, a bunch of my pages had a poor CLS score. So we worked on improving the stability of pages as they loaded. How We Improved Backlinko’s Core Web Vitals. When Google announced their upcoming page experience update, I realized that we needed to make a change. You see, Backlinko’s load times were slow. Very slow. It wasn’t for lack of trying. We used a lightweight WordPress theme. Compressed our images. And more. But the fact was: Backlinko’s pages were HUGE. Some of our posts had 40+ high-res screenshots. Plus visuals, embedded videos and animated images. The thing was, this didn’t seem to hurt our rankings at all. Which makes sense considering that our search engine ranking factors analysis found no correlation between page speed and rankings. But this update was different. Google wasn’t just looking at page loading speed. They were going to try to directly measure user experience. In other words: this time they weren’t messing around. So I got to work. Specifically, I hired an agency to overhaul Backlinko’s code. It now runs on Next.js. It wasn’t cheap. Or easy. But in the end, this significantly improved our core web vital scores. And our overall load times. Fortunately, you probably don’t have to completely overhaul your site’s code. Backlinko was kind of in a unique situation. This is why we had to take drastic measures. But 9 times out of 10, you can improve your core web vital scores using the tips that I outlined above. And with that, it’s time for chapter 2. Chapter 2:Google Passage Ranking. In 2020 Google announced a new search technology called “Passages”. This feature allows Google to rank specific sections of a page (“a passage”) independently. This feature is going to affect 7% of all searches, which is a massive number. (To put that into context, Google Penguin only impacted 3.1% of all queries.) Let’s see how to optimize for this new Google ranking factor. How Google Passage Ranking Works. Passages allow Google to rank specific, relevant passages from a specific page. Not just the page itself. (Kind of like a souped-up version of Featured Snippets.) Here’s an example from Google’s feature announcement: So instead of Google ONLY taking into account the relevancy of an entire page. They’ll now also size up the relevancy of a specific section of that page. That said, Google has made it clear that they will still evaluate entire pages. So backlinks, on-page SEO, UX signals, and Google’s other page-level ranking factors will still apply. The only difference is that a single page now has more chances to rank. That is, assuming the page is optimized and organized. Which is exactly what I’m going to cover right now. Organize Your Content Into Discrete Sections. Yes, Google will rank passages of your page semi-independently. But that doesn’t mean they can easily divvy up a disorganized page. Why? Google may now look at each section like a mini web page. This means your content needs to be divided up into dedicated sections. And each section should cover a specific subtopic. You may have been doing this already. If not, I recommend going back and organizing your content into VERY clear sections. For example, take a look at this page on my site: “SEO vs. SEM: What’s The Difference?”. This page is organized into 21 different sections. (Each section has an H3 subheading.) That way, Google can treat the content underneath each H3 as a mini web page. And rank it accordingly. Double Down on Long Form Content. The downside of long-form content USED to be that you could sometimes get beat by a more focused page. For example, let’s say you had a section on your page about writing blog post intros. And someone else had an entire page dedicated to writing post intros. Well, in some cases Google would rank the entire page about post intros over you. That’s because your competitor’s page was 100% about that topic. And to Google, that page could be a better UX for someone looking to write better introductions. But that’s about to change. Today, Google can parse a single piece of long-form content into 5, 10, or even 100 unique passages. And each one has a good shot of ranking in Google. So yeah, long-form content already had a rankings edge in the SERPs. And for generating backlinks and social shares. Now that Google can divide up a single page into distinct passages, you can expect long-form content to work even better for SEO in 2022. Chapter 3:Optimize for Featured Snippets. According to SEMrush, 5.6% of all search results have a Featured Snippet. And yes: Featured Snippets are stealing A LOT of clicks from the #1 spot. (As I like to say: “#0 is the new #1”.) The question is: How do you get your content to appear in the Featured Snippet? Well, that’s what this chapter is all about. I recently decided to make ranking for Featured Snippets a priority. And it helped us go from a handful of Featured Snippets rankings to over 390. Here’s the step-by-step process that I used. 1. Find Featured Snippet opportunities Like most things in SEO, the first step is keyword research. Keywords that you already rank for. AND Keywords that have a Featured Snippet. Why is it important to focus on keywords that you rank for already? 99.58% of all Featured Snippets are from pages that rank on the first page for that term. So if you don’t already rank in the top 10, you have zero chance of ranking in the Featured Snippet spot. How do you find Featured Snippet Opportunities? Ahrefs “Organic Keywords” report. It shows you keywords that you rank for… that also have a Featured Snippet: 4,512 keywords? Looks like I have some work to do 🙂 2. Add “Snippet Bait” to Your Page “Snippet Bait” is a 40-60 word block of content specifically designed to rank in the Featured Snippet spot. Why 40-60 words? Well, SEMrush analyzed nearly 7 million Featured Snippets. And they found that the most Featured Snippets are 40-60 words long. For example: I wrote short Snippet Bait definitions for every page of The Content Marketing Hub. And these helped my content rank in the Featured Snippet spot for lots of definition keywords. HubSpot takes Snippet Bait to another level. They add little boxes to their posts that actually look like Featured Snippets: 3. Format your content for other types of Featured Snippets Snippet Bait works best for so-called “Paragraph Snippets”, like this: Even though paragraph snippets make up 81.9% of all Featured Snippets… …they’re not the only ones. If you want to rank for List Snippets… Use H2 or H3 subheaders for every item on your list. (You can manually check your HTML to see if this is set up correctly.) Google will pull those subheaders from your content… and include them in the Featured Snippet: If you want to rank in Table Snippets… You need to create a table that Google can easily pull data from. For example, the content from this Table Snippet… …is pulled directly from a well-formatted table. Which leads us to our next topic… Chapter 4:The Rise of Visual Search. Is Visual Search an SEO game-changer? Not yet. But based on how things are trending, visual search is poised to take off in 2022. Here’s what you need to know. Visual Search is Taking Off. More people are conducting more visual searches than ever before. Just take a look at these stats: Google Lens has already been used 1 billion times (source). Pinterest gets 600 million visual searches per month (source). 36% of American consumers have already used visual search (source). Visual Search Technology is Insanely Good. Visual search is still in its infancy. And it already works REALLY well. Don’t believe me? Whip open Google Lens on your mobile device and start scanning stuff around your room. You’ll probably find that it can identify pretty much anything. Today, Google Lens can identify 1 billion objects. And that number is growing every day. Heck, I tried Bing’s visual search on my phone. And it works super well. People WANT to Search With Images. Once you start using it, you’ll quickly notice that visual search is super helpful for: Shopping Directions Identifying landmarks Local business reviews Translation Recipes Nutrition information Lots more Which is probably why 62% of young consumers want more visual search tech: How to Optimize for Visual Search. A while ago we conducted one of the first visual search ranking factors studies. Here are some of the highlights from that research. Mobile-Friendly Pages Have a Huge Edge. 9 out of 10 Google Lens results came from a site that passed Google’s mobile-friendly test. Considering that basically 100% of Google Lens searches are done on mobile devices, it makes sense that Google would prefer mobile-friendly websites. Traditional Image SEO Still Applies. Our research found that traditional image SEO techniques (like optimizing image filenames and alt text) seem to also help with Google Lens rankings. And that high-authority pages and sites are more likely to appear as Google Lens results. Google Lens Results Tend to Come From Content-Rich Pages. We found that Google tends to pull Google Lens image results from pages with quite a bit of text (1600 words on average). At first, this may seem surprising. But when you realize that Google specifically states that the text content on a page is important for image SEO, this finding makes a whole lot of sense. Chapter 5:Domain Authority 2.0. Domain Authority used to be all about links. Not anymore. Today, Google also evaluates your site based on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Also known as E-A-T. In many ways, E-A-T is Domain Authority 2.0. And in this chapter, I’ll cover everything you need to know about this important SEO trend. The most recent set of Google Quality Rater Guidelines REALLY focused on E-A-T. To be clear: E-A-T has been a part of the guidelines for years. But E-A-T is now a more important ranking factor than before. For example, Google’s new “How Search Works” report mentions that they want to rank “reliable sources”. They even cite E-A-T as a key ranking signal: With that, here’s how to bump up your site’s E-A-T. Be An Expert (Or Hire One). If you hire random freelancers to write your content, you’re in trouble. That’s because Google wants to feature content that’s written by legit experts in their field. They even go as far as to say that medical content needs to be written by health care professionals. This is a tough thing to fake. So if you want your content to rank in 2022, it needs to be written by people that know their stuff. (Especially in the health niche.) Be Transparent. Google probably focuses on off-site signals to figure out your site’s E-A-T. That said: The rater guidelines spend a lot of time evaluating the site itself. For example, the guidelines point out that: This means having: Thorough about page Easy to find contact page References and external links to sources Privacy policy and terms of service Author bylines on every article Get Cited. Most of Google’s evaluation of E-A-T happens off of your website. Which makes sense. Any random person can claim to be an expert. But getting other websites to agree with you? That’s a totally different story. In fact, Google’s guidelines state that: So: Besides creating an awesome site, how do you get other people to mention you and your site as a go-to resource? First, you need to be cited on lots of other trusted websites. These don’t even have to be linked mentions. Something like this can help Google see you as an expert on a given topic: Second, your site as a whole needs to be associated with a specific topic. Again, this comes down to off-site mentions. Specifically, mentions from other authorities in your field. For example, getting listed as the #1 SEO blog by Ahrefs probably boosted Backlinko’s reputation in Google’s eyes. Chapter 6:Video Continues to Surge. Online video is EXPLODING right now. In fact, according to Cisco, online video will make up 82% of all online traffic by 2022. 82%! And that may still not satisfy the world’s demand for video. Despite the fact that there are more videos out there than ever, HubSpot states that 43% of people want even MORE video content. In short: If video isn’t part of your digital marketing plans, you’re missing out. Here’s how you can use video to improve your SEO this year. Video Featured Snippets. You’ve probably noticed more Video Featured Snippets in the search results. In fact, Google highlighted Video Featured Snippets in their “Reintroduction to Featured Snippets” report. And I expect to see more Video Featured Snippets in 2022. From what I’ve seen, here are the 3 most important things to do to get your video content in a Featured Snippets. 1. Organize Your Content Into Discrete Sections This is huge. Clear sections help Google understand the content in your video. Which makes it easy for Google to use different clips from your video in a snippet. 2. Optimize Your Video for SEO Google uses your title, description and tags to figure out what your video is all about. So besides publishing videos that have clear sections, you also want to make sure that your video is optimized for SEO. In fact, a small HubSpot study of 165 Video Featured Snippets found that 80% of them contained a keyword in the title. 3. Provide a Transcript The captions that YouTube automatically generates are REALLY good. But it’s not 100%. So to increase the odds that YouTube and Google can understand every word of your video, upload a transcript. Grow Your YouTube Channel. YouTube is already the world’s 2nd largest search engine. (In fact, according to a study by JumpShot and Moz founder Rand Fishkin, YouTube’s search engine is 2x more popular than Bing.) Amazingly, YouTube is still growing. In short, more and more people are searching for stuff on YouTube than ever before. So if you want to get more traffic from SEO in 2022, I recommend creating and optimizing content specifically for YouTube. It’s a search engine that’s too big to ignore. The best part? Most marketers are too lazy to make videos. So it’s pretty easy to get your videos seen (assuming you know how to create high-quality videos). For example, my channel has 45 total videos. And those 45 videos generate over 189k views per month. (And as you might expect, a good chunk of those viewers turn into website visitors, leads and customers.) It gets better: when you publish SEO-optimized YouTube videos, you’ll own more Google real estate. Why? Well, for starters: 55% of all Google search results contain at least one video. (And almost all of those videos are from YouTube.) Here’s an example of what I mean: And considering that Google owns YouTube, expect even MORE YouTube videos in the search results in 2022. Embed Video Content Into Text-Based Blog Posts. If people want to see more video content, why not give it to them? That’s why I recommend embedding video content into your blog posts. And from my own Google Analytics data, I’ve seen that this can significantly improve your bounce rate. Here’s an example of this in action: Chapter 7:Master Search Intent. Search Intent has been a massive topic in the SEO world over the last few years. And for good reason: Content that doesn’t match search intent simply won’t rank. And as Google gets better at giving people the exact search results they want, creating content that’s a 1:1 Search Intent match is going to be a must for 2022 SEO. Identify Each Keyword’s Intent. Every keyword has an intent behind it. Maybe it’s to look something up. Or buy something. Or compare product A with product B. And the better your content can match that search intent, the better it will rank. So your first step is to figure out your target keyword’s Search Intent. Sometimes the intent is right in the keyword. But it’s not usually that obvious. So for most keywords, the search results will tell you everything you need to know about that keyword’s Search Intent. For example, take a keyword like: “protein powder”. Someone searching for that term could want to buy some protein. Or maybe they want to learn more about it. Well, according to Google’s first page for that keyword, most people searching for “protein powder” are looking for information. Create Content That’s a 1:1 Search Intent Match. Now that you’ve identified Search Intent, it’s time to publish something that gives searchers EXACTLY what they’re looking for. For example, when I analyzed the search engine results pages (“the SERPs”) for “how to get YouTube subscribers”, I noticed that they were mostly list posts. So even though this was a “how-to” keyword, I didn’t publish a step-by-step tutorial. Instead, I published a list post. And because my content is what users want, that page ranks in the top 3 for that keyword. Re-Optimize Old Content for Search Intent. Search Intent optimization isn’t just for new content. You can tweak your older stuff to make it a better Search Intent fit. To boost your on-page SEO. Or just to improve the page’s overall user experience. For example, this post used to rank really well for “SEO campaign”. But as Google got better at figuring out what people that searched for that keyword actually wanted, my post started to drop in the rankings. Which made sense: someone searching for “SEO campaign” doesn’t want a case study about a random guy. They want a list of steps. So I transformed that post into a step-by-step guide that was easy to follow. Today, that page gets 156.46% more organic traffic than the old version. Chapter 8:Combat Decreasing CTRs. There’s no denying it: The organic click-through-rate is down. Way down. In fact, one industry study found that organic CTR on mobile search is down 41.4% since 2015. It’s no secret why: Google is crowding out the organic search results with SERP Features, like Answer Boxes, Ads, Carousels, “People also ask” sections, and more. And to stand out in the SERPs, your result needs to scream “click on me!”… or else it’ll be ignored. Include Your Keyword in Your URL. In 2019. we published the results from our large-scale organic CTR study. And one of our most interesting findings was that keyword-rich URLs get 45% more clicks vs. URLs that don’t contain a keyword that matches the person’s search. Use Emotion (Without Going Overboard). Our study found that emotional titles had a relatively high CTR. But we also found that title tags that contained “Power Words” reduced clicks by 14%. It looks like Google searchers want to click on compelling titles. But if a title veers into clickbait territory, they’re going to click on something else. Write Meta Descriptions for Every Page. In other words: make sure your website’s description meta tags are 100% original. And would compel someone to click on your site in the search results. This is a simple 2-minute step that can increase your CTR by approximately 6%. Bonus Chapter:Quick SEO Tips for 2022. In this chapter, I’ll show you a few quick-win tactics that are working great right now. And should work even better in 2022. Publish “Research Content”. Bloggers and journalists LOVE data. And if you can hook them up with a stat, a survey, or an industry study, they’ll link to you like there’s no tomorrow. For example, in 2020 we published 5 pieces of Research Content. And those 5 pieces of content brought in 22,926 backlinks, 23,217 social media shares and 262,983 thousand visitors. Insane. The downside of Research Content is that it’s A LOT more work than banging out a list post or case study. But when done right, the extra effort can totally pay off. Create Visual Content (Especially “Concept Visuals”). Just like video, visual content is growing fast. In fact, a recent survey found that 87.5% of marketers use visual content in the majority of their content marketing efforts. And thanks to social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram, visual content should continue to see growth in 2022. How can you take advantage of this trend? Create more visual content… especially “Concept Visuals”. In my experience, “Concept Visuals” can do just as well as a fancy infographic… if not better. (Concept Visuals are images that are easy for other sites to embed into their content. When they do, they’ll usually link back to you.) For example, here’s a simple visual that I included in one of my guides: And because this visual explains a tricky concept, people LOVE embedding this image in their content: In fact, this single Concept Visual has generated 20+ backlinks to my site. Optimize Your Podcast Show Notes for SEO. Everyone and their mom has a podcast. But very few people rank their show notes in Google. Fortunately, optimizing your podcast show notes for SEO isn’t super hard. Here’s how to do it. First, get a full transcript of your interview. Then, turn that transcript into a full blog post. In other words, don’t just copy and paste your transcript and call it a day. Instead, you want to repurpose the transcript into a post that could stand on its own, including: An introduction Subheadings Screenshots and visuals Internal and external links Comments section Here’s an example of how this can look. Then, optimize the page’s on-page SEO just like you normally would. And you’re good to go. Build Backlinks as a Podcast Guest. Podcasts are one of my all-time favorite ways to build links. It’s like guest posting… without all the back-and-forth. Just show up, share what you know, and you get a sweet backlink: And podcasting’s popularity is growing like a beanstalk. In fact, 100 million Americans listen to at least one podcast per month (that’s up 10% vs. last year.) That means that next year there’s probably going to be even MORE opportunities for you to get links from podcasts. Publish Content Hubs. Content hubs are essentially a bunch of related content that cover a specific topic. But instead of linking together random blog posts, you present them as entries in a single “hub”. And create a hub homepage for the hub. To date, we’ve published three content hubs here at Backlinko: The YouTube Marketing Hub The SEO Marketing Hub The Content Marketing Hub And they’ve done SUPER well. In fact, the pages that make up The Content Marketing Hub alone bring in 26,438 visitors every month. These hubs do double duty for your site’s SEO. First, hubs are the type of “WOW” content that gets people sharing and linking to you. Very few people are willing to put in the work required to create a content hub. So when you do, you’ll instantly stand out. Second, your hub pages are strategically designed to rank for lots of definition keywords. For example, one of our SEO Marketing Hub entries is optimized around the term “LSI keywords”. And when I say “optimized” I don’t just mean using my keyword in my title tag. The content is 1000% optimized for search intent. For example, someone searching for “LSI keywords” probably wants to know the basics. Like what it is and why it’s important for SEO. And each entry is structured to give people a primer on that topic. Now It’s Your Turn. So that’s how I’m preparing for SEO in 2022. Now I want to turn it over to you: Which strategy from today’s guide are you going to try first? Are you going to publish more “Research Content”? Or work on improving your organic CTR. Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.
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                                        )

                                    [56] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => visual content
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [57] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => concept visual
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [58] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => mobile
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [59] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => section page
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [60] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => keyword rank
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [61] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => mobile friendly
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [62] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => list post
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [63] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => make sense
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [64] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => google rank
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [65] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => entire page
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [66] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => content marketing
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [67] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => content hub
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [68] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => improve core web
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [69] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => step step
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [70] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => featured snippet spot
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [71] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => 40 60 word
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [72] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => content marketing hub
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [73] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => google len result
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [74] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => way
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [75] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => clear
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [76] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => important seo
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [77] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => web page
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [78] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => improve core
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [79] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page site
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [80] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => clear section
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [81] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page rank
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [82] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => post intro
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [83] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => today google
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [84] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => click
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [85] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => snippet spot
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [86] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => 40 60
                                            [tf] => 3
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                                    [87] => stdClass Object
                                        (
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                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [88] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => len result
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [89] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => image seo
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [90] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => organic ctr
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [91] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => show note
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                )

                            [page_rank_decimal] => 58
                            [rank] => 3618
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                    [5] => stdClass Object
                        (
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                            [questions] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [question] => How do beginners do SEO?
                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [question] => What are the 5 important concepts of SEO?
                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [question] => Can I learn SEO on my own?
                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [question] => How do you guide SEO?
                                        )

                                )

                            [organic_position] => 6
                            [serp_type] => questions
                            [isOrganicPage] => 
                            [isOrganic] => 1
                        )

                    [6] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [position] => 7
                            [title] => SEO Guide: Everything a Beginner Needs to Know (in 2022)
                            [url] => https://mangools.com/blog/learn-seo/
                            [destination] => https://mangools.com › blog
                            [description] => Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about optimizing your website to get more organic traffic. Learn SEO with our detailed guide!
                            [isAmp] => 
                            [date] => 4 days ago
                            [organic_position] => 7
                            [serp_type] => page
                            [isOrganicPage] => 1
                            [isOrganic] => 1
                            [serp_title] => SEO Guide: Everything a Beginner Needs to Know (in 2022)
                            [serp_description] => Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process of optimizing your website with the goal of improving your rankings in the search results and ...
                            [hostname] => mangools.com
                            [canonical] => https://mangools.com/blog/learn-seo/
                            [h1] => The Complete SEO Guide for Beginners
                            [h2] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => Learn SEO basics with a beginner's guide even your grandma would understand
                                    [1] => What is SEO?
                                    [2] => SEO in a nutshell
                                    [3] => Useful vocabulary
                                    [4] => Frequently asked questions
                                    [5] => What are search engines?
                                    [6] => How search engines work
                                    [7] => Google algorithm
                                    [8] => Ranking factors
                                    [9] => Where to find keywords?
                                    [10] => Keyword metrics
                                    [11] => Topic identification & organization
                                    [12] => Focus keyword optimization
                                    [13] => Quality of content
                                    [14] => Content length
                                    [15] => Content updates
                                    [16] => Internal linking
                                    [17] => Sitemaps
                                    [18] => HTTPS
                                    [19] => Mobile-friendliness
                                    [20] => Page speed
                                    [21] => Image alt texts
                                    [22] => Title tags and meta descriptions
                                    [23] => Featured snippets
                                    [24] => What is a backlink?
                                    [25] => Types of links
                                    [26] => Link profile
                                    [27] => Attributes of a valuable backlink
                                    [28] => Should you do link building?
                                    [29] => Link building strategies
                                    [30] => Google Search Console
                                    [31] => Google Analytics
                                    [32] => Rank tracking
                                    [33] => Analytics tips and best practices
                                    [34] => Congratulations! You've answered all the questions correctly! 😎
                                )

                            [h3] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => SEO basics
                                    [1] => Search engines
                                    [2] => Keyword research
                                    [3] => Content optimization
                                    [4] => On-page & technical SEO
                                    [5] => Backlinks & link building
                                    [6] => Analytics & metrics
                                    [7] => SEO test & certificate
                                    [8] => On-page SEO & off-page SEO
                                    [9] => White hat SEO vs. black hat SEO
                                    [10] => Can I do SEO on my own?
                                    [11] => How can I learn SEO?
                                    [12] => How long does it take to learn SEO?
                                    [13] => Do I need SEO tools?
                                    [14] => Is SEO dead?
                                    [15] => Crawling
                                    [16] => Indexing
                                    [17] => Picking the results
                                    [18] => Search Quality Raters
                                    [19] => Expert insight by Kevin Indig
                                    [20] => Google suggestions
                                    [21] => Keyword tools
                                    [22] => Search volume
                                    [23] => Long-tail keywords vs. search volumes
                                    [24] => Keyword difficulty
                                    [25] => Keyword relevance
                                    [26] => Expert insight by Gael Breton
                                    [27] => How to organize the topics?
                                    [28] => Title tag and meta description
                                    [29] => URL
                                    [30] => Headings and body text
                                    [31] => Image metadata
                                    [32] => Anchor text of the internal links
                                    [33] => What about LSI keywords?
                                    [34] => Better quality
                                    [35] => Better design
                                    [36] => Better UX
                                    [37] => Expert insight by Julia McCoy
                                    [38] => Updating vs. republishing
                                    [39] => Use clear navigational elements
                                    [40] => Link from the body of the page
                                    [41] => Expert insight by Glen Allsopp
                                    [42] => 1. Use a quality web hosting
                                    [43] => 2. Implement caching
                                    [44] => 3. Consider AMP
                                    [45] => 4. Limit third party-scripts
                                    [46] => 5. Optimize your images
                                    [47] => 1. Include the focus keyword
                                    [48] => 2. Be careful about the length
                                    [49] => 3. Stand out from the crowd
                                    [50] => 1. Look for keywords with featured snippets
                                    [51] => 2. Answer the question first
                                    [52] => 3. Follow the optimal word count
                                    [53] => 4. See what works for your competitors
                                    [54] => Why are backlinks so important?
                                    [55] => Link equity
                                    [56] => Google PageRank
                                    [57] => Internal vs. external links
                                    [58] => Nofollow links
                                    [59] => Anchor text
                                    [60] => 1. Relevant
                                    [61] => 2. From an authoritative website
                                    [62] => 3. Unique
                                    [63] => 4. Placed near the top in the body
                                    [64] => 5. Has relevant anchor text
                                    [65] => Should you buy links?
                                    [66] => Expert insight by Alexandra Tachalova
                                    [67] => Linkable assets
                                    [68] => Guest posting
                                    [69] => Competitor’s backlinks
                                    [70] => Other common link building techniques
                                    [71] => Performance report
                                    [72] => What kind of data can you find in GA?
                                    [73] => Data segmentation
                                    [74] => The most useful reports
                                    [75] => The most useful metrics
                                    [76] => Watch the overall progress, dig into details
                                    [77] => Understand the metrics
                                    [78] => Always try to understand the context
                                    [79] => Use annotations to add context
                                    [80] => Set up alerts to be notified about any dramatic changes
                                )

                            [h2WithAnchors] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Learn SEO basics with a beginner's guide even your grandma would understand
                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => What is SEO?
                                            [id] => what-is-seo
                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => SEO in a nutshell
                                            [id] => seo-in-practice
                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Useful vocabulary
                                            [id] => vocabulary
                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Frequently asked questions
                                            [id] => faq
                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => What are search engines?
                                            [id] => what-are-search-angines
                                        )

                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => How search engines work
                                            [id] => search-engines-work
                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Google algorithm
                                            [id] => algorithm
                                        )

                                    [8] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Ranking factors
                                            [id] => ranking-factors
                                        )

                                    [9] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Where to find keywords?
                                            [id] => where-keywords
                                        )

                                    [10] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Keyword metrics
                                            [id] => keyword-metrics
                                        )

                                    [11] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Topic identification & organization
                                            [id] => topics
                                        )

                                    [12] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Focus keyword optimization
                                            [id] => focus-keyword
                                        )

                                    [13] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Quality of content
                                            [id] => quality
                                        )

                                    [14] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Content length
                                            [id] => length
                                        )

                                    [15] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Content updates
                                            [id] => updates
                                        )

                                    [16] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Internal linking
                                            [id] => internal-linking
                                        )

                                    [17] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Sitemaps
                                            [id] => sitemaps
                                        )

                                    [18] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => HTTPS
                                            [id] => https
                                        )

                                    [19] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Mobile-friendliness
                                            [id] => mobile
                                        )

                                    [20] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Page speed
                                            [id] => page-speed
                                        )

                                    [21] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Image alt texts
                                            [id] => alt-texts
                                        )

                                    [22] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Title tags and meta descriptions
                                            [id] => title-meta
                                        )

                                    [23] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Featured snippets
                                            [id] => featured-snippets
                                        )

                                    [24] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => What is a backlink?
                                            [id] => backlink
                                        )

                                    [25] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Types of links
                                            [id] => link-types
                                        )

                                    [26] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Link profile
                                            [id] => link-profile
                                        )

                                    [27] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Attributes of a valuable backlink
                                            [id] => valuable-backlink
                                        )

                                    [28] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Should you do link building?
                                            [id] => link-building
                                        )

                                    [29] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Link building strategies
                                            [id] => link-building-strategies
                                        )

                                    [30] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Google Search Console
                                            [id] => search-console
                                        )

                                    [31] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Google Analytics
                                            [id] => analytics
                                        )

                                    [32] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Rank tracking
                                            [id] => rank-tracking
                                        )

                                    [33] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Analytics tips and best practices
                                            [id] => analytics-tips
                                        )

                                    [34] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Congratulations! You've answered all the questions correctly! 😎
                                        )

                                )

                            [type] => article
                            [wordCount] => 15195
                            [imgCount] => 87
                            [lang] => 
                            [faq_on_page] => Array
                                (
                                )

                            [anchors] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [size] => 158
                                    [outboundSize] => 60
                                    [list] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
                                                    [href] => https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [1] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google Search Console
                                                    [href] => https://search.google.com/search-console/about
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [2] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google Analytics
                                                    [href] => https://analytics.google.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [3] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => KWFinder
                                                    [href] => https://kwfinder.com
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kwfinder.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [4] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => LinkMiner
                                                    [href] => https://linkminer.com
                                                    [hrefDomain] => linkminer.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [5] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => SERPWatcher
                                                    [href] => https://serpwatcher.com
                                                    [hrefDomain] => serpwatcher.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [6] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Statcounter
                                                    [href] => https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share
                                                    [hrefDomain] => statcounter.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [7] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => describes the crawling process
                                                    [href] => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrIwTzUTEGs&feature=youtu.be&t=98
                                                    [hrefDomain] => youtube.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [8] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => various factors
                                                    [href] => https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/algorithms/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [9] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => https://t.co/e5ZQUAlt0G
                                                    [href] => https://t.co/e5ZQUAlt0G
                                                    [hrefDomain] => t.co
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [10] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => December 3, 2020
                                                    [href] => https://twitter.com/searchliaison/status/1334521448074006530?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
                                                    [hrefDomain] => twitter.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [11] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => strict guidelines
                                                    [href] => https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/guidelines.raterhub.com/en//searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf
                                                    [hrefDomain] => googleusercontent.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [12] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => officially confirmed by Google
                                                    [href] => https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ranking-factors/top-ranking-factors/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchenginejournal.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [13] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google success factors
                                                    [href] => https://zyppy.com/seo-success-factors/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => zyppy.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [14] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Kevin-Indig.com
                                                    [href] => https://www.kevin-indig.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kevin-indig.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [15] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 10-day free trial
                                                    [href] => https://kwfinder.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kwfinder.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [16] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Authority Hacker
                                                    [href] => https://authorityhacker.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => authorityhacker.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [17] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => the buyer’s journey
                                                    [href] => https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-for-every-funnel-stage
                                                    [hrefDomain] => hubspot.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [18] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => summed up
                                                    [href] => https://twitter.com/JohnMu/status/1156293862681468929
                                                    [hrefDomain] => twitter.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [19] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => helps to strengthen the topical signals
                                                    [href] => https://www.semrush.com/blog/outbound-links/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => semrush.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [20] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => study by Backlinko
                                                    [href] => https://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking
                                                    [hrefDomain] => backlinko.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [21] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Express Writers
                                                    [href] => https://expresswriters.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => expresswriters.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [22] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 5 phases of the content lifecycle
                                                    [href] => https://www.animalz.co/blog/the-shape-of-content/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => animalz.co
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [23] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google notices the frequency of updates
                                                    [href] => https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2016/09/26/guide-to-google-ranking-factors-part-4-content-freshness/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchenginewatch.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [24] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => free tool by Animalz
                                                    [href] => https://revive.animalz.co/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => animalz.co
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [25] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Website Navigation: 7 Best Practices
                                                    [href] => https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/website-navigation/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => orbitmedia.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [26] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Detailed
                                                    [href] => https://detailed.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => detailed.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [27] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => according to Google
                                                    [href] => https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/sitemaps/overview
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [28] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Yoast SEO plugin
                                                    [href] => https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wordpress.org
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [29] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Let’s encrypt
                                                    [href] => https://letsencrypt.org/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => letsencrypt.org
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [30] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => a minor ranking signal
                                                    [href] => https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [31] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => mobile-first indexing
                                                    [href] => https://www.semrush.com/blog/mobile-first-indexiing/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => semrush.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [32] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => this tool from Google
                                                    [href] => https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [33] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => a confirmed ranking factor
                                                    [href] => https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2018/07/search-ads-speed
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [34] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google PageSpeed Insights
                                                    [href] => https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [35] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => GTMetrix
                                                    [href] => https://gtmetrix.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => gtmetrix.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [36] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Pingdom
                                                    [href] => https://tools.pingdom.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => pingdom.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [37] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => quality shared hosting
                                                    [href] => https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk02Roz2PVGL5ZlUdsgJTwULXbvscWA%3A1607075235980&ei=owXKX6SfO42OlwT46q_gDQ&q=best+shared+hosting&oq=best+shared+hosting&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIECCMQJzIFCAAQyQMyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADoECAAQR1CFEliFEmDWE2gAcAJ4AIABdYgBdZIBAzAuMZgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXrIAQjAAQE&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwjk_MTkhbTtAhUNx4UKHXj1C9wQ4dUDCA0&uact=5
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [38] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => WP Rocket
                                                    [href] => https://wp-rocket.me/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wp-rocket.me
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [39] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => W3 Total Cache
                                                    [href] => https://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wordpress.org
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [40] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => this great post by Winning WP
                                                    [href] => https://winningwp.com/what-is-website-caching-and-why-is-it-so-important/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => winningwp.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [41] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => an official AMP plugin
                                                    [href] => https://wordpress.org/plugins/amp/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wordpress.org
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [42] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => a great guide on analyzing third-party performance
                                                    [href] => https://kinsta.com/blog/third-party-performance/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kinsta.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [43] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => use them selectively
                                                    [href] => https://wp-rocket.me/blog/webp-use-image-format-wordpress/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wp-rocket.me
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [44] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Imagify
                                                    [href] => https://wordpress.org/plugins/imagify/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wordpress.org
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [45] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => ShortPixel
                                                    [href] => https://wordpress.org/plugins/shortpixel-image-optimiser/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wordpress.org
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [46] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Tiny PNG
                                                    [href] => https://wordpress.org/plugins/tiny-compress-images/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wordpress.org
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [47] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => this great guide by ImageKit
                                                    [href] => https://imagekit.io/blog/lazy-loading-images-complete-guide/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => imagekit.io
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [48] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => alt decision tree
                                                    [href] => https://www.w3.org/WAI/tutorials/images/decision-tree/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => w3.org
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [49] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => KWFinder
                                                    [href] => https://kwfinder.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kwfinder.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [50] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Reasonable Surfer Model
                                                    [href] => https://www.seobythesea.com/2016/04/googles-reasonable-surfer-patent-updated/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => seobythesea.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [51] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => said specifically
                                                    [href] => https://www.brafton.com/news/googles-matt-cutts-tells-pubcon-attendees-put-important-links-toward-top-content-800231718/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => brafton.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [52] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Quality Guidelines
                                                    [href] => https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/link-schemes
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [53] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Digital Olympus
                                                    [href] => https://digitalolympus.net/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => digitalolympus.net
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [54] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => LinkMiner
                                                    [href] => https://linkminer.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => linkminer.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [55] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Backlinko
                                                    [href] => https://backlinko.com/skyscraper-technique
                                                    [hrefDomain] => backlinko.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [56] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google Alerts
                                                    [href] => https://www.google.com/alerts
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [57] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => this detailed guide
                                                    [href] => https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-set-up-google-analytics/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => hootsuite.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [58] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => here’s an explanation why
                                                    [href] => https://help.analyticsedge.com/article/misunderstood-metrics-time-on-page-session-duration/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => analyticsedge.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [59] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => SERPWatcher
                                                    [href] => https://serpwatcher.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => serpwatcher.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [toc] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Learn SEO basics with a beginner's guide even your grandma would understand. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => SEO basics. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Search engines. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Keyword research. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Content optimization. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => On-page & technical SEO. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Backlinks & link building. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Analytics & metrics. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => SEO test & certificate. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => What is SEO?
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => SEO in a nutshell. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Useful vocabulary. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => On-page SEO & off-page SEO. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => White hat SEO vs. black hat SEO. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Frequently asked questions. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Can I do SEO on my own?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => How can I learn SEO?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => How long does it take to learn SEO?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Do I need SEO tools?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Is SEO dead?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => What are search engines?
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => How search engines work. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Crawling. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Indexing. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Picking the results. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Google algorithm. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Search Quality Raters. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [8] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Ranking factors. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Expert insight by Kevin Indig. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [9] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Where to find keywords?
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Google suggestions. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Keyword tools
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [10] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Keyword metrics. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Search volume. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Long-tail keywords vs. search volumes. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Keyword difficulty. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Keyword relevance. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Expert insight by Gael Breton. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [11] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Topic identification & organization. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => How to organize the topics?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Target various intent types. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [12] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Focus keyword optimization. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Title tag and meta description. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => URL. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Headings and body text. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Image metadata. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Anchor text of the internal links. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => What about LSI keywords?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [13] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Quality of content. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Better quality. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Is “linking out” to other websites good for SEO?
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Better design. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Better UX. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [14] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Content length. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Expert insight by Julia McCoy. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [15] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Content updates. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Updating vs. republishing. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [16] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Internal linking. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Use clear navigational elements. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Link from the body of the page. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Expert insight by Glen Allsopp. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [17] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Sitemaps. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 4
                                                            [name] => Do you always need a sitemap?
                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [18] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => HTTPS. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [19] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Mobile-friendliness. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [20] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Page speed. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 1. Use a quality web hosting. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 2. Implement caching. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 3. Consider AMP. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 4. Limit third party-scripts. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 5. Optimize your images. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => a) Use the right file type. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => b) Resize your images. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => c) Compress your images. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => d) Consider lazy loading. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [21] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Image alt texts. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [22] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Title tags and meta descriptions. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 1. Include the focus keyword. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 2. Be careful about the length. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 3. Stand out from the crowd. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [23] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Featured snippets. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 1. Look for keywords with featured snippets. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 2. Answer the question first. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 3. Follow the optimal word count. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 4. See what works for your competitors. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [24] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => What is a backlink?
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Why are backlinks so important?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Link equity. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Google PageRank. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => PageRank metric. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [25] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Types of links. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Internal vs. external links. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Nofollow links. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [26] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Link profile. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Anchor text. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [27] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Attributes of a valuable backlink. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 1. Relevant. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 2. From an authoritative website. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 3. Unique. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => a) Website level. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => b) Page level. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => c) Number of other links. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 4. Placed near the top in the body. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 5. Has relevant anchor text. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [28] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Should you do link building?
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Should you buy links?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Expert insight by Alexandra Tachalova. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [29] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Link building strategies. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Linkable assets. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Guest posting. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Competitor’s backlinks. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => The Skyscraper Technique. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Other common link building techniques. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [30] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Google Search Console. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Performance report. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Troubleshoot the performance drops. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Find pages that need the CTR optimization. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Compare your performance on desktop and mobile devices. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Find low-hanging keywords you can rank for easily. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Compare branded and non-branded searches. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [31] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Google Analytics. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => What kind of data can you find in GA?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Data segmentation. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Date range. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Segments. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Secondary dimension. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Search. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => The most useful reports. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 1. See the most visited pages on your website. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 2. See the first pages people visit on your site. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 3. Find the best sources of your traffic. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 4. Get to know your visitors. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => The most useful metrics. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Traffic acquisition metrics. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Bounce rate. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Pages per session. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Average time on page / Session duration. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [32] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Rank tracking. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [33] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Analytics tips and best practices. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Watch the overall progress, dig into details. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Understand the metrics. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Always try to understand the context. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Use annotations to add context. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Set up alerts to be notified about any dramatic changes. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

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                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Congratulations! You've answered all the questions correctly! 😎. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 5
                                                            [name] => 
                            Don't miss any future post!
                        
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                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

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                                )

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                                    [0] => Article
                                    [1] => BreadcrumbList
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                                (
                                )

                            [body] => The Complete SEO Guide for Beginners Learn SEO basics with a beginner's guide even your grandma would understand. By: Vlado Pavlik | Last updated: January 4, 2022 SEO basics. Read the chapter Search engines. Read the chapter Keyword research. Read the chapter Content optimization. Read the chapter On-page & technical SEO. Read the chapter Backlinks & link building. Read the chapter Analytics & metrics. Read the chapter SEO test & certificate. Read the chapter Do you want to learn SEO but don’t know where to start? Read our complete SEO guide for beginners and learn everything you need to know to proceed with search engine optimization on your own! As a bonus, you can take a short test and get a free SEO certificate! Chapter 1 SEO basics Before we dive into specific techniques and aspects of SEO, let’s cover the basic definitions, vocabulary and frequently asked questions. Are you ready? Let’s start! Chapter navigation What is SEO? SEO in a nutshell Useful vocabulary FAQs What is SEO? Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process of optimizing your website with the goal of improving your rankings in the search results and getting more organic (non-paid) traffic. The history of SEO dates back to the 90s when search engines emerged for the first time. Nowadays, it is an essential marketing strategy and an ever-growing industry. Search engine optimization focuses only on organic search results and does not include PPC optimization. Both SEO and PPC are part of Search Engine Marketing. The search engines are used by internet users when they are searching for something. And you want to provide the answer to that something. It doesn’t matter whether you sell a product or service, write a blog, or anything else, search engine optimization is a must for every website owner. To put it simply: SEO is all the actions you do to make Google consider your website a quality source and rank it higher for your desired search queries. Note: Although SEO stands for “search engine optimization”, with the current dominance of Google, we could simply use the term “Google optimization”. That’s why all the tips and techniques in this guide are mainly about Google SEO, although many things are universal and apply to the optimization for any other search engine. SEO in a nutshell. You don’t need to know ALL the factors and the exact algorithms Google uses to rank your website. But you need to cover the key components of SEO to be successful. An easy way to understand the 3 most important factors is to imagine a bowl of soup – the SEO soup. There are three key aspects of SEO: Technical stuff – The bowl represents all the technical aspects you need to cover (often referred to as technical or on-page SEO). Without a proper bowl, there would be nothing to hold the soup. Great content – The soup represents the content of your website – the most important part. Low-quality content = no rankings, it is that simple. Quality backlinks – The seasoning represents the backlinks that increase the authority of your website. You can have great content and a perfectly optimized website but ultimately, you need to gain authority by getting quality backlinks – the last ingredient to make your SEO soup perfect. In the following chapters, we’ll take a look at all of these aspects from the practical point of view. Useful vocabulary. As soon as you start digging into SEO, you’ll come across some common terms that try to categorize its various aspects or approaches, namely: On-page SEO & off-page SEO Black hat SEO & white hat SEO Although they are not that important from the practical point of view, it is good to know their meaning. On-page SEO & off-page SEO. The terms on-page and off-page SEO categorize the SEO activities based on whether you perform them on the website On-page SEO is everything you can do on the website – from the optimization of content through technical aspects. Keyword research Content optimization Title tag optimization Page performance optimization Internal linking The goal is to provide both perfect content and UX while showing search engines what the page is about. Note: The terms on-page SEO and technical SEO are sometimes used interchangeably and sometimes used to distinguish the content-related optimization (e.g. title tags) and technically-oriented optimization (e.g. page speed). Off-page SEO is mostly about getting quality backlinks to show search engines that your website has authority and value. Link building may involve techniques like: Guest blogging Email outreach Broken link building Off-page SEO is also closely connected to other areas of online marketing, such as social media marketing and branding, which have an indirect impact on building the trust and authority of your website. Remember that a successful SEO strategy consists of both on-page and off-page SEO activities. White hat SEO vs. black hat SEO. Black hats and white hats have their origin in Western movies. They represented bad guys and good guys. In SEO, the terms are used to describe two groups of SEOs – those who adhere to the rules set out by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and those who don’t. Black hat SEO is a set of unethical (and usually spammy) practices to improve the rankings of a website. These techniques can get you to the top of the search results in a short time, however, search engines will most probably penalize and ban the website sooner or later. White hat SEO, on the other hand, refers to all the regular SEO techniques that stick to the guidelines and rules. It is a long-term strategy in which good rankings are a side-product of good optimization, quality content, and a user-oriented approach. While SEO experts agree that “white hat” is the way to go, there are different opinions on the acceptability of various link building techniques (including link buying). Frequently asked questions. Can I do SEO on my own? SEO is not easy. But it’s no rocket science either. There are things you can implement right away and there are concepts that will take much more time and effort. So yes, you can do SEO on your own. The only question is whether you are willing to invest some time into learning all the aspects of SEO, or you’ll hire a professional and invest your time into something else. How can I learn SEO? There’s a couple of things you should do to learn SEO: Read reliable resources Get hands-on experience Don’t be afraid of experiments Have a lot of patience (SEO is a marathon, not a sprint) Implementing the things from this guide is a great way to start 🙂 How long does it take to learn SEO? To answer this question, we’ll use a common answer of SEO experts to almost any SEO issue: it depends. While understanding the basics won’t take you longer than a couple of weeks, the actual mastering of this discipline depends largely on the practice, which is a question of months, even years. Last but not least, SEO is evolving all the time. You should always keep learning and stay updated with the latest updates, experiments and findings. Do I need SEO tools? If you’re serious about SEO, you shouldn’t neglect the useful data and insights provided by various SEO tools. They give you a great competitive advantage and save a lot of your time. Here are some essential SEO tools every website owner should use: Google Search Console a traffic analysis tool (e.g. Google Analytics) a keyword research tool (e.g. KWFinder) a backlink analysis tool (e.g. LinkMiner) a rank tracker (e.g. SERPWatcher) Is SEO dead? When people use the phrase “SEO is dead”, they usually mean that “the spammy attempts to cheat the Google algorithm that were used 10 years ago are dead”. Other than that, search engine optimization is an essential marketing strategy and an ever-growing industry. Chapter 2 Search engines In the 2nd chapter of this SEO guide, you will learn what are search engines, how they work and what are the most important SEO ranking factors in Google. Chapter navigation What are search engines? How search engines work Google algorithm Ranking factors What are search engines? A search engine is an online tool that helps people find information on the internet. A typical example? Google.  And the truth is, Google is also probably the only example you need to know. Just look at the chart of the worldwide search engine market share (data by Statcounter): So when we talk about search engines in this guide, we mostly mean Google. Other search engines work on similar principles and as long as your website is optimized for Google, you should be all set up for others too. Tip: Find out more about the most popular search engines in our SEOpedia article on this topic. How search engines work. The process in which search engines work consists of these main steps: Crawling Indexing Picking the results …and finally, showing the search results to the user. The process looks something like this: Crawling. Crawling is the process in which search engines scan all the internet webpages continuously. They use small pieces of programs (called crawlers or bots) to follow all the hyperlinks and discover new pages (as well as updates to the pages they discovered before). Martin Splitt, Google Webmaster Trend Analyst, describes the crawling process quite simply: “We start somewhere with some URLs, and then basically follow links from thereon. So we are basically crawling our way through the internet (one) page by page, more or less.” Indexing. Once the website is crawled, the information is indexed. The search engines try to analyze and understand the pages, categorize them, and store them in the index. The search engine index is basically a gigantic library of all the crawled websites with a single purpose – to understand them and have them available to be used as a search result. Tip: If you want to find out whether your page was crawled and indexed, you can simply go to your Google Search Console (more on the tool in the last chapter) and use the URL Inspection Tool: You’ll see when the page was last crawled as well as warnings about any potential crawling and indexing issues Google may have with your page. Read more in our detailed post on Crawling & Indexing. Picking the results. Once the internet user submits a search query, the search engine digs into the index and pulls out the best results. The list of the results is known as a SERP (Search Engines Results Page). In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a closer look at Google’s Search Algorithm. Google algorithm. Google’s Search Algorithm is used as an umbrella term to refer to all the individual algorithms, machine learning systems and technologies Google uses to rank websites. To provide the best results, they consider various factors, namely: Meaning of the query – the search engine needs to understand what exactly is the user searching for The relevance of pages – the page must be relevant to the search query Quality of content – the search engine tries to pick the best results in terms of quality of content Usability of pages – the pages should also be usable (in terms of accessibility, readability, safety, etc.) Context and settings – last but not least, the user’s location, settings, and history of searches are considered As with any other complex system, the Google algorithm needs to be updated and tweaked regularly. Besides minor algorithm updates that happen on a daily basis, Google usually rolls a couple of core algorithm updates per year. They are officially announced by Google and create a lot of buzz in the SEO community. Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the December 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog post for more about that:https://t.co/e5ZQUAlt0G — Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) December 3, 2020 Going through a list of the most important core algorithm updates (e.g. Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird,…) can be a great way to get a quick overview of how Google Search and SEO evolved over the years. To learn more, read our detailed post on the Google algorithm. Search Quality Raters. Besides the algorithms, Google also uses human data input. There are thousands of external Google employees called Search Quality Raters who follow strict guidelines (available to the public), evaluate actual search results and rate the quality of the ranked pages. A typical example of pages that undergo this kind of strict evaluation are the so-called YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) pages – pages dealing with important topics that can impact someone’s happiness, health, safety or financial wellbeing. Quality Raters don’t influence the rankings directly, but their data is used to improve the search algorithm. Ranking factors. Of course, search engines keep the exact calculations of their algorithms in secret. Nonetheless, many ranking factors are well-known. Ranking factors are a very discussed topic in the world of SEO. Many of them have been officially confirmed by Google but many remain in the realm of speculations and theories. From the practical point of view, it’s important to focus on factors that have a proven impact but also try to keep a “good score” across all the areas. Cyrus Sheppard from Zyppy made a nice list of Google success factors (the ones that correlate with higher rankigs). Here are the 10 critical ones: Well-targeted content – you need to identify what people search for and create quality content tailored to their needs Crawlable website – this is a no brainer – if you want to rank, your website must be easy to find by search engines Quality and quantity of links – the more quality pages link to your website, the more authority you’ll have in the eyes of Google Content oriented at user intent – SEO is not only about what words you use, but also about the type of content and its comprehensiveness – make your visitor happy and Google will be happy too Unique content – be very careful about using duplicate content on your websites EAT: Expertise, Authority, Trust – the E-A-T signals are evaluated by Google’s Quality Raters – never forget to build and prove your expertise and trustworthiness and write only about topics you are qualified for Fresh content – some topics require more freshness than the others, but nonetheless, you should regularly update your content to keep it up to date Click-through rate – optimize your title tags and meta descriptions to improve the CTR of your pages Website speed – make sure your visitors don’t have to wait too long to load the page, otherwise, there’s a high chance they’ll leave before actually visiting it Works on any device – your website must work perfectly on any device and screen size (remember that the majority of internet users come through mobile devices!) Note: Quality of content is undeniably the most important SEO factor (notice that 5 out of 10 critical factors are related to content). To learn more about content optimization for SEO, jump to the 4th chapter. Other important factors that may have a positive impact on your rankings: Content depth Image optimization Topical authority A well-structured page Social sharing Use of HTTPS Expert insight by Kevin Indig. Director of SEO at Shopify, Kevin-Indig.com There are many search engines, but only Google has made by far the most advances in Information Retrieval, Natural Language Understanding, and Natural Language Processing. In the last 25 years, search engines moved from pure text-based evaluation to the machine learning age. Today, Google iterates on user intent every month and is able to detect small nuances in the true desires of searchers: content quality, product offering, design, user experience. There are really no limits. As a result, SEO has changed from optimizing fixed criteria to working toward optimal user experience. Smart SEOs understand that they have to go beyond backlinks and content. They have to understand the needs of searchers in the context of a keyword. Chapter 3 Keyword research Keyword research is one of the basic SEO tasks. In this chapter, you will learn how to find your niche and how to find profitable keywords you can rank for. Chapter navigation Where to find keywords? Keyword metrics Search volume Keyword difficulty Keyword relevance Keyword research should be the very first step on your SEO journey. It is especially important in two common scenarios: Getting to know your niche – when starting a new website, keyword research can provide a great overview of what sub-topics are interesting for people in your niche or industry Finding new content ideas – keyword research can help you find the most profitable keyword opportunities and plan your content strategy Where to find keywords? There are various ways to find keywords. Your first task is to come up with the seed keywords – phrases you’ll use as the stepping stone to finding more keyword ideas. If you run a coffee blog, simple phrases such as “coffee beans”, “coffee machines” or “espresso” will work great. The classic ways to look for keywords: Google suggestions. Google offers many keyword suggestions directly in the SERP. Features such as Google Autocomplete, People Also Ask or Related Searches can be a great source of keyword ideas. With the autocomplete feature, you just need to write your seed keyword into the Google search and the suggestions will appear automatically. You can combine your seed keyword with different letters from the alphabet to find more autocomplete ideas (e.g. email marketing a, email marketing b,…) Here’s another example of keyword ideas that can be found in the Google results page: The suggestions are based on real search queries used by people all over the world. Note: Besides Google, there are many other platforms that can help you find new keyword ideas. Focus on the ones people in your niche use to ask questions, communicate and share ideas. Some examples: Reddit, Quora, YouTube, forums, Facebook groups… Keyword tools . There are many free keyword tools that can give you hundreds of keyword ideas based on a single seed keyword. The problem is: they are very limited when it comes to other features. So if you make money with your website in any way, a quality paid keyword tool is a great investment that will pay off sooner or later. Besides the keyword suggestions, professional tools offer other useful SEO metrics and insights to evaluate the keywords and pick the best ones. So they can save you a lot of time and give you a competitive advantage. There are two ways to start keyword research with a keyword tool: seed keyword competitor’s domain/URL Here’s what a list of keyword suggestions looks like in KWFinder: You can also look for the keywords your competitors rank for by simply typing their domain or URL: Tip: Try KWFinder with a 10-day free trial. No credit card needed. Besides keyword suggestions, it calculates the difficulty of ranking for the keywords and helps you to analyze the SERP. This brings us to the next important part: Keyword metrics. Your goal is to find relevant keywords with high search volumes and low keyword difficulty – an ideal combination of the three most important factors of keyword research. We call this principle The Keyword Tripod Rule and the three factors represent the three legs. As soon as you take one of the legs, the tripod will collapse. Search volume. In the past, content creators did keyword research only to find the keywords with high search volumes. They stuffed them into content to trick the search engine algorithms and ensure high rankings in organic search. Since then, keyword research has become a lot more complex. Long-tail keywords vs. search volumes. Many keyword research guides recommend focusing on the so-called long-tail keywords – keywords that are more specific and usually consist of more words. The reason is simple: Long-tail keywords tend to have lower difficulty and higher conversion rates. It’s because the query is more specific, so there’s a higher chance the user is further down the buyer’s journey. Not to mention that there are hundreds of them – the estimate is that about 70% of all the traffic comes from long-tail keywords.  Of course, the downside is a lower search volume. So you need to consider all the aspects and find the balance between the effort and the potential benefits. Besides, ranking only for high-volume keywords is not always possible. The truth is that as a new website, you simply won’t be able to rank for big keywords. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it once you establish yourself on the market and get some authority. It’s all about evaluating your actual chances. The metric called keyword difficulty can help you with that. Keyword difficulty. Once you find keywords you want to rank for, you’ll need to find out how hard it will be by evaluating the competition. It is usually expressed with the metric called keyword difficulty. In most tools, the keyword difficulty value is indicated on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score is, the harder it is to rank on the 1st SERP for the keyword. It is based on the authority of pages ranking for the given keyword. By keeping an eye on keyword difficulty: You’ll get a great overview of what are the “big” keywords and “big” players in your niche You’ll be able to identify keywords that you have an actual chance to rank for You’ll be able to save a lot of time by focusing on keywords that can bring you results even if you don’t have much authority yet Note: The keyword difficulty values may vary in different tools – you can see a score 30 in one tool and 50 in another one for exactly the same keyword. That’s because the calculations are based on slightly different metrics and algorithms. The important thing is to compare the results within one tool. Further readingKeyword difficulty: What it is and why it’s important in SEO Keyword relevance. Last but not least, your keyword must be relevant. The easiest way is to do a proper SERP analysis to find out: Whether you are able to compete with websites in the 1st SERP (see the previous part about keyword difficulty) What is the search intent behind the keywords you want to optimize for Further readingWhat is SERP analysis and how does it boost your keyword research? By looking at the SERP you can identify what’s the search intent behind the query and whether it matches your content. There are 4 different search intent types: Navigational – search for a specific website/brand Informational – search for general information Transactional – the user wants to buy something online Commercial – the user does the research before purchase Look at this table to see some examples: Let’s say you run an e-commerce store with fitness equipment. You want to optimize your squat racks product page and you find the keyword “best squat rack”. It has a solid search volume and the difficulty is not too high. However, if you look at the search results, you’ll notice that all the pages ranking for “best squat rack” are reviews and buying guides, not product pages. In other words, Google considers it a commercial, not a transactional keyword. A quick look at the SERP will tell you that. Always keep this in mind so you won’t end up optimizing for the wrong keywords. Expert insight by Gael Breton. SEO expert, founder of Authority Hacker One of the biggest mistakes people make with keyword research is that they only look at the numbers they see in the keyword tool. They rarely consider intent when in reality, it is even more important than search volume. Why? First, Google really knows what kind of content they want to see for each query and if you check the top results, you will often see similar results. So if you don’t fall into the categories they want to see, your chances of ranking are extremely low, even if you have all the link metrics. Second, even if you actually land visitors from Google, tiny changes in the query mean very different things to people and some may be interested in buying your stuff while others really couldn’t care less. For example: If you check the keyword “vacuum cleaners” a lot of people are searching for it (223,000 average monthly search volume). But people are more likely to look for brand results and e-commerce pages and this is why Google returns Amazon, Dyson and Walmart results. And you’re not very likely to sell them anything. Whereas the query “best vacuum cleaners” has a lot less search volume (13,000 average monthly search volume). But the query is much more commercial in nature and will for sure generate more revenue which is why Google is showing buying guides instead of Walmart product page. So don’t just focus on search volume, intent is the most important metric. Tip: If you want to dive deeper into keyword research, you should read our ultimate guide to keyword research for SEO. There is a short quiz at the end to test your keyword research knowledge 😉 Chapter 4 Content optimization A lot of marketers used to think that content & SEO are separate players. They couldn’t be more wrong. Let’s find out how you can benefit from their synergy. Chapter navigation Topic identification & organization Focus keyword optimization Quality of content Content length Content updates They say that content is king. As cliche as it may sound, there’s a lot of truth about it. SEO and content are interconnected. (In other words: there’s no point in doing SEO if your content is garbage). That’s why we decided to share some practical tips on creating a successful content strategy in this SEO guide. Topic identification & organization. Your content strategy should be based on a proper understanding of your niche and the needs of your audience. We’ve covered the first step in this process – finding the right keywords – in the previous chapter. The second step is identifying the topics. Now, many times the keyword is also a standalone topic. But it’s not always like that. Look at the following example: Let’s say you run an online marketing blog and you’ll find several keywords like: how to start a blog how to create a blog how do you start a blog how to start your own blog You may notice that although the words differ, they are all about the same thing – creating a blog. It would make no sense to create a separate post for each of them. Instead, we group them into one topic – how to create a blog – and cover it in a comprehensive guide that could potentially rank for each of these keywords. (If you do a quick SERP analysis you’ll notice that the search results are almost identical for all of them). Once you’ve established the topic, you can go back to the level of keywords and select one that will represent your topic the best – the focus keyword (also called the target keyword). The basic principle of content strategy for SEO is simple: 1 page = 1 topic = 1 focus keyword To select the focus keyword, you should follow the keyword research principles we covered extensively in the previous chapter – consider its search volume, difficulty and relevance. How to organize the topics? A great way to plan and organize your topics is to use the so-called content hubs. A content hub is a collection of pages that are all related to a certain topic. The pages are interlinked and provide a general overview of the topic as well as deeper insights into the sub-topics. There are two types of content to achieve that: Pillar content – a pillar page that provides a general overview of the broad topic, usually targeting a broad keyword (e.g. jogging) Cluster content – the supporting pages that focus on subtopics within the theme in detail (e.g. jogging benefits, jogging shoes, jogging mistakes) This strategy has multiple benefits: You provide more value for your readers by covering each topic in detail – they don’t have to visit other websites to learn all about a certain topic You are forced to plan and structure your content and cover all the important keywords from your niche systematically You increase your authority in certain topics by interlinking pages that are closely topically related Further readingContent hubs for SEO: Boost the visibility and authority of your key pages Target various intent types. When selecting the topics for your content, remember that there are various types of search intent (see the previous chapter) – informational, navigational, transactional and commercial. You don’t have to “sell” in each post. By focusing on various search intent types (including the informational one) you’ll be able to target various stages of the buyer’s journey. As a side benefit: You’ll establish yourself as an authority in the field You’ll build trust and brand awareness You’ll reach new users (that may convert later) Focus keyword optimization. Once you have a focus keyword, you should use it to optimize your page for the given topic. Here’s a list of all the possible  elements where you can use the focus keyword: Title tag and meta description URL Heading and subheadings Body text Image metadata Anchor text of the internal links Title tag and meta description. Putting your focus keyword in the title tag (and, to a lesser extent, in the meta description) is very important. Ideally, as close to the beginning as possible. If you write about a certain topic, it’s only natural that the target keyword appears in the on-page elements that summarize the content of the page. Here’s an example of a SERP snippet for our post on “7-step SEO strategy” with the focus keyword SEO strategy. You’ll find more about title tag and meta description optimization in the next chapter. URL. Your URLs should be short and easy to read. It’s not the most important SEO factor, but it can help. One of the benefits: If someone links to your page with the so-called “naked URL”, the backlink will include your focus keyword. Headings and body text. It is best practice to use your focus keyword in the H1 heading of the page. If appropriate, it may be used in some of the subheadings. Finally, it should appear in the body text a couple of times. Always remember that there’s no such thing as the ideal number of keyword appearances on a page (a.k.a. keyword density). You can actually do more harm than good by trying to use the keyword a certain number of times in your text. Image metadata. You can insert your focus keyword into various image metadata, namely: image filename image title image caption image alt text The alt text is the most important from the SEO point of view – it describes the image for visually impaired visitors as well as crawlers (that can’t “see” your image either). It does not mean you have to put it into all these places. If your focus keyword is “outdoor sports” and you’ll feature an image of a man climbing the mountain, you don’t have to use the alt text “a man performing an outdoor sport”. Anchor text of the internal links. Last but not least, you should use the focus keyword in the anchor text of your internal links. Anchor text is the visible part of the link. If it contains the focus keyword, you let Google know what the page you’re linking to is about. Here’s an example: SEO strategy 🙂 Note: The same applies to external links. However, you can’t always influence what anchor text will be used on external pages linking to your site. In fact, it may be quite dangerous to manipulate the anchor texts of your backlinks (it is a big “no no” for Google). More on that in the link building chapter. Now, here’s the most important part about the optimization of your page for the focus keyword: Don’t force it. If your focus keyword is “best content marketing strategy for small businesses”, it would be crazy to use it in all the on-page elements mentioned above just to tick them all off the list. Use common sense and write naturally. What about LSI keywords? Many SEO “gurus” recommend using the so-called LSI keywords. What they mean is that you should find synonyms and related keywords and “sprinkle them” across the page to make sure Google knows what it’s about. The truth is, LSI keywords are just a dangerous SEO myth. Here’s why: the term makes no sense and has nothing to do with the original latent semantic indexing algorithm the “technique” puts way too much emphasis on the idea of using certain words artificially, which poses a big risk to the integrity of your text (and usually leads to keyword stuffing) John Mueller, the Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, summed up the LSI keywords phenomenon in the following way: “There’s no such thing as LSI keywords – anyone who’s telling you otherwise is mistaken, sorry.” What to do instead? Think about “how to make the post as relevant as possible”, not “how to stuff the post with keywords so that Google thinks it’s relevant”. It’s actually quite simple: Analyze your competitors, study the topic and cover it in a comprehensive way. If you do that, Google will figure out the topic of your page. Quality of content. Nowadays, ranking for almost any keyword is much harder than it was in the past – most niches are oversaturated. But there’s one strategy that works perfectly – creating content that is 10x better than your competitors, also known as the “10x content” strategy. Here’s what it means in practice: Better quality. Cover the topic more thoroughly than your competitors (you can literally look at the top-ranking pages and try to figure out what can be done better) Provide more up-to-date information and data Provide more expertise (feature insights from experts in your niche) and trustworthiness (cite trusted sources) Be original, use unique data, provide new angles, do experiments Link to other relevant resources of high quality Is “linking out” to other websites good for SEO? Many people are afraid of linking to other websites as they don’t want to “send their visitors away”. The truth is, linking to other quality resources can be good for you from an SEO point. Linking out to relevant content helps to strengthen the topical signals of your pages. It can help Google to better understand the context of your site and it brings added value for your visitors.  Better design. Use a unique layout for your most important pieces of content Add visually stunning media (illustrations, infographics, charts, gifs, screenshots, videos) Use your own illustrations and avoid stock photos Better UX. Make sure the text is readable (font type and size) and free of grammar errors Avoid walls of text – write short, easy-to-digest paragraphs Use navigational elements (e.g. table of contents) for longer pages Use quotes, info boxes, bulleted lists, bolded sentences Optimize the technical aspects (more on that in the next chapter.) Content length. Many people think that content length is one of the ranking factors. There’s a well-known study by Backlinko that shows that posts with about 2,000 words ranked better in Google. While it’s true that longer content ranks better in Google, it is not the number of words that brings high rankings. It’s the fact that long posts usually cover the topic in a more comprehensive way. Expert insight by Julia McCoy. Content marketer, founder of Express Writers Today, I never create blogs below 2,000 words, if my goal is to rank for a focus keyword. In fact, to prove this myself, I launched a brand new site, Content Hacker. It was my “content length” experiment. Could I rank with only 11 blogs for at least a few dozen keywords, if those blogs were “mega-blogs” at 5,000 words each? In less than three months, we ranked for 2,500 keyword positions. Most of my 11 blogs are already ranking in Google for their focus keyword. How crazy is that?! The thing is that as an author, you can’t “bluff” your way through 2,000-5,000 words on your topic. And to earn those rankings – to nail that “Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness” qualifier from Google – you must be a subject matter expert. Content length and comprehensiveness basically checks that “expert” box. Again, there’s no shortcut. You must be an expert on the topic you’re writing about, and you must prove it when you write content. So how to approach the content length? Look at the average word count of the pages that rank for your focus keyword to give you a rough idea of how long the content should be. (e.g. if every post on the 1st SERP has 2,000+ words, you most probably won’t rank with an 800-word article) Cover the topic in a comprehensive way that covers everything a potential reader might want to know. Always keep in mind that a high number of words alone won’t improve your rankings. Focus on the quality of content, not just quantity. Note: Correlation does not always mean causation in SEO. If something (like longer posts) correlates with higher rankings, it does not necessarily mean that it is a direct ranking factor. Content updates. Content decay is a real thing. No matter how successful a piece of content is, there’s a big chance the traffic will gradually decrease unless you keep it fresh and updated. Andrew Tate noticed that many successful blog posts share the same traffic curve and described this phenomenon as the 5 phases of the content lifecycle: So, how to make sure your post is not forgotten over time? The answer is: regular updates. Regular content updates are an important (yet often overlooked) SEO technique. One of the reasons why content updates may have a positive impact on your rankings is that Google notices the frequency of updates and tends to favor frequently updated pages for some queries. It means, not every topic requires content freshness but many do. Even if it wasn’t your case, an update is a relatively easy way to improve the quality of your content, which is never a bad thing to do. Tip: There’s a handy free tool by Animalz that can be connected to your Google Analytics account and identify pages that may need an update based on the declining traffic. Updating vs. republishing. While smaller changes of your pages don’t require any special steps, a major remake is probably worth republishing the post – so that it shows at the top of your blog feed and the readers know the post went through a big update. Here are some cases when you may consider to republish your post: The update affects more than 50% of the content You’ve added a significant amount of new content You’ve merged 2 or more posts into one Republishing is also a great opportunity to promote your post again on social media and newsletter, or starting a new link building campaign. Further readingAndy Crestodina: “You don’t need 1,000 articles. You need 100 great articles.” Chapter 5 On-page & technical SEO In the previous chapter, we covered on-page SEO techniques related to content. Now, we’ll take a look at the more technical aspects. Let’s dive in. Chapter navigation Internal linking Sitemaps HTTPS Mobile-friendliness Page speed Image alt texts Title tags and meta descriptions Featured snippets Internal linking. Internal linking is quite an overlooked SEO practice. Yes, external backlinks are essential in SEO (more on that in the next chapter.), but having a proper structure of internal links is equally important. Here’s why: Internal links improve the crawlability of your website. If your pages are well interlinked, the search engine crawlers have an easier job to find and index all your pages. Internal links improve the UX and engagement. If you have clear navigation, your visitors will find what they need more easily. With relevant contextual links, they’ll spend more time with your content instead of leaving the website to find their answers elsewhere. Internal links can improve your rankings. Yes, internal links pass link equity too. If a page has a lot of relevant internal links with descriptive anchor texts, Google will understand the linked page better, consider it important within your page structure and give it more prominence. The golden rule of good internal linking is this: Any page should be at most 3 clicks away from your homepage. The biggest advantage of internal linking? Unlike external links, internal links are fully in your hands. So, how to get a well-interlinked website? Use clear navigational elements. The key to having a well-interlinked website is to have properly structured navigational elements. People are used to navigating through websites in a certain way and you should make this process as easy and clear as possible for them. Menu – a main navigational element that should be clear and descriptive Breadcrumbs – very useful if you have a deeper structure of nested pages Categories – categorize your content into logical categories so that people can find similar content easily Further reading: Website Navigation: 7 Best Practices Link from the body of the page. Besides the structural internal links, it is a good practice to also link to other relevant pages from within the page body. These links include contextual in-text links or “further reading” boxes that link to other pages from your website that might be interesting for your visitor. Just learn these two simple practices: Every time you’re about to publish a new post, think about your other content the reader might find useful and link to it contextually. Once the new post or page is published, add a couple of internal links from other topically-relevant pages. Expert insight by Glen Allsopp. SEO specialist, founder of Detailed Over the past few months, I’ve reviewed over 1,000 websites. One of the most common “mistakes” I see is that people don’t make their headlines clickable, especially when it comes to blogs. So they’ll have a headline, post snippet and a Click here or Read more button in a vertical line. As you can imagine, ‘Read more’ is the only link they have in place. Not only does this not make for the best user experience – people are naturally inclined to click on images and headlines to read something, – but you don’t want the internal links to every single one of your articles to just say ‘read more’. It’s basic advice, sure, but it’s amazing how many sites I come across where this is in place. Sitemaps. A sitemap is a structured list of all pages on a website available to be crawled by search engines. Having one is yet another way to let crawlers find all your pages. What kinds of sites will benefit from a sitemap (according to Google): Large websites with hundreds or thousands of pages New sites with little or no backlinks Websites that don’t have many internal links (e.g. they contain pages with no internal links) Websites with many media files (e.g. image gallery) Do you always need a sitemap? No, you don’t. Especially if you have a small website with a couple of well-interlinked pages. On the other hand, having a sitemap can never hurt you. What’s more, it contains some useful additional information, like the lastmod attribute – the date when the last update of the page was made so that the crawlers will know whether the page needs to be re-crawled. Find out more in our SEOpedia post on XML sitemaps. If you’re not sure how to create a sitemap and your website runs on WordPress (which it most probably does), we recommend creating the sitemap with the Yoast SEO plugin. It will look something like this: To let Google know about your sitemap, you can submit it to Google Search Console. Then go to Google Search Console > Sitemaps and paste it under Add a new sitemap: Further readingWordPress SEO: A detailed step-by-step walkthrough for beginners HTTPS. This one goes without saying. There’s really no excuse for not using an SSL certificate these days, especially since there are free options available (like Let’s encrypt). The security of your website’s visitors should be a priority for you. Not only for the obvious reasons but also because the usage of HTTPS protocol has become a minor ranking signal in 2014. In other words, your website may perform worse in Google if you don’t use HTTPS. Mobile-friendliness. As of 2019, Google uses mobile-first indexing. It means that most of the websites are crawled and indexed in their mobile version instead of the desktop version. Having a mobile-friendly website is an essential SEO task. In practice, it means: A responsive layout Menu that is easy-to-navigate on mobile devices Compressed images No aggressive pop-ups A readable font If you’re not sure whether your website is mobile-friendly, you can test it with this tool from Google or go to Search Console and see if there are any issues in the Mobile Usability section. Luckily, most of the developers keep mobile-friendliness in mind these days so if you pick a quality WordPress theme, you should be fine. But there’s one particular mobile SEO factor that you should pay close attention to. Page speed. Page speed. Page speed is one of the most important aspects of technical SEO and an essential UX factor. Nobody is willing to wait more than a couple of seconds for a page to load. What’s more, page speed is a confirmed ranking factor. There are many useful tools that will help you measure your page speed and find the most common page speed issues. Namely: Google PageSpeed Insights GTMetrix Pingdom Now, let’s take a closer look at the best practices to keep your page speed at a satisfactory level: 1. Use a quality web hosting. Your web hosting is the first thing that influences your page speed. If your hosting has a poor server response time, there’s little you can do with any further optimization. You don’t have to worry about milliseconds, but don’t expect awesome performance from providers that offer hosting for $0.10/month. Note: Most beginners and small website owners will do just fine with quality shared hosting. It is affordable and can be upgraded in the future if needed. Last but not least, make sure the physical location of the server is as close to your target audience as possible (e.g. if you target the US market, don’t have a server located in Germany). 2. Implement caching. Caching is a process in which parts of your page are remembered (either by your server or the visitor’s browser) in order to make the next loading much faster. There are two main types of caching: Browser caching – the caching is done on the user’s side; if you use WordPress, you can use one of many plugins like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache (always use only one!) Server-side caching – runs on the lower level and is more effective; usually provided by managed web hosting services Read more on website caching in this great post by Winning WP. 3. Consider AMP. The Accelerated Mobile Pages technology allows faster content distribution on mobile devices. In practice, it means the content is served in a simpler, stripped-down version of your page on smartphones. It can be very useful for content-heavy websites (like news magazines or larger blogs). If you run a WordPress website, there’s an official AMP plugin to help you with implementation. 4. Limit third party-scripts. Any third-party scripts you use on your website add some time that is required for a page to load. These include: WordPress plugins Analytics and remarketing scripts Commenting services (e.g. Disqus) Chat widgets It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use any of these. Just follow these simple rules: Only use the services you really need. This is especially important with WordPress plugins. Don’t use a special plugin for every single small feature on your website. Too many plugins can slow down your website. If possible, delay the activation of third-party scripts so that they are loaded only after a couple of seconds or when the visitor scrolls down the page. This can be applied to commenting services as well as chat widgets. You’ll find more useful information on this topic in a great guide on analyzing third-party performance by Kinsta. 5. Optimize your images. Big image files are one of the most common factors that cause slow page loading. Here are some image optimization practices you should follow to make sure your images are not too big: a) Use the right file type. Using the right image file format can help you get a better image quality and reduce the file size. JPEG – photos PNG – line drawings, screenshots, images that contain text GIF – animated images SVG – logos, icons, simple illustrations Next-gen formats The ideal solution is definitely to use the so-called next-gen formats (WebP, JPEG 2000 and JPEG XR) as they were designed specifically to save resources. However, they don’t have 100% browser support yet (neither are they supported in WordPress) so you can either use them selectively or wait until they’re used across all platforms. Take a look at this simple guide to selecting the right image file type: b) Resize your images. Many people upload images that are simply too big. If your blog content area width is 800px, it is an overkill to use 2500px-wide images. Before uploading your image to the server, use an image editor to resize the image to fit your website width. It can be a little wider, but you rarely need a full size (especially with the photos). c) Compress your images. Image compression is a process that removes some unnecessary image data while preserving image quality. You can either do it manually and try to find the best ratio between quality and file size or automate the whole process with a plugin (e.g. Imagify, ShortPixel, Tiny PNG). d) Consider lazy loading. Lazy loading is a simple process in which the content that is visible above the page fold is given priority and the rest is loaded a little bit later. It is very useful for image-heavy pages. Read more about image lazy loading in this great guide by ImageKit. Image alt texts. Image alt text (also called alt tag) is a piece of text in the HTML code that describes the image and appears if the image can’t be loaded. It is very important for 2 reasons: From the UX point of view – the screen reader can read the alt text for visually impaired visitors From the SEO point of view – alt text provides better context for crawlers since they can’t “see” your image Note: You don’t always need to use alt text, especially if the image does not convey any meaning. Check this alt decision tree for more information. To write a good alt text, you should: be descriptive – describe the image in the best way possible keep it short – 5 to10 words should be just fine avoid keyword stuffing – alt text is not a place to stuff your keywords unnaturally Besides the alt texts, you should also use: descriptive image file names (yellow-apple.jpeg is always better than DCIM1523.jpeg) image title and description captions (optional) Further readingImage SEO: All you need to know summed up in 10 simple tips Title tags and meta descriptions. Title tag and meta description are HTML elements that represent the title and description of the page. They are displayed in the search results or when the page is shared on social media. They are crucial from the SEO point of view. A well-written title tag and meta description is your only chance to catch the user’s attention in the SERP. Here are some tips on how to write a good title tag and meta description: 1. Include the focus keyword. As we’ve mentioned in the previous chapter, the title tag and meta description of a page is a good place to put your focus keyword. The best practice is to place the focus keyword near the beginning of the title tag. It is not mandatory though and you should not force it. 2. Be careful about the length. The length limit is 600px for a title tag and 960px for a meta description. If they’re too long, they will be truncated by Google, which doesn’t seem very nice and can lower your click-through rate. To make sure your title and description have the right length, you can use our free tool called SERP Simulator. Besides the length check, it allows you to check the actual SERP results for any keyword in any location to compare them with your snippet and get inspiration from what works for your competitors. This brings us to the next point… 3. Stand out from the crowd. Here are some elements you can use to make your title tag unique: question number year an all-caps word brackets your brand name Featured snippets. Featured snippet (sometimes called “position zero”) is a selected search result that appears above the standard 10 results in Google search. Its goal is to answer the user’s question directly in the SERP. Here’s a typical example: There are 3 main types of featured snippets: Paragraph – usually a short answer to how, who, why, when, or what question List – mostly step-by-step instructions or recipes Table – often shown for comparison charts, data tables, etc. The biggest advantage of having a featured snippet is that you can “outrank” your competitors even if your page has a lower position. Many pages that appear in featured snippets don’t rank 1st. They would normally appear on the 2nd, 3rd or even lower position. So, how to get a featured snippet? 1. Look for keywords with featured snippets. A great place to start is a keyword research tool where you can look specifically for “question” keywords. If you click on a keyword in KWFinder, the presence of a featured snippet is marked with a small icon in the SERP table: Another great source of keywords with featured snippets is the so-called “People also ask” box that often appears below the featured snippet. 2. Answer the question first. The key to appearing in the featured snippet is to answer the question as soon as possible on the page. This style of writing is called “the inverted pyramid writing style”. It means you provide the definition first and then continue with the supporting details. 3. Follow the optimal word count. It’s not possible to mark what exact text should appear in a featured snippet. Google will select the part of your text automatically. However, you should optimize the length of the assumed snippet text so that it fits the usual featured snippet length. Most featured snippets have a length of 40-50 words. This brings us to the last point… 4. See what works for your competitors. Last but not least, use the fact that there’s an existing featured snippet and get inspired by what works for your competition. Look at things like: type of the snippet (paragraph, list, table) length of the text placement of the text on the page presence of images Further readingHow to optimize for Google’s featured snippets [a step-by-step guide] If you want to dive deeper into on-page optimization, check out our practical on-page SEO guide for beginners. It covers everything from technical stuff, through content and CTR optimization to monitoring and analysis of your progress. Chapter 6 Backlinks & link building In the 6th chapter of our SEO guide for beginners, we will discuss backlinks – one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization. Chapter navigation What is a backlink? Types of links Link profile Attributes of a valuable backlink Should you do link building? Link building strategies What is a backlink? A backlink is a link from one page to another. If page A links to page B, we say that page B has a backlink from page A. Backlinks are one of the most important ranking signals. There’s a direct correlation between quantity and quality of backlinks and rankings. Why are backlinks so important? Backlinks have been a very influential factor of search engine algorithms since the very beginning. They work as academic citations. Search engine developers realized that if many quality resources link to a certain page, it means the page is valuable and trustworthy. Link equity. Link equity (also called “link juice”) is a term used to describe the authority a page transfers to another page through a link. Google PageRank. At the very beginning, Google created an algorithm called PageRank to incorporate the quality and quantity of backlinks into its ranking system and determine the relative importance of web pages in search results. The three factors that influence the PageRank of a page are: Number of backlinks – the more backlinks the page has, the better Number of links on the linking page – the value (called link equity) is distributed among all the pages that are linked from the linking page PageRank of the linking page – a backlink from a page with higher PageRank passes more link equity PageRank metric. Do not confuse the PageRank algorithm with an old metric of the same name that was used by Google to display the rank of the pages from 0 to 10. They are not the same and while the PageRank metric was discontinued, the PageRank algorithm is still a part of Google’s ranking. Read more in our detailed post about Google PageRank. Types of links. Links can be classified into various categories. Here are the most basic ones you should know: Internal vs. external links. This one’s quite obvious. An internal link is a link from one page to another within the same website, while an external link is a link from an external website. Nofollow links. A nofollow link is a link that contains a rel=”nofollow” attribute in its HTML code. It was introduced in 2005 by Google and it tells search engines not to pass link equity to the linked page. The instances when the nofollow attribute can be used include: Links in comments – it helps to fight comment spam as it makes links in comments less valuable) Affiliate and sponsored links – with the nofollow attribute, you won’t violate Google’s rules about buying backlinks Links to websites you don’t want to endorse – sometimes you need to link to pages you don’t want to endorse Note: Technically speaking, there’s no such thing as “dofollow” backlinks as there is no “dofollow” parameter. The term is used colloquially to differentiate links that pass link equity as opposed to nofollow links. Although nofollow links don’t pass authority, they can bring other benefits: They may serve as a hint for Google – in 2019, Google announced that they will treat nofollow links as hints to better understand and analyze links They can bring you traffic – a nofollow link may not bring you any “SEO points” but it can still bring you relevant traffic They diversify your link profile – nofollow links are a natural part of every link profile and it would be odd not to have any; see the next point… Link profile. Link profile is another important SEO term you should know. It is used to describe all the links that point to your website. The quality of your link profile directly correlates with your rankings. What does a good link profile look like? Diverse – a healthy link profile is a mix of various types of links (both standard and nofollow) and natural anchor texts Quality backlinks – a good link profile consists of quality backlinks links from relevant websites On the other hand, too many low-quality links from spammy websites will be ignored at best and hurt your website at worst. Anchor text. The anchor text is a visible, clickable part of a hyperlink. It helps crawlers to indicate what the linked page is about. We differentiate various types of anchor texts: Brand name – e.g. “Mangools” Exact match – e.g. “SEO guide” Partial match – e.g. “practical SEO tutorial” Generic – e.g. “read more” Naked URL – e.g. “https://mangools.com/blog/learn-seo/” If more pages link to you with relevant terms used in the anchor texts, it may help you rank for these terms in the search engines. This doesn’t mean you should try to get keyword-stuffed anchor texts at any cost. Quite the contrary, you should be very careful and aim at a natural mix of various anchor text types. Any obvious attempt to manipulate the anchor text of your links may be detected and penalized by Google (more on Google penalties here). Attributes of a valuable backlink. Not all backlinks are created equal. Besides the obvious differences between internal and external links and standard vs. nofollow links, two backlinks may have different values (and pass different amounts of link equity) based on many other factors. Here’s what a valuable backlink looks like: 1. Relevant. A valuable backlink is topically relevant. It means the linking page should be about the same or similar topic as the linked page. For example: If you have a post about hiking tips and you have two backlinks, one from a post about outdoor sports and the other from a post about politics, the former backlink is much more valuable. 2. From an authoritative website. As we’ve explained previously with PageRank, pages with quality links pointing to them also pass more link equity to your page. The more authoritative is the linking page, the more value the backlink has for you. There is no official metric by Google that would represent the authority of a page but there are many metrics by commercial tools that can help you with the estimation. The most popular are the Domain Authority and Page Authority by Moz. 3. Unique. The uniqueness of a backlink can be discussed on various levels: a) Website level. A backlink from a website that hasn’t linked to you before is usually more valuable than the one from a site that has already linked to you before. It is better to have 10 backlinks from 10 different websites than 50 backlinks from the same site. Note: This doesn’t mean that having more backlinks from the same site is a bad thing (if it happens naturally). The links just may have a lower value. b) Page level. If you have two links from the same page, the one that appears first may have more value than the second one. (Google used to only count the first anchor text back in 2009. We don’t know how they treat them nowadays but we may assume it hasn’t changed.) c) Number of other links. Last but not least, the PageRank is distributed equally across the linked pages. So there’s a big difference between a backlink from a page that links to 3 resources and a backlink from a page that links to 30 resources. 4. Placed near the top in the body. A quality link is the one that can also bring you traffic. Not only for the obvious reasons (new visitors) but also from the SEO point of view. Google uses the so-called Reasonable Surfer Model that predicts how likely a user is to click on a link: “The amount of PageRank a link might pass along is based upon the probability that someone might click on a link.” Matt Cutts, the former head of webspam at Google, said specifically that you should “…put valuable links toward the top of blog posts.” The more prominently a backlink is placed, the more weight it is given by Google. In other words, a backlink from the top of an article is better than a backlink from the bottom. And the backlink from the bottom of the article is better than the one in the footer or sidebar. 5. Has relevant anchor text. Anchor text plays a significant role in link building. Namely, a backlink with an anchor text that is relevant to the linked page is more valuable than the one with an irrelevant or generic anchor. This applies to the text surrounding the link as well, since links may carry context around them. Should you do link building? In the ideal world, all you would need to earn quality backlinks would be to create great content. The reality is a bit more complicated: It is very hard (if not impossible) to get quality backlinks without any further effort from your side. Especially for new websites. It is very hard (if not impossible) to rank without any backlinks. Especially for new websites. That’s why link building is a big part of SEO. But it’s also a bit controversial topic. Google is not a big fan of any attempts to manipulate PageRank of your site. Here’s what they state in their Quality Guidelines: Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Does it mean you can’t try to influence the number and quality of your backlinks in any way? We don’t think so. Not all forms of link building are spammy or manipulative. There’s a lot of techniques that can help you get backlinks while providing value to the users. They’re just not as instant as writing spam comments or buying a bunch of links from Fiverr. Should you buy links? Now buying the backlinks is a whole different chapter. Most SEO experts will tell you that it is not worth it. Here are two main disadvantages of link buying: It is risky – buying backlinks is a big no-no for Google and if they find out, you’ll get a manual penalty, which is something your website may not recover from It is expensive – a quality backlink is costly (starting at around $100/backlink, usually much more); of course, one backlink won’t make you rank so you’ll have to spend a lot to get the results Yet, the link selling industry is quite alive and buying backlinks is a common practice. The final decision is up to you. Just remember that it is a very risky strategy that may not pay off in the long run. Expert insight by Alexandra Tachalova. Link builder, founder of Digital Olympus Keep these essential points in mind when you step-up your link building game: 1. Always evaluate link quality from a long-term perspective. Build only those links that will have the highest chances of working on a long-term basis. There are two reasons behind this: First, it’s much more beneficial for your site to acquire long-term links on quality sites because they can keep growing in value over time. Second, links should help you prove to Google that you’re a trustworthy brand, and links from mediocre sites won’t let you attain that position. When it comes to evaluating link quality, I always look at a broad scope of metrics like a decent domain rating, level of organic traffic, and positive growth in the number of referring domains, etc. However, the most important criterion is whether or not a site represents a real brand. 2. Keep your link profile as diverse as possible. We’ve seen cases where marketers have been so focused on building only certain types of links that they have neglected the rest of their options. I would say that’s one of the shortest routes to penalization, or at least it invites Google to be suspicious about unnatural link building. Being too narrow and obvious about artificial connections will lead to a good drop in rankings resulting in traffic loss. A solid link building strategy should always include a variety of ways to get links, keeping your backlink profile as diverse as possible while still remaining relevant. Link building strategies. There’s plenty of link building techniques, hacks and tips (you can check our big list of 60+ link building techniques for inspiration). In this SEO guide, we’ll cover the 3 most common strategies that work very well. Linkable assets. The most natural link building technique is to create a unique and valuable piece of content – a so-called linkable asset – that will attract backlinks. A linkable asset can be any piece of content but there are certain types of content that work perfectly for this. These include: ultimate guides big lists research with unique data resource directories free tools The next step is to find websites that might want to link to you and contact them (more on that in a while). Tip: Sometimes you don’t even need to ask for a backlink directly. You can contact the influencers and experts in your field, asking for honest feedback. If your content is really great and unique (and it should be for this strategy to work), they may link to it or share it on social media by themselves. As a bonus, you’ll start some valuable relationships that may be useful in the future. Once you get backlinks to your linkable asset, you can redirect the “link juice” to your other pages (e.g. “money” pages) through internal links. Guest posting. Guest posting (or guest blogging) is definitely the most popular link building technique. It is quite simple (although not easy) and scalable. How guest blogging works (in a nutshell): Author from Site A writes a guest post for Site B. The post contains a link to his own web. Site B gets a free piece of content and Site A gets a free backlink. Win-win. So, how to find blogs that accept guest posts relevant to your niche? Try to use specific search operators that help you to filter the ones that are relevant to you. For example: “your niche” + “write for us”. Once you find them, read their guest post guidelines and contact the owner with your guest post pitch. Further readingHow to find guest post opportunities: The ultimate cheatsheet Competitor’s backlinks. Scanning through the link profiles of your competitors is a great way to find websites that may be willing to link to you. (After all, they already linked to a similar page, right?) All you need is a backlink analysis tool (like LinkMiner) that will help you find the backlinks of your competitors. You can either start by entering the domain: …or focus on a specific URL (e.g. your competitor’s post on the same topic that you want to rank for): The tool will show you all the backlinks and some additional information about them (the authority, anchor text, attributes, etc.) When analyzing your competitor’s backlinks, you should consider: Link relevance – Would a backlink from this page be relevant to your content? Link strength – What is the authority of the linking page? Difficulty – Will you be able to get the same backlink? The next step is the so-called email outreach – contacting the website owners to replace the backlink of your competitor (also known as The Skyscraper Technique) or add your backlink as an additional resource. The Skyscraper Technique. The Skyscraper Technique (named by Brian Dean from Backlinko) works like this: Find the best article on a certain topic, write something that is even better (see the 10x content technique). Then contact all the websites linking to your competitor and ask them to link to you instead. Other common link building techniques. Broken link building – find websites with inactive links and suggest your content as a replacement Brand mentions – find unlinked mentions of your brand (you can use Google Alerts) and ask the web owners to link the mention Testimonials – write a testimonial for a product or service and get your site linked next to your name Roundups, expert insights – get featured in niche roundups or articles that require expert insights (see HARO technique) Social backlinks (nofollow) – share your content on social media, promote it on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest, join discussions, comment on relevant posts Forums and Q&A sites (nofollow) – a well-placed link with added value on Quora or Reddit can drive a lot of traffic throughout time; avoid mindless spam at all cost Chapter 7 Analytics & metrics In the last chapter of our complete SEO guide, we’ll take a look at the essential data analytics tools and metrics every website owner should know and use. Chapter navigation Google Search Console Google Analytics Rank tracking Analytics tips and best practices Website analytics is a crucial part of search engine optimization. The saying What gets measured gets improved is 100% correct in SEO. Using the right tools to track and analyze your website’s performance will help you answer important SEO questions, such as: What keywords you rank for in Google What is the click-through rate of your pages in search results What country your visitors come from What channels bring you the most traffic How your visitors engage with your pages What are your most visited pages To help you understand the basics, we’ll cover 3 important analytics tools every website owner should have: Google Search Console, Google Analytics and a rank tracking tool. Google Search Console. Search Console is a free online tool (or a series of tools) by Google that helps webmasters see how their site is performing in Google Search and optimize the visibility of their websites. Google Search Console is an essential tool that is hard to be replaced. Every website owner should use it. Note: To set up the Google Search Console, you need to verify the ownership of the website first. You’ll find a detailed step-by-step walkthrough on how to do it in our simple guide to Google Search Console. Search Console consists of several dashboards from a basic overview of your website’s performance to reports of critical issues that you should address. Performance – gives you insights into how your site performs in Google Search results URL inspection – gives you information about Google’s indexed version of any of your pages Coverage – shows what pages are indexed on Google and reports any issues with indexation Sitemaps – enables you to add a new sitemap and see your previous submissions or problems Removals – serves as a tool to temporarily block any page from search results Enhancements – provides information about your enhancements (such as AMP, sitelinks, etc.) and user experience and usability issues Manual actions – shows whether you have any manual penalty from Google Security issues – reports any detected security issues on your site Links – provides a basic overview of your links (both external and internal) The report you’ll spend the most time with and the one we’ll take a closer look in this chapter is the Performance report. Performance report. The Performance report will give you a detailed overview of your site’s performance in Google Search. It consists of 3 main areas you can configure to see the data you need: Top filter – allows you to select the search type, date range and filter the dimensions Metrics chart – shows the chart with the 4 main metrics (clicks, impressions, average CTR and average position); you can select any combination of the metrics by clicking on them Dimension tabs with data table – allows you to select the preferred dimension and see the data in a simple table To get a quick overview of how the Performance report works, you can watch this short educational video by Google Search Central: Besides the basic (but very useful) data like top queries or top pages, the Performance report is a goldmine of various deeper insights into your site’s search performance. Let’s take a look at a few specific use cases: Troubleshoot the performance drops. When analyzing any change in your performance (e.g. sudden drop in clicks), always try to find the root of the problem by checking various dimensions to find what exactly caused the changes. Sometimes the overall performance can be influenced dramatically by a change in a specific country, a ranking drop of s single big keyword or a performance issue on a specific type of device. Tip: Create a comparison of two subsequent time frames (Top filter – Date – Compare) to see the biggest changes when put in contrast with the previous time period. Find pages that need the CTR optimization. Look at the top-performing queries that have a low click-through rate (either using the Average CTR metric or comparing the Impressions and Clicks). There’s a high chance you can improve the CTR by writing a better title tag and meta description for the page that ranks for the query. Compare your performance on desktop and mobile devices. In the top filter, select the device dimension and choose Compare instead of Filter. You’ll be able to see the comparison of your performance on desktop and mobile devices and take appropriate steps when it comes to further optimization of your site. Find low-hanging keywords you can rank for easily. In the dimensions table, use the filter to only show queries you rank for on position 20 or less (which means the keyword you rank for on 3rd SERP or higher). Once you find such a keyword, switch to the Pages tab to see the page that ranks for it. These are pages that may need just a little optimization to rank better. See whether you can improve the page that targets the keyword, or create a new piece of content that would focus on the keyword. Compare branded and non-branded searches. You can use the top filter to only show queries that include (“queries containing”) your brand name. You’ll see how much of your search traffic comes from branded keywords and how these keywords perform in Google Search. Further readingGoogle Search Console: A simple guide for SEO beginners Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free website analytics tool that tracks and reports website traffic and user behavior. It is a powerful tool that offers a ton of useful data. The problem is that many beginners feel lost and overwhelmed when opening their GA account. It’s completely normal. There are too many reports, too many metrics, too many different graphs and complicated navigation. Note: Setting up Google Analytics is not complicated. You just have to insert a special piece of code on your website. Read this detailed guide on how to do it. So, how do you learn using Google Analytics? One step at a time. What kind of data can you find in GA? Google Analytics consists of various reports. The home dashboard will show you a quick overview of the basic performance metrics. To see more, you can navigate to the detailed reports. The reports are divided into 5 main categories based on what kind of data they provide. You can find them in the left menu. Real-time – the users’ activity as it happens in real time Audience – everything you need to know about your visitors (demographics, interests, technology used, etc.) Acquisition – where your traffic comes from (traffic channels, top referring pages, etc.) Behavior – what the visitors do on your website (what pages they visit and how they engage with them) Conversions – details on how your visitors convert (in accordance with your goals; e.g. purchase, subscription, affiliate link click, etc.) Data segmentation. In each report, you can further segment the data to see detailed results based on your specific needs. Segmentation and filtering are crucial in selecting the right data for your analysis. Date range. Selecting the right time frame is the first thing you should do when working with any analytics tool. You can find the date range selector at the top right of every report. It enables you to look at the data within various time frames or compare two time periods. Segments. Segment is any subset of data in Google Analytics. You can select one of the default segments (e.g. Organic Traffic, Mobile Traffic) or create and save a new one to speed up your workflow. For example: You can create a specific segment that will show only your organic blog traffic so that you can analyze the organic reach of your articles separately from other pages. Here’s what the setting would look like: Secondary dimension. The secondary dimension is an additional dimension you can add to the primary dimension of the given report. For example: In the All Pages report showing the top pages, you can add the User Type secondary dimension to see the proportion of new vs. returning visitors for each page. Search. There’s a simple search option above every data table to narrow down the results. The most useful reports. To describe all the features and data reports Google Analytics has to offer, we would need a separate ultimate guide. But the truth is, the vast majority of beginner users will do just fine with sticking to a couple of basic reports. Here are the most useful ones: 1. See the most visited pages on your website. Behavior – Site Content – All Pages The All Pages report is the most basic report and one of the main reasons most people use Google Analytics – to see how much traffic their pages get. It’s helpful in determining what people are interested in when they visit your website and make decisions on what pages need improvement. 2. See the first pages people visit on your site. Behavior – Site Content – Landing Pages The Landing Pages report is very similar to the All Pages report, but it only shows the top pages people used to enter your website. It is also a great report to use when analyzing the organic traffic from Google (the pages people visit from the Search are always landing pages). 3. Find the best sources of your traffic. Acquisition – All Traffic Besides seeing the performance of your pages, it is also very important to know where your traffic comes from. The All Traffic report includes various sections: Channels – see the percentage of your traffic by the most common traffic channels (organic, referral, direct, social, etc.) Source/medium – see the origin of your traffic and the source category (e.g. google/organic, bing/organic) Referrals – see the top pages that refer traffic to your site For example, let’s say you noticed a spike in your traffic. You can go to the Source/medium report, compare two time periods to see a source/medium combination that has the biggest increase in users when compared to the previous time period. Once you find it, you can add various secondary dimensions to find further information (e.g. the Landing Page secondary dimension to see pages through which the users entered your website or Country/City secondary dimension depending on your target market). 4. Get to know your visitors. Audience – Demographics; Audience – Geo – Location Last but not least, Google Analytics can give you insights about your audience. The most useful ones are Demographics (age, gender) and Location (countries). Here’s what the audience demographics Gender report look like: The most useful metrics. Google Analytics comes with various metrics that measure three things: How much traffic you get (acquisition metrics) How people engage on your site (behavior metrics) Achievement of your goals (conversion metrics) Traffic acquisition metrics. The most common traffic acquisition metric often get confused so here’s a quick explanation of the differences between them: Users – a user is an individual visitor to your website, more visits by the same user don’t increase the number of users Sessions – session a period of time when the user is actively browsing your website (up to 30 minutes of inactivity); one user usually visits several pages within one session Pageviews – a pageview is counted every time a visitor visits a page; if the page is visited repeatedly by one user, multiple page views are counted (so the number of pageviews is always higher than the number of sessions). Tip: An interesting engagement metric is the percentage of returning visitors. You’ll find it in the Audience Overview. Bounce rate. The bounce rate metric shows the percentage of visitors who left the website without any action. A high bounce rate is not always a bad thing but in general, a lower bounce rate is almost always better. Tip: Always compare the bounce rates of similar types of pages (e.g. blog post to blog post, landing page to landing page) to get relevant insights. Read more in our SEOpedia post on bounce rate. Pages per session. This metric shows you how many pages a user visited within one session on average. Pages per session metric can be a good indicator of the overall engagement. To improve the ratio, think about the ways to make your visitors click on other pages: Add related products/posts Insert “further reading” boxes Link to relevant pages in the text Average time on page / Session duration. Both time-based metrics in Google Analytics have their issues when it comes to accuracy so we don’t recommend drawing any big conclusions based on these two metrics. If you want to choose one of them, the average time on page is a better indicator of how much time people spend on your page. (here’s an explanation why) Rank tracking. Rank tracking is the process of monitoring how your website performs in search engines for your most important keywords. Unlike Google Search Console and Google Analytics, rank trackers are usually much simpler but very effective tools. Here’s what the tracking dashboard looks like in SERPWatcher: The main advantages of using a rank tracker: You can see daily updated positions of your most important keywords You are able to quickly detect any significant ranking drops or spikes through automatic reports and alerts You can track your progress is a specific location (e.g. country or city) You also see relevant metrics to see the actual impact of the changes (e.g. the search volumes of the keywords) You can track your competitors to compare your results Tip: Look at the data realistically. Although it’s great if you moved from position 90 to position 45 for that big keyword, remember that it’s usually just the 1st SERP that brings organic traffic. Analytics tips and best practices. We’ll conclude this chapter with some useful tips on how to effectively measure your performance. Watch the overall progress, dig into details. Your performance will most probably fluctuate from day to day. That’s why it’s always good to look at the bigger picture rather than obsessing about every little change on a daily basis. On the other hand, you can almost never draw conclusions from default reports if there is an unpredicted change. The first rule of analytics is to always dig as deep as possible to find the root cause. Understand the metrics. Remember that you don’t need to analyze all the metrics all the time, but it is good to have a basic overview of what they mean to avoid data misinterpretation. Always try to understand the context. Don’t take the data as granted but look for the reasons why something happened. For example, when it comes to troubleshooting the ranking drops, there may be various reasons, both internal and external: Recent changes on the website Google algorithm update Technical issues or website outage Google manual action An error in the rank tracking tool A thorough examination of Google Search Console, Google Analytics and your rank tracker should give you a better understanding of the problem – which means you’ll be able to make an informed decision about your next steps. Use annotations to add context. Google Analytics and most rank trackers will allow you to create annotations to add context to your analytics dashboards. You can annotate your actions or specific events to see whether they had any influence on the performance of your website. For example: Google algorithm updates Any significant changes on your website Article updates Start of a marketing campaign Website problems and outages Seasonal events (e.g. Black Friday) Set up alerts to be notified about any dramatic changes. Most analytic tools will allow you to set up email alerts that will notify you if certain conditions are met. This is a great way to stay informed about any dramatic changes without spending all the time glued to the screen with the data tables. Chapter 8 SEO test (+certificate) We hope you enjoyed our ultimate SEO guide for beginners as much as we did. Now it’s time to see what you have learned by taking a test and getting our SEO certificate. Fingers crossed! Let’s dig into what you’ve learned! Test your SEO skills and knowledge you’ve gained in a quick test. If you successfully pass the quiz, you’ll get the Mangools SEO certificate. Congratulations! You've answered all the questions correctly! 😎. Please fill in your FULL NAME (it will be used in the certificate) and hit the download button. Don't miss any future post! Subscribe to our SEO newsletter and get useful SEO tips and guides right to your inbox. You've been subscribed successfully! (You'll receive up to 2 emails per month. No spam, we hate it too.)
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                            [description] => Increase your site's visibility and rankings with search engine optimization, content marketing, and link building
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                                    [15] => Don't forget to share this post!
                                    [16] => Related Articles
                                    [17] => International SEO: How to Optimize Your Website for Other Countries
                                    [18] => 28 of the Best SEO Tools for Auditing & Monitoring Your Website in 2022
                                    [19] => Cumulative Layout Shift: What It Is and How to Measure It
                                    [20] => Download for Later
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                                            [16] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

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                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                            [name] => What is SEO?
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                                                (
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                                                            [name] => Rankings. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
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                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
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                                    [5] => stdClass Object
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                                            [name] => Three Core Components of a Strong SEO Strategy. 
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                                                (
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                                                            [name] => 1. Technical Setup. 
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                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
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                                                                            [name] => Website navigation and links. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
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                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [name] => Simple URL structure. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
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                                                                            [name] => Page speed. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
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                                                                            [name] => Dead links or broken redirects. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [name] => Sitemap and Robots.txt files. 
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                                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
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                                                                        (
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                                                                            [name] => Keyword Research. 
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                                                                                (
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                                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                                (
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                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
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                                                                            [name] => What is a backlink?
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                                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [name] => Links Quality Factors. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
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                                                                            [name] => Link Building. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                                        )

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                                                )

                                        )

                                    [6] => stdClass Object
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                                            [name] => How to Monitor & Track SEO Results. 
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                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
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                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                        (
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                                            [name] => Local SEO. 
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                                                (
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                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Local Search Ranking Factors. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [8] => stdClass Object
                                        (
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                                            [name] => What is black hat SEO?
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
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                                        )

                                    [9] => stdClass Object
                                        (
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                                            [name] => Should you outsource SEO or keep it in-house?
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                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Doing SEO Yourself. 
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                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Delegate SEO to a Team Member. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Outsource SEO to an Agency. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [10] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => SEO Resources & Training. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [11] => stdClass Object
                                        (
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                            [body] => The Ultimate Guide to SEO in 2022 Written by Jami Oetting Increase your site's visibility and rankings with search engine optimization, content marketing, and link building. Free Download: The Complete SEO Starter Pack Everything you need to get your website and blog ranking. Download Now 19 min remaining What is the first thing you do when you need new marketing ideas? What about when you decide it’s time to find a new accounting software? Or even when you notice a flat tire in the car? My guess is you turn to Google. But did you know that 82% of B2B buyers also agree that content is important to achieving their own marketing goals? Faced with a problem, challenge, or even achieving a goal, they simply google it. And so, it’s a cold, harsh truth that without at least some presence on Google, your business faces a digital uphill battle. In this guide, you’ll discover a strategy to build your online presence — Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You’ll learn what SEO is, how it works, and what you must do to position your site in search engine results. But before we begin, I want to reassure you of something. So many resources make SEO complex. They scare readers with technical jargon, advanced elements, and rarely explain anything beyond theory. I promise you, this guide isn’t like that. I’m going to break SEO into its most basic parts and show you how to use all its elements to construct a successful SEO strategy. (And to stay up-to-date on SEO strategy and trends, check out HubSpot's Skill Up podcast.) Keep on reading to understand SEO, or jump ahead to the section that interests you most. What is SEO? How Google Ranks Content. How to Build an SEO Strategy. How to Measure SEO. Local and Black Hat SEO. SEO Resources. What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization. The goal of SEO is to expand a company’s visibility in organic search results. It helps businesses rank more pages higher in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). As a result, these efforts drive more visitors to the company’s website, increasing their chances for more conversions which leads to more customers and more revenue. When asked to explain what SEO is, I often choose to call it a strategy to ensure that when someone Googles your product or service category, they find your website. But this simplifies the discipline a bit. There are a ton of ways to improve the SEO of your site pages. Search engines look for elements including title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, and inbound links (also known as backlinks). Search engines also look at site structure and design, visitor behavior, and other external, off-site factors to determine how highly ranked your site should be in their SERPs. With all of these factors taken into account, SEO primarily drives two things — rankings and visibility. How Does SEO Work? SEO works by optimizing a website's content, conducting keyword research, and earning inbound links to increase that content’s ranking and the website’s visibility. While you can generally see results take effect on the SERP once the webpage has been crawled and indexed by a search engine, SEO efforts can take months to fully materialize. Rankings. This is what search engines use to determine where to place a particular web page in the SERP. Rankings start at position number one through the final number of search engine results for the query, and a web page can rank for one position at a time. As time passes, a web page’s ranking might change due to content freshness, competition in the SERP, or algorithm changes by the search engine itself. Visibility. This term describes how prominent a particular domain is in the search engine results. With high visibility, your domain is prominent in SERPs. Lower search visibility occurs when a domain isn’t visible for many relevant search queries. Both are responsible for delivering the main SEO objectives – traffic and domain authority. There is one more reason why you should be using SEO. The discipline virtually helps you position your brand throughout the entire buying journey. In turn, it can ensure that your marketing strategies match the new buying behavior. Because, as Google admitted themselves, customer behavior has changed for good. As of June 2019, 94% of internet searches happen on a Google property. What's more, they prefer going through the majority of the buying process on their own. For example, in a survey from HubSpot Research, we found that 77% of people research a brand before engaging with it. Forrester revealed that customers prefer knowledge bases over all other self-service channels. What’s more, this process has never been more complicated. Finally, DemandGen’s 2017 B2B Buyer’s Survey found that 67% of B2B buyers start the buying process with a broad web search. But how do they use search engines during the process? Early in the process, they use Google to find information about their problem. Some also inquire about potential solutions. Then, they evaluate available alternatives based on reviews or social media hype before inquiring with a company. But this happens after they’ve exhausted all information sources. And so, the only chance for customers to notice and consider you is by showing up in their search results. Featured Resource 22 SEO Myths to Leave Behind in 2020 How does Google know how to rank a page? Search engines have a single goal only. They aim to provide users with the most relevant answers or information. Every time you use them, their algorithms choose pages that are the most relevant to your query. And then, rank them, displaying the most authoritative or popular ones first. To deliver the right information to users, search engines analyze two factors: Relevancy between the search query and the content on a page. Search engines assess it by various factors like topic or keywords. Authority, which is measured by a website’s popularity on the Internet. Google assumes that the more popular a page or resource is, the more valuable its content is to readers. And to analyze all this information they use complex equations called search algorithms. Search engines keep their algorithms secret. But over time, SEOs have identified some of the factors they consider when ranking a page. We refer to them as ranking factors, and they are the focus of an SEO strategy. As you’ll shortly see, adding more content, optimizing image filenames, or improving internal links can affect your rankings and search visibility. And that’s because each of those actions improves a ranking factor. What is SEO strategy? An SEO marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan to get more visitors to your website through search engines. Successful SEO includes on-page strategies, which use intent-based keywords; and off-page strategies, which earn inbound links from other websites. Three Core Components of a Strong SEO Strategy. To optimize a site, you need to improve ranking factors in three areas — technical website setup, content, and links. So, let’s go through them in turn. 1. Technical Setup. For your website to rank, three things must happen: First, a search engine needs to find your pages on the web. Then, it must scan them to understand their topics and identify their keywords. And finally, it needs to add them to its index — a database of all the content it has found on the web. This way, its algorithm can consider displaying your website for relevant queries. Seems simple, doesn’t it? Certainly, nothing to worry about. After all, since you can visit your site without any problem, so should Google, right? Unfortunately, there is a catch. A web page looks different for you and the search engine. You see it as a collection of graphics, colors, text with its formatting, and links. To a search engine, it’s nothing but text. As a result, any elements it cannot render this way remain invisible to the search engine. And so, in spite of your website looking fine to you, Google might find its content inaccessible. Let me show you an example. Here’s how a typical search engine sees one of our articles. It’s this one, by the way, if you want to compare it with the original. Notice some things about it: The page is just text. Although we carefully designed it, the only elements a search engine sees are text and links. As a result, it cannot see an image on the page (note the element marked with an arrow.) It only recognizes its name. If that image contained an important keyword we’d want the page to rank for, it would be invisible to the search engine. That’s where technical setup, also called on-site optimization, comes in. It ensures that your website and pages allow Google to scan and index them without any problems. The most important factors affecting it include: Website navigation and links. Search engines crawl sites just like you would. They follow links. Search engine crawlers land on a page and use links to find other content to analyze. But as you’ve seen above, they cannot see images. So, set the navigation and links as text-only. Simple URL structure. Search engines don’t like reading lengthy strings of words with complex structure. So, if possible, keep your URLs short. Set them up to include as little beyond the main keyword for which you want to optimize the page, as possible. Page speed. Search engines use the load time — the time it takes for a user to be able to read the page — as an indicator of quality. Many website elements can affect it. Image size, for example. Use Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool for suggestions on how to improve your pages. Dead links or broken redirects. A dead link sends a visitor to a nonexistent page. A broken redirect points to a resource that might no longer be there. Both provide poor user experience but also, prevent search engines from indexing your content. Sitemap and Robots.txt files. A sitemap is a simple file that lists all URLs on your site. Search engines use it to identify what pages to crawl and index. A robots.txt file, on the other hand, tells search engines what content not to index (for example, specific policy pages you don’t want to appear in search.) Create both to speed up crawling and indexing of your content. Duplicate content. Pages containing identical or quite similar content confuse search engines. They often find it near impossible to determine what content they should display in search results. For that reason, search engines consider duplicate content as a negative factor. And upon finding it, can penalize a website by not displaying any of those pages at all. Featured Resource How to Conduct a Technical SEO Audit 2. Content. Every time you use a search engine, you’re looking for content — information on a particular issue or problem, for example. True, this content might come in different formats. It could be text, like a blog post or a web page. But it could also be a video, product recommendation, and even a business listing. It’s all content. And for SEO, it’s what helps gain greater search visibility. Here are two reasons why: For one, content is what customers want when searching. Regardless of what they’re looking for, it’s content that provides it. And the more of it you publish, the higher your chance for greater search visibility. Also, search engines use content to determine how to rank a page. It’s the idea of relevance between a page and a person’s search query that we talked about earlier. While crawling a page, they determine its topic. Analyzing elements like page length or its structure helps them assess its quality. Based on this information, search algorithms can match a person’s query with pages they consider the most relevant to it. The process of optimizing content begins with keyword research. Keyword Research. SEO is not about getting any visitors to the site. You want to attract people who need what you sell and can become leads, and later, customers. However, that’s possible only if it ranks for the keywords those people would use when searching. Otherwise, there’s no chance they’d ever find you. And that’s even if your website appeared at the top of the search results. That’s why SEO work starts with discovering what phrases potential buyers enter into search engines. The process typically involves identifying terms and topics relevant to your business. Then, converting them into initial keywords. And finally, conducting extensive research to uncover related terms your audience would use. We’ve published a thorough guide to keyword research for beginner. It lays out the keyword research process in detail. Use it to identify search terms you should be targeting. With a list of keywords at hand, the next step is to optimize your content. SEOs refer to this process as on-page optimization. On-Page Optimization On-page optimization, also called on-page SEO, ensures that search engines a.) understand a page’s topic and keywords, and b.) can match it to relevant searches. Note, I said “page” not content. That’s because, although the bulk of on-page SEO work focuses on the words you use, it extends to optimizing some elements in the code. You may have heard about some of them — meta-tags like title or description are two most popular ones. But there are more. So, here’s a list of the most crucial on-page optimization actions to take. Note: Since blog content prevails on most websites, when speaking of those factors, I’ll focus on blog SEO — optimizing blog posts for relevant keywords. However, all this advice is equally valid for other page types too. Featured Resource Guide to On-Page SEO Strategy a) Keyword Optimization First, ensure that Google understands what keywords you want this page to rank. To achieve that, make sure you include at least the main keyword in the following: Post’s title: Ideally, place it as close to the start of the title. Google is known to put more value on words at the start of the headline. URL: Your page’s web address should also include the keyword. Ideally, including nothing else. Also, remove any stop word. H1 Tag: In most content management systems, this tag displays the title of the page by default. However, make sure that your platform doesn’t use a different setting The first 100 words (or the first paragraph) of content: Finding the keyword at the start of your blog post will reassure Google that this is, in fact, the page’s topic. Meta-title and meta-description tags: Search engines use these two code elements to display their listings. They display meta-title as the search listing’s title. Meta-description provides content for the little blurb below it. But above that, they use both to understand the page’s topic further. Image file names and ALT tags: Remember how search engines see graphics on a page? They can only see their file names. So, make sure that at least one of the images contains the keyword in the file name. The alt tag, on the other hand, is text browsers display instead of an image (for visually impaired visitors.) However, since ALT tag resides in the image code, search engines use it as a relevancy signal as well. Also, add semantic keywords — variations or synonyms of your keyword. Google and other search engines use them to determine a page’s relevancy better. Let me illustrate this with a quick example. Let’s pretend that your main keyword is “Apple.” But do you mean the fruit or the tech giant behind the iPhone? Now, imagine what happens when Google finds terms like sugar, orchard, or cider in the copy? The choice of what queries to rank it for would immediately become obvious, right? That’s what semantic keywords do. Add them to ensure that your page doesn’t start showing up for irrelevant searches. b) Non-Keyword-Related On-Page Optimization Factors On-page SEO is not just about sprinkling keywords across the page. The factors below help confirm a page’s credibility and authority too: External links: Linking out to other, relevant pages on the topic helps Google determine its topic further. Plus, it provides a good user experience. How? By positioning your content as a valuable resource. Internal links: Those links help you boost rankings in two ways. One, they allow search engines to find and crawl other pages on the site. And two, they sho semantic relations between various pages, helping to determine its relevance to the search query better. As a rule, you should include at least 2-4 internal links per blog post Content’s length: Long content typically ranks better. That’s because, if done well, a longer blog post will always contain more exhaustive information on the topic, thus keeping a reader on your site longer. That’s called dwell time, and it’s an important ranking factor for the search engines Multimedia: Although not a requirement, multimedia elements like videos, diagrams, audio players can signal a page’s quality. It keeps readers on a page for longer just like longer content does. And in turn, it signals that they find the content valuable and worth perusing. 3. Links. From what you’ve read in this guide so far, you know that no page will rank without two factors — relevance and authority. In their quest to provide users with the most accurate answers, Google and other search engines prioritize pages they consider the most relevant to their queries but also, popular. The first two areas — technical setup and content — focused on increasing relevance (though I admit, some of their elements can also help highlight the authority.) Links, however, are responsible for popularity. But before we talk more about how they work, here’s what SEOs mean when talking about links. What is a backlink? Links, also called backlinks, are references to your content on other websites. Every time another website mentions and points their readers to your content, you gain a backlink to your site. For example, this article in Entrepreneur.co mentions our Not Another State of Marketing Report page. It also links to it allowing their readers to see other stats than the one quoted. Google uses quantity and quality of links like this as a signal of a website’s authority. Its logic behind it is that webmasters would reference a popular and high-quality website more often than a mediocre one. But note that I mentioned links quality as well. That’s because not all links are the same. Some — low-quality ones — can impact your rankings negatively. Links Quality Factors. Low quality or suspicious links — for example, ones that Google would consider as built deliberately to make it consider a site as more authoritative — might reduce your rankings. That’s why, when building links, SEOs focus not on building any links. They aim to generate the highest quality references possible. Naturally, just like with the search algorithm, we don’t know what factors determine a link’s quality, specifically. However, over time, SEOs discovered some of them: The popularity of a linking site: Any link from a domain that search engines consider an authority will naturally have high quality. In other words, links from websites that have good quality links pointing to them, work better. Topic relevance: Links from domains on a topic similar to yours will carry more authority than those from random websites. Trust in a domain: Just like with popularity, search engines also assess a website’s trust. Links from more trustworthy sites will always impact rankings better. Link Building. In SEO, we refer to the process of acquiring new backlinks as link building. And as many practitioners admit, it can be a challenging activity. Link building, if you want to do it well, requires creativity, strategic thinking, and patience. To generate quality links, you need to come up with a link building strategy. And that’s no small feat. Remember, your links must pass various quality criteria. Plus, it can’t be obvious to search engines that you’ve built them deliberately. Here are some strategies to do it: Editorial, organic links: These backlinks come from websites that reference your content on their own. Outreach: In this strategy, you contact other websites for links. This can happen in many ways. You could create an amazing piece of content, and email them to tell them about it. In turn, if they find it valuable, they’ll reference it. You can also suggest where they could link to it. Guest posting: Guest posts are blog articles that you publish on third-party websites. In turn, those companies often allow including one or two links to your site in the content and author bio. Profile links: Finally, many websites offer an opportunity to create a link. Online profiles are a good example. Often, when setting up such a profile, you can also list your website there as well. Not all such links carry strong authority, but some might. And given the ease of creating them, they’re worth pursuing. Competitive analysis: Finally, many SEOs regularly analyze their competitors’ backlinks to identify those they could recreate for their sites too. Now, if you’re still here with me, then you’ve just discovered what’s responsible for your site’s success in search. The next step, then, is figuring out whether your efforts are working. How to Monitor & Track SEO Results. Technical setup, content, and links are critical to getting a website into the search results. Monitoring your efforts helps improve your strategy further. Measuring SEO success means tracking data about traffic, engagement, and links. And though, most companies develop their own sets of SEO KPIs (key performance indicators), here are the most common ones: Organic traffic growth Keyword rankings (split into branded and non-branded terms) Conversions from organic traffic Average time on page and the bounce rate Top landing pages attracting organic traffic Number of indexed pages Links growth (including new and lost links) Local SEO. Up until now, we focused on getting a site rank in search results in general. If you run a local business, however, Google also lets you position it in front of potential customers in your area, specifically. But for that, you use local SEO. And it’s well worth it. 46% of Google searches are for local businesses. They look for vendor suggestions, and even specific business addresses. In fact, 12% of customers look for local business information every day. What’s more, they act on this information: 72% of searchers visit a local store or company’s premises within 24 hours of the search. But hold on, is local SEO different from what we’ve been talking all along? Yes and no. Search engines follow similar principles for both local and global rankings. But given that they position a site for specific, location-based results, they need to analyze some other ranking factors too. Even local search results look different: They appear only for searches with a local intent (for example, “restaurant near me” or when a person clearly defined the location.) They contain results specific to a relevant location. They concentrate on delivering specific information to users that they don’t need to go anywhere else to find. They target smartphone users primarily as local searches occur more often on mobile devices. For example, a localpack, the most prominent element of local results, includes almost all information a person would need to choose a business. Here are local results Google displays for the phrase “best restaurant in Boston.” Note that these results contain no links to any content. Instead, they include a list of restaurants in the area, a map to show their locations, and additional information about each: Business name Description Image Opening hours Star Reviews Address Often, they also include a company’s phone number or website address. All this information combined helps customers choose which business to engage. But it also allows Google to determine how to rank it. Local Search Ranking Factors. When analyzing local websites, Google looks at the proximity to a searcher’s location. With the rise of local searches containing the phrase, "near me," it’s only fair that Google will try to present the closest businesses first. Keywords are essential for local SEO too. However, one additional element of on-page optimization is the presence of a company’s name, address, and phone number of a page. In local SEO, we refer to it as the NAP. Again, it makes sense, as the search engine needs a way to assess the company’s location. Google assesses authority in local search not just by links. Reviews and citations (references of a business’s address or a phone number online) highlight its authority too. Finally, the information a business includes in Google My Business — the search engine’s platform for managing local business listings — plays a huge part in its rankings. The above is just the tip of the iceberg. But they are the ones to get right first if you want your business to rank well in local search. What is black hat SEO? The final aspect of SEO I want to highlight to you is something I also hope you’ll never get tempted to use. I mean it. Because, although it might have its lure, using black hat SEO typically ends in a penalty from search listings. Black hat practices aim at manipulating search engine algorithms using strategies against search engine guidelines. The most common black hat techniques include keyword stuffing, cloaking (hiding keywords in code so that users don’t see them, but search engines do), and buying links. So, why would someone use black hat SEO? For one, because, often, ranking a site following Google’s guidelines takes time. Long time, in fact. Black hat strategies let you cut down the complexity of link building, for example. Keyword stuffing helps users to rank one page for many keywords, without having to create more content. But as said, getting caught often results in a site being completely wiped out from search listings. And the reason I mention it here is that I want you to realize that there are no shortcuts in SEO. And be aware of anyone suggesting strategies that might seem too good to be true. Should you outsource SEO or keep it in-house? Whether you work on SEO yourself, delegate it to another team member, or outsource it completely, you’ll want to make this decision with as much knowledge as possible. Doing SEO Yourself. Be honest with yourself — are you interested in learning SEO? Do you have time to learn the basics? Do you have the resources to bring in help if you redesign your website and accidentally deindex several pages? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then you might not want to take on the responsibility of SEO yourself. SEO is a long term play, and just like a muscle, you have to work at it consistently to see results. That can take a substantial amount of commitment. If you have any doubts, try the next best thing — delegating the work. Delegate SEO to a Team Member. If you’re not quite sure about taking on SEO yourself, consider delegating the work to a team member. If you have a person who’s interested in growth marketing, development, or even web design, this would be a valuable skill to help grow their career. You could also hire a full-time search engine optimization specialist if you have the budget. The person in this role can report to the marketing team, development team, or even design team. Because SEO touches nearly every function of a business while maintaining a unique set of skill requirements, this position won’t be subject to frequent changes if departments need to be restructured later on. The person you delegate to this job will contribute cross functionally more often than not, so you’ll have some liberty with managing them. Outsource SEO to an Agency. You don’t have the interest in SEO, your team’s at full capacity, and you can’t spare the budget to fill a full time SEO role. Now what? The best bang for your buck is to outsource SEO to a reputable consultant. Why? First, a well-respected SEO consultant is highly skilled in bringing organic traffic, leads, and conversions to businesses. They do this day in and day out, so they won’t need the ramp up time that you or a member of your team would need in order to learn the basics.  Second, a consultant can be less expensive than hiring someone full-time for the role because they don’t require insurance benefits, payroll taxes, etc. But how much exactly would you be looking at for outsourcing your SEO? SEO can cost between $100 and $500 per month if you do it yourself with a keyword research tool. It can cost between $75 and $150 per hour for a consultant, and up to $10,000 per month if you hire a full-service marketing agency. Small businesses generally spend less on SEO than big brands, so be sure to take that into account. Incurring SEO costs can mean one of two things: the investment in your organic search strategy, or how much you pay for paid search engine marketing (SEM) services like Google Ads. If you're paying for a tool, consultant, or marketing agency to help you optimize your web content, your bill can vary wildly with the depth of the services you're receiving. SEO Resources & Training. This guide is just a starting point for discovering SEO. But there’s much more to learn. Here are online training resources to try next if your or someone on your team wants to take on this skill: The HubSpot SEO Academy Google Analytics Course SEO That Works course You can also pick SEO knowledge from industry experts and their blogs. Here are some worth reading: SEMrush MOZ Yoast BrightLocal (local SEO advice) Search Engine Journal Search Engine Watch Search Engine Land Bruce Clay Inc. Over To You. Without actively positioning its content in search results, no business can survive long. By increasing your search visibility, you can bring more visitors, and in turn, conversions and sales. And that's well worth the time spent becoming an expert in SEO. Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.   Originally published Nov 30, 2021 2:44:00 PM, updated December 17 2021 Topics: SEO Don't forget to share this post! Related Articles. International SEO: How to Optimize Your Website for Other Countries . Marketing  | 8 min read 28 of the Best SEO Tools for Auditing & Monitoring Your Website in 2022 . Marketing  | 24 min read Cumulative Layout Shift: What It Is and How to Measure It . Marketing  | 6 min read Expand Offer Social Media Content Calendar Template Get it now Get it now Download for Later.
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                                    [22] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => element
                                            [tf] => 15
                                        )

                                    [23] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => information
                                            [tf] => 15
                                        )

                                    [24] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => include
                                            [tf] => 14
                                        )

                                    [25] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => find
                                            [tf] => 13
                                        )

                                    [26] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => authority
                                            [tf] => 12
                                        )

                                    [27] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => optimization
                                            [tf] => 12
                                        )

                                    [28] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => work
                                            [tf] => 12
                                        )

                                    [29] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => example
                                            [tf] => 12
                                        )

                                    [30] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => relevant
                                            [tf] => 11
                                        )

                                    [31] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page optimization
                                            [tf] => 9
                                        )

                                    [32] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search result
                                            [tf] => 8
                                        )

                                    [33] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => seo strategy
                                            [tf] => 7
                                        )

                                    [34] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => black hat
                                            [tf] => 7
                                        )

                                    [35] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page seo
                                            [tf] => 6
                                        )

                                    [36] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => web page
                                            [tf] => 6
                                        )

                                    [37] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => link building
                                            [tf] => 6
                                        )

                                    [38] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => seo work
                                            [tf] => 6
                                        )

                                    [39] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => company
                                            [tf] => 6
                                        )

                                    [40] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => keyword research
                                            [tf] => 6
                                        )

                                    [41] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => ranking factor
                                            [tf] => 6
                                        )

                                    [42] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => local seo
                                            [tf] => 6
                                        )

                                    [43] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => local search
                                            [tf] => 6
                                        )

                                    [44] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => min read
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [45] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => internal link
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [46] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search query
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [47] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => technical setup
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [48] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page search
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [49] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search visibility
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [50] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => blog post
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [51] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => on page
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [52] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search engine optimization
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [53] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search engine result
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [54] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => black hat seo
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [55] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page search engine
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [56] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => b2b buyer
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [57] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => keyword page
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [58] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search listing
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [59] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => phone number
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [60] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => outsource seo
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [61] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => engine optimization
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [62] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => engine result
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [63] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => hat seo
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [64] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => seo seo
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [65] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => rank page
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [66] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page rank
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [67] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => quality link
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [68] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => organic traffic
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [69] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => local business
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [70] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search engine assess
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [71] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search engine find
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [72] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => link search engine
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [73] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search engine content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [74] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => on page optimization
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [75] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page topic
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [76] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => ranking search
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [77] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => inbound link
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [78] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => link backlink
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [79] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => work seo
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [80] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => google find
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [81] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => featured resource
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [82] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page relevant
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [83] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => relevant query
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [84] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => engine assess
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [85] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search algorithm
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [86] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => time seo
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [87] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => setup content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [88] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => engine find
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [89] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => link search
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [90] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => find content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [91] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page link
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [92] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => main keyword
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [93] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => engine content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [94] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => person
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [95] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => seo refer
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [96] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => alt tag
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [97] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => google search
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [98] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => team member
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [99] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => full time
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                )

                            [page_rank_decimal] => 67
                            [rank] => 293
                        )

                    [8] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [position] => 9
                            [title] => SEO Basics: A Beginner's Guide to SEO
                            [url] => https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/04/30/seo-basics
                            [destination] => https://www.wordstream.com › Blog
                            [description] => WordStream has come to be known mostly as a PPC destination. But we also know a thing or two about SEO, and people ask us all the time for a primer on SEO basics. So we’re delivering!
                            [isAmp] => 
                            [date] => 23 Nov 2021
                            [organic_position] => 9
                            [serp_type] => page
                            [isOrganicPage] => 1
                            [isOrganic] => 1
                            [serp_title] => SEO Basics: A Beginner's Guide to SEO - WordStream
                            [serp_description] => The first step in search engine optimization is really to determine what it is you're actually optimizing for. This means identifying the terms ...
                            [hostname] => wordstream.com
                            [canonical] => https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/04/30/seo-basics
                            [h1] => SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
                            [h2] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => 1. What is SEO & Why is it Important?
                                    [1] => 2. Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices
                                    [2] => 3. On-Page Optimization
                                    [3] => 4. Information Architecture & Internal Linking
                                    [4] => 5. Content Marketing & Link Building
                                    [5] => 6. Common Technical SEO Issues & Best Practices
                                    [6] => 7. How to Track & Measure SEO Results
                                    [7] => 8. Additional SEO Considerations
                                    [8] => So What Now?
                                    [9] => More Articles Like This
                                    [10] => Comments
                                )

                            [h3] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => Why Should You Care About SEO?
                                    [1] => What Actually Works for Driving Traffic from Search Engines?
                                    [2] => Title Tags
                                    [3] => Meta Descriptions
                                    [4] => Body Content
                                    [5] => Alt Attributes
                                    [6] => URL Structure
                                    [7] => Schema & Markup
                                    [8] => 1. Identify & Understand Your Linking & Sharing Audience
                                    [9] => 2. Determining What Content You Can Create & How You Can Promote It
                                    [10] => 3. Map Your Assets to Specific Keywords
                                    [11] => Page Speed
                                    [12] => Mobile Friendliness
                                    [13] => Header Response
                                    [14] => Redirects
                                    [15] => Duplicate Content
                                    [16] => XML Sitemap
                                    [17] => Robots.txt, Meta NoIndex, & Meta NoFollow
                                    [18] => Additional Resources:
                                    [19] => Keyword Rankings
                                    [20] => Organic Traffic
                                    [21] => Organic Leads & Sales
                                    [22] => Additional Resources
                                    [23] => Tom Demers
                                    [24] => What Fresh Content Really Means to Google (+How to Create It)
                                    [25] => What is Schema Markup? (+6 Easy Types to Use for Your Small Business)
                                    [26] => The 8 Biggest Google Algorithm Updates of 2021 (+Optimization Tips)
                                )

                            [h2WithAnchors] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => 1. What is SEO & Why is it Important?
                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => 2. Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices
                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => 3. On-Page Optimization
                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => 4. Information Architecture & Internal Linking
                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => 5. Content Marketing & Link Building
                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => 6. Common Technical SEO Issues & Best Practices
                                        )

                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => 7. How to Track & Measure SEO Results
                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => 8. Additional SEO Considerations
                                        )

                                    [8] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => So What Now?
                                        )

                                    [9] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => More Articles Like This
                                        )

                                    [10] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Comments
                                        )

                                )

                            [published_time] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [lastUpdate] => 
                                    [dateFormatted] => 30o April 2015
                                    [dateISO] => 2015-04-30T05:00:00+00:00
                                )

                            [modified_time] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [lastUpdate] => 
                                    [dateFormatted] => 23o November 2021
                                    [dateISO] => 2021-11-23T06:16:49+00:00
                                )

                            [type] => article
                            [wordCount] => 9146
                            [imgCount] => 33
                            [lang] => 
                            [faq_on_page] => Array
                                (
                                )

                            [anchors] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [size] => 177
                                    [outboundSize] => 105
                                    [list] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => quick Wikipedia definition
                                                    [href] => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wikipedia.org
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [1] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Lots and lots of people
                                                    [href] => http://www.internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => internetlivestats.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [2] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => most
                                                    [href] => http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Market-Rankings/comScore-Releases-February-2015-US-Desktop-Search-Engine-Rankings
                                                    [hrefDomain] => comscore.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [3] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => some flux
                                                    [href] => http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/02/time-to-panic-yet-yahoo-took-more-u-s-search-share-from-google-in-january/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => venturebeat.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [4] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => lots of things
                                                    [href] => http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-penguin-update
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchengineland.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [5] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => how they rank websites
                                                    [href] => http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-panda-update
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchengineland.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [6] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => lots of different animal names
                                                    [href] => http://searchengineland.com/google-hummingbird-172816
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchengineland.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [7] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Moz’s guide on the topic
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/how-search-engines-operate
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [8] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google’s own interactive graphic
                                                    [href] => http://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/thestory/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [9] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => is a good place to start
                                                    [href] => http://offers.hubspot.com/free-template-creating-buyer-personas
                                                    [hrefDomain] => hubspot.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [10] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Uber Suggest
                                                    [href] => http://ubersuggest.org/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => ubersuggest.org
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [11] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => SEM Rush
                                                    [href] => http://www.semrush.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => semrush.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [12] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => stopped delivering a lot of the information about what people are searching for to analytics providers
                                                    [href] => http://www.notprovidedcount.com/what-is-not-provided/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => notprovidedcount.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [13] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => SpyFu
                                                    [href] => http://www.spyfu.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => spyfu.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [14] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Webmaster Tools set up here
                                                    [href] => https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6001104?hl=en
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [15] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => this link
                                                    [href] => https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/top-search-queries
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [16] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Backlinko’s in-depth guide
                                                    [href] => http://backlinko.com/keyword-competition
                                                    [hrefDomain] => backlinko.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [17] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Moz Keyword Difficulty and SERP Analysis Tool
                                                    [href] => https://moz.com/researchtools/keyword-difficulty
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [18] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => SEMRush Keyword Difficulty Tool
                                                    [href] => http://www.semrush.com/info/kdt
                                                    [hrefDomain] => semrush.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [19] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Serpiq
                                                    [href] => https://serpiq.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => serpiq.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [20] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Canirank
                                                    [href] => https://www.canirank.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => canirank.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [21] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Colibri.io
                                                    [href] => https://colibri.io/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => colibri.io
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [22] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Seoprofiler
                                                    [href] => http://www.seoprofiler.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => seoprofiler.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [23] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Ultimatenichefinder
                                                    [href] => https://ultimatenichefinder.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => ultimatenichefinder.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [24] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Advanced Webranking’s Keyword Difficult Tool
                                                    [href] => http://www.advancedwebranking.com/user-guide/html/en/ch17s04.html
                                                    [hrefDomain] => advancedwebranking.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [25] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => post about understanding rank potential
                                                    [href] => http://www.seonick.net/rank-potential/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => seonick.net
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [26] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => great guide on this topic as well
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [27] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => definitive guide
                                                    [href] => http://backlinko.com/keyword-research
                                                    [hrefDomain] => backlinko.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [28] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Master Keyword Research 7 day Email course
                                                    [href] => http://www.seonick.net/master-keyword-research/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => seonick.net
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [29] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => overview of the perfectly optimized page
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/visual-guide-to-keyword-targeting-onpage-optimization
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [30] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => meta tag
                                                    [href] => https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/79812?hl=en
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [31] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => in general 55-60 characters is a good rule of thumb here
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/new-title-tag-guidelines-preview-tool
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [32] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Panda updates
                                                    [href] => http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-panda-update
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchengineland.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [33] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => duplicated content where nothing changes but the page’s title tag
                                                    [href] => http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/03/an-update-on-doorway-pages.html
                                                    [hrefDomain] => googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [34] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => using a noindex meta tag
                                                    [href] => https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93710?hl=en
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [35] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => keyword stuff
                                                    [href] => https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66358?hl=en
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [36] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => common mistake businesses make when they redesign their websites
                                                    [href] => http://www.searchenginejournal.com/5-common-seo-mistakes-may-making-redesign-website/128022/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchenginejournal.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [37] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Does URL Structure Even Matter? A Data Driven Answer
                                                    [href] => http://www.quicksprout.com/2015/04/06/does-url-structure-even-matter-a-data-driven-answer/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => quicksprout.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [38] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => SEO Best Practices for URLs
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/learn/seo/url
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [39] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => How to Move Domains without Losing SEO Value
                                                    [href] => https://www.singlegrain.com/blog-posts/search-engine-optimization/how-to-move-domains-without-losing-seo-value/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => singlegrain.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [40] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => documentation
                                                    [href] => http://schema.org/docs/gs.html
                                                    [hrefDomain] => schema.org
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [41] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => structured data testing tool
                                                    [href] => https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [42] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => BuiltVisible’s Rich Snippets Guide
                                                    [href] => http://builtvisible.com/micro-data-schema-org-guide-generating-rich-snippets/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => builtvisible.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [43] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => post-Penguin world
                                                    [href] => http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-penguin-update
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchengineland.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [44] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => A good math-free explanation of PageRank
                                                    [href] => http://www.portent.com/blog/seo/pagerank-without-math.htm
                                                    [hrefDomain] => portent.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [45] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => A detailed breakdown of how PageRank works (from several years ago) with a number of helpful visuals
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/how-pagerank-works-why-the-original-pr-formula-may-be-flawed
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [46] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => The original academic paper published by Google’s founders
                                                    [href] => http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html
                                                    [hrefDomain] => stanford.edu
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [47] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => this older video
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/whiteboard-friday-flat-site-architecture
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [48] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => SEO principles
                                                    [href] => https://localiq.com/blog/seo/what-is-seo
                                                    [hrefDomain] => localiq.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [49] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Whiteboard Friday
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/information-architecture-for-seo-whiteboard-friday
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [50] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Richard Baxter’s presentation
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/site-architecture-for-seo
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [51] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => RKG’s guide
                                                    [href] => http://www.rimmkaufman.com/blog/seo-guide-information-architecture/01052008/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => rimmkaufman.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [52] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => KISS Metrics’ post
                                                    [href] => https://blog.kissmetrics.com/site-structure-enhance-seo/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kissmetrics.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [53] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => WordTracker’s guide
                                                    [href] => http://www.wordtracker.com/academy/learn-seo/technical-guides/create-site-structure
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wordtracker.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [54] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Distilled has a helpful post
                                                    [href] => https://www.distilled.net/blog/seo/why-you-should-map-out-your-sites-information-architecture/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => distilled.net
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [55] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => FollowerWonk
                                                    [href] => https://followerwonk.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => followerwonk.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [56] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Little Bird
                                                    [href] => http://www.getlittlebird.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => getlittlebird.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [57] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Ahrefs
                                                    [href] => https://ahrefs.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => ahrefs.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [58] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => how he built a top 100 blog
                                                    [href] => http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/how-i-built-a-top-100-blog-in-12-months/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => matthewwoodward.co.uk
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [59] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => level or two better
                                                    [href] => http://backlinko.com/skyscraper-technique
                                                    [hrefDomain] => backlinko.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [60] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => as fail-proof as possible
                                                    [href] => http://pointblankseo.com/fail-proof-content
                                                    [hrefDomain] => pointblankseo.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [61] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Gregory Ciotti’s Not-So-Brief Guide to Better Content Marketing
                                                    [href] => http://www.gregoryciotti.com/content-strategy-startups/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => gregoryciotti.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [62] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Search Engine Journal’s in-depth 2015 Content Marketing Guide
                                                    [href] => http://www.searchenginejournal.com/introducing-the-2015-beginners-guide-to-content-marketing/122745/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchenginejournal.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [63] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => QuickSprout’s Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing
                                                    [href] => http://www.quicksprout.com/the-beginners-guide-to-online-marketing/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => quicksprout.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [64] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => A Guide to Creating Focused Content from Distilled
                                                    [href] => https://www.distilled.net/content-guide/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => distilled.net
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [65] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => How to Find Your Target Audience
                                                    [href] => http://builtvisible.com/content-strategy-how-to-find-your-target-audience/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => builtvisible.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [66] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => free guide
                                                    [href] => http://www.cornerstonecontent.com/free-guide/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => cornerstonecontent.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [67] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => created a useful tool
                                                    [href] => https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [68] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => in my recent post
                                                    [href] => http://www.searchenginejournal.com/small-business-owners-guide-googles-april-21-mobile-friendly-algorithm-update/129535/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchenginejournal.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [69] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => a very helpful free tool to get recommendations on how to make your site more mobile-friendly
                                                    [href] => https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [70] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => you can indicate to Google that all of your site’s content is actually 404s
                                                    [href] => http://www.hmtweb.com/marketing-blog/hidden-seo-danger-wrong-header-response-code/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => hmtweb.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [71] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => breakdown on duplicate content
                                                    [href] => https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359?hl=en
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [72] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Moz analytics
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/how-to-defeat-duplicate-content-next-level
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [73] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Screaming Frog SEO Spider
                                                    [href] => http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2207433/how-to-quickly-identify-duplicate-content-with-a-site-crawl
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchenginewatch.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [74] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => a number
                                                    [href] => https://code.google.com/p/sitemap-generators/wiki/SitemapGenerators
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [75] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => free tools
                                                    [href] => https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => xml-sitemaps.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [76] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => robots.txt file
                                                    [href] => https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6062608?hl=en
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [77] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => meta noindex
                                                    [href] => https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93710?hl=en
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [78] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => meta nofollow
                                                    [href] => http://searchengineland.com/google-explains-the-noindex-nofollow-noarchive-nosnippet-meta-tags-10595
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchengineland.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [79] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => a great checklist of various technical SEO issues
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/technical-site-audit-for-2015
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [80] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => speed up WordPress sites
                                                    [href] => http://www.sparringmind.com/speed-up-wordpress/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => sparringmind.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [81] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => offers a number of tools
                                                    [href] => http://builtvisible.com/tools-to-speed-up-your-site/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => builtvisible.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [82] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Moz
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/learn/seo/duplicate-content
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [83] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Yoast
                                                    [href] => https://yoast.com/articles/duplicate-content/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => yoast.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [84] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Hobo Web
                                                    [href] => http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/duplicate-content-problems/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => hobo-web.co.uk
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [85] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google gives some tips
                                                    [href] => http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2014/10/best-practices-for-xml-sitemaps-rssatom.html
                                                    [hrefDomain] => googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [86] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Lunametrics
                                                    [href] => http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2012/12/13/building-ultimate-xml-sitemap/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => lunametrics.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [87] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => even go so far as to declare them dead
                                                    [href] => http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2015/27359/these-six-stupid-marketing-metrics-need-to-die
                                                    [hrefDomain] => marketingprofs.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [88] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => learn more about multi-channel attribution in Avinash Kaushik’s in-depth guide
                                                    [href] => http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/multi-channel-attribution-modeling-good-bad-ugly-models/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kaushik.net
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [89] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => a nice overview of cohort analysis and multi-touch attribution
                                                    [href] => https://blog.kissmetrics.com/cohort-and-multi-touch-attribution/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kissmetrics.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [90] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => two
                                                    [href] => https://www.distilled.net/resources/omniture-for-beginners/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => distilled.net
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [91] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => resources
                                                    [href] => https://www.ayima.com/guides/making-data-based-seo-decisions-with-sitecatalyst.html
                                                    [hrefDomain] => ayima.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [92] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Avinash Kaushik’s in-depth guide
                                                    [href] => http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/multi-channel-attribution-modeling-good-bad-ugly-models/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kaushik.net
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [93] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => nice overview of cohort analysis and multi-touch attribution
                                                    [href] => https://blog.kissmetrics.com/cohort-and-multi-touch-attribution/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => kissmetrics.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [94] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => two
                                                    [href] => https://www.distilled.net/resources/omniture-for-beginners/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => distilled.net
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [95] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => resources
                                                    [href] => https://www.ayima.com/guides/making-data-based-seo-decisions-with-sitecatalyst.html
                                                    [hrefDomain] => ayima.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [96] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => guide to international SEO best practices
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/the-international-seo-checklist
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [97] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => their own guide
                                                    [href] => https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [98] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => separate set of ranking factors
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [99] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Matthew Barby has an excellent guide on the topic
                                                    [href] => http://searchengineland.com/local-seo-rank-local-business-218906
                                                    [hrefDomain] => searchengineland.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [100] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => written
                                                    [href] => http://moz.com/blog/mobile-app-search
                                                    [hrefDomain] => moz.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [101] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => multiple
                                                    [href] => https://www.briggsby.com/a-disconnect-in-app-store-seo-going-beyond-aso/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => briggsby.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [102] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => outstanding
                                                    [href] => https://www.briggsby.com/app-store-listing-guide/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => briggsby.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [103] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => posts
                                                    [href] => https://www.briggsby.com/how-to-optimize-your-android-app-for-google-play/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => briggsby.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [104] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => local SEO efforts
                                                    [href] => https://localiq.com/local-marketing-lab/seo/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => localiq.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [toc] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 1. What is SEO & Why is it Important?
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Why Should You Care About SEO?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => What Actually Works for Driving Traffic from Search Engines?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 2. Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 3. On-Page Optimization. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Title Tags. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Meta Descriptions. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Body Content. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Alt Attributes. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => URL Structure. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Schema & Markup. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 4. Information Architecture & Internal Linking. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 5. Content Marketing & Link Building. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 1. Identify & Understand Your Linking & Sharing Audience. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 2. Determining What Content You Can Create & How You Can Promote It. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 3. Map Your Assets to Specific Keywords. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 6. Common Technical SEO Issues & Best Practices. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Page Speed. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Mobile Friendliness. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Header Response. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
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                            [body] => SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization Tom Demers Last Updated: November 23, 2021 | SEO Home — Blog — SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization WordStream has come to be known mostly as a PPC destination. But we also know a thing or two about SEO, and people ask us all the time for a primer on SEO basics. So we’re delivering: This article will be an introduction and overview of search engine optimization (SEO), a mandatory marketing tactic if you want your website to be found through search engines like Google. In this guide to SEO for beginners, you’ll learn: What is SEO & Why is it Important? Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices On-Page Optimization Best Practices Information Architecture Best Practices How to Execute Content Marketing & Link Building Common Technical SEO Issues & Best Practices How to Track & Measure SEO Results Additional SEO Considerations (Such as Mobile, International & Local SEO Best Practices) By the time you reach the end of this SEO basics guide, you’ll have a strong understanding of what search engine optimization is, why it’s valuable and important, and how to get great results in an ever-changing SEO environment. Note: If you’re looking for SEO tips specific to COVID-19, check out our post 13 SEO Strategies for SMBs During COVID-19   1. What is SEO & Why is it Important? You’ve likely heard of SEO, and if you haven’t already, you could obtain a quick Wikipedia definition of the term, but understanding that SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results” doesn’t really help you answer important questions for your business and your website, such as: How do you, for your site or your company’s site, “optimize” for search engines? How do you increase your site’s organic search visibility, so it’s easy for your content to be found? How do you know how much time to spend on SEO? How can you differentiate “good” SEO advice from “bad” or harmful SEO advice? What’s likely interesting to you as a business owner or employee is how you can actually leverage SEO to help drive more relevant traffic, leads, sales, and ultimately revenue and profit for your business. That’s what we’ll focus on in this guide. Why Should You Care About SEO? Lots and lots of people search for things. That traffic can be extremely powerful for a business not only because there is a lot of traffic, but because there is a lot of very specific, high-intent traffic. If you sell blue widgets, would you rather buy a billboard so anyone with a car in your area sees your ad (whether they will ever have any interest in blue widgets or not), or show up every time anyone in the world types “buy blue widgets” into a search engine? Probably the latter, because those people have commercial intent, meaning they are standing up and saying that they want to buy something you offer. People are searching for any manner of things directly related to your business. Beyond that, your prospects are also searching for all kinds of things that are only loosely related to your business. These represent even more opportunities to connect with those folks and help answer their questions, solve their problems, and become a trusted resource for them. Are you more likely to get your widgets from a trusted resource who offered great information each of the last four times you turned to Google for help with a problem, or someone you’ve never heard of? What Actually Works for Driving Traffic from Search Engines? First it’s important to note that Google is responsible for most of the search engine traffic in the world (though there is always some flux in the actual numbers). This may vary from niche to niche, but it’s likely that Google is the dominant player in the search results that your business or website would want to show up in, and the best practices outlined in this guide will help position your site and its content to rank in other search engines, as well. Regardless of what search engine you use, search results are constantly changing. Google particularly has updated lots of things surrounding how they rank websites by way of lots of different animal names recently, and a lot of the easiest and cheapest ways to get your pages to rank in search results have become extremely risky in recent years. So what works? How does Google determine which pages to return in response to what people search for? How do you get all of this valuable traffic to your site? Google’s algorithm is extremely complex, and I’ll share some links for anyone looking to dive deeper into how Google ranks sites at the end of this section, but at an extremely high level: Google is looking for pages that contain high-quality, relevant information about the searcher’s query. They determine relevance by “crawling” (or reading) your website’s content and evaluating (algorithmically) whether that content is relevant to what the searcher is looking for, mostly based on the keywords it contains. They determine “quality” by a number of means, but prominent among those is still the number and quality of other websites that link to your page and your site as a whole. To put it extremely simply: If the only sites that link to your blue widget site are blogs that no one else on the Web has linked to, and my blue widget site gets links from trusted places that are linked to frequently, like CNN.com, my site will be more trusted (and assumed to be higher quality) than yours. Increasingly, additional elements are being weighed by Google’s algorithm to determine where your site will rank, such as: How people engage with your site (Do they find the information they need and stay on your site, or bounce back to the search page and click on another link? Or do they just ignore your listing in search results altogether and never click-through?) Your site’s loading speed and “mobile friendliness” How much unique content you have (versus very “thin” low-value content or duplicate content) There are hundreds of ranking factors Google’s algorithm considers in response to searches, and they are constantly updating and refining their process. The good news is, you don’t have to be a search engine scholar to rank for valuable terms in search results. We’ll walk through proven, repeatable best practices for optimizing websites for search that can help you drive targeted traffic through search without having to reverse-engineer the core competency of one of the world’s most valuable companies. If you’re interested in learning more about how search engines work, there are a ton of great resources available, including: Moz’s guide on the topic Google’s own interactive graphic Now, back to SEO basics! Let’s get into the actual SEO tactics and strategies that will help you get more traffic from search engines.   2. Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices. The first step in search engine optimization is really to determine what it is you’re actually optimizing for. This means identifying the terms people are searching for (also known as “keywords”) that you want your website to rank for in search engines like Google. Sounds simple enough, right? I want my widget company to show up when people look for “widgets,” and maybe when they type in things like “buy widgets.” Onto step three! Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. There are a few key factors to take into account when determining the keywords you want to target on your site: Search Volume – The first factor to consider is how many people (if any) are actually searching for a given keyword. The more people there are searching for a keyword, the bigger the audience you stand to reach. Conversely, if no one is searching for a keyword, there is no audience available to find your content through search. Relevance – If a term is frequently searched for that’s great: but what if it’s not completely relevant to your prospects? Relevance seems straight-forward at first: if you’re selling enterprise email marketing automation software you don’t want to show up for searches that don’t have anything to do with your business, like “pet supplies.” But what about terms like “email marketing software”? This might intuitively seem like a great description of what you do, but if you’re selling to Fortune 100 companies, most of the traffic for this very competitive term will be searchers who don’t have any interest in buying your software (and the folks you do want to reach might never buy your expensive, complex solution based on a simple Google search). Conversely, you might think a tangential keyword like “best enterprise PPC marketing solutions” is totally irrelevant to your business since you don’t sell PPC marketing software. But if your prospect is a CMO or marketing director, getting in front of them with a helpful resource on evaluating pay-per-click tools could be a great “first touch” and an excellent way to start a relationship with a prospective buyer. Competition – As with any business opportunity, in SEO you want to consider the potential costs and likelihood of success. For SEO, this means understanding the relative competition (and likelihood to rank) for specific terms. First you need to understand who your prospective customers are and what they’re likely to search for. If you don’t already understand who your prospects are, thinking about that is a good place to start, for your business in general but also for SEO. From there you want to understand: What types of things are they interested in? What problems do they have? What type of language do they use to describe the things that they do, the tools that they use, etc.? Who else are they buying things from (this means your competitors, but also could mean tangential, related tools – for the email marketing company, think other enterprise marketing tools)? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have an initial “seed list” of possible keywords and domains to help you get additional keyword ideas and to put some search volume and competition metrics around. Take the list of core ways that your prospects and customers describe what you do, and start to input those into keyword tools like Google’s own keyword tool or tools like Uber Suggest or WordStream’s keyword tool: You can find a more comprehensive list of keyword tools below, but the main idea is that in this initial step, you’ll want to run a number of searches with a variety of different keyword tools. You can also use competitive keyword tools like SEM Rush to see what terms your competitors are ranking for. These tools look at thousands of different search results, and will show you each search term they’ve seen your competitor ranking in Google for lately. Here’s what SEM Rush shows for marketing automation provider Marketo: Again: this doesn’t just have to be something you look at for competitors. You could look at related tools that are selling to the same market for content ideas, and even look at the major niche publishers who talk about your topic (and that your prospects are reading) and see what kinds of keywords those sites are driving traffic for. Additionally, if you have an existing site, you’re likely getting some traffic from search engines already. If that’s the case, you can use some of your own keyword data to help you understand which terms are driving traffic (and which you might be able to rank a bit better for). Unfortunately, Google has stopped delivering a lot of the information about what people are searching for to analytics providers, but you can use SEM Rush (or similar tools, such as SpyFu) on your own site to get a sense of the terms you’re ranking for and their estimated search volume. Google also makes a bit more of this data available in their free Webmaster Tools interface (if you haven’t set up an account, this is a very valuable SEO tool both for unearthing search query data and for diagnosing various technical SEO issues – more on Webmaster Tools set up here). Once Webmaster Tools is set up, you can navigate to this link when logged in and see the search queries that are driving traffic to your site: These could be good terms to focus additional content promotion and internal linking around (more on each of those topics later), and could also be great “seed keywords” to help you get more great ideas about what to target. Once you’ve taken the time to understand how your prospects talk and what they search for, have looked at the keywords driving traffic to your competitors and related sites, and have looked at the terms driving traffic to your own site, you need to work to understand which terms you can conceivably rank for and where the best opportunities actually lie. Determining the relative competition of a keyword can be a fairly complex task. At a very high level, you need to understand: How trusted and authoritative (in other words: how many links does the whole site get, and how high quality, trusted, and relevant are those linking sites?) other entire sites that will be competing to rank for the same term are How well aligned they are with the keyword itself (do they offer a great answer to that searcher’s question) How popular and authoritative each individual page in that search result is (in other words: how many links does the page itself have, and how high quality, trusted, and relevant are those linking sites?) You can dive deeper into the process of determining how competitive keywords are in Backlinko’s in-depth guide or by using WordStream founder Larry Kim’s competitive index formula (tip number 3). There are also a variety of different tools (most of them paid) that offer keyword difficulty scores: Moz Keyword Difficulty and SERP Analysis Tool SEMRush Keyword Difficulty Tool Serpiq Canirank Colibri.io Seoprofiler Ultimatenichefinder Advanced Webranking’s Keyword Difficult Tool And while it’s more advanced in nature, Nick Eubanks’ post about understanding rank potential offers a great in-depth look at not only understanding but creating an actionable formula for determining keyword competition and your own site’s actual likelihood of ranking for a term. If you’re looking to dive even deeper into the topic of keyword research and keyword targeting, there are several great resources on the topic: Larry Kim and Will Critchlow offered a great webinar on proven keyword strategy Moz has a great guide on this topic as well Backlinko’s definitive guide to keyword research is also thorough and extremely useful If you’re looking for a high-quality, end-to-end course on conducting keyword research Nick Eubanks’ (paid) Master Keyword Research 7 day Email course is excellent   3. On-Page Optimization. Once you have your keyword list, the next step is actually implementing your targeted keywords into your site’s content. Each page on your site should be targeting a core term, and a “basket” of related terms. In his overview of the perfectly optimized page Rand Fishkin offers a nice visual of what a well (or perfectly) optimized page looks like: Let’s look at a few critical, basic on-page elements you’ll want to understand as you think about how to drive search engine traffic to your website: Title Tags. While Google is working to better understand the actual meaning of a page and de-emphasizing (and even punishing) aggressive and manipulative use of keywords, including the term (and related terms) that you want to rank for in your pages is still valuable. And the single most impactful place you can put your keyword is your page’s title tag. The title tag is not your page’s primary headline. The headline you see on the page is typically an H1 (or possibly an H2) HTML element. The title tag is what you can see at the very top of your browser, and is populated by your page’s source code in a meta tag: The length of a title tag that Google will show will vary (it’s based on pixels, not character counts) but in general 55-60 characters is a good rule of thumb here. If possible you want to work in your core keyword, and if you can do it in a natural and compelling way, add some related modifiers around that term as well. Keep in mind though: the title tag will frequently be what a searcher sees in search results for your page. It’s the “headline” in organic search results, so you also want to take how clickable your title tag is into account. Meta Descriptions. While the title tag is effectively your search listing’s headline, the meta description (another meta HTML element that can be updated in your site’s code, but isn’t seen on your actual page) is effectively your site’s additional ad copy. Google takes some liberties with what they display in search results, so your meta description may not always show, but if you have a compelling description of your page that would make folks searching likely to click, you can greatly increase traffic. (Remember: showing up in search results is just the first step! You still need to get searchers to come to your site, and then actually take the action you want.) Here’s an example of a real world meta description showing in search results: Body Content. The actual content of your page itself is, of course, very important. Different types of pages will have different “jobs” – your cornerstone content asset that you want lots of folks to link to needs to be very different than your support content that you want to make sure your users find and get an answer from quickly. That said, Google has been increasingly favoring certain types of content, and as you build out any of the pages on your site, there are a few things to keep in mind: Thick & Unique Content – There is no magic number in terms of word count, and if you have a few pages of content on your site with a handful to a couple hundred words you won’t be falling out of Google’s good graces, but in general recent Panda updates in particular favor longer, unique content. If you have a large number (think thousands) of extremely short (50-200 words of content) pages or lots of duplicated content where nothing changes but the page’s title tag and say a line of text, that could get you in trouble. Look at the entirety of your site: are a large percentage of your pages thin, duplicated and low value? If so, try to identify a way to “thicken” those pages, or check your analytics to see how much traffic they’re getting, and simply exclude them (using a noindex meta tag) from search results to keep from having it appear to Google that you’re trying to flood their index with lots of low value pages in an attempt to have them rank. Engagement – Google is increasingly weighting engagement and user experience metrics more heavily. You can impact this by making sure your content answers the questions searchers are asking so that they’re likely to stay on your page and engage with your content. Make sure your pages load quickly and don’t have design elements (such as overly aggressive ads above the content) that would be likely to turn searchers off and send them away. “Sharability” – Not every single piece of content on your site will be linked to and shared hundreds of times. But in the same way you want to be careful of not rolling out large quantities of pages that have thin content, you want to consider who would be likely to share and link to new pages you’re creating on your site before you roll them out. Having large quantities of pages that aren’t likely to be shared or linked to doesn’t position those pages to rank well in search results, and doesn’t help to create a good picture of your site as a whole for search engines, either. Alt Attributes. How you mark up your images can impact not only the way that search engines perceive your page, but also how much search traffic from image search your site generates. An alt attribute is an HTML element that allows you to provide alternative information for an image if a user can’t view it. Your images may break over time (files get deleted, users have difficulty connecting to your site, etc.) so having a useful description of the image can be helpful from an overall usability perspective. This also gives you another opportunity – outside of your content – to help search engines understand what your page is about. You don’t want to “keyword stuff” and cram your core keyword and every possible variation of it into your alt attribute. In fact, if it doesn’t fit naturally into the description, don’t include your target keyword here at all. Just be sure not to skip the alt attribute, and try to give a thorough, accurate description of the image (imagine you’re describing it to someone who can’t see it – that’s what it’s there for!). By writing naturally about your topic, you’re avoiding “over-optimization” filters (in other words: it doesn’t make it look like you’re trying to trick Google into ranking your page for your target keyword) and you give yourself a better chance to rank for valuable modified “long tail” variations of your core topic. URL Structure. Your site’s URL structure can be important both from a tracking perspective (you can more easily segment data in reports using a segmented, logical URL structure), and a shareability standpoint (shorter, descriptive URLs are easier to copy and paste and tend to get mistakenly cut off less frequently). Again: don’t work to cram in as many keywords as possible; create a short, descriptive URL. Moreover: if you don’t have to, don’t change your URLs. Even if your URLs aren’t “pretty,” if you don’t feel as though they’re negatively impacting users and your business in general, don’t change them to be more keyword focused for “better SEO.” If you do have to change your URL structure, make sure to use the proper (301 permanent) type of redirect. This is a common mistake businesses make when they redesign their websites. Additional URL resources: Does URL Structure Even Matter? A Data Driven Answer SEO Best Practices for URLs How to Move Domains without Losing SEO Value Schema & Markup. Finally, once you have all of the standard on-page elements taken care of, you can consider going a step further and better helping Google (and other search engines, which also recognize schema) to understand your page. Schema markup does not make your page show up higher in search results (it’s not a ranking factor, currently). It does give your listing some additional “real estate” in the search results, the way ad extensions do for your Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) ads. In some search results, if no one else is using schema, you can get a nice advantage in click-through rate by virtue of the fact that your site is showing things like ratings while others don’t. In other search results, where everyone is using schema, having reviews may be “table stakes” and you might be hurting your Google CTR by omitting them: There are a variety of different types of markup you can include on your site – most probably won’t apply to your business, but it’s likely that at least one form of markup will apply to at least some of your site’s pages. You can learn more about schema & markup with any of these resources: WordStream’s own guide to schema for SEO The schema.org documentation See if Google currently recognizes mark-up on your site with their structured data testing tool BuiltVisible’s Rich Snippets Guide Also check out our walkthrough on off-page SEO (the factors on other sites that can affect your own site’s rankings).   4. Information Architecture & Internal Linking. Information architecture refers to how you organize the pages on your website. The way that you organize your website and interlink between your pages can impact how various content on your site ranks in response to searches. The reason for this is that search engines largely perceive links as “votes of confidence” and a means to help understand both what a page is about, and how important it is (and how trusted it should be). Search engines also look at the actual text you use to link to pages, called anchor text – using descriptive text to link to a page on your site helps Google understand what that page is about (but in a post-Penguin world especially, be sure not to be overly aggressive in cramming your keywords into linking text). In the same way that a link from CNN is an indication that your site could be important, if you are linking to a specific page aggressively from various areas on your site, that’s an indication to search engines that that specific page is very important to your site. Additionally: the pages on your site that have the most external votes (links from other, trusted sites) have the most power to help the other pages on your site rank in search results. This relates back to a concept called “PageRank.” PageRank is no longer used in the same way it was when initially implemented, but if you’re looking to understand the topic more deeply here are some good resources: A good math-free explanation of PageRank A detailed breakdown of how PageRank works (from several years ago) with a number of helpful visuals The original academic paper published by Google’s founders Let’s walk through a quick example to help you understand the concept of how link equity (or the number and quality of links pointed to a page) impacts site architecture and how you link internally. Let’s imagine we have a snow removal site: We publish an amazing study on the impact of snow on construction in the winter in cold weather climates. It gets linked to from all over the web. The study is published on our main snow removal site. All of the other pages are simple sales-oriented pages explaining various aspects of our company’s snow removal offerings. No external site has linked to any of these pages. The study itself may be well-positioned to rank well in search results for various phrases. The sales-oriented pages much less so. By linking from our study to our most important sales-oriented pages, however, we can pass some of the trust and authority of our guide onto those pages. They won’t be as well positioned to rank in search results as our study, but they’ll be much better positioned than when they had no authoritative documents (on our site or on other sites) pointing to them. An important additional note here: in this example our most-linked to page is our fictitious study. In many cases, your most linked to page will be your home page (the page that people link to when they talk about you, when you get press, etc.) so being sure to link strategically to the most important pages on your site from your home page is very important. Information architecture can be an extremely complex topic – particularly for larger sites – and there are a number of great additional resources below with more specific answers listed at the end of this section, but at a high level the most important things to keep in mind are: You want to understand your most linked-to pages (use tools like Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, or Moz and look at “top pages” reports to determine these). Keep your most important search pages (the pages you are using to target your most valuable keywords) “high up” in your information architecture: this means linking to them often in navigation elements and linking to them whenever possible from your most linked-to pages (e.g., make sure your home page and your site’s version of our hit snow study are linking to the most valuable pages on your site from a search perspective – your “money pages”). In general you want to have a “flat information architecture” for your site – meaning that you keep any pages that you want to have rank in search engines as few clicks as possible from your home page and most linked-to pages. See this older video for a more in-depth explanation of how to flatten your site’s structure Below are a number of additional resources around information architecture (many of these are older resources, but the SEO principles outlined in them still largely hold true): Information Architecture for SEO from Moz’s Whiteboard Friday as well as Richard Baxter’s presentation on Moz RKG’s guide to site architecture KISS Metrics’ post on site structure WordTracker’s guide to creating a site structure Google will love Distilled has a helpful post about mapping out your site’s information architecture   5. Content Marketing & Link Building. Since Google’s algorithm is still largely based on links, having a number of high-quality links to your site is obviously incredibly important in driving search traffic: you can do all the work you want on on-page and technical SEO, if you don’t have links to your site, you won’t show up in search results listings. There are a number of ways to get links to your site, but as Google and other search engines become more and more sophisticated, many of them have become extremely risky (even if they may still work in the short-term). If you are new to SEO and are looking to leverage the channel, these riskier and more aggressive means of trying to get links likely aren’t a good fit for your business, as you won’t know how to properly navigate the pitfalls and evaluate the risks. Furthermore, trying to create links specifically to manipulate Google rankings doesn’t create any other value for your business in the event that the search engine algorithms shift and your rankings disappear. A more sustainable approach to developing links is to focus on more general, sustainable marketing approaches such as creating and promoting useful content that also includes specific terms you’d want to rank for and engaging in traditional PR for your business. The process of creating and promoting content that will get you links and social shares is a labor-intensive one. Once again you’ll find more detailed step-by-step guides to various aspects of content marketing below, and there are a lot of different ways to effectively create content, help it to get discovered, and rank well in search results. Most approaches, however, will require you to walk through some variation of the following three core steps: 1. Identify & Understand Your Linking & Sharing Audience. The first thing you need to do in working to get traction for your content, is understand who is likely to link to and share your content. There are several tools to help you identify influencers within your niche who might share your content, but probably the most powerful is BuzzSumo: Similar tools include FollowerWonk, Little Bird and Ahrefs. More detailed tutorials on using these tools to better understand your niche are included below. The idea in leveraging these tools is to first identify the thought leaders and potential linkers in your space, and then understand what they share and link to. Find out what their problems are, what types of content they typically share, and start to think about how you can create something they would find valuable and want to share with their audience (who would also find it valuable). As you work through this process, start to think about what you can do for these influencers. How could you help them with their own projects? What can you do (unsolicited) that would help them achieve their own goals or what could you create or offer that would be of value to the audience they are creating content for and trying to help? Do you have access to unique data or knowledge that would help them do their jobs better? If you can consistently be of use to smart content creators in your niche, you’ll start to build powerful relationships that will pay dividends as you’re creating content. Before you create a major piece of content, you should have already thought about how that content will get shared: who will share it, and why would they? 2. Determining What Content You Can Create & How You Can Promote It. Next you have to try to understand what your own capabilities are, and what kind of content you can create that will be likely to be shared and promoted by others. A number of different types of content assets will be shareable: Create something that solves your prospects’ and your customers’ problems. In his post on how he built a top 100 blog, Matthew Woodward outlines a good process for listening in on social media and forums to help find great blog topics. Reverse engineer what already works. By looking at what already works and creating something that’s a level or two better in some way, you can help mitigate risk and make your content as fail-proof as possible. Make others look good. Highlight great tools you use every day. Get answers from smart folks in your niche to difficult questions and share that content (while positioning them as experts). When you’ve highlighted someone or their product as a valuable resource, they’ll be likely to help you share and promote that content. Focus on creating different content assets that will be of real value, have a plan for promoting those assets, and don’t be shy about letting people who you’ve featured or whose audience would benefit from your resource know that it exists. 3. Map Your Assets to Specific Keywords. Finally, don’t forget about your keywords! This doesn’t mean that every time you create a great resource you need to cram in a keyword that doesn’t fit: it means that you can use keyword research as a means for discovering pain points (if people are turning to search engines to look for things, they want content that provides a great answer to their question!), and that as you create new assets you want to look for the different ways you can incorporate the language your prospects and customers are using into your assets: particularly those that will actually get linked to and shared (as you will increasingly need to get some sort of distribution for pages where you want them to rank for valuable keywords). Additional Resources: Gregory Ciotti’s Not-So-Brief Guide to Better Content Marketing Search Engine Journal’s in-depth 2015 Content Marketing Guide QuickSprout’s Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing (which features a lot of great content-marketing tips and information) WordStream’s look at how to use BuzzSumo for content insights WordStream’s guide to influencer marketing WordStream’s guide to building a blog with a million+ views A Guide to Creating Focused Content from Distilled How to Find Your Target Audience by Kristi Hines My own free guide on content marketing   6. Common Technical SEO Issues & Best Practices. While basics of SEO like the most efficient ways to build links to drive search engine rankings have changed in recent years (and content marketing has become increasingly important) what many people would think of as more “traditional SEO” is still incredibly valuable in generating traffic from search engines. As we’ve already discussed, keyword research is still valuable, and technical SEO issues that keep Google and other search engines from understanding and ranking sites’ content are still prevalent. Technical SEO for larger, more complicated sites is really its own discipline, but there are some common mistakes and issues that most sites face that even smaller to mid-sized businesses can benefit from being aware of: Page Speed. Search engines are placing an increasing emphasis on having fast-loading sites – the good news is this is not only beneficial for search engines, but also for your users and your site’s conversion rates. Google has actually created a useful tool here to give you some specific suggestions on what to change on your site to address page speed issues. Mobile Friendliness. If your site is driving (or could be driving) significant search engine traffic from mobile searches, how “mobile friendly” your site is will impact your rankings on mobile devices, which is a fast-growing segment. In some niches, mobile traffic already outweighs desktop traffic. Google recently announced an algorithm update focused on this specifically. You can find out more about how to see what kind of mobile search engine traffic is coming to your site along with some specific recommendations for things to update in my recent post, and here again Google offers a very helpful free tool to get recommendations on how to make your site more mobile-friendly. Header Response. Header response codes are an important technical SEO issue. If you’re not particularly technical, this can be a complex topic (and again more thorough resources are listed below) but you want to make sure that working pages are returning the correct code to search engines (200), and that pages that are not found are also returning a code to represent that they are no longer present (a 404). Getting these codes wrong can indicate to Google and other search engines that a “Page Not Found” page is in fact a functioning page, which makes it look like a thin or duplicated page, or even worse: you can indicate to Google that all of your site’s content is actually 404s (so that none of your pages are indexed and eligible to rank). You can use a server header checker to see the status codes that your pages are returning when search engines crawl them. Redirects. Improperly implementing redirects on your site can have a serious impact on search results. Whenever you can avoid it, you want to keep from moving your site’s content from one URL to another; in other words: if your content is on example.com/page, and that page is getting search engine traffic, you want to avoid moving all of the content to example.com/different-url/newpage.html, unless there is an extremely strong business reason that would outweigh a possible short-term or even long-term loss in search engine traffic. If you do need to move content, you want to make sure that you implement permanent (or 301) redirects for content that is moving permanently, as temporary (or 302) redirects (which are frequently used by developers) indicate to Google that the move may not be permanent, and that they shouldn’t move all of the link equity and ranking power to the new URL. (Further, changing your URL structure could create broken links, hurting your referral traffic streams and making it difficult for visitors to navigate your site.) Duplicate Content. Thin and duplicated content is another area of emphasis with Google’s recent Panda updates. By duplicating content (putting the same or near-identical content on multiple pages), you’re diluting link equity between two pages instead of concentrating it on one page, giving you less of a chance of ranking for competitive phrases with sites that are consolidating their link equity into a single document. Having large quantities of duplicated content makes your site look like it is cluttered with lower-quality (and possibly manipulative) content in the eyes of search engines. There are a number of things that can cause duplicate or thin content. These problems can be difficult to diagnose, but you can look at Webmaster Tools under Search Appearance > HTML Improvements to get a quick diagnosis. And check out Google’s own breakdown on duplicate content. Many paid SEO tools also offer a means for discovering duplicate content, such as Moz analytics and Screaming Frog SEO Spider. XML Sitemap. XML sitemaps can help Google and Bing understand your site and find all of its content. Just be sure not to include pages that aren’t useful, and know that submitting a page to a search engine in a sitemap doesn’t insure that the page will actually rank for anything. There are a number of free tools to generate XML sitemaps. Robots.txt, Meta NoIndex, & Meta NoFollow. Finally, you can indicate to search engines how you want them to handle certain content on your site (for instance if you’d like them not to crawl a specific section of your site) in a robots.txt file. This file likely already exists for your site at yoursite.com/robots.txt. You want to make sure this file isn’t currently blocking anything you’d want a search engine to find from being added to their index, and you also can use the robots file to keep things like staging servers or swaths of thin or duplicate content that are valuable for internal use or customers from being indexed by search engines. You can use the meta noindex and meta nofollow tags for similar purposes, though each functions differently from one another. Additional Resources:. This is a great checklist of various technical SEO issues your site may be suffering from Gregory Ciotti offers tips to speed up WordPress sites Richard Baxter offers a number of tools to help you speed up your site Several places offer in-depth duplicate content articles, including Moz, Yoast, and Hobo Web Google gives some tips for creating your XML sitemap, as does Lunametrics Technical SEO can be tough to do on your own, so if you’re thinking professional help is a worthwhile investment, check out this post on How to Find the Right SEO Services for Your Small Business   7. How to Track & Measure SEO Results. So once you start writing your awesome SEO content and putting all of these steps into motion, how do you actually track how well it’s working? On its face this question has a fairly straightforward answer, with some key SEO metrics to focus on, but with each metric there are some key factors to consider as you measure your site’s SEO performance. Keyword Rankings. Looking at where your site ranks for a list of keywords certainly isn’t a final destination – you can’t pay your staff in rankings, things like personalization in search results have made them variable across different locations, and therefore hard to track, and of course all they indicate is where you show up in search results. Some would even go so far as to declare them dead. But getting a rough idea of where your site ranks for core terms can be a useful leading indicator of your site’s health. High rankings across a range of keywords is a strong indicator of organic search visibility. This doesn’t mean you should get overly obsessed with rankings for any one term. Remember: your ultimate goal is to drive more relevant traffic that drives more business – if you sell blue widgets, is it more important that you rank for “blue widgets” or that you outline and execute an SEO strategy that helps you sell more blue widgets in the most cost-efficient way possible? Use rankings as a general health check, not a course-charting KPI. A number of tools can help you check your rankings. Most offer fairly similar functionality but features like local or mobile rankings are sometimes unique in some of the tools. If you’re a small business or just getting started with SEO, I’d recommend picking a free and easy-to-use tool and just keeping an eye on a handful of the core terms you want to track to help you gauge progress. Organic Traffic. Organic traffic is a much better leading indicator of the health of your SEO efforts. By looking at the organic traffic to your site, you can get a gauge for the actual volume of visitors coming to your site, and where they’re going. You can measure your organic traffic easily with most analytics tools – since it’s free and the most-used, we’ll look at how to get this information in Google Analytics. For a quick check, you can simply look at your site’s main reporting page and click on “All Sessions” to filter for organic traffic (traffic from search engines that excludes paid search traffic): You can also drill down to look at the specific pages driving traffic and goals by creating a custom report and designating users and goal completions as your metrics, and landing pages as your dimension: Note: Make sure once you view this report that you’re selecting the organic traffic segment again, or you’ll be looking at all of your traffic by page rather than just unpaid traffic driven by search engines. This can be powerful for sites just getting started with SEO, because frequently most of your site’s traffic will be driven by what’s known as “branded queries,” or searches that contain your company’s brand name (for instance a branded search for WordStream might be “WordStream PPC” versus a non-branded search term, which might be “pay-per-click software”). You clearly want to have people searching for your brand, and of course you want them to find you when they do, but unless your site has been penalized by Google, you will almost certainly rank for your brand and have that branded traffic come to your site’s home page. What most of your ongoing SEO efforts should be centered around is driving incremental traffic to the site (people who might not have found and engaged with you otherwise). As I mentioned in the keyword section of the guide, unfortunately Google has made it difficult to get data around the actual keywords people are searching for, but by looking at page-level traffic (outside of your site’s home page) you can start to glean insight into your overall SEO progress. Looking at rank data and using the tactics mentioned in the keyword section of this guide will also help you to get more insight into the actual terms that are driving traffic (and whether your SEO growth is being driven by optimization efforts rather than off-line marketing). Organic Leads & Sales. Obviously the primary way to measure your search engine optimization results should be actual leads, sales, revenue and profit. Like with any business activity you need to answer: how does the activity help to move your bottom line? The simplest path here is to set up goals or e-commerce tracking in a tool like Google Analytics. You can use the above report to look at organic traffic and goals (or different e-commerce metrics) by landing page, which means that you are specifically looking at who converts among the people who are landing on your site from an organic search (versus people who may have come to your site from PPC or another channel within the window that your analytics tracking can track, then searched for you, then converted). This seems pretty straightforward, and generally for most businesses is a good initial way to measure the success of your SEO efforts, but again there are a few caveats and things to keep in mind with this data: Web-based analytics is always imperfect. If you’re transitioning from billboards or newspaper ads to online marketing, you’ll likely be impressed by the volume and precision of the data available, but there can frequently be a variety of different tracking issues that can make the data you’re seeing anywhere from slightly to wildly off – always have a degree of skepticism about data that doesn’t seem to add up, and do what you can to have some checks in place to make sure that your analytics information is synced to your actual revenue and spend data. Your system might create gaps in tracking. If you have a back-end system that you can’t quite tie to analytics for some reason, you might have some gaps between what you can track as goals and actual sales. Attribution and life-time value metrics can be tricky. This is more of a business and web metrics problem than something specific to SEO, but figuring out how you attribute sales to different channels and factoring in life-time value to your site’s traffic can be tricky. Make sure you’re applying the same types of tough questions and attempting to measure SEO the same way you would with any other marketing endeavor. You can learn more about multi-channel attribution in Avinash Kaushik’s in-depth guide KISS Metrics offers a nice overview of cohort analysis and multi-touch attribution Omniture is a popular paid web analytics platform that can have a steep learning curve – these two resources offer some good tips to creating useful SEO reports Additional Resources. You can learn more about multi-channel attribution in Avinash Kaushik’s in-depth guide KISS Metrics offers a nice overview of cohort analysis and multi-touch attribution Omniture is a popular paid web analytics platform that can have a steep learning curve – these two resources offer some good tips to creating useful SEO reports   8. Additional SEO Considerations. For many businesses, getting the technical aspects of SEO right, understanding the keywords you want to target, and having a strategy for getting your site’s pages linked to and shared is really all you need to know about SEO. There are, however, some specific cases and business types that need to be concerned with specific types of search. A few types of search environments that require unique approaches include: International SEO – There are a number of benefits and trade-offs to different approaches to ranking sites in different countries and in different languages. Aleyda Solis has an outstanding guide to international SEO best practices if you’re trying to reach customers in a variety of international markets, and Google also offers some recommendations and best practices in their own guide. Local SEO – For small businesses and franchisees, getting local rankings for different variations of {your location} + {your service} (e.g. “Boston pizza shops”) is really the most valuable organic search traffic available. While getting links and shares, doing keyword research, and ensuring your site doesn’t have technical issues helps with localized rankings, there is a separate set of ranking factors local businesses should be aware of. Matthew Barby has an excellent guide on the topic. App Store Search Engines – If you have an app – either as the core product offering for your company, or as a means for enabling mobile users to be able to interact with your business – having your app show up in searches on various app stores can be extremely valuable. Justin Briggs and Stephanie Beadell have written multiple outstanding posts on the topic. So What Now? So if you’ve gotten this far, you should know a lot of information about how search engines rank websites and about how you can position your own site and business to generate more search traffic from search engines like Google. What should you do next? Prioritize. No site does a perfect job of executing against every single aspect of search engine optimization. Think about the things you do well, have budget and resources for, and that will give your business the best return for your investment – this will be at least slightly different for every business and site. If you’re great at creating and promoting content, determine which keywords to go after and focus your efforts there. If you have a large and complex site, focus on getting the technical SEO right (or hire someone who can). If you’re a small business that would benefit from ranking for very specific geo-focused terms but not much else, shore up your local SEO efforts (and then maybe focus on other marketing efforts once you start to see diminishing returns from your efforts there). Always remember that the ultimate objective with any search engine optimization efforts is to get more exposure and traffic for your business or your site’s content.  Look for ways that search engine traffic can help your business and site: don’t just chase after the latest SEO buzzwords or jump every time Google makes a recommendation that might improve your search rankings while hurting your overall business. Meet The Author Tom Demers. Tom Demers is Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Measured SEM and Cornerstone Content. See other posts by Tom Demers More Articles Like This. What Fresh Content Really Means to Google (+How to Create It). Find out how Google measures content freshness, when it's important, and how to improve your freshness score for better SEO. What is Schema Markup? (+6 Easy Types to Use for Your Small Business). What is schema markup? Learn about what it is, how it relates to Google rich results, and how to add schema markup to your website to improve your SEO, CTR, brand awareness, targeting, and reputation. The 8 Biggest Google Algorithm Updates of 2021 (+Optimization Tips). Learn about the eight most important Google algorithm updates of 2021 so you can understand your SEO performance and improve your rankings. Comments. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting. Sign up for our weekly newsletter! Related Articles. What Fresh Content Really Means to Google (+How to Create It) What is Schema Markup? (+6 Easy Types to Use for Your Small Business) The 8 Biggest Google Algorithm Updates of 2021 (+Optimization Tips) Google's Title Rewrite Dropped Our CTR by Up to 37%! (Here's How We Fixed It)
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                                            [term] => site rank
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [72] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => show search
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [73] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => google search
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [74] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => wordstream
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [75] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search traffic
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [76] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => additional resource
                                            [tf] => 5
                                        )

                                    [77] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => site content
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [78] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => google search engine
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [79] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => guide topic
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [80] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => keyword difficulty
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [81] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => snow removal
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [82] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => easy
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [83] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => business site
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [84] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => tom demer
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [85] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => algorithm
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [86] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => click
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [87] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => searching keyword
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [88] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => webmaster tool
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [89] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => link site
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [90] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => meta description
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [91] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page important
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [92] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => content site
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [93] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => alt attribute
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [94] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => understand page
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [95] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => link equity
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [96] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => linked
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [97] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => algorithm update
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [98] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => xml sitemap
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [99] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => seo effort
                                            [tf] => 4
                                        )

                                    [100] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => beginner guide
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [101] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search engine google
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [102] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => keyword research keyword
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [103] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => research keyword targeting
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [104] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page search engine
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [105] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => sell blue widget
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [106] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => rank search engine
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [107] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => page rank search
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [108] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => person searching keyword
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [109] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => term driving traffic
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [110] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => wordstream guide
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [111] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => sale oriented page
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [112] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => creating promoting content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [113] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => google algorithm update
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [114] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => algorithm update 2021
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [115] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => high level
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [116] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => unique content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [117] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => ranking factor
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [118] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => rank valuable
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [119] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => great resource
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [120] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => site search
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [121] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => search volume
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [122] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => email marketing
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [123] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => list keyword
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [124] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => prospect customer
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [125] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => sem rush
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [126] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => term driving
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [127] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => core term
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [128] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => offer nice
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [129] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => html element
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [130] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => content asset
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [131] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => type content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [132] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => thing mind
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [133] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => duplicated content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [134] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => thin duplicated
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [135] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => noindex meta
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [136] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => linked shared
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [137] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => large quantity
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [138] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => text link
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [139] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => specific page
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [140] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => sale oriented
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [141] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => oriented page
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [142] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => kiss metric
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [143] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => creating promoting
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [144] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => promoting content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [145] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => step
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [146] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => share content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [147] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => creating content
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [148] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => content create
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [149] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => ranking site
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [150] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => tip creating
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                    [151] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [term] => update 2021
                                            [tf] => 3
                                        )

                                )

                            [page_rank_decimal] => 58
                            [rank] => 3713
                        )

                    [9] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [position] => 10
                            [title] => SEO Starter Guide: The Basics | Google Search Central | Google Developers
                            [url] => https://developers.google.com/search/docs/beginner/seo-starter-guide
                            [destination] => https://developers.google.com › search › docs › beginner
                            [description] => A knowledge of basic SEO can have a noticeable impact. Explore the Google SEO starter guide for an overview of search engine optimization essentials
                            [isAmp] => 
                            [organic_position] => 10
                            [serp_type] => page
                            [isOrganicPage] => 1
                            [isOrganic] => 1
                            [serp_title] => Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide - Google ...
                            [serp_description] => A knowledge of basic SEO can have a noticeable impact. Explore the Google SEO starter guide for an overview of search engine optimization essentials.
                            [hostname] => developers.google.com
                            [canonical] => https://developers.google.com/search/docs/beginner/seo-starter-guide
                            [h1] => Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide
                            [h2] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => Who is this guide for?
                                    [1] => Getting started
                                    [2] => Help Google find your content
                                    [3] => Tell Google which pages you don't want crawled
                                    [4] => Help Google (and users) understand your content
                                    [5] => Manage your appearance in Google Search results
                                    [6] => Organize your site hierarchy
                                    [7] => Optimize your content
                                    [8] => Optimize your images
                                    [9] => Make your site mobile-friendly
                                    [10] => Promote your website
                                    [11] => Analyze your search performance and user behavior
                                    [12] => Additional Resources
                                )

                            [h3] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => Are you on Google?
                                    [1] => How do I get my site on Google?
                                    [2] => For non-sensitive information, block unwanted crawling by using robots.txt
                                    [3] => For sensitive information, use more secure methods
                                    [4] => Let Google see your page the same way a user does
                                    [5] => Create unique, accurate page titles
                                    [6] => Control your title links and snippets in search results
                                    [7] => Use the meta description tag
                                    [8] => Use heading tags to emphasize important text
                                    [9] => Add structured data markup
                                    [10] => Understand how search engines use URLs
                                    [11] => Navigation is important for search engines
                                    [12] => Plan your navigation based on your homepage
                                    [13] => Using breadcrumb lists
                                    [14] => Create a simple navigational page for users
                                    [15] => Simple URLs convey content information
                                    [16] => URLs are displayed in search results
                                    [17] => Make your site interesting and useful
                                    [18] => Know what your readers want (and give it to them)
                                    [19] => Act in a way that cultivates user trust
                                    [20] => Make expertise and authoritativeness clear
                                    [21] => Provide an appropriate amount of content for your subject
                                    [22] => Avoid distracting advertisements
                                    [23] => Use links wisely
                                    [24] => Use HTML images
                                    [25] => Help search engines find your images
                                    [26] => Use standard image formats
                                    [27] => Choose a mobile strategy
                                    [28] => Configure mobile sites so that they can be indexed accurately
                                    [29] => Know about social media sites
                                    [30] => Reach out to those in your site's related community
                                    [31] => Analyzing your search performance
                                    [32] => Analyzing user behavior on your site
                                )

                            [h2WithAnchors] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Who is this guide for?
                                            [id] => who-is-this-guide-for
                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Getting started
                                            [id] => getting-started
                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Help Google find your content
                                            [id] => find
                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Tell Google which pages you don't want crawled
                                            [id] => no-find
                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Help Google (and users) understand your content
                                            [id] => understand_your_content
                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Manage your appearance in Google Search results
                                            [id] => appearance
                                        )

                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Organize your site hierarchy
                                            [id] => hierarchy
                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Optimize your content
                                            [id] => optimize
                                        )

                                    [8] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Optimize your images
                                            [id] => images
                                        )

                                    [9] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Make your site mobile-friendly
                                            [id] => mobile
                                        )

                                    [10] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Promote your website
                                            [id] => promote
                                        )

                                    [11] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Analyze your search performance and user behavior
                                            [id] => analyze
                                        )

                                    [12] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Additional Resources
                                            [id] => additional-resources
                                        )

                                )

                            [type] => website
                            [wordCount] => 6655
                            [imgCount] => 13
                            [lang] => 
                            [faq_on_page] => Array
                                (
                                )

                            [anchors] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [size] => 72
                                    [outboundSize] => 14
                                    [list] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Go to Search Console
                                                    [href] => https://goo.gle/searchconsole
                                                    [hrefDomain] => goo.gle
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [1] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google Search Central Help Community
                                                    [href] => https://g.co/WebmasterHelpForum
                                                    [hrefDomain] => g.co
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [2] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => https://g.co/webmasters
                                                    [href] => https://g.co/webmasters
                                                    [hrefDomain] => g.co
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [3] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => download a short checklist in PDF format
                                                    [href] => https://g.co/WebmasterChecklist
                                                    [hrefDomain] => g.co
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [4] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => the anatomy of a search result video
                                                    [href] => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS1Mw1Adrk0
                                                    [hrefDomain] => youtube.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [5] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Learn more about this topic
                                                    [href] => https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/better-ad-standards/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => thinkwithgoogle.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [6] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => AMP
                                                    [href] => https://www.ampproject.org/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => ampproject.org
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [7] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => PageRank
                                                    [href] => https://wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wikipedia.org
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [8] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Bing Webmaster Tools
                                                    [href] => https://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster
                                                    [hrefDomain] => bing.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [9] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Product Experts
                                                    [href] => https://productexperts.withgoogle.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => productexperts.withgoogle.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [10] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google Search Central Twitter
                                                    [href] => https://twitter.com/googlesearchc
                                                    [hrefDomain] => twitter.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [11] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google Search Central YouTube Channel
                                                    [href] => https://www.youtube.com/c/GoogleSearchCentral
                                                    [hrefDomain] => youtube.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [12] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
                                                    [href] => https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => creativecommons.org
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [13] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Apache 2.0 License
                                                    [href] => https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
                                                    [hrefDomain] => apache.org
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [toc] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Who is this guide for?
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Getting started. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Are you on Google?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Determine whether your site is in Google's index. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => If your site isn't in Google. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => How do I get my site on Google?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Help Google find your content. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Tell Google which pages you don't want crawled. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => For non-sensitive information, block unwanted crawling by using robots.txt. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => For sensitive information, use more secure methods. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Help Google (and users) understand your content. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Let Google see your page the same way a user does. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Create unique, accurate page titles. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Control your title links and snippets in search results. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Accurately describe the page's content. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Create unique  elements for each page. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Use brief, but descriptive <title> elements. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Use the meta description tag. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => What are the merits of meta description tags?
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 
     Accurately summarize the page content
  . 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Use unique descriptions for each page. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Use heading tags to emphasize important text. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Imagine you're writing an outline. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Use headings sparingly across the page. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
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                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Add structured data markup. 
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                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [name] => Check your markup using the Rich Results Test. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
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                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
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                                            [level] => 2
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                                                (
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                                    [6] => stdClass Object
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                                            [level] => 2
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                                                (
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                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Understand how search engines use URLs. 
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                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Plan your navigation based on your homepage. 
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                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Using breadcrumb lists. 
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                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [level] => 3
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                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Create a naturally flowing hierarchy. 
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                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [name] => Use text for navigation. 
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Create a navigational page for users, a sitemap for search engines. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Show useful 404 pages. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
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                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [6] => stdClass Object
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
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                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
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                                                (
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                                                            [level] => 3
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                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [level] => 3
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                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Write easy-to-read text. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [level] => 4
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [level] => 4
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Optimize content for your users, not search engines. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Make expertise and authoritativeness clear. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [level] => 3
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                                                            [tag] => h3
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                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
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                                                        )

                                                    [6] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Write good link text. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                                                            [name] => Choose descriptive text
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                                                                                        )

                                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                        )

                                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                            [name] => Write concise text
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                                                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                                                        )

                                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                            [level] => 5
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                                                                                                (
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                                                                                        )

                                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                                                        (
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                                                                                            [name] => Format links so they're easy to spot
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                                                                                                (
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                                                                                        )

                                                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                            [level] => 5
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                                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                                (
                                                                                                )

                                                                                        )

                                                                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                                                                        (
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                                                                                            [name] => Think about anchor text for internal links too
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                                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                                (
                                                                                                )

                                                                                        )

                                                                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                                                                        (
                                                                                            [level] => 5
                                                                                            [name] => Avoid:
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                                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                                (
                                                                                                )

                                                                                        )

                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Be careful who you link to. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Combat comment spam with nofollow. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [name] => Automatically add nofollow to comment columns and message boards. 
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                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [8] => stdClass Object
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                                            [level] => 2
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                                                            [level] => 3
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                                                                            [name] => Use the HTML <img> or <picture> elements. 
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                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Use the alt attribute. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                            [level] => 5
                                                                                            [name] => Use brief but descriptive filenames and alt text
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                                                                                                (
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                                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                                (
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                                                                                        )

                                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                                        (
                                                                                            [level] => 5
                                                                                            [name] => Supply alt text when using images as links
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                                                                                        )

                                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                                (
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                                                                                        )

                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

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                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
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                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
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                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [9] => stdClass Object
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                                )

                            [body] => Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide Who is this guide for? If you own, manage, monetize, or promote online content via Google Search, this guide is meant for you. You might be the owner of a growing and thriving business, the website owner of a dozen sites, the SEO specialist in a web agency or a DIY SEO expert passionate about the mechanics of Search: this guide is meant for you. If you're interested in having a complete overview of the basics of SEO according to our best practices, you are indeed in the right place. This guide won't provide any secrets that'll automatically rank your site first in Google (sorry!), but following the best practices will hopefully make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand your content. Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results. You're likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide, because they're essential ingredients for any web page, but you may not be making the most out of them. You should build a website to benefit your users, and gear any optimization toward making the user experience better. One of those users is a search engine, which helps other users discover your content. SEO is about helping search engines understand and present content. Your site may be smaller or larger than our example site and offer vastly different content, but the optimization topics in this guide applies to sites of all sizes and types. We hope our guide gives you some fresh ideas on how to improve your website, and we'd love to hear your questions, feedback, and success stories in the Google Search Central Help Community. Getting started. Are you on Google? Determine whether your site is in Google's index. Do a site: search for your site's home URL. If you see results, you're in the index. For example, a search for site:wikipedia.org returns these results. If your site isn't in Google. Although Google crawls billions of pages, it's inevitable that some sites will be missed. When our crawlers miss a site, it's frequently for one of the following reasons: The site isn't well connected from other sites on the web You've just launched a new site and Google hasn't had time to crawl it yet The design of the site makes it difficult for Google to crawl its content effectively Google received an error when trying to crawl your site Your policy blocks Google from crawling the site How do I get my site on Google? Google is a fully automated search engine that uses web crawlers to explore the web constantly, looking for sites to add to our index; you usually don't even need to do anything except post your site on the web. In fact, the vast majority of sites listed in our results aren't manually submitted for inclusion, but found and added automatically when we crawl the web. Learn how Google discovers, crawls, and serves web pages. We offer webmaster guidelines for building a Google-friendly website. While there's no guarantee that our crawlers will find a particular site, following these guidelines can help make your site appear in our search results. Google Search Console provides tools to help you submit your content to Google and monitor how you're doing in Google Search. If you want, Search Console can even send you alerts on critical issues that Google encounters with your site. Sign up for Search Console. Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself about your website when you get started. Is my website showing up on Google? Do I serve high-quality content to users? Is my local business showing up on Google? Is my content fast and easy to access on all devices? Is my website secure? You can find additional getting started information on https://g.co/webmasters The rest of this document provides guidance on how to improve your site for search engines, organized by topic. You can also download a short checklist in PDF format. Help Google find your content. The first step to getting your site on Google is to be sure that Google can find it. The best way to do that is to submit a sitemap. A sitemap is a file on your site that tells search engines about new or changed pages on your site. Learn more about how to build and submit a sitemap. Google also finds pages through links from other pages. Learn how to encourage people to discover your site by Promoting your site. Tell Google which pages you don't want crawled. For non-sensitive information, block unwanted crawling by using robots.txt. A robots.txt file tells search engines whether they can access and therefore crawl parts of your site. This file, which must be named robots.txt, is placed in the root directory of your site. It is possible that pages blocked by robots.txt can still be crawled, so for sensitive pages, use a more secure method. # brandonsbaseballcards.com/robots.txt # Tell Google not to crawl any URLs in the shopping cart or images in the icons folder, # because they won't be useful in Google Search results. User-agent: googlebot Disallow: /checkout/ Disallow: /icons/ You may not want certain pages of your site crawled because they might not be useful to users if found in a search engine's search results. If you do want to prevent search engines from crawling your pages, Google Search Console has a friendly robots.txt generator to help you create this file. Note that if your site uses subdomains and you wish to have certain pages not crawled on a particular subdomain, you'll have to create a separate robots.txt file for that subdomain. For more information on robots.txt, we suggest this guide on using robots.txt files. Read about several other ways to prevent content from appearing in search results. Avoid: Letting your internal search result pages be crawled by Google. Users dislike clicking a search engine result only to land on another search result page on your site. Allowing URLs created as a result of proxy services to be crawled. For sensitive information, use more secure methods. A robots.txt file is not an appropriate or effective way of blocking sensitive or confidential material. It only instructs well-behaved crawlers that the pages are not for them, but it does not prevent your server from delivering those pages to a browser that requests them. One reason is that search engines could still reference the URLs you block (showing just the URL, no title link or snippet) if there happen to be links to those URLs somewhere on the Internet (like referrer logs). Also, non-compliant or rogue search engines that don't acknowledge the Robots Exclusion Standard could disobey the instructions of your robots.txt. Finally, a curious user could examine the directories or subdirectories in your robots.txt file and guess the URL of the content that you don't want seen. In these cases, use the noindex tag if you just want the page not to appear in Google, but don't mind if any user with a link can reach the page. For real security, use proper authorization methods, like requiring a user password, or taking the page off your site entirely. Help Google (and users) understand your content. Let Google see your page the same way a user does. When Googlebot crawls a page, it should see the page the same way an average user does. For optimal rendering and indexing, always allow Googlebot access to the JavaScript, CSS, and image files used by your website. If your site's robots.txt file disallows crawling of these assets, it directly harms how well our algorithms render and index your content. This can result in suboptimal rankings. Recommended action: Use the URL Inspection tool. It will allow you to see exactly how Googlebot sees and renders your content, and it will help you identify and fix a number of indexing issues on your site. Create unique, accurate page titles. A element tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is. Place the element within the <head> element of the HTML document, and create unique title text for each page on your site. <html> <head> <title>Brandon's Baseball Cards - Buy Cards, Baseball News, Card Prices ... Control your title links and snippets in search results. If your document appears in a search results page, the contents of the element may appear as the title link for the search result (if you're unfamiliar with the different parts of a Google Search result, you might want to check out the anatomy of a search result video). The <title> element for your homepage can list the name of your website or business, and could include other bits of important information like the physical location of the business or maybe a few of its main focuses or offerings. Accurately describe the page's content. Choose title text that reads naturally and effectively communicates the topic of the page's content. Avoid: Using text in the <title> element that has no relation to the content on the page. Using default or vague text like "Untitled" or "New Page 1". Create unique <title> elements for each page. Make sure each page on your site has unique text in the <title> element, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site. If your site uses separate mobile pages, remember to use descriptive text in the <title> elements on the mobile versions too. Avoid: Using a single title in all <title> elements across your site's pages or a large group of pages. Use brief, but descriptive <title> elements. <title> elements can be both short and informative. If the text in the <title> element is too long or otherwise deemed less relevant, Google may show only a portion of the text in your <title> element, or a title link that's automatically generated in the search result. Avoid: Using extremely lengthy text in <title> elements that are unhelpful to users. Stuffing unneeded keywords in your <title> element. Use the meta description tag. A page's meta description tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about. A page's title may be a few words or a phrase, whereas a page's meta description tag might be a sentence or two or even a short paragraph. Like the <title> element, the meta description tag is placed within the <head> element of your HTML document. <html> <head> <title>Brandon's Baseball Cards - Buy Cards, Baseball News, Card Prices ... What are the merits of meta description tags? Meta description tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages in Google Search results. Note that we say "might" because Google may choose to use a relevant section of your page's visible text if it does a good job of matching up with a user's query. Adding meta description tags to each of your pages is always a good practice in case Google cannot find a good selection of text to use in the snippet. Learn more about how to create quality meta descriptions. Accurately summarize the page content . Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your meta description tag as a snippet in a search result. While there's no minimal or maximal length for the text in a description meta tag, we recommend making sure that it's long enough to be fully shown in Search (note that users may see different sized snippets depending on how and where they search), and contains all the relevant information users would need to determine whether the page will be useful and relevant to them. Avoid: Writing a meta description tag that has no relation to the content on the page. Using generic descriptions like "This is a web page" or "Page about baseball cards". Filling the description with only keywords. Copying and pasting the entire content of the document into the meta description tag. Use unique descriptions for each page. Having a different meta description tag for each page helps both users and Google, especially in searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain (for example, searches using the site: operator). If your site has thousands or even millions of pages, hand-crafting meta description tags probably isn't feasible. In this case, you could automatically generate meta description tags based on each page's content. Avoid: Using a single meta description tag across all of your site's pages or a large group of pages. Use heading tags to emphasize important text. Use meaningful headings to indicate important topics, and help create a hierarchical structure for your content, making it easier for users to navigate through your document. Imagine you're writing an outline. Similar to writing an outline for a large paper, put some thought into what the main points and sub-points of the content on the page will be and decide where to use heading tags appropriately. Avoid: Placing text in heading tags that wouldn't be helpful in defining the structure of the page. Using heading tags where other tags like and may be more appropriate. Erratically moving from one heading tag size to another. Use headings sparingly across the page. Use heading tags where it makes sense. Too many heading tags on a page can make it hard for users to scan the content and determine where one topic ends and another begins. Avoid: Excessive use of heading tags on a page. Very long headings. Using heading tags only for styling text and not presenting structure. Add structured data markup. Structured data is code that you can add to your sites' pages to describe your content to search engines, so they can better understand what's on your pages. Search engines can use this understanding to display your content in useful (and eye-catching) ways in search results. That, in turn, can help you attract just the right kind of customers for your business. For example, if you've got an online store and mark up an individual product page, this helps us understand that the page features a bike, its price, and customer reviews. We may display that information in the snippet for search results for relevant queries. We call these rich results. In addition to using structured data markup for rich results, we may use it to serve relevant results in other formats. For instance, if you've got a brick-and-mortar store, marking up the opening hours allows your potential customers to find you exactly when they need you, and inform them if your store is open/closed at the time of searching. You can mark up many business-relevant entities: Products you're selling Business location Videos about your products or business Opening hours Events listings Recipes Your company logo, and many more See a full list of supported content types. We recommend that you use structured data with any of the supported notations markup to describe your content. You can add the markup to the HTML code to your pages, or use tools like Data Highlighter and Markup Helper. Check your markup using the Rich Results Test. Once you've marked up your content, you can use the Google Rich Results test to make sure that there are no mistakes in the implementation. You can either enter the URL where the content is, or copy the actual HTML which includes the markup. Avoid: Using invalid markup. Use Data Highlighter and Markup Helper. If you want to give structured markup a try without changing the source code of your site, you can use Data Highlighter, which is a tool integrated in Search Console that supports a subset of content types. If you'd like to get the markup code ready to copy and paste to your page, try the Markup Helper. Avoid: Changing the source code of your site when you are unsure about implementing markup. Keep track of how your marked up pages are doing. The various Rich result reports in Search Console shows you how many pages on your site we've detected with a specific type of markup, how many times they appeared in search results, and how many times people clicked on them over the past 90 days. It also shows any errors we've detected. Avoid: Adding markup data which is not visible to users. Creating fake reviews or adding irrelevant markups. Manage your appearance in Google Search results. Correct structured data on your pages also makes your page eligible for many special features in Google Search results, including review stars, fancy decorated results, and more. See the gallery of search result types that your page can be eligible for. Organize your site hierarchy. Understand how search engines use URLs. Search engines need a unique URL per piece of content to be able to crawl and index that content, and to refer users to it. Different content (for example, different products in a shop) as well as modified content (for example, translations or regional variations) need to use separate URLs in order to be shown in search appropriately. URLs are generally split into multiple distinct sections: protocol://hostname/path/filename?querystring#fragment For example: https://www.example.com/RunningShoes/Womens.htm?size=8#info Google recommends that all websites use https:// when possible. The hostname is where your website is hosted, commonly using the same domain name that you'd use for email. Google differentiates between the www and non-www version (for example, www.example.com or just example.com). When adding your website to Search Console, we recommend adding both http:// and https:// versions, as well as the www and non-www versions. Path, filename, and query string determine which content from your server is accessed. These three parts are case-sensitive, so FILE would result in a different URL than file. The hostname and protocol are case-insensitive; upper or lower case wouldn't play a role there. A fragment (in this case, #info) generally identifies which part of the page the browser scrolls to. Because the content itself is usually the same regardless of the fragment, search engines commonly ignore any fragment used. When referring to the homepage, a trailing slash after the hostname is optional since it leads to the same content (https://example.com/ is the same as https://example.com). For the path and filename, a trailing slash would be seen as a different URL (signaling either a file or a directory), for example, https://example.com/fish is not the same as https://example.com/fish/. Navigation is important for search engines. The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the website owner thinks is important. Although Google's search results are provided at a page level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of the site. Plan your navigation based on your homepage. All sites have a home or root page, which is usually the most frequented page on the site and the starting place of navigation for many visitors. Unless your site has only a handful of pages, think about how visitors will go from a general page (your root page) to a page containing more specific content. Do you have enough pages around a specific topic area that it would make sense to create a page describing these related pages (for example, root page -> related topic listing -> specific topic)? Do you have hundreds of different products that need to be classified under multiple category and subcategory pages? Using breadcrumb lists. A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the root page. Many breadcrumbs have the most general page (usually the root page) as the first, leftmost link and list the more specific sections out to the right. We recommend using breadcrumb structured data markup when showing breadcrumbs. Create a simple navigational page for users. A navigational page is a simple page on your site that displays the structure of your website, and usually consists of a hierarchical listing of the pages on your site. Visitors may visit this page if they are having problems finding pages on your site. While search engines will also visit this page, getting good crawl coverage of the pages on your site, it's mainly aimed at human visitors. Create a naturally flowing hierarchy. Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure. Make sure all of the pages on your site are reachable through links, and that they don't require an internal search functionality to be found. Link to related pages, where appropriate, to allow users to discover similar content. Avoid: Creating complex webs of navigation links, for example, linking every page on your site to every other page. Going overboard with slicing and dicing your content (so that it takes twenty clicks to reach from the homepage). Use text for navigation. Controlling most of the navigation from page to page on your site through text links makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site. When using JavaScript to create a page, use a elements with URLs as href attribute values, and generate all menu items on page-load, instead of waiting for a user interaction. Avoid: Having a navigation based entirely on images, or animations. Requiring script or plugin-based event-handling for navigation. Create a navigational page for users, a sitemap for search engines. Include a simple navigational page for your entire site (or the most important pages, if you have hundreds or thousands) for users. Create an XML sitemap file to ensure that search engines discover the new and updated pages on your site, listing all relevant URLs together with their primary content's last modified dates. Avoid: Letting your navigational page become out of date with broken links. Creating a navigational page that simply lists pages without organizing them, for example by subject. Show useful 404 pages. Users will occasionally come to a page that doesn't exist on your site, either by following a broken link or typing in the wrong URL. Having a custom 404 page that kindly guides users back to a working page on your site can greatly improve a user's experience. Consider including a link back to your root page and providing links to popular or related content on your site. You can use Google Search Console to find the sources of URLs causing "not found" errors. Avoid: Allowing your 404 pages to be indexed in search engines (make sure that your web server is configured to give a 404 HTTP status code or—in the case of JavaScript-based sites—include the noindex tag when non-existent pages are requested). Blocking 404 pages from being crawled through the robots.txt file. Providing only a vague message like "Not found", "404", or no 404 page at all. Using a design for your 404 pages that isn't consistent with the rest of your site. Simple URLs convey content information. Creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your website not only helps you keep your site better organized, it can create easier, friendlier URLs for those that want to link to your content. Visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs that contain few recognizable words. URLs like the following can be confusing and unfriendly: https://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/folder1/22447478/x2/14032015.html If your URL is meaningful, it can be more useful and easily understandable in different contexts: https://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/article/ten-rarest-baseball-cards.html URLs are displayed in search results. Lastly, remember that the URL to a document is usually displayed in some form in a Google Search result near the document title. Google is good at crawling all types of URL structures, even if they're quite complex, but spending the time to make your URLs as simple as possible is a good practice. Use words in URLs. URLs with words that are relevant to your site's content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site. Avoid: Using lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs. Choosing generic page names like page1.html. Using excessive keywords like baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards.html. Create a simple directory structure. Use a directory structure that organizes your content well and makes it easy for visitors to know where they're at on your site. Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL. Avoid: Having deep nesting of subdirectories like .../dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html. Using directory names that have no relation to the content in them. Provide one version of a URL to reach a document. To prevent users from linking to one version of a URL and others linking to a different version (this could split the reputation of that content between the URLs), focus on using and referring to one URL in the structure and internal linking of your pages. If you do find that people are accessing the same content through multiple URLs, setting up a 301 redirect from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL is a good solution for this. If you cannot redirect, you may also use the rel="canonical" link element. Avoid: Having pages from subdomains and the root directory access the same content, for example, domain.com/page.html and sub.domain.com/page.html. Optimize your content. Make your site interesting and useful. Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means. Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site's reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content. Know what your readers want (and give it to them). Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. For example, a long-time football fan might search for "fifa", an acronym for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, while a new fan might use a more general query like "football playoffs". Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could produce positive results. Google Ads provides a handy Keyword Planner that helps you discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword. Also, Google Search Console provides you with the top search queries your site appears for and the ones that led the most users to your site in the Performance Report. Consider creating a new, useful service that no other site offers. You could also write an original piece of research, break an exciting news story, or leverage your unique user base. Other sites may lack the resources or expertise to do these things. Write easy-to-read text. Users enjoy content that is well written and easy to follow. Avoid: Writing sloppy text with many spelling and grammatical mistakes. Awkward or poorly written content. Embedding text in images and videos for textual content: users may want to copy and paste the text and search engines can't read it. Organize your topics clearly. It's always beneficial to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense of where one content topic begins and another ends. Breaking your content up into logical chunks or divisions helps users find the content they want faster. Avoid: Dumping large amounts of text on varying topics onto a page without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation. Create fresh, unique content. New content will not only keep your existing visitor base coming back, but also bring in new visitors. Avoid: Rehashing (or even copying) existing content that will bring little extra value to users. Having duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site. Learn more about duplicate content. Optimize content for your users, not search engines. Designing your site around your visitors' needs while making sure your site is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results. Avoid: Inserting numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users. Having blocks of text like "frequent misspellings used to reach this page" that add little value for users. Deceptively hiding text from users, but displaying it to search engines. Act in a way that cultivates user trust. Users feel comfortable visiting your site if they feel that it's trustworthy. A site with a good reputation is trustworthy. Cultivate a reputation for expertise and trustworthiness in a specific area. Provide information about who publishes your site, provides the content, and its goals. If you have a shopping or other financial transaction website, make sure you have clear and satisfying customer service information to help users resolve issues. If you have a news sites, provide clear information about who is responsible for the content. Using appropriate technologies is also important. If a shopping checkout page doesn't have a secure connection, users cannot trust the site. Make expertise and authoritativeness clear. Expertise and authoritativeness of a site increases its quality. Be sure that content on your site is created or edited by people with expertise in the topic. For example, providing expert or experienced sources can help users understand articles' expertise. Representing well-established consensus in pages on scientific topics is a good practice if such consensus exists. Provide an appropriate amount of content for your subject. Creating high quality content takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill. Make sure content is factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive. So, for example, if you describe your page as a recipe, provide a complete recipe that is easy to follow, rather than just a set of ingredients or a basic description of the dish. Avoid: Providing insufficient content for the purpose of the page. Avoid distracting advertisements. We expect advertisements to be visible. However, don't let the advertisements distract users or prevent them from consuming the site content. For example, advertisements, supplement contents, or interstitial pages (pages displayed before or after the content you are expecting) that make it difficult to use the website. Learn more about this topic. Avoid: Putting distracting advertisements on your pages. Use links wisely. Write good link text. Link text is the visible text inside a link. This text tells users and Google something about the page you're linking to. Links on your page may be internal—pointing to other pages on your site—or external—leading to content on other sites. In either of these cases, the better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you're linking to is about. With appropriate anchor text, users and search engines can easily understand what the linked pages contain. Choose descriptive text Write anchor text that provides at least a basic idea of what the page linked to is about. Avoid: Writing generic anchor text like "page", "article", or "click here". Using text that is off-topic or has no relation to the content of the page linked to. Using the page's URL as the anchor text in most cases, although there are certainly legitimate uses of this, such as promoting or referencing a new website's address. Write concise text Aim for short but descriptive text-usually a few words or a short phrase. Avoid: Writing long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence or short paragraph of text. Format links so they're easy to spot Make it easy for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor text of your links. Your content becomes less useful if users miss the links or accidentally click them. Avoid: Using CSS or text styling that make links look just like regular text. Think about anchor text for internal links too You may usually think about linking in terms of pointing to outside websites, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links can help users and Google navigate your site better. Avoid: Using excessively keyword-filled or lengthy anchor text just for search engines. Creating unnecessary links that don't help with the user's navigation of the site. Be careful who you link to. You can confer some of your site's reputation to another site when your site links to it. Sometimes users can take advantage of this by adding links to their own site in your comment sections or message boards. Or sometimes you might mention a site in a negative way and don't want to confer any of your reputation upon it. For example, imagine that you're writing a blog post on the topic of comment spamming and you want to call out a site that recently comment spammed your blog. You want to warn others of the site, so you include the link to it in your content; however, you certainly don't want to give the site some of your reputation from your link. This would be a good time to use nofollow. Another example when the nofollow attribute can come handy are widget links. If you are using a third party's widget to enrich the experience of your site and engage users, check if it contains any links that you did not intend to place on your site along with the widget. Some widgets may add links to your site which are not your editorial choice and contain anchor text that you as a website owner may not control. If removing such unwanted links from the widget is not possible, you can always disable them with nofollow. If you create a widget for functionality or content that you provide, make sure to include the nofollow on links in the default code snippet. Lastly, if you're interested in nofollowing all of the links on a page, you can add the tag inside the tag for the page. You can find more details about robots meta tags in our documentation. Combat comment spam with nofollow. To tell Google not to follow or pass your page's reputation to the pages linked, set the value of the rel attribute of a link to nofollow or ugc. Nofollowing a link means adding rel="nofollow" or a more specific attribute such as ugc inside the link's anchor tag, as shown here: Anchor text here or: Anchor text here When would this be useful? If your site has a blog with public commenting turned on, links within those comments could pass your reputation to pages that you may not be comfortable vouching for. Blog comment areas on pages are highly susceptible to comment spam. Nofollowing these user-added links ensures that you're not giving your page's hard-earned reputation to a spammy site. Automatically add nofollow to comment columns and message boards. Many blogging software packages automatically nofollow user comments, but those that don't can most likely be manually edited to do this. This advice also goes for other areas of your site that may involve user-generated content, such as guest books, forums, shout-boards, referrer listings, etc. If you're willing to vouch for links added by third parties (for example, if a commenter is trusted on your site), then there's no need to use nofollow on links; however, linking to sites that Google considers spammy can affect the reputation of your own site. The Google Search Central documentation has more tips on avoiding comment spam, for example by using CAPTCHAs and turning on comment moderation. Optimize your images. Use HTML images. Use HTML image elements to embed images in your content. Use the HTML or elements. Semantic HTML markup helps crawlers find and process images. By using the element you can also specify multiple options for different screen sizes for responsive images. You might also use the loading="lazy" attribute on images to make your page load faster for your users. Avoid: Using CSS to display images that you want us to index. Use the alt attribute. Provide a descriptive filename and alt attribute description for images. The alt attribute allows you to specify alternative text for the image if it cannot be displayed for some reason. Why use this attribute? If a user is viewing your site using assistive technologies, such as a screen reader, the contents of the alt attribute provide information about the picture. Another reason is that if you're using an image as a link, the alt text for that image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link. However, we don't recommend using too many images for links in your site's navigation when text links could serve the same purpose. Lastly, optimizing your image filenames and alt text makes it easier for image search projects like Google Images to better understand your images. Use brief but descriptive filenames and alt text Like many of the other parts of the page targeted for optimization, filenames and alt text are best when they're short, but descriptive. Avoid: Using generic filenames like image1.jpg, pic.gif, 1.jpg when possible—if your site has thousands of images you might want to consider automating the naming of the images. Writing extremely lengthy filenames. Stuffing keywords into alt text or copying and pasting entire sentences. Supply alt text when using images as links If you do decide to use an image as a link, filling out its alt text helps Google understand more about the page you're linking to. Imagine that you're writing anchor text for a text link. Avoid: Writing excessively long alt text that would be considered spammy. Using only image links for your site's navigation. Help search engines find your images. An Image sitemap can provide Googlebot with more information about the images found on your site. This increases the likelihood that your images can be found in Google Images results. The structure of this file is similar to the XML sitemap file for your web pages. Use standard image formats. Use commonly supported filetypes; most browsers support JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and WebP image formats. It's also a good idea to have the extension of your filename match with the file type. Make your site mobile-friendly. The world is mobile today. Most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. The desktop version of a site might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device. As a result, having a mobile ready site is critical to your online presence. In fact, starting in late 2016, Google has begun experiments to primarily use the mobile version of a site's content for ranking, parsing structured data, and generating snippets. Choose a mobile strategy. There are multiple ways of making your website mobile ready and Google supports different implementation methods : Responsive web design (Recommended) Dynamic serving Separate URLs After you have created a mobile-ready site, you can use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to check if pages on your site meet the criteria for being labeled mobile-friendly on Google Search result pages. You can also check out the Search Console Mobile Usability report to fix mobile usability issues affecting your site. If your site serves lots of static content (like blog posts or product landing pages) across multiple pages, consider implementing it using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). It's a special flavor of HTML that ensures your site stays fast and user friendly, and can be further accelerated by various platforms, including Google Search. Configure mobile sites so that they can be indexed accurately. Regardless of which configuration you choose to set up your mobile site, take note of these key points: If you use Dynamic Serving or have a separate mobile site, signal to Google when a page is formatted for mobile (or has an equivalent page that's formatted for mobile). This helps Google accurately serve mobile searchers your content in search results. If you are using Responsive Web Design, use the meta name="viewport" tag to tell the browser how to adjust the content. If you use Dynamic Serving, use the Vary HTTP header to signal your changes depending on the user agent. If you are using separate URLs, signal the relationship between two URLs by adding the tag with rel="canonical" and rel="alternate" elements to the page. Keep resources crawlable. Blocking page resources can give Google an incomplete picture of your website. This often happens when your robots.txt file is blocking access to some or all of your page resources. If Googlebot doesn't have access to a page's resources, such as CSS, JavaScript, or images, we may not detect that it's built to display and work well on a mobile browser. In other words, we may not detect that the page is mobile-friendly, and therefore not properly serve it to mobile searchers. Avoid common mistakes that frustrate mobile visitors, such as featuring unplayable videos. Mobile pages that provide a poor searcher experience can be demoted in rankings or displayed with a warning in mobile search results. This includes but is not limited to full page interstitials on mobile that hinder user experience. Provide full functionality on all devices. Mobile users expect the same functionality—such as commenting and check-out—and content on mobile as well as on all other devices that your website supports. In addition to textual content, make sure that all important images and videos are embedded and accessible on mobile devices. For search engines, provide all structured data and other metadata—such as titles, descriptions, link-elements, and other meta-tags—on all versions of the pages. Make sure that the structured data, images, videos, and metadata you have on your desktop site are also included on the mobile site. Best Practices. Test your mobile pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test to see if Google thinks your website works well on mobile devices. If you use separate URLs for your mobile pages, make sure to test both the mobile and the desktop URLs, so you can confirm that the redirect is recognized and crawlable. For more information, see Google's mobile-friendly guide. Promote your website. While most of the links to your site will be added gradually, as people discover your content through search or other ways and link to it, Google understands that you'd like to let others know about the hard work you've put into your content. Effectively promoting your new content will lead to faster discovery by those who are interested in the same subject. As with most points covered in this document, taking these recommendations to an extreme could actually harm the reputation of your site. A blog post on your own site letting your visitor base know that you added something new is a great way to get the word out about new content or services. Other website owners who follow your site or RSS feed could pick the story up as well. Putting effort into the offline promotion of your company or site can also be rewarding. For example, if you have a business site, make sure its URL is listed on your business cards, letterhead, posters, etc. You could also send out recurring newsletters to clients through the mail letting them know about new content on the company's website. If you run a local business, claiming your Business Profile will help you reach customers on Google Maps and Google Search. Know about social media sites. Sites built around user interaction and sharing have made it easier to match interested groups of people up with relevant content. Avoid: Attempting to promote each new, small piece of content you create; go for big, interesting items. Involving your site in schemes where your content is artificially promoted to the top of these services. Reach out to those in your site's related community. Chances are, there are a number of sites that cover topic areas similar to yours. Opening up communication with these sites is usually beneficial. Hot topics in your niche or community could spark additional ideas for content or building a good community resource. Avoid: Spamming link requests out to all sites related to your topic area. Purchasing links from another site with the aim of getting PageRank. Analyze your search performance and user behavior. Analyzing your search performance. Major search engines, including Google, provide tools for website owners to analyze their performance in their search engine. For Google, that tool is Search Console. Search Console provides two important categories of information: Can Google find my content? How am I performing in Google Search results? Using Search Console won't help your site get preferential treatment; however, it can help you identify issues that, if addressed, can help your site perform better in search results. With the service, website owners can: See which parts of a site Googlebot had problems crawling Test and submit sitemaps Analyze or generate robots.txt files Remove URLs already crawled by Googlebot Specify your preferred domain Identify issues with title and description meta tags Understand the top searches used to reach a site Get a glimpse at how Googlebot sees pages Receive notifications of quality guidelines violations and request a site reconsideration Microsoft's Bing Webmaster Tools also offers tools for website owners. Analyzing user behavior on your site. If you've improved the crawling and indexing of your site using Google Search Console or other services, you're probably curious about the traffic coming to your site. Web analytics programs like Google Analytics are a valuable source of insight for this. You can use these to: Get insight into how users reach and behave on your site Discover the most popular content on your site Measure the impact of optimizations you make to your site, for example, did changing those title and description meta tags improve traffic from search engines? For advanced users, the information an analytics package provides, combined with data from your server log files, can provide even more comprehensive information about how visitors are interacting with your documents (such as additional keywords that searchers might use to find your site). Additional Resources. Google Search Central blog Get the latest information from our Google Search Central blog. You can find information about updates to Google Search, new Search Console features, and much more. Google Search Central Help Forum Post questions about your site's issues and find tips to create high quality sites from the product forum for website owners. There are many experienced contributors in the forum, including Product Experts and occasionally Googlers. Google Search Central Twitter Follow us for news and resources to help you make a great site. Google Search Central YouTube Channel Watch hundreds of helpful videos created for the website owner community and get your questions answered by Googlers. How Search Works See what happens behind the scenes as you search for something in Google Search. Send feedback Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License. For details, see the Google Developers Site Policies. Java is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Last updated 2021-12-23 UTC.
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                            [body] => What is SEO: A Complete Guide to Search Engine OptimizationLesson 1 of 8By Medono ZhasaLast updated on Sep 16, 202122192990PreviousNextTutorial Playlist SEO Tutorial For Beginners: A Step-By-Step Guide. Overview What is SEO: A Complete Guide to Search Engine Optimization. Lesson - 1 A Beginner's Guide on How to Do Keyword Research. Lesson - 2 Your Ultimate Guide to Do on-Page and off-Page SEO. Lesson - 3 How to Rank #1 on Google. Lesson - 4 Best SEO Tools to Improve Your Rankings in 2021. Lesson - 5 16 Ways on How To Drive Traffic To Your Website. Lesson - 6 Top 10 SEO Tips for 2021 You Need to Know. Lesson - 7 Top 50 SEO Interview Questions and Answers in 2021. Lesson - 8 Table of Contents. View More Over the last few decades, the way businesses market their products and advertise their services has evolved rapidly. All thanks to the advent of the internet and its billion-plus users, brands have moved on from traditional marketing, and the attraction towards digital marketing has never been crazier before - presenting new job roles and career potentials. From content marketing to PPC, and social media marketing to SEO, every aspect plays an equally important role. SEO, however, has a lot of aspects from on-page to off-page and backlinking to interlinking. Well, let's start with the basics first. You’ve most likely heard the term before but may not have asked the question: What is SEO? We’re going to try and answer it regardless. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice of increasing organic traffic on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It is also known as organic search or listings. If you want to rank number one for all the keywords, you need to apply SEO to increase your rank. Suppose you started a blog for ice cream recipes, but your website doesn't rank high in the organic search results. There are several reasons why this can happen: Your competitors have better content You use weak keywords You use poor link building practices Your webpage load time is slow Your website doesn't have a good user experience Your website is de-indexed by mistake To rank high on the SERP, you need to understand how search engines work. In this article, you will learn about how Google ranks websites, the different types of SEO, and various SEO techniques you can use to improve your ranking. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training Course. To become an industry-ready SEO specialistEnroll now What is Black Hat SEO? Black hat SEO refers to the practices that violate the search engines' terms of service. It will likely increase a page's ranking in a search engine result page (SERP) for some time but can result in getting banned from search engines or affiliate sites since it's against the search engine's terms of service. Some of the black hat SEO techniques or practices include: Keyword Stuffing Link Manipulation Creating articles, pages, or site landing pages with duplicate content Word of caution: You might experience short-term success. The traffic to your site might increase rapidly, but Google penalties are getting more sophisticated each passing day and can have crushing aftereffects both on your traffic and ranking. What is White Hat SEO? White Hat SEO typically refers to SEO tactics that are in tandem and agreement with the terms and conditions of the search engines. And just like the name suggests, white hat SEO is the contrast of black hat SEO. A white hat SEO practice like: Creating original quality content and services Mobile-friendly website  Use of clear and keyword-rich meta tags It will improve your search rankings on a SERP, and also maintain the integrity of your website. Types of SEO. If you want to rank for a particular keyword on Google, you need to apply SEO. There are two strategies for this: On-page SEO Off-page SEO On-page SEO. On-page SEO is the process of optimizing website elements. When you do this, there are certain factors that you need to take into account. All these elements are something that you can control as an end-user. The aspects of on-page SEO are: Keyword Research. Before you do anything with your website, the first thing you need to do is understand what keywords you want to rank for. To do this, you need to do keyword research. In this process, you choose the primary and secondary keywords around which you build meta tags and content. The primary components for keyword research are: Search volume Competition Relevancy You can also use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs to search for keywords. Once you choose the keywords, you can go ahead and start optimizing your pages for those keywords. Title Tag. The title tag is a header title element displaying the summary of your website's content on the search engine results page. It also influences click-through rates and is the most important factor of on-page SEO. Search engines display the first 50–60 characters of the title tag. Meta Description. A meta description is a brief description that summarizes the content of a webpage. They are also displayed on the search engine page results. In comparison to the title tag, a meta description gives users more understanding of what your webpage is about. Meta description also influences click-through rates. URL Structure. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. The best practice is to use SEO-friendly URLs, as they help to understand what the webpage is about. The poor URL structure is a big issue in SEO, which may result in your website getting lower ranks. Header Tags. Header tags help to identify the headings and subheadings of your content. The hierarchy of header tags goes from H1 to H6. H1 is the main heading of a page, the H2 tag is a subheading of H1, and so on. These tags help search engines to read and understand the content better. Internal Link. Internal links are links that link web pages together on your website. They allow users to navigate through the website. They are also useful to spread link equity (value passed from one website to another site). Keyword Usage. A search engine crawls a website using Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP helps search engines look for content and keywords. For example: If your website is about digital marketing and you have used only the keyword “digital marketing” in it, then the chances of you ranking high for this keyword is low. It is important to add related keywords such as types of digital marketing, skills in digital marketing, etc. Sitemaps. A sitemap is a way of organizing a website to help both users and search engines understand the structure of a website. There are two types of sitemaps: HTML sitemaps: Designed for humans XML sitemaps: Designed for crawlers Now that you have a clear understanding of on-page SEO, let us discuss the off-page SEO section of the ‘What is SEO?’ article. Advanced SEO Certification Program for FREE. Master key concepts and skills & become an SEO proEnroll Now Off-page SEO. Off-page SEO is another process of improving your rank on the search engine results page. It also helps to strengthen the credibility of your website and build a sense of domain authority and trustworthiness. Other benefits of off-page SEO are an increase in traffic, page rank, and brand awareness. Link Building. Off-page SEO is mostly associated with link building. Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your site. This is also known as external link building. The key to link building is always content. From an on-page SEO perspective, having quality content allows you to optimize it for relevant keywords and rank. From an off-page SEO strategy, having high-quality content enables other sites to link back to your site. Here are some strategies for link building: High-quality content creation - Other sites will link back to yours if your content is original, well-structured, and reads well. Off-site engagement - Spend a lot of time on other websites similar to yours. You can search for other sites that have relevant content. You can share your content with them they can share their content with you. You can also achieve off-site engagement through social media and collaborating with bloggers. When learning ‘What is SEO’ there are also some do’s and don’ts as well which you should be aware of. The next section covers it. Master many facets of SEO including keyword research, technical SEO, link building, analytics, with the Search Engine Optimization training course. Do's and Don'ts of SEO. Here are some important points to keep in mind for SEO. DO's DON'Ts Opt for white hat techniques (basically all of the points mentioned above). Do not opt for black hat techniques. For example, choosing a keyword arbitrarily and stuffing that keyword into the content. Try to get backlinks from relevant sites that have high-quality content. Avoid backlinks from irrelevant sites. Use keywords in your title tags, and have a unique title tag for multiple web pages. Do not duplicate the same title tags on multiple web pages. Write engaging content for a better user experience. Do not plagiarize content. Do keyword research. Understand the volume and competition for all the keywords. Avoid keyword stuffing. Google will be able to pick up on this. Build internal links to your website naturally. Avoid building sitewide backlinks. It takes time to rank your content so be patient and wait for a while. Don't stress out and start using black hat techniques. Make your website responsive and user-friendly across multiple devices. Don't ignore mobile devices while making your website for the desktop. Most users today start their search process on their mobiles SEO vs SEM. Before we continue this ‘What is SEO?’ article, it’s worth addressing something many people get confused — the difference between SEO vs SEM. Both are critical components of any successful digital marketing campaign, and SEO is actually a subset of SEM. The main difference, which we go into much more detail here, is that SEM employs paid search engine advertising to target specific demographics. How Does Google Rank Websites? Websites are ranked primarily based upon the competition between your web pages and other web pages for a particular keyword. The web pages which follow the best practices outrank every other web page in the competition and rank on top for those keywords. Search engines like Google follow three basic steps to rank a website. They are: Crawling. Search engines have spiders or bots which scans a website copies the entire website's content, and stores it in the search engine's index. Indexing. Indexing is the method of adding web pages into Google search results. If your website is not in a search engine's index, no one will be able to find your website. Ranking. When you type something in Google, the most relevant websites (from the index) will appear in the search results. These results are based on multiple factors like user location, language, experience, etc. There are a lot of factors that go into ranking - relevancy being a critical aspect. For example, if you type Simplilearn, the web pages for Simplilearn shows up organically because they are relevant to that keyword. However, you also need to make sure that the page load time is fast for the end-user. Google also takes into account other factors like how long someone stays on a website and the bounce rate (leaving the site after viewing only one page). Language and location also play a vital role in ranking. For example, if you search in India, the results are going to be different than the results in the United States. This is because Google has different bots crawling different pages at different times and that Google's index is being updated continuously. However, it's not syncing in real-time. To elaborate, if you search “cafes” while in San Francisco you're going to see different results. Now if you search for “cafes” while in Mumbai you're going to see different results. To sum it up, the most important factors for Google ranking are relevancy, user experience, language, and location. Conclusion. To make sure that your website stands out in the sea of millions of others move past the what is SEO stage and get moving on your SEO strategy. Simplilearn's Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) course will help you turn into an industry-ready SEO professional from day one. You will be able to master the many facets of SEO, including the process of organically driving traffic to your websites with keyword management and research, on-page and off-page optimization, link building, URL building, SEO analytics, and more and you'll acquire extensive project experience to prepare you for managing inbound marketing initiatives. Find our Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Program Online Classroom training classes in top cities:. NameDatePlace Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Program 15 Jan -23 Jan 2022, Weekend batchYour CityView Details Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Program 12 Feb -20 Feb 2022, Weekend batchDallasView DetailsAbout the Author. Medono ZhasaMedo specializes in writing for the digital space to garner social media attention and increase search visibility. A writer by day and reader by night, Medo has a second life writing Lord of the Rings fan theories and making cat videos for people of the Internet to relish on.View MoreRecommended Programs. Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Program 2554 LearnersLifetime Access*Digital Marketing Specialist 5127 LearnersLifetime Access**Lifetime access to high-quality, self-paced e-learning content.Explore CategoryRecommended Resources. Top 50 SEO Interview Questions and Answers in 2021Video TutorialSEO for VideoEbookHow to Optimize Online Videos for SEOArticleProgram Preview: Post Graduate Program in Data AnalyticsWebinarBest SEO Tools to Improve Your Rankings in 2021Video TutorialGoogle Search Engine Marketing Ready ReckonerEbookprevNext DisclaimerPMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
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                                    [2] => SEO Content Types
                                    [3] => 6 Steps to an SEO Content Strategy
                                    [4] => 12 Tips for SEO Content in 2022
                                    [5] => What is SEO content?
                                    [6] => SEO Content Types
                                    [7] => 6 Steps to an SEO Content Strategy
                                    [8] => 12 Tips for SEO Content in 2022
                                    [9] => On-page SEO checklist
                                    [10] => Related posts you might like
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                                    [1] => 1. Revisit your audience
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                                    [4] => 4. Create an editorial calendar and content briefs
                                    [5] => 5. Create a link building plan
                                    [6] => 6. Publish and track results
                                    [7] => 1. Write for your readers (meaning: no keyword stuffing)
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                                    [9] => 3. Add keywords strategically in your SEO content
                                    [10] => 4. Structure content for readability
                                    [11] => 5. Write direct, to the point subheadings
                                    [12] => 6. Write keyword-enriched meta descriptions
                                    [13] => 7. Add alt text to all images
                                    [14] => 8. Create compelling page titles
                                    [15] => 9. Break text by adding helpful visuals
                                    [16] => 10. Write short URLs
                                    [17] => 11. Add transcripts to all video content
                                    [18] => 12. Add internal links to your content
                                    [19] => 1. Revisit your audience
                                    [20] => 2. Identify your goals
                                    [21] => 3. Research keywords and validate ideas
                                    [22] => 4. Create an editorial calendar and content briefs
                                    [23] => 5. Create a link building plan
                                    [24] => 6. Publish and track results
                                    [25] => 1. Write for your readers (meaning: no keyword stuffing)
                                    [26] => 2. Create content based on the questions readers have
                                    [27] => 3. Add keywords strategically in your SEO content
                                    [28] => 4. Structure content for readability
                                    [29] => 5. Write direct, to the point subheadings
                                    [30] => 6. Write keyword-enriched meta descriptions
                                    [31] => 7. Add alt text to all images
                                    [32] => 8. Create compelling page titles
                                    [33] => 9. Break text by adding helpful visuals
                                    [34] => 10. Write short URLs
                                    [35] => 11. Add transcripts to all video content
                                    [36] => 12. Add internal links to your content
                                    [37] => Use this checklist as a guide for tips and tricks you can apply to any piece of content to get some quick SEO wins
                                    [38] => About the author
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                                )

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                                    [dateFormatted] => 8o December 2021
                                    [dateISO] => Dec 08, 2021
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