What is SEO & how it can help you?

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by Andis Klavins

Many new bloggers who are not too familiar with internet technologies might have a question – “what is SEO and how it can help me drive traffic to my blog?”. Well, I will try to give an answer to this question in this article and show you, how you can learn SEO technologies by yourself in no time.

What is SEO?

SEO “Search Engine Optimization” is a technology that helps you get visitors to your website from search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

The idea behind this is to optimize your site with social media presence using links, from other sites, to obtain links from search engines.

These links are called – rankings, they are the ones promoting your site and showing it to as many people as possible. The more people will see your link, the more will click on it and visit your site, isn’t it?

SEO is system of actions you will take to beat other websites and get your rankings higher. It is like horse racing where you should have the best horse, professional jockey, a great start and keep attention to every aspect of the race to win.

How do search engines work?

When you type any request in a Google search box, you get a list with links to different websites related to your search query. But do you know how they make their lists and why one site is ranked higher, but other sites lower?

Well, the answer is because Google tries to rank sites by the relevancy and quality against your search query. But because its ranked by a machine, Google uses special rules, called – ranking factors, to determine which page is more relevant to your question and most likely will answer it in the best way, and which ones are less relevant and need to be shown in lower positions.

When you go through results of your search you probably have realized, the highest results not always mean they have the best answer to your question, they just have the best technical optimization for their site related to your query.

Why don’t you do the same for your site?

Learning Search Engine Optimization

First you need to know the rules of the game, right? Please read about actual Google ranking factors in 2019, which will give you better understanding. I consistently update this list to keep it genuine as much as possible. It is a good idea to check it out for updates time to time.

Now, when you know “game rules” it’s time to decide which technology to go for. As you probably have heard, there are two basic strategies named “white hat SEO” and “black hat SEO.”

What is the difference between them?

White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO

White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is a complex of technologies, that tends to build site authority and rankings legitimately and follow Google rules directly. In order to get a rank for a keyword, you have to have a website with good content, strong branding, trustworthy links, and use all the tools Google offers. It is a slow way, but it is safe, and your rankings will remain for a long time and will never get penalized.

Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO, beginning as a way to achieve higher rankings on Google, is often an unnecessary gamble. Black hat SEO is a term used for techniques that try to trick or manipulate Google’s algorithm. The goal of these techniques is usually to improve rankings in the search engine, but the use of black hat SEO can lead to a penalty from Google and a lower ranking. 

In most cases, it goes against Google rules and can put your site rankings into trouble. But from another hand, it can be done very quickly, and you can get all the benefits from high rankings almost overnight.

Understanding how these algorithms work will help people make smarter decisions about their online marketing strategy.

Grey Hat SEO

What is SEO & how it can help you?

Grey Hat SEO are mix of White Hat and Black Hat technologies. Like in life, no one is only good or bad all the times.

This technology mostly uses White Hat methods, but time by time add some Black Hat as well to do things faster. These methods mostly are done for SEO Pros because you need to know how much you can use Black Hat to avoid being cached from Google and that involves a very deep understanding of Google algorithms and timeframe for Google updates.

What’s under the Hat?

Despite which way you will choose, be it white, black or gray, you still will need to work in two different directions called on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

On-page SEO is system of methods you will use directly on your site, it can include code optimization, work with images, texts, and links directly on your website.

From one side, it’s the easiest part, because on your site you can access everything and can make all the changes needed. Still many people fail to do this due to lack of knowledge.

Off-page SEO instead is a system of methods to optimize your rankings outside your site. It can involve link building, social media marketing, and branding.

This part can become harder because if you will make a mistake, (post a link or publish a post in another blog), you might not be able to correct it, due to restricted access. The best way how to avoid this is to create a step by step plan for your off-page SEO and stick with it.

For a better understanding of why both directions are so important and can’t give results one without other, I will show an example written by well-known entrepreneur Neil Patel.

In his blog, he writes:

“Let’s say you have a house with a garden in the front yard and a little pathway that leads through your front yard to your home.

Imagine these two scenarios:

Scenario #1: Your house is super clean on the inside, but your front yard is a mess.

What happens in this scenario?

Well, even if you have the cleanest Mary Poppins-style house on the inside, if your garden looks like the forest from Sleeping Beauty, no one will come into your home in the first place.

It’s the same if you haven’t optimized your page around on-page SEO. It may have great content and look stunning, but no one will ever see your beautiful masterpiece because you won’t get any traffic.

What about the other way around?

Scenario #2: You have neatly trimmed your lawn, but the inside of your house is a mess.

Turn things around, and they look similar: Having a beautiful lawn will attract plenty of people to come to visit your house, but if your living room reminds your guests of a war zone, they’ll leave quicker than you can pronounce SEO.”

Ready to go deeper?

Best resources where to learn SEO in deep

SEO forums

One of the oldest SEO and SMM forums in Internet.
Another well-known digital marketing forum which has been on since ages.
A little blacky, but will give you a peak in SEO dark side.

Best SEO related blogs

Brian Dean is my favorite blogger when it comes to topics about SEO.
Neil Patel is well-known authority in SEO world. It is worth to check out his blog time to time and learn about last trends and technologies.
Of one of best SEO tool Blog in the market – MOZ.
Huge multi author blog about SEO technologies.
Another big source of latest SEO tips and tricks.
This is Google official blog. It is always worth to learn from the first person, isn’t it?
Great SEO tool and blog about how to use it.

Very useful source about different topics in Search Engine Optimization.

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