What is SEO? A Beginners Guide to Ranking on Google (2020)

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Commonly referred to as SEO, it is a set of techniques and strategies used to rank web pages on search engine results. It can also be referred to as a method to get “free” and “organic” traffic from search engine without spending money on ads.

Search engines in this context are Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc. Each of these search engines has some set of algorithms in place to decide which page should be ranked higher.

The job of an SEO person is to understand these algorithms, apply best practices, and improve the ranking for a page. The efforts required to rank a webpage depends on the user query being targeted.

For example, if you the query is “best mobile phones“, ranking on the first page would be difficult as it is already dominated by huge technology sites.

On the other hand, if we target “best mobile phones under $100” or “best mobile phones with 4GB RAM“, the competition will be less.

Why SEO is Important?

What’s the first thing you do when you want to learn about something, buy a product, or get general information? You Google or Bing.

Similar to you, billions of people use these search engines to look for their answers and get suggestions on what to buy or read for more information. And since the number of internet users is on a constant rise, the number of people searching will also increase.

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This creates a great opportunity for a website, business, or online store owner to get targeted free traffic from search engines with the help of SEO practices.

Search Engine Optimization is essential because:

What Are The Types of SEO?

There are two types of SEO to focus.

1. On-Page SEO: Optimize your page and website for best SEO practices.

2. Off-Page SEO: It refers to action taken outside of your blog to improve rankings.

On-Page SEO

All the actions you take on your site with a goal to get better rankings comes under on-page or on-site SEO.

The various elements that affect on-page SEO are:

  1. Page Title
  2. Meta Description
  3. Content Quality
  4. Heading Tags Structure
  5. URL Structure
  6. Website Speed
  7. Reading Experience
  8. Internal Linking
  9. Image SEO
  10. Keyword Optimization

This infographic by SEO legend Brian Dean is everything you need to understand on-page SEO.

On-Page SEO by Backlinko

Off-Page SEO

Whatever you do outside of your website to influence search engine rankings comes under off-page SEO.

The various factors that affect off-site SEO are:

  1. Number of linking domains
  2. Number of linking pages
  3. Link Relevancy
  4. Authority of linking domain
  5. Anchor text and link placement
  6. Social media shares
  7. Nofollow vs DoFollow link ratio

You can learn more about off-page SEO and how to get more backlinks on this article by Neil Patel.

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