Chapter 5 – Elements of SEO.
Now that we have an understanding of what is SEO, how search engine works and what it can do and what it cannot do. It is time for us to start the optimization.
Before I begin. I would like to tell you that whatever I am going to describe in this chapter and coming chapters would give you fundamental information and build your foundation concept of the elements of SEO. As I told you in the introduction that SEO is ever changing world. It has evolved a lot. You will see a lot of changes in coming future, even if it does not change there are many people who do many experiments and learn a lot of tricks and trades of SEO and share it world. So you will see a lot of additional information pouring in.
Due this dynamic it is difficult to create fixed chapters for SEO. So I have used chapters to provide you with the basic and fundamental concept of SEO. These fundamentals have remained more or less same since the beginning with some changes. Whenever there is a change I will update my chapters regularly to provide you with the latest information. For providing you with more advance knowledge of SEO I have decided to do it trough blog post. Blog posts will be the best way to provide the latest information about what is going on in SEO and tips on SEO. Don’t worry, you will see links in of important blog posts in chapters so that you can refer to blogs for more detail information.
In previous chapters you can see links of important blog post which you can refer for further reading. Continuing from this chapter I will follow the same trend, however, the link from now on will have even more importance as the blog post they are linking to are actually new chapters on SEO. So I would request you to go through them at your own pace.
Coming back to our topic components of SEO.
There are various components of SEO. Covering them all at one place is not possible so we will start with some important SEO and continue to explore new ones. Now these components of SEO can be divided into two groups on page optimization and off page optimization. Let us describe in detail what are they.
On-Page optimization or On-page SEO:- As the name suggests these are activities which you can do on your website to enhance your visibility on search engines. Let us look at them one by one.
- Meta Tag: It is a snippet of text which gives a small description of what this page content is about. This meta tag is not visible on the web page but is available in codes on the page and are viewable to search engines. Again, don’t worry about coding WordPress and other CMS gives lot of tools to accomplish this task without coding. It consists of four parts meta title, meta description, meta keyword and meta robot.
- Keyword and Content: It is something which you have total control of it and it really matters a lot in SEO. The next chapter will be on keyword and content.
- Site Maps: It is a file which contains a list of pages of your sites. It is used by google and other search engines to crawl the website easily and discover new pages if any.
- URL Structure: A lot depends on URL structure. You need to choose wisely how you want your web page address to appear. The link which appears in address bard of the browser is not only merely a link pointing to your web page. It plays an important role when in SEO. Make sure it is human readable and it should mean something. URL’s like yourpage.com/page1 or www.yourpage.com?q=128l1 may be doing a good job to bring your website up, but it means nothing to human and search engine. So make sure it should be easy and human readable.The best example of this could be www.techimoz.com/components-of-seo. This link is human readable and it tells what is the page about. Someone looking at the link can easily predict what the page is about. It also helps search engine to index page easily as it knows where to put the page based on keyword in title. I would also encourage you not to use special character in URL as search engines have a hard time crawling them. If you need to separate words to make sense use hyphen “-“ instead of underscore or any other separator as it is easier for search engines to follow.
- ALT tags: ALT tags are also known as ALT text or ALT attributes. We have already discussed this in the previous chapter. To recap, it is a text which is used to provide content for an image or video. It is hidden from users, but it is visible to search engines which helps them to index the images based on content provided in the ALT text. ALT attributes help search engines to know what is the image or video about as they are not smart enough as human to identify images and video.
Although on-page optimization is essential for SEO however, it alone cannot do much unless it is complemented by off page optimization.
Off-page optimization: – It is a technique which you preform off your page that is not on your website, but other places on the internet to increase your website visibility and increase your importance in the eyes of search engines.
Lets us see how this work. Suppose if there is a website with really great quality and informative content. Then it is more likely to be bookmarked on social bookmarking sites shared on social media by like minded people. People who have their website will write about this article and link to it. Google and other search engine use these indications and links present on a different website to determine how popular and relevant your website is for a given search term and based on it, it gives page rank and visibility of that website for a search result.
I think I have already given you a hint on most import components of off-page optimization and that is link building. Link building is the process of getting links from other website to point to your website. Social media can also be considered as a component of off-page optimization, however, it is quite vast to be covered in SEO, and it has its own concept, hence it is covered in different branch called SMO or Social media optimization.
Link building as well is a big topic, hence we will cover it in coming chapters. It has got a lot of do’s and don’t and various evolving tactics on how to do a link building which we will cover in detail.