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What is Search Engine Optimization SEO? How to succeed online?

Updated: Apr 22



In 2021, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes with a whole new set of challenges that can create or destroy your success. In SEO, it is safe to say that things always change, from day to day and month to month.


Optimization techniques that worked a few years ago are today completely excluded, and SEO that goes into a more intelligent discipline that develops far beyond spamming Google with links and keywords.


Sophisticated strategies for increasing organic traffic exist, along with tools that analyze the competitor gap, analyze the keyword gap and so on and so forth. Freddy Fix possesses all these tools.


There are four basic components of SEO:

  1. Keywords (and keyword targeting).

  2. Search volumes behind keywords.

  3. Traffic coming from organic search.

  4. Conversions from customers searching for targeted keywords.


The actual techniques are about the following:

  1. "On-site" optimization.

  2. Link building.

  3. Contents.

  4. Technical SEO.


How do you go through a todo list of necessary actions accordingly, and make sure that these factors are nailed down sufficiently for you to either start or expand an existing campaign?

Well, you've got to the right place. Freddy Fix tells you how this is done and can do it for you too.


This SEO for beginners guide is designed to review the basics to give you a solid foundation that you can then use on your own or to understand all the work behind when you engage us on such an assignment.


Topics, units and keywords

The first basic component we are going to look at includes keywords and keyword targeting.


In the old days of SEO, keywords were really all we had. Keywords and keyword targeting. Keyword targeting involves creating pages based on specific keywords and optimizing them.


The content would be laser targeted and built around this keyword.


As you move forward with SEO, you can technically include keyword synonyms and related keywords in such a way that you can improve your rankings.


The problem with keywords, however, is that they can become redundant, too repetitive, and that you can quickly run out of SEO pain points in industry-related keywords.


There is very little room to move on.


For the process of keyword optimization, it used to be done as follows: Maybe say you did keyword research, found the one that yields the best results in terms of search volume, created a page for the keyword, and made sure that keywords were merged throughout your content equivalent. This was one way to do it.


Let's not forget the different types of keywords, which are many. The goals of these keywords will change depending on how you want to approach SEO:

Keywords

  • "Short Tail" keywords

  • "Long tail" keywords

  • Supportive keywords / keyword synonyms

  • Tags

  • Sentence words for sentence match

  • Keywords for broad match

  • Negative keywords

  • Exact keywords


By the way, do not start with cheap "LSI Keywords solutions". Yes, they are scams. And nothing more than a marketing effort to label synonyms and keyword relationships as something other than what they are.

LSI keywords are words and phrases that Google views as semantically related to a topic - at least according to many in the SEO industry. If you are talking about cars, LSI keywords can be car, engine, road, tires, vehicles and automatic transmission.


Why do we go through such a detailed introduction of keywords? Because they are a basic skill in the SEO profession.


Recently, however, there has been a shift from keywords to topics and devices.


If keywords are specific words and phrases, topics can be considered as broader terms and content.


Even if a change has taken place, you still can not do it without keywords. They are the backbone of any SEO strategy.


A new twist was recently introduced in the SEO mix with the introduction of devices. Exactly what are devices, really?


Units are places, people, things, etc.


According to Dave Davies who is one of the world's foremost experts in this field, devices, the whole world are in the new SEO. Davies says the following:

Units are, in my humble opinion, the most important concept to understand in SEO right now. Full stop. Do you think I'm just some SEO professional who utters the latest "Silver Bullet" that will crumble on the table along with many before it?

Then think of this:

Three of the most important ranking factors, at the last Google update, were: Content, Links and RankBrain. A unit is all that is: Singular, Unique, Well Defined and Different. "

And that's why it's so important to ensure that your site is optimized with devices, keywords and topics.


Topics, topics, topics and more topics - So what is so important about topics?

Exactly what are topics about? As mentioned earlier, SEO is traditionally about optimizing for targeted keywords.


And it was - that used to be - considered an SEO practice to create 1 page per single targeted keyword.


You can access your topics by conducting topic research using a tool such as SEMrush, which has its own tool called the Theme Research Tool.


By using both of these tools, you should be able to identify suitable topics for the type of website you are working on.


All is well, but what should you do if you are optimizing for multiple topics?


Kristopher Jones of the Search Engine Journal has presented a great way to optimize your site for more topics in your post,

read the article here: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/optimizing-multiple-topics/201878/ There are other basic things including content, links and technical SEO that will create or ruin your success.


Let's take a look at some of the most defining factors that will help your SEO in 2022, and basic elements you need to learn.


High quality content

Does Google's algorithm suffer from problems when it comes to judging whether the content is of high enough quality or not?


It can, as an SEO competition recently found out when they tried to play on Google's algorithm using so-called Lorem ipsum texts.


In general, high quality content is what helps your site perform. But it takes different forms, depending on different attributes of your marketing campaign, including:

  • Website industry affiliation.

  • What has been done with your site in the past.

  • What is being done with your site now.

  • The industry's overall competition.

  • What your competitors are doing.

  • What Google's algorithm does.


The site's most important industry

There are industry variations in SEO - no doubt about it. I highly recommend taking an open approach to SEO strategies, and do not think that once you have learned a strategy, that you are done.


Industry standards vary and can be as different as the site itself. The way you find out from these norms is that you should do an analysis of the competitor gap.


What an analysis of the competitor gap does is that it will help you find what you need to do to increase your rankings over your competitor.


You can read more about how to perform an analysis of the competitor gap here.


Things you want to get an overview of with the analysis of the competitor gap include insights such as:

  • Competitor's ranking.

  • Contest content (post frequency, number of words, etc.).

  • The link profiles of your competitors.

  • And to a lesser extent page SEO and technical SEO.


Important: Correlation is not the same as cause


In SEO, you may think that if you make a small change in some keywords on a website, or you make changes in some links, that an immediate improvement is noticeable, and probably due to just that change.


The problem is that it rarely works out that way in the real world.


When it comes to SEO, correlation is not a causal link. It is not enough to say that you did this, this and this, and that it was a contributor to your results.


On the contrary, detailed organic traffic data analysis and interpretation are needed to find the whole story.


That's what makes SEO so complicated - the fact that it's not a simple correlation / causal paradigm.


Instead, SEO is far more complex with layer upon layer of algorithms, not to mention the fact that Google makes small changes to its algorithms daily, which in total become large over the course of weeks and months.


The changes they choose to announce are usually the most devastating if you are in any way dealing with spam.


Which brings us to the following topic: white hat SEO vs. black hat SEO.

White Hat SEO Vs. Black Hat SEO Vs. Gray Hat: Which hat should I choose?

Within SEO, there are different philosophies. These philosophies do not always go together as well. In fact, they can be frustrating for SEO worldwide, because one group believes in one thing while another group believes in another.


White Hat SEOs follow Google's guidelines for webmasters to the letter. They believe in implementing techniques that will be sustainable in the long run and that will not cause Google to impose a penalty on them.


The most ethical SEOs are the ones who give customers everything they do - they give details, they give the links they build, everything.


They are ethical and transparent in their SEO duties, and provide reports that the client can take reasonable action on in the future.


Black Hat SEOs are not afraid to embrace the latest and greatest in technology, no matter how far it takes them away from Google's guidelines.


They are masters of an eternity machine that burns and burns, and often get good short-term results, but lack long-term results.


It is these Black Hat SEOs who use programs like Scrapebox, SENuke and XRumer in an attempt to build links en masse, so that these links in turn will push the rankings to first place - until Google catches them and all hell breaks loose. .


Then they just start over with another domain. Gray Hat is a healthy mix of the two, usually using black hat techniques for research but not execution, and uses a white hat approach for long-term sustainable results. This is likely where the most aggressive SEOs fall.


There is nothing legally, morally or inherently wrong with this, but if you want to be on the good side of Google, you will choose white hat or gray hat SEO.


Do industry analysis, especially if you are not familiar with the industry in question.


Doing industry analysis is the first part.


Your primary source of such industry information should be your own information. This is when you are going to perform a kind of analysis process - and be able to ask questions to find out which industry specifications you should be aware of while doing SEO.


The next part will be to figure out the SEO elements that your competitors are using to leverage the SERP performance.


Search engine results pages (SERPs) are the pages that Google and other search engines display in response to user searches. They consist of organic and paid search results


If you can think of improving rankings and organic traffic as a core component of SEO, competitor gap analysis is a core component in assessing the next steps in an SEO campaign.


After getting acquainted with the industry and defining your industry goals, you need to move on with a website analysis. This will help you uncover what has been done with the site in the past and what is being done with the site now.


It is important that you get this information, because one wrong step can cause you major problems in your SEO campaign later.


If you are lucky enough to be on a team that has this information, you can simply ask the team leader for the information and they will be able to give it to you on the spot.


However, if you are not so lucky, you could end up in a situation where you can not evaluate the previous information.


In these cases, what is available at the moment is all you have, and you need to think of your SEO campaign as moving on from that point.

Your competitors' link profiles can provide valuable insights

The competitor's link profiles, along with your own, should also be a core component of this analysis.


But this is where things can get a little kinking. If you do not have a good understanding of SEO, what seems to be quite obvious in terms of correlation may be completely different when you look at it from a point of view where you had all the information.


This is where the tough part comes in.


If you do not do a link analysis, but there are other vulnerabilities, you may never be 100% sure what was responsible for improving the site.


On the other hand, if you have all the information, you can still never be 100% sure, but at least you can limit the exact cause of the improvement.


Remember that search is not a simple context - context is not causal. Just because you added one thing does not mean that one thing caused that improvement.

On-site SEO and technical SEO are also important factors

Other important factors you should be aware of include the latest in On-Site SEO techniques and technical SEO.


Website optimization includes the following:

  • Optimization of the page to deliver unique value.

  • Optimization for phenomenal user experience (UX).

  • Laser-targeted keyword targeting.

  • Can be easily shared through social networks.

  • Can transfer seamlessly between devices.

  • Is crawler / bot available - Google's Gary Illyes has stated: "Just make the damn site crawl."

  • Optimizes for authorship, metadata, forms and rich snippets.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is strongly focused on crawling and indexing your site. This is where you can tilt the odds heavily in your favor by making sure your site is properly optimized for crawlers.


This has nothing to do with content or links, and is very technical in the implementation.


Technical SEO in 2021 includes the following you must learn and implement to succeed:

  • Absolutely everything that has to do with robots.txt.

  • Optimization of navigation and website architecture.

  • Optimization of URL structure.

  • Schema.org Implementation of structured data.

  • Canonization of URLs.

  • Error page analysis and correction (4xx, 5xx, 3xx, etc.).

  • Server analysis for bottlenecks that can cost you SERP performance.

  • SSL implementation for a secure website.

Page speed measurements along with individual SEO elements that increase page speed.

  • Mobile friendliness.

  • Cross-reader and platform compatibility.

  • Code optimization (including W3C aspects like validation, availability and so on).

  • AMP for news publishers (which can cover a wide range of topics).

  • International multilingual implementations.

  • Pagination as next / previous

  • Internal links.

  • Link profile analysis to determine penalties or algorithmic adjustments (if any).

Optimize for search intent and ensure that the purpose matches the target search exactly


You must target and fulfill the user's intent for your optimization to succeed.


This is a basic SEO practice that has been in use since the early part of the 2010s.


You need to make sure that your keywords meet the user's intent for the query.


Dan Taylor of the Search Engine Journal writes: “Many studies have been conducted to understand the intention behind a question; and this is reflected in the results shown by Google.


Haahr gave a great presentation in 2016 and looked at how Google returns results from a ranking technician. The same "very fulfilling" scale can be found in the Google search quality ranking guidelines.


In the presentation, Haahr explains basic theories that if a user searches for a particular store (eg, Walmart), they are most likely looking for their nearest Walmart store, not the brand's headquarters in Arkansas.


The search quality guidelines consider this. Section 3 of the Guidelines describes “Guidelines for Assessing Needs” and how to use them for content.

The scale ranges from Fully Meets (FullyM) to Fails to Meet (FailsM) and has flags for whether the content is porn, foreign language, does not load or is outrageous / offensive.


The rates are not only critical of the sites they display in web results, but also the special content result blocks (SCRB), aka Rich Snippets, and other search features that appear in addition to the "10 blue links". This brings us to another important consideration for SEO in 2021 - read and remember the "Guidelines for Google's search quality assessments" - this does NOT mean that you can automatically just go from there and optimize what they say about organic search without further ado.


This is created by a completely separate department for organic search. But their guide provides very important insights into understanding how Google in general views specific search factors that you can then translate to improve your overall E-A-T - Expertise, Authority and Trust.


The following SEO factors you need to know about are also important:

  • Page speed optimization

  • Strategic optimization of your target keywords (this includes within page title, meta descriptions, H1s and subheading tags)

  • Page URL Optimization

  • Page speed optimization

  1. Image file size

  2. Image file names

  3. Alternative (alt) text

  4. Title Text

  • Write your content according to the intelligence level of your target audience

  • Internal link optimization when creating a content page

  • Including images strategically throughout the text


E-A-T in 2021

Google's core algorithm update from August 2018 made many people understand what had destroyed their site so easily in the SERPs. It is known as medical update because it was assumed that the update was aimed at medical websites.


When it's actually targeted at YMYL (your money or your life) - type sites categorized in Google's Quality Assurance Guidelines.


In fact, it was one of the first updates where no SEO could find out what happened during the first 60 days.


This update was found to target the following types of sites:

  • YMYL - Your money or your life - websites

  • Health places

  • E-commerce

  • Financing

  • Technology

  • Travel

  • Entertainment

  • Coupon / Deal Sites

  • Adult sites

Why this is important for 2021

This update was a turning point in Google Algorithms that targeted sites for long-term authority and trust. Yes, authority and trust are not something to be taken lightly.


How do you build authority and trust? By answering the user's questions thoroughly, and mind-mapping your content to achieve this ultimate goal, which your user is looking to solve.


In 2021, if you want to build your own websites and make them SEO-friendly, long-term sustainable SEO is even more important now.


As Alan Bleiweiss in the Search Engine Journal writes, you have to be the answer to the question.


Answer the user's questions so thoroughly that no one else can compare with you because you are so good at it.


Bleiweiss reports that thought failure - or not finding what you are looking for - is a simple and critical factor you must make sure to avoid then get right to succeed with SEO.


The industry must accept that if you look at most business sites, in terms of their PRIMARY SERVICES or PRIMARY PRODUCT OFFER, most solutions lie in understanding that the website or online store must be:

  • Well organized.

  • Marketed on an industry or market scale.

  • Visible when people are on these services or product pages.

And that's a big problem.


Still, if you insist on continuing with the whole "blogging" thing, because "that's what customers expect", surely.

Go for it.

Have fun :)))


I continue to do what I do when my clients hire me to fix websites that have broken down, at least in part due to content errors.

A solid focus on SEO disciplines is necessary for success


You can not expect to do SEO for a month and then achieve amazing results overnight. It rarely happens this way.


Instead, you need to implement a multi-stranded approach that leads to a solid foundation that takes into account many issues across SEO elements in order to succeed.


Focusing on one thing will only lead to subpar results that create nothing more than a small blip in your Google Analytics data.


An organized approach that focuses on the best in quality is best, considering the user's pain points, needs and desires when dealing with this.


Be the answer in your industry to the user's questions.

And your SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) performance will thank you.

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