Becoming a search engine optimization expert is not an easy task, but it can be extremely rewarding and lucrative if you master the skills it requires. In order to become an expert, you need to understand two important elements: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Let’s get started.
To become a search engine optimization expert it’s essential to understand the importance of on-page factors and how to optimize them. So what are on-page factors? On-page factors are the aspects of your web pages that affect search engine rankings; such as, content of the page, title tags, URL, and image alt text. Let’s go into each of these individually.
Content of the page
Content is the most important aspect of on-page factors. It is the reason the user came to your site and is extremely important to search engines (how many times have you heard it by now–content is king!). Therefore, you need to write high-quality, informative content that is valuable to your user. But, before you start writing content it’s important to develop a website content strategy based on your goals and objectives. This will ensure you get the right information across that is targeted to your audience.
After content, this is the second most important factor to optimize. Titles tags are critical to both SEO and user experience. They tell search engines and users exactly what the page is about and therefore need to be accurate and concise. To help improve ranking, it is best practice to keep title tags under 70 characters and place keywords closer to the start of the title tag.
URLs need to tell the user exactly what the web page is about and reflect the hierarchy of information on the given page. For example the URL: http://www.2webdesign.com/blog/3531/how-writing-blogs-generates-leads/, clearly states that the information on this specific page is a blog article and is about “How writing Blogs generates leads”. The structure of your URL is important because it helps search engines to determine the relevancy of a web page when it comes to ranking.
Image alt text
Images are great when it comes to web pages as it helps to break up text and can increase page views (really, who doesn’t like pictures?). The main purpose for image alt tags is to provide an alternative description of the image for users who cannot view the visual on their screen. As well, when images are placed on a web page search engines are not able to “see” what the image is. Therefore, images need to be optimized in order to show up in search results. When creating image alt text it is best practice to use descriptive image titles that contain your keyword(s).
Now that you are familiar with the aspects that make up on-page SEO, let’s take a look at the second element you must understand in becoming a search engine optimization expert–off-page SEO. Off-page SEO refers to the optimization activities that takes place outside of your website–basically, link building.
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. When other websites link back to your web page, this link is considered a “vote”. These votes are important because search engines take them into consideration when deciding where your page will rank in the search engine results page.
Building external links to your site can be difficult, especially if you are a beginner, as you might be tempted to buy links from sites that offer hundreds of links for a very low price. Now this may sound appealing, BUT–you can just about guarantee that if you do that, your site will be marked as spam by the search engines and you will have a very hard time recovering from it.
While the number of links is important, it is not nearly as important as the quality of those links. One link from a major news site will be much more valuable than fifty links from sites that are less established. Therefore, it’s crucial you take the time to develop natural links and the best way to do this is by creating remarkable content that stands out and is of great value to your audience.
On-page and off-page SEO go hand-in-hand; if you’re creating high-quality, optimized web pages that contain valuable content they are more likely to get shared and linked to. Therefore, it’s important to master both if you want to become a search engine optimization expert!
Are there any other tips you have for becoming an expert in SEO? Share them in the comments box below!