SEO Fundamentals

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jul 27, 2023

SEO Fundamentals

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a set of strategies or techniques used to optimize a website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

The primary goal of SEO is to increase a site's visibility and organic (non-paid) traffic.

Why is it Important?

It is crucial for several reasons:

  • It helps your site rank higher in search results which leads to more visibility or exposure to potential visitors.

  • You can attract organic traffic from search engines which is often more valuable.

  • It conveys more credibility and trustworthiness to users.

  • It enhances the overall user experience by making your site faster, user-friendly, or mobile-responsive.

Types of SEO

There are three main types of SEO. Each type plays a significant role in attracting more organic traffic.

On-page SEO

It involves the optimization of individual pages to enhance their rankings. It includes optimizing content, meta tags, headings, URL structures and internal linking.

Off-page SEO

It concentrates on activities outside your website that influence your rankings. It involves building backlinks, guest blogging, or other external promotional efforts.

Technical SEO

This includes site speed, mobile-friendliness, architecture and other technical aspects to improve its visibility.

How to Set Up a Website for Successful SEO

It involves several important steps you need to follow.

Get a Good Domain

Choose a domain name that is short, memorable or relevant to your business. Avoid using hyphens or special characters.

While the top-level domain (TLD) choice doesn't directly impact SEO - using popular ones like .com or .org is generally recommended.

However, if you have specific regional targeting - using a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) may be suitable.

Use a CMS

Hosted platforms provide ready-made designs and handle hosting for you while self-hosted platforms like WordPress offer more customization options.

WordPress is a recommended CMS for its flexible usage or plugin availability.

Use a Good Web Host

If you choose a self-hosted platform - select a reliable web host.

Consider factors like security (SSL/TLS certificate), server location for optimal data transfer speed and 24/7 support.

Install Analytics

Google Analytics provides valuable information about visitors, traffic sources, popular pages, user engagement, etc.

It is crucial to have analytics set up to monitor user behaviour on the site.

  • To install GA, you need to sign up (if you don't have one already) by visiting the GA website.

  • Follow the instructions to create a new property.

  • Google will provide you with a tracking code snippet. You need to add this code to every page of your website - preferably in the header section.

  • Once the tracking code is installed, GA will start collecting data about visitors or their behaviour.

Register with Search Engines

This step allows you to access valuable data.

Two essential tools for this are Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

  • To register your domain with GSC - sign in with your Google account.

  • Click on the "Add Property" button & enter your site's URL.

  • You will be asked to verify ownership. Follow the verification instructions.

  • Once it is verified, you will have access to valuable data or tools.

  • To register with Bing Webmaster Tools - sign in with your Microsoft account & add your URL following the provided instructions.

Run a Crawl

While not mandatory, performing a website crawl using tools like Screaming Frog or Netpeak Spider helps identify SEO issues that may not be immediately obvious.

These crawlers can find broken links, duplicate content and other technical problems which helps you understand various aspects from Google's point of view.

Check How It is Indexed

Ensure that your site's pages are properly indexed. This step is crucial for appearing in search results.

A simple way to check indexing status is using an advanced search operator like a site: - For example, "" will show how many pages are indexed for your site.

If specific pages aren't indexed - several factors could be responsible. You should consider the following:

  • Is the site brand new? - Indexing might take time for new sites or pages.

  • Does the site offer unique, valuable content? - Google values original and useful content. 

  • Is the site crawlable & indexable? - Ensure that there are no technical issues preventing indexing and check GSC for potential problems.

Some technical issues that can impact indexing include:

Check Mobile Compatibility

It's important to view your site as search engines do to ensure proper crawling & indexing. Pay attention to how it performs on mobile devices.

Google's Mobile-Friendly Test can be used to get a quick overview of how search engines view the mobile version of your site.

Create a Positive User Experience

This is how to do it:

  • Use HTTPS with SSL/TLS encryption to protect users' personal data.

  • Choose an appealing design to reflect your brand.

  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly since more searches are done on mobile devices now.

  • Use a readable font size for compatibility on various devices.

  • Avoid intrusive pop-ups and ads that may negatively impact user experience or rankings.

  • Optimize page loading speed, especially for pages with the slowest experience.

Create a Logical Structure

Organize your content in a logical hierarchy to help visitors and Google find content easily.

Utilize internal links between pages as they facilitate search engine crawling, distribute PageRank, and provide context through anchor text.

Use a Proper URL Structure

Choose a clear, descriptive URL structure. If using WordPress, select the "post name" option for new sites. If you have an existing site - avoid changing the URL structure to prevent potential issues.

Install a Plugin

If you are using WordPress - consider installing an SEO plugin like Yoast or Rank Math. These plugins help implement best practices and provide valuable optimization suggestions.

Remember that SEO is an ongoing process where continuous monitoring or improvement is essential to improve your site's performance.

Key Takeaways

  • Selecting a good domain name, a suitable platform with a reliable web host.

  • Tools like Google Analytics are crucial to analyze user behaviour.

  • Performing a crawl can help identify SEO issues.

  • Prioritizing mobile-friendly design and positive user experience can significantly improve your site's SEO.

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