What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization is also known as SEO, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
SEO focuses on:
- Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they're coming to your site because Google tells them you're a resource for Apple computers when really you're a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in the products that you offer.
- Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.
- Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don't have to pay for.
What is a domain authority score?
A domain authority score predicts how likely a website is to rank based on its relevance within a specific industry or topic area. Each website is scored on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the best.
What is keyword stuffing?
Keyword stuffing occurs when brands load their website with a bunch of keywords in an attempt to manipulate SEO and gain an unfair ranking on SERPs. This practice is considered web spam, which means search engines will most likely recognize this behavior and penalize the website.
What is a long-tail keyword?
A long-tail keyword is a keyword or key phrase that is specific to your consumers. Given their specificity, users searching for these keywords are more likely to know exactly what they are looking for, which means they are more likely to buy once they find it.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines with the goal of using that data for a specific purpose, often for search engine optimization (SEO) or general marketing. Keyword research can uncover queries to target, the popularity of these queries, their ranking difficulty, and more.
Why Isn't My Website Ranking on Google?
If your website isn’t ranking on Google, there are a few reasons why that could be. But first, head to Google.com and run a site: search for your website. e.g., “site:bridging.co.tz”.
If you see your site’s web pages listed, you know that your site is indexed. Reasons why your website isn’t ranking could be that:
- Your site is new and hasn’t built up sufficient authority to rank for competitive search queries. You can’t launch a website and expect to rank for your target queries overnight; you need to demonstrate that you deserve to rank.
- Your content doesn’t match the searcher's intent or lacks in-depth analysis or quality compared to the pages that rank for the queries you’re looking at. You need to ensure that the pages you serve are at least as good as, ideally better than, what’s already ranking.
If you don’t see any of your website’s pages listed, this means that it has not been indexed. Reasons for this could include:
- Your website is blocking search engines from crawling it (usually in your robots.txt file) or is instructing them not to index it (generally using noindex tags). Resolve these blocks, and you should see your site indexed.
Your site has launched very recently (within a few days), and you have not submitted the site to Google or linked to it from anywhere, meaning it hasn’t yet been indexed. Set up Google Search Console and request indexing.
Your site has received a sitewide manual penalty for violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This is rare and unlikely. However, you would need to have been using some seriously black-hat SEO tactics for this to happen.
What Is A Google Penalty?
You might have heard that Google hands out penalties to websites that violate their webmaster guidelines? There are two types of penalties; at least as far as webmasters go:
- Manual action penalties
- Algorithmic penalties (adjustments)
However, officially, algorithmic penalties (or adjustments) aren't penalties. They're the result of a site's rankings changing because of the algorithm (for example, the Panda and Penguin algorithms) filtering a site due to the identification of manipulation.
Google Penalties are manual actions, meaning they are a human-driven process. When a site receives a penalty, it's the result of a real person working for Google and reviewing the case.
Algorithmic filtering, on the other hand, is a fully automated part of Google’s ranking algorithm. Google’s set of software and algorithms can detect a certain number of manipulations, or what they consider to be manipulations, on any part of a website and “filter” this site accordingly. You don’t receive any messages or alerts if your site loses positions as a result of algorithmic filtering.
How Long Does It Take To Rank on Google?
Well, as is the answer for many SEOs: it depends.
Long gone are the days of launching a website, optimizing your title tags, and ranking in a few weeks. You can't launch a website and expect it to rank for competitive search queries overnight. It takes time for a website to perform organically as Google ranks relevant sites that have built up authority.
You need to earn your way to the top of Google and deserve to be there.
A good answer is somewhere between six months and one year, but this is very much based on the level of resources you allocate to your strategy, the level of competition, and what others who compete for the same queries are doing.
It might only take a few months to rank for a local term (e.g., car rental in Dar es salaam), whereas it could take years to rank a new website for, let's say, the term "laptops."
Should I Do SEO, Run PPC Ads, or Both?
In an ideal world, a business should balance multiple marketing channels to avoid a reliance on any single source of traffic (and conversions). But, especially for smaller businesses, budget is often a challenge, and resources must be allocated efficiently. Funds aren't endless.
Even in this instance, it's essential to balance a long-term SEO strategy with a small but targeted PPC campaign.
Does Social Media Help To Increase My Website's Rank?
There's a common misconception that posting on social media helps increase your website's rank on search engines.
Social media does not directly contribute to SEO ranking, but the links you share across social platforms increase brand exposure.
Your shares across social media sites have no place in SEO rankings. Still, when more people share your content throughout social media, it generates social signals that indicate your posts are useful to your target market.
While social media doesn't directly increase your search engine rankings, it indirectly affects and helps build your brand.
What is the sitemap
A site map is a model of a website's content designed to help both users and search engines navigate the site. A site map can be a hierarchical list of pages (with links) organized by topic, an organization chart, or an XML document that provides instructions to search engine crawl bots. Site map may also be spelled sitemap.
What is the keyword?
A keyword is a term used in digital marketing to describe a word or a group of words an Internet user uses to perform a search in a search engine.