Basic: What You Need To Know About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


If you’re a new blogger or webmaster who has no ideas about Search Engine Optimization, this article is for you. Read on to find out what you need to know about SEO to build your blog / website presence on the internet.

What is SEO (a.k.a Search Engine Optimization)?

SEO is the process of getting web traffic to your blog / website through natural (or organic) search results from the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bings. In other words, it’s about how you position your website to gain visibility when someone search on the keywords related to your web content. Currently, Google is still the leader accounting about two third of the search engine desktop market shares as shown in the pie chart below.

Market Share
Source: NetMarketShare, data range from Jan 2014 to Aug 2015.

That simply means, we’ve to play by the Google’s rule to get ranked in its search results and I would suggest that you follow closely with the news & updates from Google in order to succeed in your SEO. Matt Cutt is currently the head of Google’s webspam team who sometimes shares great SEO insights that worth to take note.

So, What You Need to Know About SEO? And, How to Improve SEO?

There’re numerous factors that drive SEO. Among others, below are the key elements that might help your website ranks well:

1. Publish Quality Content

Some say web traffic is queen and content is king. No matter how good is your SEO strategy, a website with poor content will not last. Quality content is what readers need and search engines always try to pull relevant quality content for every search. So, if you want to build your website, build a quality one and you will be ready to ride on SEO.

2. Striking Page or Post Title With Target Keywords

Writing a striking headline is not enough, the idea is to match prospective keyword searches with your page or post title. However, don’t overdo this just to match keywords with high searches. Essentially, your page or post title should be relevant to the content.

What is SEO & How to improve SEO

3. Update Permalink Structure

Permalink structure is the style of URL when you publish a post or a page on your site. For example, WordPress’s default permalink structure for a post will look like this:

This URL structure doesn’t really help in SEO as search engines will not know what is that post all about. To improve SEO, your URL should be more descriptive (and include target keywords) like:

For details on how to update WordPress’s permalink structure, you may read my post on How to Write a Blog Like a Pro When You Are a Newbie.

4. Includes Target Keywords In Your Content

This is the part where you can play around with your target keywords. There are no hard and fast rules but don’t overstuff your content with keywords that bring no value to the readers. The key is to deliver great content with decent keywords strategy to improve SEO. Yoast WordPress SEO is one of the popular free plugins with content analysis functionality that helps WordPress users to write better content for SEO.

5. Link Building With Anchor Text

Link building is the process of building links (both internal and external links) that point to your page or post. Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink (e.g. In a phrase “Learn what is SEO“, the hyperlink “what is SEO” is the anchor text). Search engines use anchor text to help determine the subject matter of the linked-to document.

For example, if many sites think that “Web Page A” is relevant to “what is SEO” and place this anchor text in their websites to link with “Web Page A“, “Web Page A” will be able to rank well in “what is SEO” keyword search.

6. Use Alt Tags For Visual Content

Search engines cannot read visual content like us. Alt tags or alternative text is used to describe the video or images on your website. They allow search engines to crawl and understand your visual content in order to return relevant search results whenever there is a match.

7. Update Your Site Regularly

A great content today might not be as great tomorrow. To keep your quality content to be relevant, you should review and update your site regularly. Website with regular updates is perceived as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy and search engines give credit to this. From the site visitor’s perspective, we also don’t like to be fed with outdated information right?

Okay, these are what I have for you in this post. It’s your turn to experiment your SEO strategy now. Bear in mind that SEO doesn’t happen overnight, it takes months (or even years) to rank on the first page of search results.

Feel free to share with me your SEO tips as well. Good luck!

Extra tip: It’s common to make mistakes when we’re just starting out. Be aware of these common SEO mistakes and it could save you some unnecessary effort to rectify it at the later stage.