5. SEO For Beginners: What Makes A Website Rank?

5. SEO For Beginners: What Makes A Website Rank?

Before we start doing any SEO, we need to
understand what exactly makes a website rank high in search results. There are several ranking factors that contribute
to SEO, these include the Domain Name, the URL Address, Broken Links, Internal Links,
External Links, Website Loading Time, XML Sitemap, HTML Sitemap, on the Web Content. Let’s take a look at these in more detail. Domain Name. Using keywords in your domain name is an advantage
but you need to find a balance between keywords and creating a brand friendly domain. So there are two main benefits of using keywords
in your domain name. One of these is, if the domain name contains
keywords then the domain name itself is a ranking factor in search engine algorithms. Secondly having relevant keywords in a domain
name is beneficial because the domain name is the text that others will use as an anchor
text when linking to your website. So what exactly is anchor text? Anchor text are visible words that a hyperlinks
display when linking. Here is an example, I did a Google search
for cheap flights, as you can see the first website comes up is www.cheapflights.com
The keyword for this website is used inside the domain name. The second website that comes up is Expedia.com,
as you can see the keyword flights is in the URL address. The third website that comes up is cheaptickets.com/cheapflights
See how this website has included the keyword inside the domain name as well as the URL
address? Now skyscanner.net does not have neither of
the keywords in the domain name or the URL address. So how it is it ranking fourth? It’s ranking fourth because it utilizes other
SEO ranking factors very well. So like I said, find a balance between a brand
friendly domain and keywords because even though there is an advantage in using keywords
in the domain, there are many other ways you can rank a website. Here’s an example of anchor text. The top is the HTML code that sits in the
backend. The bottom bit is how it’s displayed on the
website. Now, can you see at the bottom how I’ve marked
click here for cheap flight in green? This is because I want to show you that it
is much more user-friendly and much better for SEO because the keyword is also included
in the anchor text which is the writing that contains the hyperlink. Take note that it is generally not a good
idea to move an existing establish website to a new URL just so it includes keywords
because as I said before there are many other factors that contribute to SEO. Domain Age. The domain age itself is not an actual ranking
factor however usually the older the domain, the more SEO Link-Juice has been accumulated
over time. URL address. Create search engine friendly URLs that humans
can read and understand, and include your keywords in them. For example, this is the default URL structure
that WordPress uses. Now, this URL is not search engine friendly,
however, this URL is. Can you see the difference? Take note that by default WordPress uses the
Post ID number to create a URL address. This results in webpages having web addresses
that look like this and are not human and search engine friendly. To learn how to change WordPress to use search
engine friendly URLs, go to this website. This website is also included in the Resources
Excel Document that you received. Website Loading Speed. A fast loading website is better for Google
and the users. Google has stated that page speed is actually
a ranking factor. You can test the speed of your website by
using Pingdom, Pingdom is also included in the Resources Document. XML Sitemap. An XML Sitemap makes sure that search engines
are aware of all the content on your website. WordPress users can easily create an XML Sitemap
by using the plugin SEO by Yoast. Once the XML Sitemap has been created, you
will need to submit it to Google by using Google Webmaster Tools. We will go through how to do both of these
later in this training series. HTML Sitemap. Linking a HTML Sitemap in the footer has become
a standard on-site SEO practice. This makes it easy for Google and your visitors
to navigate around your website and to find all your website pages. WordPress uses can easily create a HTML Sitemap
by using the plugin WP Sitemap Page. A benefit of using a HTML Sitemap is that
it allows for additional internal linking. A HTML Sitemap is basically a page that links
to your main pages to keep that Link-Juice flowing. To see an example of my HTML Sitemap, you
can visit this URL. Content Quality. It is important to write effectively for humans
but also including keywords and correct HTML tags for crawlers. You should always avoid duplicate content! Identical content found on two or more pages
on your website is known as duplicate content. Google tries to show pages with unique information
in its search results and for this reason it frowns upon websites that contain pages
with basically the same content. You can scan your website to find how much
content was found on other pages by using siteliner.com Broken Links. A broken is a link that doesn’t work and often
results in a page error. This happens when a link points to a webpage
that has been deleted or moved. This here is what a typical broken link page
looks like. Broken links will absolutely harm your search
engine ranking. Here are some free tools that I recommend
you use to check for broken links. I’ve given you a few options to choose from
so you might be wondering which one do I use? I personally use the WordPress 404 redirection
plugin that permanently redirects all broken link page errors to my main blog URL. I also use the free version of screaming frog
to look at other people’s websites. Internal Linking
Internal linking improves the ranking of your pages by sharing the PageRank, also known
as Link-Juice between them. You can use internal linking to emphasize
your important pages with more links pointed towards them. For example, including a list of your product
categories in your website’s sidebar or footer. Here’s a tip, internal linking can also be
used to direct a customer to specific location. For example, a blog post about beauty linking
to a beauty product on your website. External Links. External links are the most important factor
in SEO. They are where most of the ranking power comes
from. External links are created when an external
website links to you. Here is an example to help you understand
how external links work… You can think of it as each link represents
a vote for your website, the more trusted votes your website has, the more respect it
gains from Google and the higher you rank. Trust is represented by the level of PageRank
a webpage has. Here is an example of trusted votes. External Website 1 has a PageRank of 9 and
is voting for your website. External Website 2 has a PageRank of 8 and
is also voting for your website. This will make your website be more respected
by Google which means your search engine ranking will increase. This is the same example but I have provided
names for the websites that are providing the external links. Here is an example of trusted votes. External Website 1 is a spammer and is linking
towards your website. This is a very harmful vote and will decrease
your search engine ranking. Now, External Website 2 does not have any
PageRank at all so an external link pointing towards your website will not give you a vote. Now that you understand the vote analogy,
let’s take a look at Link-Juice. The higher the PageRank the more Link-Juice
the page has to share. However the more links the page has the less
Link-Juice there is to share. Here is a Link-Juice example. External Website 1 has a PageRank of 6 and
is sharing it with your website and 2 others. Now, if these two websites were not there
then all of the Link-Juice will be flowing into your website. There are two types of links, No-Follow and
Do-Follow. This applies to internal links as well as
external links. No-Follow links tell search engines not to
follow them which means no Link-Juice is being transferred, on the other hand, Do-Follow
links do allow search engines to follow them. Here is an example of what happens when the
website links to you with a No-Follow link. As you can see you are not getting any Link-Juice.

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