Manick Bhan is the founder & CTO at LinkGraph, creating scalable SEO campaigns for brands and other agencies.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In other words, it is how a search engine decides which websites to put up first in a search.
The four core factors of SEO:
#1 Authority – Backlinks, trust signals
Authority has become less important over time, which means that SEO has become more democratic. This allows for newer websites with a good user experience to get to page 1 of a google search. Backlinks are still the most critical factor in how Google decides the site’s authority. The key concept behind this is called Page Rank. Backlinks are like votes – the more backlinks a site has, the higher its authority. To have more authority than your competitors, you need to be able out to acquire them with link building and digital PR.
#2 Page Experience – User experience metrics like time on page, page performance TTFB
These are field metrics. Google tracks how long people stayed on your site, how many pages they visited while on your site, if they ever returned. Also, if they backed out and searched for a different site. Google lets us see these metrics through the Chrome UX report. The way to improve page experience is to improve UX on your site. Make your pages fast, optimize them for mobile, and use google analytics to find pages on your site that have a high bounce rate and low time on site, then fix those pages.
#3 Content – Text content, images, HTML, schema.org, Information Architecture
The key to content strategy is to create a landing page for each keyword cluster that is targeted. Good keyword clusters are relevant to each other and your landing page. Keywords should be selected for their high metrics. Always target keywords that are high volume, low KD, and high CPC. Use a content assistant to get the keywords that google wants for your specific product. A content assistant analyzes data for the top pages for your particular needs. Content isn’t just words on your website; it includes HTML. This has your title tag, your meta tag, and others. Also, make sure to track your SEO performance and reporting. Check impressions and traffic regularly.
#4 Industry/Keyword Specific – Local Search, News, Ecommerce, YMYL, Payday Loans
There are specific sites that Google just treats differently. These are called ‘Your money, your life,’ or YMYL sites. These include News sites, finance sites, shopping sites, anything health and medicine-related, law/legal or government-related, and educational sites. For these sites, authority and content are higher ranking factors. They are weighted more heavily on reputational signals like reviews. These pages use more location-specific keywords.
SEO is math, not magic, which means that there is a predictable outcome. The best way to learn is to experiment. There is no better time to start with SEO than now.