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What is SEO and How to Rank on Top in Google Search Engine: The Guide for Absolute Beginners

Every website owner – blogger, ecommerce store owner, entrepreneur (local and global), professional (resume or portfolio) aims to make their site visible when people search for some specific terms in Google. Those terms (known as keywords) helps the people searching the internet (here, let’s keep it to Google search engine) reach your website.

Google search engine

When someone types the keywords in the search bar, Google crawls each and every site in its database and finds the most suitable ones for the users. The ranking of the site depends on the amount of SEO effort you have put in your website through high-quality blogging, link building, website technical optimization and almost 200 other ranking factors.

The 200+ Google ranking factors might send an impression to you that it’s an uphill task that takes in lot of money and time and still leaves you behind in ranking. Well, that’s simply not the case. Every website owner who has done smart planning and used the best SEO strategies has seen the website rank on page one in Google.

To understand in detail, read this post in detail and by the end of it, you will have answers to many SEO beginner questions like:

· What is SEO?

· What are the technical aspects of SEO?

· How much does SEO cost?

· How much time does it take for an SEO expert to rank your website on top?

· Difference between SEO and PPC (pay-per-click).

· Best SEO tools – The best free and paid tools available

· Hiring an SEO expert – Why is it important?

· SEO for ecommerce stores – Shopify, Amazon, Etsy

SEO does not cost much and within 4 to 6 months, the results are visible. Within this time frame, an SEO expert cab help your website rank on first or second page and then with some more effort, bring it to top. Besides the cost it involves, time it takes, it’s technicalities, there might be many more questions that you might have so let’s move further.

Why it’s a better option to hire an individual SEO expert instead of a digital marketing agency?

SEO is a highly specialized field that needs lot of expert skills to make your website rank higher. Digital agencies are mostly occupied with tens or hundreds of clients at a time and this is why they fail to provide a personalized service for your website. SEO is critical to success of your website so you need customized solutions instead of standard service that simply chooses some keywords for you, keep churning out articles and try to make it work as per some set instructions or a formula.

An individual SEO expert like an SEO freelancer or a specialist that you hire continuously makes the changes to your SEO strategy based on continuous result monitoring and your changing business needs. An individual SEO expert regularly talk to you and updates you about the new methods, progress and future strategy to rank higher. It is something that digital agency providing you SEO services fails to do.

What is SEO? Discuss the difference between organic and paid results.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful technique that helps your website to rank higher in search engines and gain more visibility on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Both organic and paid results play a major role in getting traffic to your website. Organic results allow your website to appear at the top position without spending any money.

Organic results vs paid results

The results show automatically when you optimize your website and deliberately attempt to increase its visibility. In PPC or inorganic results, you need to run paid marketing campaigns to acquire a spot in search results. You approach the ad network (Facebook, Google, Instagram, Taboola, Outbrain, etc) and set your ad campaign information.

Using keywords in the website content is one of the best ways to get organic results that stay forever. Using the best keywords is equally important in the pay-per-click model too.

Is ecommerce SEO different from the regular SEO strategy?

Yes, although there is overlapping on many points, there are some exclusive points that ecommerce website SEO need to focus on. The key here is to focus on product descriptions while keeping in mind what potential customers on internet might be searching for while looking for a product on the internet.

You need to do the keyword research specific to ecommerce stores and your products. Within Amazon, Etsy and all other ecommerce retailers, you need to optimize your listing to make it appear on top when a user searches for those related terms in the search bar. This is why Amazon SEO and Etsy SEO is a specialized job that involves ecommerce SEO strategy tailored as per your needs.

If you run your own ecommerce store on Shopify or any other platform, you need to SEO-optimize every product listing. Keywords related to your product or the service you offer is important to get ranked high when someone looks for those keywords in Google.

SEO-optimized product listings

Shopify SEO takes much more effort as you compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon, Ebay, etc. So, you must hire an ecommerce SEO expert who knows how to rank you products higher and get you more sales.

Is it essential to optimize the name of a website domain? What is an ideal website name?

A domain name is the unique website name string that people use to identify your website on internet. For example,,,, These are all domain names. The .com here is the extension and there are hundreds of other extensions available. You choose an extension based on what category of the website is. So, if you run an education institute, the .edu website will suit you the best.

The domain names that work the best are catchy, meaningful, and relevant to the purpose of your website. Mostly, adding a keyword to the domain name for SEO optimization is not necessary but in case of local businesses, it does have an impact on the user. Domain names like, or makes sense as domain names when your target audience is local.

The number of keywords on a page – Is there any fixed count for it?

There is no fixed count for using a keyword in a blog or content. Adding keywords has to be natural - use it only when you get a good chance where it flows with the content.

Doing it most naturally will give you outstanding results. however, if you try to limit the usage or forcefully stuff it in the content to optimize, it will fail, and you will not be able to achieve the expected results and reap its benefits. It will look poor writing to the readers and spam to Google.

I, as a professional writer and SEO expert, stick to using the main keyword around 1 to 1.2% of the total blog length (the total wordcount of the article or a blog post on your website) and the other related keywords to 0.3% to 1% depending on the need to fit and flow of the article. While natural fitment of keywords is important, it is also important to place them strategically throughout the article. Fitting in all the keywords within one part of the blog or a particular section will make it look spammy.

Meta Description and its importance in improving conversion rate

The meta description is a good way to encourage crawlers to read the information available on the website. The writer must ensure that the information in meta is compelling that attracts the reader's attention.

Meta description plays a major role in getting a click from users and get them interested in going through the website's main content. The writing style and requirement for the meta keeps changing, but it is still important to write it in a way that’s both SEO-friendly and user-targeted.

meta description Google search results

What is the main difference between internal and inbound links?

An internal link is a way of linking a website internally. It is done by interlinking the pages of a website to each other. An inbound link is when some other website adds a link that gets the reader to your website.

Getting inbound links is highly beneficial as it helps Google to understand that your website has quality content that sells and others are willing to link to. As a result, Google starts suggesting the website in its search results. This increases the website conversion rate, making it highly credible on the Google search engine.

You can increase backlinks to your website by framing a link building strategy.

  1. Conducting online events, discussions and polls and posting them on social media.

  2. Participating in online discussions and forums.

  3. Getting featured on high-quality websites through guest posts.

  4. Be active on sites like Quora, Reddit to answer questions that users post.

Link building is an ongoing process, and it improves the website's presence on Google. To maintain a position in Google's search algorithms, you must check tools that let you know about other websites that link back to you. The link analysis tool is available on SEMrush, MOZ, Ahrefs and many other similar sites. It is used to provide a complete list of websites that get valuable links that matter to your guest post strategy.

The need for coding to master SEO

There is no need to know or learn coding skills or have expertise in coding to optimize a website. It is alright if you do not know how to code for every element for SEO. Having a good knowledge of basics of SEO tactics help, but it is not necessary to have knowledge of coding. For advanced SEO, hiring an expert content writer and SEO expert should be your plan.

However, your website can do a lot better in ranking if you check the following factors.

  1. HTML coding and SEO make a great pair.

  2. Use structured data, the mark-up language to make Google understand the content.

  3. Chances of becoming successful increase when you have the right knowledge about .htaccess.

  4. Eliminate coding errors.

  5. Create a Robots.txt file

  6. Create the website's Sitemap.xml and submit it to search engines like Google and Bing.

  7. Consider writing alt tags for all the images on your website.

  8. Utilize the benefits header tags offer.

After including all these changes manually on your website, you can expect to get better results. SEO can be learned and implemented on a website without any significant hands-on experience in coding.

A little programming knowledge of HTML or CSS for SEO is a plus. It will help you to make a webpage faster and rectify errors. Besides major work like adding keywords and writing quality content, SEO has no limit. Many minor issues, like slow site loading speed, spam errors caused by the comments section, and adding HTML tags, must be handled yourself without relying on the web admin.

What is a Robo.txt file?

A robo.txt file tells the web crawlers crawl or not to crawl on certain pages of a website that has no useful information or duplicate content by creating a NO Index tag on the pages. These are specified by using the terms “allowing” or “disallowing” in the file. Following the instructions provided in the file, web bots or search engine spiders crawl your website. It instructs the spiders or web bots how to crawl on a website. The bots look for robots.txt file in the top directory of website before beginning to read the webpages.

Most of the time, Google understands the important pages of your website that need to be presented to a user. If that's the case, there is no need for a Robo.txt file. You can check the status of crawled pages in the Google search console.

If the number of indexed pages matches your site's total web pages, then a robo.txt file is not required. However, if the number of indexed web pages exceeds, then Google crawlers must be stopped from crawling on extra pages that need no indexing.

Why should you submit a Sitemap.xml file?

Submitting a sitemap.xml file is essential as it indicates Google about your website's important pages. It is vital for getting improved SEO results. By doing so, the search engine gets an idea about the structure of your website allowing it to index all the crucial web pages of your website. This page includes a list of all posts and pages created on a website.

Google reads a sitemap on its own and shows its status on Google Search Console. Alternatively, you can create a sitemap online by providing the website URL and submitting it in Google Search Console, root directory, or domain root folder of the website in Cpanel.

What is the difference between crawling and indexing?

The main difference between crawling and indexing is that indexing results in adding webpages in the Google directory. Crawling is a regular process of finding newly updated information. However, indexing is the process of adding or placing information in an index.

The crawling of webpages gets complete with indexing as it adds webpages to the server. Once the crawling completes, indexing of the original URL and its content gets uploaded and permanently submitted to the Google server.

Concluding thoughts on what is SEO and how rank higher on Google

SEO is one main ways of giving ranking power to your website by uploading quality content and optimizing the website. SEO along with regular content posting is the main thing that boost the rank of your website. A website without SEO has no base and will have no visibility in search results.

You can learn the basics of SEO and for advanced-level, hire an SEO expert. A specialist will help you master the tricks like finding the best keywords, improve on-page and off-page SEO, do link building and take care of all other important ranking factors. Same time, hire a high-quality content writer who can write quality posts for your website and for other publishers so that they readily accept posts from your side. This will boost your link building strategy.

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