The Ultimate Guide For Search Engine Optimization - BACKEND ADMIN - Full Stack Web And Mobile Applications Development, Design, and Consultancy Company in Lebanon

Despite the acronym, SEO is as much about people as it is about search engines themselves. It’s about understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they… - BACKEND ADMIN is a full stack web and mobile applications development, design, and consultancy company. We help big brands build and execute their web and mobile strategy and products.


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The Ultimate Guide For Search Engine Optimization

Despite the acronym, SEO is as much about people as it is about search engines themselves. It’s about understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they wish to consume. Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to connect to the people who are searching online for the solutions you offer.


What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization". Which is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as "organic") search engine results.


If knowing your audience’s intent is one side of the SEO coin, delivering it in a way search engine "crawlers" can find and understand is the other. In this guide, expect to learn how to do both.



So here are some basics of Search engines you need to know:

Search engines are answer machines. They scour billions of pieces of content and evaluate thousands of factors to determine which content is most likely to answer your query.


Search engines do all of this by discovering and cataloging all available content on the Internet (web pages, PDFs, images, videos, etc.) via a process known as “crawling and indexing”, and then ordering it by how well it matches the query in a process we refer to as “ranking”.


Which search results are "organic"?

As we said earlier, organic search results are the ones that are earned through effective SEO, not paid for (i.e. not advertising). Today, search engine results pages — often referred to as “SERPs” — are filled with both more advertising and more dynamic organic results formats (called “SERP features”) than we've ever seen before. Some examples of SERP features are featured snippets (or answer boxes), "People Also Ask" boxes, image carousels, etc. New SERP features continue to emerge, driven largely by what people are seeking.


For example, if you search for "sunset time," you’ll see the sunset time for the city you’re located in, in the SERP instead of a link to a site that might have that forecast.


It’s important to remember that search engines make money from advertising. Their goal is to better solve searcher’s queries (within SERPs), to keep searchers coming back, and to keep them on the SERPs longer.


Some SERP features on Google are organic and can be influenced by SEO. These include featured snippets (a promoted organic result that displays an answer inside a box) and related questions (a.k.a. "People Also Ask" boxes).


It's worth noting that there are many other search features that, even though they aren't paid to advertise, can't typically be influenced by SEO. These features often have data acquired from proprietary data sources, such as Wikipedia, WebMD, and IMDb.



Why SEO is important?

While paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms can generate traffic to websites, the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines.


Organic search results cover more digital real estate, appear more credible to savvy searchers, and receive way more clicks than paid advertisements. For example, US searches show that only ~2.8% of people click on paid advertisements.


SEO is also one of the only online marketing channels that, when set up correctly, can continue to pay dividends over time. If you provide a solid piece of content that deserves to rank for the right keywords, your traffic can snowball over time, whereas advertising needs continuous funding to send traffic to your site.


Although Search engines are getting smarter, they still need our help.


Optimizing your site will help deliver better information to search engines so that your content can be properly indexed and displayed within search results.




Should I hire an SEO professional, consultant, or agency?

Basically, it depends on the following:

1- your bandwidth

2- a willingness to learn

3- the complexity of your website(s)


If you end up looking for expert help, it's important to know that many agencies and consultants "provide SEO services," but can vary widely in quality. Knowing how to choose a good SEO company can save you a lot of time and money, as the wrong SEO techniques can actually harm your site more than they will help.



What do we mean by "white hat" vs "black hat" SEO?


"White hat SEO" refers to SEO techniques, best practices, and strategies that abide by search engine rules, its primary focus to provide more value to people.


"Black hat SEO" refers to techniques and strategies that attempt to spam/fool search engines. While black hat SEO can work, it puts websites at tremendous risk of being penalized and/or de-indexed (removed from search results) and has ethical implications.




Search engines share similar goals with the SEO industry


Search engines want to help you succeed! In fact, Google even has a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, much like the Beginner’s Guide! They're also quite supportive of efforts by the SEO community.


While webmaster guidelines vary from search engine to search engine, the underlying principles stay the same: Don’t try to trick search engines. Instead, provide your visitors with a great online experience. To do that, follow search engine guidelines and fulfill user intent.


What are the main guidelines you should take into consideration when making your SEO website?


"Google Webmaster Guidelines"


Basic principles:

- Make pages primarily for users, not search engines.

- Don't deceive your users.

- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. 

- A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"

- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging.


Things to avoid:

- Automatically generated content

- Participating in link schemes

- Creating pages with little or no original content (i.e. copied from somewhere else)

- Cloaking — the practice of showing the search engine crawlers different content than visitors.

Hidden text and links

- Doorway pages — pages created to rank well for specific searches to funnel traffic to your website.



"Bing Webmaster Guidelines"


Basic principles:

- Provide clear, deep, engaging, and easy-to-find content on your site.

- Keep page titles clear and relevant.

- Links are regarded as a signal of popularity and Bing rewards links that have grown organically.

- Social influence and social shares are positive signals and can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run.

- Page speed is important, along with a positive, useful user experience.

- Use "alt" attributes to describe images so that Bing can better understand the content.


Things to avoid:

- Thin content, pages showing mostly ads or affiliate links, or that otherwise redirect visitors away to other sites will not rank well.

- Abusive link tactics that aim to inflate the number and nature of inbound links such as buying links, participating in link schemes, can lead to de-indexing.

- Ensure clean, concise, keyword-inclusive URL structures are in place.

- Dynamic parameters can dirty up your URLs and cause duplicate content issues.

- Make your URLs descriptive, short, rich keywords when possible, and avoid non-letter characters.

- Burying links in Javascript/Flash/Silverlight; keep content out of these as well.

- Duplicate content

- Keyword stuffing

- Cloaking — the practice of showing the search engine crawlers different content than visitors.



Local, national, or international SEO?

Local businesses will often want to rank for local-intent keywords such as “[service] + [near me]” or “[service] + [city]” in order to capture potential customers searching for products or services in the specific locale in which they offer them. However, not all businesses operate locally. Many websites do not represent a location-based business, but instead, target audiences on a national or even an international level.



How to know the user's intents?


Here are some common user intent types:

- Informational: Searching for information. Example: “What is the best type of laptop for a programmer?”

- Navigational: Searching for a specific website. Example: “Samsung”

- Transactional: Searching to buy something. Example: “good deals on iPhone X”


You can also get a glimpse of user intent by Googling your desired keyword(s) and evaluating the current SERP!


Additionally, try to evaluate what content your top-ranking competitors are providing that you currently aren’t. How can you provide 10X the value on your website?


Providing relevant, high-quality content on your website will help you rank higher in search results, and more importantly, it will establish credibility and trust with your online audience.


BUT before you do any of that, 

  • you have to first understand your website’s goals to execute a strategic SEO plan.

  • Know your client’s goals


Every website is different, so take the time to really understand a specific site’s business goals. This will not only help you determine which areas of SEO you should focus on, where to track conversions, and how to set benchmarks, but it will also help you create talking points for negotiating SEO projects with clients, bosses, etc.


Got your strategic SEO plan and wondering how to measure the return on SEO?


More simply, what is your barometer to measure the success of your organic search efforts? You'll want to have it documented! even if it's this simple:


And here is an example that might help you:

You can start by writing it this way


For the website ____________, my primary SEO KPI is ____________.


Here are a few common KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) to get you started:




Email signups

Contact form submissions

Phone calls


And if your business has a local component, you’ll want to define KPIs for your Google My Business listings, as well. These might include:






You may have noticed that things like “ranking” and “traffic” weren’t on the KPIs list, and that’s intentional so you know exactly how to measure your return on SEO efforts.


In brief, SEO accomplishes so much more than vanity metrics. When done well, it helps real businesses achieve real goals for their success 

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