Working SEO methods in 2017 from a beginner to an expert — Detailed explanation in simple words!

First lets get to know what is SEO?

Search engine optimization abbreviated as SEO is an internet marketing strategy for making Google love your website and display your site on top in Google’s Search results. By ranking on top of SERP (Search Engine Results Page), your website gets higher visibility leading to increased number of visitors without paying a penny on those costly google adwords and other marketing methods. Such traffic is called as “Organic traffic”. In a nutshell the goal of doing SEO for your website is to increase the Organic traffic to your website by ranking in the 1st page for user’s search query relevant to your business.

Where do I start regarding SEO in Dubai UAE?

The question on everyone’s mind is “where do I start when it comes to Search Engine Optimization in Dubai UAE?”. There are many companies in Dubai who claim to be “experts”. But the bitter truth is that SEO is a blackbox and no one knows how Google’s algorithm works (Otherwise everyone will be ranking in 1st position in google!). Only a trusted SEO agency that has a strong portfolio of proven 1st page results can help you get on top in Google.

OK. I have found myself the best SEO agency in Dubai UAE with proven results. What next?

The first step is an in-depth analysis of your website and target key phrases plus the geographical region you want to target. High level key phrases will always have high search volumes but they will not get you relevant business leads. For example if you run a shop selling yoga apparel and equipment in Dubai and would like to target people interested in your items living in Dubai — only long tail key phrases like “yoga clothes dubai” or “buy yoga mats dubai” will send you relevant customers. If you target high level key phrase like “yoga” just because it has a high search volume, incoming traffic will contain people who are just researching about the topic or looking for yoga training classes, etc.,

Hence it is important to target low level key phrases or long tail key-phrases if you need relevant audience sent to your website through google search engine.

Next Comes OnPage Optimization

As per Matt Cutts the former head of web spam team in google — “content is king”. Which means even if you have managed to gain a good number of high authority backlinks from unique referring domains, still your website content needs to match the user’s expectation and give the best answer for his search queries. Most of the SEO companies in Dubai UAE forget that the website’s content is an important factor for ranking and just go about building backlinks till the client realizes he is losing money without positive results. Google’s Panda algorithm will penalize websites with thin content and your chance of ranking anywhere within the top 100 google search results will become 0%. Let us move to more details about OnPage optimization.

Onpage SEO optimization includes :

Optimizing site speed — Users love websites that load fast as it is good user experience. Google loves what users love! Simple isn’t it? Take a PageSpeed test to see if your website can be optimized further.

Page load time can be significantly decreased by :

  • Lossless compression of images
  • Minifying CSS & HTML
  • Enabling caching techniques manually through .htaccess or using readily available plugins for example WP Fastest Cache for WordPress.
  • Enabling gzip compression in server side, tuning server response time to be under 200 milliseconds,
  • Avoiding landing page redirects,
  • Defer or asynchronously load javascripts so HTML content is visible to the user immediately,
  • Websites can be made faster by putting them through a Content Delivery Network (CDN) if you can expand your budget.

Mobile optimization — With increased number of users browsing using mobile and tablet devices nowadays, your website needs to be fully responsive. Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm gives a ranking boost for mobile friendly websites in search results as it gives a good user experience. Take the mobile friendly test to see if your website can meet Google’s requirement by enabling ease of use for mobile visitors.

Content optimization — A well written, original content without grammatical errors in human readable form — answering everything about the topic is needed. Do not write content for web crawlers by stuffing keywords. It could lead to a Google algorithmic or manual penalty being applied on your website. Search engines have evolved and google spiders understand content just like humans do. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning age! Do not copy content from other websites or use article rewriter/spinner tools as your site will be filtered out from search results due to Duplicate content penalty.

Making your website “structure” Google friendly — We said content is king. That doesn’t mean you have to ignore those Google spiders! Website needs to be friendly for Google spiders to crawl with ease. Meta tags placed within html <head> tags are used by Google to get an idea about your page content. Meta keywords are not used by Google for determining what your website is about. Meta keywords are still used by some search engines. Meta tags like title & description need to be relevant to the page content. Robots meta tag is not widely used as we want all pages to be indexed by google and available to users expect few confidential ones like admin panel, etc.,. You need to take care of every tiny aspect like adding alt attributes to images (so google can get an idea of what the image is about as it can only read textual content). Having catchy call to action meta title will yield a good click through rate in google search results. Right usage of heading tags in your page content & well navigable menus gets a thumbs up from Google as it provides a good user experience by improving page readability and navigating within your site.

Let us move to OffPage Optimization

Offpage optimization is the process of increasing the website’s position in Google’s search results for targeted key-phrases. Lets say that you have a perfectly OnPage optimized website with excellent content. To make Google show your website as a relevant result “trust factor” needs to be built and you should establish yourself as an authority website.

Backlinks are links pointing from other websites to your website. They are classified into nofollow & dofollow types. It is those dofollow type backlinks that pass page rank to your site. Google uses pagerank internally but it is hidden from public view. Hence you will not be able to use Google page rank tool for identifying link building opportunities. You can still use other tools like Moz domain authority checker, Alexa rank checker, etc., to see if it is worth getting a backlink from the site you are analyzing. “Natural backlinks” obtained as a result of people sharing around your great content is always Penguin algorithm safe and will help your site gain that trust factor and rank better. Setting up your site in Google webmasters tools will help you monitor your backlinks as google crawls them and disavow low quality backlinks (also called as “bad backlinks”). Your competitors will always be trying to steal your backlinks by using competitor backlink analysis tools like Ahrefs, semrush, etc.,. Hence, you need to protect your backlinks by blocking bad bots in your site’s robots.txt. Social signals still play a minor role with regards to SEO in 2017 in influencing your SERP position. It is always good to have good social presence to get your content directly seen by your fans so the chance of that great content being shared across (or even going viral) is increased.

Within 4 to 6 months of “natural backlink acquiring” your website will start to get higher visibility in the Search engine results page. Please note that your site will be sandboxed a couple of times before moving to the top. Being sandboxed means that the site will not appear in search results even for exact match search phrases. It is done by Google to newly registered domains so it can analyze whether this site is trustworthy as they want to protect their users from scam websites. Hence you should not confuse it with site being penalized (which can be found out from Webmasters tools).