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February 8, 2024

The Ultimate SEO Guide for 2024: Conquer Search Engines Like a Pro (Even on a Budget)

In this ever-evolving landscape of the digital world, where attention is an insufficient commodity, SEO helps grab attention at first glance and helps convert clicks to customers because people do not have time to go past the first three links in the search engine results.

Now let us dive into SEO and see how it is done, but before that let us understand what it is.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the practice of improving your website visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) in browsers like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. The goal is to attract more organic, unpaid traffic to your site by making it relevant and appealing to both users and search engines.

Now let us see how we can do SEO for your website and rank in the first position for the user’s query on Google or any other browser like Bing, Firefox etc.

How does it work?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about getting your website seen by more people in search results for the query they perform. For example, when somebody types “Buy Nike shoes” Nike's website should open with its products i.e shoes. Doing SEO increases more clicks which results in organic traffic to your website, which can lead to more leads, sales or brand awareness.

Now let's dive into Behind the Scenes (BTS) - How Search Engine Works Your SEO. 

1. Crawling and Indexing:

  • Search engines like Google send out "crawlers" or "spiders" to discover new web pages.
  • These crawlers follow links from other websites and index the content they find.
  • Indexing means storing the information about your website in a giant organized database.

2. Ranking:

When someone searches for a keyword, the search engine uses its complex algorithms to rank the most relevant and high-quality website pages for that term(keyword).

This ranking is based on various factors, both on-page and off-page and technical SEO.

Now let's see how to do On-Page SEO:

On Page SEO

On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, refers to all the optimization techniques you apply directly to your web page’s content, performance, and accessibility to improve its ranking in search results. It's like dressing your web page for a user's query, making it easier for search engines to understand its relevance, and showing it to more users thus attracting more organic traffic.

Here's how on-page SEO works:

1. Keyword Research:

Keyword research involves finding the words and phrases people use in search engines to discover information, products, or services.

By understanding popular keywords and their search volume, you can optimize your website content, ads, and other online efforts to attract relevant traffic and achieve your goals. 


Different Intent Types : (taking Nike as an example)

  • Informational: "History of Nike Air Max" (User wants information)
  • Transactional: "Buy Nike Air Force 1 Online" (User wants to buy)
  • Navigational: "official Nike website" (User knows what they want)

                                  Fig 1 : tool used to do keywords research

2. On-Page Optimization: 

Title Tag: A title tag is a webpage's headline in search results and browser tabs. It should be concise, descriptive, and optimized for search engines to attract clicks and improve ranking.

  • Summarizes page content: A title tag is a concise headline appearing in search engine results and browser tabs. It tells users and search engines what a web page is about.
  • Impacts SEO and clicks: Choosing relevant and engaging titles optimizes search ranking and entices users to click on your webpage in search results.

Title Description:

  • Expands on title tag: A meta description appears under the title tag in search results, providing a 1-2 sentence summary of the page's content.
  • Encourages clicks: Well-written descriptions clarify value and motivate users to click on your webpage, further improving click-through rates.

URL Structure

  • Key components: It's built from several parts like protocol (http:// or https://), domain name (e.g., <invalid URL removed>), subdirectories (e.g., /search), and file name (e.g., /images/photo.jpg).
  • Importance: Clear, descriptive URLs benefit both users (easier navigation) and search engines (improved understanding of your content).

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3. Content Quality: 


  • Matching user intent: Content is relevant if it directly addresses the user's search query or needs.
  • Specificity and value: Relevant content doesn't just answer the question, it provides specific and valuable information tailored to the user's context. 


  • Fresh perspective: Unique content offers a new or original angle on a topic, avoiding repetition of existing information.
  • Standing out from the crowd: In a sea of content, uniqueness helps your work stand out and grab the user's attention. 


  • Structuring information: Headings act like signposts, breaking down text into clear sections and highlighting key points.
  • Improving readability: Well-structured headings make content easier to scan and understand, ensuring users can quickly find relevant information. 

4. Bilingual Content:

  • Reaching wider audiences: Creates content in two or more languages to cater to multilingual users, expanding your reach beyond those who speak only one language.
  • Cultural considerations: Adapt content to different cultural nuances and sensitivities to ensure it resonates with each target audience.

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5.Internal Linking:

  • Improving website navigation: Connects relevant pages within your website, helping users discover more content and navigate deeper into your information.
  • SEO benefits: Distributes link value (importance) throughout your site, potentially improving your ranking in search results.

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6. Mobile Optimization:

  • Ensuring user experience: Optimizes your website to display and function correctly on various mobile devices (phones, tablets), providing a seamless experience for users accessing your content on the go.
  • Accessibility and performance: Improves loading speed and accessibility for mobile users is crucial in today's mobile-first world.

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7.Page Loading Speed:

  • Impact on user experience: Fast loading speeds are crucial for user satisfaction and engagement. Studies show users abandon slow websites quickly, impacting bounce rate and conversions.
  • SEO and visibility: Search engines like Google also prefer websites that load quickly and prioritize them in search results. By optimizing your site for speed, you can improve both user experience and search ranking.

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8.Social Media Integration:

  • Engagement and reach: Seamlessly integrating social media elements like sharing buttons, comment sections, and feeds into your website allows users to easily share your content and engage with your brand on social platforms. 
  • Building trust and authenticity: Utilizing social media integration can showcase user reviews, testimonials, and real-time interactions, enhancing brand trust and authenticity in the eyes of potential customers.

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9.User Experience (UX):

  • Overall user journey: Encompasses everything a user experiences when interacting with your website, from first impression to completion of their desired action. this includes navigation, clarity, design, accessibility, and overall ease of use.
  • Focus on user needs: A positive UX prioritizes the user's needs and goals, making it easy for them to find information, complete tasks, and achieve their desired outcome on your website. This leads to increased satisfaction, loyalty, and brand advocacy.

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10. Local SEO: 

  • Optimizing for local searches: Tailors your online presence to rank higher in searches related to your specific location. This means attracting users searching for businesses like yours in your area.
  • Benefits for local businesses: Increases the visibility of your business to potential customers searching for nearby services or products, driving more traffic and leads to your physical location or online store.

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11. SSL Certificate:

  • Website security: Establishes a secure connection between your website and visitors' browsers, encrypting data to protect sensitive information like passwords and credit card details.
  • Trust and credibility: Displaying a padlock icon and "https" in the address bar assures users that your website is secure and trustworthy, encouraging them to interact with confidence.

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12. Analytics Setup:

  • Tracking website performance: Implements tools like Google Analytics to gather data on website traffic, user behavior, and engagement metrics. This helps you understand how users interact with your site and identify areas for improvement.
  • Data-driven decisions: Provides valuable insights into user preferences, content effectiveness, and marketing campaign performance, allowing you to make informed decisions to optimize your website and online strategy.

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13. XML Sitemap:

  • Search engine indexing: Creates a file listing all the Important pages on your website, helping search engines like Google discover and index your content efficiently.
  • Improved crawling and ranking: A well-structured XML sitemap ensures search engines can easily find and understand the structure of your website, potentially Improving your ranking in search results.

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14. Schema Markup: 

  • Structured Data for Search Engines: Schema markup is a Type of code you add to your web pages to provide structured data about your content.
  • Better Understanding: They can now understand the context and meaning of your content much clearer, knowing it is a movie review with a 4-star rating instead of just a string of words about a film.

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That's all for On-Page SEO. Let's now look at Off-Page SEO

Offpage SEO

Off-page SEO encompasses all the Optimization techniques you perform outside your website to enhance its search engine visibility and ranking potential. It essentially signals to search engines the trust, authority, and relevance of your website based on external factors.

This is how off-page SEO works:

1. Link Building: 

  • Website confidence: Link building involves getting other websites to link back to yours. In the eyes of search engines, more high-quality backlinks make your site seem more trustworthy and relevant, potentially leading to higher search rankings.
  • Quality matters more than quantity: Not all links are created equal. Focusing on getting links from credible, relevant websites in your niche is far more valuable than a bunch of low-quality links from unrelated sites.

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2. Social Media Engagement:

  • it is about how your audience interacts with your content: Social media engagement goes beyond just likes and shares. It encompasses all the ways people interact with your posts, including Liking, commenting, and sharing These classic actions show basic interest and willingness to spread your content.
  • It signals the success of your social media strategy: High engagement tells you that your content is resonating with your audience, achieving your goals, and potentially reaching a wider audience. Conversely, low engagement suggests a need to adjust your strategy and content to better connect with your target audience.

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3. Online Reputation Management: 

  • Shaping your online image: This involves proactive steps to cultivate a positive image, including creating engaging content, managing online reviews, and addressing negative feedback.
  • Protecting and mitigating damage: This includes actively suppressing misinformation, countering negative content, and addressing crises that could damage your online reputation.

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4. Guest Blogging: 

  • Writing for others' websites: Guest blogging involves creating content (articles, blog posts, etc.) for websites other than your own. You contribute your expertise and knowledge to a relevant audience, often gaining exposure and building relationships in return.
  • Benefits for both author and host: You (the author) can build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and establish yourself as an industry expert. 

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5. Influencer Marketing:

  • Leveraging social influence: It involves collaborating with individuals who have established credibility and a dedicated following online ("influencers") to promote your brand, products, or services.
  • Content and promotion go hand-in-hand: Influencers typically create and share content (reviews, tutorials, social media posts) featuring your offerings, while maintaining their unique style and perspective. 

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6. Forum and Community Participation: 

  • Form refers to the specific way you interact with your community: This could involve online platforms like forums, social media groups, dedicated apps, or even offline methods like workshops, events, and physical spaces. 
  • Community engagement describes the level of interaction and participation within your chosen form: This includes activities like sharing information, asking questions, providing feedback, collaborating on projects, and generally building connections with other member

7. Brand Mentions: 

  • Whenever someone mentions your brand online, it's an opportunity to connect and engage. Monitor brand mentions across social media, forums, and review sites.
  • Respond to positive mentions with appreciation and address negative mentions promptly and professionally. This shows you care about what people say and value their feedback.

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8. Video Marketing: 

  • Video marketing is a form of marketing that uses videos to promote and sell products or services. It can be used to reach a wide audience on a variety of platforms, including YouTube, Vimeo, and social media.
  • Videos are more likely to be watched and shared than text or images, and they can help to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

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9. Local SEO Citations: 

  • Local SEO citations are online references to your business, including its Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) across various websites and directories. These mentions are not your website listing but Rather references on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, industry-specific directories, and even customer reviews mentioning your Full business details.
  • Having accurate and consistent citations across different platforms signals to search engines like Google that your business is legitimate and actively operating at the listed address.

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10. Content Syndication: 

  • Content syndication is republishing your existing content on other websites or platforms to reach a wider audience. It is like borrowing someone else's audience to share your expertise and establish yourself as a thought leader.
  • However it is essential to get permission from the original publisher before republishing. You benefit from increased brand awareness, website traffic, and potential leads while the platform gets fresh content for its audience.

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11. Document Sharing: 

  • Document sharing is a practice of making documents electronically accessible to multiple users at the same time or from different locations. This method allows individuals or teams to collaborate, edit, and view documents easily and efficiently.
  • Document sharing allows multiple individuals to work on the same document simultaneously, enhancing teamwork, streamlining workflows, and saving time. It also eliminates the need for multiple versions and ensures everyone has access to the latest information.

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12. Podcast Appearances:

  • Being a guest on relevant podcasts allows you to share your expertise with a targeted audience and build trust through an intimate audio format. 
  • Research podcasts in your niche, prepare insightful talking points and engage in a natural conversation with the host. This is a powerful way to establish yourself as an industry expert and reach new listeners.

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13. Broken Link Building: 

  • You identify websites with broken links, meaning they point to pages that no longer exist (typically returning a 404 error). These broken links are not only a bad user experience but also hurt the website's SEO.
  • You reach out to the webmaster of the website with the broken link and offer your content as a replacement. If they accept, they replace the broken link with a link to your content, giving you a valuable backlink.

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14. Competitor Backlink Analysis: 

  • Analyzing your competitors' backlinks can reveal valuable insights into their SEO strategies and identify potential backlink opportunities for yourself. 
  • Use SEO tools to discover their backlinks, then research and target similar websites for your link-building efforts. Remember, ethical and high-quality backlinks are key to sustainable SEO success.

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Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing your website's underlying technical aspects to make it easily accessible, crawlable, and understandable for search engines. It's like building a strong foundation for your house before worrying about the furniture. While good content and backlinks are crucial, technical SEO ensures your website is even eligible to rank well in the first place.

1. Website Architecture:

  • Organization of information: It's the blueprint of how your website's content is grouped and categorized. Imagine it as a library where topics are arranged on shelves and subsections within those shelves. Good architecture makes finding specific information intuitive for users.
  • Technical foundation: It defines the underlying technical structure that supports your website, including navigation menus, URLs, internal linking, and sitemaps. This structure helps search engines understand your website and rank it effectively.

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2. Robots.txt:

  • Controls crawling: You can tell crawlers which sections of your website they can and cannot access. This is useful for preventing the indexing of duplicate content, login pages, or internal search results.
  • Optimizes server load: By limiting crawling of unimportant areas, you can avoid overloading your server with excessive requests.

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3. Canonical Tags:

  • When you have similar content accessible through multiple URLs (e.g., mobile vs. desktop versions, filtered pages), canonical tags tell search engines which version to index and rank. This avoids confusion and potential ranking penalties.
  • Links pointing to different versions of the same content get combined for the canonical URL. This ensures your website's ranking power focuses on the preferred version.

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4. Structured Data Markup:

  • It provides additional information about your website's content in a way search engines can easily understand. This can lead to richer snippets and potentially improved ranking.
  • Depending on the type of data you mark up (products, events, recipes, etc.), you can unlock specific benefits from search engines and other platforms. For example, product markup can lead to rich product cards in search results, while event markup can help users discover your events in Google Search or specific event platforms.

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5. Breadcrumb Navigation:

  • Location Awareness: It displays a series of clickable links representing the path a user took to reach the current page. This aids in website exploration and provides quick ways to backtrack to previous sections.
  • Improved Usability: Benefits both users and search engines. Users can easily navigate back to higher-level pages without starting from scratch, promoting better website exploration and engagement. Search engines also use breadcrumbs to understand website structure and potentially improve rankings.

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6. 404 Page:

  • Communicates that the specific page they are trying to access does not exist or cannot be found. This prevents confusion and helps them understand why the page isn't loading.
  • Offers solutions: Provides options for users to get back on track, such as:
  • Searching for their desired content.
  • Browsing through relevant categories or sections.
  • Returning to the homepage.

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7. Pagination:

  • Divides into manageable chunks: It breaks down large sets of data, like search results, product listings, or blog posts, into smaller, more easily digestible pages. 
  • Allows for easy navigation: It equips users with tools to navigate through the content efficiently. This typically involves displaying page numbers, "next" and "previous" buttons, or even infinite scrolling mechanisms. 

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8. Header Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.):

  • Structure and Hierarchy: Header tags (H1-H6) organize the content on your web page, acting like headings and subheadings. This structure improves the reading experience and helps search engines understand your content's importance.
  • SEO and User Benefits: Using header tags with relevant keywords improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO), signaling to search engines what your page is about. For users, header tags make scanning and understanding the content much easier, leading to better engagement and navigation.

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9. ALT Attributes for Images:

  • ALT text serves as a replacement for images when they can't be displayed, due to slow loading, user preferences, or visual impairments.
  • Screen readers use ALT text to describe images to visually impaired users, ensuring they understand the content and context alongside sighted users.

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10. Internal Linking Structure:

  • Link Equity Distribution: Links act as "votes" between pages, passing authority and SEO value. A strategic structure distributes this value effectively, highlighting important pages and helping them rank higher in search results.
  • Crawlability: Search engine crawlers use links to discover and index your website's content. A clear and logical structure makes it easier for crawlers to find and understand all your pages, leading to better indexing and potentially improved search visibility.

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11. Crawl Errors:

  • Crawl errors occur when search engines like Google try to access and index your website's pages but encounter issues. These issues prevent the search engine from understanding and potentially ranking your content.
  • Crawl errors can negatively impact your website's search engine optimization (SEO). If search engines can't access your pages, they can't index them, and that means they won't appear in search results.

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12. Page Rendering:

  • Page rendering is the process of turning website code (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) into the interactive and visual webpage you see in your browser. It's like translating instructions into a finished painting.
  • Many factors can affect how quickly and smoothly a page renders such as code complexity, image and resource optimization, server response time, etc.

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13. HREFLANG Tags (for Multilingual Sites):

  • Hreflang tags are snippets of code placed in the <head> section of your web pages that tell search engines about different language versions of the same content. 
  • If you have content in different languages or targeted to specific regions, hreflang tags prevent duplicate content penalties and help search engines understand the relationship between these pages. This ultimately helps you rank higher in relevant searches for each variation.

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14. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages):

  • AMP is an open-source technology that helps create fast-loading mobile versions of web pages. Google spearheaded the project to compete with similar initiatives like Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News. 
  • AMP is built specifically for mobile devices. It removes unnecessary elements that might slow down loading or require zooming, creating a streamlined and optimized experience for smartphone users.

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Think of SEO like climbing a mountain - it takes some effort, but the view from the top is incredible (more website traffic, hello!).

Think of things like making your website mobile-friendly (super important these days!) and having a clear website structure (think easy navigation).

SEO isn't an overnight fix, but a steady climb. Keep learning, keep trying new things, and celebrate your wins along the way. With this guide and a dash of SEO spirit, you'll be on top of the search results in no time, attracting tons of visitors and achieving your online dreams. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your backpack and start your SEO adventure today!

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