What is SEO?

Probably everyone who uses the Internet met the above term or could at least wonder on what basis the search engine offers him such and not other search results. Simply put, SEO (developing the abbreviation SEO means "Search Engine Optimization") are actions aimed at website optimization (SEO + UX) to get the highest position in Google search results or other search engines such as Bing or Yandex.

The SEO issue focuses on improving your site's position in organic results (organic search results), the so-called SERPah Search Engine Results Page). Anyone who runs a blog or ecommerce and wants to get more free traffic must be aware that SEO should be an integral part of their marketing strategy. In this first of a series of posts on SEO, an entry about SEO, I will explain the basic issues. I will also tell what tool we use on our blog to make it visible in search engines (often in TOP 10 Google).

Google algorithm

The more you explore the secrets about website positioning, the more you can feel powerless. However, nothing more wrong - just keep up to date with the changes introduced by Google. Due to the fact that in Poland (and most Western countries) most people use Google search engine, it is necessary to analyze what factors currently determine the ranking of our website. Therefore, first you need to learn the rules, and then skilfully follow the page. These principles are commonly called White Hat SEO. You may encounter the opposite term Black Hat SEO, however, I will talk about good and bad practices in the next article.

It's never too late to learn SEO. You can never be sure that our website in a year will also meet high requirements for algorithms such as Google. SEO is a constant learning - making further changes to make the website useful for both our users and the Google bot scanning our website. Although we will never fully know all the secrets hidden by the Google algorithm, SEO specialists have adopted a fairly good rule and divided the factors described above in the Google algorithm into two categories: on site factors i off site.

On-site SEO factors on the site

These on-site factors are nothing but all elements that we have influence on. These are the technical aspect - the quality of our code and the speed of loading the page (among other things, it is important not to overload WordPress with a large number of unnecessary plugins!). In addition to technical elements, it is worth mentioning aspects related to published content and the quality of the entry (content) and the structure of the site (the structure of the site includes grouping, combining content into categories, tags in the case of a blog). The above-mentioned factors are SEO on-site.

Off-site SEO off-site factors

In addition to SEO factors on the site, there are off-site SEO factors. In this case, it requires more commitment from us and sometimes paid activities. Being more precise - these are factors including, for example, links from other websites, social media and other marketing activities performed outside of one's own website. However, it should be remembered that in this case the statement that the most important is not the QUANTITY, but the QUALITY of the links obtained. The more high quality redirects to our site, the higher our position on Google will be.

The factor that we have no direct influence on is competition and their positioning on similar phrases. Therefore, the competitiveness of our business also has a big impact on the chances in the ranking.

Holistic SEO

I personally confess and practice holistic SEO. This means that my main goal is to build and constantly maintain the best possible version of the website. Never take a shortcut, because Google will sooner or later detect our attempts to cheat the algorithm.

It's best to focus on a sustainable and long-term strategy - that's the only way to think about SEO. Our position in the ranking will appear when our site will be useful not only for bots and algorithms, but mainly for users. That is why on-site activities are so important to deliver the highest quality content to the site. Thanks to this, the time spent on the site will be longer and we are exposing ourselves to a lower one bounce rate.

You must understand that Google, through its services, wants to provide the best search result so that the person using the search engine returns again. In this case, Google has one mission - it wants to index all information available online to effectively use it in the form of best-matched search results. And we, as content creators, must help him in this by following the above-mentioned rules.

holistic seo

Google is not a non-profit organization, which means it wants to make money. To achieve this, they need to improve their products so that people use their services. This means that they will have to display the search results that people using the browser expect. The better our site is in a given area, the more Google wants it to occupy a high place in SERPs.

Good Google positioning requires us not only to work on content. We must remember about every aspect related to our website, e.g. technical website, user experience (UX) or content. All these elements make up the whole. Now I hope you already know what I mean when I write about a holistic approach to SEO.

Yoast SEO and other tools

If you use WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin is a must have on the list of plugins on your website. The plug-in is available in the free (reduced version) and paid version. The differences and the price list can be found on the website yoast.com . By using Yoast, it will be easier for you to optimize the SEO part on-site.

The Yoast SEO plugin will help you work with the optimization of entries for keywords, phrases, synonyms and related keywords. You will complete the meta title (meta title) and meta description in a very intuitive way. In addition, the above-mentioned meta titles and descriptions can be viewed on both desktop and mobile views.

The Yoast algorithm will tell you if the structure of the entry is transparent to your readers. The aforementioned plugin watches over breadcrumbs and ensures that the content is not a duplicate content. Creating a sitemap is extremely important to help Google bot navigate our website.

Tools that are worth using while caring for SEO are Google Search Console (GSC), Google Analytics, SEOquake, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, SENUTO, AnswerThePublic, Planer, Google Ads Keywords.

Tools that allow you to control the technical aspects of the site (mainly the speed of the site) are e.g. GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools, Lighthouse from Google. Remember to combine two services, i.e. Google Analytics with the Sreach Console.

According to the Wikipedia definition, the Google Serach Console:

google search console definition wikipedia
source: https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Search_Console

Google Search Console has, among others the following tools:

  • Submit and check sitemap status
  • Overview of Google crawling statistics
  • Website load speed
  • Generating and checking a robots.txt file
  • Analysis of internal and external links to the site
  • List of defective links on the site
  • Analysis of the site's visibility in the results of natural Google search engine, according to various keywords
  • Preferred domain setting (e.g. from www or without it www)
  • Receiving notifications from Google in the event of website viruses, penalties for dishonest positioning.

Proposal

SEO is a continuous process of website optimization, allowing you to get the highest position in search results. In my experience, the most important thing is to adhere to the principles of holistic SEO, which forces you to focus on every aspect of your site.

It is worth remembering not to take shortcuts and not to use practices that qualify for Black Hat SEO. You should focus on continuous optimization and maintaining the website in the best condition, both technically and with added content. Also remember that you write and add content to people and not to the algorithms that scan the page.

How not to gain weight during a coronavirus epidemic?

Many people wonder how not to gain weight during the coronavirus epidemic. An epidemic, more precisely, being at home all the time has caused more and more people to cook at home. It's great because we discover new flavors and gain new skills. Even a few ebooks with coronavirus recipes were created (of course, using pasta or rice). If I thought about it for a long time, it's not such a stupid idea. I am already losing my inspiration for coming up with new recipes for quarantine dishes.

When I noticed that more and more people were joking about weight gain during quarantine, I found that I would write a few words about it on the blog, because I fell into continuous eating mode myself. A few said "enough" and changed my quarantine habits. I also encourage you to do this, if you are afraid that the time of isolation at home will cause +5 kg to appear on your weight. Remember that this nightmare will end and we will have to go back to normal life (honestly? I can't wait for it).

Physical activity - necessarily!

Lack of physical activity is a bane for our body and metabolism. I feel the negative effects of sitting at home myself, mainly because I miss flying around the city and getting different rights. I will not say ... I miss it a bit (especially now, when the sun comes out more often).

batida walnut cake Warsaw

I have never been a fan of exercising (I did everything I could to avoid PE lessons at school). I still don't belong to fit girls and I'm not rushing to the gym with a smile. Nevertheless, I found something that I enjoy - yoga. I don't practice as regularly as I would like, but I try to practice yoga whenever I can. It is a wonderful time for me, not only for my body, but also for relaxation for the mind. Contrary to appearances, yoga is not boring at all (and you will feel its effects the next day, when you cannot get out of bed, because you will have sore muscles that you had no idea about).

Another way to move your body when we can't leave the house is to dance. I'm not talking about professional dance lessons (although many dance schools now offer online classes), but ordinary dance to your favorite songs. All you need is 15 minutes to feel better and automatically improve your mood (seriously, I know what I'm saying - I practice it almost every day). Launch your favorite Spotify playlist and your legs will make you dance.

Sitting at home promotes a constant desire for food

It is proved that often when we are not hungry we just eat out of ... boredom. I also often snack when I work and I'm very focused (which is not necessarily associated with boredom). Then I usually reach for nuts that give you an energy kick. Of course, it is better to choose those without the addition of salt or spices. I like roasted peanuts (peanuts) without salt the most. Even now, when I'm writing this article, I like to eat it.

woman in a beige jacket at a cafe

During the isolation we are more eager to spend time on the sofa watching movies or series (we also, but we combine it with learning French). And if it's a movie, we'd love to eat something (salty snacks are my nightmare!). If watching you associate with food and you can not get rid of this habit - reach for healthier snacks, e.g. nuts, dried fruits, roasted chickpeas or kale chips (I do not like these, but if you like it, I highly recommend it).

How not to gain weight during a coronavirus epidemic?

First of all, take care of regular eating of full-fledged meals. I'm not a fan of sweet breakfasts, but sometimes I want to start the day in this way - then I usually make vegan pancakes, which I serve with maple syrup (in summer also with fresh fruit). More often, however, I reach for salty porridge with black sesame and fried mushroom or crispy oyster mushrooms. Such porridge is not only tasty, nutritious, but also gluten-free (which is very important in my case - due to hypothyroidism, I try to avoid gluten whenever I can).

Especially now, when our activity is limited - reach less (and preferably at all, but I know it is difficult ... especially on these days) for unhealthy snacks or sweets. If you feel like something unhealthy, reach for healthier options - you can make a burger at home, and if you want something sweet - you can bake a carrot cake or bean brownie.

batida walnut cake Warsaw

Take care of healthy sleep in the right number of hours (for me it is 8 hours so that I do not feel like a zombie). And if you have a problem with a desire to eat before bedtime, take advantage of the advice of Parisian women - it is better to go to bed with an empty stomach than to be overfilled. I don't know about you, but if I eat a meal too late, I can't sleep. I have nightmares and in the morning I feel full. This not a nice feeling accompanied me several times in my life, so for years I have been following the principle of Parisians, which actually works.

I hope that the above article will help you find a way to not gain weight during the coronavirus epidemic. The ground is to be reasonable in everything you do. Especially now, when an open mind is badly needed to endure difficult times.