Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an important part of digital marketing that focuses on improving website visibility to get better website traffic. The greater the visibility of a website, the higher will be its ranking in search results. The generation of more traffic will have a good impact on your service or business.
What is SEO
SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. With Search Engine Optimization, you can help search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find you or your company or your business and help people find you or on search engines. If you want to bring more traffic to your website, increase your website rank on search engines, build links, and market your website, you are at the right place. Make a great SEO campaign to improve your site visibility in search engines.
When people search for any products or business or services related to your business on search engines, your aim should be that your website is shown first. For that, better visibility is needed to attract new customers as well as retain the existing ones.
Knowing even a small amount of SEO can also make a big difference in your website and can attract customers to your business. People may find your website through some of the ways – via referrals or via directions like Yellow Pages, White Pages, Local Business Listings, and lastly through SEO or Search engines. For all the successful sites 50% of traffic is obtained through SEO and sometimes it also reaches 90%.
There are also certain businesses that depend heavily on referrals instead of search engines but SEO is the most trustable way to build website credibility.
How does Search Engines Work
Implementing good SEO practices makes your website come under top search engine page results and thus your traffic will be better. Search engines work in three stages – crawling, indexing, and ranking. Let us understand these 3 steps:
- Crawling: Search engines like Google have a crawler which is used for gathering information about all content that can be found on the internet. The purpose of crawlers is to bring information about searches to the search engines for building an index.
- Indexing: This index is then analysed with the help of an algorithm. It tries to match all that data with the user query when one is searching something on search engines.
- Ranking: Search engines, for example, Goggle uses the algorithm to determine which pages should be shown for answering the queries of people. SEO takes into account content and page structure, and it optimizes all these components of search engine algorithms for determining the website rank.
The ‘O’ in SEO means Optimization which means you write all the content and put it on your sites so that search engines are able to understand the information and whenever any visitor is searching something related to your service or business, it can easily show it to the users or the visitors who arrive via search. Google needs relevant information and high-quality content to show your site related to searchers’ queries.
What goes into SEO
SEO must have quality and quantity of traffic and search results. You must determine the quality of traffic and you must attract your visitors through search engines to your website who search for information related to your website and who are actually interested for your products and services. For quantity of traffic, once the visitors visit your site, clicking from the search engine page results, your traffic will be better. Another crucial feature of SEO deals with organic traffic. Organic traffic is the search traffic that comes from search engine page results, and sometimes advertisements also play a good role in search engine page results.
Important SEO Strategies
Some of the important SEO strategies are –
- Optimizing content in the right way and giving relatively high-quality content
- Finding appropriate keywords and create a list of those keywords
- Optimizing on-page SEO
- Optimizing search intent
- Building your website links to your page
- Improving and updating content
- Make sure that your website is mobile friendly with the help of a responsive web design or by using a separate mobile web version.
SEO Strategies: Black Hat vs. White Hat
There are two types of SEO – White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. Let’s us that differentiates them.
White Hat SEO is in compliance with Google guidelines for high quality. It focuses on quality content and link building. One can build a good SEO campaign through white hat SEO strategies. This is a long-term strategy in a website, although it might take time the search results are there for a longer period of time.
On the other hand, black hat SEO involves hacks and tricks while giving a short-term boost to your website in the search engine results. Black Hat SEO has negative SEO consequences.
Black hat SEO is used for hacking purposes while white Hat SEO is for optimizing your website to give you a high search ranking. Black hat SEO is used for a quick rise in search engines or to cheat the search engine rankings.
The techniques of Black Hat SEO are keyword stuffing, link trading, hidden texts or links, blog comment spamming.
Fundamentals of SEO
SEO is important as web traffic is generally from Google or the search engine. Organic search and White Hat SEO gather more traffic than all other sources of web traffic.
1) SEO creates more traffic – A good SEO campaign ranks your website higher in search engines, and thus, more people can visit your website if their search is related to your company website.
2) SEO makes sure that your website has consistent traffic – A good ranking in search results leads to consistent traffic. Also, social media networks are designed for fresh content.
3) SEO creates free traffic – To get good traffic for the website from search engines, SEO optimized website is needed. To optimize a website, the fundamentals of SEO need to be known as SEO is the way of optimizing a website for search engines, and it ranks the website for organic results.
This is the way by which the website owners can research the popular search terms related to their business or service or website in search engines like Google. This is important because you can research them and find them out, and after that, you can strategically include them in your content so that it has a flow. This makes your content appear higher on a search engine result. The keyword research process is at first selecting a topic and then selecting the major keywords that you want for your content so that it relatively gives a boost to your website. You should also see why that keyword is important for your website, you should also use a local keyword strategy, find out the list of keywords to build up your content. This is actually determining the most important keywords for the ranking of your website.
Titles and meta descriptions
The title is one of the most important elements to make a web page rank. The median page title is 6 words or 38 characters, for both mobile and desktop. Coming to meta description is important because it acts as an advertising tagline for a web page. It promotes a product or service so that the user clicks on it. The median length of a meta description is 19 words. As far as the median character count is concerned, the meta description for the desktop pages is 138 characters while it is 136 characters for mobile pages.
On-Page SEO involves optimizing web pages to make them rank higher on search engines. The content and HTML code of a page are optimized. On-page SEO works on improving the website’s search engine rankings so that it gains organic traffic. For on-page SEO high-quality content, optimizing headlines, HTML tags, meta tags, header, images, finding keywords, optimizing title tag, internal linking is important. It has been found out that 27.70% of desktop and 27.96% of mobile pages use meta tags. On-page SEO helps search engines understand the website and its content and by this strategy, relevant keywords are identified as per the search inquiry of people.
Off-page SEO involves the use of SEO to make a site rank higher on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This practice is done outside your website so that your website rankings on search engine results improve. Off-page SEO ranking factors include the site’s popularity, trustworthiness, relevance and authority, the freshness of the backlink, anchor text used. The building of backlinks is the main part of SEO. Search engines use these high-value backlinks to rank your website better than any other website containing few backlinks. This also involves email outreach and guest blogging.
This technique creates and updates relevant content, as per the search of the audiences. Content Marketing is good for increasing sales and cost savings, to attract loyal and better customers. No matter what type of marketing tactics are used, content marketing should always be used. Good quality content can be used in all types of marketing- be it social media marketing, SEO, PPC, PR, content strategy, or inbound marketing. Content marketing promotes brand awareness. Blogs, newsletters, social media posts, emails, videos all need to be developed and distributed for content marketing. With the correct content marketing strategies, you can find out what customers think of your company and whether they are choosing you when it is time to buy.
Site Architecture Optimization
It is the structure that is used for optimizing and delivering the content of your website. A good website information architecture ensures that users and search engine crawlers can surf your website easily. A well-structured site architecture makes it easier for the search engine crawlers the job of searching and thus improving better indexing and more chances for achieving higher rankings. It has been found that the aggregate ranking can be improved by 23.9 % on mobile and 23.7% on desktop with the help of structured data.
These are the tactics of writing and structuring your HTML. Semantic markup is the site architecture from content where HTML is used for web structuring and for web design, CSS is used. With the help of semantic markup, the type of content information can be found out that is contained between the opening and closing tags. Semantic markup needs HTML elements to be used, and it requires the separation of content and presentation. Websites need to specify their country and language in the content language tag in the HTML head.
Here is a table that gives a percentage of pages that uses the top content language values in meta tags of HTML, for both mobile and desktop:
Source: Web Almanac
Why does SEO matter for a website?
When people search for something on Google, they find out billions of websites. But, the most SEO-optimized and the most potential one comes first. This is where a site needs SEO to get itself visible at first in the search results. SEO makes sure that your target audience finds your website at first in search results if their search is relevant to your website. To build a good SEO strategy, you must build content that attracts your target audience, you must have keywords that match the search queries, and you must make yourself trustworthy. You must always use White hat SEO tactics to make yourself trustworthy in search engines while creating content. SEO ranks your website higher in Google through search results. Brand owners can see the keywords that their target audience is using to conduct searches, and thus, the owner or founder can input those keywords and conduct their own Google search for their business. The aim of SEO optimization is to strengthen customer trust and value. It builds long-term audience results.
How to measure SEO success?
SEO is the reason for your website’s visibility and online rank in the search engine. You need to list out a few important things to measure your SEO.
- Checking on your keyword rankings
- Checking on your conversation rate
- Check on your backlinks
- Checking on your traffic quality
- You should check on your SERP visibility
- Keep track of organic traffic
- Keep track of bounce rate
- Check if the backlinks are increasing your website visibility on the search engines
- Check on your website and page speed
Along with the point listed above, SEO performance can also be tracked through keyword rankings, organic search, and lead conversations.
This was the guide on SEO for beginners. If you have a potential website with high-intensity content and website, you need a good SEO campaign. It is extremely important to keep in mind the right SEO when you are trying to boost your website’s ranking in search engines. The right approach towards SEO and publishing high-relevant content on your website will bring long-term SEO results for your website. If you have great content and a perfectly SEO optimized website and quality backlinks, your website will surely rank higher in the search engines and will definitely attract more traffic, leading to more sales and increased revenue, thus contributing towards the prosperity of the business.