What is SEO?
Last updated July 10, 2023
We want to provide a space where you can succeed in improving and growing your writing muscles! Here is a comprehensive guide on how you can use SEO tactics to strengthen your content and attract customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is designed to get web pages to rank higher in the search engines like Bing, Google, or Yahoo. Ranking higher in the search engines makes people discover your content online and increases traffic to your website.
In a nutshell, SEO increases your site’s visibility; thus, people will find you when searching for something related to your business. Improved visibility to your pages in the search results makes it more likely to gain more attention, attracting more customers to your business.
How it works:
When you search for something online, search engines usually provide paid Ads (PPC) or pay per click) first on the search engine results page (SERP), followed by organic search results.
Organic search results are ranked based on the algorithms of the search engine. The traffic that comes from SEO is referred to as “organic search traffic,” while that which comes from paid search is known as search engine marketing (SMM) or PPC.
You cannot pay the search engines for a higher ranking on the organic search; thus, SEO experts have to put their skills into practice.
Good SEO involves different activities such as:
- Identifying and using relevant keywords with great search traffic potential
- Creating and optimizing high-quality, valuable content for users and optimizing it for search engines
- Using relevant links from superior sites
- Measuring the results
SEO is an integral part of online marketing since users primarily navigate the web through search. Search results appear in a specific ordered list, so the higher your website is up on the list, the more traffic it will get.
Typically, the number one result to a search query will get a significantly higher number of clicks than number two or three. And also, very few people will go beyond the first page of any search results.
The good thing about SEO is that it is very accessible, and anyone can do it! Also, it eliminates the need to use conventional advertising methods, creating tremendous value for your business. Some of the reasons why you should take time to understand SEO basics and utilize some techniques include:
- It increases website traffic
- It offers impressive ROI
- It improves credibility and trust
- It provides a competitive advantage
- It is measurable
- It targets the entire market
- You can do it on a budget
- It reaches the whole target audience
- It optimizes user experience
- It helps you to reach more people
- It is a long term marketing strategy
- It improves brand awareness
- You will rank better in local searches
Search engines use bots or spiders that crawl pages from site to site and collect information about the pages. They then put those pages in an index which is just like a library to help find what you want at any time.
The algorithms index the web pages using hundreds of ranking factors and determine the order in which they should appear in the search results of a given query. The SEO success factors are proxies that estimate how well a web page will provide the searchers with what they seek.
With time, the algorithms evolve and become more complex with changing user behavior and machine learning advances. The evolution considers the numerous ranking factors that determine their SERPs rankings.
Your content needs to solve a particular problem and appeal to the end-user.
When you optimize the effectiveness of your content, then your site will rank higher than other sites that target the same niche.
You need to use the right keywords in the content, and you can use content management systems (CMS) for that.
A keyword is a word or many words (long-tail keyword) that informs the search engine of the content on your page. It also refers to the phrases or words that users enter into a search engine as a query.
When the users’ keywords match with the keywords on your website, then your site will appear in the search results. As a business, keywords are essential since you want to appear in search results when people search for keywords relevant to your products and services.
Keywords are not easy to come up with as the obvious ones will have much competition since everyone has the same idea. Relevant and quality keywords can lead to the appropriate new visitors and improved brand awareness; therefore, research for better keywords should be continuous. Keywords should be included in the page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and content as often and naturally as possible.
Keyword research is the first step in SEO. It involves determining the keywords your website is already ranking for, what keywords competing sites are ranking for, and what other keywords prospective customers are searching for. Finding out the terms that searchers use on Google search will guide you on what new content to create and on how to optimize the existing content.
Upon identifying potential keywords, the next thing to do is content marketing. It might require updating the existing content or coming up with fresh content. Google and other search engines rank high-quality content higher, so you need to research the kind of content already out there. SEO is mostly about creating content targeted towards the keywords that users are searching for.
Links from other sites play a crucial role in deciding the ranking of a website in search engines such as Google. A link is taken as endorsing quality from other websites since they are unlikely to link to other websites of inferior quality. In Google, websitesthat get links from other authoritative websites gain a “PageRank” or authority.
External links or backlinks are a core ranking factor in Google and other search engines. Having high-quality embedded links is a significant SEO boost. Some ways to promote good content are building relationships with web admins, reaching out to other sites, or submitting sites to relevant web directories.
The structure of the HTML code on the web pages impacts the ability of a search engine to evaluate a page. The best practice is to include keywords in the title, headers, and URL of the page while ensuring the site is crawlable.
Improving the page structure has great benefits for SEO. The techniques you can use include incorporating keywords, optimizing the URL, updating the title tag to have relevant search terms, and utilizing the alt attribute for image description. You could also update the meta tags of the page.
SEO is a continuous process! So even when you have fully implemented your strategy, know that you will have to revisit it. SEO requires you to constantly change your tactics midway to align yourself with the ever-changing trends.
However, with a solid SEO foundation in place and a little patience, you will realize the benefits of your strategy. It will lead to a better user experience and increased conversions for your business.