Search Engine Optimization is a method to increase the number and quality of traffic to your website. It is a way to get free, organic, and “natural” traffic through search results of search engines. It requires improving rankings in the algorithmic search engine results as mostly only the top searches on the first page get viewed.
Research reveals that in Google search engine, a website on the first page receives about 95% of clicks, and the higher up the page you are, you receive increased click-through rate (CTR), as well as traffic. And it is SEO that improves your business’s visibility in these results, thus it is a very vital part of many digital marketing strategies!
How Does SEO Work?
Google, Bing, Yahoo, and all other search engines score their search results mostly based on the authority and relevancy of the pages it has included in its web index.
There are more than 200 signals used by search engines such as Google to score their search results in the best way possible, and SEO revolves around influencing these to reach the top. It encompasses creative and technical activities to work on some of those known signals to improve them.
SEO, therefore, revolves around making a website accessible and technically sound by using words that the audience usually types into the search engines. It involves providing excellent user experience along with high quality, useful, relevant, and expert content that genuinely answers the user’s query.
As search engines thoroughly evaluate the quality of search results and have vast teams of quality raters to assess outcomes, it is very significant to understand what gets fed into a machine-learning algorithm to remain on top of them.
Taking the example of Google, its search quality rater guidelines say that they reward sites based on their emphasis on expertise, authority, and trust (EAT). And for that, Google makes uses ‘PageRank’ a hyperlink based algorithm to calculate the influence and popularity of a page.
Even though it is very sophisticated, this first signal in ranking can be influential. SEO is here to include an activity that enhances the quality and number of ‘inbound links’ to a website from other sites. It has been previously known as ‘link building,’ but these days, it is a way of marketing your brand online.
So when you have relevant and reputable websites linking to your website, this sends a signal to Google that your site may be helpful to its users, and then it trusts you and lets you appear in the search results for relevant queries.
How to conduct SEO?
SEO requires technical and creative methods, which can be classified into two categories; ‘Onsite SEO’ and ‘Offsite SEO.’ This categorization helps to simplify the process by splitting practices which are performed on the website, and those which are performed away from the site.
These ways usually require expertise and that, too, from multiple individuals because the skill sets required to carry them are vast. But an individual can learn how to conduct SEO on a smaller basis. For more significant projects, it is better to hire professional experts, like SEO agency and SEO consultant.
Here are its basics:
It refers to activities on the website itself, which helps to enhance organic visibility. It primarily consists of optimizing a website long with its content so that its accessibility, relevancy, and experience for users is improved. Some of the activities typically involve in this type of SEO include:
• Keyword Research: This consists of analyzing the usage of different words by prospective customers and their frequency to find brands services or products. It helps to understand the user’s intent and expectations from the search results, which can then be depicted onsite.
• Technical Auditing: This ensures that the website is crawled and indexed correctly and geo-targeted properly. Its work is to remove any user experience barriers and make the site error-free
• Onsite Optimization: This improves the website structure, on-page alignment, internal navigation, and content relevancy so that targeted, relevant search phrases and critical areas can be prioritized
• User Experience: This works to ensure that the content reflects the expertise, trust, and authority, as mentioned before. Its purpose is to make the user experience fast and efficient to provide the best possible experience against the competition.
This above list only consists of a small number of activities. In reality, Onsite SEO involves an array of ways, and all of them cannot be listed.
Offsite SEO includes activities that are carried outside the website to enhance organic visibility. It is also known as ‘link building,’ and the main aim is to increase the number of essential links from other websites. It is because search engine ranking systems use these as a score of trust. Ensures links are from trusted, popular, and relevant websites as this will pass more value. Remember, the quality of a link is the most vital signal.
Some of the activities typically involve in this type of SEO include:
• Content Marketing: Creating exceptional content will help attract Reputable website links. So write on engaging topics including how-to guides, personal stories, attractive visuals, flashy news, and compelling data.
• Digital PR: This gives reasons for other popular websites to link and talk about your website due to internal news flow, original research or studies, writing for external publications, expert interviews, product placement quotes, and much more.
• Outreach & Promotion: It involves connecting with major journalists, influencers, bloggers, and webmasters to earn coverage and links to your website.
Resources through which you can learn SEO
There are many useful resources available online by which you can learn more about SEO. Following are the vital resources that can help you get going:
- SEO Starter Guide available at Google
- Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines available at Google
- Beginners Guide To SEO available at Moz
- Beginners Guide to Link Building available at Moz
- SEO Spider Tool available at Screaming Frog
Summing it up, SEO is a tool every marketer should be fluent in this harsh world of digital marketing. It gives you a competitive edge over others and helps you stand out. So by using this tool right, you can become a market leader within no time!