What is SEO?

what is SEO?
Image: what is SEO?

Are you new to SEO or going to begin your website’s SEO soon? I am pretty much sure 95% of business owners heard about SEO. Maybe you heard from your marketers or marketing agency about SEO to grow sales and acquire new customers locally & internationally from your website.

75% of marketers feel their SEO tactics are ‘extremely effective’ or ‘very effective at helping them achieve their marketing goals (Source: HubSpot State of Inbound)

If you are curious about SEO, how it functions, what is included in SEO, and what it takes to bring any website on top of Google ranking. You have come to the right page. Read this article to know more and plan your long-lasting benefits from your website.

Defining Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Let’s start with the obvious question: what specifically is SEO? The answer is simple: SEO refers to ‘Search Engine Optimization, the method to get traffic from search engines’ organic results. It aims to increase your site’s ranking on search engines’ results pages (SERP). Remember That the higher the site is listed, the more visitors can see it.

SEO is a variety of functions, like:

  • Selecting keywords relevant to your needs that have a high potential for traffic to your site
  • Making valuable, high-quality content while optimizing for the search engine as well as for the users
  • In addition, relevant links from top-quality & high authority websites
  • The measurement of the results

There is no doubt that SEO is considered an essential part of marketing today.

Why is SEO Essential?

To fully appreciate the significance of SEO, let’s split down our definition into three distinct parts:

Organic results:¬†These are free listings on a search engine result page (SERP). The search engine has decided to be most relevant to the user’s search query. Advertisements (Pay-Per-Click) constitute a substantial part of the SERPs. Organic results differ from ads because they are placed according to the organic ranking of search engine algorithms and not advertisers’ bids. It’s impossible to buy a higher ranking on organic results.

Google Ads and Organic Results example
Image: Google Ads and Organic Results Screenshot

Quality organic web traffic: The quality of the organic traffic is how related the user’s search inquiry is to your site’s content. The best SEO takes advantage of the search engine’s efforts to find a match between a user’s intent and the pages included on the search results page. 

The best traffic comes from those genuinely interested in your website’s services, information, or other services. However, you could attract any users in the world if they’re going to your website. Google claims you’re a site for Adidas shoes when offering ready-made clothes to customers. Hence, visitors will probably go away from your website without making any sales and conversions.

Quantity of organic web traffic: Organic traffic is the number of users that visit your website through organic results from a search. The higher the quality of people you bring to your website, the more likely you will experience an increase in the number of conversions. People are more likely to land on your website from search engines that appear on top of search engines. In addition, the website ranking #1 generates a typical CTR of 39.6%. That’s more than double the CTR for the 2nd position, 18.4%, and nearly 4x the CTR for the 3rd position, 10.1%.

SEO: How Do Search Engines Function?

Search engine algorithms are computer programs that search for hints to provide users with exactly what they seek. Search engines are utilized by individuals who have a question and are looking to find the answer on the internet. Search engines use algorithms to discover websites and determine those ranking for the specific search term. There are three stages to the way search engines function, including crawling. 

Crawling

Search engines provide web crawlers to search for new websites and keep track of information about them. We often refer to these web crawlers as “spiders” or robots. They are used to find new web pages and regularly examine the content of pages they’ve previously visited to determine whether the content has changed or changed, or updated.

Search engines crawl websites through links they’ve found. Suppose you’ve got a service or product mentioned on your website linked to your homepage when a browser scans your site’s homepage. In that case, it will search for a different link and then be able to follow the link of your services pages.

Indexing

The next step is to index your website. Indexing occurs when a search engine determines what it will do with the information and plans to utilize its scanned content. 

If a page crawled is deemed worthy by the search engine, it will be indexed. When a page on the internet or content item is indexed, it’s archived and saved in a database, where it is later retrieved. Most web pages with exclusive and valuable content are put in the index. These are some scenarios when the pages are not indexed:

  • Website content is duplicated and purely copied.
  • Low quality or spammy content on the website.
  • The domain or website pages don’t have inbound links or backlinks.

 Use this formula to check how many pages of your websites are indexed: site:domainname

Image: Google indexing formula

Ranking

The third step is the most important, and that’s the ranking. Once the search engine has crawled or indexed your website, it could be ranked on the SERP. Ranking will only occur when the indexing and crawling processes are completed.

Search engines employ hundreds of ranking signals to classify and rank websites. All are included in the three SEO pillars: technical optimization, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization. A few examples of the signals search engines utilize to rank web pages include:

  • Keywords in the metadata (meta title and meta description) – whether the keyword or synonym was present on the page and in the metadata.
  • Website page loading speed – whether the website page loads fast and is mobile-friendly
  • Website reputation & credibility: Whether the website and web page are regarded as reliable on the internet, it is being looked up for

SEO: The Major Elements

On-Page SEO?

It is the practice of optimizing the pages on your website to increase results and improve users’ and crawlers’ experience.

SEO elements of on-page can comprise:

  • Meta title
  • Meta description
  • H1, H2, and H3 heading tags
  • Content pruning
  • Image alt tags
  • Internal links
  • Duplicate content fixing
  • Keywords cannibalization
  • Up to date content
  • HTML code
  • User experience (UX)

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is a term used to describe all SEO strategies that don’t include publishing content or updates on your site. In short, off-page SEO is done outside of your website, writing and publishing content with anchor text links on other’s websites.

In the past, many utilized “off-page SEO” and “link building” in conjunction; however, there are numerous off-page SEO techniques you can apply for off-page SEO, such as:

  • Competitor’s link profile check
  • GMB (Google My Business) set up
  • New link building 
  • Toxic backlinks check and fix
  • Local citation building
  • Content writing and publishing on third party sites

These strategies help users and search engines comprehend your site and improve the authority of your website’s credibility, trust, and importance.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the term used to describe the methods used in creating and optimizing websites so that search engines can easily browse, index, and display it on SERP. Technical SEO is one of the crucial factors of SEO.

The majority of business owners and marketers utilize technical SEO to increase the possibility of their site ranking high on search engine result pages (SERPs).

  • SSL certificate
  • HTTPS URL
  • Website duplicate version fixing
  • Finding and fixing Crawling errors
  • Website loading speed
  • Internal and outbound broken links
  • Search engine friendly URLs
  • Structured Data or Schema markup
  • Finding and fixing temporary 302 redirects
  • Redirect chain loop
  • Hreflang tags
  • Canonical tags
  • Website mobile-friendliness
  • HTML, JavaScript, and CSS (programming languages)

SEO: Why Is It Essential in Marketing?

There is no doubt that SEO is an essential component of digital marketing. Google search is typically the primary source of web traffic to companies’ websites, giving higher conversions rate and complementing other marketing channels. Millions of people use search engines every day, with a significant commercial motive to locate details about services and products. A higher ranking and visibility in search results than your competitors could significantly impact your profits and ROI.

Over the last few years, the search results have changed to provide users with more specific answers and information, most likely to keep them on the page for results instead of directing users to other sites.

To add on, features such as knowledge panels and rich search results within the results of a search can improve visibility. It provides users with more information about your business within the search results.

Suppose you know what your users on your site want. In that case, You can implement this knowledge into your marketing campaigns (paid and organic) on your website and over your various social media platforms. In short, SEO is the foundation of a comprehensive marketing system.

SEO: Examples of Objectives

Here are three SEO goals that could use as a basis for setting appropriate objectives for your business or website:

“40% to 60% keywords top ranking on Google in 8-10 months”. Here the focus is on website ranking with the targeted keywords.

“Quarterly organic traffic increased from 15% to 50%. This goal is to boost the organic traffic of the website.

“Acquire top 3 ranking on the local map listing to reach local customers”. Here the objective is to earn more new local customers and increase store visits.

SEO: Google Algorithm Updates

SEO is often viewed as unattainable or even impossible due to the concept of “algorithm.” An algorithm is a set of actions used by search engines to rank and calculate websites when a user uses a particular search query.

You’ve likely heard that algorithms are constantly changing, and to a certain extent, this is accurate. Google creates what they refer to as “core updates” multiple times every year to improve the experience for people who search online. You can look back at the background of Google algorithm changes through Moz’s website

Although Google will often tweak its algorithms, the main goal is to create high-quality content employing relevant keywords and developing solid backlinks. Don’t attempt to “game the system” when you’re playing with Google’s algorithms because one of the main reasons for continual changes is eliminating those who cheat out. You may harm your ranking by focusing too heavily on the algorithm but not enough on the content you provide to your audience.

SEO: Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take for SEO to be effective?

SEO isn’t a quick route to success. It has never been and will never be. It is imperative to establish an ongoing strategy in SEO, as it can take anywhere between six months and one year to rank for the majority of the keyword. 

What is the most crucial element when it comes to SEO marketing?

No single factor is more critical since they’re all equally important. If you had to choose the one you should concentrate on that would be providing relevant information to users.

How can I get my website to rank higher on Google?

The most effective method of ranking is to do it with regular effort. If you’re trying to win, you’ll need to consistently create high-quality backlinks, fix technical SEO glitches, and regularly optimize the website content. Day in and day out, this process will result in the desired results.

How can I rank my website without SEO?

There are occasions when people get lucky, but they’re offering something that many others aren’t. There are many competitors in the same market, which is why the most efficient SEO can win. Being competitive in this market requires knowledge of the basics of SEO marketing.

How much does SEO cost?

SEO’s cost is contingent. Making it your own is a bit more time-consuming and will require you to be prepared for an education curve. If you hire an agency, then pricing depends on your SEO objective and the competition of the keywords. SEO may cost between $500 to $3000 per month for small businesses. This cost may go high if the objective is an organic traffic boost or an international location ranking.

SEO: Conclusion

I hope you took the most value from this article because there’s lots of information. One of the most crucial things you need to remember about SEO is that there aren’t shortcuts in the game. You must do things correctly and go that extra mile to be noticed. Keep it in mind while you progress through your SEO journey.

You should commit at least six months to the process for you to be able to see the results. 

For a new website, it is recommended to pick long-tail keywords and do local citation & social bookmarking. This will help increase the website traffic and conversions from the 2-3rd month. Gradually target the high competitive keywords. Please note that every website and industry needs different SEO strategies. 

The people who claim that SEO is just a “set it and forget it” method are not right. Prove Google that your site is refreshed and active. You’ll need to keep track of your website’s content, make updates regularly, and continue producing new and exciting content. Last but not least, aim for high quality & relevant backlinks for long-term benefits from SEO.

GOOD LUCK! GROW LIKE A PRO!

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