What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is all about increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
SEO is a techniques for:
- Developing and Designing a website to rank well in search engine index
- Improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website
- Marketing by understanding how algorithms work at the backend using an organic approach. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.
How SEO Works?
You might think of a search engine as a website you visit to type a question into a box and Google, Bing, Yahoo or whatever search engine you’re using magically replies with a long list of links to web pages that could potentially answer your question. But have you ever stopped to consider what’s behind those accurate lists of links?
Search engines perform several activities in order to deliver search results:
- Crawling – Process of fetching all the web pages linked to a website. It means scanning the website, its sections, content, keywords, headings, hyperlinks, images by thousands of small bots. Any data that can be found on the website is crawled.
- Indexing – Process of creating index for all the fetched web pages and keeping them into a giant database from where it can later be retrieved.
- Processing – When a search request comes, the search engine processes it. It’s a process of checking the query against billions of websites based on various algorithms
- Calculating Relevancy – It is likely that more than one page contains the search string, so the search engine starts calculating the relevancy of each of the pages.
- Retrieving Results – The last step in search engine activities is retrieving the best matched results.
Search engines such as Google often update their relevancy algorithm dozens of times per month. When you see changes in your rankings it is due to an algorithmic shift.
Why is SEO Important?
In today’s scenario, SEO is imperative for every business because it helps the website grow by optimizing the website content and the keywords.
The below mentioned reason would help you understand the importance of SEO more precisely:
- SEO increases Organic Web Traffic
- Good website SEO leads to a better User Experience
- SEO if carried out wisely, can promote local sales
- Website credibility increases with SEO
- SEO benefits outweighs its Cost
The Hierarchy of SEO
Here we’ll take a look at the Hierarchy of basic things you need to know in regards to search engine optimization:
Is SEO Difficult?
SEO is not at all difficult to understand! You just need to have a basic understanding of the logic that works behind the process.
SEO consists of 3 important aspects which are Technical stuff, Quality of your content, and Quality Backlinks.
The search engines are used by internet users when they are searching for something. And you want to be that “something”. It doesn’t matter whether you sell a product, service, write a blog, or anything else, search engine optimization is a must!
In this Guide to SEO for Beginners, You’ll Learn the Basic SEO Terms Vocabulary.
On – Page vs Off – Page SEO
On-page (on-site) SEO means optimizing your website to affect the organic search results. It’s everything you can do on the website – from content optimization through technical aspects such as:
- Meta Tags
- URL Structure
- Structured Data, and many more…
Off-page (off-site) SEO covers all activities you can do to improve the website SEO authority through getting backlinks from other websites. There are many ways to get them such as:
- email outreach
- guest blogging
- social media efforts
- cooperation with influencers
- writing valuable content, and many more…
White Hat Vs Black Hat Vs Grey Hat
White Hat SEO is a set of ethical techniques sticking to the guidelines and rules. They are useful and have well written content with natural links. It also helps in brand building and content strategy activity.
White Hat SEO creates Quality and Relevant content and helps in Website optimization and Link building oriented towards improving user experience.
Black Hat SEO is a set of unethical practices to improve rankings of a website in the search engine results page. Black hat SEO can get you to the top of the SERP in a short time, however, it is involved in hidden text, keyword stuffing, link manipulation, irrelevant backlinks, etc.
There’s also a term called Grey Hat SEO which is a practice when you may risk less when compared to the Black hat techniques. Grey hat techniques aren’t clearly defined by Google so you can gain thousands of website users while not being penalized or lost all your rankings a day after.
Keyword Research and Keyword Targeting best practices
The first step in search engine optimization is really to determine what it is you’re actually optimizing for?
There are a few key factors to take into account when determining the keywords you want to target on your site:
- Search Volume – The more people there are searching for a keyword, the bigger the audience you stand to reach. Conversely, if no one is searching for a keyword, there is no audience available to find your content through search.
- Relevance – If a term is frequently searched for that’s great: but what if it’s not completely relevant to your prospects? It’s therefore important for you to keep the SEO relevant enough so that it can resonate with a wider set of audience.
- Competition – As with any business opportunity, in SEO you want to consider the potential costs and likelihood of success. For SEO, this means understanding the relative competition (and likelihood to rank) for specific terms.
If you’re looking to dive even deeper into the topic of keyword research and keyword targeting, there are various amazing resources available on the topic or you can get professional help from digital marketing experts like NextPinnacle to plan your complete digital marketing strategies.
On page optimization Best practices
Once you have your keyword list, the next step is implementing your targeted keywords into your site’s content. Each page on your site should be targeting a core term, and a “basket” of related terms.
Let’s look at a few critical, basic on-page elements you’ll want to understand as you think about how to drive search engine traffic to your website:
- Title Tags
- Meta Description
- Body Content
- URL Structure
How to effectively use Content Marketing and Link building
A more sustainable approach to developing links is to focus on more general, sustainable marketing approaches such as creating and promoting useful content that also includes specific terms you’d want to rank for and engaging in traditional PR for your business.
Follow these 3 Simple Steps for creating value in your content and building link:
- Identify & Understand Your Linking & Sharing Audience. Understand who is likely to link to and share your content.
- Determine the quality of the content and how you can promote it. Make use of reverse engineering if possible.
- Map your assessment to specific Keywords. It means that you can use keyword research as a means for discovering pain points.
Common Technical SEO issues and Best practices
While basics of SEO like the most efficient ways to build links to drive search engine rankings have changed in recent years (and content marketing has become increasingly important) what many people would think of as more “traditional SEO” is still incredibly valuable in generating traffic from search engines.
There are some common mistakes and issues that most sites face that even smaller to mid-sized businesses can benefit from being aware of:
- Page Speed
- Mobile Friendliness
- Header Response
- Duplicate Content
How to track SEO Results
So once you get acquainted with awesome SEO content and putting all of these steps into motion, how do you actually track whether and how well it’s working?
Some key factors you should consider while measuring your site’s SEO performance are:
- Keyword Rankings
- Organic Traffic
- Organic Leads & Sales
Additional SEO Considerations
For many businesses, getting the technical aspects of SEO right, understanding the keywords and having a strategy for getting site’s pages linked to and shared is all that you require for knowing about SEO.
A few types of search environments that require unique approaches include:
- International SEO – This is a must if you want your site to appear beyond the geographic boundaries. This can help you extend your reach in the international market also.
- Local SEO – Ensuring your site doesn’t have technical issues helps with localized rankings for your site.
- App Store Search Engines – having your app show up in searches on various app stores can be extremely valuable.
So What Now? The Road Ahead…
We’ve tried to make it as brief and easy to understand as possible, and learning the basics of SEO is a vital first step in achieving your online business goals.
So as you have started your journey on SEO, you should know a lot of information about how search engines rank websites and about how you can position your own site and business to generate more search traffic from search engines like Google. What should you do next?
Go through at the pace that suits you best, and be sure to take note of all the resources we link to throughout the guide — they’re also worthy of your attention!
We’re excited you’re here and we hope you might improve your search rankings pretty soon!