WHAT IS SEO
WHAT IS SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a website optimization technique that is used to drive quality and quantity traffic to a website through organic search results.
In other words:
The goal of SEO is to improve a site’s rating in the organic section of (non-paid) search results.
It means when someone searches for a specific term, your website will show up on the first page of Google.
For example, if you search for the keyword “pet food”. Then SEO optimized website will show up at the top of the organic section of search results.
WHY SEO IS IMPORTANT?
The biggest advantage of ranking for a certain keyword is that you can gain “free traffic” to your website regularly.
While paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms can generate traffic to websites, the majority of online traffic is driven by organic search.
In fact, if we combine all search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and YouTube the traffic will be raised to nearly 61%.
However, if you are launching a new product or new website, then advertisement plays a crucial role in brand awareness.
You can see from the statistics above, organic search drives a large amount of traffic to the website.
Keeping that in mind optimize your site according to best SEO practices.
Now, dive into the amazing things about SEO.
Let’s say, you own an interior designing firm. According to Google Keyword Planner, over 100,000 individuals search for “interior design” each month.
And we all know that the first Google result receives the most hits; let’s suppose it gets 25% of all clicks, which implies 25,000 visitors to the website that appears at the top.
This means that the web traffic of 25,000 visitors is worth roughly $25,000 a month.
According to GKP average advertiser spends about $1 per click for the keyword ‘interior design’.
Imagine how valuable your website will be if you rank it for hundreds of different keywords. That is why you should make your website SEO-friendly.
In other rich industries like Finance, Insurance, Loans, Mortgages the CPC is even higher.
The advertisers are paying a whopping amount of $61 per click for keywords like ‘Health Insurance’ to get traffic on their website.
But after implementing the effective SEO strategies you will get this traffic on your website absolutely free.
Optimizing a website for SEO means; ranking your site for organic search results, not for paid results.
ORGANIC VS PAID RESULTS
Actually, the SERPs are separated into two sections: paid and organic results.
PAID SEARCH RESULTS
Paid search results are basically advertisements.
They are completely independent of the organic listings. Here Website owners have to pay to have their web page display for certain keywords.
It’s like when someone searches for the query that contains those keywords, the advertiser’s website will show up at the top or beneath the organic search result.
Advertisers in the paid results section are “ranked” by how much they’re are willing to pay for a single visitor from a particular set of search results.
That’s how paid search results got visitors.
ORGANIC SEARCH RESULTS
The web page that shows up in SERPS based on the relevance to the user’s search query is known as organic search results.
Here web owners don’t pay Google or other search engines to show up their website on the top of the search results.
These listings are naturally achieved by doing SEO.
Actually, the search engine ranks the organic search results based on hundreds of different factors.
The organic listed websites are trustworthy, authoritative, relevant and highly valuable.
We will go into detail, about how this whole thing works in our next chapter – How the search engine works.
As of now, Let’s see the two key factors of SEO.
Basically, Search Engine Optimization depends on two things:
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
On-page SEO methods are SEO strategies implemented within a website to boost the ranking of web pages in the organic section of search engine result pages(SERPs).
The Most Important On-Page SEO Techniques Are
- Optimization of titles and descriptions
- User-friendly navigation
- User-friendly content (Easy to read)
- Text Formatting
- SEO friendly URL structure
- Responsive layout (mobile friendly)
- Internal links
- User-friendly 404 pages
- Page loading speed
Google crawl the entire web page, analyze each of the points mentioned above and tries to understand the topic of the webpage by checking the keyword and phrases used in it.
When Google sees the same/similar terms again and over, it recognises the topic of the webpage and begins indexing those web pages for specific keywords.
So, without going overboard, attempt to incorporate the seed keywords and LSI keywords in your header tags, description, alt text, and subheadings for which you want to rank your web page on Google organic search results.
(More about on-page SEO in chapter-3 stay tuned!)
If your site runs on WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin will make things easier for you.
To make SEO even easier, I’ve published a separate in-depth article on tweaking the Yoast SEO plugin for improved SEO results.
Optimized metadata example by using Yoast SEO:
Unlike On-page SEO strategies, Off-page SEO focuses on strategies that are implemented outside of a website.
The two main Off-page SEO factors are:
- Link building (Commonly known as Backlinks)
- Social media/ Digital media marketing
Off-page SEO indicates to the search engine how the other website and users perceive the particular website.
A high-quality website contains relevant links or references (commonly known as backlinks) referring to it.
The question is WHY?
Because if your web content is really worthy and useful people will definitely read it…
…and most probably they will share your content on various social media platforms.
more likely to be shared among other relevant users and communities.
In fact, if web owners find any relevant topic on your website, they might end up giving a backlink to your website from their post.
It indicates to Google that the content of your website is really good and people are liking it.
So, the search engines will boost up your web page in the organic search result.
Because search engines especially Google always tries to provide the best result to their searchers.
(More about off-page SEO in chapter-4 stay tuned!)
Now one of the most important things about website traffic: Not all internet traffic is the same. While traffic volume is unquestionably crucial, quality traffic is what brings you, customers.
WHAT IS QUALITY AND QUANTITY TRAFFIC
Getting relevant visitors to a website is quality traffic and quantity traffic is how many people are visiting your site after clicking on the SERPs (Search engine result page).
A high-performing website requires both quality and quantity visitors. Brand awareness and online exposure are enhanced when there is a lot of traffic. High-quality traffic, on the other hand, results in a greater conversion and sales ratio.
You have worked hard and ranked your website on the first page of Google for the keyword ‘Apple’ and started attracting all the visitors to your website.
It means when someone types the keyword ‘Apple’ in the search box your website will show up in the first place.
That also means your website will get more traffic.
if visitors are looking for the information about ‘Apple computer’ and found your website is all about ‘Apple fruit’.
They will probably bounce back on the home page of Google search results and start looking for another website.
This high bounce back gives a signal to Google that people do not find what they are looking for, as a result, Google will drop your website ranking for the keyword ‘Apple’.
In this case, you are getting lots of traffic (quantity of traffic) but they are not relevant to your website (quality of traffic) which is not good at all, which will impact your overall website performance and ranking.
That is why it is important to drive high-quality traffic to your website, which can be accomplished through good keyword selection and website SEO.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR TRAFFIC IS HIGH QUALITY?
The quality of traffic is influenced by a number of things. Some are determined by the visitor, some by the search engine, and yet others by your plan and execution.
These few indicators, on the other hand, can help you figure out if you’re getting high-quality visitors.
- More conversions
- More engagement across channels
- Share count
- More sales stemming from online sources
OPTIMIZE CONTENT FOR PEOPLE
Web owners usually forget that it’s all about optimizing for people – your visitors, potential clients, readers, subscribers, or customers.
If you optimize your content keeping your visitors in mind, chances are you will be way more successful in search engines.
And this is exactly what we will see in our 3rd chapter under “On-Page SEO strategies”.
If you only focus on embedding keywords forcefully all over the place in your content (to please Google), your content will look spammy and no one is going to read your article.
Even Google has stated, gives preference to your visitors over search engines.
All the other terms like Blackhat SEO, White hat SEO, Keywords, Long tail keywords, Backlinks, Guest post, Image optimization, Content optimization etc all are part of either on-page or off-page SEO strategy.
We will go through each of them, chapter wise, but before that let’s have a quick look at frequently asked questions about SEO.
SEO FAQs and The 7 Most Asked Basic Questions About SEO
A search engine like Google uses an advanced algorithm to rank the web pages for their searchers.
However, those algorithms will still require your assistance in order to correctly analyse and rank the content of your web page.
If your content is not optimized, then the search engine will fail to rank your website and it won’t appear in the search result…
…as a result, you will miss out on all of the visitors to your website.
So it is really important to do SEO for your website.
Before coming to this question it’s really important for us to understand what search engines exactly do.
A search engine like Google consists of :
- A crawler
- An Index and
- An algorithm
A crawler follows the link on the web 24/7 and saves the HTML version of a page in the database, called index.
The index will get updated automatically if Google comes to your website and found a new or revised version of it.
After indexing, Google will start showing your website in the search result.
Google has a complex algorithm that decides which pages are shown in which order.
How this algorithm works is a bit of a mystery, but in order for search engines to discover your website, you must optimise it according to current SEO trends, which will undoubtedly help you improve your web page visibility.
There are several reasons why your website may not be ranking on Google.
1. Your site is new and hasn’t built up sufficient authority to rank for competitive search queries.
2. Your content doesn’t match the searcher’s intent or quality compared to the pages that rank for the queries you’re looking at.
3. Your site may have received a sitewide manual penalty for violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
4. Your website may be blocking search engines from crawling it (usually in your robots.txt file).
Well, as is the answer for many SEOs: it depends.
A good answer is somewhere between six months and one year, but it totally depends on content quality, competition, proper SEO, strategies.
You can’t expect a website to rank for competitive search searches overnight. It takes time for a website to rank organically since Google ranks relevant sites with authority.
However, It might only take a few months to rank for a local term (e.g., pet shop in [location]), whereas it could take years to rank a new website for, let’s say, the term “SEO.”
Yes, you can hire an SEO agency if they fit in below points:
1. If you have enough budget – A good SEO agency will charge $100k for 12 months of the project
2. If they fit in your business model
3. If they won’t lock you in a contract
4. If you are looking for long term success
5. If you don’t have time for SEO
Of course, you can do it by yourself.
Depending on your commitment, learning enthusiasm, your willingness to learn, and how serious you are, you can do SEO of your website by yourself.
Even a small amount of knowledge can make a big difference.
Start learning now and believe me you will become a master in Search engine optimization.
A plugin like Yoast SEO has made things easier.
Social media does not directly contribute to SEO ranking, but the links you share across social platforms increase brand exposure