Search engine optimization(SEO) is the process of optimizing websites so that they rank well on search engines through organic (non-paid) searches. SEO is a marketing strategy of optimizing websites to improve their rankings in search engines. SEO helps to increase the quality and quantity of organic or free traffic that your website receives from the search engines.
In other words, your website needs to satisfy certain cues that platforms like Google look for. Because Google is looking to provide a positive user experience for its searchers, it wants to present the best possible information available. SEO is essentially the process of making sure search engines recognize your content as the best information on the web for a particular search query.
When you search on Google, you go to Google.com and type in a keyword that describes the product or service that you are looking for. For example, if I were searching for a restaurant in Surat, I would type in “Restaurant in Surat” into the Google search bar.
Google then searches its index of millions of websites and returns a list of relevant results in its Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). When you click on one of the links, you will go directly to that website. It is estimated that Google alone gets more than 70% of search traffic. Your website needs to rank well on the Google search listings so that customers can find you when they search online for your products and services.
The Google search ranking algorithm is extremely complex and keeps changing. There are over 200 factors that Google considers for ranking a site on its search results. Your business website needs to be optimized for SEO to rank in the top pages of Google. Even the best-designed website will not get any traffic from the search engines if it is not to search engine optimized. SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps to improve your website’s rankings in competitive search engine listings on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Search Engine Optimization of your business website is very important. You may have a great website, but without SEO, your website will not be found by customers when they search online for your products or services. Remember that you are competing against millions of other websites to be found by customers.
SEO is an investment that will maximize the potential of your website. It will require some ongoing cost and effort to maintain high search rankings. Your website needs to have search engine optimization to attract your target customers and increase search rankings, leads, and sales.
Search Engine Optimization is a method of inbound marketing that can help you promote your small or medium business in an affordable way. It is much less expensive to use SEO to attract target traffic and gain brand recognition than traditional outbound marketing methods like radio, TV, or print advertising.
Search Engine Optimization of your website provides long term results and a high return on investment compared to traditional advertising methods. SEO should be part of the online marketing strategy for your business from the start.
How do search engines work?
As you now know, SEO is basically the practice of pleasing search engines. But how do search engines work? How do they know what your website contains?
Search engines use robots that crawl web pages across the internet in order to determine what content they contain. Once they’ve gathered enough information, they add these pages to their index. Then their algorithm basically matches a user’s search query to the relevant information in their index, providing searchers with an accurate answer to their query.
It’s important to note that Google does not release specifics about their algorithm and therefore it is impossible to know for sure exactly how various SEO strategies are considered.
On-page vs. Off-page SEO
SEO is impacted by a number of different factors. As there is no way to know exactly what influences search engine rankings the most, experts recommend that your SEO strategy contains a cocktail of tactics. Those tactics can largely be broken down into two categories: on-page and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to the strategies that you implement on your site itself, including everything from the design and text to your metadata, alt text, and more. Off-page SEO refers to the steps you take outside of your website. This includes things like external links, social posts, and other website promotion methods.
Both on-page and off-page SEO are essential in driving traffic to your site and in ultimately signaling to Google that your site is a significant player. By letting Google know that your site is important and that people are interested in learning about what you have to offer, you are helping your pages rank higher and gain more traffic.
How to implement SEO
However, SEO is much more than just a professional-looking website. Here are a few of the most essential SEO tactics to take into account:
01. Keyword research
One of the most important parts of understanding and implementing SEO is doing keyword research. Keyword research is the process of finding the best and most relevant words to use on your web pages. By doing some investigating, and using professional keyword research tools, you can understand how people around the world tend to search for things related to your product or service.
Let’s say your name is Jenny and you sell flowers. You may naturally think to title your page “Jenny’s Flower Store.” However, quick keyword research would tell you that the keyword “flower store” gets searched on average 2,000 times monthly, while “flower shop” gets searched an average 30,000 times a month. Therefore, using the word “shop” instead of “store” on your web pages will send Google the message that your site is indeed what people are searching for.
Another essential element of SEO is ensuring that all searchers can reach your site and have a positive user experience. In today’s world, over 50% of all traffic comes from mobile devices. That means that it is well worth your while to ensure that your site is mobile friendly.
Not only will this boost your business and ensure that people searching from their phones can use your site, but it is also important to Google. The search engine often employs mobile-first indexing, which essentially means that it crawls the mobile version of your site in order to determine how it should rank amongst its results. That’s why the mobile version of your site deserves your undivided attention.
03. Page speed
One of the factors that Google takes into consideration is page speed or loading times. How fast your website loads is an important factor for user experience. A slow website can make users turn away from your site before they even see what it has to offer. It is therefore essential that you pay close attention to this and make sure to optimize your website speed.
Some of the easiest ways to ensure that your site loads quickly include not overloading it with media or features, optimizing your image sizes, and sticking to one or two fonts throughout. These will make your site look cleaner and feel more professional, as well as help keep your loading time down.
An important element in gaining trust from both people and Google alike is proving your authority. We tend to trust the experts and we, therefore, seek out advice from people who are particularly knowledgeable in their field. Google does the same thing. It determines what sites have the most information and qualifications to report on a given topic, then prioritizes them by presenting them to searchers.
Gaining authority can be done in a number of ways. The simplest way is simply to accurately discuss the item or service which you know the most about. Thus if your service is an online store selling flowers and your site has a blog, you should likely discuss topics surrounding flowers and flower care.
Another important factor is quality links. Being an authority on a given topic can also be achieved with some simple steps. Make sure that your site content is updated.
05. External linking
External linking, or backlinks, are when other sites link to your site. This is an important SEO tactic as it drives up the authority of your site. It also lets more potential users reach your pages and learn more about your product or service.
External links are best when they are genuine and natural. That happens when another platform has noticed you and has decided that your site can add value to their content. They, therefore, link to your site as a way to help their own readers or users. The more authoritative or important the other site, the more valuable their link is. While there’s no short-cut for gaining genuine external links, the best way is to strive to consistently create good quality content.
06. Internal linking
Another linking strategy is internal linking or linking between pages within your own website. This helps drive traffic between your website pages, bringing attention to all of your assets. It also provides user value as it helps make your site more navigable and ensures that your users can easily find what they are looking for.
Internal linking also helps boost site authority. By linking lesser visited pages to stronger pages within your own site, you are sending Google a signal that both pages are important.
Metadata refers to the information that you provide Google to describe what your web page contains. When you conduct a search on a search engine, each result that you see is presented with a headline and description letting you know what kind of content you’ll find on the page. These headlines and descriptions are called metadata. You can provide Google with that information to help both users and Google understand the most important parts of your web page.
Metadata also has an underlying SEO advantage. It gives you control over the text that searchers see when they first encounter your website. Including enticing text that clearly answers the searcher’s query can lead to more clicks to your website. The more people that click, the more Google notices that your site is a good match for people’s searches and the higher they rank you.
08. Alt text
Alt text, or alternative text, is the small description that you give to the images on your site. It is embedded in your site’s HTML and is an important SEO asset. Bots that crawl web pages can’t interpret images, so they need alt text to register what the images depict. This has a couple of important SEO ramifications:
Alt text makes your images more likely to appear on Google searches, both in the Google images section, but also increasingly at the top of regular search result pages. Images are becoming more and more of a standard across Google searches, and the better your alt text, the more likely your image will rank. Of course the more you rank, the more exposure your site gets, and the more traffic you are likely to gain.
Google also perceives web pages that utilize alt text to be more generally optimized. This can help your site appear better in the eyes of search engines.
An important thing to consider is exactly how to write alt text. When you look at an image you can likely think of various ways to describe what you see. For SEO purposes, it is recommended to think strategically about your alt text and try to include some keywords to give your site an extra push.