What is SEO? A Beginner’s Guide to SEO

We all know a little about SEO – at least that it helps improve page rank in search engines. These search engines like Google and Yahoo are like digital libraries which keep web pages instead of books and when we search for any topic, it takes the keywords and searches for the relevant web pages using certain algorithms. Though you do not know how these algorithms work exactly, you should know how to use them to improve a page’s rank.

What is SEO?

You might have already heard of it by now. It is nothing but Search Engine Optimization. It involves the process of improving website traffic – both quantity and quality and this is done by increasing its visibility to users of search engines. It improves unpaid results and may target various types of searches like image search, video search, etc. It also works on the number of backlinks and inbound links.

It considers the way search engines work, the algorithms that dictate their process, what is searched the most, keywords typed in the search engines, etc. to target the right audience. SEO brings more visitors to the website when it ranks high in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) with a motive to convert them to potential customers.

Why is SEO Important?

1. Helps Increase Organic Traffic

Organic search is the biggest part of most websites’ performance and an important part of the funnel leading the website visitor to be a customer. We all know that Google is the topmost search engine and is used by 75% of the population while all the remaining competitors like Yahoo, Bing, etc. together occupy the remaining 25% not to forget YouTube is the second most used search engine. So, it’s obvious that if Google favours your website, you will get most of your traffic from it. And this means that you cannot neglect Google policies. This doesn’t mean that we can neglect the others because 25% is no less.

You might have used Google to get some information at least once today; so does everyone. The results that came on top of the results are doing their best at SEO to get your attention and visit. Thus, organic traffic is so important and SEO is needed to get your website on top of search results.

2. Helps Gain Trust and Credibility

A brand’s trust and credibility depends on various factors like their website quality, information available on the website, their service quality or product quality, etc. and SEO is a big part of it. With a clean and easy to navigate the website, an SEO expert can establish a strong foundation for the brand. We focus on many things in order to establish authority. Creating positive user behavior, quality backlinks, machine learning signals, on-page and off-page SEO, etc. are few of many such elements. However, it doesn’t happen overnight but over time. It takes a lot of patience and commitment.

3. Improves User Experience

There is no doubt we want better search engine rank and great visibility but very few realize the importance of user experience. When a user is satisfied with your website content, s/he will come back. A website’s success depends a lot on user experience and Google knows how to interpret the same. So, it offers the best information on top of the results of what the user is looking for. If you want to give your customer a good user experience, you need to do the same. Provide all the information your audience might need using SEO techniques for better visibility on search results.

4. Local SEO Improves Engagement, Traffic & Thereby Conversions

If your business is limited to an area or location then local SEO is the fundamental part you need to focus on. Many small and medium-sized businesses are gaining success by aiming for a specific vicinity allowing people to find the business quickly. Local optimization targets towns, cities and even streets.

This is done by optimizing the website, web content, local citations, backlinks, and listings relevant to the location and the business category.  An SEO expert should have a good knowledge of Google My Business and social media profiles to start with. We focus on business reviews by users or customers on Google, Yelp, etc.

How Does SEO Work?

When you want someone to believe in your skills, you try to tell them you are the best suited person and prove your skills. The same goes for SEO. You need to prove to Google that your content is the best result for the searched keywords. In order to do that, understanding how algorithms work to bring the best results on top is critical for an SEO expert. Google might be the number one search engine but others are also important. However, algorithms of each search engine are different and discussing each is nearly impossible in a blog post. Here we tried to explain it in short. It consists of 3 primary functions.

  1. Crawl: It surfs the internet for content in numerous web pages for each and every URL available to it, stores it and then organizes it.
  2. Index: Once organized into an index, the search engine prepares to display the result of the relevant keywords to be searched.
  3. Rank: Based on the search query of the user, it gives priority to the content that best answers it.

What is On-Page SEO?

You might have heard of Meta tags and keyword density if you have already used any CMS site. On-page optimization is used to optimize web pages to achieve better page rank in search engine results and thereby increase organic traffic.

It focuses on keyword placements within the content, in the title, in the meta description, in the H1 tags, etc. Here are a few things you can do to increase organic traffic through on-page SEO.

  1. Start the title tag with the keyword.
  2. Add modifiers to the title like adding a year, “best”, etc.
  3. Use <H1> tags.
  4. Use images, videos and infographics.
  5. Use H2 tags for subheadings and your keyword in at least one subheading.
  6. Use the keyword in the first 100 words.
  7. Use responsive designs.
  8. Use outbound links to the related pages.
  9. Use internal links in every post you publish.
  10. Boost your site speed. A site that loads faster gives better user experience.
  11.  Image file names should include the keyword and it should also be present in the Alt text.
  12. Use social sharing buttons.
  13. Write lengthy posts with rich information.
  14. Focus on dwell time. Avoid using low quality pages to avoid less dwell time.
  15. SEO friendly URLs look short and crisp instead of ugly and informationless.

What is Off-Page SEO?

It is a technique done outside of the website to improve website rank on search engines. There is a lot to it like link building, social media, etc. Here are a few off-page SEO techniques an SEO expert performs.

  1. Forums are online message boards where new threads are created, old ones are replied to and people’s queries are answered. These are like discussion boards where links are built to your website.
  2. Business Listing: It is a profile created for more people to view. These usually contain the name of business, sector, address, contact details, and about the services provided by it.
  3. Blogging & Commenting: Reading other blogs and commenting on them is a way of building views and exchanging opinions and ideas.
  4. Emailing influencers to get some links is another technique.
  5. Bookmarking the sites in order to increase backlinks and draw some quality traffic for a better rank is an easy way. Doing this at social bookmarking sites draws quality backlinks.
  6. Collaborating with influencers to get them to try your products and/or services for a review and asking them to talk about the same can draw huge traffic.
  7. Make an amazing presentation, upload it to SlideShare, and share it on social media networks.
  8. People are more interested in infographics these days. Try to use them as much as possible instead of regular images and numbers in your content.
  9. Writing articles on topics relevant to your business and submitting them to directories for backlinks is an effective technique.

What is Technical SEO?

It refers to website and server optimization so that search engine spiders can crawl and index the website. Here are a few key features of technical SEO.

  1. SSL or Secure Sockets Layer means secured and this can be easily detected. A website that has ‘HTTPS://’ at the beginning of its URL is SSL certified and this can be purchased from your domain provider.
  2. A responsive and easy to navigate website is SEO friendly.
  3. Website loading speed matters.
  4. Avoid duplicate content.
  5. Create an XML sitemap.
  6. Register the domain with Google Search Console and other webmaster tools.

Understanding how search engines work is important in order to make your website rank high in SERPs. You might have understood the importance of SEO and various types such on-page SEO, off-page SEO and technical SEO. It takes a lot of patience and commitment to stick to the long term strategies and work on them continuously. SEO experts understand these techniques well and so, we can take care of them with such commitment to boost your website ranking letting you focus on your primary business and your service quality.

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