Intro to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
According to Internet Live Stats, there are over 1.7 billion websites on the internet. Most, if not all, of these websites are created to be seen by other people besides the website creators. It is for this reason websites are built with search engine optimization in mind.
Search engines are those web softwares used to search the internet for content. Examples are Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. They have an index of a staggering number of websites and use these to answer your search queries with relevant content.
This is how most websites get seen on the internet. So, building a website in such a way that it is found by a stranger on the internet gave birth to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
We will go in-depth on what SEO means, how it works, and how to make it work for you.
Search engine optimization is a free way to drive traffic to your website
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
In simple terms, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is building your website, from the code up to every bit of content in it, in such a way that it increases the website’s exposure on search engines and attracts organic traffic. Organic traffic is traffic you don’t pay for.
There are two major angles to approach SEO: Building for people and building for web crawlers (we’ll get to this later). Whether one is more important than the other is a debatable topic. But when optimizing for search engines like Google, place greater importance on creating content for people that’s easy to access and understand. Then present it so that search engine crawlers find it and understand it.
Keep in mind what people use search engines for, how they search, what they search for, and how they like to consume content and build around that. We’ll talk about the technical aspects below. But first, let’s learn how it works.
How does SEO Work?
SEO starts with the search engines’ bots sent out to crawl the web. They follow links to websites, and crawl from website to website, picking up information about the website and its pages. They then put this humongous amount of information in an index.
The next step the search engines take is ranking the pages. This is deciding the order in which each page will appear for a particular search query from a user. They do this with their algorithms and hundreds of ranking signals or factors.
On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO
Think of your website as your online business premises. From the aesthetic point of view, the outdoor look of your business is just as important as the indoor. If the indoor is as elegant as a palace but the outdoor looks like a slum, no one will want to come to you. Also, if the exterior is great but the indoor stinks, people will come in and bounce right out.
Go for a balance between outdoor and indoor beauty.
On-Page SEO consists of all the elements of SEO that are directly on your web pages such as headings, content, keyword, and page structure.
Off-Page SEO are those other elements that aren’t on your page but influence your rank such as social media, other websites, and the web history of the user.
Google dominates the search engine market at 86%
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the backbone of your organic traffic generation strategy. After understanding how search engines crawl the web to index its content (which includes your website), they serve these content according to how relevant, trustworthy, and useful it is to users. It is free.
Search engine marketing, on the other hand, mainly uses paid advertisements to position websites on search engine results pages (SERPs) for greater visibility and clickability for select keywords.
We’ve shared simple actions you can start taking right now to improve your visibility on the world’s largest search engine, Google.