What is SEO (Search Engine Optmization) ?
To know about What is SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation) You need to understand first by example.
How did you land on this blog ?
Probably you searched for terms like – What is SEO, define SEO, the meaning of SEO or SEO. Well if this blog was not optimized for these searches you wouldn’t be here in the first place. That’s what SEO is all about.
By definition, SEO is the process of optimizing your website for the search engines to get higher rankings in the search engine result pages organically. SEO increases the quality and quantity of traffic on your site through unpaid tactics. For the beginner moz is the best site which may helpful for learning basic seo.
Why you need Search Engine Optimization ?
Today every online marketer, business owner and entrepreneur needs to incorporate SEO in their marketing strategy. Search Engine Optimization helps you drive –
- Quality Traffic – You can attract relevant traffic by optimizing your website for the intended users . Good SEO practices target the audience which perfectly fits in the buyer’s persona. Thereby, it increases the chances of converting visitors to leads.
- Higher Reach – After a site ranks at the top positions in Google you will be automatically flood with tons of traffic.
- Organic promotion – You don’t have to pay the search engines to appear in the organic results through SEO. It’s a free internet marketing technique!
There are more than SEO 200 ranking factors considered by the search engines. What is SEO is a vast topic. In any Digital Marketing Course you have to be familiar with the seo. To make it easier to digest here is a list of four major components –
1. Technical SEO
The optimization of a website for crawling and indexing phase of search is included in the technical part. It is called technical because it excludes content optimization and link building.
To make sure your page is visited by the Googlebot checking the technical SEO elements is crucial. It mainly focuses on the infrastructure of the website.
Some of the key elements of technical seo are –
- Website speed – For every second that your site’s delay in loading you lost 7% of the sales. Therefore, fast loading speed can have a major impact on your website’s performance.
- Mobile friendliness – In the year 2015 Google released a mobile-friendly algorithm. It was meant to improve the ranking of sites on mobile devices with better mobile-versions. It is called mobilegeddon in the SEO world. Today more than 50% of the searches take place from the mobile devices. Not optimizing your web pages for mobiles can lead to loss of ranking in the mobile search.
- Site architecture – A website should be structured keeping the SEO guidelines in mind. The layout of the site should be easy to navigate. If your site has hundreds of pages you can add breadcrumbs. The site should have internal links to send the visitor to other pages when necessary.
The architecture also takes the urls into the account. The URL must be a readable string of text. The shorter the merrier.
- Structured data markup – These day snippets have become one of the best ways to grab the attention. You have to add structured data to the HTML markup for your page to appear as a snippet.
- Thin Content – Using the content of other site owners by either duplicating it without permission or spinning(rewriting) generates thin content.
Having low- quality content not only hamper your site’s growth but also results in penalties. In the year 2011 Google rolled out an update called Panda responsible for taking down the site with thin content. Your content should have an originality to feature in the top spots.
2. On-Page Optimization
The process of optimizing every single page on your website to attain higher rankings and relevant traffic is called On-Page Optimization. It consists of tweaking the content and the source code of the website.
The key elements of On-page SEO are –
1. Meta data – The SEO metadata defines how your site appears on the search engine’s listing.
Whenever you google a word/ phrase a list of links is loads in your browser. Each link has a title and description clicking on which you land a site. These are called metadata.
- Meta title – When you hover on a tab where you have opened a page, it shows you the meta title. The title must include the main keyword that best describes the page. It should contain no more than 70 characters.
- Meta description – Its length was increased from 160 characters to 200 in the year 2018. While a meta description as long as 200 characters are visible on the desktop but mobile devices show up to 172 characters only. Hence, a description length of 160 – 175 is ideal.
Usually, people read the description before opening a link. An error-free and compelling description which clearly states the purpose of a page will increase CTR (click-through rates).
2. Robot.txt file – This file resides in the root directory instruct the web crawlers whether to crawl a page or not.
If your developer doesn’t know anything about What is SEO, checking this parameter is important because he might accidently use the wrong attribute.
3. Heading tags – On every page you can use up to six heading tags from H1 to H6. The H1 tag gives the reader an idea of what the page is. It should have your main keyword.
4. Image optimization – Optimizing your images with the right alt tags can increase your site’s visibility in the image searches. Maintain a proper image size and name to help the user understand the text above/ below the image.
5. SEO on Web pages
Your pages must be regularly updated regularly. Every web pages should be
Contain fresh content
Proper External links (fix broken and thin links)
6. HTML & XML Sitemap
The sitemap has a list of the pages on your website and the relationship between them. The sitemap helps the web crawlers to efficiently crawl the site.
Keywords – The content on the web page must contain the keywords you are targeting. You can include the keyword in the title and the paragraphs. Remember do not overuse the keywords. The keyword should appear natural; stuffing them is a strict ‘no’. The keyword density should be between 1% and 2%.
Keyword Density – The ratio of a number of times a keyword is used to the total number of words.
3. Off-page SEO
It is combined term used for all the activities which result in earning a links from authoritative external websites. The link acts a vote of trust in the eyes of the search engine.
The key elements of Off-Page SEO are –
1. Link Building – The process of getting backlinks(hyperlinks) from other websites is called link building. The hyperlink gives both the Google Bots and the users a method to move from one site to another.
These links help the search engine in crawling the different pages of a website. The referral traffic is an important source of visitors. The number of linking domain to a page is one of the major factors in the ranking.
The links basically are of two types Off-Page SEO –
- Editorial links – These links are the ones which you never asked for but the site owners editorially give it to you. These links are generated when the other bloggers and sites are either talking about your site or sharing some information (most of the times statistics) which first published on your site.
- Manual links – A completely new site takes times to gain credibility. Instead of natural they prefer self made links. You contact the other sites and ask them to link to your website. You have to approach the site which are relevant (within your industry).
The total number of quality links pointing to your page determine where it stands in Google.
2. Social Media presence
Your reputation on social media is a crucial factor in increasing the impact of off-page activities. If you post a great piece of content, it might be shared by people on their social media accounts. The most shares you get the better Google will think the content is and place it higher.
Strong social media presence indirectly affects your rankings.
3. Content – Today’s buyers make much more informed choices. Market research has become of the most important steps in the buyer’s journey.
Creating content that solves the queries and problems of the prospects is the easiest mode to promote your product and services through content. Thus, content and content marketing both are now a strong strategy to dominate the online sector. One trend which has increased the transparency is the user generated content. Before buying a product/ services every prospects views the ugc such as reviews and testimonies.
Conclusion – SEO is a crucial marketing strategy for generating lead from your website. With higher rankings you can increase the trust and credibility of your business/ organization. SEO helps you to generate more lead by attracting people who are in research and buying cycle.