There are many Search Engines available on the Internet where Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the major ones. When a user makes a search on any of the search engines, the search engines lists out different types of web pages, images, videos, local listings etc. ranked based on the relevance to what the user searched for. These results are known as search results. Those pages listing the results are known as SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
Some SERPs sometimes contain paid Ads. Payment is involved for the paid search ads while organic results are those that you don’t have to pay for. Traffic resulting from those kinds of organic results is known as organic traffic.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice by which we can increase the quality and quantity of organic traffic to our websites through major search engines. This involves ranking our web pages in the organic search results for a particular keyword.
Each search engine has its own algorithm to rank listings on its SERPs. We focus to rank our pages, images or videos on that particular search engines using SEO while following the set of rules or guidelines for the entire process.
The SEO process involves a number of guidelines, steps, and strategies.
Importance of SEO
How many times a day do you go to Google search and look for best momo in Kathmandu or price of a Mac Book in Nepal?
Or you want to cook a new dish and where do you look for the recipe?
Of course, Google!
Similarly, for the products and services that you offer to your customers, you may want to appear on the top of the search engines for the related terms.
Because if you are not doing it, you are missing a lot of business.
How SEO works?
We have already mentioned above that each search engine has its own algorithm based on which it ranks a particular content on the top of the other existing results. This also includes a set of rules and practices that each web page must follow and qualify for. Taking into all of these things into account, a search engine results page will show the results based on the queries you provide.
So when a user enters a keyword in the search box, SEs will try to come up with the most relevant results for the particular search query. This is the main reason why your content must be optimized for the particular keyword. Different search engines have their own set of rules and practices depending on how they rank the content. Our SEO process must be focused on those rules and practices.
Not following those practices may result in poor positioning of our web page in the SERPs while going against the rules may just lead to serious damage to the performance of your website in the search engines. This may result in penalties and your site may end up losing all it’s ranking and traffics. In a worst case, your site might get de-indexed from the SERPs.
How does a new website get listed in the SERP?
Each Search Engine has its own database where they store the information of all individual websites it crawls. In case of Google, when a new website goes live, Google bots visit the site. These bots check through all the pages possible and scan all the data listed in the pages. This process is known as crawling.
Once the crawling is done, the information is passed out to the Search Engines. The information is then stored in the database. This step is known as Indexing.
Unless your site is indexed, your site won’t appear in the search pages. Search Engines will only be able to display the particular site in the search results after the site has been indexed.
How to optimize your website?
Optimizing your website can take different forms. Optimization includes having the right content and the titles and description focused on the particular keywords as well as the right and quality links pointing to that particular page.
There are two major fields into which we can break down our SEO process.
- On-Page SEO
- Off- Page SEO
On-page SEO focuses on optimizing each page of your website. On-page SEO includes optimizing each element like Meta titles, images, content, and quality of the code as well as user-friendliness of the site.
Some of the common techniques of On-page optimization include the followings:
Meta Tag: A well descriptive Meta tags help increase the CTR (click through rate) as well as help your audience understand what your page is actually about. Meta tags normally refer to Meta Title and Meta Description of your web page.
Keyword optimization: Selecting the right keyword is very important for your SEO strategy. This not only ensures you are targeting the right audience but will also help you discover hundreds of untapped keywords that can bring more businesses for you.
Each web page is focused on a particular keyword or a set of closely related keywords. The right keyword optimization ensures that each of your websites is optimized for the right search queries.
Images: Adding high quality and descriptive images always give you advantage than low-quality images. Better quality images tend to attract users’ eye on the web page while the alt tags of each image help us optimize more for the topic of the page.
Content Optimization: Content is the King! Your content must be informative and around the topic, you are covering. While you focus on the quality of the content on your site, you must not miss structuring your content for user friendliness. Keep your users glued to your content by making it more appealing to readers. Break down your content into headings and subheading using rich quality images, videos, etc.
Unlike on-page SEO, Off-page SEO focuses on practices that take place outside the site and includes promoting your website via other channels. Link building, social media marketing, and other marketing activities outside your own website are the example of off-page SEO.
Most common off-page optimization methods:
Link Building: Link building is the process of building links to your web pages. In the context of off-page SEO, link building means building inbound links from other sites to your own site.
High-Quality backlinks are one of the important and effective factors that depend on how your site performs on the SEs. Quality links to your website will help your site perform well in the SERPs as well as bring in more traffic to your website.
Social Media: In this digital era, Social Media Marketing must not be underestimated. A well planned social media marketing will not only help your business reach out to people but also help you build your own brand across different social media channels.
A solid social media strategy will help you drive an insane amount of targeted audience to your website. That is the reason why social media marketing should also be integrated into your off-page SEO campaign.
Hope we have covered the basic of SEO and how it works.
You can find lots of helpful resources about SEO on the Internet for free.
If you have a business, do you have an SEO strategy?
Do you know if it is working for you and bringing you more businesses?
We would love to hear.