SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a technique of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website by boosting its rankings in the search engine results. Examples of search engines include Google, Bing and Yahoo. Statistics show that websites that appear on the first page of these search engines receive up to 95 per cent of clicks. In addition, research has shown that results that rank higher up the search pages receive more visitors and increased CTR – click through rate.
There are also other types of listings that can appear in search engine results, for example videos, map listing and knowledge graph. SEO can also improve the visibility of search listings as well.
How does it Work?
Search engines usually score their search results based upon the authority of pages and relevancy of the pages it has included in its web index. It seeks to provide best answers to queries made by users.
Google uses more than 200 signals in scoring its search results. SEO utilizes both creative and technical activities to manipulate and enhance some of these signals. However, it should not only specifically focus on individual ranking signals, but to fulfil Google’s objective of providing the best answers to its users.
Hence, SEO entails ensuring a website is technically sound, accessible and contains words that people look up in the search engines. It offers a superb user experience, with high quality and valuable content that is meaningful to the users.
Google has a dedicated team of search quality assessors whose role is to analyse the quality of search results that is fed into the machine algorithm. Additionally, its search quality rate guidelines provide a lot of examples and detail of what Google terms as high or low quality content. It seeks to reward websites that clearly intend to showcase their expertise, authority and trust (EAT).
Google utilizes ageRank’, a hyperlink based algorithm to determine the authority and popularity of a page. This process may also include improving the quantity and quality of nbound links’ from one website to another. This activity is commonly referred to as link building. Credible and authoritative websites linking to each other sends a strong signal to Google that the information might interest it users and can reliably appear in the search results.
How is it done?
The process consists of creative and technical practises that are classified into on-page and off-page SEO. These are simply practises that can be undertaken on a website and away from the website. These activities usually require various skills and expertise to be executed from multiple individuals. You can hire a consultant or a professional agency to take you through the process. Nonetheless, you can also learn these processes and perform them on your own.
This entails a campaign to enhance organic visibility. This basically means optimizing the website and content to boost the experience, relevancy and accessibility for the online user. The following are some of the common activities:
-User Experience- To ensure that content availed is authoritative and trustworthy, is easy to use, relevant and gives the best possible experience to users. Nowadays, highly optimized websites are those that are functional, clean and responsive to all devices. Actually, Google favours websites that have mobile-friendly designs over those that do not have. It also favours websites that load quickly.
-Technical Auditing – To ensure that the website can be indexed and crawled. Moreover, it establishes that the website is properly geo-targeted and does not have any errors. Choose an easy URL to enable search engines and humans understand what your content is all about.
-Onsite Optimization – To improve on-page alignment, internal navigation, content relevancy and website structure to help identify target search phrases and key areas.
-Keyword Research – This involves examining the frequency and types of words used by potential clients to find products, brands and services. The right keywords have to be used (you can use Google’s Keyword Planner for assistance.) LSI keywords should also be employed: these are keywords that are similar to your target terms. For instance, a website that talks about ower banks’ can also include phrases such as ortable chargers’ and “batteries for phones” etc.
This involves processes and activities undertaken outside the website to promote organic visibility. This is often known as link building. Its goal is to boost the number of credible links from other webpages. Search engines use it as a weighing scale and as a vote of trust.
The quality of a link is a very significant signal. Links from webpages that are popular with users and are renowned to be relevant and trustworthy can add a lot of value to an unknown website. The following are some of the common activities undertaken:
-Promotion and Outreach – This necessitates communicating with influential bloggers, webmasters and journalists about a resource, brand or product so as to attain publicity and coverage and ultimately attract traffic to the website.
-Online PR – This gives reasons for other webpages to communicate and link to a certain website. This might be in form of expert interviews, product placements, quotes, external publications and or original research and studies.
-Exceptional Content – The highly reputable websites like to link to unique content. Thus, developing unique and creative content will easily help in attracting links. This may include a story, a how to guide an info-graphic or visualization with captivating information. The length of the content is also significant. Search engines are now rewarding detailed and long-form content – blog posts with less than 1500-2000 worlds would not rank highly.
It is important to note that malpractices such as exchanging links excessively, providing low quality content, buying links or any other activity that aims to exploit Google’s rankings is prohibited. It is against their guidelines and terms and conditions and action can be taken against the website.
The most appropriate and sustainable way to increase the inbound links to your website is by earning them. This can be done by providing legitimate and persuasive reasons for other webpages to link and cite to the product, brand, content or service.