SEO Crash Course
In this blog, we will go over what SEO is, how search engines work, and how SEO is implemented through various strategies.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing organic traffic by increasing the rank in a search engine.
There are many strategies to optimize rank in search engines, but they are mainly parsed into two categories: on-page and off-page.
We will discuss these after we go over how search engines work.
How Search Engines Work
Before we discuss how SEO works, we first need to talk about the mechanisms of search engines. This shows how the implementation of SEO strategies works in the system.
Search engines have three primary functions:
- Crawling: The process of combing through the web and looking through the code and content for each page.
- Indexing: Taking the information received from each URL during the crawling process and allowing it to show up in SERPs – Search Engine Result Pages.
- Ranking: Placing results in the SERP in a certain position based on relevance to the user’s keywords.
Firstly, when it comes to crawling, you want to make sure your webpage is able to be crawled. What this means is that there are certain things that inhibit bots to search through your page.
For example, if you need a login to access the webpage, the crawler can’t access your webpage, and thus none of the content within the login will be indexed.
Also, if you put text into any other format than HTML, the text bots can’t evaluate that text or index it, which leads to lower quality indexes that will hinder your rank.
Next in the search engine process is indexing. Indexing is the storage of the website into the search engine database. This is what gets your webpage onto the search engines, with the ability for users to find it with a search on an engine.
It may not be easy to find yet, especially if you have a poor SEO, but we’ll talk about that in the next subsection on ranking.
After your website is in the system, you are left with the most important aspect of search when it comes to organic traffic competition. This is, of course, the rank.
After the engine has crawled and indexed your website, based on user input, the engine is able to select from the large database to show the list of results based on relevance.
And most of what goes into the ranking process is SEO. This is why it’s so important. 75% of users don’t look at results past the first page, so winning the SEO competition for top spot is definitely a competitor for the most important aspect of digital marketing.
SEO is important because when people land on your site, they are more likely to be conversions – when a site visitor turns into a paying customer. Getting people to your site organically is the problem tackled by SEO.
Also, most web traffic is organic, which refers to the non-paid version of traffic acquisition.
In the “What is SEO?” section, I referenced the two categories of SEO strategies: on-page and off-page. Remember that these are equally important in establishing a solid SEO foundation.
First, we’ll take a look at on-page strategies: what they are and why they’re important.
What is on-page SEO?
It is the SEO process that occurs by changes made to your webpage in order to increase organic traffic.
Most on-page strategies involve making the website better for users and/or better for search engines.
Different strategies can be utilized so that ranking in search engines can be increased by changes made to the website.
The first is the use of keywords.
When we were talking about how search engines worked, one of the things brought up was text bots. They can sift through the text in your website and find keywords, which are words that are in your SEO title, repeated throughout your website, etc.
Using keywords is an important aspect of on-page SEO, because it affects how a search engine processes and ranks your website.
If someone is looking up gardening tools, and you are a gardening tools company, but you don’t mention it in your website, an engine won’t rank it as high as someone who uses the same or similar word to the keyword typed by the user.
How should you use keywords? Put the focus key phrase in your SEO title – the title that shows up in the SERP. Use it enough to let the bot know that your website is relevant, but not too much that it penalizes you. The sweet spot is around 5 to 6 times in a website page , blog, etc.
Optimal User Interface
Search engines look for websites that users visit and enjoy. When websites have low bounce rates, going on to the first page of a website and then leaving, engines give a preference to them.
When the design of the website, the loading speed, and the aesthetics are all very good, users are likely to explore your website, which tells the bots that your site is relevant, thus improving your SEO.
Good content follows the same idea as the interface. It attracts users, and because it is picked up by the bots, it establishes relevance and improves your rank.
We explore content deeper in this blog.
Contrary to on-page SEO, off-page strategies seek to improve rank through means outside of your website.
Mostly, these are composed of attempts to increase rank by different types of mentions, which show the search engine that your content is relevant.
Overall, the most important aspect of off-page SEO is links. What this means is that when a site has a link that goes to your page, it increases on-page traffic, search relevance, and thus boosts your rank.
Another term for this type of linking is backlinking. Or in the noun form, backlinks.
These are crucial, and arguably the most important tool for off-page SEO.
However, there are limitations to links. Previously, any links would improve your SEO, but search engines evolve, and they changed the game.
Now, it is not that any link will improve your search results, but only quality ones will.
Impact of Links on SEO
- Dofollow vs. nofollow links
- Google doesn’t rank nofollow links, which are links with the ‘rel=nofollow’ attribute attached, so they don’t backlink properly, which doesn’t help your off-page SEO.
- Link relevancy
- Links from pages related to yours carry more weight with search engines.
- If a link comes from a prominent site, it carries more significance and more greatly impacts your SEO
- Number of pagelinks
- A higher number of links back to your page benefits your site more.
- Broken links
- If the link is broken, meaning that users can’t get to your site, or can’t get to the right page on your site, it could negatively affect customer acquisition and SEO.
- Link anchor
- The text in which the hyperlink to your site exists. If it is succinct and fits the context, it can help as well.
Overall, SEO strategies on and off page have been shown to have significant impact on web traffic, which means more customers for you.
It’s time to optimize your keywords, reach out to related sites and companies, and improve your rank in search engines.
Contact us at 281-764-1866 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help you meet your SEO needs, and much more.