What Is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) 101 Blog
What is SEO? You’ve probably heard this term thousands of times, but do you know what it truly means and how it works? There is a lot of confusion around search engine optimization. It is often interchanged with digital marketing, and it’s because it is a part of it that the two go hand in hand.
SEO is an entire field and part of marketing, and when you look at the list of things you need to learn to master this practice, you are overwhelmed by the sheer number of things involved. Unfortunately, that is when many people don’t know where to start or use the wrong strategy.
The confusion causes issues, wrong targeting, unconsolidated campaigns, incorrect keyword targeting, and more. In the meantime, you need to take advantage of great opportunities to make your business or website appear on search engine results pages (or SERPs) for relevant keywords related to your business. Hence, we created a guide on ranking high in search engines, optimizing your content for marketing or business purposes, and finding out what SEO means. We will cover the following:
- What SEO is
- How it works
- SEO Examples
- Effect of SEO on your business
- What SEO agency does
What Is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s optimizing your website and web pages to get free organic traffic from search engines. Google, for example. As the biggest search engine in the world, it is like a filing system in a library. Its shelves store billions of books with millions of pages.
Once you type the term you are looking for, the search engine looks through millions of pages to find what you need. Over the years, Google has become so good at it that you often don’t need the second results page to find your answer.
However, the results are not delivered randomly, and Google returns the most relevant results using sophisticated algorithms. That is where it gets tricky. No one truly knows how these algorithms work or the exact ranking system. But we see the ranking factors, and based on that, we optimize web pages for search engines and people.
How Does SEO Work? Steps to Breaking into Search Engine Rankings
To use SEO correctly, you have to understand how search works. In the early days of the internet, it was all about keywords. If you wanted more traffic from search engines, you optimized your website for a specific keyword or phrase.
People often stuffed keywords everywhere, trying to fool search engines. But unfortunately, they forgot that this content is intended for users or customers, not just search engines. Afterward, Google got smart and put the user at the center of the search. Therefore, you need to cover two steps to make your SEO work.
#1. Making it easy for search engines to understand what the page is about and creating content that matches the searchers’ intent.
#2. As in every business, you have to add additional value. That means showing the search engines that your web pages are worthy of ranking.
Let’s take an example here. Let’s assume you are an owner of a mobile app development agency and have a product that could appeal to thousands of people worldwide. The problem is if they can’t find you, then all your effort is in vain. So you live in Alberta, Canada, and want to reach more users.
Additionally, you have a solution for virtual property viewings. So, you need to find a relevant keyword that explains your product. For example, “real estate app.” That’s your seed keyword, which you will enter into a keyword research tool and find other related keywords such as “real estate app Canada.” We will discuss more on that topic further in the text.
However, the point is to find a keyword with a high search volume and use it on your homepage. That’s called On-Page SEO. Then, you use the keyword on the page that explains what you do and what you offer. Additionally, it would help if you didn’t use keywords as a strategy, as search engines are already intelligent, and the people are paying for your services, not bots.
Now that you have a keyword on your website and your copy revolves around the topic, it’s time for search engines. Search engines crawl websites based on the frequency of your posting. So, as a good “librarian,” Google will crawl your page and store it in the library to use later when someone types the search phrase.
What Are the 4 Types of SEO?
However, this On-page SEO refers only to one page on your website. Many factors are essential in an Internet user’s decision to click on your website and convert.
The “make-or-break” factors don’t just rely on content; they also include the technical aspects of site design, structure, and use of targeted keywords. So far, we found out that there are over 100 ranking factors, and Google insists they’re not all weighted the same. So how should we prioritize which ones to focus on?
Let’s cut this down into four basic types of SEO and explain what SEO is about:
On-page SEO is optimizing web pages to rank higher in search engines. This type of SEO optimization also means improving pages for search intent and creating and optimizing HTML tags like titles and meta descriptions.
However, that does not mean stuffing keywords wherever possible. Search engines, especially Google, have been smart enough to understand connecting words, synonyms, and closely related phrases in recent years. As a result, some of your pages rank high for relevant terms and your keyword.
The same applies to the exact number of keywords you should repeat in the text. Why is that? Because Google ranks pages higher when they fulfill users’ intent or give them answers to their questions.
If you look at the keywords real estate app, the user might be looking for an actual app, therefore, the company developing it. But on the other hand, they may be looking to install an app or real estate agency that allows them to view properties virtually.
Hence, the optimization is focused on fulfilling that intent. So on-page SEO allows you to consider your content type, format, and angle to make better content that users will love.
Off-page SEO is taking actions outside your website to improve its rankings. Therefore, it’s not as confusing as it sounds because on-page and off-page SEO are vital ranking factors and are the basic SEO strategy.
What does it mean? If you ever had a post on social media that people liked and shared on their profiles, you get the basic concept of off-page search engine optimization. It’s all about improving your website’s popularity in relevance, trust, and authority.
That means writing content that people will share on their websites. That means they are vouching for your site in a way. For instance, building links is at the heart of any off-page SEO since search engines use them as a reference to content quality, also called backlinks. However the link is obtained, they have to pass through analysis, and most of them are deemed suitable only if they:
- Trustworthiness of the website linking back to yours
- Its relevance to your niche
- Which anchor text was used on that website to link back to yours
These are just some of the parameters relevant when building links.
Technical SEO is a practice related to everything a user cannot see on your website. It’s a practice to optimize a website and help search engines find, index, and understand your website. Otherwise, you may not appear in the results.
That is the reason why many websites absolutely must have robot.txt. That file tells search engines where to crawl and where not to go. It’s simple as that, and it gives you control over your content which may or may not be relevant to your website. In essence, the file is a set of rules that you place for search engines.
You can also guide users and bots with a redirect that will take them from one page to another. That is often the practice if you have two pages with the same topic, and one is newer than the other. Redirecting is still staying relevant and giving the right signals to guide them.
You can also guide visitors with canonical tags. It’s an HTML code that tells search engines your preferred URL for a particular page. It is mainly done when your website can be accessed via HTTP and HTTPS. You want to tell search engines which is more important, so they will rank the page you set. However, Google will always prefer the secured version.
According to Google’s Global retail Study, 74% of consumers say that before going to the store, they searched for a specific product, service, or store using the terms near me, locations, and general Google My Business information.
That number is high and should not be ignored, showing the importance of local SEO for any business. So what is local SEO? Optimizing your online information is a practice to attract traffic from relevant local searches.
Ask yourself how often you check the store or business through Google’s service. It’s safe to say every time you use your smartphone. If your consumer is in the vicinity, why not take advantage of local SEO to guarantee you a seat among the most visible businesses in that location? Having a website is excellent, but if your business benefits from a local SEO search, it would be wise to focus your efforts on it.
How Long Does it Take for SEO to Work?
Many people see SEO as a magic wand, and it’s everything but that. Simply put, SEO takes time. It’s not a one-time fix, and everything is alright. No, it takes a lot of observation and collecting data to rank higher on SERPs. In addition, website age can make it difficult to break through the crowd if it’s new.
However, if you dedicate yourself to SEO efforts over time, you will see progress in: Impressions, traffic, backlinks, rankings, and conversions. There is no definite answer to how long that takes since it depends on many factors specific to each website. In general, it takes around six months to see progress from organic SEO efforts.
What is SEO Tool?
There is a certain amount of information that you can collect “manually” when speaking of search engine optimization. However, nowadays, you can use thousands of free or paid tools to speed up the process and get accurate data. SEO efforts have to be monitored. Otherwise, you will never know whether it’s working or not.
Multiple types of tools are needed to optimize your website for search engines. They provide the site owner with valuable information about backlinks, keywords, competition, and rankings on the Web, to name a few.
- Keyword tools help analyze the most common and relevant search phrases.
- Content tools help analyze the SEO score and check grammar, readability, and other factors for ranking.
- Backlink tools contain the number of times the site got links from others.
- Domain tools serve to analyze multiple elements on a website.
- Ranking tools help find insight into the ranking of individual pages and domains.
- Traffic tools give an insight into the number of visits to your website from SERPs.
How to Use SEO to Increase Your Sales?
People looking for a product or service like yours use a search engine to find what they’re looking for. Unfortunately, your business will only appear in those search results if you have an optimized website.
Without SEO, you’ll miss out on tons of potential customers that could have found you online instead of through traditional advertising methods—like ads or billboards. The three main benefits of SEO for your business are:
#1. Your SEO efforts will eventually produce free traffic instead of paying for the ads.
#2. Your traffic will be constant once you start ranking high.
#3. You can reach massive audiences.
The question is, how do you do that? Here are some tips for using SEO to boost your business.
Your readers will type keywords into search engines when they want information about a specific product or service, so it’s essential to make sure the words you use on your website match the words people use, including semantics.
Use Meta Tags
The meta tags on your site are invisible to readers but vital because they tell search engines what each page is about.
When other sites link back to yours, it helps strengthen its authority and improve its ranking in search results.
If you have unique, high-quality content on your site, search engines will reward it with higher rankings.
Social media can be a great way to reach potential customers. However, ensure that you’re using the right ones for your business and according to your niche.
Social Sharing Buttons
Integrate social sharing buttons into every page on your site so that people can easily share what they’re reading with their friends.
Google announced that it would be giving higher rankings to sites that are easy to use on mobile devices.
You can use local search to find people in your area looking for a service like yours.
Optimized Site Structure
That means ensuring that all your pages follow a logical structure on your site so that users can easily navigate around.
What is an SEO Agency?
An SEO agency performs search engine optimization, using on-page and off-page optimization strategies and tactics to increase a web page’s search rankings. The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to grow a company’s visibility in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo and drive relevant traffic to its website.
According to research by BrightEdge, 53% of the website’s organic traffic comes from organic search. That means that search engines are the most crucial source of trackable traffic. Additionally, Google is the biggest search channel, with more than 80% of the search engine market share.
Hence, your website should be designed to attract visitors who want to learn more about your products or services. If this isn’t happening, there may be something wrong with your web pages’ structure or content. SEO agencies can help search engines and people understand your content and what your company does. Here are some examples of services that agencies such as Guru SEO Services can provide:
- Page experience
- Correct schema markup
- Quality backlinks
- Internal linking
- Link monitoring
- Keyword research
- Helpful content
- Image optimization
- Proper metadata
- SEO analysis and optimization
- Social media strategy
SEO can be a challenging and highly time-consuming practice. In addition, search engine algorithms change so frequently that it can be overwhelming to stay on top of everything. However, the SEO agency can help you quickly generate a return on investment (ROI), increase your traffic, and help your brand’s online visibility while you handle your core business.
The internet has been influencing our lives for over 20 years. The website and social media boom continue to grow every year. As a result, every business must have an excellent digital marketing strategy to stay competitive. SEO is one component of the digital marketing mix which is still relevant today.
SEO (search engine optimization) is not just about keywords, backlinks, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. Search engine optimization is complex and can be achieved only with an integrated marketing strategy. That includes monitoring your website’s analytics and industry trends. The only way to prosper in this business is to keep an eye on the market and adapt accordingly.
You can show up above your competitors on search engines like Google with the right strategy and digital marketing agency. And as the biggest search engine, being visible on Google is essential.