SEO is simply search engine optimization and what it means? It means that we are optimizing our website or blog to rank higher in the search engine results, so that, for instance, when you go to Google, you can see your website higher and you probably will click on one of the first positions.
Companies, businesses, bloggers, influencers and marketing specialists pay a lot of attention to this marketing method since it provides them with clients, leads, and prospects that are relatively cheap. Search engines also allow you to launch paid campaigns but the problem is that paid campaigns are much more costly with no long-term results.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) includes three different parts and you need to take care of all of them to succeed and rank higher in the search engine. First is on-page SEO, next is off-page SEO and third one is technical SEO.
How Does SEO Work?
Have you ever wondered how a search engine works? So, you are putting the query into the search box, and what happens next, and why you see are some pages as a first, second, and some of them are on the other pages.
So, when you put the query into the search box, search engines have something like crawlers or robots. These kinds of robots go through the internet and they gather information and index this information.
After that, search engines have special algorithms that take care of what should be displayed for you. And it takes into consideration different factors, including (but not limited to) keywords, domain authority, mobile-friendliness, loading speed, etc.
And then you can see the search results that are the best for the query you searched for. This is the answer to your question, or at least it gives you the information you need.
And that’s what actually search engine does, and optimization for search engine is taking into consideration all those factors, and adjusting our content, website, or blog to fulfill all those requirements and to rank higher.
I hope this gives you an overview of what’s happening in the background of Google, Bing, Yahoo, or any other search engine, and you understand how it works.
Why SEO Is Important For Your Business?
So, why SEO is so important and why it’s one of the most required techniques in digital marketing these days? As I already mentioned, SEO is a long-term practice and it is way cheaper than pay-per-click campaigns. If you invest in SEO and you or the SEO specialist you hired do it correctly, it will pay you off in the long-term. If you are shown on top of the search results, you will get more traffic on your website; and this is organic traffic which is even more important because most of the organic traffic is good quality traffic and you will get more clients for your products or services and eventually more revenue. Besides, those clients are not a cold audience anymore since they are searching for some kind of solution that led them to your website. If it’s done correctly, it will be long-term if any of the algorithms won’t change significantly. So, you need to take care of updates and you can be happy with your top position for a long time. You do the job once and then just do some minor updates and you’ve got the traffic you wanted.
What Is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO includes all the activities that you can do on your website to improve your positions in the search results. Talking about on-page SEO, you can think of UX optimization which means making the website more user-friendly, creating quality content, improving meta tags, creating internal link building, and even the load speed of your website. Some of those aspects are also a part of the technical SEO but we are going to talk about that later. Search engines become smarter and smarter. They know what is good quality content and they are able to check them. They will select the most user-friendly response. If you want to rank higher in search engine results, remember to adjust your content and make it good quality.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is one of the most important parts of your search engine optimization algorithms. You should take into consideration things like page speed, mobile-friendliness, internal linking, and so on. Since 2019, Google, the most popular search engine, started indexing mobile version of your website or blog and if it works correctly, it will rank you higher. They also provided a great framework to make your blog or website more mobile-friendly which is called AMP. The next very important thing that is about technical SEO and can help you to rank higher is your page speed. To check your website page speed, you can use also the google tool called Google PageSpeed Insights.
The next important thing that you can do to rank below position one is featured snippets. There are three types of featured snippets which are paragraphs, lists, and tables. These three answer the users’ questions immediately.
For instance, if someone is asking about “how to make pancakes”, you just put the recipe and list of ingredients to make pancakes and it will be shown on the top. Another important thing about SEO from the technical perspective is to create your website’s sitemap especially if your website has a lot of internal links. It will help crawlers to navigate through your website correctly.
What Is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO is everything that doesn’t happen on your page and what you don’t have big impact on. So, for example, getting good quality backlinks. You may ask “what are backlinks?” Backlinks are all the links that lead to your website and they are telling the search engine that your website is valuable and it also builds your authority. Link building is a process of getting backlinks. There are also some other things that are worth mentioning when we are talking about off-page SEO. For instance, social media marketing is one of them. Search engine bots can check if your content is shareable and if it’s engaging for your social media audience. If it is, it values it more and considers that it’s worth showing it. Another thing is influencer marketing. It means, if your brand, your article, your post, or even your blog is mentioned by people who are influential. It will help you to rank higher as well. And the next thing about off-page SEO is about your brand mentions, even if it’s not linked. Because if it’s mentioned a lot, then search engines thinks that your brand is valuable and it provides a lot of information for the audience and you are the authority.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of gathering good quality backlinks and you can do it in several different ways. All you need to do is to find a way to put your link somewhere. The first and one of the most popular ways to receive backlinks is through “guest posts”. What does it mean? It means that you can publish your post on some other publishing platforms or blogs but you need to agree with the platform owner that you can put there a do-follow link then you’ve got one backlink to your website. Another way to get backlinks for your website is to research through broken links of the website that are talking about the subject of your website and then sending an email to the owner of that website and ask him/her if he/she can change the broken link to your website.
It happens a lot of times. There are also special tools to look for these kinds of broken links. You can download a chrome extension, for example and it will help you with that. Those are only two methods of link building there are a lot more and I hope it helps you along the way.
SEO Keywords Explained
If you are interested in SEO, you probably have heard about SEO keywords or keywords research and maybe you don’t know what’s that all about. Let me explain! if you are looking for something in Google, let’s say you are looking for “how to do pancakes”, you have to put this query, this phrase, this couple of words into the search box or you just talk to your mobile phone to search for it and find it. And, this is the phrase that you will be looking for. This can be also the keyword that content needs to have inside it. Keywords can be long and short. For example, it can be just one word. It doesn’t have to be a question, it can be just “pancakes” or it can be long like “the best pancakes with chocolate and cream in London”, it depends. And what about keyword research? You need to research your keywords and you need to check if your audience will be looking for the keyword that you selected or you need to find the keywords that your audience will be looking for. And it’s not the only thing that is important about keywords because you need to also check how many different search results are there for that one specific keyword. For example, if you decide to go and put your content about how to make pancakes, there may be a lot of other recipes about “how to make pancakes” and it can be really difficult to become visible. For this kind of research, you can use Google tools such as Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner. They are free to use so go and check your keywords.
What Is SEO Audit?
When you want to start your website and when you want to make it SEO-friendly, you need to know what’s wrong to improve it. And for that, you will need SEO audit which will tell you what you need to improve and where you can find some opportunities. You can do this audit by yourself, according to any checklist, or you can find an SEO specialist who will help you with that, or you can find some special online tools. What kind of information an SEO specialist should provide you with? First of all, he/she should go through technical aspects and should show you the most important bugs that need to be fixed and also the less important easy to fix bugs.
Later, he/she should go through backlinks and analyze them to see if there are some opportunities in your content which just can be easily improved and you can get higher in your search ranking. Also, later he/she should provide you with some information about your content quality and what can be fixed there. If you have all those information, you can start the process of optimizing your website, blog or anything else.