What exactly is meant by the term SEO (search engine optimization) ?
“Search Engine Optimization” is what “SEO” stands for in the industry. In layman’s words, it refers to upgrading your website to boost its exposure when people search for items or services linked to your company using search engines such as Google, Bing, or any of the other available options. The higher your pages’ visibility in search results, the greater the likelihood you will gain attention and bring potential and current clients to your company.
How does SEO work?
How exactly does Google choose which pages to feature on the search engine results page (also known as the SERP) in response to a particular query? What kind of impact does this have on the number of people visiting your website? Let’s have a look at how SEO works.
- The search crawlers used by Google are constantly crawling the internet, collecting, cataloging, and storing all of the billions of web pages that are now available in its index. When you conduct a search on Google and it returns results, the results come from Google’s index, not the actual website you searched on.
- Google uses a complicated formula known as an algorithm to order search results. This order is determined by a number of factors known as ranking factors, which will be discussed in more detail in the following section. These factors include the quality of the content, its relevance to the search query, the website (domain) it is affiliated with, and other factors.
- How users engage with the results conveys to Google more information about the needs that each page is (or isn’t) serving. This information is then integrated into the algorithm.
In other words, search engine optimization (SEO) functions much like a complicated feedback system in that it brings to the surface the results that are the most accurate, trustworthy, and relevant for each particular search by using input from searchers, you, and Google. Your job is to provide material that satisfies the requirements set forth by Google for expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T), which in turn satisfies the needs set forth by its searchers.
Types of SEO
Google and other search engines use a variety of elements when ranking content; hence, SEO has numerous components. On-page, off-page, and technical SEO are the three fundamental categories of SEO:
- On-page SEO is the process of optimizing the quality and structure of a page’s content. For on-page SEO, content quality, keywords, and HTML tags are the most important factors.
- Off-page SEO is the process of getting other websites and pages on your site to link to the page you want to optimize. Your off-page MVPs are inbound links, internal links, and reputation.
- Technical SEO: Improving the overall performance of your website in search engines. Site security, user experience, and structure are essential here.
The three categories of SEO described above are used for websites and blogs, but they also apply to three subtypes of SEO:
- Local SEO: Positioning your company as highly as possible in Google Maps and the local SERP results. Reviews, listings, and Google Business profile optimization are the most essential factors in this context.
- Image SEO is a combination of on-page and technological tactics to rank pictures on a website’s pages in Google’s image search results.
- Video SEO: A combination of on-page, technical, and off-page techniques to rank your videos in YouTube or Google video search results.
Benefits and significance of SEO
- People are looking for a wide variety of topics that are both indirectly and directly linked to your company. All of these are chances to interact with these individuals, answer their questions, solve their issues, and establish yourself as a reliable resource for them.
- Higher website traffic: When your website is optimized for search engines, it receives more traffic, which translates to increased brand recognition and…
- More customers: For your website to be optimized, it must target keywords — the phrases your ideal customers/visitors are using to search — which will result in more relevant traffic.
- Better reputation: A better Google ranking provides immediate credibility to a firm. People will trust you if Google trusts you.
- Greater return on investment: You invest in your website and in marketing initiatives that lead back to its pages. A high-performing website increases the results of your advertising, therefore justifying your investment.
Ranking factors for SEO
So, what are these prerequisites? What are the true characteristics of high-quality, focused, EAT-friendly, and SEO-optimized content? There are hundreds of Google ranking variables, and Google is continually updating and improving its algorithm to provide the greatest user experience possible, but there are twelve that should be emphasized.
According to FirstPageSage, the following are the current leading ranking variables and how they are weighted:
- Consistent publication of high-quality content (26%)
- Keywords in meta title (17%)
- Backlinks (15%)
- Niche expertise (13%)
- User engagement (11%)
- Internal links (5%)
- Mobile-friendly/mobile-first (5%)
- Page speed (2%)
- Site security/SSL certificate (2%)
- Schema markup/structured data (1%)
- Keywords in URL (1%)
- Keywords in H1 (1%)
Nevertheless, the variables at the bottom of this list should not be overlooked. According to the graph below, “Other” criteria such as unlinked mentions, social signals, domain history, outbound connections, and site structure each have 1% weight. But considering that there are at least 200 Google ranking components, that 1% is comprised of at least 189 “other” elements. In other words, these apparently little characteristics, such as keywords in URL, which contribute 1% on their own, are not that insignificant.
Why is SEO important for marketing?
SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people conduct trillions of searches yearly, often with commercial intent to find information about products and services. Search is usually the primary source of digital traffic for brands and complements other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can negatively impact your bottom line.
However, the search results have been evolving over the past few years to give users more direct answers and information that is more likely to keep users on the results page instead of driving them to other websites.
Also, features like rich results and Knowledge Panels in the search results can increase visibility and give users more information about your company directly in the results.
In sum, SEO is the foundation of a holistic marketing ecosystem. When you understand what your website users want, you can implement that knowledge across your campaigns (paid and organic), your website, social media properties, and more.