SEO Optimization: An Overview
As we all know, SEO is a hugely important tactic for driving traffic to your landing page, web page, or website. SEO Optimization is the process of optimizing your web pages and their content.
This exercise will allow your content to be easily discovered by users searching for terms relevant to your website. As you might know, the concept of SEO is relatively straightforward to understand.
What is SEO Optimization?
SEO, or Search engine optimization as it is called, is the science and technique of getting your pages to rank higher in search engines like Google. If your pages rank higher in search engines, it has many benefits.
Note that a high-ranking page is likely to be clicked more often. Therefore, it leads to an increase in traffic to your website. Today, an online search is one of the prime ways people discover content online in the digital world.
The term SEO describes making web pages more accessible to be crawled.
The traffic on your website comes via SEO or search engine optimization which is often termed as organic search traffic. This is quite different from the traffic on your website that comes through paid search. In technical terms, paid search is known as search engine marketing (SME) or pay-per-click (PPC).
The search engine indexing software is known as crawlers. Google and other search engines are fully automated and use web crawlers to explore the web constantly. All you need to do is post your website or web page on the web. The crawlers will find your website and follow the guidelines and help make your site appear in the search results.
How SEO Optimization Work
All search engines, including Google, have a predefined algorithm or rules that help decide what pages to show for any given search query.
With time, these algorithms have evolved and have become very complex. It is because it considers even thousands of different ranking factors in determining the rankings of their SERPs.
These three factors help determine the quality of a website and how it should rank:
Besides links and other factors, search engines also analyze the content of your website or web page. They check if the content is relevant for any given search query.
As you know, SEO is all about creating innovative, engaging content which targets a specific keyword. These keywords are what search engine users usually look for. Therefore, you need to pay particular attention to these standards. Because Google’s algorithms give more weight to original, trustworthy, and in-depth content.
Hence try to create content that is informational and of high quality. Moreover, it should be accurate, comprehensive, and professionally presented using images.
Links from other websites, especially from high authority websites, play an essential role in determining the ranking of your website in Google and other search engines. They tell the search engines that your website page can be trusted as a high authority site links to it.
The reason is, a link from another website is like a vote of quality from other websites. A website owner is likely to link to other high-ranking websites and have better quality.
Websites that acquire links from other websites gain authority in the eyes of search engines. It is called PageRank on Google.
But note that external links are equally important. Links going out to high authority sites can also boost your SEO. When search engines crawl your website, see a link, and follow it to CNN or Wikipedia. Then automatically, they weigh it as a positive. The trick is – always find organic ways to link to other high authority pages.
3 Page Structure
The third core component of SEO is the page structure or page layout. As you might know, web pages are in HTML. How this HTML code on your page is structured may impact a search engine’s ability to evaluate a web page.
Pay special attention to factors like – including relevant keywords in the title, URL, and header tags of the page. A page with a clear URL structure and naming is beneficial for people trying to understand what a specific URL is about. All these tips improve the SEO of that page.
Thus the SEO optimization process involves optimizing each of these three core components. Note that all these are an integral part of the process in order to rank higher in the search results
Benefits of SEO Optimization
Ultimately the most important goal of your website is to increase the leads and sales by increasing organic traffic.
Today SEO forms are an integral part of any digital marketing strategy. SEO optimization helps improve your online presence, increases visibility, and helps you stay ahead of your competitors.
SEO is an integral part of online marketing. This is because search is one of the primary ways that any unknown user may navigate to your website.
Some interesting facts:
1 Google searches every second around 40,000.
2 Because of this Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches each day.
3 This totals up to nearly 1.2 trillion searches every year.
Trillions of searches are conducted worldwide across search engines like Google, Yahoo, Baidu, Bing, and Yandex. All the traffic that comes via search engines is called ‘natural’ or ‘organ’ traffic. And it accounts for a large portion of the total traffic your website receives every day.
Search results you see on a google search are displayed in an ordered list. The results appearing higher up on the search list tend to get more traffic.
Some more interesting facts.
1 A typical search query that appears at number one – receives 40-60 percent of the total traffic for that search query.
2 The one at number two and three results receive significantly less traffic.
3 Only 2-3 percent of the remaining searchers – click even beyond the first page of search results.
These stats mean that your website or web page may receive more traffic and potential business with a slight improvement in search engine rankings.
Therefore, many website owners and businesses desperately try to manipulate the search results. So that their website ranks higher on the search results page than their competitors, this is where SEO optimization comes into the picture.
SEO Optimization Techniques
You need to understand how search engines work. Only then can you improve your website’s search rankings.
In order to improve your website’s ranking, you have to leverage various SEO techniques.
Here are a few SEO techniques that might be helpful:
1 Keyword Research
Keyword research is the starting point for SEO. You need to analyze what keywords your website is already ranking for. You should also be aware of what keywords your competitors are ranking for.
Several tools also help you know what keywords potential customers are searching for. It would provide direction on ways you should optimize your existing content. It would also help you decide what new content you should create.
2 Content Marketing
Once you identify potential keywords, then content marketing comes into the picture. This could include creating brand new pieces of content or updating existing content.
As Google and other search engines value new, high-quality content, it is essential to update the content frequently. Hence it is important to research published content and create new compelling pieces of content.
Engaging content will provide a positive user experience. Hence your content will have a chance of ranking high in the search engine results.
3 Link Building
One of the core ranking factors in Google is the backlinks from external websites. Therefore, you should strive to obtain good, high-quality backlinks.
These involve promoting good content and reaching out to other websites to link to your website. There can be different ways of building links with other websites.
4 On-Page Optimization
In addition to off-page SEO factors like links, improving the structure of your website page can have tremendous benefits on the SEO. Common on-page SEO optimization techniques include URL optimization of your web page. It may involve updating the title tag, incorporating keywords, and using the alt attribute to describe images.
Updating your web page’s meta tags and meta description is equally beneficial. These tags may increase the click-through rate from the SERPs.
5 Site Architecture Optimization
Besides external links, internal links play a significant role in SEO. Therefore, you can improve your website’s SEO by linking the key pages. You should also try to use relevant anchor text to help improve a web page’s relevance.
Note that an XML sitemap is perhaps one of the best ways to help search engines crawl and discover all of the pages on your website.
6 Semantic Markup
Another SEO strategy that experts often utilize is optimizing the website’s semantic markup. Semantic markup or schema.org helps describe the meaning behind the content on a page.
If you use semantic markup, you can get rich snippets displayed on the search results page. It could be stuff like review stars, extra text, and even images. Rich snippets in the SERPs generally do not directly impact search rankings. But note that they can surely increase organic traffic.
Top SEO Tools
Today there are many tools and software that SEOs rely on. These SEO tools can help you optimize your websites.
You can find both free as well as paid tools that might help you with the optimization process. Many of the free tools available in the market are slick, intuitive, powerful, and effective. Hence you can use them hassle-free.
Below is the list of SEO tools:
1 Google Search Console (GSC)
Google Search Console was previously known as ‘Google Webmaster Tools. A free tool provided by Google and a standard tool in the SEO’s toolkit.
GSC can provide traffic reports and rankings for top keywords and pages. The tool can also help identify and fix on-site technical SEO issues.
2 Google Ads Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner is one such free tool provided by Google. The tool is specifically designed for paid search.
It is a great tool to use for SEO as it provides keyword suggestions and keyword search volume. Most of the features are helpful when doing keyword research.
3 Backlink Analysis Tools
You can find several link analysis tools available online. The primary ones are AHREFs and Majestic.
These tools allow the users to gather useful data on their domain’s backlinks. Backlink analysis tools will allow you to analyze which websites link to your website. The tools are also beneficial to examine and see who links to your competitors.
4 SEO Platforms
Using different SEO platforms can bring together many of the tools that SEOs need to optimize websites.
The most popular among them are Moz, Linkdex, BrightEdge, and Searchmetrics. All these platforms can help track keyword rankings, help with keyword research, identify on-page and off-page SEO opportunities as well. Moreover, you can carry out other tasks related to SEO on these platforms.
SEO optimization goes beyond all the technical stuff. It requires focus, creativity, and relationship-building activities following a repetitive process. In addition, it also involves regular activities for a prolonged period to see significant results.
In simple terms, SEO optimization is an ongoing process, so it demands a site audit every month. This process will help you monitor your backlink profile, traffic, and competitiveness in the SERPs.
Do you know how negative keywords can affect your SEO? Read this article. You can also read more about the effect of pingbacks and trackbacks on SEO.