What is SEO?
Ever wondered how those blue links are ranked on Google? There are millions of blog posts produced per day and on Google alone there are more than 2.2 million searches per day. How does Google handle so many websites then?
You might probably have heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). But surely will be in a dilemma about the whole process of SEO. What exactly do we need to optimize? Here’s everything you need to know about SEO.
ALL ABOUT SEO:
As you know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which allows you to rank higher on search engines in the unpaid section (organic listings). In other words, your art receives a top position in the results of search engines whenever people search for a specific keyword.
Now that you know the definition of SEO, it’s imperative to know why is SEO so important? So, let’s dive into a little statistics.
Nearly 75% of searchers initiate searches on Google. Moreover, Google gets 67% of its clicks from the first five results on Page 1. Thus, to reach your potential clients or customers you must appear on the first page itself. Think for yourself, for how many times have you visited Page 2 on Google or any other search engine?
Now, you’ll have a question as to how to rank higher on Google and how does SEO helps in the process. To answer that we first need to know how SEO works.
HOW DOES SEO WORK:
You already know that SEO helps in determining the best results on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). How does it filter the ‘best’?
This is done with the help of Google’s algorithm, which is not public and keeps changing regularly. However, we know that the algorithm works in close quarters with three important terms.
1. Relevant Keywords:
If you search for ‘chocolate milkshake’, you’ll see pages on the SERP that are closely related to your keyword, that’s ‘chocolate milkshake’. Google certainly won’t show you results for mobiles and cars in this case! Thus, keywords greatly influence your rankings on the SERP.
2. Authoritative Content:
How will Google know that your content is authoritative? Is Google that smart?
Yes, Google is very smart. It judges your content by looking at the number of other pages that are linked to that page. These links are known as backlinks. Thus, the more the backlinks, the higher will your page rank on Google.
You thought that the game of SEO would just be in your hands to play. But that’s not the case. Your users on the other end have active participation in this game.
For example, if you want to learn about SEO, you’ll just type “What is SEO” in the Google Search bar. There can be a result on the SERP, written by an experienced SEO consultant yet be unorganized and difficult for the user to read. In such cases, users won’t spend much time on their pages and it will be ranked lower.
On the other hand, there can be a result written by someone new to SEO in simple words, which the users can make sense of and rank higher on Google due to their users’ interaction with the search results.
Now can you see the big picture?
WHITE HAT V/S BLACK HAT:
Many businesses are wanting to invest in their SEO plan. However, the types may differ: some may want it to be a long-term investment whose benefits would last for several years, while some may want quick rewards from the same.
These two categories are clearly distinguished in the SEO process as well.
So, if you’re looking for quick-fast money, black hat SEO is the way to go. Black hat SEO optimizes your content only for the search engines, not for the people who want to seek information online. These sites will be ranked higher on Google and will also help you in making a few thousand dollars fast. However, sites with this approach are often banned due to their spammy pages.
On the other hand, White hat SEO focuses on optimizing your content for both, people actively searching on the web and for the search engines, to rank this content higher and make it accessible to searchers. Moreover, this type of SEO helps you build a sustainable online business.
ON-PAGE SEO V/S OFF-PAGE SEO
SEO is further broadly classified into two categories: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
On-page SEO concerns with your ‘content and page structure’. Google sees whether your page qualifies in terms of relevant keywords, authoritative and user-friendly content, and then gives you a position on the SERP.
If you search for ‘easy cookie recipes’, Google will not only provide you with tons of easy cookie recipes but also with the best recipes. Google knows what’s best!
The major role here is played by the right targeting keywords. Keyword research plays a very important role in making SEO-friendly content.
If your content is the best amongst your competitors, but if it lacks the appropriate keywords, it’ll never appear on Google’s page 1. And as you already know, appearing on other pages doesn’t hold water at all. That’s why keyword research is very important.
You should choose keywords, for which people would search for. To help you out with your keyword research, here are some recommended keyword research tools:
- Keywords Everywhere Extension
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Google Keyword Planner
- Seed Keywords
Off-page SEO depends on other factors that Google looks into such as other blogs in your industry, social networks, user’s experience, and personal history of the searcher. These aren’t exactly in your hands.
Basically, they tell Google what others think about your page. If you have valuable links pointing to your page, search engines will assume your content to be great and useful to the user. Thus, the page will rank higher on Google.
While on-page optimization takes place within the site, off-page optimization takes care of everything happening outside the site.
SEO is one of the most effective and affordable marketing strategies to use to scale up your business and create an online presence. Moreover, this also helps create brand awareness and credibility, by ranking higher on the SERP. Customers choose to click on those blue links because they trust Google, they trust the content in there.
Thus, mastering SEO will certainly leave your business booming into the digital world. Your competitors are doing it, you need to do it too. Get started!