What is SEO?
SEO Full Form
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.”
It is an organic listing on the search engine that ranks in the unpaid section.
What is SEO in Digital Marketing?
When a potential customer searches for a query, these become keywords relevant to your business.
Optimizing your website and content using these keywords can help in getting traffic from the search results page and can rank well.
You are rewarded by the search engines by showing your content on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your quality and consistent content with the help of optimized SEO.
To improve rankings you need to analyse and execute plans which is a gradual disciplined process that takes time.
However, you need to attract, please and retain the attention of the users and not the search engines.
The more you can attract and gain attention of prospective and existing clients to your business, the more visibility your website and content have in search results
Once the users are attracted the search engines will follow.
Getting brand exposure with quality and quantitative traffic through non-paid search engine results is SEO.
SEO is all about understanding prospective customers:
- What are they searching for online?
- What answers are they looking for?
- What words are they using to search for information?
- What type of content are they consuming?
Answers to these questions will help connect the solutions you have to offer to the people who are searching for it online.
SEO is all about understanding the intent of the potential customer when searching online and delivering it in a way that the crawlers of the search engine can find and understand it.
How does SEO work?
Digital age libraries are what Search engines are like.
Just like libraries store copies of books, search engines store copies of web pages.
Search engines collect information from all the pages in a website, going from one site to another putting them in an index using bots to crawl pages on the web.
When a user types in a query it scrolls through billions of content by evaluating hundreds of factors and looking through all the pages in its index after which it determines the most relevant content that is likely to answer their query.
These hundreds of ranking factors are taken into consideration by analyzing the pages in the index with the help of a computer program called an algorithm.
Among the various search ranking factors, there are 3 important ones:
- Depending on your search query, how relevant is your paged or content
- How authoritative and credible your page or content is among all the relevant content.
- How are users engaging with your page or content
The search engines try to understand how valuable users are finding your content and how useful they find it.
At the end of the day, if your content is not useful to the users it is not going to be useful for the search engines.
The ultimate aim for search engines is to provide users with an efficient search experience for which the search algorithms are designed in a manner to look for relevant, authoritative pages keeping them in mind.
Why is SEO important?
Traffic is extremely important and powerful for businesses because lots and lots of people search for information on the internet which are very specific and high-intent traffic.
The primary source of traffic for brands often begin with a search online with nearly 71.33% of search clicks resulting from page 1 of Google, out of which only 5.59% of the clicks were from page two and three.
You can now understand why Search Engine Optimization is so important.
Everytime a user searches for a keyword relevant to your business you would want to show up every time and leverage the opportunity to connect, solve their problems, answer their questions, provide value and build a relationship of trust.
A user is more likely to purchase something from a business that offers useful information and who is a trusted resource rather than purchase from someone they have never heard of.
With the help of SEO you can:
- Drive more relevant traffic
- Generate leads
- Make sales
- Earn revenue that is profitable for your business.
To make your content index properly, be displayed on the search results and to help deliver better information it is important to optimize your site.
Ranking for a specific keyword can get “free” traffic to your site.
How to do SEO?
SEO takes time, it may take weeks or months depending on strategy and can be frustrating if you are relying on tactics that are outdated and no longer work.
Search Engine Optimization is not only about being found and driving traffic, it is mainly about providing a great user experience along with generating leads and revenue.
What should be the first step of a structured SEO plan?
Keywords are the words or phrases searched by a user in the search engine.
The idea is to find what your customers are searching for and how many people are using these keywords to search every month.
There should be enough people searching for those terms so you know that there is a problem out there that needs to be solved.
Keyword research is finding:
- How many people are searching for a particular keyword
- How difficult it is to rank for that keyword
- Who is already ranking for that keyword
- Getting suggestions for other related keywords
Keyword Research Tools
To find keywords that have low competition and high search volume you need to use Keyword Research Tools.
Creating content based on these keywords is a crucial part of Search Engine Optimization.
- SEMrush (Free + Paid)
Specializing in keyword research, competitor analysis and Google Ad campaign optimization, SEMrush is a popular SEO tool.
The keyword research tool shows:
- Keyword Variations
- Search Volume for that keyword per month on Google
- Questions people are asking related to that keyword
- Other Related Keywords
- Keyword Difficulty Score
- Sites that are ranking for that particular keyword
You can use the free version or sign up for a trial to test all of its features.
- KWFinder (Free + Paid)
KWFinder is an easy to use tool that lets you enter a keyword with an option to select a specific country and language.
It immediately gives a list of related or complementary keywords with an overview of the metrics for each.
The tool provides estimated search volume, click prices, estimated traffic levels, and both PPC and SEO difficulty.
A free plan will give you keyword suggestions of maximum 50 and let you perform 3 keyword searches and 3 SERP lookups per day.
To unlock more searches, You will need to upgrade to their paid plans to unlock more searches.
KWFinder also has a free 10-day trial which is worth using.
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator (Free + Paid)
Ahrefs is a good SEO tool when it comes to value and quality performance.
It has a diverse set of features with one of the most accurate search data.
In the free version of the tool you can get phrase matches related to the keyword as well as questions that are being asked by users with their Keyword Difficulty Score and Search Volumes.
- Google Keyword Planner (Free)
Google Keyword Planner used to be great for keyword research as you could see tons of keyword suggestions, plus search volumes but now they have restricted numbers to ranges as seen in the image below.
What is SEO Strategy?
On-page SEO is a way to create content that is being searched by the users and optimizing it for relevancy of keywords to help search engines better understand what it’s about.
Elements of your website you can optimize for On-page SEO:
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Alt Tags
- Heading Tags
- Internal Links
- Internal & External Links
Technical SEO focuses on the backend of the website and server optimizations that help your site become more crawlable, more indexable and thereby rank better in search engines.
It improves the speed, credibility and also improves user experience.
Elements of Technical SEO:
- Site Architecture
- Using robots.txt file to control crawl
- Creating an XML sitemap
- Speeding up your site
- Dealing with duplicate content
- Internal Linking
- Structured Data
Optimizing your website via external means to increase authority is Off-Page SEO.
Link building is a major part of Off-Page SEO but it also goes beyond that.
To let Google know that people are vouching for your content, links from other websites act like votes.
Example: A hyperlink from an external website or an unlinked mention of your company or website anywhere on the internet.
Link building tactics:
- Guest blogging
- Social Profiles
- Influencer Marketing
- Brand Mentions
- Content Syndication
- Content Repurposing
There are still many companies that have a physical location.
It is important for customers to visit your store.
Based on searches related to a specific location this strategy focuses on.
Phrases such as “near me” and names of cities, regions, or other areas can help local businesses rank well in searches.
Local SEO tactics:
- Claim your Google My Business page
- Contact information displayed and highlighted with schema markup
- Embedding a Google Maps marker in your homepage
- Location-specific keywords in your content such as region or city to your page titles, descriptions, and keywords
- Asking customers to review your business
I hope this article helped you understand search engine optimization.
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