Search engine optimization is a series of processes executed to increase the quality of the website and improve the incoming user traffic. The process is based on knowing the user’s search intent and providing them with what they seek. SEO involves techniques to deliver the required content in such a way that the search engine algorithm and web crawlers can easily recognize it.
This increases the chances of your content and website climbing up the search engine rankings. Without further ado, let’s jump right in to explore SEO, its importance, search engine guidelines, and the factors you need to take into account when working on an SEO project.
Search Engine and Search Results
Think of search engines as a repository or a huge index that looks up the user query from tons of websites and shows the most relevant results based on the query. Search engines constantly implement crawling and indexing techniques to catalog the content, rank it according to the provided guidelines, and show it in the search engine result when a user enters a relevant query. With an effective SEO strategy, it becomes easier for your content to get recognized by the search engine crawlers and get ranked up in the search engine page results or SERPs.
Importance of SEO
While social media advertising, using paid platforms, and paid advertising can bring in traffic, the majority of users are always redirected through search engines. These organic search results have more outreach than any other method of traffic generation. Furthermore, the valuable content you provided is like an investment that will keep paying you dividends. It shows a snowball effect and increases the incoming traffic over time.
White Hat and Black Hat SEO
White hat SEO refers to following the best practices, strategies, and techniques that are according to the search engine guidelines. This type of SEO makes sure you are not violating any search engine rule. On the other hand, black hat SEO techniques utilize malicious practices and related strategies to trick the search engine. Virtually every SEO specialist out there discourages using Black hat SEO as it can get your website penalized and de-indexed.
Search Engine Guidelines
Here is a brief overview of the search engine guidelines for better understanding.
- Make web pages valuable to users, not search engines.
- Never trick the users by making false claims only to generate traffic.
- Work on providing value, being unique, and making engaging content.
You will see that the search engine guidelines align with the SEO best practices. Here are some things to avoid.
- Hidden links or text.
- Cloaking techniques.
- Providing link schemes.
- Doorway pages.
- Duplicate content.
- Keyword Stuffing.
Instead of using unethical practices, work on fulfilling the user intent. The user intent is basically what the user looks for. It can be a piece of content, a photo, a concert ticket, or anything relevant. SEO works on improving the user intent to organically increase traffic and search results. It’s natural for a user to engage with the content they want. Utilizing informational resources like implementing tips on SEO management in your SEO strategy can aid you significantly in improving the outcomes. This, in turn, will lead you to great results.
Know Your Goals
Make sure you spend some time figuring out your goals. Doing this will help you figure out which SEO strategies would work best for you. Furthermore, it would be easier to set benchmarks and create further goals for improvement. You can use the key performance indicators to see how well your SEO strategy is working out. These indicators will show your success rate in achieving organic SEO traffic. These indicators include monitoring sales, email signups, downloads, contact form submissions, website clicks, clicks to call, etc.
Before starting your SEO journey, make sure to lay out your business goals with clarity. You will be working on SEO techniques and strategies that align with your set goals so the best outcomes can be achieved.
On-page optimization refers to creating and utilizing content with targeted keywords, links, optimized title tags, concise URLs, etc. This optimization technique makes your website improve in terms of quality. These techniques also work on providing valuable content that makes the users engage more and revisit when necessary.
These are off-page optimization protocols consisting of mostly working with backlinks, Using quality backlinks ensures you gain redirect traffic as the information in the backlink and the content it’s placed in are from the same niche. Backlinking is just like vouching for a business and seeing it as credible. Both off-page and on-page SEO can collectively create a powerful impact on the outcomes.
When the SEO strategy you use fails to improve the user experience, you won’t get effective results. The user experience is king here so SEO strategies also focus on improving the user experience. A well-designed website will be easy to navigate and with the information provided clearly and concisely. The loading time of your website matters a lot. Users will never prefer a website that takes time to load and shows a delay when presenting content. Make sure to work on improving your website’s loading speed and decrease the bounce rate of incoming user traffic.
When working on SEO, you need to be consistent. There are plenty of aspects of SEO that take time to work on and produce results. The quality of content you upload needs to be consistent so the customers find value. This will instill trust in the user of your brand, improving brand recognition and brand identity.
SEO practices do not produce results in an instant. It can take several months for the search engine crawlers to recognize your page, index it according to their standard, and present it accordingly in search results. When you deliver quality content with consistency and implement good SEO practices, the results are fruitful.
Doing SEO on your own requires a lot of knowledge in several areas and can become a nuisance. Plenty of SEO services are available that you can choose to better rank your website and achieve better results. Hopefully, this article has helped you find out all you need to know about SEO.
About the Author
Martin Brown is a digital marketing and digital asset management specialist. He has been in the industry for over a decade, helping people understand digital technology and apply them to their business.