What is search engine optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of making pages rank higher in search engines like Google. Because search is one of the main ways that people search for content online, higher rankings in search engines can increase website traffic.
In Google and other search engines, paid ads always appear at the top of the page in the results page, followed by regular results or search marketers called “organic search results.
The Benefits Of SEO
Search engine optimization is an important part of online marketing because search is one of the primary ways users navigate the web. In search of search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Badu and Yandex worldwide. More than a trillion searches were made. For most websites, the traffic coming from search engines (known as “natural” or “organic” traffic) accounts for the bulk of their traffic.
The search results are presented in the ordered list and the more traffic the site gets to that list, the more traffic the site will receive. For example, for certain search queries, the number 1 result would be 40-60% of total traffic for that query, with two and three results less traffic. Only 2-3% of searchers click through to the first page of search results. That way, a small improvement to search engine rankings will help the website get more traffic and potential business.
Because of this, many business and website owners will try to tailor search results so that their site shows more on the search results page (SERP) than their competitors. This is where SEO comes in.
How Search Engine Optimization Works
Search engines like Google use a set of algorithms or rules to decide which pages to show for a given search query. These algorithms have become extremely complex and are considering hundreds or thousands of different ranking factors in order to rank their SERPs. However, there are three core metrics that search engines evaluate to determine the quality of a site and how to rank it:
- Links – Links to other websites play an important role in determining a site’s ranking in Google and other search engines. This is because, the link can be viewed as a quality opinion on other websites, as the website owner is unlikely to link to other non-poor sites. Sites that receive links to many other sites take precedence over search engine sightings (called “PageRank” in Google), especially if the sites they link to are official.
- Content – In addition to viewing links, the search engine analyzes the content of a web page to see if it is relevant for any search query. A big part of SEO is in creating content that is targeted to the keywords that search engine users are looking for.
- Page design – The third core component of SEO is page design. Because web pages are written in HTML, how the HTML code is structured can affect a search engine’s ability to evaluate the page. Including related keywords in the page title, URL, and header and ensuring that the site is crawlable are actions that site owners can take to improve their site’s SEO.
The search engine optimization process involves optimizing each of these components of the search engine algorithm to rank higher in the search results.
Search engine optimization techniques
The first step in the process of improving a site’s search ranking is to understand how search engines work. Actually improving the rank of a site involves taking advantage of various SEO techniques to optimize the site for search:
Word Keyword Research – Keyword research is often the starting point for SEO, and the site already ranks for which keywords, what those keywords rank for, and what other keywords potential customers are looking for. Identifying the terms researchers are using in Google search and other search engines provide direction on how existing content can be adapted and what new content can be created.
- Content marketing – Content marketing will work once the potential keywords are identified. This can be to update existing content or to create new content pieces. While Google and other search engines are placing a premium on high-quality content, it is important to first discover what content is here and to create compelling content that provides useful user experience and results in higher rankings in search engine results. General Chat Chat Lounge Good content is also more likely to be shared on social media and attract links.
- Building Link Building – Because links on external websites (called “backlinks” in SEO Palace) are one of the main ranking elements in Google and other major search engines, one of the main levers of SEO is getting high-quality backlinks. These may include promoting good content, reaching other websites and increasing relationships with webmasters, submitting websites to relevant web directories, and getting presses to attract links to other websites.
- On-Page Optimization – In addition to off-page elements such as links, improving the actual structure of the page can be of huge benefit to SEO and is a factor completely under the control of the webmaster. Common on-page optimization techniques include optimizing a page’s URL to include keywords, updating the page’s title tags to use relevant search terms, and using the Alt attribute to describe the image. Updating a page’s meta tags (such as meta description tags) can also be beneficial – this tag does not directly affect search ranking, but can increase clickthrough rates from SERPs.
- Site Architecture Optimization – External links are not only important for SEO, but internal links (links to their own websites) also play a big role in SEO. That’s why Search Engine Optimizer can improve a site’s SEO by making sure it links to the main page, and relevant anchor text is being used in those links to help improve the page context for specific terms for that particular page. Creating larger pages and XML Sitemaps can also be a great way to help search engines find and crawl all pages of a site.
- Mantic Symantec Markup – Another SEO strategy that SEO experts use is to optimize meaningful markup of websites. Meaningful markup (such as schema.org) is used to describe the meaning behind the content on the page, such as helping to identify who the author of the piece of content is or the type of content and content on the page. Using meaningful markup can help to display rich thumbnails in search results pages, such as additional text, review stars, and even images. Rich snippets from SERP do not affect search ranking, but CTR detection can improve, resulting in increased organic traffic.
Top SEO Tools
As a technical discipline, there are many tools and software that rely on SEO to help optimize websites. Below are some commonly used free and paid tools:
- Google Search Console – Google Search Console (formerly known as “Google Webmaster Tools”) is a free tool provided by Google and is a standard tool of SEO’s toolkit. GSC provides rankings and traffic reports for top keywords and pages and can help identify and resolve technical issues on the site.
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner – Keyword Planner is another free tool offered by Google as part of their Google AdWords product. Although it is designed for paid search, it can be a great tool for using SEO as it provides keyword suggestions and keyword search volume, which can be helpful when doing keyword research.
- Backlink Analysis Tools – There are several links analysis tools, two are primary GHREF and Majestic. Backlink Analysis Tools allow users to analyze which websites are linking to their own website or competitors’ websites, and can be used to find new links during link building.
- SEO Platforms – There are many different SEO platforms that integrate many of the tools SEO needs to optimize sites. Some of the most popular include Moz, BrightAge, SearchMetrics, and Linkedex. These platforms help with keyword rankings, keyword research, identify on-page and off-page SEO opportunities and track many other SEO related tasks.
- Social media – Many social media sites do not have a direct impact on SEO, but they can be a great tool for networking and building relationships with other webmasters, which can provide link building and guest posting opportunities.
Optimizing search traffic: From clicks to conversions
Properly performing search engine optimization may have the potential to dramatically increase website traffic, but not all of this will help grow a business until it converts search traffic into paying customers. This is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes from.
Conversion rate optimization involves the use of methods such as A / B testing to make changes to websites and measure their impact on conversion rates on the site. Successful search marketers know that getting traffic to the site alone is not enough, it is just as important to know what the traffic does on the site.