SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing a website or webpage in such a way that it could get the top ranking on search engine result page (SERP) for relevant searches.
In other words, we can say that SEO helps to improve a website’s visibility or ranking on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Yandex and Bing so that a website owner can get the significant amount of traffic for his/her website.
Here, traffic reflects the number of users that land to your website after clicking your site link from search results.
To know what an SEO in details, let’s get straight into it…
Table of Contents
1. SEO in a Nutshell:
SEO is a powerful digital marketing strategy that enhances your website’s online presence. SEO makes your website search engine friendly and so when netizens (internet users) searches for something related to your business, your website gets more attention from the search engines and visible to them.
2. What is SEO? Broad Introduction
Now you’ve already familiar with the term SEO but still there are a lot of things in the SEO bucket. We will open and check the every item one by one.
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of improving a website performance on search engines. SEO targets organic search results and so it brings the organic traffic for your website.
What exactly SEO does?
Just suppose, you have a business website or a blog, but what if you are not getting the visitors for your site that you actually want. It’s logical, anyone will be disappointed.
At this stage, we can see the actual power of SEO. It helps to convert those users to your website who search for the products or services related to your site.
When a user types something on Google’s search box, what happens next? Google provides the content or information in response which are the most relevant to the user’s query. Here, if your site would be SEO optimised, Google will give the preference to your website content over the others and serve it in front of the readers.
As we know that, millions or even billions of websites are already available online and thousands of new websites are line up to go live every day, so it is very difficult for your website to be seen by search engines at this level of competition. We are fortunate that there exists a strategy called SEO that can be used to get rid of this kind of situation. SEO puts our website at the top result pages of search engines and makes us separate from the crowd.
We can say that SEO helps us reaching our potential customers and enhancing the brand awareness.
The best thing is that SEO equally works whether a business website is too big or too small.
“Especially for small business owner’s, SEO is a panacea.”
It has the ability to transform your site from no one to special one….
3. White Hat SEO? Black Hat SEO?
Website’s ranking in SEO can be achieved by mainly two techniques:
1. White Hat SEO Technique
2. Black Hat SEO Technique
White Hat SEO Technique:
White hat SEO is a practice of improving a website ranking without violating the terms of services and policies of search engines. It means, if your SEO tactics follow the search engines algorithm guidelines it will be awarded for the better ranking. White-hat SEO is known as “search engines approved website optimization process and tactics”.
Have a look on Pros and Cons of White Hat SEO technique…
1. This technique keeps your site safe from the risk of being penalized by search engines such as Google algorithm update penalty.
2. Getting ranked by this technique can retain your website on Google’s first page or other search engines 1st page for long time.
3. Increases website’s Domain Authority and Page Authority.
• It takes a little longer time to show results.
Black Hat SEO Technique:
A ranking approach that doesn’t follow the search engine guidelines is known as Black-hat SEO technique. This technique is known as the shortcut method or unethical SEO practices to make a website rank high on Google and other search engines.
Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines never recommend this technique.
Some of the Black Hat SEO techniques include: –
Keyword Stuffing: It refers the excessive use of targeted keywords throughout the webpage content. Keyword stuffing is the practice of repeating the same keywords in too many times in a webpage meta tags, body content and backlink anchor text to increase that webpage ranking in search engines.
Hidden Text: A text that’s not visible to users but can be read and crawled by the search engine crawlers (bots/spiders) is known as hidden text.
Cloaking: It is a technique in which two different version of the same webpage is developed, one for the user and one for the web spiders and that pages deliver the different content or information from each other.
Paid Links: Paid links are a practice of buying backlinks for a website. Paid link building strategy is strictly prohibited by search engines and can damage the performance of a website.
Pros and Cons of Black Hat SEO:
– You may get quick results in terms of ranking. (Not a recommended method)
– It can maximize your audience reach in short time.
– Using this technique for long can harm your site ranking badly.
– It can cause a penalty on your website and as a result of this your website can be permanently de-indexed from the search engines. It means, black hat SEO techniques can cause your website to get removed or suspended from search results.
4. Types of SEO
There are mainly 3 types of SEO strategy we use in our SEO campaign to boost a website traffic.
1. On-page SEO:
It is a practice of optimizing a website itself in such a manner, which helps it to appear at the top in search results for relevant queries. In On-Page SEO we make changes or modifications on the same website that we have to rank. This strategy mainly includes –
– Content Optimization
– Title & Meta Tags Optimization
– Keywords Optimization
– Internal Linking
– Heading Tags (H1-H6) Optimization
– Installation and configuration of SEO plugins
– Image Optimization
– URL Structure
– Identify and fix – internal and external broken links
– Robots.txt File Implementation
– Sitemap.xml File Implementation
– Set up Google Analytics
– Set up Google Search Console
2. Off-page SEO:
Unlike On-page SEO, it refers to the practices that we perform outside of our website to enhance its ranking on search results.
Off-page SEO tasks includes but not limited to –
– Link Building (Backlink Creation)
Document (PPT & PDF) Submission
Classified Ads Submission
Quora, Yahoo question answering
– Identifying and Fixing dead or broken backlinks
– Identifying and Removing Bad Backlinks (malicious or spam backlinks)
– Analysing competitor’s link profile
– Spying on competitor’s most performing keywords
– Set up and optimizing Google My Business account
3. Technical SEO:
It is mainly related to the design, coding and server part of a website. In technical SEO –
. Optimize website’s loading speed
. Find and fix – crawl and indexing errors
. Check for https version of URL
. Check for duplicate versions of your website
. Add structured data (schema markup)
. Find and fix – orphaned pages (blank pages)
. Check for Mobile-friendly design
5. SEO Challenges
We have seen a constant transformation in SEO with the time and industry-specific needs so far. If we talk about a few years back, our main objective was to bring keywords ranking and traffic in SEO. That’s all. Clients happy, SEO professionals happy.
But today, the scenario has changed completely. The cut-throat competition in the recent years has made this industry more competitive. Now we can’t rely on the ranking and traffic only.
For instance, what if, you got both ranking and traffic for your website, but not the business. That means, this traffic is not worthy enough for you. At this point, you will have to put an extra effort on your SEO strategies so that you can find the potential customers for your website, not just customers. So now, SEO is not limited to just bringing the traffic, but it also involves in encouraging the visitors so that they could take an action on your website.
The user action can be anything and this includes but not limited to a form submission, product purchase, email subscription, PDF download or a video view.
This could be possible only when your website is of high quality. But it’s not as easy as we believe it to be. It takes a lot of effort and fair enough time to achieve this.
And that’s why I believe that SEO is a marathon not a sprint.
6. SEO Technical Terms
For better understanding of this guide, here is the definition of some SEO Technical terms:
Traffic: It is known asthe number of users visited to your site after clicking a link of your website from search engine result pages.
SERP (Search Engine Result Page): SERP isthe page that a search engine returns in a response to show the results when a user types something in the search box and presses enter.
Link Building: Link building refers to the practice of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to a page on your website.