Today we all have to admit that the invention of the internet and its impact on us has been nothing but revolutionary. Today, we have become so dependent on the most popular search engine like Google for eg. Even for finding the tiniest piece of information, people have replaced it with the name “search.”
Receiving billions of search queries in a day, have you ever wondered how the website links are prioritized on result pages when you search for anything on Google or any other search engine, and what do you do? You usually click the topmost links which appear on the first page of the search engine results right? A lot of this makes a fundamental impact when it comes to businesses engaged in the selling of products or services online.
Interestingly, 93% of all website traffic is majorly driven by search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, etc. If we specifically talk about Google, 75% of people searching through the web start their searches on Google, and the first five results on Google get 67% of all clicks. The higher your website link shows up on the search engine result pages (SERPs), the better it is! But how does one achieve the topmost rankings for their website? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the obvious answer.
What is SEO?
SEO is a technique of optimizing one’s website to “rank” higher in the organic SERPs. It is the most effective method to generate organic (natural or free) traffic to your site. The organic search results are those that appear directly below the top pay-per-click (PPC) adverts in Google, pre-fixed with Ad icon, and are most viable for the long-term. Along with this SEO can also improve the visibility in various other search results such as maps, videos, images, and more.
SEO is very important for your website because every website wants to reach its audience and the internet is flooded with web pages. So the search engines need to rank among those web pages to present the best result to the user. Therefore SEO is the way to optimize your web page on the factors which are used by Search Engines for ranking. Though creating good and relevant content is a critical factor, to optimize it is even the crucial factor so that the search engine identifies it as a useful and relevant page for the user’s query.
How does it Work?
All search engines deliver their search results based mainly upon the closest relevancy of pages it has read and saved the content of, in its internet index. That index is fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with user queries to provide the best answer.
For e.g., – Google uses a cluster of ranking factors in its algorithm to score their search results and uses a hyperlink based algorithm, PageRank, to calculate the popularity and authority of a page and it keeps updating its algorithm as the behavior of users change. The principal aim of a search engine is to show relevant content to the user, and it filters the content based on relevancy.
Every search engine has its own algorithm to find the most relevant page. Therefore every search engine performs three main tasks:
- Crawling– It is the first step that any search engine performs. In this, the page is read thoroughly by search engines, and the content is examined.
- Indexing– After Crawling a webpage, the search engine stores and parses data for its own use.
- Ranking– This is the process in which the search engine ranks data based on several SEO factors to put the most relevant content at the top.
For e.g., – A user searches for Universities in Australia on Google. So first it will crawl all the web pages related to all Universities in Australia. Then it will Index the web pages in its directory based on their relevancy.
After Indexing, it will rank pages, and here is where SEO plays its part. The Web Page, which is SEO friendly has more chances of getting a higher rank than which are not.
Activities involved in SEO:
SEO activities are grouped into “Onsite SEO” and “Offsite SEO.
Onsite SEO, refers to technical activities to improve organic visibility within the website. These are the changes that are made on a website directly to get higher ranking on a search engine which means optimizing the site and content by itself to improve the relevancy, accessibility, and experience for users. Some of the activities are mentioned below:
- Keyword – Keywords are words or phrases which are searched through the search engines. It is an important ranking factor for any Web Page or Website. If the right keywords are used, your webpage can rank on the top of any search engine, but to do this, Keyword Research is a critical task. It helps to get insight into what our audience is looking for and what it wants. There are many Keyword Planner tools you can use to research your keywords online.
- URL’s– An SEO friendly URL structure is a significant factor in On-Page SEO Ranking, you need to incorporate your Keywords in your URL for better Ranking plus it should be relevant to your services offered and should be easy to read for Search Engines.
- Structuring of the Website and Technical Aspects- A website is the representation of any business. People are likely to judge a company on the basis of its Website. The Structure of a website is a very Important SEO Ranking Factor. It usually takes a user 5 seconds to judge a website. A good website should be the right combination of a user’s needs and the company’s services.
- Headings – Headings are the key elements of a structured website. Headings help the search engine to crawl easily and tell the search engine what a page is about.
- Image Optimization – Images are an essential aspect of a website. Images help to make web pages attractive and give a more précised layout. But one also needs to optimize the URL of the image and the size of the image. Images which are too big take time to load and lowers the ranking on SERPs.
- Tags and Meta description – Meta tags and title tags help a search engine know about your web page. These tags will not be visible on the web page. These tags will be visible on the code of the page. These tags give search engines more insight to a web page and help to determine whether the page is relevant to the user search or not. Meta descriptions and titles are important ones. The search engine uses these to form the search engine results. Therefore they are very important.
- Internal Links – Internal links are links to a website within. Internal links help the users to navigate better and more efficiently within the site. The more internally linked your website is, the more the search engine can determine the rank and read the keywords. By including internal links, search engines crawl better and update the ranks accordingly.
- Content Optimization – We have heard that content is the most important. Without good content, you cannot engage your users on your web page. Your content should demonstrate data that provides an excellent user experience along with trust and authority. Your content is the ultimate deciding factor of whether a user will stay on your page or leave it.
- Mobile Responsiveness – Make sure that your website loads fast and with the proper layout on mobile phones as well. More and more mobile users are using their phones to search for a query, and you need to ensure that your site loads fast and with proper UI on mobile as well.
Offsite SEO, refers to creative activities carried outside of a website to improve organic visibility. This aims to increase the number of reputable links from other domains called as ‘link building’, as search engines use them as scoring for trustworthiness. Some of the activities are explained below:
- Digital PR– Strong PR provides reasons for other websites to talk and link to your domain. This might be internal news flow, writing for external publications, original research, expert interviews, quotes, and much more.
- Outreach & Promotion– This involves communicating with key journalists, influencers, bloggers, or webmasters about a brand, resource, or content to gain coverage and ultimately earn links to a website.
- Building Links- The web pages which have a good number of links from websites are likely to rank higher on SERP’s. The more quality, relevant sites that link to your website, the higher your position in search engine results will be. If the site won’t send any visitors, or the audience is entirely irrelevant and unrelated, then it might not be a link that’s worth pursuing.
- Social Media Marketing- Social Media Marketing has become a marketing essential. Social media presents immense potential to reach the audience and grow as a brand. It is one of the best mediums to generate leads and gain visitors to your website.