Websites are fundamental to your business’s success. But just having a fancy website is not enough. Enter the world of Search Engine Optimization. This is what helps others find your website on the vast pool that is the internet. So, what is it, and how does SEO work? And what is the SEO meaning?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the effort of increasing your site’s visibility on search engines. The ultimate reason for increasing your rank is to become more visible and get more organic traffic. Proper SEO helps you do that.
SEO is super important for anyone who has a website. GlobalWebIndex states that 81% of people use search engines for searching products and services. If your website does not rank, then it is basically like not even existing. That is why SEO is so important.
What is SEO?
Let’s get right into the basics first. What even is SEO? Well, as I said, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It really is exactly what it sounds like. At its core, it means anything you do (and not do) to optimize your website (and content) for search engines.
Search engines like Google use many advanced algorithms and tools to rank content on the internet according to the relevancy of a search query. So, for example, if you search for sports cars, Google’s algorithm will go to work and serve up relevant results.
You might find a video about the best cars out that year or you might see results for where to buy sports cars. When your website is optimized for it, Google will give it a score and rank it higher up on its SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
This leads to more views and visits to your site. The higher the rank of your site is, the more organic traffic it will have. And organic traffic is the best kind of traffic since it is free and natural.
That means you did not pay for your website to be on the top. It is on the top simply because the content matches the user’s search query. This does not mean that you cannot use SEO while having paid advertising and digital marketing campaigns running though.
Types of SEO
There are mainly four types of SEO. These types come together to make your overall site much more friendly and readable. I will keep this short and simple. It is not that hard once you get the core concepts. Everything is pretty intuitive actually.
On-page SEO – All kinds of optimization that happen on the webpage itself.
Off-page SEO – Optimization efforts that are made not on the website but outside it.
Technical SEO – Making your website’s infrastructure better and friendlier for ‘crawlability’.
Local SEO – SEO that helps your page rank within a specific area or locality.
There can be different components to SEO. One important one is keyword research. This is studying what your target audience is searching for the most. Then you use these keywords on your page and make valuable content to serve up high-quality and relevant content.
You can also make the webpage more friendly by using pictures, subheadings, meta descriptions, and more.
How Does It All Work?
Alright, let’s get a bit technical now. How does it all work? Well, search engines use advanced algorithms to figure out which websites are relevant and how high-quality they are. Engines like Google use many different techniques and tools to measure this. Here are some you need to know.
Engines will use bots to look for new content. These can be anything like PDFs, websites, videos, articles, photos, and more. Anything that can be linked to will be here. Think of this as the engine trying to know what is out there. It is discovering all the content.
Then comes the indexing bit. When something unique is discovered, the engine will follow the link to it. It will add it to its index and database of all the URLs it discovered. Then it can rank the website and content based on the quality of the site/content.
This section is where it all happens. As I mentioned before, search engines use different kinds of algorithms and measurement criteria to rank a website. It does it based on how relevant it is for a specific query. Then it will display all the results based on that rank.
Submitting Your Website on Google
Google will eventually add your website to its index. But you can speed up the process by submitting it manually. The added benefit of this is when you submit your site, Google will give you tips and tricks on how to rank better and optimize it.
Here is how you can submit your website to Google:
Step 1 – Find the sitemap of your website. The XML sitemap will list all important pages that are on your website.
Step 2 – Submit your sitemap to the Google Search Console. You submit it by going to Google’s guide.
SEO is an ever-changing and evolving field. That is one of the things that makes it so interesting. You are always kept on your toes. When a new algorithm change takes place, you will get to discover all the new ways to optimize your site.
Do not let that make you think that it is quite complicated and a hassle. When you get the fundamentals of it down, SEO can be very powerful.
Now that you know how does SEO works, you can get to work and rank your site on the top page of Google. Being on the first page is the goal for most. But, just beating and outsmarting the algorithm is not the main point. What you should focus on is a more holistic system. High-quality content comes first and foremost.
If your site has bad quality content and design, even if your site ranks high, users will not stick around. And Google will catch on to that. First impressions are important as the old saying goes. So, make sure whatever kind of content you create is high quality. And then with the right SEO practices, you will be unstoppable.