Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Explained
What is SEO?
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Table of ContentsWhat is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?How does Search Engine Optimization Work? SEO Strategies: The BasicsSEO Specialists and GeneralistsAcademic Research on Search Engine Optimization
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focuses on getting the highest possible amount of traffic to a webpage on any related search query. This is done by ranking the webpage at the top of any search engines result of a query related to the site. Search engine optimization is different from pay-per-click (PPC), SMM (social media marketing) and other and advertisement, as it is the most natural form of traffic. Most big companies, brands, and blogs hire SEO specialists to help them optimize their websites for more visibility and exposure on search engines. Also, most businesses (especially eCommerce and blog brands) make use of SEO to boost the number of visitors that the site receives and in turn, gain more sales.
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How does Search Engine Optimization Work?
Just like all digital marketing strategies, SEO has a vision to drive exposure and brand visibility. However, it is based on natural traffic, i.e., your site is only visible when a related keyword is entered into the search engine tool. The three top search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) make use of bots called site crawlers, which allows them to bring up relevant results based on matching keywords. This, however, has an adverse effect on most webpage owners who feel that cloaking would benefit them greatly. Cloaking, which refers to using a large number of keywords just to rank your page higher, is a scorned act, which attracts a penalty from site crawler as most of the contents with unnecessary high keyword density does not provide valuable information to readers. This makes bounce rate very high (the rate at which people leave sites due to irrelevant information), which eventually leads to a lower page ranking.
SEO Strategies: The Basics
At the starting days of search engines, bots were built in a way that they could only find pages with keywords related to search queries. This increase the number of spammy results, as some websites were just stocked with keywords and no valuable content preceded. However, in recent times, a lot has been done to make sure that readers and visitors get the best answer to any question that they might have. Now, page rankings are due to a number of factors which are included in their search algorithm. We've stated some of the methods and strategies that search engines make use of when ranking brands and webpages. This is however subject to proper implementation, as some black hat methods of optimization can distort the normal performance of site crawlers. Here are some methods used in ranking pages effectively:
- Keyword Usage: Even till date, keyword usage is the most important ranking factor. You wouldn't want to ask Google the best apps for calculating tax automatically and be happy with getting different answers related to the best cooking recipes. Thus, to rank results, search engines make use of keywords and phrases to check what sites offer possible solutions to your question.
- Use of Image: In search results, images are not relevant unless the reader switches to search and display query (image or video search). Thus, it is important to include all important information into your text rather than keeping them in an image in the blog post. This is the reason why most sites create a PDF of their blog post, but still, write out every word from the PDF into the post. This is because if the page cannot be found, then people wont know that a valuable PDF exists which might answer all their problems.
- Backlinking and Link Building: Authority sites have tons of websites linking back to them. If you can get a way to get links from other websites, then it will make your page rank higher, as getting links tells the search engine that you're an expert who everyone recommends in that field, and would choose you as the perfect individual to provide value to readers. Also, linking your pages together helps site crawlers get in and out quickly, thus providing you with a higher ranking for your organization.
- Usability and Design: Very complex designs can lead to lower rankings, as they provide navigation difficulties to visitors. Also, the design of a page tells how fast it can load, and queriers, especially those on mobile don't have the patience to wait for a slow-loading page. Also, simple language that can be easily understandable ranks higher than industry jargon. So instead of using business jargon, opt for languages that can be understood by a 7th grader.
SEO Specialists and Generalists
Search engine optimization generalists focus on how to get a page to rank using different on-surface techniques like keyword research and guest posting. This is a good idea when starting out, but cannot cater to the needs of a site that has grown to become an authority. This is where SEO specialists come into the picture. Specialists focus on the new trends as well as existing ones and use them to optimize your site for better rankings. They are focused on long-term results and provide you with the best tool to achieve it.
Academic Research on Search Engine Optimization