What is SEO?
SEO stands for 'Search Engine Optimization', which is the practice of increasing the 'quantity' as well as 'quality' of traffic to your website through 'organic search engine results'.
To understand the true meaning of SEO, let's break that definition and look at its small parts:
- Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they're coming to your site because Google tells them you're a resource for Apple computers when you're really an apple farmer, that's not it's quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in the products you offer.
- Amount of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through these search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.
- Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic you don't have to pay for. Organic search traffic is specifically any unpaid traffic that comes from SERPs.
How SEO works
You can think of a search engine as a website you visit to type (or speak) a question into a box where google, Yahoo!, Bing or whatever search engine you are using magically responds with a long list of links to web pages that could potentially answer your question.
Yes, it's true. But have you ever stopped to consider what's behind these magical link lists?
See how Google works
Google (or whatever search engine you're using) has a crawler and in addition it collects information about all the content they can find on the Internet.
So if you are uncomfortable with the process and are still unsure how to create a website yourself, make sure nothing about a website is permanent. Its design, colors and content can continually evolve. Your website can always change based on what you learn about your target audience and your niche. Just do your best and keep looking for ways to improve your website to make it the perfect extension of your business.
There are a number of factors that go into a search engine's algorithm, and here's how a group of experts ranked its importance:
Part O of SEO — optimization — is where the people who write all that content and put it on their sites are guessing the content and those sites so that search engines are able to understand what they're seeing, and users who arrive by survey will like what they see.
Optimization can take many forms. It's everything from ensuring that title tags and meta descriptions are informative and beyond that, the right length to pinpointing internal links on pages you are proud of. Here it is. an overview:
Building an SEO-friendly site
Once you're ready to start walking that SEO walk, it's time to apply these SEO techniques to a website, that is, whether it's new or an old one you're improving.
These pages will help you get started with everything from selecting an SEO-friendly domain name to best practices for internal links.
Content and related tagging
A website is not really a website until you have content. But SEO for content has enough specific variables that we've given it its own section. Start here if you are curious about keyword research, how to write SEO-friendly copy, and the type of markup that helps search engines understand exactly what your content is really about.
You've already learned a lot about topics on the spot, delving into content as well as related markup. So now it's time to get technical information about links.
Topics related to links
Drill down into everything you need to know about links from anchor text to redirection. Link Building.
Congratulations! You've mastered the ins and outs of daily SEO and are now ready for some advanced topics. Make sure all your traffic has the easiest conversion time possible with conversion rate optimization (CRO) then go micro level with Local SEO or make your site global with International SEO.
The evolution of SEO
Search engine algorithms change frequently and SEO tactics evolve in response to these changes. So if someone is offering you SEO advice that doesn't feel right, study it before you go.
Search engines know that by consistently delivering high-quality, relevant results for search queries, they will begin to earn your trust and hopefully become the only search engine you need.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on your website's presence in search results on search engines like Google. When you understand how SEO works, you can use different tactics to increase your visibility (or how high you rank) in search results.
You can categorize SEO tactics into two:
- On-page SEO: All the SEO strategies that happen on your site.
- Off-page SEO: All SEO strategies that take place outside your site.
Both on-page and off-page SEO aims to make your site more user-friendly, as well as trustworthy, for users and search engines. When search engine crawlers see how friendly your site is to them and users, they increase the chances that your site will rank well for different searches.
For example, let's say you have two sites: Site A and Site B.
Site A is unresponsive, which means users on tablets or smartphones will have difficulty navigating and using the site. Site B, however, is responsive, which means a better user experience for tablet, smartphone and desktop users.
For search engines, it's an easy decision which site is friendlier: site A.
Of course, how search engines work is a little more complicated than that. Today, search engines use over 200 different factors to generate search results, meaning that many different elements influence your placement in search results.
Why are search engines concerned about SEO?
Why does a search engine care if you use them or another search engine? After all, aren't you paying? That's right, you're not paying… but someone else is! So the answer to this question is that they care because they make money from advertising.
The SERP presents you with what are called “organic results” as well as “pay-per-click ads” (or PPC). Organic results are those that are influenced by SEO, while PPC ads are paid for.
You cannot pay Google or any search engine to occupy any position in the organic results.
However, on-page ads are how they earn their money. So the better the results they give you, the more likely you and others will use that search engine again. The more people who use the search engine, the more ads they can show and the more money they can earn. Makes sense?
Why worry about how SEO works?
The Internet has really put the world at your fingertips. We're usually not more than a few clicks away from almost any information we might be looking for. When people are looking for information, services, products, and so on, they go online.
If your site isn't properly optimized, it's safe to assume you're only making it to the first page when looking specifically for your business — although depending on your business name, that might not be the case.
That means people who don't know you exist but are looking for someone like you. If you don't optimize your site you'll never get a chance to tell them why you're better than your competition.
The good news is that you are making it a lot easier for your competitors to do SEO. Chances are they are loving you for not fighting.
So who cares how search engines deliver results? You definitely should!
A technical explanation of how SEO works
So now you know why search engines work so hard to give you great results and why you should care, we can talk about how SEO works in a little more detail.
Search engines collect all kinds of information about your website and the pages that make up your website. This allows them to easily determine when to serve a page to a searcher on your site. They collect things like page speed, title tags, social signals, internal linking, backlinks, and so on.
With over 200 ranking factors used by Google in its algorithm, there are many things to consider, and actions that can be taken to try to optimize a website. There are on-page and off-page ranking factors that determine how well your site is optimized and therefore how well it ranks.
On-page factors are exactly what they look like: elements that are actually on the page. This includes title tags, content, site speed, page URLs, image alt tags, internal linking, and more. Off-page factors, however, are almost entirely based on links to your site from other sites.
It's important to keep in mind that these bots are automated computer programs and not real humans.
As you can imagine, this means they have some limitations.
They can't access a site like you or I would because they don't really see the site: they crawl the code on the site. This means they cannot view images or videos, nor are they impressed by flashy drawings or audio clips. In fact, they can't even understand content like we do!
Optimizing your website for search engines is not an impossible task. If you're a little less technically inclined, you may find it challenging, but you can always look to a web strategist for help.
How SEO marketing works
Search engines want to provide the best service to their users.
This means delivering results on search engine pages that are not only of high quality, but also relevant to what the searcher is looking for.
To do this, search engines will scan or crawl different sites to better understand what the site is about.
This helps them deliver more relevant results to those looking for certain topics or keywords.
Likewise, search engines will scan the site to determine how easy it is to navigate and read, rewarding easy-to-use sites with higher SERP rankings.
SEO is the process that organizations go through to ensure that their website is at the top of search engines for relevant keywords and phrases.
For example, let's say you have an article about building a birdhouse.
In order to get your content in front of the right people, you would probably do that.
You will try to optimize this blog post so that it appears as a top result for anyone searching for the phrase “how to build a birdhouse”.
SEO benefits for your business.
By improving your SEO, you can work to expand your search engine visibility. This helps you reach and engage more potential customers.
When you create more engaging and effective SEO-focused content, you can increase your chances of bringing in more targeted organic traffic.
When you tweak your website and content for greater visibility and readability, you help give meaning to your SEO.
You shouldn't settle for low SERP rankings when you could be at the top.
The truth is, SEO marketing really works, and proper implementation can help anyone generate great results.
Let's take a look at some of the factors that can impact your search engine optimization ranking.
Search engine giant, Google will never give you the exact algorithm it uses to rank websites.
However, we have a very good understanding of some of the factors that impact search engine results page (SERP) rankings.
Before we dive into some of the on-page and off-page SEO factors, let's talk about content.
Content is effective in both attracting search engines and helping your organization make connections with site visitors.
The meaning of SEO can be further emphasized through its visual and written content.
The more quality and relevant pieces of content you have on your site, the more likely are search engines to rank your pages on the first page of search engine results.
Likewise, the more engaging and effective content you have on your site, the more likely your visitors are to spend time on your site.
Here are just a few types of content you can focus on to help improve your content offering.
Your search engine ranks:
- Posts and blog articles
- Social media content
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- How-to guides and tutorials
- Videos and audio recordings
- Infographics or other visual content
Another important thing to consider when creating content for your website are SEO keywords and phrases.
These are relevant words and phrases that a search engine user can type when looking for answers to their questions or relevant products and services.
When you create content around these keywords, you improve your chances of ranking higher for those keywords on the search engine results page.
Another factor that can impact your content, and therefore search engine ranking, is how fresh your content is.
Freshness basically refers to how often your organization posts new content on your website.
However, creating new content is not the only way to keep your content fresh.
You can also do this by updating posts, rewriting them to make them more effective, or adding new information and statistics over time.
Although creating content takes time and resources, it will more than make up for it in the end.
Search engines love great content and consumers need quality content to better understand the value your organization can provide.
Start by creating some blog posts and work to build a following on social media.
Once you have a loyal following, your organization can work to create different types of media to attract and engage new leads.
On-page SEO optimization
On-page SEO factors are the elements that happen on your website.
These are the things you have complete control over, which means you can work to improve these factors over time, following best practices for SEO.
This goes beyond just your content marketing to the deeper levels of your website's HTML.
Here are just a few of the on-page SEO factors that can help you improve your Google search result ranking:
The title tag on each page tells search engines what your page is about.
Must be 70 characters or less, including both the keyword your content focuses on and the name of your business.
The meta description on your site tells search engines a little more about what each page is about.
This is also used by your human visitors to better understand what the page is about and whether it is relevant.
This should include your keyword and also provide enough detail to tell the reader what the content is about.
Not only do subheads make your content easier for visitors to read, but they can also help improve your SEO.
You can use H1, H2 and H3 tags to help search engines better understand what your content is about.
Building internal links or hyperlinks to other content on your site can help search engines learn more about your site.
For example, if you are writing a post about the value of a specific product or service, you can link to the product or service page in your blog post.
Image name and ALT tags
If you are using images on your website or within your blog content, you will also want to include your keyword or phrase in the image name and alt tag.
By including this information, you also help to give your definition of SEO.
This will help search engines better index your images, which may appear when users perform an image search for a certain keyword or phrase.
When strategically placing your SEO keywords and phrases on your pages, it is important to avoid over-optimization.
Google and other search engines will penalize your page if it tries to use keywords too many times throughout the content.
Also, you want to make sure that each piece of content focuses on just one or two keywords.
This helps ensure your content is specific and relevant.
Using too many keywords
Trying to deal with too many keywords at the same time can negatively affect search engine optimization as it often makes the content unfocused and thin.
Although website content plays a vital role in search engine rankings, it is also important to consider your website's architecture.
Part of the optimization process is ensuring SEO definition in all parts of your web pages.
You want to use a website design that makes it easy to scan or crawl your pages and content.
Building internal links between your pages, creating a sitemap, and submitting your sitemap to search engines can help improve your site's crawlability.
And it can also give your search engines a better understanding of your content.
Another concern when it comes to your website architecture is whether or not your website is mobile-friendly.
Many consumers are looking for information and brands on their mobile devices.
You need to make sure these users are able to view, read and navigate your site from their mobile devices.
This not only affects the user experience, it can also affect your SEO optimization.
Off-page SEO optimization
In addition to the on-page SEO elements on top of your controls, there are also off-page SEO factors that can impact your ranking.
Although you do not have direct control over these off-page factors, there are ways you can improve your chances of having these factors working to your advantage.
Here are some of the different off-page SEO factors that can impact your search engine rankings:
Trust is becoming an increasingly important factor in a website's Google ranking. This is how Google determines if you have a legitimate website that visitors can trust.
One of the best ways to improve trust is by building quality backlinks from authoritative sites.
One of the most popular ways to build off-page SEO is through backlinks.
You want to be careful here, as spam sites with your links is a quick and easy way to get your site banned from search engines.
Instead, take the time to build relationships with influencers as well as fans who create quality content and will connect back to your site in their own content.
Another important off-page SEO factor is social signals such as likes as well as shares.
When it comes to driving SEO, you want to look for quality actions. The more quality content you publish, the more likely you are to get people to share your content with others.
However, you don't have direct control over what happens outside your organization.
But you can increase your chances of improving off-page SEO simply by creating quality content that others will find valuable.
By giving your SEO meaning, you can get the attention of more search engine users.
The more relevant and interesting your content is, the more likely it is that others will connect to your content and share it on social media.
The more people trust your content, then the more search engines will trust you too.
White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
When it comes to SEO, then there are two different approaches that organizations take to optimize their websites for search engines – black hat vs. white hat SEO.
Some organizations are only interested in SEO so they can rank their content quickly and earn some money in the short term.
Black hat SEO involves tactics that focus on optimizing content just for search engines.
This means that organizations are not considering the human visitors who will read and browse the site's content.
These organizations will bend or break the rules in order to improve their website rankings to earn a quick buck.
In the end, this approach to SEO produces pages that are often difficult for people to read and look a lot like spam.
Although sites can rank faster than those that are properly optimized, these sites are often quickly penalized or banned by search engines.
So overall, this rich and fast approach to SEO ruins the organizations chance to build a sustainable website, as well as one capable of bringing new leads for years to come.
Building a sustainable business
On the other hand, white hat SEO is an effective approach to optimizing your website for search engines and building a sustainable online business.
This approach to search engine optimization involves focusing on the human audience that will be clicking, but also reading the site content.
By giving your website the SEO definition then you ensure that your digital content is easy to find and view.
The purpose of this type of search engine optimization is to produce the best content possible on a site that is easy to read as well as navigate.
While following the rules of the search engine for optimization.
Interested to learn more about how SEO can work for your business? Want to build as well as give meaning to your SEO?
If you are not happy with the search engine rankings, then maybe it is time to call an SEO company.
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If you want guidance, ask questions, make plans or look for a partner to build your website, then know that with Colors Agency, we guarantee much more than just an attractive look and a modern layout for your website.
Our main focus is to offer companies around the world effective solutions to generate visibility on the internet.
Our agency develops SEO strategies as well as brand positioning for multinational companies, large, medium and small, all projects are important to us.