What is SEO? In basic terms, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about making your website popular so that it shows up in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) at higher rank. SEO is the practice done within and outside the website that helps in growing website traffic from organic search results.
More and more businesses are now choosing online mediums to interact with and provide services and products to their target customer base. This highlights the importance of a website in a brand’s market position. And for online marketing, SEO has become quite influential in defining how a brand positions itself in front of customers amongst the stiff competition.
SEO is an ongoing process that has evolved since earlier times, and SEO techniques continue to update time and again. When you implement the right SEO tactics, it will result in improving SERPs ranking, attracting increased organic traffic, and improving visibility, which consequently improves your Return On Investment (ROI).
To get you started with what SEO is and how it should be strategized and implemented – Our complete SEO guide will help you tread the path successfully.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice and tactic that is done to improve a website’s visibility and technical structure as per search engine guidelines. It helps to improve sites’ ranking in organic search results for user search queries related to the products or services the website/brand provides.
SEO is a broad term that involves several optimization techniques, including technical audit of the site, website elements structuring, keyword research and utilization, content creation, link building, page speed load optimization, and much more.
SEO isn’t a tool at all. It is a combination of different practices and methodologies that are implemented to grow the site organically. It is not something that you can use as software or program but is a combination of practices that you implement to make your brand popular and attract traffic. Therefore, it becomes essential that you consult a professional SEO company that has the knowledge, resources, and technology to do what needs to be done for a successful SEO strategy.
As we have discussed above, SEO is a broad term and field and involves a lot of techniques and processes. Before delving into what are SEO types, their benefits, and what SEO strategies are good and what not, there is a lot that you need to know about SEO basics, which we have covered in our SEO resources below.
Search engines use a combination of methods and automated algorithms to scout the web and find the most relevant and fitting answer to a search query. This is why knowing search engines’ functionality becomes important for businesses to deliver their message and content that the search engines find relevant and show in organic results.
Search engines work following three key steps:
Search engines use bots, called crawlers or spiders (automated programs), to look for and find the indexed content depending on the search query. Crawling, indexing and ranking by search engines are done based on various factors (more than 200 to be precise), including relevancy, knowledge, uniqueness, in-depth solution to users’ queries, and so forth.
Now as you know how search engines work, you need to work on your SEO strategy factoring in how search engines work. Your SEO implementation should enable the search engines to:
Your SEO strategy should include optimization tactics that ensure that your content and pages are ranked highly, corresponding to the search queries. Google and other search engines work to find and evaluate the most suitable content, which is what your SEO process should be to make your website all about. The main goal of SEO concerning how search engines work is to make your site and pages useful and relevant to what users are searching about on the search engines, which will help to drive your organic ranking results and traffic.
Do you think that after you have developed your site, updated the content, and launched it, search engines can crawl and index it? It doesn’t happen that way. For this, your site needs to be indexed. Your site’s indexability is a core aspect that has to be checked; else, if search engines aren’t able to find your website and content for search queries, it won’t get displayed in the SERPs.
If the page or the site is not indexed, it is vital that you get your site/webpage indexed.
SEO is the core practice in present times defining the success of your brand/business website. The better you are able to optimize your website, the better your chances are to rank higher in SERPs.
For your website to grow and attract an audience, you can’t ignore the importance of online marketing. And this is where SEO is the most beneficial strategy with help in:
Now as you have gone through the SEO basics, how search engines work and what benefits you gain with SEO, it is time to take you through the learning process of SEO techniques.
Steps to SEO – Optimization Techniques
First and foremost thing before you plan your SEO strategy and execute that, you need to evaluate the overall SEO health of your site at present.
Website audit helps to evaluate the performance of each page before you launch into a large-scale and thorough SEO practice (along with website redesign, if needed). The website audit helps to determine how much it is optimized, whether it is right and how much, and at what scale it needs the SEO implementation, from what degree to what level.
Key Elements of Website Audit:
Website Audit helps to identify the SEO issues which need correction right away. It provides you an insight into the website performance – technically and content-wise, conversion rate performance, and more.
‘In SEO, your focus should be on creating content related to what the user is searching for and what search keywords you have to rank for’
Core SEO practices are basically distinguished between two facets – On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
On-Page SEO is what you do within the website. Off-page SEO is what you do outside of the website to promote the site and bring traffic.
Let’s discuss On-Page SEO first:
On-page SEO is all about looking into factors that constitute your website. When your website elements are right then only you can follow it up with off-page SEO practices. One good thing about on-page SEO is that you can control this, as per what search engines say. An effective subset of SEO strategies, on-page SEO is all about the information and technical build-up architecture of your website.
The core elements of On-Page SEO are:
Don’t overuse keywords. Ensure to emphasize improved readability, keep paragraphs and sentences brief, and use sub-headings and bulleted lists.
Using visual assets like images, infographics, and videos in your content makes the web pages appear appealing and engaging.
When you are targeting the local audience, i.e. within a specific geographic location, optimize your site content for local search keywords and for local listings and citations by using NAP (Name, Address & Phone Number).
All the factors mentioned above help to make the site design and information updated as per search engines’ guidelines and improve user experience, which is the key focus of on-page SEO strategy.
Technical SEO looks at the technical aspects of the site, meaning its architecture, framework, server optimizations, and how the website functions. Technical SEO can be correlated with on-page SEO, but the latter is much broad in optimization approach. Having basic website development knowledge is somewhat needed when you are doing technical SEO optimization.
The core elements of Technical SEO include:
Technical SEO helps to control the website architecture, technical elements, as well as design and layout.
Off-Page SEO includes activities that you do outside of your website for its promotion and improved brand exposure. These activities aren’t in your control. However, the better and more skilled you are in doing these, the better results you will gain.
Key Elements in Off-Page SEO:
Apart from the above-mentioned activities, there are several off-page SEO activities that you should implement. These include blog commenting, forum posting, answering on Q&A sites, conducting surveys, and interviews, publishing case studies, encouraging your present and past users and customers to share their positive reviews and experiences and creating and posting videos to enhance your presence across the different mediums that improve your brand visibility.
Off-Page Strategies to Follow:
On-Page – These are activities that you do within your website, which you can control. These include technical as well as keyword, content, and other strategic factors within your site.
Off-Page – These are activities that you do outside of your website and thus aren’t in complete control of yours. These include practices like sharing content, building backlinks, and engaging with the target audience to enhance brand exposure, rank higher in SERPs and increase inbound traffic.
Measure SEO Performance
What you are achieving with your SEO practice and implementation? Are you able to get the result pertaining to ranking, traffic, leads, and conversion as per your objectives? What is that you are doing right and what is not? What SEO activities need tweaking, reduction, or addition? All this can be done when thoroughly measuring and tracking your SEO performance. Thereby, it becomes an important aspect of your entire SEO journey.
Goals to Focus on When Measuring SEO Performance:
Metrics to Focus on to Track and Measure Your SEO Success:
Tracking and measuring your SEO performance also includes evaluating which keywords rank well, which targeted keywords users search more, and which need to be changed, added, and removed. Tracking SEO results also helps to get an insight into the number of backlinks created, and more factors. There is a range of tools and platforms that you can integrate and use to keep tracking your SEO performance in real time.
This includes working and implementing SEO techniques and practices according to search engine terms and guidelines. Whatever optimization activities and techniques we have mentioned above fall under the ‘White-Hat SEO’ and are specific to search engines’ terms of service. Doing such keep-up maintains the website’s integrity and improves SERPs performance.
These are SEO practices that are spam or against the search engine guidelines. Such activities are done to improve the site’s ranking and traffic through means that are against the terms of service of search engines. Thereby, such activities, even when delivering results for a few minutes or hours, may get the search engines to identify the spam and penalize the website.
Not everything that you read about or from someone is the right SEO. Like any other process or plan, there are do’s and don’ts in SEO. If you commit some SEO mistakes, then it can negatively affect your site’s health. In fact, it can be more hurtful to your SEO campaign than doing only limited SEO. SEO mistakes can lead to penalties from the search engines and are considered a no-no.
So, as we have mentioned in the above section, Black-Hat SEO is what you shouldn’t do, and stick to only White-Hat activities.
Some SEO activities that have to be avoided at all costs include:
Apart from these, there are several other Black-Hat or SEO mistakes that you should not commit, which include:
SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of approach. But the approach in SEO and how it has to be done and implemented depends on the goal and objective. Thereby there are different types of SEO practices.
When you are a retail store or a service provider with your target audience in a specific geo-area or demographic or a limited location, then you have to implement Local SEO. There are certain techniques that Local SEO uses including optimizing for local citations, review sites, local directories, and use of keywords in content ‘near me’, and ‘location name’.
With assistants like Siri, Alexa, and such, people are now using voice search to find answers through search engines. When they conduct a voice search, the search criteria effectively change. And this is what Voice SEO has to target, optimizing the site for voice search-enabled devices like mobile phones, smart speakers, and more.
This can be termed as international SEO or general SEO for large enterprises having a big web presence that targets a global audience or across many regions. This SEO includes optimization techniques that use short-tail and long-tail keywords.
A shorter goal or objective-specific approach to the enterprise SEO, SMBs SEO has to be done pertaining to the particular business requirements, industry, and goals.
When you are selling to the business, it means you have a huge sales cycle to consider; thereby, your sales funnel is also bigger. There are multiple stakeholders pertaining to the potential client. Therefore the search criteria changes, and this is what B2B SEO has to focus on. The content has to be more detailed and much more professional in tone.
For businesses that target individual buyers and users, the sales cycles are shorter, and the search process is also individual-focused. Thereby the individual user intent is what B2C SEO focuses on. The keyword research and optimization process are also effectively done with respect to customer persona.
E-commerce SEO for online sellers includes an approach or implementation that is explicitly done to rank product pages, highlight the product categories and improve sales. E-commerce SEO also involves activities to enhance the site’s exposure and ranking on sites like Google Shopping, Amazon, and such.
SEO is a continuous process and is consistently evolving. It has to be done keeping many factors in mind, like the type of SEO to be practised, business, industry, target audience, competition, and much more. There are several aspects to planning your SEO strategy, which you should plan and prepare for.
Your SEO strategy has to be data-driven and research-based and must be implemented with actionable plans and clear objectives.
More SEO Resources
Want to gain more insight into what SEO is, what it can do for you, how the SEO experts will work with you, and why it is the need of the hour for your business?
If you want to gain the most from advanced, in-depth, data-driven, and agile SEO strategies, eSearch Logix can help.
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We have a team of SEO professionals, content creators, and research analysts who know how to create a successful channel for driving the digital growth of a business. Our approach is custom-tailored with respect to each of our clients, crafting strategies and methods that best deliver the results and beyond that.
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