SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. A search engine is a tool used to search for information on the internet. The information can be about anything of interest to a person or organization. Search Engines are used to locate businesses understand the meaning of words, topics, subjects, and anything that one can imagine. The most popular search engine globally is Google which has a market share of 70 percent in the global search engine search volume. Other relevant search engines are Bing (13℅) from Microsoft and Baidu (12.5℅), popular in China. Search Engine Optimisation is the process of making a website Search Engine friendly so that it ranks higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). SEO of websites is highly desirable for every business because, in today’s time, people and organizations search for suppliers and vendors through the use of Search Engines. Search Engine Optimisation helps companies to gain more attention from potential clients and customers.
Search Engines use specific parameters to gauge the relevance of a website to the search query. A carefully crafted SEO strategy includes the use of onsite and offsite SEO tactics to target customers. Onsite parameters include the use of well-written content, creative keywords, maintaining keyword density on web pages and posts, length of the written content on blogs, images, alt tags for images, website design, metadata, title tags, optimized website speed, mobile and tablet compatibility, XML sitemap and landing pages to promote the website on Google and other search engines. The authority of the websites’ domain is also essential.
Offsite SEO parameters include the use of quality backlinks and social media marketing. It may also involve registration with online directories and yellow pages. It is possible to manipulate these onsite and offsite factors to make a website rank higher on the search engine results page, resulting in increased website views to potential clients and customers. Search Engines give different weightage for each parameter of Search Engine Optimisation. Search engines’ formula to identify the most relevant websites is called an algorithm. The cost of optimizing a website for SEO is much less than the cost of Paid Listings ( Search Engine Marketing).
What is the first step in optimizing a website for SEO?
The first step in optimizing a website for SEO is keyword research. Search Engines rely heavily on keywords to identify the most relevant websites for a search query. Keyword research is done using online tools. Many software is available for keyword research which accepts a word or phrase as input and provides information about related keywords which people use to search that word or search query. It also provides details about how many people search the various keywords in a day within a country or location.
Digital marketers can use knowledge about such keywords to integrate them into the webpage or blog to attract the attention of search engines. The appropriate density and positioning of the keywords are to be maintained to get the best results. Website Pages and Blogs are written in a way that search engines index them and showcase them to readers who search the particular keyword.
Other SEO Factors
- Along with the right keywords and their density, a blog must have the appropriate length. Search Engines prefer those blogs which provide detailed and up-to-date information about the keyword.
- The title of the blog, the tags or metadata of the blog, the images associated with the blog go on to tell the search engine the relevance of the information on the blog to a search query. The metadata or tags, in particular, communicate with the search engine and share insights about the information posted on the blog.
- Search Engines also prefer websites and blogs which are mobile and tablet compatible.
- The coding used on the website should allow for a quick download of the website on laptops and mobile devices. If the website takes too long to load then it is ranked lower on search engines.
- The structure and path of navigation of the website are also to be shared with search engines through a sitemap. Search engines send their bots across the web and the internet scouting for information stored on them. They index the web pages and save them in their memory. As and when a search query results, they present the most relevant websites in front of the searcher. It may take several months for all the pages on a website to be indexed by a search engine. The probability of a webpage ranking higher on search engines increases if it has been indexed by the search engine.
- Search engines also check the age of the website domain, the number of visitors to the website, the location of the web host, the number of backlinks to the webpage, registration of the website on online directories and yellow pages, etc while ranking the website on SERPs. A Backlink refers to a link on a third-party website that directs to your webpage.
- Promotion of blogs and web pages on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc, and frequency of blogs posted on the website also plays a role in determining its relevance to search engines.
Proper keyword research is at the heart of a good SEO strategy. Nevertheless, the other factors are important and should not be ignored. Search Engine Optimisation is a specialized field, and businesses should consult a digital marketing agency or hire a digital marketing team to make the best use of SEO and avoid wastages of resources.
Also, check this list of the best SEO podcasts.