Search engine optimization (SEO) first originated in 1991 when the world’s first website- CERN was launched. In a very short time, many websites took over and started crowding the internet. In turn, there was a massive need for website structuring and accessibility which gave the world’s its first search engine.
By 1993, several brands such as Yahoo, Alta Vista, Lycos, LookSmart, Excite etc. came into existence and revolutionized data classification.
It was only in 1996, the concept of SEO came to play when the co-founders of Google- Sergey Brin and Larry Page formed BackRub- the most familiar prime search engine. BackRub became a part of Google in 1997 and got registered to its domain.
Previously, marketers used leverage keyword stuffing, hacking approaches and spammy links to rank up in search results. Eventually, Google sorted out an opportunity to modify and trend-set search engines through complex algorithms, relevant + up-to-date content and strategies that reward quality searches. Since then, thousands of adjustments were made, hundreds of algorithms were tuned to make SEO the sophisticated feature it is today.
Today, digital marketers are constantly using unique & alternative SEO strategies to optimize their content, increase a brand’s organic (non-paid) reach and prepare for future endeavours. The greatest way to prepare for SEO future is to
- Use ethical optimization techniques
- Issue content that holds real-time value for your audience
- Target quality over quantity
It is common for all of us to have come across the term SEO in our daily life. And, in this blog, I will give you an in-depth idea about SEO and how important it is in digital and content marketing.
SEO (search engine optimization)
SEO or search engine optimization is the process of growing organic reach on SERP or search engine result page. SEO helps in optimizing a website for qualitative and quantitative purposes to bring organic (non-paid) traffic to the brand- thereby, increasing brand awareness. In order to get higher ranking in search results, one must resort to SEO all possible SEO techniques.
There are instances where websites get poor organic reach. The main reasons being-
- Poor choice of keywords
- Low performance of backlinks and interlinks
- Slow page loading
- Competitors have better content
- Poor user experience
- Websites that are de-indexed
To rank high on the SERP, you need to understand how search engines work. In this article, I will tell you about:
- Google ranks websites
- Different types of SEO
- Various SEO techniques to improve web ranking
Types of SEO practice
Black Hat SEO practice: Black hat SEO practice defies the search engines’ terms and conditions. It increases a page’s ranking temporarily but there are risks of getting banned from affiliate sites or search engines Black hat SEO techniques include:
- Creating landing pages, articles, or site with identical content
- Keyword Stuffing
- Link Manipulation
Caution! Black hat SEO can give you short-term success and a momentary spike in your website traffic. But, with each passing day, Google penalties are becoming more strict and it can have devastating outcomes both on your ranking and web traffic.
White Hat SEO practice: SEO tactics that agree with the SEO terms of services are known as White Hat SEO. White hat SEO practice includes:
- Mobile-friendly website
- Original quality content and services
- Clear and simple keyword-rich meta tags
Fact: White hat SEO improves a page’s search rankings on a SERP permanently.
Types of SEO
To rank for a specific keyword on Google, one must take help of SEO practices. There are two approaches to this:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
On-page SEO: On-page SEO is the method of optimizing website elements by improving certain elements which one can regulate as an end-user. on-page SEO comprises of several elements
- 1st, you should ideate and understand the necessity of a particular keyword that will help you rank in the SERP.
- 2nd, do thorough keyword research by carefully choosing the primary and secondary keywords
- 3rd, Build your meta title, tags & description, and content around the selected keywords. How to pick the primary keyword? Research it by using the following parameters
- Search volume
Fact: You can use keyword research tools like
- Google Keyword Planner
- Adword & SEO Keyword Permutation
- 4th, after choosing the keywords, you can start optimizing your pages using those keywords.
- The title tag is a header title component representing the summary of a website’s content on SERP.
- Title tags impacts and influences CTR (click-through rates)
- For on-page SEO, Title Tag is the most significant factor.
- Search engines display the 1st 50–60 characters of a title tag.
- A brief description that summarizes the webpage content and displays it on a search engine page result is known as a meta description.
- Meta descriptions give the users a better understanding of webpage content compared to title tags.
- Meta description influences click-through rates.
- Uniform Resource Locator or URL is one of the best practices to obtain SEO-friendly URLs,
- It helps a user to understand the webpage’s ‘what-and-where’.
- Poor URL structure negatively impacts the SEO reach of a website and can result in a lower ranking in SERP.
- Header tags support in identifying the headers and subheaders of particular content.
- Hierarchy of header tags is from (heading 1) to H6 (heading 6).
- H1 is the main heading
- H2 tag is a subheading of H1 and so on.
- Header tags make it easy for search engines to read and understand the content better
- Internal links connect web pages on a specific website.
- Internal links allow users to navigate through that website
- They are convenient for spreading link equity by passing value from one website to another
NLP or Natural Language Processing is used by search engines to crawl a website for content and keywords identification. The quality of the keyword content allows us to optimize it for relevant keywords and rank.
For example, A website about ice cream with a single keyword “ice cream” in it will have a low search ranking for this keyword. One should add related keywords or LSI Keywords such as ice cream flavours, types of ice creams, today’s special ice cream to get higher ranking in search results. You can easily get the the LSI Keywords from LSI keyword genrator tool like LSI Graph
- Sitemaps organize a website to familiarize users and developers with the structure of the website.
- There are two types of sitemaps:
- Designed for humans- HTML
- Designed for crawlers- XML
Hope this gives you a proper understanding of on-page SEO. Moving on, let us discuss off-page SEO
Off-page SEO helps in improving and fast-tracking your search engine page rank. Off-page SEO strengthens the reliability of a website, builds domain authority and credibility of a page. It has the benefits of
- Increase in traffic
- Optimum page rank
- Building brand awareness
Off-page SEO is connected through link building. What is link building? Link building (also called external link building) involves obtaining hyperlinks from different websites to one’s webpage(s).
- Content is the key element behind link building
- High-quality content is the main SEO strategy that enables different sites to link back to your site.
SEO Tips for link building:
- High-quality content that is original, well-organized, and easy to read/understand
- Off-site engagement – Engage with smaller websites, look for relevant content, share common/relevant posts through social media and collaborate with bloggers.
SEO Tools to live by
|Google Keyword Planner||Allows users to research and analyze keywords with their search volumes.|
|Google Search Console||Lets you monitor and report on your website’s presence in Google SERP|
|SEMrush||Designed for managing domain’s position in search, keyword ranking and other related aspects that generate more traffic.|
|Screaming Frog||It crawls through your whole website and creates a list of all your internal pages|
|Woorank||allows website marketers evaluate the SEO-friendliness based on 50 criteria free of charge|
|Ahrefs||A well-known tool set for backlinks and SEO analysis|
|Open Site Explorer||An optimization tool that is a search engine for links. It helps to track the links leading to their website.|
|ALPS simulation||Streamlines SEO initiatives and precise recommendations before you start marketing- powered by ML and pattern algorithms.|
|Advance Web Ranking||It focuses on tracking, managing and reporting of sites on search engines|
SEO Tips: Dos & Don’ts
|A white hat SEO technique is a must||Do not use black hat SEO techniques. Like using random keywords and stuffing that into the content.|
|Backlink your page from relevant sites with high-quality content||Never backlink to unrelated sites|
|Use keywords title tags. Create a unique title tag for several web pages||Duplicating the same title tags will affect the page rank results|
|Develop engaging content for better user experience||Never plagiarize content|
|Do an exhaustive keyword research- KW search volume and competition||Do not keyword stuff your content. Google will pick up on it|
|Build internal links to your website naturally||Do not build sitewide backlinks|
|Be patient because it takes time to rank your content||Avoid black hat SEO techniques even if you’re stressing|
|Make your website user-friendly and responsive across multiple devices||Don’t make your website just desktop friendly, remember, most users are on their mobiles|
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is SEO the same as SEM? No, SEO is a subcategory of SEM. Both SEO and SEM are vital components of all effective digital marketing campaigns. While SEO is a naturally organic process, SEM pays search engine advertising to target niche demographics.
What is the function of Google in Ranking Websites? Depending upon one’s web page and that of a competitor, a particular keyword decides the search ranking of a webpage. Following the best practices will outrank your website against every other competitor web page and get you to rank on top for those keywords.
Google follows a 3 step plan to rank a website.
- Crawling: Search engines have bots or spiders that scans a website, replicates the entire website’s content, and stores it in the search engine’s index.
- Indexing: Indexing is the process of adding web pages into Google search results. If a website does not have a search engine’s index, it is invisible to the world.
- Ranking: When we type something in Google, the most appropriate website (from the index) appears in the search result page. These search results are generated using user location, language, online behaviours, etc.
The most important factors necessary for Google ranking are
- UE (user experience)
- Language and location.
If you want your website to stand out in the sea of oodles, you should start planning your SEO strategy. Now is the time to join an advanced digital marketing course will help you transform into an industry-ready SEO buff. Master SEO elements such as organic traffic growth, keyword planning, content management and research, link building, on-page and off-page optimization, SEO analytics, SEO tools and more.