Search engine optimization, or SEO, improves the visibility and positioning of websites in organic search results. Since organic search is the most popular method of discovering and accessing online content, an effective SEO strategy is essential to improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.
Why is SEO important?
To understand SEO’s value, we must break it down into three parts:
- Organic search results: An unpaid listing that a search engine determines is most relevant to the user’s query in a search engine results page (SERP). PPC ads (pay-per-clicks) account for a significant portion of many SERPs. Search engines won’t rank your page higher if you pay for it.
- Quality of organic traffic: How relevant your website’s content is to the user and their search query. Your site is OK with how many visitors you get. If those visitors come because Google tells them you’re an Apple computer resource when you’re an Apple farmer, you must convert those visitors. Search engine optimization capitalizes on the search engine’s efforts to match the web pages a user searches for with their search intent.
- Quantity of organic traffic: Search engine results that organically direct users to your site. To rank your relevant pages as high as possible, you must use your SEO strategy to rank them near the top of the SERP. A higher quality of visitors to your site will result in a higher conversion rate.
This presentation on SEO basics and value can be adapted, personalized and shared with clients or company stakeholders to help them learn about search marketing.
How does SEO work?
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Taking a broader view of SEO, let’s examine it in more detail. A combination of factors is really what makes SEO work:
- People: Responsible for completing strategic, tactical and operational SEO work.
- Processes: Make the work more efficient by taking the following actions.
- Technology: Platforms and tools that were used.
- Activities: This is what is produced at the end.
SEO relies on many factors. The following will examine the most critical elements of knowledge and process.
The following six areas are critical to SEO’s success:
1. Understanding how search engines work.
But, you need to understand how search engines work if you want people to find your business via search – on any platform – and then ensure you provide all the right “signals” to influence that visibility. There are four stages of the investigation when it comes to traditional web search engines like Google:
- Crawling: The crawlers of search engines follow links and use sitemaps to discover pages on the web.
- Indexing: A search engine adds your website’s content and metadata to a database (though not all pages will be indexed).
- Ranking: To determine whether a page is relevant and suitable for showing when a searcher enters a query, complex algorithms consider a variety of signals.
There is a difference between optimizing for Google search and searching on other platforms, like YouTube or Amazon. In addition, Twitter signals like recency, interactions, and author credibility are crucial. Moreover, search engines have added machine learning to their algorithms to surface content – making it even harder to say whether “this” or “that” improved performance.
A key component of SEO is research. SEO performance can be improved through the following types of analysis:
- Audience research: It’s essential to know your target market or audience. Their demographics and psychographics (i.e., who they are)? Are there any pain points they are experiencing? Are there any questions they have that you can answer?
- Keyword research: This process aims to identify relevant and valuable search terms people use on your pages and understand how much demand there is and how competitive it is to rank for those terms.
- Competitor research: Do you know what your competitors are doing? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What types of content do they publish?
- Brand/business/client research: SEO can help them achieve their goals – but what are their goals?
- Website research: There are a variety of SEO audits that can uncover opportunities and issues that may be hindering organic search success. Some audits include technical SEO, content, link profiles, and E-E-A-T.
- SERP analysis: Understanding a query’s intent allows you to create content that is likely to rank (e.g., commercial, transactional, informative or navigational).
Your SEO strategy is your long-term action plan. Setting goals and having a plan for achieving them is essential. Your SEO strategy can be thought of as a roadmap. Your path will likely change and evolve – but the destination should remain the same.
There are many things you can include in your SEO plan, such as:
- Establishing goals (e.g., OKRs, SMART) and expectations (e.g., timelines and milestones).
- Setting meaningful KPIs and metrics and aligning them.
- Interacting with internal and external stakeholders and coordinating their efforts.
- Technology/tool selection and implementation.
- Establishing a team, training them, and structuring them.
- A budget should be set.
- Reporting on results and measuring them.
- Documentation of the process and strategy is essential.
4. Creating and implementing
To turn ideas into action, all the research needs to be done. Therefore, we can say:
- Creating new content: Guiding what content needs to be made for your website.
- Enhancing existing pages or recommending changes: Content can be further optimized by updating and improving it, adding internal links, incorporating keywords/topics/entities, etc.
- Remove old, outdated, or low-quality content: Content that needs to be ranked better, driving converting traffic, or assisting with SEO.
5. Monitoring and maintaining
If something breaks on your website, you need to know about it immediately. The importance of monitoring cannot be overstated. If you notice that traffic drops at a critical page, that your pages become slow or unresponsive, that your site goes offline, that links break, or that any other problem occurs, you should act immediately.
6. Analyzing, assessing and reporting on performance
It is only possible to improve SEO by measuring it. If you want to make SEO decisions based on data, you’ll need to use the following:
- Website analytics: To gather performance data, you should set up and use tools (at least free ones such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Bing Webmaster Tools).
- Tools and platforms: It is also possible to use only selected SEO tools to track performance on specific tasks instead of using many “all-in-one” platforms (or suites). Alternatively, if tools on the market need to meet your needs, you can make your own if you have the resources.
It is possible to create accounts manually or with the help of software.
SEO ranking factors on Google
What are those requirements? How does quality, targeted, EAT-friendly, and SEO-optimized content differ? Although there are hundreds of Google ranking factors, and Google is constantly evolving and refining its algorithm to ensure the best experience, there are 12 that should be prioritized.
This is the list of the top Google ranking factors and their weighting, according to FirstPageSage:
1. High-quality content is consistently published (26%)
2. Keywords in meta title (17%)
3. Backlinks (15%)
4. Niche expertise (13%)
5. User engagement (11%)
6. Internal links (5%)
7. Mobile-friendly/mobile-first (5%)
8. Page speed (2%)
9. Site security/SSL certificate (2%)
10. Schema markup/structured data (1%)
11. Keywords in URL (1%)
12. Keywords in H1 (1%)
However, the factors at the bottom of this list are correct. However, since at least 200 Google ranking factors, which leaves 189 “other” factors contributing to that 1%, factors like keywords in URLs, which make up 1% on their own, are not so small.
Best SEO Examples
The SEO strategy for your business can be implemented in various ways, as mentioned above. You can use the examples below to inspire your processes to see how this works.
To create a successful SEO strategy, you should consider the following:
Writing compelling meta descriptions.
Meta descriptions appear in search results below titles and links. Illustrations provide information about the page’s content to the person searching so they know what to expect. In this meta description, Google knows exactly what the page contains, helping your content surface in the right search results and helping your audience understand precisely what they’re about to read.
Getting content backlinks and inbound links.
When another website links back to your website or blog content, this is called a backlink. Backlinks help you rank higher in search engine results pages by demonstrating that your content is authoritative and relevant. Here is an example of a blog post from Kicksta that links back to a HubSpot post. More Information
Optimizing your site pages for page speed.
If someone visits a specific page on your website, they can see how quickly your website loads its content. In 2018, Google began factoring page speed into SERP rankings, so it’s important to remember this when executing your strategy.
Local SEO aims to improve your business’s search engine visibility in your local area. Let your local customers know you are there to meet their needs by engaging in an effective regional SEO strategy. Below is an example of a SERP result for “best restaurants in Brooklyn.” Each of the three businesses has an optimized Google My Business profile that contains information that assists it in ranking in results.
Top SEO tools
SEO relies on many tools and software as a reasonably technical discipline to optimize websites. Some of the most commonly used free and paid tools are listed below:
- Google Search Console – As part of the SEO toolkit, Google Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster Tools) is a free tool provided by Google.
- Google Ads Keyword Planner – Keyword Planner is a free tool for Google Ads. Despite being designed for paid search, this tool can also be helpful for SEO since it allows for keyword suggestions and search volumes, which are useful for keyword research.
- Backlink analysis tools – Several link analysis tools, including AHREFs and Majestic, are available. It is possible to analyze the backlinks to their website or competitors’ websites using backlink analysis tools.
- SEO platforms – Several different SEO platforms offer many of the tools SEO needs to optimize a site. In addition to Siteimprove, Moz, BrightEdge, Searchmetrics and Linkdex, some of the most popular are Moz, BrightEdge, and Searchmetrics. Among the many tasks they help with are tracking keyword rankings, conducting keyword research, identifying on-page and off-page SEO opportunities, and identifying on-page and off-page SEO opportunities.
- Social media – In most cases, social media sites have no direct effect on SEO.