Many beginners start by asking “What is SEO” or “Why is SEO important”, So
What is SEO?
As defined by MOZ,
“SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”.
Undoubtedly, the global search market is dominated by just one search engine- Google. As of 2019, Google accounts for about 92.04% of all daily web search while Microsoft’s Bing has 2.39 and 2.56% belongs to Yahoo.
Here are some fascinating Google search stats
According to SearchEngineLand, 63 million searches are performed every second on Google. That gives you 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per day and about 2 trillion searches per year. Isn’t that mind-blowing?
How Does Search Engines Work?
Crawling is referred to as the discovery process in which the search engines scour the internet for content looking over links to find URLs and hopping from one URL to the next. By continuing this process, and indexing the content that is storing the content and saving its URL to be retrieved later on and displayed, depending on the query.
A complex algorithm determines the order in which search results are returned. This algorithm considers well over 200 search ranking factors to determine which position each page will serve.
Search engines such as Google consider a number of ranking factors and makes use of a combination of Google algorithms to deliver webpages according to their relevance and authority on SERPs.
Now, what will be displayed on which particular position on which page number matters a great deal. This is because most people tend to click on the first few search results that show up mainly because they have come to believe and trust the search results to list the most relevant, credible, high-quality pages on the top of the first page and also because they are short of time.
You be the judge of this. Have you ever visited the fifth page of search results, if yes, how many times? Not many, we bet!
Why is SEO Important?
- A major slice of organic traffic goes to top result pages. Here are key stats to keep in mind:
- 32.5 percent: The average traffic share the first Google organic search result gets. (Chitika)
- 91.5 percent: The average traffic share generated by the sites listed on the first Google search results page. (Chitika)
- 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.
Basically, SEO is a way to improve your website so your pages appear closer to top positions in search results of search engines.
Also, SEO is key to improving user experience on the web.
When you achieve top ranking, your content will enjoy great visibility and will be easily promoted on social media
SEO gives you an edge above your competition.
The huge traffic will lead to higher conversion and high growth for your business.
This shows that appearing in the top search results for any search term is highly rewarding and should be the goal of an individual or organization investing in SEO.
There is even a funny joke that says that the best place to hide anything on the web is on the second page of search results because most people don’t go past the first page.
To be clear, achieving top page ranking takes time and can be very difficult especially in very competitive markets.
Here is another set of key stats to highlight the importance of SEO:
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
- 61% of internet users do research on a product online before making a purchase.
- 47% of consumers view 3-5 pieces of content created by a company before talking to a salesman from that company.
- SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads
- SEO has a 14.6% conversion rate compared to 1.7% for traditional outbound methods such as cold-calling or direct mail
- SEO content on your website can help you grow 7.8 times faster than your competitors who are not optimizing for search engines
Clearly, these stats highlight the importance of SEO. By optimizing your online presence, your business can enjoy better search visibility and brand awareness.
1. On-page SEO
As clearly defined by MOZ
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals.
Google’s sole purpose is to serve its users with the best possible answers to their search query. And so the best way to attract and keep readers/ users on your website is to create high-quality content that is authentic, in-depth, relevant, engaging, unique, and linkable. It is as simple as that. Well, it not as simple as it sounds.
The first major step to create 10 X content is to conduct keyword research on that topic. While conducting keyword research, it is very important that you consider the search intent, that is the underlying reason the user is searching for that query. That way you will be able to generate keywords and tailor your content in a logical way that answers the user’s question.
Here is a simple on page SEO guide:
- Use one H1 tag in your post. TheH1 tag is reserved for post titles which signal to search engines what your content is all about.
- The next step is to develop sub-topics that are related to the main topic. In the sub-topics, you can use H2 or H3 tags for the sub-topics.
- Use words and phrases that are used by people when they are searching for your products or service.
While SEO posts have only one main topic, SEO posts can rank for one thousand keywords. The best way to optimize your content to rank high for other related keywords is to include variations of the main keywords in the sub-topic and the body of our content and even in the meta descriptions.
Ultimately it is all about creating content that shows Expertise, Authority, Trust and enhances the user’s experience.
SEO MISTAKE TO AVOID: Avoid keyword stuffing, that is the overuse of your keywords to manipulate a site’s ranking search results.
Also, Remember you are writing for human beings and not robots. So, you should write in a simple language that is as natural as possible.
2. Off-Page SEO
As explained by Screaming Frog
Offsite SEO refers to activities carried outside of a website to improve organic visibility. This is often referred to as ‘link building’, which aims to increase the number of reputable links from other websites, as search engines use them as a vote of trust.
Why is Off Page SEO Important
When people search for a query, the Google algorithm determines which are content that satisfies the intent of the search. The order in which the results are ranked is highly dependent on the number of backlinks that each page has. So the higher the number of backlinks the higher the page ranking.
It is also important to note that all links are not equal. Link from popular trusted websites with high domain and page authority have more impact than links from domains with low domain and page authority. So, you should focus on getting more backlinks from well known high ranking domains in your niche.
Link building is the practice of promoting your website to other website owners with the primary goal of securing a link (hyperlink) on their site to your page. Link building efforts like guest blogging can very very effective way to build links. Content marketing on social media has also shown to be a good avenue for link building.
3. Technical SEO
This is one aspect of SEO that many people do not really really understand. In simple terms, technical SEO relates to every other aspect of SEO asides from the content and link building. You can think of it as concerning how your website is configured to ensure that your content is crawlable and can be indexed. Here are the main aspects that are covered under technical SEO
- Website Structure
- Link Structure
- Meta Tags
- Usability & Friendliness
- Image Optimization
- Site Speed
4. Local SEO
According to HOTH
Local SEO is the optimization of your online properties so you can be found in localized searches.
The importance of local SEO can never be over-emphasized.
Just take a look at these 2019 Google Local Search Statistics:
- 88% of consumer local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. (Nectafy)
- 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information.
- 97% searched online to find a local business (Source: Hubspot)
Many businesses think that local SEO is just all about listing on business directories and Google My Businesses and Google Map0. There is more. Just think of how you search for businesses or services around you. You geotarget keywords with terms like “near me” or Say Restaurants in Las Vegas Nevada.
Local SEO optimization goes beyond business listings. It involves optimizing your content for local search. This involves creating content specifically targeting local keywords.
Clearly, Search engine optimization is a very important marketing avenue for businesses. For small businesses with a low marketing budget, SEO can provide with the platform to compete against much larger companies. SEO cost less over the long run and certainly can yield massive returns.