Before you look into what is Search Engine Optimization? I want you to understand the capability and importance of SEO.
Most of the people rely on the search engine to browse internet and majority of online traffic will be driven by the search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc).
According to the survey, the web pages which holds first 3 positions in SERP’s (Search Engine Result Page’s) will tends to have overall 95% of organic traffic for the query searched in the search engine.
Let’s look into this scenario:
I wanted to give my business some online presence so I created a website where I sell shoes. The website looked awesome with stunning layout design, creative features, and brief descriptive content about the product.
I’m all set to make my digital footmark.
The website was ranking at 16th position for the query “Red Puma Shoes” and 14th position for the query “Reebok Sports Shoes” in SERP. I had been 4 months and didn’t get a single order [It was Frustrating!].
Then I noticed that the website which was ranking in 1st position was getting 3000+ orders per day. Although it was not having an attractive layout, cool features or descriptive product details.
Later I realized that creating a website is not enough to have a solid online presence. Along with that, we need to optimize the website according to search engine standards and guidelines.
Most internet user does not browse past the first page of the search result and higher the webpage can rank for a given keyword or phrase then the better its chances of bringing in the new customers.
We’re going very deep into SEO and list of the topic we will be looking in this article about Search Engine Optimization are:
- What is Search Engine
- What is SEO
- How SEO Works
- Indexing and Crawling
- White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO
- Types of Search
- Keyword Research
- ON Page SEO
- OFF Page SEO
What is Search Engine
The most important thing is to understand the mechanism of Search Engine before start optimizing the website. Search Engine is a software system that allows internet users to search for information on the World Wide Web (WWW).
Some of the popular search engines and it’s (ET/m) estimated traffic per month are mentioned below:
- Google.com (ET/m – 44.8 Billion)
- Yahoo.com (ET/m – 4.59 Billion)
- Bing.com (ET/m – 1.2 Billion)
- Duckduckgo.com (ET/m – 487 Million)
- Aol.com (ET/m – 234 Million)
- Ask.com (ET/m – 198 Million)
- Baidu.com (ET/m – 10.9 Billion)
- Yandex.com (ET/m – 3.1 Billion)
When a user enters a query into the search engine and receives a list of mined web content in the form of websites, images, videos or other online data. These search results returned by the search engine to a user is often referred to as Search Engine Result Pages [SERP’s].
When people search for information online in the search box, then the search engine make sure that it returns the best-searched results. The fundamental goal of a search engine is to serve the perfect results to the query searched by the people.
Search engine documents everything about the website and tracks the web pages by running an algorithm. Along with that it also analyses how the user is interacting on the SERP’s. The primary role of a search engine is to ensure that the people should be satisfied with given search results for the query they have been searched.
What is SEO
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. The first presence of SEO came into existence in the year 1990’s when people started to submit the particular sites to search engine.
According to Wikipedia: Search Engine Optimization is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results.
SEO is described as the process used to boost a webpage ranking when it is searched for on an Internet Search Engine i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. SEO can be implemented on a variety of online content, images, videos, voice search, mobile application etc.
SEO is not an open book where you can read and start implementing on your website. Search engine firm will never reveal how they decide the ranking in SERP and signals used for ranking web pages in SERP will be changing all the time. Besides most of the things that people know about SEO is by making predictions or by analysing the results on SERP.
How SEO Works
Everyone who works on a website wants to know how SEO works and how search engine decide the page rank?
Search Engine is just a website where people visit to type a query in a search box and Google, Bing, Yahoo or whatever search engine you are using will replies with a list of links to web pages that could potentially have the answer for the searched query.
To completely understand how the search engine determines which web pages to return in response to what people search for and what’s the mystery hidden underneath it? First, you need to think like a Search Engine and understand how search engine algorithm works.
Here’s an example which helps you understand clearly:
Consider there is a cake shop which was managed by a man named Google and ten customers came in search of a cake. So Google has 4 types of cake which were made by 4 different chiefs.
Seven customers liked the chocolate cake, two customers liked the pineapple cake and one customer liked the vanilla cake. So Google came to know that the quality of chocolate cake is really good and the majority of people liked it. So Google gave more importance or first priority to chocolate cake and second priority to pineapple cake.
In case of search engine instead of a person, the algorithms will take care of making these decisions like which webpage has more quality attributes and satisfying answer for the searched query.
In the above example, there was only one decision need to be made. But when it comes to SEO there are more than 200+ ranking factors which will be considered by the search engine for ranking any particular webpage on SERP’s.
These mysteries algorithms used by a search engine are nothing but a set of computer codes which check how many ranking factors have been implemented on a webpage. The webpage which has more optimized SEO ranking factors will be given higher ranking in SERP’s.
Indexing and Crawling
When you create a new website or page, then it needs to be indexed by search engine so that your site content appears in SERP’s. Search Engine crawlers will collect information from billions of web pages and arrange it in search index as per content relevance.
Search engine bots crawl the sitemap provided by the website owners and links of indexed pages to discover new pages on the web. They also pay close attention to website activities and changes to determine how often to crawl a particular page of your site.
Rank position of pages on SERP’s will be fluctuating, one day your site webpage will be in 1st position and the following day it might be in 20th position. When search engine crawlers detect new and updated pages, it modifies the ranking position of indexed web pages by analysis both ON Page and OFF Page SEO Ranking Factors.
To check whether your site page is indexed by search engine, you can do a web search in the given format “site:domain.com/page_name/”.
White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO
There is two way to implement Search Engine Optimization. The word which goes along with SEO is patience. If you have patience and looking for the long lasting result then White Hat SEO will be the best way to optimize the website.
Some impatience people who want to get the quick result will end by implementing Black Hat SEO. You will get the good result from Black Hat SEO but believe me, it won’t last for long. Black Hat SEO practise will end up getting your website penalised and that’s the last thing you wish for in SEO.
There are a set of rules and regulations which will be implanted by a search engine. White Hat SEO is applicable only when you follow SEO standards and guidelines while optimizing your website.
There are many ways to break the rules and fool search engine to rank your website higher in SERP. These Black Hat SEO approach will result in spanning and crappy pages that often get banned very fast.
This is how to identify Black Hat and White Hat Strategies:
Black Hat SEO Strategies
- Duplicate or Plagiarized Content
- Invisible links and text
- Keyword Stuffing
- Clocking and Redirecting user to another site or page
- Links from the site with non-relevant content
White Hat SEO Strategies
- Relevant Content
- Proper use of keyword
- Relevant links and reference
- Complete sentence with good spelling and grammar
- Genuine Backlinks
- Unique and Unplagiarized content
- Labelled Images
- Standard and Compliant HTML
- Unique and relevant page titles
There’s actually one more strategy which exists in the middle of “White Hat and Black Hat”.
Gray Hat SEO
As the name specifies it is a combination of White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO strategies. Gray Hat SEO is not as pure or innocent as White Hat and also not as manipulative as Black Hat.
If you are planning to use Gray Hat SEO strategies then you should know how to balance between White Hat and Black Hat. Gray Hat SEO is not that bad but the probability of occurrence of a problem still exists. Many of your competitors will do whatever they can to reach the top of SERP’s.
I am just shining some light here but in the end, you are one who needs to decide which path you’re going to take to optimize your website.
Types of Search Results
When it comes to the search engine there are 4 types of searches exist. Each type of search will carry a distinct range of value for a website.
- Organic Search: Search Engine Optimization will affect only organic search. When a user searches for a query in search engine, then the results which are displayed on SERP’s are known as the organic search result. So in an organic search result, your website page rank will depend on how well you optimize your website.
- Inorganic Search: Paid marketing will result in Inorganic search. These inorganic search results will appear above the organic search result in SERP. You need to pay the specified amount of money for a particular keyword to rank about the organic search result. For Inorganic Search, you need to investing money so that your website will be placed on top of SERP. If this strategy sounds interesting then feel free to dive into SEM – Search Engine Marketing.
- Direct Search: As the name itself states, when you directly visit the website without using any search engine platform. A large number of direct searches can be achieved if you had solid brand awareness and great online reputation in the market.
- Referral Search: When people visit your website from outside source such as social media, Email, other websites having your site link. Optimizing your OFF Page SEO ranking signals will improve the referral search results.
Choosing the right keyword that is related to your website is the very important part of SEO. Identifying the query people search in search engine which is related to your site content is known as the targeted keyword.
Some of the common factors which need to be considered in keyword research are Search Volume, Relevance, Keyword Trend and Competitors.
- Search Volume: First thing you need to check is how many people are actually searching for a given keyword in search engine. The higher the search volume will result is bigger traffic you can get for that particular keyword.
- Relevance: Selecting a keyword that should be relevant to your niche. Sometimes a single keyword will result in multiple queries. For example “CAT”. CAT keyword is applicable for “Animal CAT”, “Common Admission Test” which is a management exam in India, “Caterpillar Inc.” which design and develop machinery. So if the targeted keyword is not relevant then you might end up getting the wrong audience.
- Keyword Trend: Some queries people search will be having high search volume for a particular set of a period. For example: “Winter Clothes” which will be mostly searched at winter season. “Entrance Examinations” which will have more search volume during the exam season.
- Competitors: Analysis the list of website which is targeting the given keyword. Understanding the relative competition is to consider the effort, potential costs and a likelihood of success for a particular targeted keyword.
Keywords are categorized into 3 types
1. Head Keyword: The keyword which has high search volume and the length of the keyword will be one or two words. For example “Shoes” is considered as the head keyword.
There will be lots of head keywords search query in the search engine and also there will be lots of competition. Millions of website will be indexed for head keyword and it’s hard to rank for the head keyword if you are new in the market.
To rank higher for the head keyword in SERP, you need have the top score in the most number of SEO ranking factors i.e. domain authority, backlinks, content quality, page rank, site speed, mobile optimization, etc.
2. Body Keyword: The search volume of body keyword will be a bit less compared to head keyword and the length of the most targeted keyword will be three to four words. For example “Black Shoes for Men” is considered as body keyword.
For most of the body keywords, the competitors will be somewhere around hundreds to thousands. Even though it won’t be that easy to rank higher in SERP but still, it’s doable.
With the right way of SEO practice, you can get the really good amount of organic traffic from body keywords.
3. Long Tail Keyword: The search volume will not be as big as head and body keywords and the length of the most keyword will be more than four words. For example “Black Puma Sports Shoes for Men” or “How to make a cake without egg”.
The long tail keyword will help you to target the right people and compared with head and body keywords the competitors will also be less. Long Tail Keywords is the best way to improve the online presence and to build brand awareness.
If you are new in the market or not getting much traffic, then optimizing the web pages by using long tail keyword is what I highly recommend. The search ratio will not be that big but something is better than nothing.
Choosing the right keyword is one the biggest decision you need to make in SEO. There are so many keyword research tools available which you can make use of for selecting right keywords.
These tools will help you to analyse and choose the targeted keyword for your website. If you need more help then feel free to dive deeper into how to do keyword research.
ON Page SEO
ON Page SEO is also known as ON-site SEO. Once you have the targeted keyword list, the next step is to optimize the website by implementing the targeted keyword in the site content.
Over the period of time, there had been lots of drastically changes in ON Page ranking signals to ensure better results on SERP. ON Page SEO is the practice of optimizing the elements on the website such as content, page title, heading tags, multimedia, page URL, HTML source code, links, many more.
Search Engine wants the user to be satisfied when they visit your webpage. To ensure that you need to have relevant content what they searched for. There are various search engine algorithms which are dealing with ON Page ranking factors.
Around 70% of SEO ranking factors will come under ON Page SEO. If your ON Page Optimization is really strong then you can see the boost in organic traffic and a rise in search appearance in SERP without much help from OFF Page SEO.
Firstly, you need to be up to date with all the latest ON Page SEO ranking factors to perform well in SERP and to target the right audience. On-Page SEO strategies is the one you need to spend more time learning, so you might want to take a look at ON Page SEO techniques.
OFF Page SEO
Around 30% of SEO ranking factors are covered by OFF page SEO. ON Page and OFF Page SEO are like two faces of the coin and both need to be given equal importance to perform well in SERP organic search results.
OFF Page SEO is the practice of optimizing and marketing outside the boundaries of your website. OFF Page SEO is not just related to link building, it goes beyond that.
Search Engines make use of Off Page SEO ranking factors and analyse how the world perceive the particular website. OFF Page SEO score tells how people and other websites think about your website.
OFF Page SEO strategies are the quickest way to boost your website ranking and domain authority. Social media signals, the total number of quality backlink, branding, referral and direct search results, etc. will all send signals to search engine about your website OFF Site presence.
ON page and OFF page will go hand in hand and both are important pieces of the puzzle. To achieve peak performance and to boost webpage ranking on SERP, you need to focus on OFF Page SEO Ranking Factors.
I hope this article gave you some insight about what is SEO and help you to understand the importance of search engine optimization.
The best way to learn Search Engine Optimization is by doing the experiment and analysis the behaviour of your website. You can refer to this link which contains a list of SEO Ranking Factors which you can make use for optimizing your website.
There are so many tools available which you can use for monitoring your site performance and you can make the required adjustment on your website by analysis the report.
Have patience and follow the right search engine optimization practice, you can see an awesome result in search engine result page and will have a tremendous boost in organic traffic. Comment Below “How your site is performing on SERP”.