What is SEO – Search Engine Optimization Explained

what is seo

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques come into play whenever you desire to deliver the best content to your readers on your website.

Basically, SEO provides the website owners a method to optimize their sites with the different search engines, mainly focusing on generating results the owners wish to have.

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In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about SEO, for instance, questions like “what is SEO,” “why is it important,” and “how does it work,”
and other frequently asked questions asked about SEO. So, without further wasting your time, let’s get on with our guide about SEO.

What is SEO

what is seo

SEO is an optimization technique used to get target traffic to a website through the Search Engine’s organic rankings. Some of the SEO techniques include creating high-quality content for the readers, using specific keywords in the text, and adding some building backlinks in the content.

Everything we do with SEO aims to improve website ranking in the search engine and get more organic (Non-paid) traffic. If we put this in simpler words, our actions make Google consider our site a good source of content.

Why SEO is Important

SEO is an online marketing strategy that can help your website get a higher ranking if set up correctly. Millions of people conduct billions of searches every year. So, if your website has higher visibility and ranking in the search result than your competitors, this can significantly impact your business.

As we know, users trust the results from a search engine, so having a top spot in the Search engine ranking can make you a credible source for the users. And of course, this higher ranking in result pages can help you get more traffic to your site.

One other factor why SEO is important is that it is cost-effective, and it can even help a site with a low budget rank higher than a website that spends huge bucks on paid website traffic.

SEO makes sure that people do not have to search for minutes to find the information they are looking for. Instead, it establishes a natural order that helps people find their desired information or product. Without SEO, that natural order would be missing.

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How Does SEO Work?

Now that you have gotten an idea of What is SEO? It is time that you learn how search engine optimization (SEO) works. So, here are different strategies that you have to follow to optimize the elements that search engines look for when they are ranking a website.

Keyword Search

The first thing in search engine optimization is to decide what you are optimizing for, meaning you have to identify the terms people are searching for; these are also called keywords. Generally, these keywords help you appear in the relevant search results and show your site in the top leads.

You should do a keyword search because the Search engine uses a keyword to decide the content relevance to search queries. To understand how keywords work, you must know how keywords are divided into two categories.

Short-tail Keywords

These are the keywords that are typically one word long, for example, SEO. The intent of these short-tail keywords is tough to determine, and they are very competitive as well.

Long-tail Keywords

On the other hand, long-tail keywords are longer key phrases and are majorly made of three to four words. For instance, What does SEO mean? These long-tail keywords are more beneficial to your site because they drive more traffic to your website than short-tail keywords.

We would advise you to focus more on the long-tail keywords if you want better results for your SEO campaign. But do remember one thing, do not use too many keywords as it may lead to keyword stuffing. This can hurt your site ranking and can also affect your page’s readability. So, make sure that you use keywords that can be fit naturally in your text.

On-Page SEO

Once you are done with the keyword search, the next thing to do is to embed those keywords into your website content. Here are a few of the most essential and basic on-page elements that you may want to understand, as they are the ones that drive traffic to your site.

Title Tags

The title tags are one of the most important places where you can add your keyword. Most people consider the title tag as the page headline, but the title tag is displayed on the top of your browser (it is the text on your browser tab) and the search result list.

If we talk about the length of the title tag, the perfect one is around 55 to 60 characters. Moreover, make sure that the title tag you are using is compelling because it is a thing that the searcher will see more often in your page’s search result.

Meta Description

The other thing along with your Title tag in your search listing headline is the Meta Description; it is placed below your title tag in the search engine. A meta description is an HTML element updated in your site’s code but can not be seen on your actual page.

If you have a compelling meta description, then it may let people click on your link and, as a result, increase your site’s traffic. However, sometimes your meta description may not show because Google decides what to show in the search result but if it does show, make sure you are writing a meta description with a keyword embedded in it.

Alt Text

An Alt text is a word or phrase attributed to a picture to make sure that it gets indexed, and search engines understand what it means because they can not see any images. These Alt texts can also be beneficial for the viewers who can not see pictures due to various reasons such as connective issues, files got deleted, and more.

To help you understand the concept, let’s take an example; if you use graphics or images in your article related to Gingerbread, you can save the Alt text for the graphics as “Gingerbread.”

URL Structure

In addition to the factors explained above, an organized URL structure is fundamental from the tracking point of view and a share ability standpoint. In cade, if you are wondering what an organized URL structure is, they are shorter, descriptive URLs that are very easy to copy, paste and can be mistakenly cut off less frequently.

If you do not have to change the URLs, don’t force them to change even if they are not organized and pretty. But if you do think you need to change your URL structure, make sure you are using a proper redirect. The most proper type is the 301 permanent redirect as it passes full link equity.

Internal Linking

One other important element in the on-page SEO is the interlining; it is the interlinking of related pages on your site. It helps the search engine crawl everything, but it also makes visitors stay longer on your website.

When you add internal links, ensure that you are adding the link in a relevant anchor text meaning the text or phrase must be relevant to the page you are going to link. If you are thinking of how many links to include in your text, then 1 to 3 internal links will do just fine.

Scheme and Markup

When you are done taking care of all the standard on-page optimization elements, now you can take one step further by helping search engines (who recognize schema) to understand your website’s page.

The Schema Markup will not help you get a higher rank in the search engine, but it will undoubtedly give your listing some additional real estate in the search result, just like the ad extensions does for your Google Ads. There are so many Schema markups, but some of them are given below;

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Off-Page SEO

As we know that the on-page SEO refers to the elements that you control on your site; on the other hand, off-page SEO includes the features that occur outside your website. For instance, these factors include backlinks from different websites, promotion techniques, and more. Here are some of the few factors that include in the off-page SEO

Backlinks

The vast amount and quality of backlinks that your website has are one of the most critical factors of off-page SEO because it helps you get more domain authority from Google and boost your search engine ranking to a great extent. You can get backlinks for a few bucks, but there are still organic approaches that you should know about.
Some of them are Guest blogging, finding people who will share your content, invite guests on a podcast, host different events, press releases, and more. You do have to remember while putting a backlink is the anchor text because most often, companies or websites have their names in the link, but you need to add a keyword in it. To ensure that the anchor text of the backlink must have a specific keyword.

Domain Authority

Domain Authority is a score (between 1 to 100) that tells you how authoritative your website is compare to others. In simpler words, If your site has a high domain authority, your site will rank higher in search engine rankings, while if your website has a low domain authority, it will rank near the bottom.

Domain Authority depends upon a few factors, such as how long since you have your domain name, the history of your domain name, backlinks on your website, and the last one is the amount of 404 page you have. If you want your site to have higher domain authority, you must improve these factors.

Social Promotions

Promoting your blog on social media sites can help you boost your website’s traffic and generate a tremendous amount of link shares. It is one of the most critical factors in off-page SEO, so try to handle this very delicately, and do not share too much on your social media accounts because your page can be flagged.

Local SEO

Appearance on different online review sites such as Yelp and Google My Business can help boost your local SEO because they mostly revolve around where you are. For example, if someone is looking for a product or services in your area, a local listing will show up. If you have a good SEO ranking, then there is a chance your product or services will appear on that listing.

Content Creation

The last element that affects your search engine ranking is how you create content because making quality content is one of the most significant parts of SEO. It helps search engines deliver good content to people’s queries. The more content you will make, the more chance you will appear in the search results.

The quantity does matter, but that does not mean you don’t have to work on the quality of your content. The best way to produce quality content is to research relevant keywords, check your competitor’s content, answer the queries quickly, use proper formatting (Fonts, headings, bullets, etc.). Most importantly, use correct grammar.

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How to Measure SEO Results

After you are done writing your SEO-based content and have followed all the elements/factors explained above, it is time you know how to measure the result and see whether it is working or not. Here are some of the primary metrics that you have to check to gauge the SEO results.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is the traffic your site gets directly through the search engine, and that is why it is one of the essential factors that tell your SEO performance. By looking at your organic traffic, you can determine the actual volume of people coming to your website. The proper way to measure organic traffic is the analytics tool, and Google Analytics is among the best because it is free.

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Keyword Ranking

Keyword ranking is another way of measuring the performance of your SEO efforts. One of the more straightforward ways to track the Google ranking of your specific keyword is to search it and see where your website ranks in the search engine; it must be on the first page because only 25 percent click on the first google search result.

SERP visibility

Google produces a search engine result page (SERP) for every search or query done by the people. The outcome of those searches includes organic results, Advertisements, SERP features(these are featured snippets, image packs, knowledge panels).

The Search Engine visibility tracks how many viewers have seen your site in the search result, and it can be affected by the authority of the SERP features. Still, usually, it gives the overall view of SEO progress. If you want to check the site’s visibility, you can with a Position Tracking Tool from the SEO toolkit.

CTR (Click-Through-Rate)

The CTR represents the percentage of people who have clicked on your site through the search engine result page.

For instance, if your website has a 20 percent CTR, your site has appeared on the SERP 200 times a week, and 20 people have clicked on it. If your site has a low CTR percentage, then do not worry; all you have to do is work on the Meta descriptions, titles, URLs, and Featured snippets related to your business.

If you are wondering how to review the CTR rate, you can open the Google Search Console and view the report of the average CTR of your site. Moreover, the report also shows the keywords that performed the best.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate shows the percentage of people who had visited your website but left without any further interaction. Google Analytics only counts the visit when the viewer has clicked on more than one website page.

You can find out whether your website is appealing to your targeted audience or not and what changes are needed to make it appealing through the bounce rate.

The other factors that you have to measure while checking your SEO performance are the backlinks, time spent on the page by the viewer, the speed of the page, and the most important one is the Website Authority over time.

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FAQs about SEO

Following are some of the commonly asked questions about SEO.

1. Where can I use the keyword for SEO?

The use of keywords in your content is essential as it is one of the main factors that help Google decide the ranking of your site in the Search engine. Here are some of the elements in which you should use your keyword to get your content optimized. These elements include Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Subheadings, Content (Body), Images, URLs, Link Anchor, and Posts on social media.

If you used your specific keyword in all these elements, there is a big chance that your content will be SEO optimized, and you will surely get a high rank in the Google rankings

2.How long will it take for SEO to work?

The average time that the SEO takes to work is around about 90 days to 180 days. In that time frame, your website could rank on Google but remember that this factor depends on how competitive and popular keywords you are using. If you use highly competitive words, then it will take around 180 days. Otherwise, it will take less.

Even if your site has ranked in the Google rankings, you can still work to make it better and make more people visit your site. All you have to do is follow the basic optimization techniques and be patient.

3.How Much Search Engine Optimization Costs?

Another most common question asked by the people is how much SEO costs? The answer to that question depends on your company size and the SEO goals you have set for the website. But if you are looking for a number, it roughly costs between one hundred dollars to five hundred dollars per month.

You could do the SEO by yourself, it is going to cost you less, but it will take more time. So hire a team with experience in the SEO field because they have better knowledge about it and can do better than you.

The full service of digital marketing companies will cost you between $1000 to $20,000 per month, but they will make your website optimized and rank high on the Google rankings.

Whereas on the other hand, if you want to do it by yourself and do not have any SEO experience, then hire a consultant that will teach you the basics of SEO and how you can optimize your site. This is going to cost you an extra $80 to $200 per hour.

Final Verdict

By now, you must have understood the fact that SEO could bring massive traffic to your site. And to master the skill, you will need to start with the basics; first, ensure your search engines fully crawl your website, then search for Keyword optimized content, and lastly, find some backlinks. These three steps are the main principles of SEO and could help you master Search Engine Optimization skills.

We are hopeful that this guide has helped you understand the basic concept of what is SEO and how it works. In case you are not sure the techniques we mentioned in our articles would work, go now practice these techniques on your website and find out by yourself. However, we are 100 percent sure that they would work.

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