In today’s competitive market, SEO is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users a day looking for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems.
Whether you have a showcase site, a blog, or an online store, SEO can help your business grow and achieve its goals.
The majority of search engine users are more likely to click on any of the top 5 suggestions in the results pages (SERPS).
To take advantage of this and gain visitors to your showcase site or customers to your online store, your website must appear in one of the top positions.
SEO is not just about search engines, but good SEO practices also improve the user experience and usability of a website.
Users trust search engines and being positioned in the top positions for the keywords they search for increases website trust.
SEO is also important for the social promotion of your website. People who find your website by searching on Google or Yahoo are more likely to promote it on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.
SEO can give you a leg up on the competition. If two websites are selling the same thing, the search engine optimized website is likely to get more customers and make more sales.
In summary, search engine optimization is a way to improve the position of your website so that it appears closer to the top positions in the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines. research.
How do search engines determine the position of your website?
When you search on Google, the order in which the results are displayed is based on complex algorithms.
These algorithms (also known as search engine ranking algorithms), take into account a number of factors before deciding which web page will be displayed in the first, second, third position etc
Optimizing your website for search engines will give you an edge over unoptimized sites and increase your chances of ranking higher.
What are the main steps in the search engine optimization process?
As I mentioned above, SEO is not a static process but rather a framework with rules and processes.
For the sake of simplicity, SEO can be broken down into 3 main steps:
- Technical SEO: With technical SEO, you can ensure that search engines can crawl and index your website without any problems.
- On-pagereferencing: Rules to apply to your site and its content to make it friendly for search engines.
- Offpage SEO: Ways to promote your website or blog so it can rank higher in search results.
The first step in the SEO process is called technical SEO. As the name suggests, technical SEO has nothing to do with the actual content of a website or the methods of promoting the site.
These are the settings you need to configure to make the job of search engine crawlers easier. Usually, once your technical SEO has been properly implemented, you don’t have to go back to it.
On the other side, if you have indexing issues, it can negatively impact your rankings.
The second step is on-site SEO which is mostly about the content and other stuff found on your pages and inside your site.
Unlike technical and off-site SEO, the main purpose of on-site SEO is to provide search engines with enough signals for them to understand the meaning and context of your content.
Remember that search engines do not read a page like a human and therefore they are looking for signals to understand what a page is.
This is where you’ll deal with website structure, keywords, title optimization, headings, internal linking, image SEO, structured data markup, and… other techniques that can send the right signals to search engines.
If followed correctly, on-site SEO will also improve the usability and credibility of a website or blog.
Note that content optimization is part of on-site SEO.
The third step is offpage SEO.
Besides the changes you can make to your website (on-site SEO) to rank better in the SERPs, the other way to improve the ranking position of your website is to use SEO techniques. off-site or off-site natural referencing.
Off-page SEO is generally known as link building, but I prefer to use the term website promotion because an effective way to promote a website involves many more methods and techniques than link building.
Why is offpage SEO important?
Typically, when a user types in a search query, search engine algorithms look through their index and try to find the best pages that can match the user’s search.
Pages that are good candidates appear in the top positions of search results.
One of the factors to determine the position of a web page in the results is the number of incoming links (backlinks).
Backlinks are a signal of trust and depending on where the links come from, they can greatly affect your ranking position.
If the links are from well-known and trusted sites, your rankings will be positively affected.
If it is paid links, links in article directories, link farms or an exchange result, your ranking will be negatively affected.
Obtaining links in this way is a violation of Google guidelines and this practice can cost you Google penalties if you abuse it.
What can you do to get more links?
That’s a really good question and I’m sure if you search the internet for this phrase you’ll get hundreds of different answers.
Remember that your primary focus is not how to get links, but how to create good quality content for your website.
Good content will get you natural links which in turn will give you high rankings and traffic.
If you try to buy links or register heavily on unreliable directories, you may have temporary success and see your website disappear from the home pages after the next Google update.
What’s the best way to start learning SEO?
The best way to learn SEO is to practice SEO.
Besides learning the different concepts and theories, the only way to know if what you have learned is working is to apply the different techniques on a website and track your rankings.
What is the difference between SEO and digital marketing?
Some people often ask me “Is SEO the same as digital marketing?” The simplest answer I can give is that SEO is one of the tools available in your digital marketing arsenal.
Natural referencing or SEO is part of your overall digital marketing campaign which will include other techniques such as social media promotion, content strategy, etc.
Good content remains the most important success factor with or without SEO.
Before closing this introduction to search engine optimization, you should be very clear that SEO cannot help you if you do not have good content.
In other words, if you’re trying to get a website listed that doesn’t have great content, your (long-term) chances of success are minimal.
On the other hand, a website with good content can rank well with or without SEO. The natural referencing of your site will only give an additional boost to its visibility.
SEO is a must for every website.
In summary, search engine optimization or SEO is a way to optimize your website so that search engines understand it better and give you better rankings.
This is important because a good SEO approach can drive more traffic to your website, blog or online store and help you gain more customers, increase sales and achieve your business goals.