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What is SEO and How Does it Work?

Search Engine Optimization Explained

· SEO,SEO Marketing

Whether you run an e-commerce business, offer services or have an in-store endeavor, promoting your business online is futile without properly understanding the implementation of SEO’s golden rules. In today’s world, SEO has emerged as a mandatory marketing tactic for all those who wish to market their business online by allowing their current and potential clients to find them over the internet.

Admittedly, this makes it utterly important to have a strong understanding of SEO and to know how you can implement it on your website to keep pace with the ever-changing needs of online marketing. Scroll down to read all you need to know about SEO. Take your time to understand what it is, why it is essential, and how it can help you take your business to the next level.

What is SEO?

If you own a website, you may already be familiar with the term “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization.” However, do you know what it is exactly? Well, one can define it as the set of practices that directly affects the visibility of your websites on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. In other words, it helps you optimize your site for the search engines, hence the name – Search Engine Optimization. While this defines SEO, this definition still doesn’t answer a few important and common queries like:

  • How does it work exactly?
  • Why the SEO ranking of my website affects my business?
  • Is SEO worth the time and effort?     
  • Are there different types of search engine success factors?

If you are wondering something like this, you are in for a treat because this article will answer all these questions for you. Read on to have all your queries about SEO answered! But first, let’s take a look at why it’s vital in the first place and how it manages to affect your business directly.

Why is SEO Important?

Every business owner knows the importance of marketing when it comes to attracting customers. Over the years, people have invested in several marketing strategies, from printing brochures and other marketing material to running an advertisement on radio and television. Sure, these strategies worked well for the time. However, it won’t be wrong to say that nowadays everyone is going digital. The internet has undoubtedly turned the world into a global village where one can get any information with just a few clicks of their mouse. This means that businesses can now reach a large population by merely going online.

In other words, the internet has provided mankind with the largest marketing platform yet. Perhaps, the biggest problem with traditional marketing was that it is not only costly but also reaches a limited amount of people. You are likely to be restricted to audiences based on geographical locations in almost all traditional marketing methods. The internet has effectively solved this problem.

Today, irrespective of where an individual might be, they can access your website, learn about your products or services, contact you, and initiate business with you. This means, over the internet, every company is global!

Is the bigger picture getting any clearer now? One can easily see that there is a direct link between the number of audiences you reach and the number of clients. The greater the number of people you reach, the higher the chances of connecting with a potential customer. This is where SEO comes in. Essentially, your SEO ranking determines the scale and type of audience that you reach over the internet.

At this point, you must be wondering how all the dots are connected? How better SEO ranking helps reach a larger audience? Well, to answer your questions – let’s take the example of a dry cleaning service. To promote their business online, the business owner gets a website made for their business. However, every time a potential customer searches for “dry cleaning services,” this website appears on the 5th page of Google’s search results! Obviously, no one is going to go through the search results till the fifth page. Instead, they will choose a dry cleaner from the first few results. In other words, the business lost a potential customer merely because its website was not visible on the first few pages.

SEO makes sure this does not happen to you! If your website is properly optimized for the search engines, it is likely to appear on the first page. This works to give you a competency over your competitors. Every time a potential customer searches for a product or service that you deal in, they land on your website instead of your competitors’. Furthermore, SEO marketing strategies allow you to target just the right audience to increase the chances of attracting new customers, helping you generate higher revenues than ever. Undoubtedly, SEO is worth your time and effort!

All You Need to Know About SEO

Now that we know the importance of SEO let’s take a look at a few things that you every newcomer to SEO should know about. It is important to understand that Google is responsible for most of the internet traffic. The goal of SEO is not only to increase the traffic flow to your website but allow specific and high intent traffic.

So it allows you to take things a step further by promoting your website to people who did not specifically search for it. They “might” be interested in the product or services that you offer. Here’s what you can do to ensure you drive just the right kind of traffic to your website.

1. Relevant Information

Make sure you don’t bombard your website with just all sorts of information and content. Keep it relevant to your business only. Also, it is important that the website displays accurate and high-quality content. If that’s the case, Google is more likely to show your website in response to relevant searcher queries.

2. Keywords

Keywords refer to the terms that searchers are likely to type in the Google search bar. Keep in mind that keywords play a significant role when it comes to directing relevant traffic to your website. So, make sure you use the right keywords and use them smartly to prove to the search engines that your website is exactly what the searchers are looking for. Here’s a list of factors that you must keep in mind while figuring out the best keywords for your website.

  • Search Volume: Choose the keywords that most people are likely to use in their queries.
  • Relevant Terms: Even if millions of people use the same keyword every day, it is still entirely useless for you if it is not related to your business. So, make sure you employ keywords that are relevant to what you do.
  • Competition: SEO rankings can get highly competitive. Therefore, it is essential to understand the relative competition for a keyword when you are choosing the ones for your website.
  • Understand the Audience: To pick the right keyword, it is essential to know your audience. It helps to know the demographics of your targeted audience.

If managing keywords seems like a plateful to you, there’s no need to worry! You can always use a keyword generator. Several keyword tools are available in the market that can help you find the perfect keywords to boost traffic on your website. Here’s a list of some popular tools that can assist you in finding the best keywords.

3. On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization refers to implementing your targeted keywords into the content of your website. Here are a few tips for effective on-page optimization.

  • One strategy is to have a different “core keyword” and a “basket” of related terms for every webpage. 
  • Try and add relevant keywords in the title tags of a webpage. Make sure you don’t confuse the title tag with the main heading of the page! The title tag is what we see on the browser tab when the link for a webpage is clicked.
  • Pay attention to meta-titles, meta-descriptions and XML site-maps.  
  • It pays to add relevant internal and external links!

4. Good Quality Content

So, what is good quality content, anyway? Well, the search engine employs several means to determine the quality of content on your website. However, perhaps the most prominent method is to determine the number, quality, and type of webpage or sites that link to your website. This makes it essential to try and get linked by authentic and trusted websites. For example, if your website can get a link from sites like CNN.com, the search engine will rank your content as authentic and good quality.

5. Searchers’ Habits

Search engine algorithms are always evolving to help the searchers get the most accurate search results to their queries. For this purpose, the search engine also determines how the searchers interact with your website. Do they find the right information or they go back to searching by going through other links? Do they purchase through the website and interact with the business owners or simply leave? Do they often click on your website or frequently ignore your listing? Customer interaction behavior statistics about your sites help the search engine determine the quality of your content and decide whether the site is relevant to the searches or not.

6. Page Loading Speed

Did you know that you can increase the organic ranking of your website by merely improving the loading time of your website? When it comes to loading time, every second counts. In fact, even milliseconds can make a difference! The reason is simple – an average searcher is likely to abandon the webpage if it takes too long to load. This means that slow loading directly results in higher page abandonment. Since search engines take into account how searchers interact with a website, page abandonment can negatively affect your SEO ranking and push your site down the list.

According to experts, if an e-commerce website makes $100,000 every day, a 1-second delay in page loading can potentially result in losses of up to $2.5 million per year. This makes it essential to make sure that your website is fast and does not make the searchers wait for too long. Employ simple navigation and try to keep the design and content as light as possible. Also, don’t bombard the site with content as that can also increase the loading time.

  7. Content Uniqueness

Content uniqueness is all about steering clearing of incorporating duplicate content on your website. SEO experts define duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or are appreciably similar.” Keep in mind that while there is no penalty for using duplicate content across your website, the search engine will probably prevent some of your content from showing up as a search result if your website displays excessively repetitive content.

Luckily, there several tools to make sure you steer clear of uploading duplicate data on your website. For example, you can use Moz’s crawler to help you determine if you have duplicate pages on your website. Similarly, the Siteliner tool can also help you ensure content uniqueness along with providing an in-depth analysis of your website. The only way to deal with this issue is to make your content useful, unique and exciting for your audience!

8. Mobile Friendliness

In today’s world, searchers expect the same high quality of user experience on their mobile phones that they enjoy on the computer. For this reason, search engines take into account the “mobile friendliness” of your website. To reserve a spot on the first page of search results for your website, make sure it runs as smoothly and quickly on a mobile phone as it does on other devices like a PC, laptop or tablets. Keep in mind that browser experience is an essential factor when it comes to SEO ranking irrespective of the kind of device that the searcher may use to make the queries.

So, are you ready to get on the top your game by optimizing your website for the search engines?

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