What is SEO and How Does It Work?
So, what is SEO and how does it work you might ask?
In this guide for SEO, I will talk about exactly what SEO is and how it works because a lot of business owners and startup founders get to ask this burning question. If you are one of them, then this SEO guide is for you.
Business owners who are just starting out their first website or blog, the word SEO feels kind of intimidating and complicated.
But it doesn’t have to be?
It doesn’t matter whether you have zero experience with SEO or you don’t have an expert who can handle your SEO. By reading this guide and applying what it teaches, you will be able to make some positive improvements that will help you improve your SEO.
So here you go,
SEO is the short form of Search Engine Optimization and there is nothing complicated about it. It is the process of optimizing your website or blog to make them reach a high position in Google and other search engine results page thereby making it possible to drive organic traffic.
Search engines always want to provide the best service for their users which means providing results that are high quality and also relevant to what searchers are looking for.
To do this, search engines will crawl or scan a variety of different websites to understand what the site is about. This will help them deliver relevant results to the keywords or topics searchers use.
SEO help make sure that your site ranks high in the search engines for relevant phrases and keywords. For example, let’s say you have a blog about how to build a greenhouse.
In other to get your content in front of the right people, you might want to optimize your blog post so that it will show up as a top result for anyone who searches for the keyword “build a greenhouse”.
By now you probably understand what SEO is and you might want to know how it works. Below I will explain in simple terms how SEO works so that you will be able to start your SEO journey.
Although search engines are continuously revolving and refining how they rank web pages, there are 2 key elements that are the foundation for successfully ranking high on search engine results. They are:
- On-site SEO –this is basically your content and website infrastructure. It involves making sure your web pages, tags, content, titles and the overall structure are optimized for your target keywords.
Page Titles: they are usually located at the top of your browser or in the window label or the tab of an open web page.
It is important to title web pages using key terms that you want users to find you with and should also match the key terms found in your written content.
- Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions are displayed on the search results page, under the page title. The descriptions are implemented in the HTML code side of the website. Meta descriptions should provide an accurate and easy to understand description of the content page. You should include the keyword you are targeting so the description stays readable.
- Content: original content with chosen keywords are given higher value in search results. Also updated and regularly added content is another SEO strategy which makes your site rank higher in search results.
The more useful and valuable content your website has, the more opportunities to receive inbound links from other sites.
- Off-site SEO – Unlike On-page SEO, Off-page SEO refers to activities you can perform outside of the boundaries of your site.
This is how website is referred to from other online sources. It also means having a significant of inbound links from highly respected external websites.
The key elements of off-site SEO is backlinks. Backlinks are links on other websites that lead back to your site.
The most important Off-site SEO are:
- Social Bookmarking
- Link Building
- Social Media Marketing
The above key elements should give you a broad understanding of how SEO works, most especially if you are new to SEO. As you can see with a little effort on your part, you can learn about SEO to improve your business.
Below are the most important factors that affect a website’s SEO:
- Keywords – SEO generally begins with picking the right keywords. You can start by picking medium to low competition keywords and then gradually build up your post to target more competitive terms.
- Domain Authority – this is a metric that shows how much trust your domain has built over time by a matter of backlinks. Also, the older your domain, the higher it’s domain authority.
- Relevancy – search engines know the difference between a relevant page and a copied one. It is often recommended to stick to a niche when building your site and write content specific to that particular niche.
- URL Structure – the shorter your URL, the better it is for users and search engine to understand what your website or post is all about.
- Inbound and Outbound Links – your SEO score depends on the number of relevant links pointing to your website. One way to get backlinks is to get featured on big news websites.
- Website Speed – google cares so much about how fast your website loads. You can use cache plugins to speed up your website.
If you have read this article up to this point, by now you ought to know what SEO is and how it works. You can now start working towards making changes to your website by improving your SEO and boost your rankings on search engine results.
A final word is for you to keep in mind that SEO takes time and effort before one can see desired result. However, with consistent practice and learning, you will be able to improve and achieve your goals.
It is also advisable to take a course on SEO if one wants be an expert on SEO, there are several SEO courses online and offline. Whichever one suits you, endeavor to do so.
Justin Kemp is working as a Jr. content writer and blogger with Ranking By SEO. He can be seen blogging about digital marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, etc.