SEO, All that is to know about it!
SEO, the 3 letter dreaded word that people from all over the world are trying to figure out. It might seem overwhelming, but when broken down in bits it’s not so bad.
Why do SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and it helps you do one thing, that is improving your website’s ranking so it shows up at the top of the non-paid (organic) section when the user searches.
Now a couple of questions might come to you why google? Why the first page? Don’t worry you’ll get answers to this below.
Let’s start off with why google
Well according to Visual Capitalists Google is the top website with over 60.49B monthly visits. I know 60.49 with a B as in Billions.
According to FreshySites, Google gets over 1.2 trillion searches per year, to put it into a little perspective there were about 40K searches each second for the year. Given that it's a search engine with the highest number of users, going through this is the most effective way to get on with new clients and get your brand known.
Moving on, we know most of us go to google and search for something, right? And how many times have you gone past page 1 on google??
To make this easier to understand 65% of all the clicks go to the first 5 organic results on the first page.
Well, some might say we’ll run Google Ads and get to the top of the page, but there is one important thing that you are missing here, you’ll be paying for the ads. So a little more effort on your SEO might get you to the top.
I think this gives a brief understanding of why Google is important for your website, why coming on top on the first page is necessary.
Diving deeper into SEO
Let’s dive a little deeper into the nitty-gritties of SEO. There a 3 major things that need to be considered in SEO
The objective of technical SEO is to optimize the basic structure of the website. Here utmost importance is given to help the search engines access your content on the website and index it. With no-content being involved in this phase, the term “Technical SEO” was confined.
Other things that come into the picture while getting you technical SEO:
HTTPS encrypts data between you and the user making your data more secure. How do you know if your website uses HTTPS. Look at the image below
This can be seen on any browser today. If the “Not Secure” warning is present then it does not have the encryption enabled.
Since Google uses this as one of its ranking signals it is important to get this fixed.
We all know how annoying it is when the website we are trying to reach takes too long to load. We’ve all been there. Guess what even google has the same perception about this. So having a fast, user-friendly, and responsive website is necessary to be ranked by google.
You can check your page speed insights here and it also does a good job on letting us know what is causing the issue.
Why mobile-friendly, you ask? According to statcounter, 57% of global internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. What it means is, users prefer a mobile device to a desktop.
So mobile compatibility is taken seriously by Google.
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website you’ll suffer with organic visibility.
Fixing duplicate content
Repetitive content confuses the search engine, and since it’s not able to differentiate content it will not be able to rank the page and which could be missing a lot of first page views on google.
Creating a site map
Let’s say you write great content, which took hours together, and google is not able to see them. This would mean that all your effort goes in vain, to avoid this you need to start by checking your robot.txt file. This is the first place that the search engine crawler would look.
You can look at this file in Google Search Console
On-page, SEO is all about the user. We don’t build websites or write content for search engines, we do it for the users, who comment, subscribe or buy your product. And this mostly deals with content and web pages hence the name on-page SEO.
I can’t stress enough how critical this is. Even if you have optimized your website, you have good page speed, your meta tags are sorted and if you don’t have good content in place you can say good-bye to dropping on the first page of the search result.
Keywords are nothing but a search term entered in the search engine. Keywords optimization was not as important as it is today. That said, the focus has shifted more toward long-tail keywords that fit in today's search pattern.
So think about what your user might be searching for and optimize content accordingly.
Using the right tags
This part gets just a tad bit technical, but I’ll try keeping this as simple as possible.
When a website is designed it needs some sort of order and that can be achieved by tags. You can find more about tags here.
So the image above talks about tags and gives a certain structure to it.
Commonly used tags
H1 through H6: Used for headings and subheadings
Alt: Used with images
Meta tags: Used to give more information about the page.
The name gives it away here right? When on-page can mean dealing with the content present on our webpages, off-page would mean optimizing things outside the website.
Let me ask you this, how do you think Google knows if the content present on your website is relevant or trustworthy, it’s simple it doesn't, to solve this it relies on reputable resources on the internet to link or promote your website and effectively “confirming” the content present is legit.
The biggest advantage here would be a higher ranking in the SERPs(Search Engine Result Pages) which is what we are looking for.
Backlinks or link building is the heart of Off-page SEO. This is the best way to inform search engines that your website has good content and is trustworthy.
The goal of link building is to have quality links from high authority websites.
Genuine reviews for your business on “Google My Business profile” are likely to have a positive impact on your ranking.
To get the best results out of search engines on-page and off-page SEO should move hand in hand.
Factors to consider optimizing
Website/Web page speed.
Make the website mobile responsive.
Content on the website with the right keywords.
Use the right tags to structure the content.
Make it easy for the crawler to go through the website by getting the site map and structuring the pages.
It’s not easy but focus on getting backlinks from authoritative websites on the internet.
I have tried making SEO a little more simple to understand with the below image.