What is SEO, Types of SEO & How it Works

SEO is the process of improving this visibility so your website can gain quality traffic, aligning users searching for what you offer.

An Introduction to SEO

We’ve heard a lot about SEO - in a crowded digital world, it’s challenging to gain visibility for your website, business or blog. How do you reach users that are actively looking for what you do?

Think of the last time you searched for something - be it music, a product, or an answer to a question. A search engine like Google receives 63,000 searches per second on any given day - a huge number by any standards. However, it’s important to remember that an average web user will probably not go past the first 5 listings. Research states that websites on the first page of search engine results receive almost 95% of web traffic. SEO can help you get up to the top of search results.

Below, we’ll take you through some basics questions -

What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing your website in order to increase visibility on search engine results pages. SEO aims at increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results over a period of time. In layman terms, it constitutes making small changes to your website in order to make it more attractive to a search engine.

If you’ve written content around “The Best TV Shows to watch in 2019”, you’ll want all searches with similar keywords to feature your blog on Page 1 of the results. SEO can help you get there without paid advertising.

SEO is a dynamic and interesting field to learn about - it helps you learn how the internet works.

What are Types of SEO?

A well-rounded SEO strategy will strategically leverage all types of SEO in conjunction to drive real results. There are three main types of SEO:

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO is related to the content & meta tags of your website, such as your headlines, page content, and structure. On-page SEO helps search engines understand and rank content. It is the process of optimizing each page in order to earn better ranking and drive relevant traffic. This type of SEO includes:

a.Keyword Research

This is the most important part of On-Page SEO. Start with finding the best primary keyword for your page - it should be accurate and relevant to your content, users should be searching for it, and you should be able to compete for its ranking. Assign a primary and some related keywords to your content, and structure a content plan around the same. If you’re looking to offer content around "Content Marketing" or "Digital Marketing", do a thorough research of what people are looking for and which keywords you can actually compete on.

b. Content Creation

Create original, unique, high-quality content with a title that contains the primary keyword. Longform content {longer than 800 words} has a better chance of being ranked. Ensure that the content is well-researched, well-organized and scannable. Additionally, posting often and updating your older content is another way to improve rankings.

c. Optimization

Use the target keyword and secondary keywords appropriately across the body copy. There should be 2-3% keyword density in your content. Ensure good HTML tagging - title tags, meta description, schema codes, and subheads.Use Google Search Console's "HTML improvements Report" to diagnose any issues. Adding internal and outbound links, images, and assigning relevant tags and categories also helps optimize your webpage.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO relates to everything but the content on your website. It is the process of improving user experience through improvements to the site infrastructure and navigability. This makes it easy for search engines to crawl, which they reward through better rankings. The more links there are between the pages of your site, the easier it is for crawlers to reach them. This type of SEO focuses on improving site speed, responsiveness, indexing, crawlability, site architecture, structure data, and security.

Google rewards websites that are fast, safe, responsive, and easy to navigate - Amazon is a great example of such a website.

Not only does technical SEO impact search engines - improvements also positively affect user engagement and conversion rates. Watch out for duplicate content and broken links - they adversely affect page rankings.

We’d be happy to help with an audit to determine your site’s strengths and weaknesses. Contact us for a free audit now.

Off-Page SEO

Off Page SEO is related to the relationship your website shares with the rest of the internet. It includes strategies to build a website’s reputation, credibility and share an ecosystem that builds information.

Much of this comes from building high quality backlinks - a large volume of high-quality backlinks that redirect traffic to your website teaches search engines to trust your content. In order to be a more trusted, credible source of content - spend some time on building relevant & high-quality backlinks and guest-posting. The quality of links matters more than the volume of links. Large companies, older companies, and those that are featured a lot tend to perform better at Off-Page SEO.

Another external factor that impacts Off-Page SEO includes good results on social media and PR. This means quality and number of social signals garnered, which lends credibility to your website.

Working on only one of these types of SEO will not provide favourable results. Instead, choose your quick wins from each type of SEO and prioritize accordingly. Its equally important to work on your website’s content, it’s infrastructure, and its external reputation.

Increased
Website Traffic
via Enterprise SEO by

3500%

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Increased
Organic Traffic
via Vernacular SEO by

1197%

CASE STUDY

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Organic Views on
YouTube Channel by

147%

CASE STUDY

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How SEO Works?

When you search on Google today, you see a number of results, which include ads, featured snippets, "people also ask" section, and organic results. This wasn’t always the case - not a very long time ago, Google answered with ten blue links.

The goal of a search engine is to connect a searcher with the most relevant and high-quality results - to achieve this, search engines are constantly improving their algorithm. Over time, Google started adding new answer formats to offer a better search experience. User behavior indicates that some queries are better satisfied by different content formats.

In order to understand how SEO works, we must answer the following question first:

How Do Search Engines Work?

Search engines send out crawlers to find new and updated content, and follows the links on these web pages to find more content. This information is stored in an index, a huge database of all the content they’ve discovered and deem worthy of being shown as results. When someone runs a search query, search engines scour their index for the most relevant content and rank it in order of how closely it can solve the query.

For a website to be successful, it must be crawl-able and indexable. There are a number of ways that you can ensure that Googlebots find your important pages. A crawler needs to be able to discover your content from links across the web, and a path of links within your site to guide it from page-to-page. You can also add “schema codes” as instructions to search engines on how you want your web page to be treated. Finally, to decide on relevance and ranking - search engines use algorithms - a formula by which indexed information is retrieved and ordered. These algorithms are constantly updated to improve search quality.

Now that we have a basic idea of why search results appear the way they do, let’s discuss how you can be successful at SEO.

The Fundamentals of SEO:

  • High-quality, relevant link building is a fundamental investment into your SEO. Backlinks and internal linking both are imperative. The more you acquire, the better your ranking in the SERPs.
  • Craft a content plan based on keyword research and share high-quality, optimized content with your audience. Your content should be directed not just at readers, but also at search engines.
  • User experience is the key - improve site speed, infrastructure and architecture. Search engines tend to rank faster and easily crawlable websites higher.
  • Invest in a responsive design and optimize your content for mobile users.
  • Voice search is here and it’s big - optimize for long-tail keywords, user intent, and featured snippets.

However, as we’ve established before - SEO tactics change and evolve all the time. Ensure you’ve got your basics covered, and constantly research, combine and experiment with multiple methods of SEO. Closely track the results and leverage the methods that work for you at staying ahead of your competitors. It’s an ever-growing, ever-changing science and SEO specialists must stay agile!

What are the Benefits of SEO?

We recommend that every business invest in SEO. Ignoring SEO for your website will cost you many opportunities for growth. Here are some key benefits of SEO:

a. Low Investment

SEO is far less expensive than paid efforts of advertising. You only need to invest in an SEO agency or in-house SEO specialists. You don’t have to pay-per-click and can use your marketing dollars elsewhere. Many users tend to ignore ads and only click on organic links. It’s an affordable growth strategy with endless results.

b. Long-Term Strategy with Great ROI

SEO is long-term in nature, you can keep reaping the benefits over a period of time. Since the users that visit your website through organic results will have a higher intent to buy, it will lead to growth in sales. SEO has a better conversion rate than paid ads as well, and leads to better ROI.

c. Growth in Visitors with High Intent

People are searching for your products and services actively. SEO pulls in the best quality traffic since it gives people what they’re looking for as opposed to pushing products or services on to them. This traffic has a higher propensity to convert, and will lead to sales and growth.

d. Increase in Quantity of Relevant Traffic

Over a period of time, you’ll begin to see an increase in the volume of relevant traffic that reaches your website. Investing in good SEO practices will aid more people to discover your content and products, leading to a steady growth in traffic.

e. Build Trust & Credibility

Once your website has a standing on Google, people tend to trust it more. Nobody wants to attend a University that doesn’t have a good website or hire a service provider with no ratings or reviews. If you’re at the top of the SERPs, it will increase your brand awareness and credibility.

f. Improve User Experience

As your click-through rate improves, time spent on your website will increase and your bounce rate will decrease. SEO forces you to have a safe, secure, fast website - resulting in improved user experience and higher engagement.

g. Stay Ahead of the Competition

All your competitors are working on growth strategy - SEO is just one of them. In order to stay ahead of your competition, enhance your digital presence and grow your market share. Working on your SEO can help you stand out from the crowd. SEO can also give smaller companies an edge on larger companies.

h. Avenue for Growth

SEO is a great investment - it is one more way to grow your business. It can bring in thousands of visitors in the long term. A multiplier effect occurs with increased traffic - spiking conversations, recommendations, and ultimately growth. It can help you break into new markets and gain market share.

i. Access to Valuable Data

You’ll have access to customer and competitor behaviour when you start working on your SEO. Understand what your audience is looking for, consumption patterns, and availability in the market can serve to drive your business strategy going forward. You can easily measure your sources of conversion, website rankings, and what adds most value to your business - which can feed in to your next steps.

j. Permanent Results

The results through SEO are permanent, and give returns over a long period of time. Just as it takes time to move up rankings, it also takes time to climb down. It’s imperative that you keep an eye on SEO performance though, and consistently put in efforts to maintain and grow your rankings.

Conclusion

We’ve recounted the many benefits of SEO. It’s a smart investment to make, if it’s growth you’re after. However it’s a complex science to master - search engine algorithms change frequently and so do SEO tactics. Looking for help? Have some questions? Comment below and we’ll be happy to help you out!

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