Search Engine Optimisation, better known as SEO is the set of activities which help webpage to be found in search engines for phrases and particular words (known as keywords), relevant to what the website or the webpage is about.
If you’re familiar with SEO and use it every day, you can safely skip this article because you probably won’t find anything new. This blog post is for those who have never read about SEO before and have not heard of it.
So, let’s see what Search Engine Optimization is.
What is Search Engine Optimization or SEO?
As we said above, SEO is an abbreviation and a synonym of Search Engine Optimization. The SEO comprises sets of methods and techniques which aim to affect positively, the natural findability and visibility of websites or web pages on the Internet.
What does this mean?
In short, Search Engine Optimization is a process of promoting website growth by increasing its authority in the organic search engine results. The higher the web page’s ranking in search results, the higher the likelihood that internet users will see and might visit it. Hence SEO aims to increase visibility, thus affecting in a positive way the traffic to a website.
To explain better what is search engine optimization in a technical aspect we’ll include a few more terms. The most important among the phrases which usually accompany “SEO” and which you most probably heard or read about something is SERP.
What is SERP?
Since the people use search engines to find information online, the goal of every search engine is to provide the most accurate and precise results for a particular search. Most reliable sources who offer most clear answers to a specific question or search query appear in the first places of the Search Engine Result pages, known as SERP.
Results returned by the search engines as an outcome from a search query sent by a user are known as “organic” or “natural”.
The organic results are different than the paid results because they are based on natural rankings determined by search engine algorithms.
The paid results, in contrast to the natural results in SERP, allow websites to be displayed on the search engine results page when people search for specific keywords or phrases.
SEO and SERP
The organic results can be optimized by various Search Engine Optimization methods and practices. Properly planned and completed SEO can affect the visibility of the website or webpage positively.
When a site appears on the first places of the search results page, this increases typically the chances the website to be seen and visited by more people. Respectively more visitors usually means more customers, because you can’t sell things if no one visits your shop.
What is SEO in the world of marketing?
Apart from the said already, and above all SEO is an Internet marketing strategy. Digital or internet marketing refers to techniques that are used to market services or goods online.
We are not going to explain in details about marketing strategies in this post. Still, we’ll mention that among these are the Search Engine Marketing (also known as Search Marketing or SEM), social media and content marketing, direct e-mail marketing.
Read more about marketing and other marketing strategies such as social media optimization, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing, and e-commerce marketing.
Goals and Targets for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The goals and objectives for Search Engine Optimization can vary and may include different kinds of search, such as terms search, video searches, image searches, news searches, industry or location-specific searches, etcetera.
This is because in the search engines’ world there are different types of online searching. The vertical and horizontal searching are two of them. For this reason, in terms of SEO, a different approach for each type of search is required. This is to achieve the best results from a Search Engine Optimization campaign or activity.
For instance, global SEO is different from local SEO (local search engine optimization). While global SEO targets usually international or national searches, the local SEO as its name suggests is mainly focused on optimizing a website’s or business’ in a particular area. As a result, the optimized web pages (by using Local SEO practices, methods, and techniques) will be displayed by search engines when users perform a local search for specific products or services.
SEO for Websites and Web pages
To make things a bit more complicated, we’ll have to mention that SEO is part of Search engine marketing or SEM as it is widely known. Both processes SEO and SEM aim in increasing the visibility of the Websites and Web pages in search engines. The primary function of Search Engine Optimization is to drive more unpaid or natural traffic to a web site or page from a website. As explained above, that traffic potentially converts into sales.
SEO is the process of creating a structure, data technology, and content for the web page that is supported and positively evaluated by search engine robots. This results in assigning such a web page high rating for specific words, known as keywords or keyword phrases.
In brief, the successful Search Engine Optimization and Search marketing (SEO and SEM) help web page reach and hold high positions on relevant keywords or keyword phrases in Google organic results.
Same respectively is valid for websites as an organized set of web pages.
What includes SEO for webpage and websites?
A successful SEO for Website starts before the actual site or webpage is even existing. Furthermore, we have to say the search engine optimization should be planned in advance and usually would become a part of the designing process of web pages and the website as a whole. You can consider Search Engine Optimization as a quality control measure over the web pages or sites because in many aspects SEO means precisely this.
Here is the place to say something about the On-page and Off-page SEO. There is plenty of information about this long topic on the Web and here we won’t say much about it. However, it’s good to know the main difference between these two.
The On-page SEO is the variety of activities for optimizing web pages in order to help them rank higher in the search engines results, thus increasing the organic traffic to your site but concerns only the processes which happen on the site itself.
In contrast, the Off-page SEO has exactly the same purposes but unlike the On-Page SEO, takes place out of the boundaries of the website.
As a quality control, SEO is serving to provide better user experience (UX). For this reason, some of the basics of best SEO practices for the website include :
-Name of the site and titles of its pages;
-The whole structure of the site, including the internal linking;
-The appearance of the site;
-Website’s functionality and usability;
-Hundreds of other things (see what the most important Google Ranking factors as suggested by Brian are);
Web Page Optimization in terms of SEO is actually the process of preparing a page for indexing in search engines and consists of technical and content optimization. As a result search engines can understand better the content of the entire web page, which is very important for the future appearance of the page and the entire site respectively.
In fact, the majority of the requirements a site to be well optimized for search engines are based on common sense and standards. Website optimization is based on improvements in its content. This includes the way how a website is coded.
The aim is to increase the performance and relevance of the site and its pages to specific keywords and as a result, the entire site to become more competitive in the SERP. Hence if not all, at least some part of the optimization of a website for search engines can be done by people who have some basic understanding of what is the primary purpose of SEO.
Indeed, there are many IFs here, but depending on what is the content management system of the website and the selected language for coding, in some cases, an SEO specialist might not be required.
The common understanding of how difficult is the entire process of optimizing a website is a bit exaggerated.
SEO professionals need to be able to understand different search engine algorithms, and how they perform content indexing in search algorithms. Also, the SEO professionals need to know how the searcher will look for the information they need, the psychological peculiarities of working with the Internet.
Again, “Difficult” is not “Impossible.” The good news is there are many tools available for almost every step and aspect of SEO to be done correctly.
If you are interested, you can find out what are the most useful SEO tools for each particular task in Search Engine optimization process by downloading the comprehensive report “Enterprise SEO Platforms” on Search Engine Land.
An excellent, if not the best place to start reading in details about SEO is Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. At the end of the days, who knows more about the search engines, better than Google?
Who needs Search Engine Optimization?
In today’s fast virtual world, there are thousands of sites that offer the same or similar goods or services. And their number is increasing every minute. In other words -the competition is vast.
Everyone who owns a website of any type or runs an online business must think about SEO.
Ideally, before starting an online store or web blog. In other words, if you don’t consider SEO, you’ll lose the battle online. Or at least- you won’t win it.
Not all steps of the whole optimization process actually are necessarily and always complicated. Still, the entire process might be prolonged, and it usually takes some time. Especially if it was not planned from the very beginning.
SEO is necessary, and if you have no idea of Search Engine Optimization, SERP, search engines ranking whatsoever, then you should turn to professionals who can and will be able to provide what your site needs.
A bit more about SEO…
Maybe you have heard about Black, White and Grey SEO, but do you know what exactly these mean?
SEO in Black, White, and Grey
There are various strategies, solutions, methods, techniques, and approaches to increase the rating and reputation of websites and make them more attractive for the search engines.
All techniques mentioned and recommended in the search engine webmasters guides are known as White Hat SEO techniques.
As you probably heard, contrary to white hat methods, there are also Black Hat optimization techniques that aim to achieve the goal by any means, and in general, include unauthorized procedures and often only have a temporary effect.
By using such methods, the web page owners take the risk their websites to be penalized by the search engines’ webmasters. This can lead the site to lose positions in the various search engine’s result pages and in the worst case- not to be shown in the SERP at all.
Here are some examples of Black Hat SEO techniques.
There is still one more optimization method, which is somewhere between the White and Black optimization methods, and for this reason, the method is named Gray.
Grey Hat optimization techniques are different from the Black Hat SEO techniques, and they usually don’t get sanctioned. This doesn’t mean Grey hat SEO is allowed but on the contrary.
Some SEO pros who choose Grey Hat optimizing as their favorite method are able to circumvent the rules and not get sanctioned.
Here you can see some examples of Grey Hat SEO techniques.
Few more Thoughts about SEO at the end
Quite popular these days, SEO also known as Search Engine Optimization is one of the hot topics online. Although it is an interesting subject for some, for others SEO means nothing because it is a somewhat topical area on the Internet.
The ultimate targets and goals of every successful SEO campaign include improvement of website usability, user-friendliness, and findability on the Internet, particularly its positioning in the Search Engine result pages.
SEO professionals understand well how the search engines function, how internet users search for a particular piece of information and what measures have to be taken for engines optimization to be correctly done. Additionally, they know how to utilize this information and by combining knowledge and different SEO strategies and techniques to achieve the above-said goals.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most crucial factors for a website to become visible and successful online.
SEO should be considered as one of the first and most effective ways to increase the traffic, and subsequently the numbers in the targeted audience and potential customers.