What is SEO?
Search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the process of optimizing a website’s pages to increase search result visibility. Common search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo. Search engines are designed to bring the most authoritative, quality content that is relevant to the user's search query.
How SEO works
Search engines deploy a mechanism called a spider (crawler, bot) that scans a website looking for internal links. An internal link is a page that is internal to the website. For example, example.com is a domain and example.com/services is a webpage. It may be referred to as the “services” page. This is an internal link. Internal links are “indexed” by the spider.
After links are indexed, the search engine will run algorithms and analyze the pages that are in the index. If pages are not indexed, they don’t get analyzed. When pages are not analyzed they don’t get displayed into search results.
What gets analyzed?
After the pages are indexed they are analyzed. So what exactly gets analyzed? Here are the different components that get analyzed by Google Search algorithms.
- Brand signals
- Social media
- Web Spam factors
There are many factors of SEO and can be broken down into four categories.
SEO consists of 4 different categories:
On-page SEO are elements that are visible to the search engines and in the source code of the website. Here are some common on-page elements:
- meta description
- page titles
- h1 and h2
- image alternative text
Technical SEO are components of SEO that help spiders crawl and index a website. Technical SEO focuses on website and server configuration and the infrastructure of the website.
Key points to technical SEO:
- robots.txt (rules that crawlers should follow)
- indexability (noindex tag)
- sitemaps (list of pages, images, files)
- structured data markup
- site structure (logical hierarchy)
- page speed
- HTTP errors
- URL structure
Off-page SEO focuses on elements that are not part of the website. Some common tactics involved in off-page SEO:
- Brand building
- Link building
- Social media
- Public relations (PR)
- Local SEO
- Guest posting
4. User experience
The user’s experience (UX) will help convey how they feel about the website. The colors used, fonts selected and positioning of elements are key factors in how the user feels about a website. The connection between UX and SEO is in the design. If the design is bad, users will not be on pages very long. The primary metrics in this case are bounce rates and time-on-page.
How to increase UX:
- simple and easy to use navigation
- use a good URL structure
- ensure fast page load times
- provide good, quality content
- by not providing users with content or action they aren’t expecting
- use mobile and responsive design
Why is SEO important?
A good SEO strategy should help push a website’s search ranking up. The higher the search ranking the more chances that someone will click on the search result. If no SEO strategy exists then pages are not likely to be shown in search results. A good strategy will include the basic on-page elements noted above and most elements listed in this post.
Types of search results
- Featured Snippets
- Paid Ad
- Knowledge Graph
- Local Search results
- Organic search
- Rich Snippets
- Knowledge Graph with carousels
Search engine optimization is one of the most important aspects to digital marketing and building an online presence. Many factors are involved in getting the right information in front of users. The goal for SEO is to get pages to rank high in search results and remember, the point of SEO is to have users visit the website in an organic and natural way.
As always, if you have questions or need help with SEO feel free to contact us.