Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website better for search engines. With SEO, your website is more easily searched for and found when consumers search for topics related to your business solutions. 

Here are simplified ways of how SEO generally works: 

Google keeps track and record of all web pages in its index, which describes the content and location (URL) of each page. Google will find a page, read it, and add it to its index.

Google discovers URLs by following links, reading sitemaps, and other ways by crawling. Google crawlers (Googlebots) are automated software that crawls (fetches) pages from the web and indexes them. 

In Google’s index, web pages are ranked according to relevance. Being ranked higher increases the visibility of your web page under queries and offers users direct information from your website. There are many ways to get your website ranked higher. The most simple way is increasing the amount of people that view your page, but how does one really do this? Here are some general ways that SEO can optimize your website. 

1. Keyword Research 

Primary Keywords: There are words or phrases that users are generally searching for. These keywords include the main topic of your website or articles. 

Hint: Long-Tail Keywords (which include 3 or more words) are better! The more detailed the keyword is, the higher your website can potentially rank. 

Finding keywords is a pretty simple process. SEO tools like Google Trends, Ubersuggest, and Google itself help show what kinds of keywords are related to your website or company. These tools also show you the competition, volume, and probability to rank each keyword. The best advice when choosing keywords to include on your website is high search volume, low competition, and high position. Other tools for keyword research include Ahrefs, MOZ Tools, and Semrush.  

Additionally, you should find secondary keywords to include in your website. These are terms that are closely related to primary keywords and help add context to your page. These keywords help crawlers or Googlebots understand your page better and ensure that your page is ranked effectively for the associated queries. 

2. On-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves ways in which you can optimize your web page to be ranked higher on Google directly from your webpage. These strategies include the addition of keywords into your webpage, internal and external linking. 

Internal Linking

Internal links are links from one page of your website that connect to another page of your website. This can be helpful to increase traffic between pages on your website. By embedding links between pages on your website, users are more likely to stay longer on your website and therefore, crawlers are more likely to rank your page higher since users stay longer and are more invested in your website. This helps increase the value of your web page and signals to Google that you are essential and helping users. Google will better understand the relevance of your pages, the relationship between your pages, and the value of your pages. 

External Linking

External links are hyperlinks that target or link to any domain other than the domain that the link exists on. External linking improves your credibility and enhances your website’s authority, which increases your value on Google. Best practices for external linking are to ensure that your links are relevant since users should gain valuable information from your links and to link to credible sources so that you are not misleading users or crawlers. Also, external links should be opened in different tabs to encourage your visitor to stay and explore your page as much as possible. 

Hint: When posting content on your web page, you want to make sure that the content has more than 500 words since this word count is most optimal for Googlebots or crawlers.

3. Off-Page SEO

Backlinking is a link-building campaign that involves linking on other websites that leads visitors to your site. These are called inbound links since they represent another website’s traffic linking to your own site. Quality and quantity of backlinks helps your site rank higher in search engines since it improves credibility and value to users. In doing this, you can exchange links with different website owners to benefit each other’s SEO. 

Additional ways to optimize your website’s ranking are through promotional content like social media or on Question-and-Answer platforms like Yahoo! Or Quora where you can help answer users’ problems and provide them a link to your website. Another way includes joining search forums to promote your website’s links and also get feedback on your website’s content.  

This was only a simple and general description of how to understand and utilize SEO. I hope this helps!

Some additional resources include:

Beginner’s Guide to SEO

What is SEO?

Why is SEO so powerful?

WRITTEN BY EMA ZORONJIC

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