Search engine optimization or SEO means to optimize your website to get organic or un-paid traffic to your content. Organic traffic is the highest quality of traffic. When people search for something on the internet, search engines try to give them the most relevant results. In order to achieve that, they place the most valuable content or information on the top where people can see it and easily access it. So, you want to rank as high in the search engine ratings as you can so people can find you. Search engine optimization makes it easy for you to be found.
How do search engines operate?
There are three major steps involved here-
- Crawling – Finding content on the internet
- Indexing – Storing
Search engines “crawl” the internet by following links to find content. To do so, they use something called bots or spider bots. These bots roam the internet looking for new information that’s being posted every second. So, the algorithm of the search engines scale all the information out there to separate the useful and relevant information to the irrelevant and useless one.
The next step is for the search engines to add what it finds to the “index”. Indexing basically refers to storing the relevant information in the database. So, when anyone asks for a certain kind of information, the search engines pull out the most relevant piece of information to assist the researcher.
The last step is for your content to be “ranked”. Basically, the search engines rank your content according to the relevancy. The more relevant, authentic and valuable your content is, the more the search engines would consider ranking you higher.
How to rank higher in SEO?
Search engine optimization is a long term process, so don’t expect your website to rank overnight. You would be disappointed as it takes time. Also, it will require your equal effort in achieving so. First and foremost, have really good content. You might have heard this before that the content is king, so, make sure that you’re content really is top quality.
Do proper keyword research before you publish anything. There are two ways to go about this, you can either do the keyword research before you write your content and optimize it along with writing it, or you can write your content first and then optimize it. Both of the ways work just fine, look for the one that suits you better.
You want your desired keywords or keyphrases to be present multiple times in your content to reinforce the fact that your content really is about those terms. But try to be subtle about it. Don’t stuff keywords in your content without thinking. Your keyword density must never exceed 2%. 1 to 1.5% of keyword density is considered good. Here you need to satisfy the search engine algorithm along with the people consuming your content. So, be careful with it.
Provide value and provide quality to the people who take the time to consume your content. Google would do the rest for you. Another thing you can do to increase your search engine ranking is to leave quality backlinks over the internet so it becomes easier for your target audience to find you. You have to make every effort to be found.
Using software for SEO
You might have seen a lot of people over the internet advertise about Softwares that help you build your SEO ranking quickly. You need to know that, any software claiming to raise your rankings automatically, must be avoided. Google is not dumb. There’s a reason it’s Google. It can see you as a spammer and end up removing your account from the search results.
Besides, these softwares are often very expensive. Do not invest in them. Do not invest in anything that you don’t completely understand. Never invest too soon and never invest too much. Almost always, these decisions end up hurting you. Getting services like an email provider or a good keyword tool for SEO is not the same thing. That kind of investment is different. Tools can be helpful.
The major point here being, don’t use any kind of blackhat SEO. Google is super strict about the practice of blackhat SEO. And you want to remain in the good graces of Google at all times. Beware of link networks. Google actively targets private link networks and penalizes those who use them.
Also, google no longer uses the keyword meta tag in your scoring at all. It’s just a waste of time to throw a lot of phrases into the keywords meta tag. Stop using it. The only thing that Meta keyword tag is good for is for looking at your competitors and finding out what keywords they’re targeting. You, on the other hand, are just giving away free strategy.
The content promotion
Great content is really important as I’ve stressed multiple times. Content is king. Whilst, awesome content is essential to your success, but it’s not all. Don’t just assume that people will just stumble across it on their own. While they even may, it would never reach its real potential and the process may take years. There’s a huge quantity of great information on the internet. Promote your content or no one will ever find it.
A good way to generate quality content in today’s digital marketplace is to have a ‘call to action’. There’s a lot of information on the internet, more than we know what to do with. Often times, when people consume this information, it confuses them even more. And at the end of the day, even if they understand it, they don’t know what to do with it. So, it just stays in their heads gathering dust until finally forgotten. Provide value in whatever way you can. People are not stupid, if you think they are, you’re the one who is. People know when you’re bullshitting them, and they don’t like it. So, the simple solution to this problem is, do not bullshit people.
You can promote your content by a lot of different ways. But the point that needs to be clear here is, that advertising and marketing are really important. And content promotion is a gradual process. The more you do it, the better it is. But make sure that you’re not spamming the internet like a robot on steroids.
Never think that you’re done with marketing or SEO. Search engine optimization is an ongoing process that is never complete. Like every other skill, the more you do it, the better you get.
SEO for small businesses
If you have a small business, you can use local search engine optimization or local SEO. Basically, what it means is that you will only be competing in your region. When anybody types on the google for the services or goods you provide in a certain area, Google will rank your website according to it according to the authority and reputation that you uphold. For example, if you offer plumbing services in a small city, and when someone needs assistance with plumbing from that city, google will help him find the best services in the area. Ranking high in local searches is fairly easy. It only competes with the businesses in your area, eliminating 99% of your competition. So, consider making your profiles on the local places platforms like Yahoo! Local, Google Places or bing local.
How can you earn from SEO?
Every skill has some kind of utility. If you put in the time and effort, you can earn a full-time income with search engine optimization, and most probably more. There are plenty of ways to earn online. There are a lot of business owners and content creators out there who want services in tech and are willing to pay handsomely for that. You can do client-based SEO, where you help other people rank on google. You can teach people how to do search engine optimization. You can create content around SEO and market it yourself being a marketer, and monetize the platform with an ad network or a good affiliate network in your niche. Or maybe, even both, which is also a good idea.
SEO is a long term process and if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it can give you great results. It is an ongoing process and you keep learning new things every day like every other thing. If you’re in the tech business or niche, you should at least know the basics of search engine optimization and how things work. If you’re in the marketing niche, you should know much more than the basics. Even if you have people for doing the groundwork for you, you should be aware of what’s going on. Hopefully, this introduction and basic walkthrough taught you something new today.
If you have any questions, suggestions or anything that you’d like to tell us, be sure to write to us. It’s always awesome to meet new people.