What is Search Engine Optimization
Understanding What SEO Is
Search engine optimization or SEO as its popularly known is the process of improving the visibility of your site on the organic search engine results. You do this by incorporating search engine friendly elements into your site. These elements include: right keywords, right content, and links.
Types of SEO
There are two main types of SEO: black hat and white hat SEO. Black hat SEO is a type of SEO that seeks to exploit the weaknesses in the search engine algorithms in order to obtain high rankings of a site. Some of the black hat techniques include: keyword stuffing, hidden links, cloaking, link spam and hidden text. While you will get a high ranking fast using the technique, the rankings are short-lived as the algorithms catch up with you eventually thus demoting your site. In some cases, your site can be penalized thus it doesn’t appear anywhere in the search results.
White hat SEO, on the other hand, makes use of techniques and methods that don’t go against Google guidelines. White hat techniques include: website HTML optimization, proper link acquisition campaigns, high-quality content, manual research, and outreach. For you to rank high with this type of SEO you need to be patient as the ranking process is gradual; however, when you reach the top, you remain there. Since you aren’t violating any of the search engine guidelines, you don’t have to worry about your site getting penalized.
Categories of SEO
There are two main categories of SEO: On-page and off-page SEO. On-page SEO is concerned with the ranking factors that are determined by directly looking at the site that you are optimizing. These factors include: content, headline, and structure of the page. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to the ranking factors that aren’t exclusively in your hands—the factors are dependent on other websites, blogs, and social media networks. They include social shares, backlinks and a host of many others.
On page SEO
For you to properly optimize your site’s page you need to consider many factors. They include:
Content: In 1996 Bill gates stated that content is king and this holds true up to date. The information that you publish on your site greatly affects your ranking. As rule of thumb ensure that you publish high-quality content. One factor that makes content great is its length. Studies show that readers are more inclined to take serious and spend more time on long content than on shorter one. Long content has also been shown to be shared up to 2 times more than short content. For ideal results, ensure that your articles are at least 1,500 words.
Keywords: Another factor that you should consider is your use of keywords. While you should be writing for people, you should sprinkle in your target keywords for the search engines to know what your content is about. A few years ago you could rank high by simply stuffing your content with keywords but this is no longer the case. When you use a lot of keywords in your content, you risk your site getting penalized.
Search engines have over the years grown and they are now at a level where they are able to interpret the keywords that users are using to find your content. The search algorithms are not only looking at your keywords, they are also looking at the synonyms. When writing your content, you shouldn’t concentrate only on your exact target keyword—you should also consider the synonyms. You should mention the keywords naturally in your content so that your readers read flawlessly.
HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is a programming language that is used by almost every site. The cool thing is that you don’t need to be a master at it in order to run your online business or rank high in the search results. You only need to have a basic understanding of it and you are good to go. The HTML aspects of your site that you need to know about include: title tags, meta description, schema, and subheads.
The structure of your site: How your site looks not only has a great impact on how users interact with it, it also greatly affects its rank. To be on the safe side you should ensure that your site loads fast, is easy to crawl, and mobile friendly.
As mentioned, off-page SEO refers to the factors that are outside your control. One of the most important factors is the links that you get from other sites. Links are like endorsements and when you are endorsed by a reputable brand, you have high chances of ranking high in search results. There are many ways of getting backlinks: you can ask industry leaders to link to you or write blog posts. Regardless of the method that you use, only concentrate on quality and not quantity. This calls for you to concentrate on getting your links from high-quality sites.
This is what you need to know about search engine optimization. To be safe you should avoid techniques that might put you in trouble with Google and other search engines. This calls for you to concentrate on white hat SEO techniques. This includes: creating great content, build your site authority and create great user experience. You should avoid keyword stuffing, purchasing links, and other black hat SEO tricks.
While social media networks: Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and others don’t have direct SEO value to your site, they are very powerful when it comes to brand creation and building of customer relationships. To make your content easy on the social media sites you should optimize it. The process is called Social Media Optimization (SMO).
There are many ways of going about it. Two of the most effective ways are using hashtags and using your target keyword when sharing your content. For example, if you want people to find your content when looking for information on SEO company in Kolkata, you should include the keyword when sharing a link to your content.