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What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of getting pages to rank higher in search engines like Google. Because search is one of the primary ways people find content online, higher search engine rankings can drive more traffic to a website.

On Google and other search engines, results pages often have paid ads at the top of the page, followed by regular results, or what search engine marketers call “organic search results”. SEO traffic is often referred to as “organic search traffic” to distinguish it from paid search traffic. Paid search is often referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Pay-Per-Click (PPC).

SEO Benefits

Search engine optimization is an important part of online marketing because search is one of the main ways users navigate the web.

The search results are presented in a sorted list, and the higher the website is in this list, the more traffic the website receives. For example, in a typical search query, result number one gets 40-60% of the total traffic for that query, and results in number two and three get very little traffic. Only 2-3% of searchers click on the first page of search results. Therefore, a small improvement in search engine ranking can result in a website getting more visitors and potentially more business.

For this reason, many companies and website owners try to manipulate search results so that their website appears higher on the search results page (SERP) than their competitors. This is where SEO comes in handy.

How SEO works

Search engines such as Google use an algorithm or set of rules to determine which pages to display for a specific search query. These algorithms become extremely complex when considering hundreds or thousands of different ranking factors to determine your SERP ranking. However, there are three main metrics that search engines evaluate to determine the quality and ranking of a website:

Links: Links to other websites play an important role in determining the ranking of a website on Google and other search engines. This is because a link can be seen as a successful offer from other websites as website owners are unlikely to link to other poor-quality websites. Websites that receive links from many other websites gain authority in the eyes of search engines (referred to by Google as “PageRank”), especially when the websites linking to them are authoritative.

Content – Search engines look not only at links but also at the content of a web page to determine whether it is relevant to a particular search query. A big part of SEO is creating content that targets the keywords that search engine users are looking for.

Page Structure – The third major component of SEO is page structure. Because web pages are written in HTML, the way the HTML code is structured can affect the ability of search engines to rank the page. Including relevant keywords in page titles, URLs, and headers and ensuring that the site is crawlable are steps site owners can take to improve their site’s SEO.

search engine optimization techniques

Understanding how search engines work is the first step toward improving a website’s search ranking. To improve the ranking of a website, several SEO techniques must be used to optimize the website for the search:

Keyword Research- Keyword research is often the starting point for SEO and includes examining what keywords the website is already ranking for, what keywords competitors are ranking for, and what other searchers are searching for. are. Identifying the terms being used by searchers on Google Search and other search engines provides information about which existing content can be adapted and which new content can be created.

Content Marketing- Once the potential keywords are identified, content marketing comes into play. This can be updating existing content or creating new content.

Because Google and other search engines attach high importance to quality content, it is important to research what content already exists and create engaging content that delivers a positive user experience and a chance of ranking higher in search engine results. gives. ,

Good content is also more likely to be shared on social media and attract links.

Link Building- Since links to external websites (called “backlinks” in SEO jargon) are one of the top ranking factors on Google and other major search engines, getting quality backlinks is one of the most important levers for SEO. . This may include promoting good content, reaching out to other websites and building relationships with webmasters, submitting websites to relevant web directories, and engaging the press to attract links from other websites.

On-Page Optimization- Apart from off-page factors like links, improving the actual structure of the page can lead to tremendous SEO benefits and is a factor entirely within the control of the webmaster. Common on-page optimization techniques include optimizing the page URL to include keywords, updating the page title tag to use relevant search terms, and using the alt attribute to describe images.

Updating a page’s meta tags (such as meta description tags) can also be beneficial: these tags do not have a direct impact on search rankings, but they can increase SERP click-through rates.

Optimizing Site Architecture- Not only are external links important for SEO, internal links (links within the website) also play an important role in SEO.

Therefore, a search engine optimizer can improve a website’s SEO by ensuring that important pages are linked and that relevant anchor text is used in those links to improve the page’s relevancy to specific terms. Creating an XML sitemap can also be a great way for large sites to help search engines find and crawl all the pages on your site.

Semantic Markup- Another SEO strategy used by SEO professionals is to optimize the semantic markup of the website. Semantic markup (eg is used to describe the meaning behind the content of a page, e.g. B. To help identify the author or subject and type of content on a page.

Using semantic markup can help display rich snippets on the search results page, e.g. B. Additional text, rating stars, and even images. Rich snippets in SERPs do not affect search rankings, but they can improve search CTR, resulting in more organic traffic.

Main SEO Tools

As a fairly technical discipline, there are many tools and software that SEO relies on to optimize websites. Here are some commonly used free and paid tools:

Google Search Console: Google Search Console (formerly known as “Google Webmaster Tools”) is a free tool provided by Google and a standard tool in the SEO toolkit. GSC provides rankings and traffic reports for top keywords and pages and can help identify and troubleshoot technical issues on a site.

Google Ads Keyword Planner: Keyword Planner is another free tool provided by Google as part of their Google Ads product. Although designed for paid search, it can be a great tool for SEO as it provides keyword suggestions and keyword search volume, which can help with keyword research.

Backlink Analysis Tools: There are many link analysis tools out there, two of the main ones being AHREF and Majestic. Backlink analysis tools allow users to analyze which websites are linking to their own or competitor’s websites and can be used to find new links during link building.

SEO Platforms: There are many different SEO platforms that combine many of the tools needed for SEO to optimize websites. Some of the most popular are Moz, BrightEdge, Searchmetrics, and Linkdex.

These platforms track keyword rankings, help with keyword research, identify on-page and off-page SEO opportunities, and perform many other SEO-related tasks.

Social Media: Most social media sites have no direct impact on SEO, but they can be a great tool to network with other webmasters and build relationships that can lead to link-building and guest posting opportunities.

Optimizing Search Traffic: From Clicks to Conversions

Search engine optimization done properly can have the potential to dramatically increase the amount of traffic a website receives, but all that search traffic won’t help a business grow unless it’s paying off. Do not convert into existing customers. This is where Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) comes in handy.

Conversion rate optimization uses methods such as A/B testing to make changes to websites and measure their impact on a website’s conversion rate.

Successful search engine marketers know that it is not enough just to get traffic to a page, it is equally important to what the traffic is doing once it is on the page.

CRO was once a difficult and highly technical process, but thanks to software like Optimizely, testing how to improve conversions on your website is as easy as inserting a line of Javascript. Best of all, Optimizely’s visual editor lets you make website changes without writing a single line of code.

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