Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

How Does SEO Work?

Google (and Bing, which also power Yahoo search results) rank their search results mostly based upon the relevancy and authority of the pages in which it has crawled and included in its web index.  Simply put the search engines main goal is to provide the end user with the most consistent, relevant information surrounding the topic that the end user is searching for.

SEO, therefore, involves making sure a website is accessible, technically sound, uses keywords that people type into the search engines, and provides an excellent user experience. SEO involves technical and creative activities that are often grouped into ‘Onsite SEO’ and ‘Offsite SEO’.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO refers to activities on a website to improve organic visibility. This largely means optimizing a website and content to improve the accessibility, relevancy, and experience for end users.

Some of the key factors include :

Keyword Research  Analysing the types of words and frequency used by prospective customers to find a brand’s services or products. Understanding their intent and a user’s expectations from their search.

Technical Auditing  Ensuring the website can be crawled and indexed is correctly geo-targeted and is free from errors or user experience barriers.

Onsite Optimization  Improving the website structure, internal navigation, on-page alignment, and content relevancy to help prioritize key areas and target relevant search phrases.

User Experience  Ensuring content shows expertise, authority, and trust, is simple to use, fast, and ultimately provides the best possible experience to users against the competition.

Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO refers to activities carried outside of a website to improve organic visibility. This is often referred to as ‘link building’, which aims to increase the number of reputable links from other websites, as search engines use them as a scoring model, as a vote of trust, authority.

Links from websites and pages with more trust, popularity, and relevance will pass more value to another website, than an unknown, poor website that isn’t trusted by the search engines. So the quality of a link is the most important signal.

Building backlinks are at the foundation of off-site SEO. Search engines use backlinks as indications of the website’s content quality, so a site with many high-value backlinks will usually rank better than an otherwise equal site with fewer backlinks.

 

There are three main types of links:

Natural Links

Natural links are editorially given without any action on the part of a page owner. For example, a food blogger adding a link to a post that points toward their favorite produce farms is a natural link.

Manually Built Links

Manually built links are acquired through deliberate link-building activities. This includes things like getting customers to link to your website or asking influencers to share your content.

Self-Created Links

Self-created links are created by practices such as adding a backlink in an online directory, forum, blog comment signature, or a press release with optimized anchor text. Some self-created link building tactics tend toward black hat SEO and are frowned upon by search engines, so tread lightly here.

Important Link factors to consider:

  • The linking site’s popularity
  • How related the linking site’s topic is to the site being linked to
  • The “freshness” of the link
  • The anchor text used on the linking site
  • The trustworthiness of the linking site
  • The number of other links on the linking page
  • Authority of the linking domain and page

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