So! How does SEO work?
When a business starts its online presence, it needs to consider SEO for visibility in search engines. Search engines look for keywords, phrases linked with articles as well as external links. In this way, the likes of Google are able to rank any website for people searching for a specific word, term, phrase or sentence.
SEO optimization when done correctly is pretty powerful. It also takes a fair amount of time to generate traffic to any website – this is called organic traffic.
How long does SEO take to work?
This will be down to your website design, content, keywords and phrases along with properly tagged photos and good meta descriptions. A bit more on this later.
As already mentioned SEO is the short form of ‘search engine optimization’.
In short, SEO is the process where you can change the content and design of a website in a way that the search engine will pick up all the key information and hopefully will rank the website higher in the Google platform. It will mean that people looking for what you are providing ar more likely to ‘hit’ the website.
Search engines are quite complex algorithms. This is why ranking a website involves several factors. However, the basic process of optimization is the same.
The goal of the search engine is to provide the highest quality content according to the user’s search query. Moreover, search engines also look at how easy it is for a visitor to navigate the website. If it is easy, then the search engine will ‘love’ that😀😀
As briefly mentioned the SEO process for an organization is performed by putting keywords and phrases in the content. These phrases and keywords must be the same as people are searching on the internet.
SEO then puts your content in front of the right people. A website with good SEO optimization will getter many more targeted views from customers looking for what you are offering.
Factors the affect SEO
There are many factors that affect your ranking in search engine pages.
Search engines never reveal the exact algorithm that they use for ranking websites. However, you can understand the patterns and procedures for the best ranking in search engine pages.
There are both on-Page factors and off-page factors.
Content is the only thing that attracts the search engine to your website. Visitors always come to your website if you have the relevant content for what they are looking for.
If you have content with the highest quality and relevancy, then the search engine will rank your website accordingly.
Moreover, if your content engages the reader and provides value, then the visitor is likely to stay longer on your website. This will also determine your ranking in search engine result pages.
If your visitor opens your website and goes away within a few seconds, then this is called the bounce rate. Your website will go down in ranking. This is not good 😥
The secret then of getting visitors and ranking is to create quality content that is optimized both for search engines and customers.
You can use the following content pieces for engaging readers.
- Blog posts and articles
- Social media content
- E-books and White papers
- How-to guides and tutorials
- Videos and audio recordings
- Infographics and visuals
All of the above content must include keywords and phrases in optimized density. So, the search engine will know your content better and puts it in front of the right people.
You need to optimize elements on your website. This process is deeper than the content. You need to put your keywords in the HTML code of the website.
What are these?
- Title tags: You need to put your keyword and business name in it for improved ranking.
- Meta description: It tells the search engine and customer about the content on your website page. So, you must include the keyword and relevant detail in 20 to 30 words.
- Sub-headings: You need to put your keywords in subheadings. It will help the search engine and customers to read your content.
- Internal links: Your content can also be related to other content on your website. You will need to build internal links on your site. It will help search engines to grade your content according to the search query.
- Image Name and ALT tags: You also need to put the keyword in your image names and ALT tags. It will tell the search engine about your keyword.
You also need to use keywords in the right density because over-optimization will be a negative factor for you.
There are different off-page factors that affect your ranking. So, there is a need to improve the website performance for off-page SEO.
What are these?
- Trust: You need to build quality backlinks with authority sites. It will show your authenticity to the search engine. So, visitors can trust your website.
- Links: You need to build links with influencers and other sites. So, whenever a visitor is on another platform, then he/she will get to your site from links.
- Social: Your site needs social shares and likes. If you have these the website will rank better.
Hopefully, you are now getting the picture of what SEO is and can do for a website.
The reality is that Keywords in the new area of SEO are no longer what they used to be. SEO today is driven more by natural language searches e.g. normal questions you would ask someone. It will take 4 to 6 months for your SEO efforts to get results. With time, the website will grow in the digital world. You will get more social shares, likes, and links. Your results in the 12-month period will be better than the 6-month period. So, I would advise (IMHO) to give time for all the organic traffic to begin working. The search engine will index your site organically. Once the website shows up in search engine result pages, then improvement in content quality will boost your ranking.
This article is just a very brief introduction into the ‘dark art’ of Search Engine Optimization. I am no guru and I still have a lot to learn
Let me know in the comments section what your experience of SEO has been. I will respond.
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