SEO stands for “search engine optimization”.
It is the practice of increasing the number of visitors to a website via free (organic) search results on search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.
Let’s say, for example, you are looking for the perfect valentine's day present and you’d like to give your girlfriend a beautiful pearl necklace as a gift.
You type “pearl necklace set” or “pearl necklace price” in Google.
You notice that there are results that appear organically and others that come from paid advertising.
SEO is what helps any brand stay on top of the search results without having to pay for any clicks.
The items that are involved in SEO are:
Following the example with the pearl necklace, the image below may help you identify how to determine paid vs. organic results.
You can see that the results highlighted in yellow correspond to paid advertising. Everything that is below the images is considered organic.
You may be wondering now, how does SEO work?
Every search engine has a crawler – a series of internet bot that systematically browses the World Wide Web- that is triggered every time you hit the search button.
Crawlers return the information to the search engines and builds an index.
Then, an algorithm - a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer - match all the data with your query.
There are several factors that are considered important when speaking of a search engine’s algorithm. A group of experts ranked their importance regarding the SE (Search Engine) part of
To introduce the O in SEO, it stands for optimization.
Now, you may be wondering: How do I make my site to appear in Google?
It’s not an easy process, but with great SEO, you can achieve it!
Great content will encourage people to link to your pages and therefore, show Google that your pages are interesting and authoritative.
It is your job to create authority pages.
This involves writing content about topics that people will find useful. The more useful your content is, the more it will be shared in blogs and social media.
Let’s go back to the example above. Let’s say you pick one of the organic results and you purchase your mother’s gift at a luxurious jewelry store.
You and your mom are happy about the product, so you know that if you ever need anything similar as a gift, you can always pick the same jewelry store.
You will want to know their new releases and special holiday promotions.
You will probably start following them on Facebook and Instagram, subscribe to their mailing list and read a blog or two every now and then.
You may also stumble with a question in a forum and you may direct a couple of users to this jewelry store’s website (creating a backlink).
The more you share their content and engage with it, the more you are helping their ranking because you are showing the search engine that this website as relevant to the specific topic of jewelry stores.
You chose to purchase from this website because it was easy to be found. Their words and phrases were relevant to what the website was offering and you found exactly what you were looking for.
This refers to activities on a website to improve organic visibility.
To make your site more accessible, much of it has to do with the relevance of yor content and experience for users.
You may want to consider such as:
To create the best content, you need to understand fully the person who’s buying.
Here are a few questions you may want to consider:
Also known as offsite SEO, link building is a perfect way of acquiring votes of trust for your site’s content.
It’s quite simple, no one will mention your website if the content is not true, relevant and original.
Links from websites and pages with more trust will transfer much more value to another website.
Keep in mind that the quality of links is very important.
For this, you may need to do some outreach yourself.
Some of the steps to do this will be:
1. Prospect and qualify relevant link opportunities (test different outreach strategies to improve response rate)
2. Build relationship within each opportunity
3. Request link placement on defined websites (previously qualified by you and your team)
4. Create content yourself or hire someone else to do it for you
As you see, this is a process that every company needs to define on their own.
Communication with other entities, journalists, bloggers and/or influencers will be beneficial.
How will you know if a link is valuable?
Consider the quality of the referral traffic. Keep a wary eye for the relationship and relevancy of the site that’s referring yours.
This brings up a good question: Should you buy backlinks?
As you see the steps that need to take place for you to acquire backlinks by doing outreach, you would not be buying backlinks, you would b buying an entire process.
Don’t worry, I’m sure you’re not the only one who has thought about this.
In my opinion, it may seem like a way to save time and get results easier.
But I want you to consider something:
It can be dangerous!
Buying backlinks is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Google is pretty smart, and if you get caught. If you do, you will get a manual action against your site.
This will affect your organic traffic.
For more information regarding SEO, I found these articles really helpful:
SEO Starter Guide – From Google
Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines – From Google
Beginners Guide To SEO – From Moz
Beginners Guide to Link Building – From Moz
Beginners Guide to Content Marketing – From Moz
It is no secret that SEO is a long-term game. With this being said, be sure to create a solid content strategy.
However, there are 2 ways in which you can keep track of your SEO efforts:
1. You notice an increase in organic traffic.
Google Analytics (as well as many other reporting tools) may provide informationon the amount of traffic, you are acquiring through organic search.
2. New Inbound Links to your website
It’s important to have a strategy in place that will allow you to measure your successes.
This applies to SEO efforts as well.
Remember, SEO is a long-term goal. Which means that you need to concentrate your efforts on getting higher quality traffic and ultimately making them convert well.
Can your website be found without SEO?
It can, but definitely not in the first pages of search results. Search engines are smart, but you can still help them out a bit with the correct SEO strategies.
The internet is a highly competitive space. The companies who perform SEO will have a decided advantage in visibility, therefore, visits and customers.
You can perform SEO for yourself. The internet is filled with guidelines and steps for you to achieve the best results organically.
The success of your efforts will be limited to the amount of time you can dedicate to learning and how complex your website is.
I hope this post helped you see the great benefits of investing time and effort creating SEO for your company.