These days, the first thing you do even while you’re still thinking about a particular problem or location or idea is to search for it on Google. Google is your go-to solution for almost all the problems you think technology has an answer to.
According to research, 61% of marketers refer to SEO as a major tool for marketing in 2021. This brings us to the reality that without some online presence, your business can not survive the digital battle.
In this article, you’ll learn a method of building your online presence –Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You’ll learn about SEO, how it functions and what to do to get your site to rank on search engine results.
But before we go further, you might have read some information about SEO in the past, and that might have built an impression about how complex it is. However, this guide isn’t like that. Here, SEO will be broken into the most basic bits and you’ll learn how to use its elements to build a successful SEO strategy in 2022.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The main purpose of SEO is to increase a company’s online visibility on search results through organic means. This consequently drives more users to the company’s website causing more traffic to the site, increasing conversions and generating profitable leads.
So to be put simply, SEO is a strategy that ensures that when there’s a search for your company, business, product or service category, your website comes up.
There are different ways to optimize your site pages for SEO. Before search engines rank a page, they look for different elements like title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure and inbound links/backlinks. SEO also takes into consideration other factors like site structure and design, user experience and other external and off-site factors before deciding how your site should rank on SERPs.
Taking all these factors into account, SEO strives for two things– rankings and visibility.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO works pretty simply. All it does is optimize a website’s content, conduct keyword research and earn inbound links to increase that content’s ranking and its online visibility.
Although you start to see results take effect on the SERP once the webpage has been indexed by a search engine, SEO can still take a long time before it starts to make its impact.
This is what search engines use to decide how high a webpage should rank in the SERPs. Ranking begins at position number zero all through to the last number of search engine results for the search, and a web page can only rank for one position at a time.
As time goes on, a web page ranking might reduce due to age, competition from other sites or algorithm updates by the search engine.
This term defines how popular a particular website is in the search engine results. Lower search visibility happens when a website isn’t visible for many searches that concern it. But with higher search visibility, the website appears in search engines whenever a search is made about its category.
What’s the importance of SEO?
SEO is a very important digital tool that can benefit your business more than you know. The SEO strategy helps you position your business in a better place. It also ensures that your marketing strategies match up with the new market trends and that your website is still able to keep up with each algorithm update.
Because according to Google, customer behaviour has improved greatly. As of June 2021, Google was the only search engine with 92% of internet searches. What’s more, customers prefer to perform their searches and research on their own.
According to research, 60% of people search about their brand online first before buying the product.
But how do search engines come into play in the process? Early in the process, they find information about their problems on Google, some also ask about potential solutions.
Then they compare information based on reviews and comments before checking in with a company. But they only do this after they’ve run out of more information. Hence, the only way that customers can notice and buy from your business is when you show up in their search results.
How does Google know how to rank a page?
The search engine is designed with only one major purpose, which is to give users the most useful answers or information. Every time you research and you get a result, that’s because the search engine has provided pages that are most relevant to your search. Then search engines rank them according to how important or useful their contents are.
To dish out the best information to users, search engines analyze two factors:
- Relevancy between the user’s search and the information on a page. Search engines rank it by different factors like topics or keywords.
- Authority is measured by how well-known a website is on the internet. Google thinks that the more popularity a page has the more value it has to give its readers.
And to break down all this information, they use equations which are referred to as search algorithms.
Search engines have always kept their algorithms away from public knowledge. But over time, SEO has listed some factors that they consider before they rank a page. They are called ranking factors and they’re the main focus of an SEO strategy.
When deciding the relevance and authority of a site, search engines follow the E-A-T framework. The E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. And although E-A-T cannot be classified as direct ranking factors, they can still help to improve your SEO content which can consequently increase your ranking.
You’ll soon discover that writing quality content, optimising image file names and getting quality backlinks can improve your rankings and search visibility. And that’s because each of those actions contributes significantly to ranking factors.
What is an SEO strategy?
An SEO marketing strategy is a thorough plan to bring more visitors to your website with the use of search engines. A successful SEO involves many things including, on-page strategies(it uses intent-based keywords) and off-page strategies( which earn backlinks from other sites).
Three Core Components of a Strong SEO Strategy
For your site SEO optimization, you need to improve rank in factors in three areas– technical website setup, content and links.
- Technical Setup
Before your website can rank, a search engine first has to find your pages on the web, then it must understand the topics and keywords. Lastly, it needs to add them to its database. This way, whenever there’s a search concerning your webpage, its algorithm can consider displaying your website.
This seems pretty simple, right? At least if you can visit your site easily, then Google should be able to do the same, right?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You view your webpage as a collection of graphics, colours, and text with its formatting and links.
But search engines don’t view your website like that, it only sees text.
As a result, any element it can not turn into text remains hidden from the search engine. And so, even if your website is looking okay to you, Google might find it hard to access it.
The most important factors that help Google recognise your website include:
- Website navigation and links
- Simple URL structure
- Page speed
- Dead links or broken redirects
- Sitemap and Robots.txt files
- Duplicate contents
Content is what customers see when searching the web. Regardless of what they need, they’ll find their answers in content. And the more quality content you publish, the higher your chance of ranking on search engines. Also, content is one of the search engine ranking factors.
While crawling a page, they check out its topic, they analyse the page length and structure; this helps them check its quality. Based on their findings, search engines can then match a person’s search with pages they consider the best for it.
To optimize your content, you need to engage in keyword research. SEO is not just about getting random people to visit your site. You want people with the intention to buy to visit your site right? That’s only possible if your website is ranked for keywords that these potential buyers used in their search. Without the right keywords in your content, your potential customers may never find you.
Links are responsible for popularity. Although Google has a page according to its relevance, they also include popularity in its ranking factors.
When we’re talking about links, here’s what we mean. Links can also be called backlinks; they link back to your content on other websites. Anytime another website directs users to your content, you earn a backlink to your site.
So you should aim at building quality backlinks for your site. And while at it, ensure it’s from an authoritative site with already established authority.
You can get quality backlinks through guest blogging and getting other websites to link back to you.
On a final note;
SEO in 2022 is pretty much the same. Except for a few algorithm updates, you can’t get past the basic SEO rules and guidelines to enjoy a successful SEO.
The basics have been listed and explained in this article; your technical setup, content and links are very important.