Did you know that 75% of people only check the first page of Google search results? The clickthrough rate is 28.5% for the first page, and 15.7% for the second. The Web pages ranked lower hardly draw any traffic. So imagine if you, as a business, appear on page 3 of a potential customer’s search results for their need. You’d struggle to increase website traffic and grow your market. To solve this, companies are increasingly relying on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is one of the best marketing strategies to get a higher ranking on search engines. So, what is SEO and how do search engines function?
What is SEO?
It is a process that involves structuring your website using specific keywords and quality content to increase organic traffic. The key purposes of SEO are to make your website or web page rank higher on Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and drive organic traffic to the website.
Why Invest in SEO?
While investing in an organic search strategy might seem like a huge financial decision, it is one of the best investments for a company’s growth. The numbers tell the story.
- Reduced Customer Acquisition Cost: Statistics suggest that it reduces the cost of customer acquisition for companies by 87.41%
- Increased Business Value: With the right strategy in place, the business value of a blog visit can increase by 429%. This essentially means that the traffic that your website will get from good SEO is relevant traffic that will generate hot leads, which are more likely to convert.
- The Best Return on Investment (ROI): SEO generates the highest ROI in comparison to other marketing strategies. ROI ranges from 500% to 1200% of marketing spend.
What are the Foundational Pillars of SEO?
It is an umbrella term that involves several strategies to improve search engine ranking. The following are the foundational pillars:
1. On-Site SEO
On-site or on-page SEO works on the website to generate organic traffic. It involves linking internal blogs or pages so that the user spends more time on the website, adding relevant keywords to website content, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, and doing SEO audits.
2. Off-Site SEO
Off-site or off-page SEO involves all activities outside the website that generates traffic. It includes social media marketing, blog commenting, guest posting, and PR activities.
3. Technical SEO
It means fixing errors and improving the website’s speed and loading time, among other things.
4. Data and Analytics
It is the process of collecting and analyzing marketing data to gain a better understanding of your website’s organic performance.
How do Search Engines Work? What is SEO’s Role?
There is no surefire method of making your website rank higher on search engines. It involves a lot of trial and error to reach an effective SEO strategy. However, before you build a plan, you must understand how search engines work. An algorithm decides the ranking of Web pages.
According to Backlinko, Google’s search engine algorithm considers over 200 factors for website ranking. These include content quality, user-friendliness, page speed, keyword placements, backlinks, and search intent. These factors are integral to SEO and impact search engine ranking.
Whenever a search query is made on search engines, the crawlers or spiders go through multiple web pages with relevant content. These web pages are stored in the search engine database and indexed or ranked by the algorithm. Pages that follow the majority of metrics appear higher on the SERP.
How to Get Started with Search Engine Optimization
We now know what is SEO’s role in search engine rankings. Here’s how to get started with it.
Step 1: Prepare an SEO Strategy
Your SEO strategy should involve adding quality website content and relevant keywords. However, you must avoid keyword stuffing. Adding keywords to internal links, headers, and image tags is crucial. You can also add blogs and infographics to the website.
Step 2: Conduct Audit and Prepare Report
The next step is to do an SEO audit and prepare a report. This process helps figure out loopholes in SEO strategy.
Step 3: Final Review
Lastly, do a final review of the backlinks that you have added to the content. However, monitoring your SEO strategy and tracking progress is also essential.
Traits of Successful SEO Efforts
What is SEO like when done right? Here are a few traits:
- Knowing your target audience and researching keywords accordingly
- Creating high-quality, original, creative, and engaging content for your website
- Regularly updating the website content, URLs, titles, and metadata with relevant keywords
- Doing market research at regular intervals and keeping up with the latest SEO strategies
- Adding quality backlinks to blogs
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is SEO for Bing Different from Google?
Bing SEO favors backlink-rich pages. Bing also values page authority. Bing’s index prioritizes audio and video over Google’s text. If you use keywords, meta descriptions, and meta tags on website pages, Bing is easier to rank than Google, as Google has the most sophisticated spam filters.
2. What Does NAP Mean in Local SEO?
NAP stands for your business’s Name, Address, and Phone number. It includes your business’s NAP. Adding a location and address increases your website’s Google search engine ranking. It also helps the algorithm validate your website.
3. How Long Does it Take to Rank on Google?
New websites rank organically on Google in 3-4 months. Relevant low-volume keywords boost Google’s ranking. But low-volume keywords are infrequently searched. Many companies rank high-volume keywords on Google, which can take a year.
4. What is a Core Algorithm Update?
All search engines and social media sites work with an algorithm. This algorithm uses different metrics to decide how to rank pages. The metrics and functioning of this algorithm are often changed or updated by Google. This is known as a Core Algorithm Update.
5. How Often Does Google Update the Algorithm?
Google frequently makes changes to its search algorithm. There are 600–700 Google algorithm updates in a year.
6. What PSI Score Should I Aim For?
PageSpeed Insights (PSI) measures mobile and desktop page load speed. It measures Google page performance. PSI increases if the page opens in 2 seconds or less. Thus, aim for at least 90 PSI on a scale of 1-100.
7. How Important is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority (DA) determines the quality of a website and its chances of ranking higher on Google. It is crucial for SEO as it tests a website’s credibility based on the Google search algorithm. A high DA score can help improve rankings on Google.
8. Does Duplicate Content Hurt Website Rankings?
Credibility is one of the most crucial factors for higher ranking on search engines. The Google algorithm filters identical or duplicate content, which reduces the website’s credibility and lowers the page’s ranking.
SEO improves website visibility, attracts customers, and boosts sales as customers research online before making purchase decisions. Thus, more companies are improving their SEO to rank higher on Google. Around 44% of US businesses have SEO strategies, according to a survey. Therefore, SEO and digital marketing jobs will likely multiply in the coming years. Clearly, it’s the right time to plan and build a career in marketing. Explore Emeritus digital marketing courses that will help you learn more advanced SEO strategies and gain marketing skills to boost your career.
By Sneha Chugh
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