Search Engine Optimization, in short SEO, is a set of processes and techniques, intended for a website or piece of content, to rank higher in organic search classifications. By this, we expect better visibility and positioning in organic search results, therefore having more engagement in a website or content we share online.
People commonly use search engines, or browsers, to answer their questions. As a user searches, the search engine displays related results to the entered keywords. Results are of two types:
- Paid search results: website owners pay so their websites appear on top of every result, related to the user’s search.
- Organic search results: every other website which does not use PPC (Pay-Per Click) services, appears beneath paid results, ranked mostly by the reliability of the searched keyword.
To understand how SEO works, we have to understand how a search engine works. Search engines, like Google and Bing, use bots or known as “spiders” to slide into a site and gather information about it. If the information is related to a keyword, the search engine indexes that page of the site. When a user searches a keyword related to that page, the search engine shows the website in the results page. The higher the ranking in the organic search results, the better the is for that website, as it will get more views and engagement.
But not every website is “lucky” enough to appear on top of SERP (Search Engine Results Page), let more in the first page. In these cases, SEO is used to help a website rank higher in the classification of SERP. Also to mention that organic search results have a higher traffic share compared to paid search results, which raises the importance of SEO practices in a website.
Now that we have a simplified view of how search engines work, we can understand how SEO works. Search engine algorithms determine the ranking of search results based on many factors, but the core factors that are used to determine the quality of a website and the way how it should be ranked, are these:
- Page structure
So the job of an SEO specialist is resolved around these main factors, to improve a website’s search rank. SEOs perform keyword research, link building, semantic markup, and on-page and off-page optimization.
Keyword research is the first step to take to analyze the ranking of a website, the ranking of competitors for that keyword, and what keywords potential customers are using to address their needs. Identifying the keywords and terms users search for helps to indicate solutions to their ranking performance.
On-page optimization is another very important way how to improve a website’s ranking. Upgrading a website’s structure can benefit the optimization of organic search results and for this, the webmaster has total control. On-page techniques include changes in URLs, titles, tags, descriptions, and meta tags. The changes are made in accordance with the keywords researched on how to improve ranking performance. The results of on-page optimization can improve the appearance of organic search results, as well as increase the click-through rate from the SERPs.
There are many tools and software that are used to apply SEO skills to a website, but the most commonly used ones are:
- Ahrefs – a very good and suggested SEO tool that works online, and offers very good analytics and features.
- Google Search Console – a very good checker tool that helps SEOs keep track of their progress in real-time.
- SEMRush – a marketing SEO tool that is liked by the majority of users, because of its comprehensive features.
- KWFinder – an online tool that helps SEO with keyword research and analytics.
Understanding how search engines operate requires a lot of effort and can occasionally be surprising. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you want to implement the finest SEO strategies for your business!