An introduction to SEO:
According to Wikipedia, SEO (search engine optimization) is the process that influences the visibility of a site or webpage in SERPS (Search Engine Results Page). When a user makes a search he/she introduces keywords/search terms in the search box and sites that are carefully optimized obtain a leading position on the first page in SERP.
Moreover, SEO activity involves respecting and applying algorithms rules of search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo). If the work of a SEO Specialist is done with honesty without tackling aggressive methods like Black Hat SEO, the site experiences organic growth in SERP.
Search Engine Results Page is the result page that is found in the search engine and it is displayed in response to the search a web user performs. He/she adds the keyword in the search box, and the search engine returns the right results to meet his/her requirements. Links of sites that contain the information on the topic searched are listed so the user can select the most appropriate and document about his/her query.
When the user writes phrases/keywords in the search box, titles of web pages with the information requested appear in SERP. To display correct results in SERP to users, search engines take into account the structure of the site in terms of SEO, but also the location and the history of users’ queries, etc.
SEO practice impacts the authority a site gains, in Google’s eyes, through backlinks (links to your site that appear on various sites – blogs, social media), UX or website functionality, etc. Those interested in your site, share your links and make your web pages known on other sites, in social media or forums, directing their users/friends to your site.
Why is SEO important?
Search Engines continuously evaluate site content and change indexing algorithms because they pay close attention to customer experience. Rules are changing often because search engines are no longer tolerant as in previous years with money making sites, offering more attention to sites that add value to users’ lives.
However, when indexing a site and position it in SERP, search engines filter the results and categorize them according to the following key elements:
- Through Crawl, the search engine bot walks through the site’s source code behind the page and explores it to see if there are links to other sites. The links help Google to establish the relationship between your site and other sites that are dedicated to the same topic.
- Google decides what pages respect the rules, how important the URLs between sites are, then copies these pages and stores them (Cache) on servers all over the world.
- When the user searches for different topics using keywords or search queries, the search engine retrieves relevant results.
- Algorithms have 200 different elements that help them select the results, rank pages, and display them in SERP depending on their popularity and keywords.
- Panda algorithm aims to determine businesses to build quality content on the site, and this algorithm was created to punish spam.
- For example, Google penalizes sites that are built to lead an audience to ad pages by including anchor text, with competitive keywords that do not define the attached hyperlink. By entering URLs that are not related to the post and do not have relevant anchor text is a spammy activity and Google blocks public access to this type of sites.
To improve the content and attract future leads, entrepreneurs and SEO specialists need to be aware of the ranking factors of search engines in order to achieve a famous place in SERP. The lack of traffic can be improved by setting new SEO principles to help increase clicks, impressions, CTR, position, and ROI – this data can be found in Search Console. Also, interesting information that can be useful for SEO activity is found in reports on visitors’ behavior in Google Analytics.
Search Engines analyze site data such as the number of sessions and impressions, how willing are visitors to explore the site and connect to content based on how long they spent on the site, bounce rate, or exit rate, social media recommendations, etc. If the site has views and web pages shares, algorithms take this into consideration and reward the site by positioning it on top in SERP.
In order to achieve a high level of profitability within the company through SEO practice, it is recommended to entrepreneurs and marketers to experiment different strategies to reach those that fit the type of site and business they are involved in. The more the site optimization strategy is planned from the beginning and improved along the way, the more chances for the business to reach sales target, grow.
What role do keywords play in SEO?
Keywords – primary/secondary words – are found in the content of your site and by using them naturally, the site is indexed and positioned in SERP. Depending on user’s queries and how serious your site is optimized, it will rank or not in Google. Googlebot processes the words on a page, analyzes where those words are located, checks their density, and their importance to the public.
Keywords are part of the website optimization process helping Google understand the site’s mission, what products you sell, what is your target market, where is the location, etc. At the same time, Google takes into account the authority of the site and displays on the first page in search results, sites that offer authentic content (answers, videos, news, articles, social media posts, infographics etc.).
Pages rank well in Google depending on how well keywords are optimized and CTR (Click-through Rate) is an important factor when analyzing search queries. You can check keywords status in Search Console because a high CTR means more visitors, more leads, and more business conversions.
Google and Yahoo search engines generate 95% of online traffic compared to other search engines (Bing, Ask), as it is mentioned in ‘Benefits of SEO: How It Helps in Online Traffic’ by Charles James.
Traffic that comes from Google is free and unlimited, and business profit can be impressive if sites are indexed and appear in SERP. In terms of the target keyword/phrase, it is not enough to be on the first page of the search engine but to get your spot at the top of the search results.
Studies have been conducted that attest people’s preferences when it comes to searching online and selecting the results listed in the search engine. According to a study by GroupM UK and Nielsen in 2012, web users trust organic results, compared to sponsored links (AdWords).
Nowadays people easily make the difference between organic results and paid ads. Between 94% of clicks on a single page in SERP lead to unpaid results, compared to sponsored ads receiving only 6% clicks.
Do you find ads relevant or you click only on organic results when you do a search in Google?