A lot has been said and discussed about Search Engine Optimization over the past few years. But still, a few people still think that SEO theory is a fancy myth from the Greek Mythology that has nothing to with reality. Well, thankfully, not a lot of people think that way.
Often it is observed that even the companies that know that there is something in the world known as “SEO,” do not bother to dig beyond its full form and definition.
Almost everyone today knows that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, but what they do not know is how it works and how important it is for their business.
In order to help you out learn more about what SEO is and how it can benefit your business, we will briefly be sharing with you the basics of Search Engine Optimization, how it works, what are the Dos and Don’ts of SEO and how it will help your business grow.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the optimization of your webpage/blog to make it rank higher on the search engine return pages list. The search engine return pages list is a list of pages that the search engine summarizes for the user based on the search keywords that a user has entered in the search bar.
Remember if you want your business to make an impact on the market, then you must appear high on the Search Engine Return pages. Because as it is famously said:
“The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google.”
The search engine return pages or the SERP list is developed based on the search engine algorithms that help and dig out the relevant content on the web and then list them in a sequence based on a few characteristics that will be discussed later.
The software/algorithms that dig out the webpages from the internet are known as Crawlers or Spiders.
Although the algorithms of different search engines vary a bit in their design and programming, their main feature is digging up the information from the internet based on the search keywords entered by the users.
Crawlers/Spiders crawl through the content of the webpages, looking for the searched keywords and return the results where a good match exists between the searched text and the keywords available on the webpage.
In case you do not have an optimized website, the search engine will rank your webpage much lower than a website that has search engine optimized content.
A lot of different techniques are available out there to optimize your websites for the search engines. Here is a list of the most common ones:
- White Hat Techniques
- Black Hat Techniques
- Video SEO
When it comes to the content optimization then are two techniques to search engine optimize your company’s website; the white hat techniques and the black hat techniques.
White Hat Techniques
White hat techniques are the SEO techniques that primarily focus on the human audience as opposed to the search engines. The content is designed in a way to create genuine interest in human readers and convert their interest into sales. These techniques are legal and fully abide by the rules and regulations of the search engines. In case you are planning to stay in the market for a long time, then white hat techniques are the best search engine optimizing techniques for your company’s website.
A few of the white hat techniques include:
- Keywords Placement, Keywords Density
Keywords are the words that define your business in a single word. For instance, if your company is providing helicopter tours in Las Vegas, then the keywords for your website are; “helicopter tours” and “Las Vegas”.
The keywords help the search engines understand your website better.
It is extremely important to select the keywords that properly summarize your business and simultaneously are popular among searchers. There is a complete science behind the Keyword research that determines what the most suitable keywords for your webpage. Search tool providers like Moz and Ahrefs are a few places that help you find the current status of the keywords and their popularity among the users.
The next thing to do with keywords is their proper placement. Proper placement of keywords helps you appear higher in the SERP list. For instance, the header and the title are important locations to place the keywords. Also, there should be at least a 1 -2% keyword density in your content so you can appear higher on the search engine return pages.
One of the most important white hat SEO techniques is the placement of backlinks to your content. Backlinks are hyperlinks on webpages that link back to your website. Many search engines including Google pay great attention to backlinks. The websites with a higher number of backlinks to their website are ranked higher on the search engine return pages list than the ones with a lower number of backlinks.
- Link Building
Link building is a good way of getting more backlinks to your website. Link building is when you share your backlink on a website in return for placing their link on your website. This helps in increasing your website’s ranking on the SERP list.
- Link Popularity
The popularity of your website is viewed by a search engine in terms of the quantity of “quality inbound links” to your pages. This means that the higher the number of “quality links” to your webpage the higher you will appear on the search engine return pages.
Quality links are the backlinks to your website that also contain the keywords relevant to your website and appear on websites that share a common theme with your webpage.
Black Hat Techniques
Black hat techniques, on the other hand, are SEO techniques that are focused on the search engine rather than human readers. These techniques lure the search engines into ranking the website higher by tricking the search engine algorithms.
Companies that are looking for high traffic and lower organic traffic tend to use these techniques. These techniques can work well for short period of time but as soon as the search engine realizes the black hat techniques being used, it will label the page as spam and the user will never appear in any search results on the search engine again.
Companies that tend to stay for a short time do not consider being spammed as a big risk and continue with the techniques to grow traffic to their websites. Even if their website gets spammed, they make another one and use the same techniques again.
But if you want to build clientele and trust with your consumers then don’t use these techniques at all. Also, these techniques violate the terms and conditions of the search engines and are termed as illegal techniques.
A few examples of Black hat techniques include:
- Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the most common black hat technique used by companies. This includes stuffing the content with the same keyword without even making any sense to the human reader. Although, this technique can make your webpage appear higher on the SERP list a few times, but the search engine will soon detect this and spam mark your webpage.
- Tiny text, Hidden Text, and Hidden Links
Another black hat technique is to write text at the bottom of the page or as the same color as the background hiding links.
This black hat technique is using irrelevant keywords and then tricking the visitors into another page that has nothing to do with the searched keyword.
Video search engine optimization is equally important for your company to appear higher in search results. According to studies, more than 80 % of online consumption is attributed to watching videos. As such the search engines have modified their search algorithms to include videos to the SERPs too. The search returns blended results that include videos, images, and traditional links.
But since a search engine cannot look through the video to determine what it is about, it looks at the title, the description and the tags associated with the video. If you want to appear higher on the search results then back up your web content with search engine optimized videos.
One important factor in Video SEO is uploading your videos to YouTube. Since Google now owns YouTube, it is a good way to tell Google that you are there on the internet. Experts say that a large number of people use the internet only to watch videos on YouTube. Thus it becomes highly likely that people will reach your content sooner or later if it has been properly tagged and labeled.
Mistakes to Avoid in SEO
- Write A Balanced Content
Maintaining a good balance between the organic content of your webpage and its search engine optimization is extremely important. If you are unable to maintain the balance then either you will have poor content that is not helpful for the human eye or content that is not optimized enough to appear higher in the search engine return pages list.
- Improper Link Structure
You must avoid improper link structures as links are one of the most important factors for your high ranking in the SERPs. Make sure the embedded links are proper and not broken.
- Page Duplications
Duplicate pages can seriously hamper your search engine visibility. Since the search engines are looking for unique content, your duplicate pages can easily get filtered out and you might not even appear on the search results.
- Non-text Content
Make sure that even if you put a lot of images and videos on your webpage they are properly tagged and labeled to be visible to the crawlers/spiders. Search engines cannot discover what is inside an image or a video so it is important to properly describe them for the search engines.
- Forms and Sign-ins
If your content is behind a log-in stage then it can create trouble for the search engine to discover the content. Keep your important information on the front page that can be accessible even without going through the signing-in stage.
Why is SEO important for Your Company?
And now we come to the all-important question of the importance of Search Engine Optimization for your business.
It is simple logic, if you appear higher on the search results for your relevant potential-customers then there is a higher probability that people will find you and end up being your customers.
Traffic is like food for online businesses and if you are unable to attract a sufficient amount of traffic to your webpage then you cannot make an impact on the market. Ultimately your business is going to take a hit.
Further, if you have genuine and quality content on your website then people will regularly visit your website and turn into fulltime customers. But first, you will have to use SEO techniques to get them there.
For small businesses to make their mark in an industry where business giants are strolling through the markets and cannot be competed with directly in the field, search engine optimization is the best way forward.
Your competitors are all trying hard to optimize their websites in order to appear higher on the search rankings and make a mark. Why should you stay behind?
Also, techniques like Video SEO are modern methods to increase the user satisfaction, as they feel freedom in accessing the optimized websites from any platform and get the maximum information in the least possible time.
Appearing Higher on search results ensures higher click rates and higher click rates translates to higher conversion rates which ultimately increases your sales.
So if you want to make your company’s presence felt in the market. Optimize your website today!