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Beginners Guide to SEO Basics

seo - search engine optimization

Do you know Google account for 92% of total searches on the internet? It is followed by Bing and Yahoo with little over 2% of each respectively.

Google receives more than 60000 searches for every second. If that is taken as average, for a day the total searches Google does would be more than 5.5 billion. Well, that might have given you an idea of where to look for prospects to grow your business, right?

Yes, you can tap the potential of searches to drive traffic, increase sales and grow your business. Mere building a website wouldn’t suffice to leverage huge searches, you need SEO for that.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization, popularly known by its abbreviation- SEO, is a set of techniques and strategies used to increase the traffic to a particular website with a top rank in search engine result pages. In plain parlance, it is nothing but a mix of practices to increase the website traffic, both by quality and quantity wise.

It requires optimizing the website design and content in tune with the user and search engine expectations. Variety of on-page optimization and off-page optimizations, including keyword optimization are also equally important for SEO.

Why SEO is important?

SEO continues to be important for businesses as most of the online traffic flow is determined by the search engines.

Increased internet penetration, fast-growing mobile internet are also driving factors for SEO importance.

Search engines are giving preference to user convenience and accurate content. Once you create a website with good content that best meets the search engine criteria, the traffic can continue for some time.

The paid advertising on social media and search pages still couldn’t win the well-versed users, it still attracts very less portion of clicks even in the counties like America. Also, you need to continuously fund your advertising if it is paid.

Different paid advertising like PPC, Social media ads couldn’t diminish the dominance of organic flow at all.

With the right efforts like optimizing the website and ensuring the best content it is easier to drive the organic traffic, hence the importance of SEO to drive traffic.

How does SEO work?

When we search for a term, known as keyword in SEO terminology, in any search engine we will get a series of websites relevant to the query indexed in multiple pages. Often this results go into 10’s of pages depending on the term searched for.

What actually happens is the search engine uses its crawlers to gather every bit of information from all the websites and compares the website consisting the term to the algorithms and creates indexed results based on the domain authority.

The most important aspect of SEO is content. Needless to say, it is content which is driving the internet, hence it is most important.

How does Search Engine function?

Search engine functions can be categorized into the following three categories:

1. Crawling

Search engine crawling is the process of discovering new and updated content. Search engines use robots known as Crawlers, hence the name, to find the newly updated content all over. Crawlers discover the content of all formats including the image, video and PDF.

Bots first fetch a few web pages and follow the links subsequently. As the crawler gets along the links it identifies the new content and adds it to their index.

2. Indexing

Search engines store the information they find it appropriate to serve the searches in the index. It consists of a huge database of information they have discovered and processed. The process of adding the information to the index is referred to as indexing.

3. Search Engine Ranking

Search ranking is the final function of a search engine.  When a user searches for a term or keyword, the engine scours their index for relevant information. It then orders the content it has found on the basis of high relevancy and presents the results in an order called search engine ranking page (SERP).

Remember all these takes place in no time, as you would get the search results instantly.

What are the factors influence SEO rank?

There are hundreds of factors which affect the search ranking. Of all these, few on-site and off-site factors which are generally favoured by the search engines.

seo factors

Most important SEO factors to influence the search ranking include the following:

1. High domain authority

The higher the domain authority the better the search ranking. It indicates the trust the domain enjoys with relations to search engines. It is determined by the number of backlinks and the age of the domain.

Relevancy of domain name in respect to the main keyword of the URL too can affect the search ranking.

Nonetheless, the best bet to add value to your domain is to build the necessary backlinks.

2. Keywords

Keywords are said to be ‘linchpin’ in the SEO. A keyword is a word or phrase that best describes the content on the website. It is also the search term which people search for.

Keyword optimization is essential for the best ranking. Right keywords density and appropriate keyword phrases to cover the services or product offerings on the website as well as in the meta tag and description improves the ranking.

3. Website speed and responsive design

For search engines, loading speed is a factor to determine the rank. Of course, everyone wants to build a site which loads quickly, if it takes too long to load, the visitor may not stay on your site.

Page loading depends on the design, host and coding. Page load is also directly related to UX.

It is a proven fact that higher the UX better the conversion. So, you should ensure that your website is responsive and loads quickly.

4. Number of inbound links

Building a good site and writing the best content alone doesn’t guarantee good ranking.

Most of the websites have these two. In order to outshine the others, you need to establish authority. This can be accomplished by earning the links from the high domain value sites.

You can even amplify your content with the active audience as well. Links are like word of mouth, and search engines pay attention to this.

5. URL Structure

The first thing a search engine or a user notices about the website is its URL.

Both URL length and path are numbered ahead of keywords in the Google’s ranking factors. It underlines the importance of URL. Best URL is that where the user can get a sense of what the website is about.

The most important keywords usually represent the content as well as the main business area. Hence these must be included in the URL. Separating keywords with hyphen, keeping the URL short and using the lowercase letters make a URL best to attract good ranking.

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