SEO means “search engine optimization”. This is a way to use free (also known as “organic”) search engine results to increase the quality and volume of your website’s traffic and increase your brand’s exposure.
Despite the acronym, SEO is as much about people as the search engine itself. What people search for online, the answer they are looking for is to understand the type of content they are trying to consume, in the words they use. Knowing the answers to these questions, you can connect with people who search online for the solutions you offer.
If knowing the intent of your audience is one side of SEO coins, it’s something else that search engine crawlers can find and understand. In this guide you can learn both of the two methods.
Search Engine Basics
The search engine is an answering machine. Evaluate thousands of factors, lagging behind billions of pieces of content to determine which content is best suited for your query.
Search engines use a process known as “crawls and indexes” to search, catalog, and match all content available on the Internet (web pages, PDFs, images, videos, etc.). Perform all tasks, sorting by degree. This is a query for a process called “rank”. Crawling, indexing and ranking are discussed in detail in the next chapter.
What results are ‘organic’?
As mentioned earlier, organic results are achieved through effective SEO, and there are no fees (i.e. no ads). These were previously marked so clearly that advertisements were easy to find. The rest of the results were usually in the form of “10 blue links” listed below them. But since the way you search has changed, how do you find organic results of the day?
Today’s search engine results pages (something called “SERPs”) have an unprecedented amount of ads, both in a more dynamic organic result format (also called “SERP features”). Examples of SERP features include Attention Pieces (or Answer Boxes), People Also Ask Boxes, Image Carousel, and more. New SERP features are emerging, mainly driven by what people are asking for.
For example, a search for “weather in Denver” will show you directly in the SERP rather than a link to a site where the weather in Denver may appear. Also, searching for “pizza Denver” will show you the The results are displayed, convenient?
It’s important to remember that search engines make money on advertising. Their goal is to better resolve the searcher’s queries (within the SERP), the searchers will come back continuously, and the SERP will last longer.
Some of Google’s SERP features are organic and can be SEO affected. This includes recommended snippets (promotional organic results that display answers in boxes) and related questions (also known as “people ask questions” boxes).
There are no paid ads, but it’s worth noting that there are many other search features that are generally unaffected by SEO. These features may have data from their own data sources such as Wikipedia, WebMD and IMDb.
Why SEO is important
Although it can generate traffic from paid advertising, social media and other online platform websites, most online traffic is driven by search engines.
Natural search results cover more digital real estate, appear more reliable to savvy searchers, and receive far more clicks than paid ads. For example, only ~ 2.8% of all US searches click on paid ads.
In short, SEO has ~ 20 times more traffic opportunities than PPC on both mobile and desktop. The
SEO is also one of the only online marketing channels that, when properly configured, allows you to continue paying dividends over time. Traffic can snowball over time if you provide solid content to rate the right keywords, but ads require an ongoing investment to get traffic to your site. The search engine is getting smarter, but it still needs our help.
Optimizing your site allows you to properly index your content and display it in search results so that search engines can present you with good information. Depending on your bandwidth, your willingness to learn and the complexity of your website, you can run basic SEO yourself. Or you may want to seek professional help should you hire a SEO expert, consultant or agent. Either way is fine!
When it comes to seeking help from a expert, it’s important to know that many agencies or consultants are “providing SEO services”, but the quality can vary widely. Knowing how to choose a good SEO company can save you a lot of time and money. This is because bad SEO techniques can actually harm your site more than it helps.
White Hat vs Black Hat SEO
“White Hat SEO” stands for SEO Techniques, best practices and strategies as per Search Engine Rules, with the main purpose of providing more value to people.
“Black Hat SEO” refers to methods and strategies that try to spam/deceive search engines. Black Hat SEO works, but it has high ethical implications, such as fines or de-indexes (removed from search results) on your website and very high risk.
The website that was fined went bankrupt using Black Hat SEO which is another reason to be very careful when choosing an SEO expert or agency.
The search engine SEO industry shares the same goals as search engines which is that they want to help you succeed. In fact, like Google’s beginner’s guide, there are also search engine optimization beginner guides. They are also very supportive of the efforts of the SEO community. Digital marketing conferences such as Unbounce, MNsearch, SearchLove, and Moz’s own MozCon regularly gather engineers and representatives of major search engines.
Google supports webmasters and SEO through the Webmaster Central help forum and also hosts live office hours hangouts. (Unfortunately, Bing shut down the Webmasters forum in 2014.)
Webmaster guidelines vary from search engine to search engine, but the basic principles are the same. Don’t try to fool the search engines. Instead, it gives your visitors a great online experience. In this way, the search engine’s guidance will satisfy the user’s intent.
Google Webmaster Guidelines
– Create pages primarily for users, not search engines.
– Users must not be fooled.
– Avoid tricks aimed at improving search engine rankings.
– Think about why your website is unique, valuable, and attractive.
– Auto-Generated Content
– Engage in Link Scheme
– Create Pages with Little or No Content (i.e. copied from elsewhere)
– Concealment – How to display content that is different from search engine crawler visitors.
– Hidden Text and Links
– Guided Pages (Pages created to attract traffic to a web site by ranking high in specific searches)
You may be familiar with Google’s guidelines for webmasters. Have time to get to know them.
Bing Webmaster Guidelines
- Please provide clear, deep, engaging, and easy-to-search content on your
- Clarify the title of page and keep it relevant.
- Links are considered as a popular signal where Bing compensates for organically grown links.
- Social impact and social share are positive signals, and in the long run they can affect how we evaluate organically.
- The speed of pages is important, along with an active and comfortable user experience.
- Use the alt attribute to build the image so that Bing can better understand the content.
- Thin Content Pages that primarily display ads and affiliate links, or redirect visitors to other sites, do not rank high.
- Malicious link tactics aimed at increasing the number and nature of inbound links, such as participation in the purchase link scheme of links, may lead to the release of the index.
- Ensure that the URL structure with clean, concise keywords is properly laid out. Dynamic parameters can pollute URLs and cause duplicate content issues.
- If possible, make your URLs clear, short, and keyword-rich, and avoid non-characteristics.
- Duplicate Content
- Keyword Abuse
- Concealment – How to display content that differs from search engine crawlers visitors.
Guidelines for Representing Local Business at Google
If the business is operating locally, where they provides delivery services or have a store in the vicinity. These businesses are suitable for listing in Google My Business. For these local businesses, Google has guidelines that stipulate what you shouldn’t do to create and manage these lists.
- Make sure you qualify for inclusion in the Google My Business index. Even if it’s your home address, you still need the actual address to meet the customer at your location (such as a retail store) or at your address (such as plumbing).
- Regional business data, including name, address, phone number, website address, business category, opening hours, and other features must be represented accurately on the search engine.
Things to avoid:
- Create a list of Google My Business for unqualified legal entities
- False information about important business information, including “processing” geographic or service keywords into business names and generating fake address lists
- Google My Business Listings Review Partial Abuse Through Mailbox or Virtual Office
- Fake Positive Reviews for Your Business or Fake Negative Reviews of Competitors,
To trick search engines into higher rankings, instead of violating these guidelines, attempt to understand and meet users’ intents. When a person searches for something, the desired result is displayed. Whether it’s a reply, a concert ticket, or a picture of a cat, the desirable content is their “user intent”. If
people search for ‘band’, are you aiming to find music bands, wedding rings, band saws or something else?
With SEO, your mission is to quickly deliver the content your users want in the following format.
General User Intent Type:
Information: Information Retrieval Example: “What type of laptop is best for taking pictures?”
Navigation: You are searching for a specific website. Example: “Apple”
Transaction: You are looking to buy something. Example: “Good MacBook Pro Deal”
You can search the internet for the desired keyword and rate the current SERP to get a glimpse of the user’s intentions. For example, if you have a photo carousel, people who search for that keyword are very likely to find your photo.
If you provide high quality content that is relevant to your website, it will help you to get a higher ranking in your search results, and more importantly, your credibility and trust with your online viewers.
What are KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for measuring the return on investment of SEO? More simply, what is a barometer that measures the success of natural search efforts? It’s as simple as this, but it’s a good idea to document it.
Here are some common KPIs to get you started:
- Email Registration
- Submit Contact Form
If your business has local components, you’ll want to define KPIs for your Google My Business listings. also. Here, it includes:
- Clicks to call
- Clicks to website
- Clicks for driving directions
You can know that items like “Rank” and “Traffic” are not in the KPI list and are intentional.
I came here to learn about SEO because SEO helped me rank and get traffic. Does that mean it doesn’t have an important goal?”
Not at all! You heard right. SEO can help your website rank high in search results and, as a result, can drive more traffic to your website, it’s just that ranking and traffic are the means to achieving that purpose. If no one clicks through on your site, it will do little to help your ranking. Also, increasing your traffic is of little help if it doesn’t meet your bigger business goals.
Before embarking on SEO, make sure you are setting your business goals, and use SEO to achieve them. The opposite is not true.
SEO offers a lot more than a sink figure. Hopefully it helps real businesses achieve real goals for their success.
This guide will help you become data-centric in your SEO efforts. Rather than throwing a selfish arrow up and down (and sometimes getting lucky) is putting more trees behind a smaller number of arrows.