SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Lets split it up to understand the meaning:
- Search Engine – examples are like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc
- Optimization – to fine tune our website so that search engines can discover us.
So basically, Search Engine Optimization means making changes to your website and your web presence so that relevant users can discover your products and services using search engines.
The top of the search results page (SERP) is the coveted position that all websites would like to be in when users search for their related products. Why does everyone aim to appear at the top of the page ? Its because statistics have consistently shown that the website at the top of the results page gets approx. 25% of the clicks. The top 3 results together get approx. 75% of the clicks. Almost nobody goes into the second page to search for a result.
Hence its pretty clear, if you want more leads, more business, you have to aim to appear at the top of the results page when a user searches for a product or service that your business is offering.
So how does on go about fine tuning our online presence so that we appear on top ?
Now we come to activities that we need to do in order to improve our position in web searches. The funniest part is, none of the search engines reveal their search and ranking algorithm. It is their best kept secret, and it is what distinguishes them from the other search engines, and it is also what brings them billions of $ in revenue. This is where SEO consultants / specialists come in. SEO specialists know how to rank your website on top based on experience of knowledge in the field.
What are the steps to Optimize my web presence ?
We can define SEO in 3 broad steps. It is essential to perform all 3 in order to get the benefits of SEO
1. Technical SEO.
These are activities done in the web server and the website to enable search engines to crawl the website and index all the pages correctly. They also involved speeding up the website (nobody wants to open a slow website), checking for broken link, internal architecture, duplicate pages, etc. Most of these activities have got nothing to do with the actual content of the website, and that is why they are called technical or technological SEO.
2. On-Page SEO.
This includes all the activities which involve the actual content of the webpage. This includes the header titles, the text, the images on the page, the meta titles. On-page SEO mostly reveals the topic of the content to search engines, so that they can then decide whether to show this webpage or not for any search result.
3. Off-Page SEO.
Like the name suggests (off-page), these are all the activities that you do outside of your webpage to increase the website’s ranking in search results.
So now that we know the broad outline of what is involved in SEO. Lets see each of them in a little more detail.
- Technical SEO
The various activities that are done from a technical SEO point of view are as follows:
- Use SSL (https) instead of http. This gives your user some confidence that your website is secure.
- Responsive web design. This ensures that the website will look good in any device (desktop, laptop, mobile, etc)
- Website speed. Ensure that the website opens up pretty fast. Nobody likes a slow website. Users will move away if the loading speed is slow.
- Avoid duplicate content. Due to the way webservers and CMS’s work, having duplicate content is unavoidable. This can be sorted out by using canonical links.
- Create an XML sitemap to publish to search engines. This tells search engines what all pages are to be crawled and indexed by them.
- Create a robots.txt file to tell search engines which pages need not be crawled / indexed.
- Use no-follow links for pages which do not need to be indexed (e.g. landing pages used in Ads)
- Use mark-up schema to help search engines better understand what the page is all about.
- Submit your website to search engines like Google & Bing.
- Register your website with tools like Google search console and Bing webmaster tool. These tools allow you to monitor the performance of your website.
2. On-Page SEO
The important On-Page SEO activities to be done on each webpage are as follows:
- Write unique and fresh content about the topic of your webpage. For e.g. If you are reviewing a tourist destination, then be sure to give views that no one else has given so far.
- Publish content regularly and frequently. Search engines prefer websites which have more content and also which publish content on a more regular frequency.
- Use header titles (H1, H2) for important keywords in your topic.
- Use meta tags (Title tags and meta description) in such a way that it will entice the reader to click your link. If your Click-through-rate improves, then your SEO will also improve.
- Use clear and sharp images with alt-text. Again, try to use images specific to your topic, preferably which are taken by you. People prefer them to stock photos.
- Use well defined URLs for your webpages. For e.g. if your webpage is about laptops, then your url should be https://www.electronicshop.com/laptops. It should not be a technical URL like https://www.electronicshop.com/71082-p1-uert?p=1.
- Internal & External links. In your content, you can link to other internal pages in your website. You can also link to external authority webpages.
- Use anchor texts. Anchor texts tell search engines what the topic is about and it also highlights the text to the user.
- Don’t stuff keywords. Do not overuse the keywords in your content. Rather you can use synonyms. Search engines do not like keyword stuffing and they will penalize any website which does keyword stuffing.
3. Off-Page SEO
Here are some off-page SEO activities that will help increase your online presence.
- Get more Google Reviews. Yes, more google reviews and that you 4-stars or 5-stars reviews can help you get more leads as people take google reviews very seriously.
- Link building. Getting other serious business’s websites to link bank to your website as a sign of authority. This has huge SEO value.
- Citations. Filling up citations in local directories and yellow pages can help improve your visibility.
- Guest posts. Do a guest post on someone else’s blog (who has good authority on the topic), or allow another guest to blog on our website. Both give good signals to search engines.
- Podcasts. Creating podcasts about interested topics is another off-page activity.
- Social media. Be active on relevant social media and post frequently about your business, your products and services.
- Content marketing – Publish blog posts / videos. Doing this consistently can drastically help improve SEO.
- Content marketing – giving away free E-books.
- Influencer Marketing – the modern day way to improve your visibility is to approach influencers and ask them to introduce your business to their audience.
These are the ways to improve the website’s SEO. As you can see, it is quite vast, requires a lot of technical and marketing expertise and involves a considerable consistent effort on a regular basis. SEO is not something done once and then forgotten. It has to be built step by step and it is a never ending process.
If you have any questions or comments, do let us know. We will be glad to answer.