What is Search Engine Optimization or SEO?
Wikipedia says “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users; these visitors can then be converted into customers.”
Well the above statement may be a little overloaded statement for beginners, who do not have a good understanding about SEO, to comprehend. Let me try to make it simple – There are billions of web browsing sessions which begins with a search query every day. For example, you might want to look up for a meaning or synonym of a word, or someone you know, or a company in the Internet. So the first thing that you will do is type the word in a search engine website like Google, Bing, etc. Now there can be hundreds(literally) of websites which will appear at the top spot in search results. However, the first few occurrences or pages that appears in the result will be websites which have optimized their websites with good SEO tactics. It is basically a practice through which you can improve the quality and quantity of visitors to your website.
Is SEO necessary or important?
Lot of people ask me whether search engine optimization is important. I invariably always say an affirmative but with a disclaimer. If your website has good content then irrespective of whether you have SEO or not search engines will pick up your web pages. But having SEO on your website will surely give you an additional advantage as far as rankings are concerned. It is important since a good SEO approach for your website will drive more traffic to your site, blog or ecommerce portal and will help you gain more customers and help you grow your business.
What are the SEO tactics to follow while building a website?
The most important thing to remember while creating an SEO strategy is that it’s not a one off thing. You have to work on your SEO strategy continuously so to make it work. It’s not a static process and may take time to build a good SEO friendly website. There are rules and processes which you will have to tweak from time to time. SEO techniques can be broadly classified into two categories – Onsite and Offsite SEO.
On-site Search Engine Optimization
On-site SEO or on-page SEO as it also known is the art of optimizing a webpage or the website for a higher ranking and garnering more traffic from the search engines. It is the optimization of both the content as well as the html code of a webpage which includes page title meta tags like description, keywords and density of keywords within a particular page. The most important thing here is content – if your website has good content then your website will definitely go up in the search results. All SEO specialists will always highlight this point to you. If you have crafted interesting and relevant content then search engines will bring traffic for you irrespective of SEO.
Onsite SEO also includes creating search engine friendly urls or links within your website. For example including keywords relevant for a web page gives better result. Even the location of the keyword within the url also makes a difference. Another important factor is the structure of the website – you need to create short paragraphs with unique headers like header1 (H1), header2 (H2), etc. These are called the body tags in SEO terms. Search engines will determine the importance of your content from these tags. Keywords density within a page plays a great role for onsite SEO. Including relevant keywords throughout your content within a page helps search engines understand about the topic or subject of the page. Internal linking within your web pages also drives fruitful result. You may like to link a relevant web page within your website with other pages.
Image optimization – Generally a lot of people ignore this aspect, but it is also important. Use alt text and descriptions to make the images appear on image search across search engines like Google, Bing, etc.
Off-site Search Engine Optimization
Off-site SEO simply means optimizing your website through various tools and processes outside of your website like social media networking, site and article submission, forum marketing, blogging, etc. One of the most important tool for off-page SEO is social media networking which is also known as online reputation management. Basically you need to engage with your audience across social media sites like FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and others. Once you start interacting with people, they will automatically start visiting your website. The more you engage better are your chances of visibility of your business. Again, blogging is a very good way to bring visitors to your website. Create quality and interesting blogs and publish them on your website as well as other websites. There are a lot of blog submission directories, use those. You should also try to comment on blogs relevant to your line of business to draw attention and you can also add links to your website for back traffic.
Search engine submission also helps off-page SEO to a great extent. Although, major search engines will find your website but it’s always advisable to submit your site across various search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Photo sharing and video marketing are also great tools to boost traffic to your website. Share the photos or images that you have used on your website with popular photo sharing sites like Flickr, Picasa, Photo Bucket, etc. People will get to see them and if relevant they may comment on them, hopefully with a link to your site. Video marketing has become quite viral amongst marketers these days as it gives good visibility to your brand. Just like photo sharing, you can share your videos across video sharing sites like YouTube, Vimeo, etc . It allows people to get access to your content from other sources apart from your website and if the content is interesting people will start engaging with you.
SEO is extremely important for all businesses now, in this era, considering the fact that 2 billion people are online. There are 40000 searches happening every second across the world, and 3.5 billion searches every day. Now you can take a guess as to why you need to be at the top of search engines. Because your customers are looking for you via search engines many a times or may be most of the times.
At Digilense, we specialize in an innovative approach to SEO that uses white-hat tactics to put your website at the top of your target audience’s searches. For any further queries or discussion on SEO, please write to us at email@example.com