SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting more traffic on website by making the website rank higher on the search engines. Search engines are the place where one searches for something. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc are some commonly used search engines.
Understanding the concept of search
Whenever we search anything on search engine, we get Search Engine Results Page. Search Engine Results Page (SERP) gives you the relevant results based on your search query.
Suppose I search for “best place to learn SEO”, then I would get something like:
Here on the basis of keywords, that is the search query the most relevant results are fetched. This is the first page of SERP. As we all know, there are several such pages. But most of us don’t even go to the second page. In fact, more then 90% people don’t go to second page. Out of those 90% people, majority of people prefer just the top five links. Yes, even most of us are in those 90%.
So, What does this mean? This means your website must rank as high as possible in SERP. And how can you rank higher in SERP? By optimizing your website for search engines, that is by Search Engine Optimization.
But you would wonder that how are the websites ranked on search engines?
Search engines crawls through a website and on the basis of the relevance of the website they index (ranks) the website. Every search engine has a different search algorithm which helps it to give rankings to various websites/web pages. The ultimate goal of every search engine is to provide the best search results.
Major factors which influence SEO
1. Website Architecture
2. Content in the website
3. Linking on the website
In a nutshell, SEO is the process of improving the ranking on search engines by optimizing the website’s architecture, having the relevant content in it and linking the website properly. Search Engine Optimizaton is done to rank higher on SERP and thereby drive more relevant traffic to the website. It is one of the most important component of Digital Marketing.
Types of SEO
SEO is of 3 main types on the basis of the ways in which it is implemented:
- White Hat SEO
- Black Hat SEO
- Grey Hat SEO
White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO constitutes of practices which adheres to Google’s guidelines and is legitimate. The white hat techniques focuses mainly on quality of content and Google’s algorithms. Though these practices take time for generating the desired results, it is advisable to follow white hat practices.
Black Hat SEO
As the name suggest, these are less costly and faster techniques but are not legitimate. Keyword stuffing, Cloaking, Hidden text and links, etc are few of the most commonly used black hat techniques. The website following black hat SEO can be banned by Google. Also, it does not helps in long run as Google constantly updates its algorithms. So, it is advisable to avoid using such black hat practices.
Grey Hat SEO
The SEO practices which are a not as ethical as white hat techniques and not as unethical as the black hat techniques are Grey Hat SEO techniques. Grey Hat SEO is riskier than White Hat, but less risky as compared to the Black Hat SEO. Few of the commonly used Grey Hat practices are Spun Content, Clickbait, Paying for reviews, Link Exchange, etc.
Digital Marketers also bifurcates SEO activities as On-Page activities and Off-Page activities.
On-page SEO is a process of optimizing a website in order to rank it higher in Search Engine Results Pages. It can be performed by optimizing the content of the website and the HTML source code of the website. Page Title, Meta Tags, Heading Tags, Good Content, etc are few of the On-Page factors which much be optimized.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO is a process of driving more traffic to a website. Most commonly used Off-Page activities are Sharing, Commenting, Star Ratings, Link Building, etc.
Tools for SEO
SEO tools help in achieving some common and necessary activities in a faster and easier way.
Few of the most useful tools for Search Engine Optimization are:
- Google Analytics
- Ahrefs toolbar
- Google Search Console
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Yoast Plugin
- Moz Link Explorer
- Google Keyword Planner
- SEOWorkers Analysis Tool
- Neil Patel’s UberSuggest Tool