The Art of SEO: Proven Search Engine Strategies
If you want your website or blog to grow over the long term, SEO is one of the most critical growth strategies to implement. It is integral to every successful website, as search engines love it. But before we dive into the importance of SEO, we must first learn
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization — the process of improving the quality and quantity of traffic sent to your website from search engines like Google or Bing. Optimizing your website improves the chances of acquiring more organic traffic, as most websites don't rely on paid or direct traffic.
The traffic from your website can come from various sources in search engines ranging from text, image, video, news, or industry-specific vertical search engines. SEO experts take into account how the search engines work, how the algorithms work, and what people are looking for in order to get the best result from keywords. The higher your website ranks on multiple keywords, the higher the chance of acquiring more organic traffic. This is why when you write an article; you must structure it according to SEO best practices to get the most out of it — but more on this later.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a word that emphasizes what is your content/topic all about and what search engines use to discover and recommend your content. When keywords are used effectively, users on the web will be able to find your website or blog.
Brief History of SEO
It all began in the mid-90s when the first search engines appeared. At first, webmasters only needed to submit an URL address to search engines that, in return, would send a web crawler to crawl it and extract links and words to be indexed.
The first versions of search algos mainly relied on information provided by a webmaster, such as a keyword meta tag or index files from ALIWEB engines. In 1997 engineers of search engines realized that people were abusing the system, gaming it by doing keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is the practice of filling content with unnecessary and irrelevant keywords, thus leading to manipulation. In order for search engines to fix this situation, they needed to adapt and improve, moving to a more holistic process for semantic signals.
Google released the Panda update in February of 2011, which penalized websites with duplicated content taken from other websites.
How to proceed when starting with SEO?
Create a plan, research keywords, and use websites like https://neilpatel.com/ or https://moz.com/ to further aid your research. Knowing the most searched keywords for the industry you are aiming for is very important. This will help you appropriately structure your articles.
Don't forget the images! Be very careful and mindful of the size of an image, and also make sure that it has a description with specific keywords that will help rank the picture in the search engines.
Ensure your article is linked to other articles on your website or blog. You need to create an internal web of pages in a sense. Imagine a pyramid that grows over time.
Why is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) necessary for your website?
This is the most obvious one on the list, as good SEO optimization provides more exposure to your website to users as it ranks higher in the search engine list. If you are not ranked higher on the SERP (search engine results page), don't expect to see a lot of traffic to your website. The higher you are ranked, you can expect a more significant number of people to click on your website and vice versa when you rank lower in SERP.
Improves overall credibility
Having your website ranking higher in the SERP boosts credibility and can also cause people to return to your website. If your info is good, expect people to return for reference to your blog or website. Schema markup is very important as it gives out information to Google and provides more info to the users in a concise manner.
SEO keeps you ahead of the competition
It is a battlefield out there, and having your website SEO optimized is like being battle ready. This is how to attract more users/clients rather than the competition. The best part of SEO is that you can continuously improve and stay competitive in the SERP rankings. Researching competitors is an integral part of staying ahead in the game.
Better user experience
User Experience (UX) is one of the most critical aspects of any website or product. Making the website easy to load and navigate improves the potential for it to rank higher in search engines like Google or DuckDuckGo. Keeping the website clear of errors is part of the UX process, and if you don't fix website errors, your blog or website could fall in the SERP ranks by a considerable margin.
Reach a wider audience
SEO optimization helps you to reach a wider audience with different capital and affinity interests. The better optimized a blog or website is, the higher the conversion rate will be. You need to aim to deliver the right content to the right people who search for it, and this is where keyword mapping comes into play.
Keyword mapping is creating a spreadsheet that correlates the URLs to the keywords in them. This will help you optimize content, landing pages, structure your website, etc.
SEO is the marketing strategy every website needs to include and improve over the long term. It provides organic traffic that can lead to a high return per click. It is not an easy job, but in 2022 a website that is not SEO optimized does not stand a chance on google.