Search engines are modern tools for information. The huge number of people that use search engines make appearing on the first page of a search result important. It also translates to your business’ website getting more exposure to potential customers. But before moving further it is very important to know what is SEO?
To be ranked highly by search engines, you have to make specific changes to your website. This is where SEO comes in.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making behind-the-scenes changes to your website to make it accessible, indexed, and shown in a prominent position on a SERP (search engine results page). But to fully understand SEO, you must first understand how search engines work.
What is SEO & How search engines work?
Search engines perform three basic tasks: Crawling, indexing, and ranking. The following is a breakdown of what those entail.
Also See: Practical Tips for Small Business SEO
Search engines deploy bots and spiders — robots — that scour the web for information. They go from webpage to webpage, follow web links, and gather information on and about websites. They do this by checking your website’s HTML code.
This next stage involves gathering, arranging, and cataloguing the information received by these bots. This is where the search engine determines which content is relevant and removes duplicate and irrelevant content.
This is where the algorithm used by search engines categorizes websites and determines which content and website is most relevant.
When a search is entered in a search engine— called a search query— the search engine compares it against its index and draws out the most relevant content that matches that query. It places the relevant web pages on a list called an organic search result from the most relevant to the least relevant on a search engine results page (think Google search result page). The text used in the search query is called a keyword and is important for optimization.
Optimizing your website
Basic SEO can be done by carrying out on-page optimization and backlinking.
This involves making changes to the elements on your web page to make it more search-friendly. These changes are usually in two forms.
HTML Title tags and Meta description
Crawlers read your web page’s HTML code, so you may want to add or adjust title tags and meta description. A title tag in your HTML code is not the title of the article that shows up on the page. The title tag, which is in the head of your HTML code, is an element that isn’t seen by humans but is checked by crawlers. The meta description, like the name suggests, is a brief description of the content on that web page. Crawlers use it to figure out what the content on that web page is about. Your title tag and meta description are what appear on SERPs.
Keywords and keyword placements
Keywords are the text entered into search queries. They are an important part of any SEO plan because search engines display content that matches these keywords. Adding specific keywords to your webpage will increase its chances of showing up for specific search queries. When choosing keywords, be sure to check that they are the same words your customers use when searching for your products or services online.
You can also check the other websites that your desired keywords return on SERPs. It is often a useful practice to extract relevant search result data from a large number of websites showing in search results, so as to compare your content with your competitors’.
A backlink is an incoming hyperlink from one webpage to another on a different website. Usually, one website acts as a resource to the other. Crawlers that follow links between web pages and search engines place a lot of importance on links because they act as a sort of reference or citation. The more websites that link to yours, the better. However, prominence is placed on the quality of links and not quantity, so it’s not just about getting links — it’s about getting backlinks from reputable sites.
SEO isn’t something you do just once, but rather an ongoing process. That’s why it’s important to work with companies like LinkGraph that provide SEO solutions for businesses. Such experts keep up with changes to algorithms and keyword queries, ensuring your SEO efforts are maximized to their full potential.