SEO Fundamentals – What is SEO? Why is it SEO essential for your online business?
Earlier businesses focused on offline marketing to generate leads and drive business. However, with the shift in operations and business goals, companies are relying more on online marketing strategies to generate business.
Nearly every company now is investing in organic and paid marketing to get traffic and leads. In this article we will learn more about the organic source – the popular Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting relevant organic traffic to a website from a search engine’s organic rankings. High and relevant traffic can be achieved by creating unique high-quality content, optimizing content using specific keywords, and building backlinks.
In simple words, SEO is all about improving your website’s ranking organically (without spending money). It is all about making your website search engine friendly. If you optimize your website properly, you can attract quality traffic for ‘free,’ month after month.
How SEO Works?
SEO typically works by optimizing your website for search engines you want to rank for – Google, Bing, Amazon or Youtube. The search engines scan the site to determine how user-friendly and useful it is; it rewards sites with a higher ranking on the SERP (search engine page results) if the site is perfectly fit in terms of content, keywords, interlinking, backlinking and several other factors.
There are several benefits of SEO for your business. By writing the right content you can increase your website visibility and traffic manifold. This will help you reach the right audience and engage with them in a more systematic manner.
Search engines reward websites that:
- Publish fresh and engaging content regularly
- Create new and repurpose existing content
- Produce targeted content
- Are committed to address audience queries
What are the types of SEO?
There are various types of SEO that businesses needs to know:
- On-page SEO – As the name implies, it refers to the activities that are carried out on the page that is yet to be published. This is anything that you can physically put up on your webpage like keywords, image, text, meta title and description, custom URLs, etc. The most important part in this type is creating great quality content that your target audience loves and search engines appreciate; rest everything will follow.
- Off-page SEO – This refers to the activities that are performed on a page after it goes live. Some of the popular off-page activities include sharing the post, commenting on the post to increase engagement. It basically has to do with techniques you can use to promote your website on the internet.
- Local SEO – As the name suggests, it is mainly for the local businesses. If you own a local shop, and want people to visit it, then you should surely optimize your website for local SEO.
- Mobile SEO – It is not exactly a type of SEO, but a subset of it. This type of SEO is mainly targeted towards mobile devices. A lot of businesses use this method to generate maximum traffic. As we all know nearly (maybe even more) 60% of Google searches are performed on mobile devices. This is the biggest reason why businesses have started optimizing their website for mobiles.
- Technical SEO – It focuses on the technical aspects that affect the visibility of a website in search engines. The main goal of this type of SEO is to ensure that search engine crawlers can crawl and index a website without any difficulties.
Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO – What is it?
- Black Hat SEO mainly earns traffic for your website quickly by following negative SEO guidelines. It is the shortcut way to get on the top by going against Google Guidelines/Algorithms. When you do black hat SEO, you mainly follow all the ‘DON’TS’ process laid down by Google. Practising black hat SEO is generally risky, and your website may even be banned from search engine page results (SERP).
Some of the common examples of Black Hat SEO are: keyword stuffing, plagiarism, purchased backlinks, backlinks from irrelevant/low ranking websites, thin content, irrelevant content etc.
- White Hat SEO techniques adhere to Google’s guidelines. However, the results are slow and it costs relatively more to implement this technique. White Hat SEO are not at all risky and the results are lasting and compounding. Every big and reputable company employs white hat SEO to derive results.
Some of the best examples of White Hat SEO are: writing relevant and useful content, getting backlinks from relevant websites, organizing the content on your website as per SEO guidelines set by Google, promoting your content on social networking platforms, regularly updating your website with fresh and unique content that answer audience’s queries, writing long and exhaustive content pieces, delivering variety of content – text, audio, video, images etc.
Why is SEO Important for your Business?
Let us understand this point by taking an example:
Let’s consider you run a cosmetic product company. According to Google Keyword Planner, not less than 10,000 people search for ‘cosmetic products’ each month. Let’s consider the first result gets around 20% clicks, which is 20,000 visitors every month on your website if you show up at the top.
So, if you run paid advertising to attract customers, the least you should be ready to pay is 1$ per click. Which means that the web traffic of 20,000 visitors is worth roughly $20,000 a month. And remember this is just for the search phrase.
Whereas, if you create quality content regularly, use the right amount of keywords and promote your content on social media platforms, you can rank higher on the search results for different keywords, not just one or two of it for free.
Additionally, this traffic will only increase and will stay as long as you continue to practice white hat SEO.
To succeed in SEO you first need to know your customers. Once you have identified your customers, create content around topics that they are looking for.
Keyword Research Tips
Here are a few interesting tips to find the right keywords for your business.
Keyword research tools can help you figure out how many people search for each keyword and tell you how difficult it will be for you to rank on the first page of Google for that phrase. There are several keyword research tools available online. Some of the renowned ones include:
- Google’s Keyword Planner
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Seed Keywords
- Google Search Console
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
However, the most preferred one is Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool is typically used to help people with Google Ads campaigns. However, it can still help businesses with the right keywords for SEO. All you need to do is enter a product keyword or informational keyword into it. You will then see data on the exact phrase and a list of related keywords with average monthly search volume and competition.
Another trick to find the right and relevant SEO keywords for your business is through Google autocomplete. Whenever you start typing anything on Google, you get a bunch of suggestions. These suggestions are nothing but the search queries/phrases people use to find answers to their questions. You can use these suggestions as your keywords to make your article stand out in the crowd.
The last but definitely not the least are the phrases/keywords you see below the SERP (bottom of the page) whenever you type something in the Google search bar. You can use these informational phrases as your keywords or you could create a blog post around them.
Another medium to increase traffic on your website is through YouTube content. It is a highly popular search engine. So, you can create relevant video content and upload it on YouTube with proper SEO tagging, and see your quality traffic go up every day.
Follow these above tricks and see how your website will experience a positive change in its traffic and ranking.
The Bottom Line
There are several factors that affect your SEO ranking, but the most crucial aspect to consider is whether your content is relevant and helpful to your target audience. The more quality content you write the better it will be for your website’s health. Frequency of writing and posting also matters to achieve better organic results.
However, one should also note that SEO takes time, months or sometimes even a year to show its magic. But it is all worth it!