SEO is all about impacting how visible your website is in a search engine’s organic results. You will be making changes to your website’s technical setup as well as content on the page in an effort to improve rank.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In other words, it is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
All major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment is not involved, as it is with paid search ads. Search engines are built around their ability to index pages. So its important that the site and all its pages are accessible to crawlers. Also, usability across channels, browsers, operating systems, and devices also matters a lot. Technical issues will cause Google to take detours. More detours mean more frustration for Google and lower ranking for you.
To better understand the process of SEO, let us take a look at what happens under the hood.
A company like Google has a bot. The Bot is a software program that crawls the web. It does this by following links. Links from your site to other pages of your site, and even links from one site to another. The bot (crawler) arrives at the page, reads the code, and stores the information. That stored information is called the Index. Your initial Goal is to get Indexed by Google. If you’re indexed, you have to the potential to be ranked.
Ranking refers to where you appear on search when Google returns results for search queries. So when you enter a search term, Google will try its best to provide most relevant answers, and then rank them from best to worse.
In an effort to improve search rankings, you will be:
- Technical Setup – You will be making changes to site’s technical setup
- Content – You will be making changes to content on the page
- Off-site Factors – Sites that link to your, and how they have chosen to structure those links.
Since Google is the most used search engine with a mind-boggling amount of data, it’s important for you to tap it and have a good rank in search results.
Rank is determined by importance and relevance. A complex algorithm, such as the one run by Google every-time you make a search, turns through hundreds of variables to decide where your page lands. Many of those variables are what you’re aiming to optimize.
- Topics covered – These are the topics and content you’re writing about
- Page links – Who’s linking to your page
- Website-programming – How your website is programmed
- Mobile Friendly – How your website works on different hand-held devices.
Google even evaluates the quality of pages that are linking to you. If they’re on brand, relevant, and popular, it’s going to assume you’re more credible than if off-topic, unpopular pages are linking to your content.
SEO done well can provide an impressive ROI. If SEO is done poorly, it will provide negative search results.
Variables you can control for SEO:
- Topics covered
- Page links
- Mobile friendliness
Variables you cannot control for SEO:
- User search location
- Trending topics
- Current events
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