A Guide to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
When talking about web pages, your web page coming up on Google search and carving a space for yourself on the Internet in general, you probably came across the term “SEO” plenty. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Here is a quick guide on SEO
What is SEO?
All search engines, Google, Bing, Yahoo, have two main tasks. One is to crawl the World Wide Web and build an index of all the materials in it. The second, the one most of us know, is to answer a user’s query. The search engine provides a list of previously crawled pages for and deems relevant. You have probably noticed by now that when you do a search on search engines, there are two types of results. Firstly Ads that are right at the top, and then non-ad results. These non-paid, non-ad results are organic search results.
SEO, or rather, Search Engine Optimization, is the process that drives the visibility of a website within the organic search results so as to bring quality traffic to said website. Quality traffic here refers to the users who you hope to attract to your website and not users that are randomly sent to your website who have no need or interest for your content or product. While search engines are based on Artificial Intelligence to return results on their own. They are always crawling the deeper ends of the World Wide Web so as to offer better results for their users. This is where SEO comes in.
A website with better SEO will attract the attention of search engines, in their goal. The search engine offers the best and quickest results for their users. In other words, a website with better SEO will have the edge in terms of visitors and/or customers over other web pages on the increasingly competitive Internet.
How Does SEO Work?
A right SEO can boost your web page count by the thousands while the wrong SEO can bury your web page in the depths of the Internet altogether. As mentioned previously, the function of a search engine is to provide us with a list of results every time we search for something. Based on its algorithm, a search engine offers us a list in decreasing order of relevance. How a search engine determines a web page to be the most relevant answer for a user’s query is determined by a number of factors. It’s not simply limited to a web page having the terms the user is searching for in its content. Google uses up to 200 factors when determining a web page’s relevance.
One of the most common ways search engines determine relevance is by following the assumption that if a web page is very popular, it must contain very useful information. Again, this popularity is determined by various algorithms, not by a manual count of the number of visits to the said web page. This page will then be displayed as one of the first few results, with less popular web pages presented in the later pages. 95% of clicks happen within the first page of Google’s search results. Especially more so for the first organic result on the first page. It goes without saying that it’s important for your web page to end up somewhere on the first page. Then only you can attract as many visitors as possible.
Goal of SEO
The goal of SEO is to make sure that the user gets the best and quickest result for his/her query. To achieve this goal, search engines tend to prefer a web page that contains words the user entered in the search query. Web pages that are working and accessible and websites that are more popular and established that link the web page in question. Search engines consider this as an element of credibility towards the web page. SEO is a long-haul game and it doesn’t produce results overnight due to the magnitude of content on the WWW. Your SEO strategy shouldn’t be set in stone either. Since search engines are constantly evolving and getting “smarter”, the way they rank web pages is constantly changing. This means that your SEO needs to be constantly tweaked to stay on top of your competitors.
To conclude, SEO can help make or break your website. For a website to be SEO friendly, it should be accessible by search engines. It needs to have content built around the queries you expect your potential consumer to enter into search engines. It should associate with other well-established websites to get better visibility and trust from the search engine.