What Is SEO?
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The thrill of appearing on the first results page on search engines doesn’t happen by magic; it’s SEO. Search engines are incredibly smart machines, but SEO is smarter. The majority of websites, however, still don’t utilize this crucial tool to their advantage. If you’re looking for how to improve SEO, or you’re wondering how does SEO work, you’ve come to the right place!
In the below guide, we will cover what is SEO, what does SEO stand for, the key terms you need to know, the difference between on-page and off-page tactics, SEO onpage optimization services, white hat and black hat SEO, and how to optimize your site today. We will also explore what does SEO do for your website and how search engine optimization services could help.
What Does SEO Stand For?
SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Nearly every web user is familiar with one or more of the most popular search engines. Globally, this is Google. However, there are specific search engines in different countries, including Naver in South Korea.
SEO refers to how Google and other search engines determine which web pages to show for specific queries. The algorithms are forever changing, and while no one is entirely sure how SEO works (except the developers at Google), there are data findings that reveal how content and sites are ranked.
Within SEO, organic traffic is discussed extensively. Organic traffic is web visitors who don’t click on a paid ad to arrive at your site. Organic traffic is highly sought after, simply because you don’t have to pay for ad space in order to attract these visitors; all you need to do is optimize your site correctly, and they will find you.
Key Stats of SEO
- There are over 63,000 searches per second on Google
- 93% of all online sessions begin on a search engine
- 87% of smartphone users use search engines daily
- 75% of users never scroll past page 1
- The average number of words on a page which is on the 1st page of Google is 1,890
- Nearly 80% of people ignore paid search results
- 86% of users look up businesses on Google Maps
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they’d trust a review from loved ones
What Are Key SEO Terms to Know?
There are many terms you will hear with regards to SEO. The most important to remember are:
- SERPs: Standing for Search Engine Results Pages, page 1 of SERPs is the goal.
- Keywords: Also known as ‘Search Terms.’ These are the terms, phrases, and specific words that are relevant to your website and what site visitors are searching for. Keyword research is the process of discovering which keywords will be most profitable to your business, e.g. highest volume, relevance, likelihood of conversion.
- Anchor Text: Text which links to an internal or external source. Often uses keywords and long-tail keywords.
- CTR: Standing for Click-Through Rates, this is a key piece of data that highlights how well your links are performing.
- Visibility: If your site is ‘visible,’ it means you can be found in SERPs.
It is also key to understand that you won’t land the 1st spot on the SERPs overnight. SEO is an ongoing process; it improves the longer you incorporate it. SEO isn’t something you include on your site once and hope for the best.
Instead, you have to continue to work at it, and you will begin to reap the rewards and improve your search engine rankings. How to improve SEO on your site will be the result of a dedicated SEO campaign and ongoing SEO strategies. Onpage optimization services can advise, guide and support you at every stage of creating and implementing an SEO strategy.
What is Visibility?
Visibility, as mentioned above, is a key SEO term to learn and understand.
When an SEO professional speaks about a site being ‘invisible,’ this doesn’t simply mean your site visitors can’t find you. It means your website doesn’t feature the necessary information Google needs to index the site. To become visible, you need to implement the correct data and tactics to ensure you provide Google with the right information, which will, in turn, boost you up the SERPs.
What Impacts SEO?
The exact algorithm Google uses may not be known, but there are a number of elements that experts know impact the quality of a site’s SEO. These include:
- Page Speed
- Mobile page speed
- Optimized content
- Technical SEO
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- User experience (UX)
- Backlinks & link building
What is On Page SEO?
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing your own website and each page which features on it. Not only does it refer to the content, however, but it also applies to the HTML source code of your pages. On-page SEO is made up of quality content, title tags (the second most important factor), meta descriptions, clear URL hierarchy, and image alt text.
A note on URL hierarchy: URL’s need to make sense. A good URL structure would be www.clickintelligence.com/seo/managed-seo-campaigns.
This works because it shows the history a user would go through to reach the page, which adds further relevance to the page, and is something that Google loves. Thanks to the clear hierarchy, Google can see that managed SEO campaigns is linked to SEO in general, and this will help it stand out when Google is deciding what result to show for a ‘managed SEO campaign’ search query.
On page optimization services like our managed SEO services team here at Click Intelligence can create an on page SEO package to boost your search engine rankings, maximize your visibility and move your business forward.
Digital marketers and business owners alike are all well aware of the phrase: Content is King. It’s still true in 2019. The content on your website must be optimized for search engines, but more than that, it must be easy to read for the user. This is a field within digital marketing known as content marketing. When you write quality content with the user in mind, that’s when you’ll create something extraordinary which will keep people coming back for more. One way to do this is by including a blog on your site. A blog offers you the opportunity to showcase your brand and your products in a fresh way, and it’s also a way to work on your search engine rankings continuously.
At the recent Brighton SEO conference, September 2019, Greg Gifford, SEO expert, highlighted how local content will be the key to your success. This is where your blog comes in incredibly handy, as this is where you can create content which concerns your local area but not necessarily your product or service. A great example of this would be a New York City hairdresser who could post about events and occasions in New York City, which their site users will want to read about.
Additionally, it’s a wise idea to steer clear of thin content, i.e., content that is less than 500 words in length. Since the 2011 Google Update (Panda), Google began to penalize web pages which were lacking in substantial, high-quality content. The best blog length in 2019 is 1,705 words. On average, blogs of over 1,000 words do significantly better.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO refers to actions you undertake outside your own site. Link building is a vital strategy for off-page SEO, making backlinks the backbone of the practice. A variety of factors impact off-page SEO, however, including:
- The domain authority (DA) of the site you’re placing a link on (we call this the ‘publishing site’)
- How “fresh” a link is
- The anchor text used
- The trustworthiness of the publishing site
- How relevant the publishing site is to your content and site
How SEO Helps Your Business
Without SEO, your site will struggle to be found by those who matter – your potential customers. However, the quality of your SEO is crucial. Attempt bad practices, such as black hat SEO explained below, and you will be penalized by Google. Implement white hat SEO, carry out detailed keyword research, create quality content and you will climb the SERPs.
By providing valuable, relevant information for Google, you will be rewarded with a higher ranking, which increases your site’s exposure, bringing more visitors to your page, and (hopefully) turn those clicks into revenue.
What is White Hat SEO?
When implementing SEO, abiding by the rules is crucial. This is known as ‘white hat SEO’; tactics and techniques which take into account the algorithm and conditions of the search engines. Generally, white hat refers to the actions you undertake for your site (both on-page and off-page), which maintain both your site’s quality and stays within the guidelines of Google. Key examples of white hat SEO include:
- Fast site loading times
- Easy-to-navigate site
- Mobile-friendly site
What is Black Hat SEO?
In contrast to white hat SEO, black hat SEO is what you don’t want to implement. These are digital marketing tactics that violate the terms of search engines in order to boost a site’s rank quickly. Keyword stuffing, an old practice, is now deemed as ‘black hat.’ Other black hat tactics include link manipulation (buying links), hidden links or text (for example, white text on a white background to increase the word count on a page), and guest posting networks.
A word of warning: Black hat SEO is not only frustrating for users, but it can result in your site being banned and removed from search engines altogether.
Can I Optimize My Site Myself?
Search engine optimization can be a time-consuming, tricky process to master, which is why enlisting the help of an SEO company is a wise move. It’s possible to optimize your site yourself, but to avoid black hat tactics, an SEO expert is able to create an SEO strategy to improve your SERPs ranking. An onpage SEO service team will have the knowledge and expertise on how to make SEO friendly content, for example.
What to Look For in an SEO Firm
If you are considering outsourcing your SEO strategy, the key attributes to look for in an on page SEO services company include:
- Client testimonials: What have other client said about the service, and how have they found working with the business and the result on investment they delivered.
- Certifications: Certifications from Google and other search vendor partners.
- Transparency at every step: You need the firm to tell you exactly what they are doing, why they are doing it, and the results they expect at every avenue.
At Click Intelligence, our SEO experts have the knowledge and expertise to ensure your site’s SEO adheres to search engine algorithms and maintain the integrity of your site. We know all the tactics to use and how to use them smartly.
First, we will provide a full technical audit to assess your on-page and off-page factors.
We’ll then create a strategy that is focused on ROI and will make sure your business moves forward.
What’s more, we will be with you every step of the way.
From backlinks to image alt text, title tags, meta descriptions and blogger outreach, our team can handle it all, and we will also provide full reports monthly.
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