Complete guide: What is SEO and How it Works?

While We’re working online, if we are stuck with some issues the first thing that will come to our mind is to Google it. 

To show web searches of any kind of query in a systematic way, a software system has been created which is known as Search Engine.

As per Google stats, approximately more than 5.5 billion searches are happening per day and Google controls 90% of the search engine market globally.

Have you ever come across the term “SEO”? 

I am sure you might have if you are a digital marketer.

These days, Most of the digital marketers are putting up as one of their skill sets in their portfolios or resumes. And even every online businesses are trying to make their websites SEO optimised so as to bring up more clients or maybe to rank higher in search listings.

Did you know, 68% of online occurrences begin with a search engine? 

Now you might be wondering what the heck is SEO actually? Why is SEO so important that every online organization wants to implement it? Is SEO really having a future?

Well, don’t worry. I have been into the Digital marketing field for the past 1.5 years and know the importance of SEO not only in Digital Marketing but in every industry.  

So here I am to tell you each and every detail of it because I want to bring a new revolution to our country in the upcoming years through the SEO industry so that many organizations could implement SEO strategies in real life to bring maximum no. of clients to their business. 

At last, I am going to reveal the secret of the SEO’s future.

So have some patience and read the entire article. I am sure you will have a lot of clarifications regarding What is SEO and how it works?

If you understand this concept, you actually benefit from it by implementing it in real life.

Without further ado, let’s understand what exactly SEO is.



What is SEO?

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation(SEO)  is the process of making good practices of optimizing your page or website which helps to rank higher on search engine results pages(SERPs) organically.

If you type in any kind of keywords or query into a search engine, it will come up with a list of relevant results in a particular page which is known as SERP.

As per stats, Google is the boss of all search engines present out there. Almost 80% of search traffic comes from Google. The Rest 20% comes from Microsoft Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu. So, if you are optimizing your site for Google search engine, remember you are doing it for the rest of the search engines too. 

SEO results are quite magical. You have to optimize your website in such a way that your page ends up showing in the first page of SERP for a particular query. 

By regularly delivering high-quality content, solving user queries in an efficient way and using relevant keywords in your content, you are helping out search engines to understand about the content and thus search engines also help you out by ranking your page at the top of search listings. 

This is exactly what SEO is.

Other than organic results, there are few results which come in advertisement form in SERPs. Those are known as SEM (search engine marketing) which are paid marketing strategies.

But as of now let’s focus on our topic.  Now let’s understand how many types of SEO are present.



Different types of SEO

While developing your SEO campaign, it is necessary to know different types of SEO present. 

You will come across 4 different types of basic SEO techniques:-

White hat SEO

Get used to this term. This technique refers to the set of practices to improve your site’s ranking on a SERP by staying within Google’s terms of service or Google’s Webmaster policies and by maintaining the integrity of the website.

This is the most legal technique you would be using till the time you are following SEO practices. White hat SEO techniques take much more time to give the outcome as compared to other techniques. But the results which you will get will have a great long lasting future.

This is the reason why I said at the very beginning, get used to White hat SEO term.

Example:-  Optimizing images, Optimizing HTML tags, Offering high quality content, making your website easy to navigate, etc.

Black hat SEO

These are the SEO techniques or the set of practices which violate the search engines’ terms of policies in order to get higher rankings in SERPs.

Black hat SEO techniques give you very fast results. Few of the organizations are using Black hat SEO methods to optimize their site for driving fast outcomes. 

But in the long run, Rather than giving you higher profits, Black hat SEO gives you more pain by going down in search engine listings.

There is a higher chance of even getting banned from search engines if you are violating Google’s Webmaster policies.

Example:-  Keyword stuffing or addition of unrelated keywords, invisible text or links, copying of content, over optimizing the content, etc.

Grey hat SEO 

The result which you will be getting after combining both white hat SEO and Black hat SEO techniques to optimize your site is known as grey hat SEO technique. 

These are the set of practices that exploit the search engines’ terms of service and are considered to be illegal methods used for getting higher page rank or a good amount of traffic.

Grey hat SEO technique is not at all good for your site or business in the long run. Google will simply Blacklist or ban if they find any companies which are considering any kind of shortcuts to bring more public to them or to rank higher.

Example:- Purchasing very old domains, using paid reviews, purchasing followers, exchange of links, etc. 

Negative SEO

This is a contentious topic in SEO. Negative SEO is the practice of implementing Black hat SEO techniques to lower the reputations or ranking of a competitor’s website.

This is an illegal method used by many businesses to decrease the rank of the competitor for personal gain in search listings.

Google has made sure to catch spammy links to keep most of the websites out there to remain safe from negative SEO impact. But it is a good practice to monitor it regularly to ensure that there are no sudden drop in rankings. 

Example:-  scrapping, posting bad reviews, websites hacking, link spamming, etc.



How do search engines work?

What is SEO and how it works?
Types of SEO

Before we jump into how to implement SEO in website, it is important to understand how search engines work actually. 

Search engines make it easier for the user to find what they are actually looking for by providing appropriate results.

Please allow me to explain this.

Let’s take two websites for instance. Website w1 and Website w2.

Website w1 isn’t having a good responsive web design and users are finding it difficult to navigate through it. Whereas website w2 is easier to navigate and has a great responsive web design for all kinds of devices.

Search engines job is to find websites which are more user friendly and they find website w2 as the winner from both the websites.

Search engines work mainly in the three steps-

Crawling

Search engines have their team of robots (known as crawlers or spiders) working with. These are very hardworking crawlers which are sent by search engines to find new and reformed pages or content all across the web every time. 

This is the first stage where a new page is discovered. 

Under the crawling section, there are two important concepts which need to be understood. 

Robots.txt

Robots exclusion standard or robots.txt are standards present in the root directory of websites. This standard is used for communication between websites and web robots to inform the spiders which areas of the websites need to be crawled and which are not.

In simple terms, if Google spiders or robots don’t find any robots.txt file in your website without stopping they go ahead and crawl the entire website. But if they do find certain robots.txt files in a certain area they won’t enter that particular area and will crawl the other parts of the site. 

Robots.txt is the first page spiders will visit.

Would you want the Google bots to crawl entirely through your website?

Well of course not because there must be few private areas in your website where you don’t want the crawlers to move around. So it’s better to disallow the robots from entering areas like the admin section, comment section, members area, etc.

By adding disallow in the robots.txt section (inside WordPress plugin area) of your website, you are disallowing the Google bots to enter that particular area.

What is On-page SEO?
What is Off-page SEO?
Robots.txt
This is how my robots.txt file looks like.

Submitting the Sitemaps

Apart from robots.txt files, sitemap is an important concept to understand when it comes to crawling.

A sitemap is a list of pages of a site which tells search engines about the important pages of files and even provides useful information about these files.

If you are working on a coded website your developer can help you create the sitemap for you.

In case if you are working in WordPress platforms, then there are certain plugins like RankMath which will help you create “.XML” files automatically.

Or even if you are working on any other platforms these days there are many plugins out there which will help you to create a sitemap for you.

Remember one sitemap(.XML file) has been created for you, you just have to copy only the sitemap URL (excluding domain URL part) into Google search console. 

This step is done so that Google automatically knows where it can find the sitemap and where exactly it can find the important contents of your site.

Indexing

Then comes the second stage of how search engines work, indexing.

Once crawlers find the updated content, Google tries to identify what the particular page is all about by analyzing each and every kind of content present in that page. 

After identifying, Google reserves and arranges the pages so to display those in a proper order as per the relevant queries. 

Ranking

After all this hard work, comes the final stage of how search engines work i.e, Ranking.

Once Google identifies the content found during the crawling process, Google tries to show up the relevant page as per the user’s search query. 

Based on Google stats, It uses more than 200 different elements to show up the search results.

These 200 elements are categorized into three different categories to make it simpler for you.

  • Relevancy :-  As per the user’s search query, the first thing Google will want to see is how much relevant or useful content you have put in your page. 
  • Authority :-  Among all the possible relevant outcomes how authoritative your page is, Google tries to find out. 
  • User signals :-  Google finally checks how the User experience is with your website or a web page. 

Now let me allow you to understand why SEO is important.



Why SEO is important for your online business?

Do you know more than 75% of the online users never go beyond the first page of SERPs?

Don’t believe me? Well it’s the Google stats itself.

To get more traffic to your site it has to appear within the first 15 results of SERPs. And for this to happen as discussed above (relevancy, authority, and good user experience) should be there. 

Apart from all these the most important thing is your site should be well optimized.

It’s pretty safe to assume that if your site isn’t optimized properly, then it is not gonna come up at the top of search engines’ listings.

That means, people are never going to get a chance to know who you are and what solutions or products you are providing.

The trust is built up by SEO among the users. if you provide high quality relevant and credible content to the search engines users are definitely going to end up in your website. That is when Google starts to rank your website as per the user’s experience.

But note all these things happen if you optimize your website. 

Remember the example we talked about website W1 and website W2. Let’s take the same one here as well.

For instance, website w1 and website w2 both are providing relevant results. But website w1 isn’t properly optimized whereas website w2 is a well optimized site. Now again website w2 is clearly the winner here. Google will give more importance to website w2 here as well.

To summarize the benefits of SEO in any online business can be to bring more organic traffic, build branding, rank higher in SERPs, save money.



How to implement SEO in website?

By now you know how SEO works and now let’s get to the point of how you can implement it so that it will work for you too.

Optimizing your website is mainly done through two stages:-

  • On-page SEO – The SEO activities or practices which happen on your website. It includes various factors like optimizing title tags, creating high quality content, optimisation meta description, page load speed, etc. 
  • Off-page SEO – These are the SEO activities which occur off your website. It includes exchange of links, commenting, building of links, etc.

Let’s understand each of the topics(What is On-page SEO and What is Off-page SEO briefly) and how to implement on-page and off-page SEO activities.



What is On-page SEO?

What is On-page SEO?
Image Alt tag
Types of SEO

In order to rank higher and earn more relevant or high-quality traffic, A technique which is used for optimizing individual web pages is known as On-page SEO.

This technique is all about relevancy. By using this technique, you are allowing the search engine to understand what your content or web page is about. 

There are various elements to be considered from which you can increase the relevancy.

Content

This is the most important element when you are handling a website. Creating high quality and relevant content is essential for users and search engines to find it useful.

Do not make any kind of grammatical errors while creating any piece of content. 

Very soon I will be publishing an article about how to create good quality content. Stay tuned for it.

Keywords

 It is the word or phrase which internet users use to find a solution for their query. 

Try to use relevant long tail keywords which are high in search volume and low in competition instead of short tail keywords.

Check out my article on SEO content writing tools:- https://diginitish.com/seo-content-writing-tools/

Header tags

 These are the lines of text which break your content into subcategories. The hierarchy of header tags are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6 .

H1 is taken to describe the headline of your content.

H2 tags are the sections to break up content from H1 tags.

H3 tags are the sections considered for further breaking the body of the content from H2.

Similarly H4 to H6 are used.

 it is very important to use the header tags in a proper alignment while creating the content.

Title tags

This is the HTML element which is used to describe the title of a content or a webpage.

Make it a habit of creating headlines of 60 or under 60 characters.

The entire primary key words should be put in your content title tags.

URL

Your content page URL should be kept in lowercase as URLs are considered to be case sensitive in nature.

Avoid using stop words, underscores and spaces in URLs. Instead you can use “-” to distribute the URL structure.

Meta description

 This is the short description which appears to be under the URL section on search results.

Use all your focus keywords in the meta description. Write a short and crushed meta description to make it relevant for users to read. 

Always try to create a meta description under 160 characters.

Image alt tag

Image alt tag is an HTML attribute applied to image file name and description to provide a brief description of the image to the search engines used in the content.

Mention all your focus keywords in your image alt tag and don’t forget to change the file name of the used images as per your keywords.

Page load speed 

Google always checks the page load speed of every website it crawls around. If the loading speed of the page is higher than SEO ranking is going to be better. You can always use some plugins from WordPress to make your website run smoother.



What is Off-page SEO?

What is Off-page SEO?
Basic SEO techniques

Any kind of optimization that doesn’t happen on your site but what happens outside of your website is what we call off-page SEO.

Unlike on-page seo, where relevancy was the most important aspect of page SEO deals more with quality. Off-page SEO factors are something that is not in your hands.

But optimizing few off page SEO factors will help you drive more traffic and improve your website’s ranking.

Social media

Once you start sharing your web page link in various social media channels, it’s up to the people who are viewing it whether to share your link among other groups or not.

But if you are creating relevant and authoritative content you might have the chance to earn links for your webpage.

Backlinks

Backlinks are nothing but the hyperlinks for connecting one web page to another web page or website.

If people from the same niche find your content to be interesting they may interlink with your web page. You may also do the same.

The more the backlinks, higher the chances of ranking.

User behaviour

Factors such as the number of pages viewed, Bounce rate, and how much time is spent by the user on your site comes under Off-page SEO.

Reviews/comments

As per the posted contents, people share their views whether it is a good one or a bad one. This thing also comes under off page SEO.

These are a few of the things which come under off page SEO Optimization factors. By seeing all these factors, you have clearly understood that creating good content and on page SEO is very much important to handle off page SEO activities.



SEO’s Future

As promised in the starting itself I am going to reveal about SEO’s scope. 

In today’s world the usage of online applications is much higher than earlier years. And it is not going to reduce so soon unless and until something new comes on(Which will beat the mobile apps).

Most of the people are using Google to get solutions to their queries. Also organic results are becoming more trustworthy than inorganic or paid ads. 

Google is rapidly evolving and so are we. Every online organization is looking out for Google first page rankings.

For doing all these things, everybody needs SEO professionals.

The SEO job field is pretty much bright in India and the rest of the world.

Not only this you can come up with your own SEO strategies to handle business too.



Conclusion

Let me tell you, the SEO market is booming right now and is continuously evolving.

There is no need to learn any hard coded language for SEO.

If you want to learn SEO on your own you can do it on your own. But it takes much time and effort for it to learn.

Or else, you can learn SEO from various online or offline tutorials. But don’t forget to check out the reviews of them before joining.

Whatever you have learnt in this article your primary goal should be to solve your prospect’s or user’s queries. By looking into the queries you can create amazing SEO optimized contents.

All right now it’s time to do SEO!!!

Check my recent blog about SEO content writer interview questions :- https://diginitish.com/seo-content-writer-interview-questions/

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