Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process or technique of getting more targeted traffic to your website from search engines like Google by ranking higher in the organic (normal) search results.
SEO is important because it gets your site free traffic, it can provide you with the means to secure organic traffic on a consistent basis with little to no financial burdens.
I am not going to lie, SEO can be a pretty complicated topic. As someone who started out knowing a whole lot of nothing, I understand the confusion many of you may feel when first coming across the topic.
But hey, no need to worry. In this article, we will be going over the basics of what SEO is and why it is important. The goal is to explain SEO in such a simple way, even a fifth-grader can understand it.
Table of Contents
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the process or technique of getting more targeted traffic to your website from search engines like Google by ranking higher in the organic search results.
When you search for things on Google and other search engines, the search results are ranked. At the top of the page, you might see paid ads, followed by organic/normal results. Ads are located at the top because they paid to be there and no relevant SEO skills are needed for that, you only need an unlimited bank account.
The organic results are ranked based on SEO merit and reap the most rewards. High-ranking organic results get free traffic on a monthly basis with little to no overhead cost, other than the time and effort spent to learn SEO.
How Does SEO Work?
Understanding How Search Engines Work.
Let’s break down how Google and the other search engines work.
Search engines have bots (called spiders) that crawl the web visiting millions of web pages collecting information and putting it all in an index. You can imagine the index as a library, a filing cabinet, or a big book with millions of pages that represent actual web pages.
When you search for something in Google, an algorithm scans through all the pages in the index to get the best results that will answer your query (keyword or keyphrase). The algorithm must consider hundreds of factors to determine how to rank search results, many of which are unknown to the general public. Fortunately for us, we are not completely in the dark, we know of some core components the algorithm judges your website and webpage by:
Authority: Your website’s authority is expressed through having many other websites link to yours, this is called backlinks. Search engines, especially Google, value the accuracy and trustworthiness of information, and nothing says trustworthiness like having many backlinks. Links from other sites are a sign that your site offers a high level of quality
It’s important to note that not all links are good, having 1,000 links from random sites that have nothing to do with your niche will actually hurt more than it helps. The goal of backlinks is to gain credibility by having other credible high-quality sites link to you. So 100 links from high-quality sites related to your niche are better than 1,000 random links, the 100 will get you long-term growth.
Content Relevancy and Usefulness: How annoyed would you be if you searched for lasagna recipes and the search results showed you home workout routines? To prevent cases like this from happening, search engines scan the content on web pages to see if it is relevant for specific keywords or key phrases. In SEO it is important to center the content on your site around keywords and key phrases that are relevant to your niche and that users are searching for.
While ensuring that your content is relevant, you must also focus on its usefulness. Having an article about lasagna recipes and only talking about the nutritional content of the ingredients would not be very useful to anyone who was looking for recipes. Your content has to match the intent of the keyword/key phrases used.
Also, your content must be organized and easily understood so that readers can navigate and make use of the information given with ease. Imagine your website is a hotel and you are the manager, you have to ensure that each room (web page) is well stocked and organized to take care of your users’ needs.
How users interact with your content is vital.
Page Structure: Webpages that have well-structured and meaningful HTML code allow search engines to easily scan them and can be a big help.
Adding relevant keywords on your page in places like the title, URL, and meta description, and within your content will improve your chances of ranking higher in the SERP (search engine results page). An important thing to always keep in mind is that unnaturally filling your content with keywords (keyword stuffing) will not work in your favor, you can actually get blacklisted from Google for doing it.
Additionally, an extremely important thing you must always do when setting up your website and creating new pages ensures that your website or page is crawlable. This is what will ensure the spiders from the search engines come crawling your way to gather information and index your site.
Why is SEO Important?
This has a simple answer because it gets you free traffic.
In a world where marketing can cost you thousands of dollars, SEO can provide you with the means to secure organic traffic on a consistent basis with no financial burdens. As long as people are searching for it you can get traffic with a well-optimized site.
Also, search engines are a big source of traffic these days. Think about it, when you want to find out something like “the best lasagna recipe” or “the best headphones for working out”, what do you do? You Google it like the rest of us.
People make trillions of searches on a daily basis oftentimes with the goal of buying something, it is the golden ticket for any business. By learning SEO you can tap into the unlimited amount of traffic search engines generate daily.
We hope the above information was able to answer your questions of “What is SEO and why is it important?” We know all too well how confusing it can be so we tried to simplify it as much as possible.
SEO is an amazing technique that will allow your website to consistently secure traffic and rank among the best sites on the search engine results page (SERP). All it takes is a little time and effort.
Now that you have started your SEO journey you will need to arm yourself with the best tools available. Check out our review of Ubersuggest Vs Ahrefs.