What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained

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Table of Contents

What is Search Engine Optimization?

The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and this is the process of making your website visible among the thousands of similar websites on search engines.

Companies usually hire SEO service providers who will increase the number of visitors to their website by making sure they have a high ranking on the google search engine results page. We like to call these visitors organic website traffic.

There are a lot of services for different types of businesses. These services include keyword optimization, optimization of certain pages, SEO audits, sitemaps, etc.

In a nutshell, Search Engine Optimization includes the following steps:

  • Building an SEO-friendly site
  • Relevant content
  • Link building
  • Other optimization

Similarities between Types of SEO

When people mention “black hat”, they associate it with something bad, dishonest or illegal. Actually, a black hat SEO is a person who uses shady practices to outsmart search engines.

We may classify search engine optimization into three Types of SEOWhite Hat SEOGrey Hat SEO, and Black Hat SEO. The idea of using a hat as the metaphor lies in western movies where bad guys wear black hats while good ones wear white hats.

In this story, the black hat’s are bad guys. In terms of SEO, black hats deal with optimizing content exclusively for the search engines. They usually ignore the human factor and visitors interested in the website. They break the rules to raise the search rankings quickly. This method is not good for long-term goals because the reliability of the website is not sustainable. Also, these pages can get penalized by search engines. Also, some black hat guys focus on negative SEO which means they try to harm competitors websites on purpose.

When speaking about SEO, white hats perform actions that will boost the visibility and ranking of the website. White hat’s focus on the long term and don’t risk with any shady strategies that may hurt the SEO campaign. At our SEO company we focus only on white hat strategies.

Grey hats are, as their name suggests, a blend of the White hat and Black hat. They use mixed tactics.

The power of SEO factors

Most people think that SEO expert is a person with a magic wand who will make your website the highest-ranking overnight. Google is such a powerful and influential search engine that no one can imagine it will grant the formula they use for ranking to anyone. What is important here is the combination of ranking factors. There are on-page and off-page factors.

We will describe these factors but first, we want to point out that content should not be ignored. Content is an initial step to attract search engines and also to help your company establish contacts with visitors.

You should create various types of content pieces which are of high quality and relevant and useful for your visitors.

Here are some ideas you can use to improve the content of your website:

  • Articles and blog posts
  • How-to pages, tutorials, and guides
  • E-books and whitepapers
  • Social media content
  • Videos
  • Visual content like infographics.

In order to achieve effectiveness, the content of your website should have keywords and phrases. These are the words that a user may type in while searching for products and services of their interest. If you use these words, you have better chances of achieving a higher ranking.

On-Page SEO

The On-Page SEO includes all the elements that occur on your website. You have full and constant control over these factors and you can improve them.

There are a lot of on-page SEO factors but we will list just a few of them:

  • Title Tag – This is an HTML element that denotes the title of your webpage. They are shown on SERPs as the clickable title which gives information about the content of your page. The title tag should not be more than 70 characters long.
  • Meta description – This gives further information about your website. It is a snippet of about 150 characters that summarizes the content. Reasonable use of keywords here is of the highest importance because search engines display the meta description when users search for the phrase.
  • Sub-heading – The power of sub-headings is in their size and attractiveness to the users. Also, their presence helps search engines to find out about your content.
  • Image Name and ALT tags – Good images will also contribute to the ranking but they should be accompanied with appropriate ALT tags or attributes.
  • Internal Links (inbound links) – Linking from your website to other relevant pages on your website.
  • External Links (external links) – These links link from your website to other websites with anchor text.

One of the main elements of the strategic guide to SEO planning is to avoid overuse of keywords and phrases. Also, search engines will penalize your page if there is over-optimization. You should try to keep your content relevant and specific. Each piece of content must include only one or two keywords from your keyword research.

Off-Page SEO

You do not have direct control over off-page factors, but there are the things you can do in order to improve these factors and thus raise your ranking.

Here are some most important off-page SEO factors:

  • Trust, Authority – Search engines determine how trustworthy and legitimate your website is. You can improve trust if you build quality backlinks from a website that has authority.
  • Backlinks – Backlinks refer to the number of links going to your page. If you have more backlinks, your page will be ranked better. That is why link-building activities are one of the most important factors that you should take into consideration.
  • Social networks – We have seen the power of social networks for many times. Also, you can get shares and likes from influencers. They can bring social signals and referral traffic.

Conclusion

The success of search engine optimization cannot be seen overnight. Sometimes it takes months to get a high-ranked page and show up in top search results. Also, it is not smart to use black-hat methods since you may face negative circumstances for your website. Also, it is a bad marketing strategy for the long-term. For more SEO tutorials follow our SEO Blog.