If you click this article, you must be interested in learning more about SEO. Especially, as Google regularly improves its algorithms including the most recent Core Update in 2022 with some major changes, your webpage SEO should be paid attention to more and more. In this article, we will show you the basics of SEO: what it is, how it works, why it is important, and the general steps to do it.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which means the practice of optimizing a website or webpage to increase its ranking in search engines to get more organic (unpaid) traffic.
How do Search Engines and SEO work?
Search engines are like digital libraries, which store copies of webpages instead of books. Then, when a user searches for something, the search engine will give them the results that are closest to what they’re looking for.
According to Digital GYD, among all the search engines in the world, Google is the most popular with 78.78% market share, over ten times of the second place Microsoft Bing with 7.65%.
So we should understand how Google Search works. It goes through three stages:
- Crawling: Google downloads text, images, and videos from pages it found on the internet with automated programs called crawlers.
- Indexing: Google analyzes the text, images, and video files on the page, and stores the information in the Google index, which is a large database.
- Serving search results: When a user searches on Google, Google returns information that’s relevant to the user’s query.
It’s amazing how Google sorts through hundreds of billions of web pages and other content in their tremendous Search index to present the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second. To do this, Google uses computer programs called algorithms. How does it work and decide on the “most relevant, useful” webpage to show users?
According to Google: “Search algorithms look at many factors and signals, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query. For example, the freshness of the content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics than it does about dictionary definitions.” Also, relevancy is determined by hundreds of factors, which could include information such as the user’s location, language, and device (desktop or phone).
Google makes updates to its algorithms every year. As we mentioned at the beginning, this search giant recently made a Core Update in 2022 with some major changes. We will get into them in another blog article later.
Thus, if a webpage has good SEO, it can go through all 3 stages of Google Search, which means getting crawled, indexed, and finally appearing in the top search results.
Why is SEO important?
Like any internet users, your potential customers will search for the answers to their questions, problems, and desires. If your webpage does SEO well and appears in the top results of their search, they will more likely visit your page. Therefore, the higher your page ranks, the more traffic comes, the more sales you could get, especially if they’re satisfied with the answer your page shows.
Unlike paid ads, SEO will help you get organic traffic without spending a dime. Besides, paid ads just last for a certain amount of time as long as you still pay for it, while the SEO effect on your webpage ranking will stay for a long time. So with SEO, you don’t have to pay to get organic traffic and you don’t have to keep paying to maintain your page’s position. However, SEO does not cost you money but surely costs you time and effort. But it’s worth it!
Obviously, SEO is a stable long-term marketing tool that every business needs to not only get more customers but also to build brand awareness. The organic lead may not convert right the first time but if they click your page multiple times through searches, it could gradually build your credibility in them and make them become your client later.
How to do SEO?
We would divide SEO into 5 main steps.
- Keyword SEO: Find keywords that your target audience search for and how to use them effectively in your webpage’s content.
- On-page SEO: Ensure the quality and clarity of your webpage’s content and structure to make it easier to crawl, index, and rank high.
- Link building: Lead backlinks to your webpage to get more traffic, build trust and authority from other websites.
- Technical SEO: Ensure your webpage’s security and accessibility to all devices as well as to both humans and machines.
- SEO effectiveness measurement: Analyze your webpage’s performance to see what works and what doesn’t to improve upon.
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