SEO is a term that describes the methods used by website owners to ensure the visibility of their web pages on search engine results. Without SEO or Search Engine Optimization, a website or webpage will never be seen. So what is SEO about and how does it affect rankings? What are the benefits of doing SEO and what are the consequences of not doing it? What are those things that search engines require webpage owners to do before they can have a good ranking? These and much more are some of the questions you will find answers to in this piece.
What Is SEO And Why Do We Need It?
SEO or Search Engine optimization includes methods site owners employ to ensure their web pages rank high. In today’s world where almost everything is online, people are competing for space so that more users can see their webpages during a search. But search engines need to provide their users with quality results, as much as possible. This is why they come up with rules to guide the rating of content and how it will appear on every search query, based on who follow the rules the best.
Websites need SEO for so many reasons including visibility. You need to be seen first before people can contact you for your services. SEO puts you in the spotlight so that people who want to consume your services can easily find you. You also need SEO as part of your marketing strategy. Again, you’re doing marketing so that prospective clients can quickly locate you. But SEO helps you save money on marketing thereby improving your profit. SEO is also free advertising. While it might cost you money to create content and all, you don’t have to pay for anything.
SEO helps you build trust and credibility with your audience so that your business can be better, stronger, and well-recognized. It is a long-term strategy you use to deliver excellent results and helps you build a brand that many people will recognize. SEO is measurable marketing, where you know how well you’re doing and get suggestions on how you can improve. SEO is also cost-effective, provides an endless opportunity, is rooted in user content, and can be used to drive offline sales.
What Are Search Engines Looking For To Be Able To Rank Your Site Well?
Search engines require from you certain things so they can rank you appropriately. These are strategies, tools, resources, and methods that enrich your website. Here are some of the things you must do to boost your SEO.
Providing high quality and relevant content is still the number one factor that affects your SEO. Imagine the internet without words? This is not just words but quality words that add value to the reader. Most people go online to search because they have a problem or issue to solve and they want the best solutions to those problems. The content you create on your website should be able to solve problems and provide real and tangible value to the audience.
When creating content for SEO, you must ensure you include all the ingredients including keywords, meta tags, meta descriptions, links, etc. Your content should also have proper grammar and spelling, attractive topic, good theme, and must contain useful information for further reading.
There is two type of links including internal links and external links. For your website to rank well, it must have both. Internal links are links to pages on your website that correlates with what you’re discussing in your current article. For example, if you own a home improvement blog and you’re talking about the importance of home décor, and you mentioned painting, you should link, via anchor text, to a page on your site where you talked about painting exclusively. Internal links help both readers and search engine crawlers to define your website easily.
External links are those links that you include in your articles to provide further reading for your viewers. Your external link is good because it provides value for readers and helps them get more information on authority sites.
Backlinks are what makes search engines rate the value and authority of your site against other sites in your niche. When doing backlinking, you have to be careful. Only use it sparingly and naturally and take advantage of different methods like blog comments, testimonials, and guest posts to get backlinks. You can also ask people you know to link back to you, but do not abuse it. Most importantly, only allow websites in your niche to link back to you, otherwise, Google will see it as spam and confusing, and will penalize your site.
The quicker visitors can access content on your website after arriving will also affect your SEO. Remember, the intent of search engines is to help users find quality content, quickly, efficiently, and reliably. Anything that will slow down your site including flash and poor hosting should be avoided.
Images With Proper Tags
Google also ranks sites based on images but it must be original, of high quality, and must be relevant to the content. So, anytime you’re creating content, make sure you include an excellent image or images that go along with it. Readers also like images because it increases visual appeal for them. Your pictures should also be properly tagged using the alt tags for images. Google can’t see your images but can read the alt tag. A lot of people forget to add alt tags; you shouldn’t.
Local SEO is the site optimization you do to attract people in your neighborhood. Google now gives preference to local SEO in their ranking because it helps people find relevant businesses and services close to them. Taking local SEO seriously will not only boost your SEO but increase your traffic as well.
Don’t forget to create and add social links to your website. Google likes businesses that are creating useful social marketing, which adds value to the audience.
Most Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid
Most people ask what is SEO about but forget to ask those things people do that gets them penalized or degraded by Google and other search engines. Here are common SEO mistakes you should avoid entirely.
- Avoid optimizing content around one keyword. Instead, think about content that relates to one primary keyword and includes other search terms to go along with it.
- Not making your website mobile-friendly will cost you so much. Many people now search using their mobile phones, and if your site is not ready, you won’t be seen.
- Not updating old content can be disastrous. Make sure that all of your content is regularly updated to ensure they provide a fresh perspective to some of your old news.
- Never publish unoriginal content. Search engines will penalize you for this, and no one will ever find you. If you must post other people’s content, do so sparingly and give them credit.
- Not separating your content into subheadings is a bad idea. Readers and search engines find it painful to read block content, so use subheadings.
SEO offers so many benefits for site owners. The only way to do it right is to get the education first then practice it to see the outcome. You need to find out what Google is looking for and include it on your website so that you can go higher on search engine ranking pages.
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about SEO or you just want to leave your own personal experience, leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!