SEO – what does it mean?
SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO represents a set of actions taken on a website / blog in order to favorably handle the ranking of keywords relevant to your site in the search engines. The purpose of SEO is to bring relevant traffic to your site and increase the popularity of your products and services.
The better a site is placed in search engine results pages, the more visitors it will have. SEO can target different types of searches: images, local, videos, books, discussions, blogs, news.
Optimizing the visibility of a website on the search engines will basically increase the visibility of your website in all these search types.
How does SEO work?
All Search engines aim to provide the most relevant high-quality results and best service for their users and visitors. To do this, search engines are scanning (or crawling) various websites, to understand what they are about. This process helps them focus on the relevant search results for any given keywords or topics. Search engines also determine how easy it is to navigate on websites, offering them in exchange “prizes” known as page ranking.
The higher the page ranking is, the higher the website will be displayed on the search engine’s results page. Google and Yahoo, for example, are using over 200 signals in result scoring. SEO becomes a sum of technical and creative activities to influence and improve the most important such signals.
At the same time, linking has an important place for search engines. There are cases where reputable websites with such quality “signals”, simply linking to another site, are providing a powerful signal to Google that its content might interest the users and it makes it trustworthy to appear as a search result.
SEO Factors & How to do SEO successfully
Content Marketing (Organic vs. paid results)
Various research shows that Google’s first-page sites receive over 90% of clicks and also there are studies stating that the results on the top of the first page have a higher clickthrough rate (CTR) and therefore, higher traffic.
The paid results are always shown as first and immediately under them, there are the algorithmic search (organic or free) results.
In the content marketing category, there are also other types of listings that can appear in the search engine results, such as videos, knowledge graphs, maps, answers etc. Applying various SEO techniques will improve these as well.
On-page SEO means a collection of elements that happen on your existing website. These are the factors that you have control over and that can be always metered and improved. The improvement part is generally done over time and by following some strict SEO practices. On-page SEO is more than just content marketing, it means to dig deeper and do your work on the website’s HTML pages. Different aspects can be improved:
- Title tag
This is the first aspect that search engines identify on your website. The title tag should be 70 characters or less and must include the keyword(s) your business focuses on as well as the business name.
- Meta description
Meta description is the next level, telling search engines like Google more details about what each page of your website is about. Visitors also can be attracted organically by meta description, as they will better understand what your pages are about and ultimately, if they are relevant to their search. As the title tag, meta description must include the focused keyword as well as details which will make the reader more convinced and attracted by the page.
This part is slightly more technical than the previous ones as tags (like H1, H2, H3 etc.) come into play. Sub-headings are making everything clearer for the search engines and help them read and display your relevant content easier. From the visitor’s perspective, sub-headings are helping them read faster, more efficiently and sometimes just the section they are interested in.
- Internal links
Internal links are a key part of the On-site SEO, as they help the search engines learn more about your website. If you present a specific product (or service), you can easily link it with a relevant article posted on your blog; the same is valid for the other way around.
- Image name and ALT tags
There is no website without images as an image sometimes is the equivalent of 1000 words, right? The secret in order to make them SEO-efficient is to add keywords or phrases in the image name and its ALT tag. This way, all major search engines will index your images faster and your website will appear as a result when the users are searching for an image by using a specific phrase or a keyword.
If on-page SEO is the factors you have control over, the off-page SEO represents the elements over which you have almost no control. The off-page SEO might also impact your page ranking. No need to worry though: these factors can be improved in your favor through specific ways or methods:
Trust has really become an important factor in a website’s page ranking (and especially on Google). Search engines will establish if you have a trustworthy website and if its content is legitimate. The main and best way of improving trust is by creating high-quality backlinks with another reputed website that have a higher authority.
Since we already mentioned backlinks, we should dive deeper and tell you that, first of all, you must be careful as your links should be inserted in a natural, organic-like way and not through spam. Practicing backlinking spam is a measure forbidden by search engines and might get your website banned for an undetermined period of time. An important factor is to take the time needed to build a connection with fans or influencers that are known for their quality content and who will link back to your website through the content they generate.
The social part might be one of the most effective when talking about immediate SEO results. Social signals (like shares, reactions or likes) bring you new visitors and increase the curiosity over your services and products. Try to get social yourself: create quality shares from influencers and make sure you publish only quality content. This will increase visibly the chance of getting people to share your texts or pages.
Black Hat & White Hat SEO practices
Black Hat & White Hat practices are practically two different perspectives of SEO used by the organizations in order to optimize their website. Since some entities are only interested in ranking a product or service as fast as possible and earn in the short-term, they apply various techniques:
- Black Hat SEO
This practice is only centered on optimizing content for search engines and excluding human visitors. It can’t be called an ethical practice, as it is not focused on the visitor experience but more on just getting the product/service on the top of the list. Even if effective on short-term, it might have less positive consequences on the longer-term, as the search engines will eventually penalize those websites. Depending on how much the rules were broken, that website might even be banned.
- White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO is, if you want, the Luke Skywalker of SEO helping you create a sustainable online business that, over time, will bring considerable organic traffic. White Hat SEO is the sum of all the above elements added in a personalized quantity. This “quantity” depends on your website’s current authority and on the desired results.
How can GeoRanker help?
GeoRanker provides a comprehensive suite of SEO tools that help you with every aspect of rank tracking. GeoRanker can show you how your website is ranking for any keyword, in any location and search engine. There is no way to know if your SEO strategy works unless you see a positive change in rankings – and this is exactly what GeoRanker offers.
Moreover, we can also help you to build your own SEO tools.GeoRanker is providing paid and organic SEO data for all the search engines. Using our API, users are able to extract large volumes of accurate SERP data and keyword statistics, the backbone of any SEO tool.
You can try our API here.