What is SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and it is a skill or expertise. SEO includes using strategies and techniques which are aligned with search engine guidelines to get better visibility and traffic from search engines.
Search Engine Optimization helps your website reach the top research in search engines and improve your search rankings and organic traffic.
When you are trying to tell a layman what SEO is, you say that it is the method we use to get on the first page of Google or any other search engine.
Whenever you type something on the search engine some websites show on the first page. Search Engine Optimizers are mostly trying to get their website between these results and in a perfect scenario in the top 3 positions.
What does SEO focus on?
When you are using SEO as a marketing strategy then you have some particular details that you focus on to perform better. Following are things that are the main focus of SEO:
- How search engines (Google, Yahoo, Baidu, etc) work
- What people are searching for (search queries or keywords)
- Algorithms that dictate the search engine behavior
History of Search Engine Optimization
According to Danny Sullivan who is an industry analyst, the phrase “Search Engine Optimization” was popularized by Bruce Clay and was probably first used in 1997.
As the search engines were cataloging the websites in their database webmasters realized that there is a benefit in ranking on these search results. So they try to do some adjustments in order to get better rankings. Both white hat and black hat SEO techniques were used at that time.
Somewhere around 1997 search engines realized that people were taking advantage of the simplicity of their algorithms and were manipulating search results. Search engines like Altavista and Infoseek improved their algorithms to stop the manipulation of search results by webmasters.
In short, as time went by search engines became more vigilant about their algorithms and they got complex than ever. Now there are so many factors that are taken into account in ranking the websites on search engines.
Basic Steps For Search Engine Optimization
The steps of doing SEO can be explained by the following chart. I have listed 6 things that you need to do if you want to beat your competition in SERPs.
- Getting your website crawled and indexed in search engine
- Using your keywords and search terms in content for users and search engines
- Creating useful content for the user who comes to the website
- Providing the best and fastest user experience
- Uploading resources and great content so you get organic links
- Standing out in search by using schema/snippets
Types of SEO
In my opinion types of SEO can be divided in two ways. The First will be types of SEO according to location and the second will be the types of SEO according to function. It can also be explained as what are the things we do in SEO and where we implement them. So let’s take a brief look at both of these.
Types of SEO According to Location
There are two types of SEO according to the location of where the work is taking place. Two types of places are On-site SEO and Off-site SEO. These are also called on-page and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO comprises all the work you do on your web page. It includes the content on the web page, keyword optimization, web code, user experience, and any other aspect of your website pages.
Off-page SEO includes all the efforts you make outside your website to influence the rankings in search engines. These techniques can include link building, social sharing, business listing, guest posting and web 2.0, etc.
Types of SEO according to function
According to function, or we can say the ways of doing SEO we can divide it into three main types. Black hat SEO, White hat SEO, Gray hat SEO. Let’s briefly discuss what these terms mean.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO includes the practices that go against the guidelines of search engines or are unethical. These practices can sometimes get you into search results but it can be a very short time and you can also get penalized by Google or other search engines. Some examples of Black hat techniques are keyword spamming, attacking competitor’s websites, generating automatic links on web pages.
Gray Hat SEO
Gray hat SEO are techniques that are not totally unethical or ethical in nature. These are the things that are outside the box of Black hat SEO and the chances of getting penalized using these tactics are very low.
White Hat SEO
White hat SEO is basically the most ethical and effective form of SEO in long term. In white hat SEO, you focus on following the guidelines described by search engines like creating great content, optimizing the website for mobile, increasing page speed, etc.
Benefits of doing SEO
There are many benefits of doing SEO for both businesses and personal bloggers. Here we will look at what are some of the main benefits that SEO provides.
- SEO can get you high-quality traffic that is organic and free
- The conversion rate for organic traffic is 14.6% which is higher than paid traffic
- You can target the entire marketing funnel with SEO
- SEO makes your website credible
- SEO also help increase the performance of PPC
- SEO helps you beat your competition and create your visibility in the market
How is SEO different from Search Ads?
When you want to get instant leads or sales for your business, search ads and paid marketing is the best option. SEO can take a lot of time to give you the results you need. So in short time search ads gives you more benefit. But the most important thing is that paid searches are not yours, they are something you buy for a period of time.
Let’s take an example of a house. If you have money and you want to live in a house immediately, you can rent a house and start living in it. But when you stop paying the rent you will have to leave the house. But if you start investing in building your own house, it will take more time and money to do so. But when the house will be build it will be yours entirely and you can live in it for a long time.
In the above example, SEO is like making your own house and paid search is renting the house for a short period of time.
In conclusion, if you are someone who wants to create their presence in the search results you will have to rely on SEO. Also, digital marketing experts need to have proficient knowledge of SEO because your marketing strategy is somewhat incomplete without SEO.
Tabraiz Bukhari is a Digital Marketing Expert & Psychologist. He has experience in different areas of digital marketing from SEO and Google Adwords to Social Media Marketing and Ecommerce Management. He writes about his expertise and knowledge in digital marketing and sometimes about Psychology related topics. Currently, he is doing a job as an SEO Specialist/Team Leader at NewEraOS.