By Mikhail Khorev | November 10, 2015 | 0 Comment
SEO stands for search engine optimization and over the last couple of years, what earlier used to be just an online marketing technique, has evolved into a science that webmasters and business owners must be knowledgeable about to keep doing business (it’s important even if it’s an off-line business). So, let’s break down the different components of SEO and understand each one individually.
Search engine optimization simply means optimizing websites and webpages to rank on search engines so it’s easier for people to find them. For example, if you are into the business of dog training, your website selling the service needs to appear on top of search engines when customers search for dog trainers (or related products) in a particular area by entering appropriate phrases (those are keywords in SEO terms).
If you’ve noticed carefully, whenever you type something into the search box of Google or some other search engine, almost always hundreds and thousands of results or furnished. Now, that’s your competition. Your website/business will have to complete with several other businesses in the area to feature on top of search engines so users (customers) see your website first (and not your competitors’) and end up doing business with you.
So, it all boils down to ranking as high as possible on the search engine results page (also called SERP) for specific keywords that describe your business. High-ranking simply means better business.
How To Rank High On Search Engines?
Even though there are several search engines out there, Google leads the pack and almost always websites optimized to rank high on Google, rank high on other search engines too.
Now, your website/business needs to look trustworthy in the eyes of Google and once that has been achieved you start ranking high on the SERPs. “Trustworthy” in terms of SEO means several things:
- Quality of content: This is one of the most important ranking factors. The content on your website needs to be very informative, absolutely original and authentic so your end customers find it useful. So, if you’re planning to rank high, you should start with creating quality content (written content, pictures or videos etc.)
- On Page Optimization: After the content has been created, you need to make sure your written content as both primary and secondary keywords so it becomes easier for the search engine programs (called algorithms) to find your webpages for ranking. What exactly are primary and secondary keywords? Let’s go back to the earlier example. In the case of dog training, that’s your primary keyword and related keywords such as “how to train a dog fast”, “how to potty train a dog” and “how to train a German Shepherd” etc. are your secondary keywords. There are actually several free and paid tools available for researching primary and secondary keywords related to particular niches. Once the keywords have been taken care of, you need to focus on naming your images so the search engines can read them too. Search engines cannot read images and special tags (called ALT tags) should be used to refer to images and videos on your website.The last step involves organizing your content properly on your website so it’s easily navigable for both humans and search engines. The design components of the website should also be search engine friendly. Yes, an eye-catching design doesn’t always mean the website is search engine friendly!
- Backlinks: This one is also referred to as Off Page Optimization. Ideally, if your website has great content, it’s going to be liked by a lot of people and they are going to mention about your content on their websites by linking to your content. It’s like other people voting for your content. If you have a lot of high-quality websites (preferably in the same niche as yours) linking back to you, Google would know yours is an authority website and you would start ranking high. But, there is a problem. Even if your website is really great, it’s going to take a lot of time before you have enough quality backlinks from people to give you a high rank. In some cases it could even take several years.
But, there’s a shortcut too. You need to start “building” backlinks. How to do that? You could start e-mailing other webmasters to take a look at your content and offer to write an interesting piece on their site with a backlink pointing towards you. This is called guest posting. You could also start submitting articles to the several article directories out there and get a backlink from each article. Another popular method is the link wheel system. You could create multiple blogs with great content and from each blog you can find a couple of backlinks to your business site.
- Social networking: This wasn’t very important earlier, but now it is. If your content is really likable, people are going to discuss about it on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin etc. To look “trustworthy”, you need to stop involving more and more people and build up a fan base.
Word of caution: SEO isn’t very difficult, but your site is not going to rank anywhere without you putting in considerable efforts in the proper direction. There are however, some professional SEO consultants like Mikhail out there that can offer a performance based services for very competitive keywords. They almost always, resort to White Hat techniques that can only offer long-term results.