- Implementing SEO best practices can help improve your website's ranking on Google
- Target and reach new customers through organic traffic
- Understand the three pillars of SEO
In this article, we will discuss what SEO is, how it works and explore its importance in digital marketing.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is advancing a website by enhancing the quality and quantity of its traffic from search engines. The aim is to direct unpaid traffic to the website through organic searches and ensure that the website’s content is recognized and ranked higher on the search engine results page (SERP).
SEO examines search engine algorithms which are informed by what people search for, thus being mindful of and expertly utilizing keywords and terms often inputted by search engine users. For a business, investing in SEO in the digital age, where consumers use their smartphones to research and locate establishments they seek to patronize, means appearing in the top search results and increasing the likelihood of converting visitors into customers.
How Does SEO Work?
Getting a brief overview of how search engines scrutinize web pages and rank them accordingly is imperative to understand how SEO works. Notably, paid advertising campaigns are organized first on SERPs and organic (or “free”) results appear directly under them.
Algorithms assist search engines with seeking out web pages to rank on their SERPs through three steps: crawling, indexing and ranking. Let’s take a look at what these steps each entail.
Step 1 – Crawling: This step is known as the discovery stage. Search engines transmit web crawlers (or “spiders” or “robots”) to search for new pages and their information and routinely check up on existing pages to find any updates.
Step 2 – Indexing: Also referred to as the filing stage. Much like in an office, once information and data have been gathered and analyzed, they can now be filed and stored for further use, this stage works similarly. Here, the search engine examines the information it has received and decides whether or not the web page will be used (or indexed for the next stage.)
Step 3 – Ranking: The final step is also called the retrieval stage and is of utmost importance because this step places web pages on the SERPs after being scanned and deemed worthy and unique enough to be according to signals that search engines implement.
SEO operates around three pillars that ensure that the implementation of best practices and content is optimized fully.
Technical Optimization: This happens behind the scenes and involves actions that enhance SEO and makes the web page more accessible for search engines to crawl and index. Elements like the site’s architecture, whether it is compatible with mobile phones, and page speed plays a significant role in the site’s organic growth on search engines.
On-Page Optimization: This part involves the actual content and how well-geared it is SEO-wise. Is the content relevant? Does it contain keywords and meta descriptions? Does it well inform readers and search engines what your page is about? These elements further ensure that your site aligns with what the web crawlers are looking for.
Off-Page Optimization: This informs search engines about how helpful the site is through backlinks, thus enhancing the page’s ranking. Backlinks help build the site’s reputation. A backlink is when one website links to another, indicating the site’s popularity with users and boosting its authority. This is an excellent way of driving traffic from those sites and onto your own.
SEO thus puts all of these elements into practice to ensure that the site is compliant and has a great chance of ranking high on the SERP.
Why Is SEO Important in Digital Marketing?
The results of SEO are worth all the effort. A business’s most significant selling point goes beyond the service or product; it also lies in its branding and how well the public perceives and reacts to it. In today’s climate, your business is as good as its online presence, as it could make or break your entire operation. Consumers progressively get more tech-savvy, and so should your business to ensure that you reach as many new customers as possible by creating a solid image online that seamlessly correlates with your brand ethos.
SEO helps make your content visible on the internet so it stands out and ranks your business’ website in the first SERP, as it is recognised as the leading information on that specific search query. Paying for ad space is a sure way of attracting new customers, yet a more organic attraction is more beneficial in the long run. Increasing traffic on your site from search queries means your business has already proven credible and trustworthy.
A great SEO strategy directly translates to a great user experience for the consumer. A web page that ranks in a search engine’s top 10 results has already passed the test in terms of being forthcoming, clear and concise with information that is beneficial to the consumer. SEO is critical in long-term growth and can be a breeze if your content is exceptional.
Digital marketing is a powerful tool that can propel your business to new heights. Therefore, investing in a proper marketing strategy suited to your business can make a difference. Presenting your services or product online opens up endless opportunities to gain more customers, create word-of-mouth referrals and, most importantly, retain loyal consumers who will trust your brand for years. So, go ahead and create a smart SEO approach with your digital marketing and reap the benefits.