You’ve heard of the word before, but what exactly does it mean? SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It’s become a common buzz word people use on the internet but many people still don’t understand what it means.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of getting your web pages in particular, on your website ranked high in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Think of search engines like a giant library, only it’s a library for the whole world. The job of the librarian is to give people the exact book they need. You need a system where you know all the books, and you need to give people the exact books there looking for. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the library’s. There job is to collect information about every web page on the internet.
Each search engine has a different system. The system they use is called an algorithm. This is what helps them turn that info into useful search results. The higher you can rank in the search engines, helps people find you. So, if you can give the search engines what they want, you can rank high. This is what SEO is all about. So if people type in plumbing services, and your web page is all about plumbing services you can start to rank for that term.
There are many different tactics and techniques that SEO professionals use, but the idea is to rank well in the search engines. When you can rank your web pages on your website high in the search engines, this allows people to find you.
Search engines use complicated algorithms in order to pick which web pages to show up first in the search engines. Search engines operate by crawling your website and web pages and then indexing the web pages in there database. Once the web pages are stored in a database (this means they are indexed) they give it a code so the next time someone types search terms into the search engine, they can go back and retrieve the most relevant web pages.
There are two different types of of results your will see in the search engines or SERPs ( Search Engine results page). This is the page that shows up after you type your terms into the queries on the search engines. The two different types of results are organic and PPC (pay per click). Organic means that this is the result of the natural work you have done to your web pages. PPC means that you pay every time someone clicks on your links in the SERPs (search engine results page).
On-Page SEO is everything you do to optimize your web pages in order to rank well. This would include your title tag. If you tell the search engines what the title is they will have a better understanding of what its about. You can also add your keyword to your Headings. This is basically the headline of your page. When you do these things you are letting the search engines know what your web page is about. There are many other strategies like adding alt text to your images and adding internal links ( cross linking your web pages).
Off page SEO is everything that you do to help your website that isn’t on your webpage. Different techniques include Back-links, social media marketing, social book marking, and content marketing. Back links or (links coming from other websites to your website) are looked at like references. It shows search engines that other websites trust your website and adds authority to your website.
Tactics and Strategies
White Hat SEO:
In SEO terminology, White hat SEO refers to the optimization strategies and techniques that completely follows search engine rules and policies. Some examples of White Hat techniques include…
1) Quality Content
One of the best things you can do to optimise your website for search engines like google is to offer unique quality content. Imagine we are the end user and we are searching for plumbing companies. In this imaginary scenario which website would rank better
Website 1 consist of one page with 3 paragraphs of text. The text tells us that the company provides plumbing services and then provides a number.
Website 2 contains 20 plus pages all focusing on various plumbing services what can be done and costs of different services.
2) Titles and Meta Data
Providing your web pages with proper titles and meta data is of the ut most importance. This tells the search engines what your page is about.
3) Keyword Research and Effective Keyword Use
Use your keywords and keyword phrases throughout your website. Assign 2-3 of your keywords through out all the important elements of the page. Those are
- Meta Description
- Heading Elements
- Alt Tag
5) Quality Inbound Links
Having inbound links to your website can be looked at like having a reference. There are good and bad links. Good links are links from other web pages that are regarded highly by search engines and are relevant to your content page.
Black Hat SEO:
In SEO terms, black hat SEO refers to the use of SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and no human audience, and usually don’t obey search engine guidelines. These include…
1) Hidden Content
Top the list in black hat SEO techniques is hidden content. The basic principle is that within the code for the site there will be content stuffed with keywords, this content will not be visible to the end user. An example of this would be using white text on a white background.
2) Link Farming
Link farms or free or free for all (FFA) pages have no other purpose other then list links for unrelated websites. They won’t provide you with any relevant traffic and you run the risk of having your site penalized.
Now that you have an understanding of what SEO is, take a look at some of the websites and see what you can spot.