A Primer On Search Engine Optimization
SEO services are vital, particularly because it is virtually impossible for a website to rank high on search engine results pages (SERP) without implementing some form of SEO. While web programmers and designers understand how SEO works, the opposite is true for many web users. Read on to learn more about the different elements of SEO services.
Overview of SEO
Search engine optimization includes the techniques, tactics, and strategies that webmasters use to increase traffic flow their websites. Most web users rarely click through pages and pages of search results. In fact, according to statistics published by the Search Engine Journal (SEJ), 75% of web users never go beyond the first search results page. In addition, a study carried out by Outbrain found that search is the leading driver of traffic to websites. SEO increases a website’s visibility online leading to a higher click through rate (CTR).
Organic SEO essentially involves any practices and processes geared towards a natural placement on search engine results pages. Some web experts refer to organic SEO as white hat SEO. Take note that the key is ranking high on SERPs without paying search engine companies for favorable placement. To achieve this goal, a web administrator can use various techniques including link building as well as analyzing and using the appropriate keywords in blog posts and articles. However, it usually takes between 30 and 180 days for SEO strategies to produce tangible results.
Black Hat SEO
Of course, some businesses or site owners would not want to spend weeks or even months waiting for their organic SEO tactics to work. As a result, some of them decide to turn to aggressive, questionable, controversial, and sometimes illegal SEO strategies in order to rank high on search engine results pages as quickly as possible. Unlike organic SEO, the focus of black hat SEO is the algorithm that determines search results ranking. In view of this, some experts describe it as search engine algorithm gaming and deem the practice unethical. On their part, search engine companies often punish and demote sites that engage in unethical SEO. Some of the techniques used by the black hat community include creating doorway pages, invisible text, link farming, and keyword stuffing.
How SEO Experts Typically Achieve High SERPs
Here is a look at the some of the white hat SEO tactics that SEO experts employ to ensure a website ranks high on SERPs.
- SEO Copywriting
In simple terms, SEO copywriting entails creating web content such as sales letters, articles, and blog posts. For this approach to be successful, such content has to meet certain requirements including be easy to read, informative, and unique. Furthermore, the blog posts and articles contain selected keywords and phrases to make the site achieve a high SERP ranking. When it comes to SEO copywriting, keyword stuffing is likely to result in a lowly SERP rank. This is in addition to alienating site visitors and content directories.
- Link Building
Link building is the process of creating and establishing quality, relevant links to a website in order to increase traffic. Search engines use complex and sophisticated algorithms to determine the relevance and quality of links used by a website with the aim to ensure that sites do not spam web users with inappropriate, offensive, or irrelevant information.
- Keyword Research
Keyword research involves several important aspects. Firstly, it involves carrying out a competitive analysis of keywords across a particular industry. Secondly, it involves finding as many keywords as possible related to a site. Thirdly, it involves a thorough analysis of return on investment (ROI) for each potential keyword.
Why SEO Matters
SEO matters because it delivers measurable results. Figures published by Forrester Inc. show that 93% of all online experiences and actions start with a search engine. Moreover, a study carried out by Monetate found that web users who find e-commerce sites using search engines are more likely to make a purchase. To be precise, 56.3% of sales leads originating from search engines view more than one product page, a further 7.22% add an item to a shopping cart while 2.44% actually buy a product. These statistics show that an online business simply cannot do without good SEO.
Businesses or organizations that have an online presence cannot afford to ignore SEO. Executed properly by an SEO expert, it can have a positive impact on a business’s bottom line. However, it wise to avoid black hat SEO techniques and stick to white hat SEO strategies. Search engines tend to punish sites that promote black hat SEO severely.