It is important for a website owner to understand SEO. As per Statista, dated April 2020, there are around 4.57 billion active internet users. This encompasses 59% of the global population.
There are over 2 million searches conducted on Google in a day. Every website is striving to appear in the top searches to be visible. This is the reason SEO becomes so crucial for every website.
So, what is SEO? and Why is it important to understand SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to be visible to users when searching for information.
In simple words, if you own a website, you want your website to be found by internet users.
For instance, if you have a website on fitness and diet, you want internet users searching for information on fitness and diet to find your website. The tricky part is appearing in the top search results.
The internet has tons of blogs and content on fitness and diet.
The internet user looking for information will probably click on the links that are available on the first page. So, your website must appear on the first page of the search results.
If it appears on the second page or any other page, it will impact the number of visitors visiting your webpage.
How to be visible to search engines?
The search engine works on 3 primary functions; crawl, index, and rank.
Once you have published content on your website, which could be in the form of articles, images, or videos, you want to let search engines know a page is published.
Crawling is a discovery process. The search engine has a team of crawlers that finds new and updated information.
When you submit your URL for crawling, the crawlers will go through the content and links on your page, it will further go through the information in those internal links, and within those sub internal links and so on and index your pages.
Google Search Console is a tool to crawl and index the pages. Website owners should register for Google Search Console; to submit their sitemap and to crawl and fetch their URLs to get indexed in Google.
When a Google user searches for information, Google’s algorithm will go through its index and find the list of web-pages with the keyword that the user is searching for.
The algorithm will further rank the pages on the basis of relevance, and the pages are displayed in the search results as per their ranking order.
Strategically Using Relevant Keywords
When searching for information, a user uses keywords to find relevant information. Therefore, having a good understanding of keywords and how to use them is crucial for your website.
You should strategically use keywords in your content to be found by users and to satisfy the requirements of the search engines.
Before you start working on your keywords and content, you should first understand who your customers are, what kind of keywords they would use to find information; and the format in which they are looking for information.
Use keyword research tools to find the kind of keywords users are using and their average search volume in a month.
Using the keyword research tool, you will find highly relevant terms that you can use as keywords in your content.
Include a combination of high and low volume keywords to your website.
While it is advisable to use high volume keywords, low volume keywords could also be beneficial since there is quite less competition as fewer people are looking for those terms.
You can further dig deeper and strategically use the keywords.
- Study what kind of keywords are performing well for your competitors
- Understand the keywords that are popular in a specific month or season. E.g. October to December is festive seasons
- Use keywords according to the location and region. E.g. narrow down your keyword research as per the location and use the terms that are locally used in that region
- Understanding of long-tail keywords has also proven to be beneficial. Some searchers use more specific and long sentences and also use question format
So, now you have researched and have a list of keywords that you can use. Now, it’s time to use them wisely. You can spread it across different pages and be creative about using them. Don’t put them all together on one page just for the sake of using them.
Your content should be rich and digestible, or else the users will leave your page, and you will eventually lose visitors.
Search engine algorithms are quite intelligent to understand low quality and duplicate content pages. So, always create pages that will add value to end-users.
Some of the important on-page elements that you need to focus on are:
Header Tags – A page should have header tags such as H1, H2, H3, and so on. Make use of relevant keywords in the header tags. These tags add structure to your pages, for example, the H1 tag is the main headline, H2 is the sub-heading, and so on. Use primary keywords to describe your page in your H1 tag and then introduce the next sub-heading with H2 and so on.
Links and Anchors – The use of internal links and anchors in your content is advisable for SEO. However, do not overdo it. When you are using links to redirect to your other pages, it allows the crawlers to find other pages on your website.
Image Sitemap – In your Google Search Console, submit your image sitemap for Google to crawl and index your images.
Images and alt text – Use images that are of optimum size. Use ImageOptim or other compression tools for your image. The image size can affect your webpage loading speed. Also, describe your images with alt text. This gives a better context of your image to the search engines.
Format – Format your content to encourage your visitors to read the content. Even if you have great content, but if it’s not formatted properly, you may lose your visitors. Make use of bullet points, images & headings. Also, emphasize on using bold and italics wherever necessary.
Title Tag – Title Tag is very important as it describes your page. You should strategically use the targeted keywords and brand name in the title tag. Also, try to limit the character limit to 50-60. The search engine will cut off words beyond 60 characters.
Meta Description – The meta description is a description of your page. The description should be effective with the use of relevant keywords. It is advisable to keep the length of the description to around 160 characters.
URL Length – Keep the URL length short; avoid using numbers and special characters in the URL. Use relevant keywords in the URL but don’t overuse by using multiple keywords. It is advisable to avoid using capital letters in URL.
Link Building and Domain Authority
Once you have created rich content and built a brand, other websites would want to use your link on their pages.
This helps in amplifying your content. The more your content gets amplified; it will help in establishing your domain authority. However, ensure that you don’t use the wrong methods of link building.
Search engine algorithms will identify and can lead to negative impacts on your website.
These are some of the methods through which you can improve your ranking and increase visitors to your website.
With the evolution of how search is performed (like voice search or image search), algorithms are constantly being updated. The way SEO functions will also keep evolving with time.
If you would like to know more about SEO or would like us to conduct an SEO analysis for your website, feel free to contact us via email – email@example.com or call us at +91 9529770796.
If you are working on developing your website or in the process of creating one, do refer to my previous article – Importance of a Good Business Website.
Please feel free to leave your comment or suggestions, and do let me know your thoughts.