What is SEO?
Updated: Aug 26, 2021
Millions of people are using Google and other search engines to actively look for products and services every day.
This means that there are millions of opportunities for businesses to appear in front of their potential customers.
People tend to go through and click on the first few listed websites - as they appear to be more relevant to their search.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about SEO and how your business can apply SEO best practices to increase your website’s visibility on search engines and rank on the first pages of Google.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the practice of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results pages, commonly known as, SERPs. SEO helps organizations increase visibility of their products and/ or service offerings in organic search results (search results that aren’t paid for).
The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to drive more relevant prospects to your website.
To understand how to rank your website on the first page of Google, you first need to know how SEO works.
How SEO works
Google and other search engines have the same fundamental goal. They aim to provide their users with the most relevant results that typically satisfy their search queries.
Google and other Search Engines, use bots to crawl millions of pages on the internet, they collect specific data about those pages and use predefined algorithms to organize this data into an index.
These algorithms are very powerful and are used to determine the best search result for a person’s query or search.
To be able to determine and display the most relevant information to users, these algorithms automatically sift through a few predefined, core elements such as: authority, relevancy, site speed and content uniqueness.
Search engines also consider other elements, such as: user behavior, site structure, and other off-site factors.
Organizations invest a lot of time, resources and efforts into implementing SEO best practices, , making sure their website structure and content is built to serve these algorithms and outsourcing different SEO services.
Learn more about the different kinds of SEO services.
On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO
These are two different approaches to optimize your website for search engines - On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
On-Page SEO factors (Content and HTML code)
These are measures taken directly within your website that help you improve your search rankings by making it easier for search engine bots to crawl your website.
Title Tag: This is the title of your web page that appears on search engines - these help search engines understand what your page is about.
Quick Tip: Keyword-rich title tags are key, include the SEO keyword - keyword you are looking to rank for - in your Title Tag for better SEO results.
Meta description: The short description that appears just below the website URL. It describes what a web page is about. Meta descriptions need to be captivating so that your page can stand out in search engine results. You also need to include your SEO keyword here as it will act as a relevancy signal (for search engines and users). Make it short and snappy!
Alt-Text: Search engines do not see web pages as you do. They cannot process images, only texts. That’s why you need to add texts/phrases to describe images on your page. This will enable search engines to understand these images and explain what this page is about.
Internal linking: These are hyperlinks used to point to links on the same domain. This helps Google understand and index all your website pages. Internal links can be used to link from authoritative pages to others that need a boost.
Quick Tip: Use keyword-rich anchor text when making those links.
Off-Page SEO factors:
Off-page SEO includes almost everything that doesn’t take place directly on your site.
(User and search engine perception of your website’s relevancy and trustworthiness).
Link building is considered to be the main Off-Page SEO tactic.
Link building ‘also known as backlinks’ is one of the best ways to determine the quality of a page on a website. It is the practice of building links to a certain website to improve its visibility. It doesn’t matter how many links your website is receiving unless they are from well-reputed sources. That’s because links from high-authority pages will pass authority to your page as well.
SEO Best Practices
We selected 5 SEO best practices that we believe are crucial to success:
(User intent is the core reason behind the user query)
If your website includes content that aligns with the user’s intent, you will have a better chance of ranking higher on Search Engines.
Create Unique & Compelling Content (.eg meta titles, meta descriptions, landing pages, Alt-Text, etc.)
Creating high quality, useful, credible and engaging content can increase your chances of getting backlinks and provide a great user experience.
Tip: Avoid duplicating content on your website. Instead, write 100% unique content that adds value to your prospective clients.
Site Loading Speed
People want to find answers to their questions as quickly as possible. If your site takes too long to load, users will immediately leave your site. This will cause your rankings to drop.
Thus, it’s crucial to make sure your site is loading as fast as possible.
Enhance user experience (UX)
Google puts great emphasis on how users behave with your site and content.
If your website wasn’t useful and engaging enough for the user to stay, they will immediately bounce back to the search results page. This will show Google that the user didn’t find what they were searching for on your site.
Accordingly, your rankings will drop.
Use internal linking
appropriate internal linking can boost SEO rankings. Linking relevant pages on your site will help search engines determine the relevance of these web pages to different user queries.
In this digital era, search engines, more than any other digital channel, are used by more people than ever to search, discover and learn about products and services.
By investing in the right SEO services and successfully implementing SEO best practices, organizations can increase brand visibility, improve lead quality, and in turn, increase the chances of winning more clients.
Looking for more SEO support? Learn more about BarkB2B’s SEO services.