Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the key domains in Digital Marketing to grow business. Most of the brands focus on SEO with a long term objective to drive value to their business.
As search is intent, SEO has higher chances to generating conversions on your website.
So What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing your website ranking in Google search results via unpaid methods.
SEO is one of the effective ways to increase high quality traffic to your website. SEO traffic is also referred to as organic traffic or unpaid traffic.
So Where Do SEO Results Appear in Search?
SEO results appear between the paid search results of any Google search result page. As we know that there are 7 paid ads on a single page of Google, SEO results are in between those paid results.
There are total 10 organic results in any given page of Google. Below screenshot will guide you, where the SEO results appear on Google search.
Advantages of Search Engine Optimization!
Builds High Search Visibility
A business would have multiple products and services on their website. Also businesses create content in the form of blogs, whitepapers, videos etc which talks about their business and industry. So if you create good quality content and are ranking for multiple content pieces, your visibility on search increases.
High Quality Traffic
SEO results contributes to high quality traffic on your website. As SEO is intent, where users are actively looking for a product or a service or content pieces, the users search query is highly defined, Google ranks those pages which are highly relevant to the users and are optimized from search perspective.
As you would be driving high quality traffic, the chances of conversions will increase on your website. Marketers have observed that the conversion rates through organic traffic are high compared to other sources, so optimizing your website from search perspective is a must.
Long Term Value
Businesses always look to improve business month on month. Most of the businesses find it difficult to have advertising budgets throughout the year, that’s when SEO comes into the picture, as you have to optimise your website, you will be able to see results for long run, which will also help you to reduce your advertising budgets for your marketing campaigns.
Before we move ahead in detail understanding of Search Engine Optimization, let’s understand first how do search engines work?
As Google search engine is one of the most popular search engines in the world and takes the majority of the market share of search engines, let’s understand How Google search engine work!
So How Do Search engines Work?
Search engines have an algorithm defined which triggers the search results on search. This algorithm have programs called as robots/spiders/robots/crawlers which scans your website available on world wide wide, this process of scanning website is called crawling.
Once the crawling is done by crawlers they save the content crawled in their database which is called as indexing. So when a search happens on Google search, the algorithm looks at the below factors to rank on Google search results page.
- Relevancy of the content with the search
- Authority – How trustworthy the content and website is
- On page factors of the website – How are the tags on the website defined with the keywords targeted
- Backlinks of the website – How well the website is connected with third party websites with are trustworthy websites
Based on these signals, Google triggers the search results on search page.
Here is a video to understand in detail, how Google Search Engine Works!
In SEO, would you come across these two terms quite often:
- Black Hat SEO
- White Hat SEO
So let’s understand what each one is and which one to go with
So What is Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO is a process of ranking your website in search engine with false methods including
- By adding invisible text
- By keyword stuffing
- Creating too many links from non-relevant websites
- Using cloaking methods – Cloaking is showing different content to search engines and showing different content to users on their browsers
- Adding duplicate content
Never go with black hat SEO techniques because they will help you to rank quickly, but if identified by Google, you will be penalised by Google which includes ban from search engines for some time. So it’s a NO NO for black hat SEO
So What is White Hat SEO
White hat SEO is a process of ranking your website in search results with genuine efforts which includes
- Creating unique content
- Linking website with relevant trustworthy websites
- Following all the search engine factors in a genuine way Eg: On page factors, Off page factors etc.
White hat SEO is basically using the best practices in a genuine way to rank your website on Google search. You should always follow white hat SEO techniques.
Any method you might come across is called as Grey Hat SEO
So What is Grey Hat SEO
Grey hat SEO is a combination of Black Hat & White Hat SEO. It’s not 100% black hat and it’s not 100% white hat.
Businesses do use grey hat SEO techniques to improve their organic rankings, but I would suggest go with only white hat SEO because they are no chances of your website getting penalised.
In this article we would be looking at White hat SEO techniques only, so let’s get started and first understand the key components of SEO.
Below are the key components of SEO
- Content Strategy
- Keyword Research
- On Page Optimization
- Off Page Optimization
Let’s understand each one of them in detail:
1. Content Strategy
Content Strategy is one of the key aspects of SEO. If the content strategy is not defined effectively, all your SEO efforts will add no value to your search rankings.
Content strategy for a web page should be defined considering from a users perspective including the dept of the information required by the user, the content should highlight, what value will the business add to the user and why should the user consider the brand. Below are the key things which you should look at while defining content strategy:
- Define “The Product/Service”
- Define your “ Why”
- Define “ The Trust Factor”
- Define “Users Queries”
- Define “CTA”
- Define “Addons”
Let’s understand each of them in detail
Define “The Product/Service”
Define the product or service in detail which you are offering. The information on the page should be such that the consumer understand it in simple way, getting the maximum information about the product/service offered by the business.
For Eg: For my training course, which I offer under R Academy, I have defined our course as below
Also, I have added what all topics are covered in the course, with subtopics for each topic as below. You can view the web page here : www.racademy.in
This gives a clear idea to the users on the page, in terms of what the course has to offer. You should also define the product in details on your business page effectively giving maximum information to your customers.
Next is define the why factor. Why factor is the value proposition of your business or product or service which you are offering. It should highlight effectively, why customers should choose your business. Below is how I have defined the why factor for my course.
You can also define the Why factor effectively, so that It becomes easy for customers to choose your business.
Define “The Trust Factor”
Trust factor is one of the important aspects after defining your why factor, because it will build trust and confidence within your customers while choosing your business compared to others. In my case, of course, I have added three factors while will build trust to my audience, which are as below:
The first one is, I have added case studies which are executed by the faculties at R Academy. This will build trust within users as they would know that the training they are receiving, is delivered from industry experts, who have worked on global advertising campaigns.
The second trust factor which I have added is participants feedback about the course. Here is how I have added the same.
And the third part which I have added to build the trust factor is the name of the companies from where we have trained the participants. Here is how I have added
You should also add whatever information you have to build the trust factor including case studies, certificates given by industry bodies, awards received, customer feedback etc.
Define “Users Queries”
Define all queries with answers which your customers would have while choosing your business or product or service. The more simplified you make pitch to your customer, the easier it is for them to select your business.
These queries can be defined under frequently asked questions section. Here is how I have defined the queries with answers.
You need to figure out what all queries are relevant to your audience and then add the answers to the questions there itself. If you give more information on the website itself, the customer would have more clarity about your business and it would be easy for them to select your business.
Define CTA which is call to action, so that users can connect with you easily for the business page. Here is how I have defined the CTA as below, with an enquiry form.
You can also define the call to action basis your offering Eg: If you are a software product, you have a call to action as free trial or request demo. If you are a real estate developer, you have a call to action as book a site visit. If you are an ecommerce store, you can have a call to action as shop now and so on.
Addons is what I called is as additional content which is important for your business. It can also be different from business to business.
For Eg: For my course, I have added Google certified participants as additional content on my web page, which is a below
Another example of another business which is into furniture might have additional content as dimensions for their product.
Now dimensions kind of content is only applicable for a business which is into furniture, this won’t be applicable for a business which is into education, travel, real estate etc.
Another example of additional content which is into real estate business. For real estate business floor plan could be additional content, as customers would like to know how the floor plan of the apartment is structure. Below is an example of a floor plan for each type of apartment available in the project.
2. Keyword Research
To understand how to do Keyword Research in SEO, refer article – Master Guide To Keyword Research in SEO