What is SEO: Search Engine Optimization Basics
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.
SEO Advice For Beginners:
For more basic but also in-depth advice, look at emerging verticals of search optimization:
- Local search
- Image search
- Video search
- Voice search
Getting Indexed: The leading search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!, use crawlers to find pages for their algorithmic search results. Pages that are linked from other search engine indexed pages do not need to be submitted because they are found automatically. The Yahoo! Directory and DMOZ, two major directories which closed in 2014 and 2017 respectively, both required manual submission and human editorial review.
Google offers Google Search Console, for which an XML Sitemap feed can be created and submitted for free to ensure that all pages are found, especially pages that are not discover-able by automatically following links in addition to their URL submission console.
Yahoo! formerly operated a paid submission service that guaranteed crawling for a cost per click; however, this practice was discontinued in 2009.
If each bubble represents a website, programs sometimes called spiders examine which sites link to which other sites, with arrows representing these links. Websites getting more inbound links, or stronger links, are presumed to be more important and what the user is searching for.
In this example, since website B is the recipient of numerous inbound links, it ranks more highly in a web search. And the links "carry through", such that website C, even though it only has one inbound link, has an inbound link from a highly popular site (B) while site E does not. Note: Percentages are rounded.
Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. In November 2016, Google announced a major change to the way crawling websites and started to make their index mobile-first, which means the mobile version of a given website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index.
Preventing crawling: To avoid undesirable content in the search indexes, webmasters can instruct spiders not to crawl certain files or directories through the standard robots.txt file in the root directory of the domain.
Increasing prominence: Cross linking between pages of the same website to provide more links to important pages may improve its visibility. Writing content that includes frequently searched keyword phrase, so as to be relevant to a wide variety of search queries will tend to increase traffic.
Updating content so as to keep search engines crawling back frequently can give additional weight to a site. Adding relevant keywords to a web page's metadata, including the title tag and meta description, will tend to improve the relevancy of a site's search listings, thus increasing traffic.
6 Steps to learn SEO at Home
- Understand the goal of SEO.
- Master keyword research.
- Know the difference between on-page and off-page SEO.
- Learn to identify UX signals.
- Embrace SEO-friendly content creation.
- Start link building.
Do I need SEO for my website?
An optimized website earns more traffic: On the surface, the goal of SEO optimization is to improve your site's rankings in search results. But beyond that, the purpose of achieving high rankings is to attract more traffic — and ideally, to convert that traffic into customers and leads.