What is SEO and how does it work?
I know you’ve probably heard of the term Search Engine Optimization or SEO before especially if you have a website or blog. But like most people, you might still be trying to comprehend what exactly it means and how it works.
This is quite understandable because SEO can seem very intimidating especially if you are a newbie blogger.
When I first started out, the whole concept of SEO was very foreign to me. I had no knowledge of what SEO was and why it was so important for my business.
My content lacked any SEO optimization and so understandably, I wasn’t appearing anywhere on Google or any other search engines.
It took me valuable time to learn the basics of SEO and after a while, I finally understood what SEO is and how it works and this made a great impact on my business.
In this post, we will take a look at what SEO is and how it works. As a bonus, we’ll also look at some SEO basics that every serious business owner should have under their belt.
What is SEO and How it Works
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of getting organic traffic from search engines like Google.
In other words, it is the process of optimizing your website so that you get noticed by search engines and as a result, you appear on Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you own a Barber Shop in Nairobi. SEO is the process that you will have to go through to ensure that when someone searches for the keywords ‘Barber Shops in Nairobi’ yours is among the first results they see.
There is a reason why so many organizations are searching for SEO specialists or experts right now, and it’s because they want to get their business in front of the right people.
SEO gives you the ability to rank your site high on search engines like Google. This helps you expand your visibility.
The truth is that, without SEO, you would have a less than zero chance of appearing anywhere on Google or any other search engines.
How SEO Works
On the first page of Google, you’d normally see10 search results. These search results get the most traffic because most users are likely to click on them compared to those appearing on pages two, three and so on.
However, these search results don’t just come out of nowhere.
Google takes time to ensure that the best and most relevant websites appear among the first 10 search engine results.
To do this, it scans or crawls all the websites covering the same topic to determine which has the best quality of information for users.
SEO helps Google decide that your website is relevant because it optimizes it with relevant keywords.
Types of SEO
Now that you have a grasp on What is SEO and how it works, we can move on to the types of SEO that we have right now.
Basically, there are two types of SEO; On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
These two are not so different in the sense that they have the same objective which is getting your site ranked high on SERPs.
However, the difference comes in terms of where each takes place.
On-page SEO is the technique you carry out on your website to improve your rankings on search engines.
These include elements like:
- Keyword Research
- Optimizing your content with keywords
- Building internal links
- Including keywords in your meta description
- Using H1, H2, and H3 tags to help search engines understand your content
- Including some keywords in your H1, H2, and H3 tags
- Putting keywords in your image ALT tags
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, are techniques you carry out outside your site to improve your search engine rankings.
These include: Building Backlinks and Sharing your content on social media platforms
We will take a closer look at these types of SEO in subsequent posts.
Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO
There are two ways of approaching SEO; Black Hat and White Hat.
These two approaches are very different.
Black Hat SEO are unethical tactics that some websites use to rank higher and faster.
SEO is a patience game. However, there are some website owners that do not have the kind of patience it requires and so, they’d rather achieve results quickly.
That’s why they resort to Black Hat SEO tactics.
They produce content for search engines rather than for human consumption. These sites rarely last because they get banned quickly by search engines. They also have a poor user experience.
The proper way of doing things is by using White Hat SEO techniques.
It is generally more sustainable and, you’re more likely to get leads for a long time to come because you’re producing content for humans, not machines!
What is SEO and how it works: Bottom line
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important. It is the backbone of any online business.
That’s why you need to hire an SEO company or expert if you’re having trouble mastering it.
However, if you want to get the basics, you could watch YouTube videos like the one below.