What Is Search Engine Optimization and Why Is It Important: A Dummies Guide
Current Scenario – The Reason for the Rise of SEO
The evolution of webosphere has transformed every conceivable aspect of human existence, with people turning to the virtual platform to fulfill all types of requirements, ranging from everyday tasks such as buying credit for their mobile phones to more serious requirements, such as buying insurance policies and home appliances. This paradigm shift in customer behavior and buying habits has made the web a remarkably potent platform for businesses to connect with prospective customers.
However, the question is – How to reach customers?
Now that almost every business tries to maintain a prominent online presence, making your business outshine the competitors may prove to be an overwhelming task. This is where Search Engine Optimization or SEO comes in as a viable solution that enables you to showcase your business and its solutions to a large number of real prospects, without having to invest a fortune.
SEO: An Introduction
Simply put, Search Engine Optimization is a set of tactics aimed at improving the organic or natural placement of websites on leading search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Broadly classifying, the tactics used in SEO can be divided into two categories: on-page and off-page activities. Let’s take a closer look at what they mean.
On-page activities refer to the changes search optimizers make to a website in order to make it more receptive to the algorithms of web search engines. This in turn, improves the search-friendliness of the website and improves its search rankings on the keywords being targeted. The activities include –
- Meta Data Update – Optimizing title tag, description, H1, H2, Alt tags, etc.
- Content Update – Adding relevant keywords or creating new targeted content.
- Coding Optimization – Modifying or removing codes that may affect searchability.
- URL Restructuring – Integrating relevant keywords to website URLs.
- Blog Integration – Adding a site blog and maintaining it with regular updates.
- Link Optimization – Structure interlinking and filtering external links.
Off-page activities include the SEO tactics that are not implemented on the website. Rather, they are based on third-party platforms that are relevant to the website and may contribute towards improving its searchability. Below are some of the off-page tactics widely leveraged by SEO professionals.
- Article Submission – Posting relevant articles on third-party article websites.
- Blog Posting – Participating in third-party blogs relevant to the website.
- Forum Participation – Participating in relevant discussion forums.
- Social Bookmarking – Creating social bookmarks on popular platforms.
- Video Promotion – Using videos to promote the website and create links.
- Sitemap Submission – Creating and submitting sitemap to search engines.
- Social Submission – Creating and sharing posts on popular social networks.
- Directory Submission – Submitting website URL in relevant web directories.
Although a lot of people say that practices such as directory submission are no longer effective, it all boils down to the efficiency with which you select directories and category for submissions. If done right, old-school SEO practices can still yield great results.
All in all, you need to be very careful with all off-page activities and try not to rush into things as any wrong step can place your website at the receiving end of the wrath of web search engines. In fact, that is the reason it is extremely important to rope in SEO professionals with proven competence.
SEO: The Outcome
The right combination of on-page and off-page activities results in enhanced search placements of your website, which notable increases its exposure to potential customers and of course conversions. In fact, it would be completely reasonable to say that SEO is one of the most promising options for businesses to get discovered by their target customers, and that too with a pretty nominal investment.
In addition, on-page activities also optimize your website’s loading speed, which is a favorable factor to be recognized by search algorithms. In other words, the faster you website loads, the better regard it will get from search crawlers. Moreover, the number of conversions delivered by your website is bound to take a hit if it takes an eternity to load, as no one in the present world likes to wait.
Why Is SEO Important?
Although the question doesn’t really call for an elaborate answer; still, here are some facts to rest the case.
- Globally, close to 3 billion people use the internet for an array of purposes.
- More than 95 percent of internet users rely on search engines to find what they need.
- Google alone answers more than 1 billion unique search queries every day.
- More than 90 percent users do not browse past the third page of search results.
- More than 70 percent users trust organic results more than paid or “sponsored” ads.
These stats leave no room for doubt that the internet represents a world of endless opportunities for almost every business. However, at the same time, unless your website is on the top three pages of search results, your business doesn’t really exist for prospective customers. Therefore, in order to make the most of the virtual platform, it is indispensable for businesses to have top organic placement on relevant keywords, and the only way to achieve this is, well, Search Engine Optimization.
In short, SEO must be a part of every business’ marcom strategy as it promises:
- Enhanced placement in SERPs
- Enhanced exposure to target customers
- Optimized business inflow
- Optimized site performance
- Better user experience
Hope this brief post clears some doubts about SEO and what they mean for your business.
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