SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the most important digital marketing activity that all businesses can do that has a direct impact on building a sustainable source of new customers coming to them.
SEO works on the principle of making your website discoverable on Search Engines like Google so that when people are searching for you , they see your website url and click on it.
In this article you will understand what is SEO and How to Do SEO. You will also understand its importance in building a digitally engaged brand. You will also learn factors influencing off page SEO and fundamentals of on-page.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing online content, so that a search engine shows it as a top result for all the searches done for a certain keyword. Also, it helps to increase quality of your websites by making them user- friendly, faster and easier to navigate.
Let’s understand with an example:
Suppose you have written an article how to the best digital marketing agency in India, now you want search engine (that is Google, in 90% of all cases) to show it as a top result to anyone who searches for the phrase ” Digital Marketing Agency”
Using SEO techniques you can ensure that Google will likely include your article as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that particular keyword or query.
The result- you get a continuous flow of prospective visitors coming to your site. We recently did a study to exactly understand whether SEO works or not and the SEO results were amazing!
Importance of understanding what is SEO
In today’s competitive market knowing how to do digital marketing is very important. And within digital marketing SEO is among the most important aspect. Search Engines serve millions of users per day looking for solutions to their problems or answers to their questions. It is necessary for every digital marketer to understand the true meaning of what is SEO and leverage the potential it creates to bring natural organic traffic to your site.
If you have a blog, website or online store, SEO can help your business grow and meet business objectives.
Imagine for instance that your business is selling SEO services to to small businesses in India. You could of course advertise your service through Google AdWords or on websites and let prospective customers know that you exist and hope that they will reach out to you.
You could also however look at SEO as a means to drive a large traffic automatically every day to your website. For example, did you know that every month there are over 1.5 Million searches in India alone for SEO related keywords!? What this means is that every month a million plus people are searching on Google looking for information related to SEO like this article!
Now imagine if these million plus people were to see an article like this one on page 1 of Google Search. If even a small percentage of these people clicked on your url link, you would have hundreds and thousands of highly relevant people who are interested in SEO visiting your SEO service website!
All for free!!
5 reasons why you should do SEO
SEO Helps You Grab Market Share:
Somewhere between 80-90% of customers now check online reviews prior to making a purchase decision, and this number is only expected to increase. Now everyone virtually searches for products and services online. Do you want them to be able to locate your business, or not? Without organic SEO in place, people will have hard time finding you and will instead find your competitors.
Cost – effective:
Compared to costs associated with other forms of online marketing like PPC advertising, social media marketing, or purchasing leads for an email marketing program, SEO provides fairly good ROI. While PPC may drive more revenue but SEO is far more important for your image. Your organic SEO in many ways remains a bedrock of your online presence.
Put you ahead of competition:
Better visibility = Better Sales.
Suppose two web sites are selling same thing, but the search engine optimized web site is more likely to have more visibility and hence will be able to make more sales.
SEO works on both local as well as national scale, dominates your own local market or reach customers across the nation. It helps you expand your brand farther than you could ever expect. An SEO website works like a marketing team, operating 24×7 for your company. Even after you lock up your office, SEO is still working.
5. More Customers
Improved visibility will lead to more traffic which will ultimately lead to higher sales. Which is why companies spend thousands of dollars every month to try and improve their overall rank position.
What is On-page SEO and Off-page SEO
If you’re trying to understand what is SEO, you need to understand the two components of SEO- On-page and Off Page SEO.
concerns about Google’s ranking factors that are determined by directly looking at the page you try to optimize, such as headlines, page structure and content. On-page refers to your website pages. Read the guide to on page seo to know more or watch the video on what is on-page SEO
On-Page SEO essentially help you define what each page of your website is so that Google accurately understands what your website page is and can index it accordingly.
Off-page SEO is what you do outside of your website that helps Google understand how others are reacting to the content and context of your website.
Simply put, what you rank for is largely determined by on page factors, but how high you rank in the search results is largely determined by off-page factors.
Image Courtesy: http://www.digitalthirdcoast.net/
They both are different, but you need to get them right, in order to do well with SEO.
To give you a better idea of what that means, here’s an example:
Let’s say you see a Hotel located in Central Delhi having a nice building:
Scenario # 1: Hotel is super sexy but is located in a hard to find block
What will happen in this scenario? No matter how sexy the hotel is, if people find locating it difficult, you will find much fewer walkins. Which is why if you notice you typically tend to walk into mostly high street shops rather than the ones located deep inside a market complex.
Similarly, if your article is super optimized, has great content but if people cannot find it, your entire effort is wasted.
No one will ever see your beautiful masterpiece, because you won’t get any traffic.
Scenario # 2: Hotel’s building is super attractive but from inside it’s messy
Now imagine if your hotel has a really sexy location bang on the main street. People will be tempted to walk into it. But if it has a messy inside, they will leave in a hurry. That means, On – Page SEO is not optimized properly.
Similarly when a prospective leaves your site after viewing only one page, in Google’s eyes that visitor is considered as a bounce. The higher your bounce rate i.e. no. of visitors leaving your site instantly, the worse your page will rank in Google.
An important consideration when doing SEO is to give equal weightage to both On-Page and Off-Page SEO. As one can see one without the other is like trying to clap with one hand. You are destined to fare poorly on your SEO efforts.
How to do an effective SEO for your website- Steps
- Do on-page SEO on your site. This involves putting in all the Title Tages, Meta Tags, Alt Tags and other web content related matters so that Google knows exacty what each page, and each image on your site means. If you are using a Word Press Website, using a tool like Yoast to do your on-page SEO is simple. Use our Guide to learn how to use Yoast
- Use Google Webmaster Tools or Google Search Console to get Google to crawl and index your site. You can use this guide to understand how to use Google Webmaster .
- Next focus on your off-page SEO. Use these techniques to make sure that your website pages are being popularized among your relevant target audiences. Remember that the most important thing in your SEO is keeping your content fresh and relevant to your audience.
- Lastly use the Google Search Console to understand how effective your SEO has been. With the help of GSC, you will be able to keep track of what your rank position is, how people are discovering you on Google and where they are coming from. Understanding how to read and analyze Google Search Console is an important step in doing an effective SEO
Next Read of What is SEO: Understanding Webmaster Tools