Is SEO an alien concept to you? Do you have very limited knowledge of SEO? This small but comprehensive guide will provide you all information that you need to have at the beginner’s level of SEO Wisdom. Study this and step into the world of professional Search Engine Optimization.
What actually is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO has been defined in a dozen ways by different internet marketers. Someone has coined it has the process of enhancing visibility in the online platforms for all organic and natural search processes. A few others have reiterated that it is a strategy for increasing search traffic to any particular Website or Page. It is overall a comprehensive set of strategies and performance to increase non paid traffic for search engine results. It involves both technical as well as creative aspects, which are necessary for driving more traffic, for improving rankings in different search engines.
SEO is an ongoing relentless process and it is not only about making a particular website search engine friendly, but also to follow up with competent strategies in order to achieve an improved visibility and ranking. This extensive SEO guide will act as a hand-book for beginners and share all the universal aspects related to the search engine craft.
Why Do you Need SEO?
One common question is why does your blog or website need Search Engine Optimization? Well, the topmost search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo drive the most of the traffic into the online portals throughout the world. There is no question or doubt about it that you could also drive traffic to your website through Social Media platforms and a few other places. But, the major commercial search engines are the most common sources of traffic navigation. Most internet users are guided and driven by these search engines, no matter what your site provides. You may be dealing with online shopping, information sharing, providing services- everything is influenced by them.
These search engines don’t work in random. They give to people what they have been looking for. They connect the dots between what you have been offering and what people have been looking for. They act as the bridge between the finder and the provider. If your site is not listed properly or on the topmost places of these search engines’ databases, then you are missing great traffic opportunities to your website. The search engines respond to the queries made by the individuals on the internet and try to connect them to the most relevant results depending on these queries. So each single word used in a query carry some precious value. Similarly what is inside your website in form of content, keywords may have great impact. This has also the ability to make or break your online business or existence.
SEO tactics give you the capability to provide publicity and generate revenue, which no other channel can provide. That is why investment in the right SEO plans is considered to be an extraordinary investment- as the return is multiple times compared to other kinds of business investments.
Without proper/correct SEO, search engines cannot find your site!
The search engines work on a number of principles. These certain principles are governed by laws. These major search engines are smart enough to crawl throughout the web and bring back improved results to their end users. But there is a limit too. You must also help the search engines to figure out what your website is about and allow it to connect it to the right set of audience. Doing the SEO in correct way ensures the increase of traffic by manifolds. You will start to notice more attention of traffic when you have the right moves. Wrong moves can even bury your website deep down in the oblivion.
In this ever increasing competition in the world of internet, you must use the right techniques to get found easily. The agency or organization that performs the SEO for you has great responsibilities and may give you an edge over other competitive websites in terms of increasing your customers or visitors.
How about Self Induced SEO?
Any smart person would like to take the matters in own command and perform tasks that set things right. Willing to perform the SEO jobs for yourself is one of the basic instincts that you will experience at the beginning! You may do it for a while using the hit & trial methods, but when things go out of hand, like- your rankings going down way too low; you will have no option left, but to take help from experts. SEO work is too complex. It is easy at the outset and many people can understand the basics well, but that doesn’t guarantee success in the long run.
However, if you are committed and too determined that you will learn and grasp even the complex nature of jobs involving this, you may begin to witness improved results for your websites. So we suggest that you should study this guide step by step and have added advantage over the ones who would be doing it from a general perspective and on the other hand you will have a very specific approach for it. We have tried to keep the guide as much practical as possible for beginners & common users.
FIGURING OUT HOW SEARCH ENGINES WORK
A concept must be corrected at the outset. SEO does not only work to bring in free traffic. But that is not the only reason for what SEO works. They actually have two primary tasks, which we see as gathering of free traffic. These tasks are:
- To Crawl and Build an ongoing Index.
- To provide a list of websites to the search users based on the Index Rankings.
The world of Internet has billions of pages, documents, files, pictures and more. The major Search Engines crawl through each single file or document and figure out the best relevant route by organizing the most relevant ones. The path available through similar paths is also known as- LINKS. Linking helps to bind and keep all pages on the internet together. To do this, Search Engines use Automates robots, which are also known as “Crawlers” or “spiders”- they reach millions and billions of web documents, which are in a way interconnected to each other. The massive database where all these information is stored can only be imagined!
When a search query is made, the search engines recall the page/document from their massive database. This is performed in fraction of a second. Most Search Engines have their data centers all over the world where monumental records are held. The end users are generally impatient, they want results real fast. Even a few seconds delay may generate un-likeliness towards a Search Engine.
The search engines are real fast answering machines. When an internet user makes a search or a query- a particular search engine checks through billions of documents and files and gives back to the client the most relevant results. These results are ranked into a list based on the popularity and relevance factor of these files.
Relevance for a search engine would mean locating a page or a file that has the right content matching the query. This has been the basic search engine technique since long before. Earlier, the search engines did not use any more technique than finding the matching words or content. But over time, technical people have devised even better techniques to find results matching the queries of the users. In today’s search engine operation- almost half a century factors have to operate to influence the relevance factor. Popularity is one big factor in preparing a relevant list. The search engines tend to produce the most popular sits/pages on the top considering that they have the most valuable information. To determine relevance or popularity, the search engines generally use some equations known as “Algorithms”. Using it, the rankings are prepared.
The algorithms are not easy to understand. In fact these are so complicated that even most of the engineers involved do not understand most part of it. But for the layman and search engine practitioners, an insight into the matter itself can help to acquire better results. The best techniques of optimization are made based on these insights.
Search Engine Marketers have studied web search for so long and have done so much experiments that they have learnt how to extract the right information and how to rank better. These techniques are used by them to rank their clients’ websites at higher positions.
# Finding Solutions through Experiments
Experimenting is the most common method that most of the webmasters adopt while researching with the websites and search engines. Testing, discarding and remodeling help them to achieve stable and improved results. Sometimes these experimentations require lots of patience, knowledge and foresight to reach the levels of success that have been aimed for. One common format of experimenting is given below:
- Get a new website registered with random and meaningless keywords such as- tarrenbihlia, hobberpenny.
- Take time to generate pages for that website. Make those pages target meaningless terms such as technicurrant, luscidrass.
- Try to keep the pages similar altering only single variables at one time. Try to experiment with the text placement, formatting, keywords etc.
- From the crawled, established pages at other domains- direct links to this domain.
- Now note down the rankings of these pages on different search engines.
- Once again make changes to these pages and find out the impact on the search results. Find out which factor is helping to move the result up or down.
- Ensure that you are recording any results, which you find to be effective. You should also re-test these techniques on other pages/domains using other terms. If you find similar results using the same techniques, there is a possibility that you have become able to discover a pattern that works.
Live Testing and Experimentations are steps that search marketers must adapt to, in order to gain high traffic and better rankings for their clients. Without having a clear understanding of the basic elements of search engines and the critical components that influence website rankings & visibility, it is not possible to become a successful search engine marketer.
LESSON # 2
INTERACTING WITH THE SEARCH ENGINES
To reach out to a large audience, you must be able to catch its nerve! Unless you are certain about what your target audience is looking for, it will be very difficult to provide what they want!
Search Engine Marketing is all about meeting the requirements of the users. The users have various types of requirements, which could be broadly classified into three categories:
- The first kinds are the queries where the user wants to “Do” something. A user may want to accomplish something, do any activity, listen to any song, purchase a train ticket etc.
- The second queries are related to “KNOWING”! These queries are centered on collecting information or data about something. While a person maybe looking for information about his favorite author, another one may be looking for best shopping options in a particular city.
- The third kinds are the navigating queries. This includes the search queries which are done by users to reach any particular target location- website or URL.
It is the responsibility of the search engines to classify the searches and to provide the end users the results accordingly. Their primary motive is to satisfy the need of the visitors. These engines receive thousands of queries every day and finding the most relevant results is their priority. So as a search engine marketer, it is your soulful duty to find out what your target audience might want and plan your search engine strategies based on it.
UNLEASHING THE POWER OF INBOUND MARKETING THROUGH SEO
As we spoke at the outset, many people are not certain about why money, time and effort should be invested on SEO. Well, the power of SEO is so gigantic and compelling that it surpasses the usual and brings forward the most recent and relevant results to the visitors based on your search engine performance. Let us look at a few search engine trivia before moving ahead-
- Google alone constitutes around 65% of the searches done around the world. Yahoo is at the second position with nearly 18% and Microsoft is at 13%. This means most of the traffic that we see comes from Google Searches.
- Forget the world netizens; the American users alone perform around 20 billion searches every month. Among this, Google gets around 12-13 billion searches followed by Yahoo and Microsoft.
- Google constitutes 67% of all the search queries whereas Bing powers the rest 26%.
- The Online Marketing world is a gigantic one and the total revenue for the same will reach around $77 billion in 2016 itself. Out of this around 25% will be the budget for advertising.
- Out of the total number of search queries, around 76% searches are used to find local information. Other searches include social networking, news, media information etc.
- Since 2002, there has been a staggering 60% increase in the number of Internet users. This is a voluminous figure and cannot be ignored when it comes to internet marketing.
- The average click through on the top ten results is around 53%. So now you can understand why it is essential to be at the top positions in any search engine, particularly at Google, which provides almost 90% of the search results.
All the points discussed above show how significant search engine marketing is! The number of searches is increasing by 20% every year worldwide. To achieve better results, it is very important to lay concrete foundations of SEO. Through this Guide, we are trying to give you as much concise and practical tips as possible.