Search Engine Optimization is an art of enhancing the quantity and quality of traffic on the website through search engine results like Google, Yahoo, and Bing; it is also referred to as natural, organic, or earned results. SEO helps in obtaining a higher rank in search engines so as to strengthen the lead and increase the traffic of the website as it the most successful marketing strategy for promoting the business and has gained tremendous importance in recent years. SEO has obtained a significant position as it has become the primary way for users to navigate the Web. The author of Digital Engagement, Bob Heyman, once said, emphasizing on SEO.
we can thank none other than the manager of rock band Jefferson Starship for helping give birth to a new field that we would grow to know as search engine optimization.
The key benefit of SEO is that it offers the highest quality of traffic lead for enhanced marketing and for better sales as it has better conversion rates. It uses an inbound marketing strategy to resolve this purpose; SEO also functions in providing free services like free ads, improving the marketing strategy by integrating SEO and PR to enhance the online presence of the business.
SEO has several advantages; it assures improvement in the ROI and offers at most a 15% increase in new leads in the search engines. The rankings do not disappear, if it has obtained better traffic in the search engines, it will consistently promote the business, apart from that the enhanced faith on the search engines by the people, and high rankings in the search engines will gradually improve the marketing. It enables proper brand awareness and expands the brand equity of the website, and it is of great importance, especially to the small business as the implementation of a strong and effective SEO strategy can be done that would help them to get a higher ranking which would improve and expand their business
Types: They are three major types of SEO-:
1) Technical SEO Technical SEO makes the website faster, easier to crawl, and understandable for search engines as it is essential for technical optimization. Technical SEO helps in improving the technical aspects of the website and thus increases the ranking of the pages in the search engines. There are various practices to perform Technical SEO; it includes:
• XML Sitemap- It is an XML file; that lists all pages/posts available on the website. It consists of titles, the published date, and the last updated date. Search engines like Google
use the XML sitemap to guide them while crawling through the website.
• SSL Certificates- HTTPS refers that the website is secured; it is known as a ranking signal and also improves the trust with the users. If SSL is installed, then the website can be accessed using https and not http, it ensures that information transferred between the website and server is encrypted.
• Website Speed-Search engines like Google, had mentioned the significance of website speed in all their SEO recommendations, fast websites perform better than slow sites and also obtains higher ranks. There are three tools used to check the website speed; they are Google page speed insights, Pingdom tools, and Google mobile speed tool. These tools provide recommendations so as to improve the speed in the website
• Mobile-friendliness-Mobile-friendliness is a crucial parameter for obtaining better rankings. It is also important as there has been a surge in the rate of mobile users in browsing, with the use of the mobile-first index of Google the results are obtained from mobile-optimized sites first, rather than computers. Hence if the sites necessarily need to be mobile optimized and are very likely to achieve a better rank on the website.
• Robots.txt-It is a text file that resides in the root directory of the websites; it provides instructions to search engines regarding those pages of the website that they can crawl and add to their index. However, here it is important to check and ensure that there are no false blockings; this may discourage search engine crawlers from indexing the website.
• Optimizing URL Structure- Optimizing URL Structure is essential as keywords in the URL act as a ranking factor. If the URL is short and descriptive, it can help with link building and user interaction. The visitors, search engines read a URL to get a clue for the contents of the page.
• Navigation and Website Structure-Navigation Structure is essential in planning a website; it consists of a elevated level of abstraction than just sketching pages. A well-defined structure supports the webmasters to pin-point Google about the critical content of the website and thus will improve the rankings in the websites.
• Breadcrumb Menus- A breadcrumb menu consists of a set of links at the top or bottom of a page that helps the users to navigate to the previous page or to the home page of a website. It is used for two major reasons; It helps the users to navigate through the website effortlessly without pressing the back button on the browsers, and it also gives another hint about to the search engines about the structure of a website. Breadcrumbs are stated as an SEO element, as Google very much recommends it.
• Structured data-It is a code that is added to the web pages and is visible to search engine crawlers; it also benefits in understanding the context of the content. It is generally used to describe the data to the search engines.
• Canonical URL-There are a lot of issues regarding duplicate content in websites, once the website gets bigger, it becomes hard to prevent pages from becoming duplicates. If two similar pages are eligible to rank for a particular key phrase, it creates confusion with the search engine so as to provide a high preference for traffic to the websites; in this case, a canonical URL is used.
• 404-page Optimization-A 404 page is seen when the URL visited does not exist in the website, it happens when the page gets deleted, if the URL was changed or if the URL was mistyped while browsing then it visualizes a 404 page. There are modern WordPress themes that have optimized 404 pages by default, and various theme templates can be used to make 404-page SEO friendlier, there are various parameters to optimize the 404 pages it includes
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) —It is a new concept introduced by Google; it was made to make the mobile Web faster. Google and Twitter led this project; it helps the lightweight pages to load more quickly for smartphone and tablet users and has gained a lot of importance as individuals use mobile devices more than computers. AMP uses a basic version of HTML.
2: On-Page SEO-
It is a practice of optimizing individual web pages for obtaining higher rank so as to increase more organic traffic in search engines. In order to publish high-quality content, it includes the optimization
of headlines, HTML tags (Title, Meta, and Header), and images. It also signifies that the website has a high level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
There are various factors of On-Page SEO it includes:
a) E-A-T — It stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness; this is a context that Google raters use to assess content creators, websites, and webpages as a whole. E-A-T plays a crucial role in Google’s organic search results as it always put a premium on high-quality content.
b) Title Tag-It is an HTML tag that is present in the head section of every webpage, it is featured basically in the search engine results pages and is generally used as the clickable link as well as in the browser window. It also affects the rankings, so it is often overlooked.
c) Meta Description-It provides the description of what the page is all about and is displayed often in the SERPs underneath the title of the page if there is proper optimization of meta description it helps in improving
· Click-through rate (CTR).
· Perception regarding the quality results.
· Perception of what the website offers all change
d) Header Tags- They are HTML elements (H1-H6). They are used to identify headings and subheadings within the content from other types of text like paragraph text; these tags still serve a significant function for the users and also for SEO. They play a crucial role in obtaining rankings by making the content accessible, make it more enjoyable for visitors to read, and also provides keyword-rich context about your content in the search engines.
e) Keyword Cannibalization- - If a particular term is targeted across multiple pages, it has high chances of causing keyword cannibalization, and causes high chances of creating competition with oneself. So, it becomes essential to resolve Keyword Cannibalization on one’s website.
f) Image Optimization-It is essential to make the website more appealing, so optimizing the site with content related images would make it a valuable asset to the SEO. Image Optimization also benefits in obtaining higher rankings in search engines, enhances user experience, and loads pages faster.
3: Off Page SEO-
It includes those actions done outside the website to influence the rankings within the search engine results pages. It includes improving search engine and user perception of a site’s popularity, trustworthiness,
relevance, and authority.
a) Create Backlinks-Backlinks are essential for the website, and it also is necessary to obtain better ranks from Google, if there is a proper backlink, then google puts it on the top of the website. A high PR (page rank) site is used to obtain a higher rank. There are various other techniques for creating backlinks it consists of
· Guest Posting
· Social Bookmarking
· Directory Submission
b) Social Bookmarking Off-page SEO- Social Bookmarking sites are crucial in obtaining high traffic in the webpages, and it is one of the significant platforms for improving websites.
c) Social Media Engagement-It is used to improve the business, website, or to gain popularity in the blog. Social media is used to gain popularity for improving business and also get more backlinks; it is usually posted in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to increase organic traffic.
d) Forum Posting-To make a connection with those who are related to the business and to gain more traffic and backlinks Forum Posting is used. It will give an answer to people’s questions, reply to threads, and give suggestions to those people related to their products.
e) Guest Posting — In order to make the blog popular, it can be done by writing Guest Blog, it also helps in making off-page SEO of the website.
f) Link Exchange- It plays a vital role in obtaining backlinks, in link exchanging one get and provide backlinks to another site that is related to the website, it also helps in page ranking.
g) Directory Submission- It is used to construct quality backlinks if an effective directory submission is chosen, it would help in obtaining a high rank on the page. It takes some time to deliver good results, but these results stand out over a more extended period.
Various parameters are used in SEO to improve the ranking of the websites. The search engines like google examine multiple factors to obtain higher ranks to the sites it includes
· Accessible Website: Google at first checks that if the site is accessible or not, it checks the URL so as to look at the page content and to understand what that page is about, it is done specially to help the bouts of the google.
· Page speed: It is another factor that affects SEO ranking; Google always intends to improve user experience by providing fast-loading web pages. Google had recently announced a search engine algorithm update that mainly focuses on mobile page speed and has started to affect sites from July 2018.
· Optimized content-is the parameter for obtaining higher rankings, the Google’s search algorithm depends on keywords it includes words and phrases that the individuals use while searching for information, if these words and phrases match with the topic in the search it will benefit the user. Thus the use of key words becomes crucial as it would help in obtaining higher rankings on the websites.
The addition of keywords only won’t make it; the site also requires the addition of LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords; they include those terms related to the main terms for which people are searching. This would help Google to visualize the results; however, writing a particular word just to stretch would affect negatively and will decrease the raking. The addition of a video to the content would improve the search ranking, and it should also be included in the content strategy as most of the people prefer watching a video rather than a blog.
· Domain Age:Domain Age is the age of the domain; it signifies the year when it was registered; this a tool used by the search engines to obtain higher ranks in the pages. It is more often seen that google gives top ten rankings in sites which are at least three years’ old, google recognizes these sites and positions them higher as compared to the other sites that have less domain age.
· Real Business Information-It is a technique to target business in the local areas and is the most crucial local SEO ranking factors, the presence or absence of business information, it includes
o NAP (name, address, phone number)
o Business listings on Google My Business and Facebook
Content SEO is an essential part of any SEO strategy; it generally refers to creating content that further helps the web pages to obtain a higher rank in the search engines. It refers to the content of the website and includes the writings and structures of the content of the website. Content SEO is also very important as Google, reads the website, so the words used in the site determine whether or not the site will rank in their results pages. Keyword research is a crucial fact of SEO content; it is a process of finding and analysing those terms that an individual enters into search engines; this is a major marketing strategy. Local SEO is the procedure of optimizing the online presence of the business, and also plays a vital role in attracting business from relevant local searches. These searches are made visible in Google and other search engines. Local SEO helps in promoting the products and services to local customers. If the business is not on a website, local SEO helps the business stand out in local searches and supports to obtain more traffic through online leads. Google has estimated that 87% of the market share in the U.S. uses Google to search for local businesses.
Mobile SEO is a factor that optimizes visualization of different websites on mobile phone devices, such as smartphones and tablets, the rise in the rate of browsing on Mobile had made Mobile SEO important. The surge in the use of various portable gadgets further drives the need for Mobile SEO. The optimization of Mobile makes the site resources accessible to various search engines. The advent of the mobile-first index, it uses the mobile content of a web page to determine its search engine ranking; thus, if the mobile-first index is low, it will generate a lower rank in the search engines. Ecommerce SEO refers to a process of improving the online presence of the business in the search engine results pages. It optimizes the headlines, product descriptions, Meta data, internal link structure, and navigational structure for search and also for better user experience. It is generally used to sell various products and services, and also provides a way to the target audience. There are various strategies used in this case; it includes prioritizing the pages, creating a workflow, checking various competitors, Follow through with CRO.