Last Updated on April 30, 2019
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. It is the process of increasing traffic to your website through search engines.
SEO is a marketing discipline which entirely focuses on increasing the visibility of your website through organic (non-paid) search engine results.
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How SEO Works?
Search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and Bing) show their search results based on authority and relevancy of pages. They crawl millions of web pages daily and include them in their web index. When you type a query in search engines, they try to come up with the best possible answers for you.
Google holds 92.47% shares worldwide and is considered the most popular search engine on the internet today. It is widely used on tablets and mobile devices because of its reliability, simplicity, and ease of use. That is why, when we talk about Search Engine Optimization, we majorly focus on optimizing our content according to Google’s guidelines.
SEO helps in making sure that our website is doing well technically and is accessible to Google without any issue. It also involves providing excellent user experience and writing high-quality as well as useful content that can provide the best answer to the user’s query.
Why Your Website Needs SEO
There are so many channels available to drive visitors to your websites like social media and many others. But, search engines are known as the primary method of navigation for most of the internet users. They are the roadways for users to land on your website.
If search engines are unable to find your website or the content you are writing, you’ll miss on incredible opportunities to drive traffic to your site. Thus, in order to let people know about your products, services, or business, you should try to produce SEO-friendly content.
How to Do SEO
SEO is majorly divided into two major groups:
- Onsite SEO
- Offsite SEO
The above-mentioned terminologies are used for the SEO practices that are performed on a website and away from a website. Let’s talk a little bit more about them:
1. Onsite SEO
Onsite SEO refers to the set of SEO activities that are performed on a website to increase its visibility organically. Some of the most common onsite activities are:
Finding the right keywords in terms of competition and relevancy to describe your products/services.
Making sure that your website can be crawled and indexed by search engines.
Writing Meta tags (Meta title, Meta description etc.) and making use of H1, H2, H3 headings.
Ensuring that your website is simple, easy to use, and shows trust & authority.
2. Offsite SEO
The activities that are performed outside a website to increase its visibility are termed as Offsite SEO. The most common offsite activities include:
Creating amazing content and then sharing it on different platforms to build recognition for your website.
Communicating with bloggers, influencers, webmasters, and key journalists to get links for your website.
Writing for other websites, journals, researches, and publications and providing a link to your website there.
Types of SEO
There are four main types of Search Engine Optimization which include:
- White Hat SEO
- Black Hat SEO
- Grey Hat SEO
- Negative SEO
Here’s brief information about the above-mentioned types of SEO:
1. White Hat SEO
Practices that are in accordance with the search engine guidelines. It takes longer to see the results because you try to avoid shortcuts and scammy strategies. If you use White Hat SEO techniques, you are less likely to be affected by the search engine updates.
- Producing useful information
- Writing SEO-friendly content
- Promoting your content on different platforms
2. Black Hat SEO
Practices that are totally against search engine guidelines. You may tend to rise faster and gain a short-term advantage by employing Black Hat SEO techniques but the risk of getting banned from search results increases for you. The future updates of search engines badly affect your rankings and the authority of your website.
- Buying backlinks (links that point to your website)
- Copying content
- Keyword stuffing (using a lot of similar keywords for ranking higher)
- Cloaking (showing different content to users and search engines)
3. Grey Hat SEO
Practices that lie in the middle of White Hat and Black Hat SEO. They are risky but are not specifically against the search engine guidelines.
- Paid reviews
- Spun content (slightly altered content)
- Clickbait (writing content just for getting clicks on a link instead of delivering value)
- Link exchanges
4. Negative SEO
Practices of using Black Hat and Grey Hat SEO techniques just to harm the reputation of another website. These practices may make room for you to rank higher than your competitors but search engines will ultimately catch you and impose a heavy penalty on you.
- Building scammy and unnatural links to the competitor’s website
- Posting negative reviews about your competitors intentionally
- Stealing your competitor’s content
- Hacking a site
Alright! This was a quick introduction to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you have any query in mind or if anything is unclear to you, do let me know in comments. I will be happy to answer your queries. 🙂