What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, a set of strategies that allow you to make your website more search engine-friendly. By following these techniques, you can make your website appear higher in search results and, therefore, direct more traffic to your website.
The Basic Process
When people use search engines, they type keywords relevant to their search in the search engine box. Then, the search engine compares those keywords to their database of webpages. The search engine then lists the websites in order of relevancy for the user.
There are two different types of SEO: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO, like it sounds, refers to the SEO techniques that are used in the content of your webpage, including keywords, Meta tags, and unique content. Off-page SEO includes basically all of the non-content related SEO techniques, such as social media sharing and the inclusion of backlinks.
SEO benefits both search engine users and internet marketers. As a search engine user, it is extremely helpful that the search results appear in order of relevancy. Using SEO techniques essentially makes search engines more user friendly. For internet marketers, SEO techniques provide easy, reliable ways to improve the traffic to a website. Through using these proven techniques, internet marketers can guarantee higher rankings for the website.
Types of SEO Searches
There are several different types of SEO searches, including local searches, video searches, image searches, and academic searches. For both video and image searches, the SEO techniques basically are confined to the name of the file, title of the image/video, and tags. Local searches are perfect for those who have brick and mortar locations as it ties your business to a specific area, thereby connecting the business to the target market. As the name implies, academic searches refer to scholarly articles and other similar texts.
There are several main techniques that guarantee higher traffic to your website, including creating quality content, providing links, and including keywords.
One of the most important SEO techniques is the use of keywords. Choose a keyword that is relevant to the topic of the content and include it several times within the article. Try to pick a keyword that seems like something that a search engine user would type into the search bar.
2. Quality Content
The content of your website should be well-written, unique, and interesting. If there are grammatical or sentence-structure errors, search engines will not list your webpage as highly in the search results. Also, if the content on your webpage is not unique (i.e. plagiarized), search engines will not recommend your webpage. Lastly, make sure that you provide interesting, useful content that will make readers return to your website.
Another great SEO technique is getting quality inbound links. Essentially, this means that another website referred to your website in their content by providing a backlink to a specific article or page. Make sure that these links are from reputable websites, as it looks better from an SEO standpoint.
White Hat vs. Black Hat
There are two different types of SEO techniques: White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. Essentially, White Hat SEO involves working hard to create a quality, keyword-rich website while Black Hat SEO involves using unscrupulous tactics to draw more traffic to your website. Needless to say, White Hat SEO is definitely the way to go as search engines reward quality websites and many Black Hat SEO techniques are illegal.
White Hat SEO involves using many of the techniques listed above, including creating quality content, adding relevant keywords, providing unique content, and having quality inbound links. By creating a quality website, not only will search engines reward you by listing your page higher in search results, but visitors of your site will also appreciate your effort and be more likely to become return visitors.
Back Hat SEO techniques, while providing quick and easy traffic to your site, are unscrupulous ways to make your site more visible to search engines. However, when search engines detect that Black Hat techniques are used, they will no longer recommend your website. These techniques include hidden text, keyword stuffing, link farming, and plagiarism.
Google, the most used search engine, has recently made a few changes that further restrict the use of Black Hat SEO techniques. Both Google Panda and Google Penguin are new programs that have changed Google’s ranking system to provide the most relevant and quality content to users. Websites using Black Hat techniques have been penalized already by the new programs. To avoid being penalized as well, make sure that you only use White Hat SEO techniques. Create quality, unique content, write in an engaging, yet keyword-rich manner, and avoid all Black Hat SEO techniques, such as link farming, to allow your website to reach its full potential.
To let us know what you think of these tips or to provide a few of your own, leave a comment below!
Lola Sosanya completed her Master of Science degree in Business Analysis and Management from Loughborough University, United Kingdom.
She began her Internet marketing career by promoting her own blog, Inspiretheentrepreneur.com. She noticed that many people wanting to promote their businesses through their websites were not able to achieve the desired results due to lack of proper Internet marketing strategies. It is because of her desire to assist organizations and individuals to achieve their revenue objectives that she continuously researches and finds new ways for improving website traffic that ultimately increases revenues for her clients.