Search engine optimization or SEO refers to the process of improving the visibility of websites or web pages in the natural or organic search results listings provided by search engines. In general, the higher ranked websites or web pages appear more frequently and receive more visitors.
SEO may involve different types of search: images, video search, news, etc. It may also involve academic search, local search, industry-specific vertical search and news search.
So What Actually Is SEO?
SEO can be defined as the practice of improving as well as promoting websites for the purpose of increasing the traffic or number of visitors to the site. In simple terms, it is an Internet marketing strategy.
SEO takes many aspects into consideration: the working of search engines, what is it that people search for on the Internet, which search engine do the target audience prefer, the words or keywords on your web page, the way other websites link to your website, etc.
SEO is also about making your website structured and better so that the search engines and other people understand it better. Therefore, SEO covers everything from identifying the keywords (terms and phrases) that help to generate traffic to making websites search engine friendly, building links and marketing the website’s offerings.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Search engines can be termed as special websites on the Internet that help you to find information available on other websites. Search engines may operate in different ways, but all of them basically perform three tasks: web crawling, indexing and searching.
Search engines work by retrieving information from HTML markup of web pages and storing them. An automated web crawler, also referred to as a spider, is made use of for this purpose. The web crawler follows each and every link on the website. However, website owners can use robots.txt to exclude specific pages.
Search engines analyse the contents of web pages using algorithms and index them by extracting words from titles, headings, content and special fields known as meta tags. The data about web pages are collected and stored in a database. This data is made use of when Internet user types in queries on the search boxes provided on browsers.
The searching task is performed when a user types in terms or phrases containing the keywords into the search box. The search engine examines the index that it has created and then provides a list of web pages that match best with the specified criteria. Typically, the title of the webpage and a short summary of the content are also provided in the listing.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO works by determining what keyword phrases and conversational questions are used by individuals when searching for Information on the Internet.
Therefore, it also involves incorporating modifications in the content on the website so as to include these keywords or phrases at relevant positions.
If you want SEO to work for you, you need to keep the following aspects in mind:
- Keeping content current and relevant and updating/adding fresh content on a regular basis helps you achieve higher ranks in search listings.
- Determine the purpose of doing SEO: driving traffic, lead generation, boosting sales, etc.
- Do keyword research and use the right keywords to have an edge over competition.
- Improve your websites credibility by building links with websites that are considered as authentic sources of information.
- Ensure that your website loads easily and quickly.