An Introduction To Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO Introduction

In a world where consumers are using search engines to discover, research, and purchase almost every product and service imaginable, getting your website to the top of the search results is the most reliable way to attract and retain a loyal customer base.

The practice of getting your website to the top of Google is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and it’s critical if you aim to be found by people actively searching for your product or service online.

SEO is not an exact science.

However, by mastering the basics, you can design and execute a successful SEO strategy.

In this short and handy blog, we'll fill you in on:

Let's get started.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it climbs the rankings on the search engine results page (SERP). The ultimate aim is to get your website to the number one organic search position on search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.

Some of the SEO optimization processes that make this possible include keyword optimization, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization.

Keyword Optimization:

Keywords refer to the common words and phrases that users enter into search engines to find results. For example, a user might enter the keyword “SEO basics” into Google to find an article such as this one.

On-Page Optimization:

On-page SEO refers to all the ways you optimize your own website to make it easier for Google’s algorithms to scan and index your site and serve it in search results for relevant keywords.

Off-Page Optimization:

Off-page SEO refers to everything you do online outside of your website. Google recognizes your site’s entire online profile when ranking it. So, activities such as creating backlinks to your website on other sites and developing a strong social media profile all contribute to your site’s overall SEO performance.

Technical SEO:

Technical SEO refers to website and server optimizations that help your website get crawled and indexed by search engines to improve your organic search rankings.

Benefits of SEO:

There is no denying that SEO requires consistent effort and patience. It can take months or even years to achieve optimal results.

So, why bother?

Many online studies have proven that websites found through organic search perform much better than paid advertising and traditional sales techniques.

SEO versus Traditional Marketing

Leads generated through SEO achieve a 14.6% close rate on average, while other sales and marketing channels (i.e., calls, emails, etc.) only provide a 1.7% close rate.

This means that SEO marketing is over 89% more effective than traditional marketing.

There are tons of benefits to SEO, but there are also risks to not implementing it on your site. Organic search is the number one way that users find websites and businesses online. If you’re not appearing on the SERP, you’re losing leads, sales, and ground to competitors who do appear there.

Search Engine Traffic Distribution SEO Graph

Google currently holds 90% of the market share for search engines worldwide.

So, if you’re looking to optimize your website, it's best to follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Not only does most of the world’s search traffic flow through Google, but optimizing your site for Google’s search engine generally produces effective results for other popular search engines, too.

If you are aiming to rank first on Google, it’s worth noting that it usually takes around three to twelve months. The speed at which you achieve SEO results depends on the level of online competition in your market and the consistency of your efforts.

How SEO Works:

The best way to think about SEO is to remember the ultimate goal. The purpose of SEO is to optimize your site for search engines so they can easily scan, index, and serve your website to users in the search results for relevant keywords.

Search engines crawl the world wide web and store information about the websites they find on their indexes. This information includes your website’s:

  • Content (copy, images, videos, etc.)

  • Backlink profile (internal links and number of other sites linking to yours)

  • Technical structure and code

  • Performance (speed, security, etc.)

When a user types in a query, the search engine refers to its index and delivers results based on the keywords or search terms used.

Google’s goal is to deliver the best search results and the best user experience possible for its users.

So, the search engine uses all the elements listed above to assess which websites contain the most relevant information and provide the best on-page user experience. It then serves the user with a prioritized list of websites based on these factors.

Components of SEO

Keyword SEO:

Keywords are the words and phrases that users enter into Google to find products and services online.

The first component of an effective SEO strategy is understanding what keywords your target audience uses on Google in relation to your industry, products, and services.

Your website pages must contain these keywords so that Google understands what your website is about and delivers it to users in the search results when they enter these keywords.

To build an effective SEO strategy, you need to leverage these keywords to build an on-page and off-page SEO performance that is superior to your competitors.

On-Page SEO:

On-page SEO is the content, URL, and heading structure used on your website pages to tell search engines what your page is all about.

These elements must be optimized so that Google can index your website for relevant keywords.

Optimization includes both the addition of keywords and adhering to best practice guidelines.

For example, it can be tempting to add as many keywords as possible into your website headings and copy. But this goes against best practice guidelines.

Adding too many keywords can actually harm your SEO performance. Known as “keyword stuffing,” Google’s algorithms have been refined to identify this practice, and using it can result in a penalty from Google.

Rather than stuffing keywords into your web pages wherever possible, be thoughtful and strategic about your keyword usage.

Ensure all keywords are relevant to the purpose and content of the page. Use them organically within headings and sentences so that the keywords appear natural and provide useful context.

Off-Page SEO:

Off-Page SEO is the number of backlinks that point to your site, the domain authority of the websites that provide those backlinks and, critically, the proportion of the backlinks to your site that are tagged as "do-follow."

Number of backlinks: There is no one-size-fits-all minimum number of backlinks needed to produce SEO results. In general, you should aim to have more backlinks than your competitors do.

Domain Authority (DA): This metric signals the overall quality of a website. Backlinks from websites with a high DA produce better SEO results for your site than links from websites with a low DA.

“Do-follow” links: When a link is added to a site, it can be tagged as “do-follow” or “no-follow.” By adding the “do-follow” HTML tag, a website is indicating that Google should take that backlink into account for SEO purposes. For that reason, getting a “do-follow” link from another site provides greater SEO benefits than a “no-follow” link.

While all this might seem quite technical at first, SEO is mostly about getting some simple basics right.

Doing things right from a beginner's perspective simply means building up the number of backlinks that point to your website, developing great on-page content, and making sure that you stick to the Google Webmaster guidelines as closely as possible.

Start Your SEO Journey Today:

Interested in learning more about SEO? Check out our other blog posts for more SEO tips and guidance, whether you’re a total beginner or looking for more advanced SEO techniques.

Alternatively, if you want to reap the benefits of SEO but lack the time or expertise, get in touch with us today. At Innovation-X, we’ve got all the digital marketing knowledge needed to boost your website traffic, leads, and sales.