What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing visibility of a website to users of a web search engine. It is abbreviated with SEO. Examples of search engines are: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Sogou, Haosou, WeChat, Yandex, Ask, Theoma, etc SEO refers to the improvement of the organic (or natural) part, not the advertorial part. Being high up in the search-results is what everyone wants, and it can be worth to spend a lot of time on (The expenditure on SEO in the USA is around the 75 Billion USD, reports by Forbes).
With advertisements you can simply buy that position. For a natural high position search engines there are technical measures possible, as well aspects you can do yourself. Here below key aspects outlined:
Deliver good quality content
Search engines analyze the websites and rank your web site/store higher if the following is in order:
- Having good quality content and written in clear way. There are plugins which help on this, e.g. Yoast (to see the information as per screenshot here right, go to the page or blog and click “Edit” (for this purpose, not “Edit with Elementor”).
- If the technical loading time is good. So make sure you have the right hosting and pictures are optimal sized. Aqqii will do similar for its work, e.g. also the WordPress “Theme” and plug-ins are selected on it.
- Keep the page up to date. Search Engines ranks lower if the data is never updated (recommendation is to update every 6 months)
Promote your web site/store
If there are more visitors coming to your web site/store, the search engines notice that, and rank your web site/store higher. Here a list of options how you can generate visitors:
- Promote your web site/store in the real world (visit fairs, business cards, build a community)
- Promote your web site/store in the online world (blog, vlog on e.g. Youtube)
- Regularly update your web site/store. E.g. blog on well chosen key-words.
- (not part of SEO) Advertise
- Arrange links from other web-sites (internal linking contributes also positive)
It depend on the market you are in, which makes sense and which deserve more investment (time or money).
This blog is a brief starting point. If you want to further investigate, search the web or e.g. have a look at these:
Technical work on SEO
Based on the geographical markets you want to reach, you have to determine which search engines shall be actively worked on. Loading your web site/store with visitors from China, if that is not a target market, costs you only effort and capacity. This can be managed in the robots.txt file.
The sitemap informs the search engines about the existence, importance and maintenance of the pages. This is logged into the Google Search Console, Bing webmaster and other similar tools. These tools do advise on improvement-possibilities.
Over time there will be broken links (you referred to a (own) website, which is removed / changed names. To clean it up every now and then, is important, as the search engines do rank your site lower if maintained poorly.
To be found a very first time, the website might be referred to, from an already known website.
Understand what is going on in your web site/store
Google Analytics, Google search Console, Bing webmaster and similar tools give inside on what is happening in your web site/store. All kind of information gets available, such as: the profile of the visitors (e.g. country), did they come via a link or a search, which of your sites are visited, are they returning, et cetera.
With Google Tag Manager there can be specific measures setup, e.g. how many times a button has been pushed. E.g. together with A/B testing, we can learn the behavior and preferences of the visitor. Based on that the design of the page can be optimized.
If you want to learn further on SEO
An SEO-specialist is having the following activities:
- Content Creation – Create SEO content
- On-page SEO – Make sure that all content on the blog is optimized for Search Engines and interlinked to each other
- Technical SEO – Make sure that the web team is following SEO best practices.
- SEO Strategy – Doing keyword research and adjusting the content
- Link-building – Conducting link-building
SEO Learning Path
- The basics.
- Then, learn how to do technical SEO, set up tracking, and optimize your website
- Setup Google Analytics and Search Console
- Improve load speed. Check out this article by Moz
- Optimize your web pages for SEO. For this, you can use RankMath if you’re using WordPress, and Content Analysis Tool if you’re not
- Compress all your images. This should save ~70% of space for your images and increase site load speed (which improves SEO). If you’re using WordPress, you can use Smush to automatically compress all images on your site.
- Learn how to do keyword research
- Top guide on How to do keyword research
- Learn how to create SEO landing pages
- Learn how to create SEO content
- Learn how to do link-building
- Learn how to optimize article headlines
- Case studies
If you’re learning digital marketing because you own a local business, then you should also read about local SEO and how it works.
Depending on the importance for your case, you can consider how much time / money shall be spend on SEO. It is also a moving target, e.g. search engines do update their algorithms. See e.g. this article on Google’s updates. So keep in mind your goal and invest wisely.