Beginner’s Guide to SEO [Search Engine Optimization]

There is a saying-

The best place to hide the dead body is on the 2nd page of Google search engine results.”

Haha! Yes! Google’s 2nd page of SERP (Search Engine Result Page) gets only 5.6% of clicks.

THE BASICS OF SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)-

Before going to give SEO introduction, I want to share one thing. You guys must have heard about Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs? It’s a theory of psychology that prioritizes the most fundamental human needs such as air, water, and physical safety over more advanced needs such as self-esteem and social belonging. The theory is that you can’t achieve the requirements at the top without ensuring the more fundamental needs are met first. Love absolutely doesn’t matter if you don’t have food, clothes & a house.

Moz’s founder, Rand Fishkin, made a similar pyramid to explain the way people should go about SEO, and people delicately dubbed it as “Mozlow’s hierarchy of SEO needs.” This pyramid should be known to those who think SEO is only about website ranking and doesn’t know how to do it.

Here’s what it looks like:

Mozlow's hierarchy of SEO needs
source: moz.com

WHAT IS SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” You should have heard the term SEO, and if you haven’t already, you could obtain a quick Wikipedia definition of the term. The process of making changes to the design, content, link structure of a website to improve its ranking and visibility in the search engine’s unpaid results is called SEO.

To get that visibility, you must understand three core components:

  • What types of content people are looking for?
  • How do search engines work?
  • How to ideally promote and optimize your website.

Biggest search engines like Google, Bing, etc. are facing a daunting task of churning billions of data and coming out with most relevant results.

When someone searches something in a search engine, two types of results appear—Organic results and paid results. For organic results, an advertiser doesn’t have to pay to the search engine. But in paid/sponsored results, if someone clicks on those ads, then the advertiser has to pay to the search engine. These ads are called PPC ads (Pay per click ads).

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEO

history of seo

To better understand SEO and its importance, we need to look back at its origin.

It is believed that SEO was born in 1991. And in this time, the world’s first website was launched, and gradually so may websites quickly launched on the internet. So, there was a massive need for structure and accessibility, and then the world’s first search engines were created. Click here to get a detailed view of the history of SEO.

Gradually In 1993, Excite revolutionized how information was classified, and in 1994, Alta Vista, Yahoo, and others joined the scene.

However, in 1996, SEO suddenly took off when Sergey Brin and Larry Page began building the biggest & most recognized search engine to date named “BackRub.” HAHA, you guys thought I was going to say Google? Well, you’re right because BackRub ultimately became Google and was registered as a domain in 1997.

In the beginning, anything was happening in SEO. The rules were not so strict. So, marketers were efficiently doing hacking practices and keyword stuffing and spammy links to rank higher in search results.

SEO EVOLUTION-

evolution of seo marketer

Google saw an opportunity to do something that other search engines weren’t. It began working on algorithm updates that would reward quality, relevant content for connecting users with what they really want to find.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were working on their own search engine, and they were the first to use links as a signal of authority and trust.

From then to now, the algorithms keep changing, and SEO has rapidly evolved, which forces marketers to explore alternative strategies. SEO’s history teaches us that the best way to prepare for the future of SEO is not to go to any extent by ignoring rules. Always use ethical optimization techniques and publish content that holds actual value for your visitors.

IMPORTANCE OF SEO-

According to seotribunal.com, Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. That’s the average figure of how many people use Google a day, which translates into at least 2 trillion searches per year, 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per day.

google search

That traffic can be compelling for a business not only because there is a lot of traffic, but because there is a lot of particular, high-intent traffic.

People are searching for any manner of things directly related to your business. And if they won’t be able to find you, then they definitely switch to other businesses. These represent even more opportunities to connect with those folks and help answer their questions, solve their problems, and become a trusted resource for them.

Isn’t it true that you are more likely to get your widgets from a trusted resource and choose that thing that offered great information every time you turned to Google for help with a problem, or you will select someone you’ve never heard of? Of course, the answer is quite simple.

WHEN SOMEONE SEARCHES SOMETHING ON GOOGLE, THEN HOW GOOGLE DECIDES WHICH PAGE/SITE TO SHOW TO THE USER?

These are the factors that Google has taken into consideration when someone searches on Google—

  • How many times does this page contain your keyword?
  • Do the search words appear in the title, URL?
  • Does the page include synonyms for those words?
  • Is this page from a quality website or not?
  • What is the paid rank of that page?
  • How many outside links point to that page

And finally, Google combines all these factors and produce each page’s overall score and show users the search results.

HOW DO SEARCH ENGINES GIVE ACCESS TO ONLINE CONTENT?

Search engines have three kinds of tasks—

  1. Reading content
  2. Indexing Content
  3. Retrieving Content

1. READING CONTENT—

  • When a search engine crawler lands on a page, it reads the content of the page. But it can’t understand images/videos. That is why crawler access the ‘source code’ of a site.
  • If you want to access the source code of the website, right-click anywhere else on the webpage and click ‘access source code.’
  • So the source code is what the search engine sees and reads.

2. INDEXING CONTENT—

  • While reading, the crawler also classifies all the pages using a few critical pieces of information, which brings the concept of ‘index building.’
  • As the search engine crawlers read content on the web by following the website’s links from one page to another page, the information is stored in an extensive database called ‘Indexing.’

3. RETRIEVING CONTENT—

  • When a user types a keyword in the search engine, the search engine retrieves the relevant pages for that keyword from the database/index.
  • After these things, the search engine decides what to show to the user by using algorithms/complex mathematical formulas.

WHY IS SEO A LONG TERM MARKETING STRATEGY?

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing & improving. That is why SEO should be continuously monitored, and it should be used for long term marketing strategy.

CONTENT IS KING. WHAT IT EXACTLY MEANS?

  • Whatever the content you are offering, if that is good, clear, and relevant, then you have passed the biggest hurdle in SEO.
  • When we refer to the content in SEO, then we refer to the words and information that are present on the web, which can be read by crawlers, indexed, and retrieved.

The user experience and what search engines see should always go hand in hand.

HOW MANY TYPES OF SEO ARE THERE?

Usually, there are three types of SEO present—

  1. On-page SEO
  2. Off-page SEO
  3. Technical SEO

1. ON-PAGE SEO

on page seo

On-page SEO consists of the changes you do with the design & content in your site to improve your ranking. These are things to be followed at the time of creating content, I will discuss in another post in a detailed manner.

2. OFF-PAGE SEO

off page seo

Off-page SEO includes the activities that you do outside of your website to help to build your presence, relationships on external sites & platforms to improve your credibility and improve your rankings. A whole detailed study of off-page SEO, I will be discussed in another post.

3. TECHNICAL SEO-

technical seo

Technical SEO covers how well your website is performing so that you can evaluate opportunities for improvement & monitor a long term success. Three things to be done in Technical SEO—

  1. Measuring indexed pages of your website.
  2. Calculating website speed.
  3. Computing mobile-friendliness.

A whole detailed study of Technical SEO, I will be discussed in another post.

You should have to use all these 3 Types of SEO to Improve Your Marketing Strategy

ANOTHER FOUR MAIN TYPES OF SEO

Excluding all the above four, there are another four main types of SEO, all aimed at helping you earn greater visibility in search resultsThe main differences have to do with how closely SEO tactics align with Google guidelines and how that ultimately impacts your SEO efforts.

  1. Black Hat SEO
  2. White Hat SEO
  3. Grey Hat SEO
  4. Negative SEO

1. BLACK HAT SEO

black hat seo

These are the types of SEO practices where you trick search engines & take shortcuts to the top by going against Google Guidelines. In fact, it’s being advised that you shouldn’t do such practices. Because it carries the risk that your website or content will rank lower, & be banned from search results, or demoted the next time Google updates its ranking algorithm.

2. WHITE HAT SEO

white hat seo

These are the techniques practiced to Google Webmaster Guidelines but usually take longer and cost more to implement. Although this technique is quite slow & costly, it is still advised to carry these practices as it doesn’t go against Google Guidelines. White hat SEO carries far less risk and tends to deliver lasting and compounding value over time. Most reputable SEO and content marketing companies use white hat SEO tools and techniques.

3. GREY HAT SEO

grey hat seo

This type of SEO falls somewhere in the middle of Black & White Hat SEO because these tactics are not specifically called out in Google’s Guidelines. It is being advised that be cautious taking this path as it is not safe. It also carries the risk that your website or content will rank lower, & be banned from search results, or demoted the next time Google updates its ranking algorithm.

4. NEGATIVE SEO

negative seo

This is the practice of implementing black or grey hat SEO techniques on someone else’s website with the intent of causing harm. As a result Harming your competitors makes room for you to move up in search results.

A whole detailed study of Black, White, Grey & Negative SEO, I will be discussed in another post.

Thank you guys for being a patientful reader. So this is my 1st article in this site. I hope you guys liked it. If you have any questions then kindly ask/comment below.

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