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What is Search Engine Optimization & How Does It Work

What is Search Engine Optimization & How Does It Work?

So, you have built a visually-appealing website and getting started with your digital journey, expecting potential customers to flow in. But that is not how the digital arena works. There are billions of websites out there, each trying to catch the attention of its target audiences. This makes the competition cut-throat. Amidst this scenario, getting your business in front of your prospective customers can be tricky.

This is where Search Engine Optimization comes into the picture, helping boost your online visibility, drive increased traffic, and generate improved ROI. But what is search engine optimization and how does it work? In this blog, we will understand the importance of SEO and how to optimize your website for improved brand recognition and conversions. Let’s get started.

What is SEO?

SEO, aka search engine optimization, is the process of improving the quantity and quality of traffic by practicing techniques that help boost the website’s rankings (and visibility) on search engines.

To put it simply, it is the process of making your website rank on the first page of search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc. SEO involves making certain on-page and off-page changes to your website – also known as optimizing – that help your target audiences to find your site in search engines when they search for any business, product, or service related to yours. And this is possible only when your website appears on the first page of search engines. This is how the first page of Google appears when a user searches “What is search engine optimization.”

The sites appearing below the “Definitions” and “People Also Ask” sections are organic search results and matter most because they help drive organic traffic. Websites can also optimize their pages to appear in the “People Also Ask” section, which is Google’s new feature to show more relevant results to users.

SEO in digital marketing plays an integral role in increasing your website’s online visibility, getting more clicks, and driving organic traffic. 

Why It is Important to Rank High in Search Engine Results?

So, you’d ask why is SEO important or why ranking high in search engine result pages matters. Let’s understand here.

The consumer journey is rapidly shifting towards search engines. Today, more users search online to accomplish tasks, get valuable information, do things, and even buy products or services. And the search begins with search engines, majorly Google. When people search for something on Google, the search engine will show the most relevant search results that cater to the search query.     

The higher your website appears in the search engine result pages (SERPs), the more visible it will be to potential customers. And when your site ranks in the top results, people are more likely to click because top rankings often indicate that the site is more trustworthy and credible.    

Another important thing to keep in mind is – merely appearing in search engine results does not matter. It is crucial to rank on the first page of SERPs because 75% of search engine users do not go past the first page – and to be more precise, beyond the first 5 organic search results. So, you cannot afford to appear on the second, third, or fourth page of SERPs. So, to drive more clicks and organic traffic, make search engine optimization worth your time and money.    

How Do Search Engines Work?

Now that you know what is search engine optimization, let’s understand how does Google work?

Search engines like Google use software known as Google Bot that works on algorithms to determine the most relevant content against a search query. For this, search engine bots use crawling to identify existing and new pages on the Internet. These web crawlers use links (backlinks and internal linking) to discover content.

Search engines then store this content in their database and present it via search results for the most relevant search query. This process is known as indexing. Once crawling and indexing are complete, search engines will analyze the pages against crucial ranking factors such as:

  • Keyword usage
  • Backlink profile
  • Website loading speed
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Content quality and relevance
  • Page structure

In this regard, it is important to know that search engine algorithms, which influence how your website is crawled, indexed, and ranked – change frequently. Therefore, it is crucial to have a definitive SEO strategy that keeps up with the algorithm changes and delivers proven results.

How SEO Works?

Wondering how SEO works?

SEO is all about optimizing the website in a way so that it meets the guidelines of Google to be ranked on the first page of search engine results, i.e., Google’s ranking factors.

These include the following elements:

1. Content: This is one of the most important ranking factors because it plays a key role in shaping the user experience. The content should be in-depth, high-quality, and provide authentic information on the topic. It should be 100% original and optimized for search engines. Optimizing your content enables the Google algorithm to easily discover the page, index it, and rank it based on its relevance to search queries.

Content optimization includes:

– Consider the search intent and find suitable topics

– Discover the right keywords and position them strategically for easy crawlability 

– Write long-form content that covers the topic in-depth

– Optimize the title tag, meta tag, images, etc. with the right keywords

– Establish a suitable content structure that is more engaging and readable

– Update the content regularly

2. Page Structure: This aspect of optimizing a website’s page structure is known as Technical SEO. Since websites are written in HTML, the structure of this code can significantly impact the search engine’s ability to crawl and evaluate it. Including keywords in the URL, title, and headers of the page can help improve your website’s crawlability and also its search engine rankings.

Improving website loading speed and user-friendly navigation are two other important Google ranking factors that you should focus on. This is because Google now prioritizes user experience more than anything to rank a website. If the website does not load in less than 5 seconds, has poor-quality content, or is difficult to navigate, it can affect user experience and they will leave your page.

This can affect your SERP rankings significantly.

3. Links: Links from other relevant, high-authority websites – as well as internal linking – play an integral role in SEO. This is because backlinks from other websites are considered a vote of quality and credibility as it is unlikely for them to link to poor-quality sites. Links (both internal and external) also help improve the user experience on your website.

4. Responsiveness: In addition to the above SEO ranking factors, responsiveness is also an important element of search engine optimization. It ensures your website delivers the same aesthetic appeal, feel, and experience across all devices regardless of their screen size and resolution.  

The Final Words

Understanding what is search engine optimization and how it works can help develop a definitive SEO strategy that delivers long-term, proven results. 

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