SEO - Introduction
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality of pages and content of a website towards increasing search engine rankings and traffic.
When designing and developing one’s website, SEO techniques are needed in order to rank well in global search engine results, thereby improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website, also SEO is a technique for marketing by understanding how search algorithms work, and what searches humans carry out per time.
SEO is a subset of search engine marketing. Most of the techniques used to promote sites in search engines deal with text, this is otherwise known as SEO copyrighting, which is another name for SEO. The understanding of how search engines work is essential if you want to learn basic SEO.
How Search Engines Work
In order to deliver search results, search engines perform several activities, they are:
1. Crawling: This is the process by which web pages on the internet are fetched. This crawling task is performed by a software called a crawler, Google’s software called spider also performs this task.
2. Indexing: This involves creating an index for all the fetched web pages and storing it into a database for easy retrieval. Indexing is identifying words and expressions that best describe the page and assigning webpages to particular keywords.
3. Processing: The search engine processes a search request, this means it compares the input string in the search request against the indexed pages in the database and returns a value.
4. Calculating Relevancy: More than one page could contain the search string, the index of the search string is then calculated by the search engine based on their relevance.
5. Retrieving Results: It involves retrieving the best-matched results and is the last step in search engine activities. It may just be as simple as displaying this search results in a browser.
Changes in ranking could occur due to an algorithmic shift carried out by search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! They update this relevancy algorithm multiple times per month, and these changes are outside of one’s control.
What is SEO Copywriting?
SEO Copywriting involves the writing of appealing and call to action content on webpages so that it directly reads well for the surfer, and is targeted towards specific search terms.
The aim of SEO Copywriting is to rank pages highly in search engines for the targeted search terms. SEO copywriting optimizes on-page elements for search terms that are targeted. These terms include Title, Keywords tags, Description, headings, and alternative text.
The idea behind SEO copywriting is that search engines want content pages that are genuine and not additional pages which are often referred to as "doorway pages", they are called doorway pages because they are usually created for the sole purpose of achieving high rankings with low quality content, which is a bad SEO practice.
What is Search Engine Ranking?
Search Engine Ranking is the algorithm used by search engines to determine where a particular piece of content or webpage should appear on a SERP - Search Engine Results Pages.
Search Visibility refers to how often a website is displayed in search engine results pages.
When keywords are searched using a search engine, it displays thousands of results fetched from the database. A page ranking is measured by the web pages’ position as displayed in the search engine results. If your web page is placed in the first position by a search engine then your web page rank will be number 1 and is assumed to be the page with the highest rank.
Designing and developing a website to attain a high rank in search engine result pages is the main purpose of SEO.
What is On-Page and Off-Page SEO?
1. On-Page SEO: This includes providing quality content, right keywords selection, placing keywords in appropriate places, giving appropriate titles to a page, etc.
2. Off-Page SEO: This includes building links, increasing link popularity through submitting open directories, link exchange, search engines, etc.