What is SEO? [In Plain English Please!]
You have a blog and you write amazing content or probably you offer awesome products or services but still there aren’t any visitors on your website. You googled about it, learnt about the reas...
You have a blog and you write amazing content or probably you offer awesome products or services but still there aren’t any visitors on your website. You googled about it, learnt about the reason behind all your woes and ultimately asked yourself the most relevant question – What is meaning of SEO in plain english?. How is it important to my business or blog?
You are at the right place and you are adopting the right approach to rank higher in the search results by learning the SEO basics. Let’s dive in.
Search Engine types
Contrary to popular belief Google and Bing are not the only search engines out there. There are others such as Yahoo, Baidu, Aol, Yandex to name a few, where millions of seaches are performed everyday. Yahoo was one of the trailblazer in the internet space before google arrived at the scene and overhauled it.
Similarly, Baidu is a popular search engine in China and Yandex in Russia. But despite that Google is clearly the market leader when it comes to search. According to statcounter over 90% of search is done on Google alone followed nowhere closely by Bing at 2.6% and Yahoo, only 1.9%, such vast is the magnitude of Google’s webopoly. Hence, we will stick to Google in this post.
Layout of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
To understand how a search result page looks like let us perform a Google search and type “dentists in new york” in the search bar. Immediately you will see at the top there are a couple of paid ads or Google PPC (pay per click) ads which various companies pay to run on google everytime someone clicks on them.
Beneath these ads there is a map and 3 local results that are situated in New York (as we typed dentists in New York in the search bar above remember) called the 3 pack or the snack pack. Google shows you the most relevant and important 3 results based on geo-location, from where the search is performed.
Below these local results we have the organic, non paid or seo optimized results. With seo you can either get in the local pack if someone is searching locally, or in organic results or in both if properly optimized and dominate the SERPs.
On Page and Off Page SEO
There are two critical elements of SEO – On page and Off page Seo. On page Seo, as the name suggests, deals with the optimization techniques implemented on your website such as the content, titles, description,coding (HTML) etc on the individual webpages in order to make it more user and search engine friendly. Whereas off page seo optimization techniques involves outreaching, building links, and authority in your niche.
To understand these easily, think of on page seo as the appearance, ambience, facilities, design, technology etc inside a retail store or restaurant in real life. Everything has to be as proper.
A restaurant with nice ambience and proper systems and processes will naturally attract attention and deliver value to the customer. Similarly in order to understand and correctly display your website in various search results, Google and other search engines crawl your website content consistently. If your website is not organized properly in terms of content, site architecture, HTML etc it will be impossible for search engines to understand what your website is about, let alone ranking it on search engine results pages or SERPs.
You can think of off page seo as networking with others in real life and building relationships, trust and goodwill for your business.
People are more likely to contact and work with you if you have acquired a good name in your industry. Similarly, building more relevant links builds send trust signals and elevates your website in Google’s and other search engines eyes and rankings.
Learn about these optimization techniques in depth from this Moz guide- What is SEO?
Learing SEO is pivotal for your business growth in this day and age of internet marketing. SEO not only ensures steady organic traffic but also helps small businesses compete with bigger players who have more resources, capital and marketing budgets.
In short, it levels the playing field for smaller businesses especially for startups who are trying to get a foothold in the modern competitive market and helps them stand out.
I was watching a space documentary regarding the formation of universe, the other night on National Geographic. At the end of the documentary the narrator said a very interesting thing that these are the best of times for our universe which is today young, burgeoning and teeming with life . We all should be grateful for that and relish it .
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