What Is SEO? SEO Basics

Search engine optimization (SEO) aims to increase the amount of traffic to a website by ranking that website high on a search engine results page. It is extremely popular because it is cost-effective and it has been repeatedly proven that it successfully brings more visitors to a particular web page.

SEO is known for its use of carefully selected keywords and phrases that manipulate a search engine’s algorithm. Some companies tackle SEO themselves, while others hire an SEO agency to professionally prepare a website or article for publishing. SEO utilizes several different techniques and strategies but listed below are it’s five most important components.

Keywords

It is important to understand what people search for when they stumble upon a new website. Hence, the first part of SEO should be keyword research. Finding good keywords may seem easy, but keep in mind that keywords vary greatly between industries, companies, and individuals. There are many tools that can be used to analyze the effectiveness of a certain keyword, but a simple check can be done by inserting the keyword or phrase into Google and seeing what comes up.

Keywords that are utilized must be very refined since it is these words that ultimately drive traffic to the website. It is important that keywords are not too specific where no one finds the website, but also not too broad where people coming to the website are not actually interested in the product.

Content

Quality content is vital and should be at the core of any SEO strategy since it ensures a positive user experience. While the use of keywords is important, oversaturating an article with too many keywords leads to awkward sentence structure and an unhappy audience. Instead, keywords should be inserted in an article in the most natural way possible.

The ultimate goal of quality content should be to provide helpful and relevant information to the target audience. Basically, the purpose of successful content is to educate the audience on the product and the business. If the content accurately provides an answer to a question the target audience may ask, the website’s chances of being found greatly increase. In addition, it is important that the web page emotes authority on the subject being discussed since this creates trust and turns leads into customers.

Meta Tags

A meta tag is that little blurb of text included below a web site link on a search engine results screen. Normally, search engines scan website titles for keywords but meta tags also play a huge role in SEO. Meta tags provide search engines with more information and give web sites another opportunity to rank high on a search.

Similar to effective content requirements, meta tags should not be used as merely a section to cram in as many keywords as possible. Web sites should try to use a few important keywords in their meta tag, but their utmost focus should be on encouraging people to visit the website. Meta tags should be used to accurately describe the website and ultimately, they should be used to entice the target audience to visit the page.

Images

When conducting a search, many people do not limit themselves to the web results but also spend a lot of time checking image results. Images can be a very powerful tool for SEO. Image file names are included in search engine searches and should include keywords in order to be effective.

While it may be tempting to load up your image file names with as many keywords as possible, it is best to follow the same rules that apply to website content and meta tags and only include as many keywords that make sense. The appropriate way to separate words in image file names is with hyphens.

Lastly, include the highest quality images as possible so that when strategically placed keywords in the image file name ranks that image high on a results page, a potential customer will be persuaded to click on that image, consequently bringing traffic to the website.

Backlinks

As with all components of SEO, quality is the number one factor required to make the use of backlinks effective. If used appropriately, backlinks can be a very helpful tool to bring more traffic to a website. An easy and cheap method to promote the use of backlinks is to ask customers to share their positive experience on social media. This will work to entice a whole new, untouched audience to check out the website.

Also, exchanging backlinks with other popular companies or blogs in the same industry can create meaningful partnerships. While a more traditional, but still effective, route is to submit regular press releases featuring the websites latest features and upgrades. Overall, it is important to always strive to improve the quality of both the product and the website so that others will naturally want to backlink to it.