What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is a process to optimize your website to rank websites on Google and other search engines. It is one of the most popular and most affordable mediums of digital marketing.
But What more,
Let’s dig into what I meant with the good quality and quantity of the website.
Organic results: Organic traffic is any traffic for which you don’t have to pay for.
Quality of traffic:
One can attract visitors from around the globe, but if Google is showing your result to someone who is in search of electronics whereas you have a fruit selling website. Then even though you might attract the audience, they are not the audience who would buy your product, so that’s not good quality traffic.
Quantity of traffic: once you get the right audience clicking your website from the search engine results pages(SERPs), then more the traffic the better it is
What exactly is the Search Engine and how does it work?
A search engine is a big library, it’s librarians to go to every website and look for web pages and store the relevant information in them.
One of the biggest libraries on earth is Google. In technical terms, it’s a search engine.
Doing search engine optimization is easy after you know how search engines work.
So how do they work?
Well, that’s what I’m gonna tell you next.
As I mentioned earlier, Search engines are like libraries which store web pages URLs in a prioritized order.
Every search engine has its own formulas to find priority and in technical terms, it’s called an algorithm.
When you try to search anything into the search engine then it looks through all the pages in its index and tries to show you the most relevant results.
To do so, it uses a computer program called an algorithm.
Nobody except for Google knows how their algorithm works to give search outputs, but we do have some clues given by them, here is what they say-4
“To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance, and usability of pages, the expertise of sources, and your location and settings.
The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query – for example, the freshness of the content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics than it does about dictionary definitions.”
Since now you might have a rough idea of how a search engine works, so now I can tell you how SEO works.
How does SEO work?
In simple words, SEO works by demonstrating to the search engines that your content is the best result for the topic of search.
This is because every search engine wants to show the best and relevant web pages to the viewer. Optimizing a website depends on the search engine you’re doing it for since Google is the most widely used search engine we would be talking about how it works on Google.
So the whole process of SEO is “optimizing your web page in such a way that it would rank higher for business terms” ie “Website Designer in New York”.
Before digging deep on how SEO works, let users understand the whole system of execution.
The whole SEO is divided into two parts
- On-Page SEO (Things you do on your website)
- Off-Page SEO (Things you do on others website)
Processes in SEO
- On-page SEO
On-page SEO also known as on-site SEO is a process of optimizing the elements and content on a website in order to rank higher and get more relevant traffic from search engines.
On-page SEO refers to the optimization of both the content as well as the HTML source code of a page.
Before ranking higher in the search engine, proper on-page SEO helps the user to understand the context of the webpage easily and properly which leads to the accomplishment of completing a transaction. For a good on-page SEO, you need high-quality content along with good and relevant keywords.
The ultimate goal of on-page SEO can be thought of as attempting to make it as easy as possible for both search engines and users to:
- Understand what a webpage is about;
- Identify that page as relevant to a search query or queries (i.e. a particular keyword or set of keywords);
- Find that page useful and worthy of ranking well on a search engine results page (SERP).
It is not only keywords or quality content which resembles on-page SEO, it includes more than that-
- Link use on a page: How many links are there? Are they internal or external? Where do they point to?
- Page load speed
- Use of Schema.org structured data
- Page URL structure
- Page metadata
It is the action taken outside of a website in order to impact rankings within search engine results pages(SERPs).
While we don’t know the full algorithm Google uses to rank content, data given by Moz shows that off-page SEO factors carry likely more than 50% of the ranking weightage.
Search engines use backlinks as indications of the linked-to content’s quality, so a site with many high-value backlinks will usually rank better than an otherwise equal site with fewer backlinks.
There are mainly three kinds of links, natural links, manually built links, and self-created links.
- Natural links are editorially given without any action on the part of a page owner. For example, a food blogger adding a link to a post that points toward their favorite produce farms is a natural link.
- Manually built links are acquired through deliberate link-building activities. This includes things like getting customers to link to your website or asking influencers to share your content.
- Self-created links are created by practices such as adding a backlink in an online directory, forum, blog comment signature, or a press release with optimized anchor text. Some self-created link building tactics tend toward black hat SEO and are frowned upon by search engines, so tread lightly here.
As it is clear how links are important for off-page SEO, but there are some criteria which determine the quality of the links-
- The linking site’s popularity
- How related the linking site’s topic is to the site being linked to
- The “freshness” of the link
- The anchor text used on the linking site
- The trustworthiness of the linking site
- The number of other links on the linking page
- Authority of the linking domain and page
Apart from linking off-page SEO also consisted of –
- Social media Data Points/Metrics
- Web References
- Brand mentions (With the link, without a link)
- Content Influence/Popularity
- And other 197 factors
Types of SEO
If you are an SEO enthusiast you must have heard about the line which is drawn between the types of SEO. The industry is clearly divided into three types, one is the black hat SEO, 2nd white hat SEO & the last but most popular grey hat SEO. We will be discussing more them and which one you should choose to get more traffic from google and why no strategy is a bad strategy.
White Hat SEO: What is white has SEO?
Wondering what white hat SEO is? If you are someone who follows 100% Google Webmaster Guidelines to get the traffic for your website, then you are a white hat.
The white hats stay far away from getting Google’s penalty along with their consequences. They play along by working according to the Google Webmaster Guide and get wins.
Although it might take them longer than the black hats to get those wins once they do get it the wins stay with them long, meaning the page ranking won’t differ much even though Google changes their algorithm.
Well, a fun fact no one is actually a 100% white hat.
Where and when to use white hat SEO?
-only good for companies like google/informative companies, since their lack of need for links.
-rarely seen but usually wrongly advertised (people sell white hat but end up doing grey hat SEO. Always have been an issue of duplicity, people intend to go for white hat thinking to stay away from getting penalty but the SEO agents sell grey hat techniques giving it the name of white hats.
-What’s the difference?
When you make a backlink by yourself, it’s a grey hat, when it is given by someone else without your effort it’s white hat. That is the simplest answer defining the difference between both.
Grey hats: What is grey hat SEO?
So, what is “grey hat” SEO?
As mentioned above no one is a 100% white hat, and people don’t want to be a black hat unless they are too good in it, so people end up being a grey hat.
According to the Google guidelines, one should just sit idle and wait for the website to grow naturally, well this is something which is absurd in 2020, so SEO pros acquire links in order to strengthen the page. While white hats don’t buy links just like black hats but they try to acquire links from trusted sites or place their links on legitimate sites.
Where and when to use grey hat SEO?
-most popular in the industry as all the SEO professionals use this strategy to do SEO.
-98% SEOs use this technique
Black hat SEO: What is black hat SEO?
Black hats are SEO practitioners. Black hat is just a tactic they use that falls outside of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines in order to rank sites.
Because of the fact that black hats don’t follow the Google guidelines, there is a high chance that the site might fall overnight, that is why black hat SEO is not preferred due to its high risk.
Well, people usually mistake black hats with hackers, black hats are those who don’t like to follow Google’s Webmaster Guideline but they are not breaking any law, so they are not hackers.
Where and when to use black hat SEO?
-when you must rank in a short amount of time, and you don’t care about the consequences. Quite hard to do it and not getting a penalty, so if someone is clever enough then obviously one can do that without getting caught.
-when you don’t need the site later, well it’s obvious that if you want your site to stay and doing it for a long term investment then better don’t go for it.
What service does Stablx offer?
White, Grey considered the need and executed only after approval from the client.
How to do SEO?
Since you already know the basics of how SEO works and what are its different processes and types. So I feel that it is time for you to decide what you really need. Also giving you a complete comparison of the benefits and flaws of each one.
Doing on your own:
Since you have a rough sketch on how these things work you can probably learn to do SEO on your own and do it for your website. The only problem with doing on your own is the amount of time it might take for you to learn and implement it, and of course, the experience of an agency or some individual would be better than yours.
In-House Team: An in house team is a dedicated team working for your company in order to bring more relevant traffic to your website or company. This kind of dedicated team would cost you quite a lot of money but the result would be better than doing on your own, but only suitable for a well funded and established company.
Higher an agency: Hiring an agency is the best and trusted thing you can do for your company to grow, it would cost you some money but obviously not as expensive as an in house team. I recommend this since these people are quite experienced and know what to do, and could also suggest the best thing for your website. You can check stablx for a better understanding of In house team vs marketing agency.
Here is a comparison between an In House Team and a Digital Marketing Agency
|Questionnaire||In-House Team||Digital Marketing Agency|
|Big Company with a fancy budget?||Yes|
|Want the same/better result with the average budget?||Yes|
|Need Digital Marketing for many Business||Yes|
|Need Digital Marketing for one/few businesses with quality work and good ROI?||Yes|
|Want everything to be done inside the company?||Yes||Sometimes|
|Want to follow the latest trends, cope with algorithm changes?||Yes|
|Want the team to be a part of your company and sync with the whole marketing team?||Yes|
|Need Fresh Perspective to Market your product?||Yes|
|Need Execution from a Broader Skillset and Dept Experience?||Yes|
Search engine optimization techniques
- Rank for product/service pages
this is the optimization for your niche or product, it’s optimizing your page such that google ranks you due to your product/webpage.
Eg. suppose you’re a guitar selling website then optimizing your page and putting the correct keywords and relevant links to your webpage would rank you better for the niche “guitar”, or simply say the keyword “guitar”.
This is direct optimization of your webpage, the better it is optimized the better chance for your website to rank among the top 10.
- Rank blog articles and convert(by funnel)
Funneling is a very interesting topic and changes the way we look at SEO. It explains how important it is for a brand to do SEO. Well, jumping to the ranking of blog articles.
Blogs, when written, should be written with keeping in mind the right keywords relevant and then put links to your article which would direct you to the main page of yours and along with that share your blogs through social media or mail.
When a new webpage, the blog is uploaded to the net then the crawlers put by the search engine starts crawling to your website through the links of another URL which could lead to your page.
After crawling the page will be rendered then indexed which would make you rank better, letting the audience click your website and if the quality of your page is good enough to retain them, the audience would turn to your customers.
How SEO helps business?
For a good business what matters the most is the reputation of the company, or more specifically speaking the brand value. It is not only true for big companies but also for startups
But what role does SEO play to maximize your business, if you are already having a business established ut you are not having a web page for it then in order to increase your reach to the world apart from your locality then creating a web page with proper SEO will obviously bring you a greater audience and better chances of selling your products.
If you are a startup or any company needing an investor then it would be wise to show the potential of your company and it’s not a webpage obviously but it does leave a good amount of impression on how sincere you are with the company. So keeping your ranking in the top 10 searches would give you a better chance of getting more funds.
Which businesses use SEO as marketing?
Speaking of the fact that SEO is a crucial entity one should implement to their digital marketing strategy in order to get a good result, in fact, I would say SEO is 60% of what digital marketing is.
As mentioned already in order to get more leads and to sell your products online as well as collaborating with different companies, all get better when you do SEO, as more the viewers are more useful for your venture.
Case Study 1: Amazon.com
Amazon spends $43.8 Million to get 31.1 million traffic
Amazon spends heavily on SEO and receives 996.5 Million worth of free traffic.
|Paid Traffic (Paid)||31.1M||43.8 Million|
|SEO Traffic (Free)||996.5M||833.2 Million|
Case Study 2: BestBuy.com
BestBuy in the other site spends around 1.4 Million on paid marketing to get 2.8 Millions traffic.
|Paid Traffic (Paid)||1.4 Million||2.8 Million|
|SEO Traffic (Free)||41.9 Million||55.8 Million|
Why is SEO popular among businesses?
Due to the digitization of the entire nation and with the increase in the number of internet users every day it is quite obvious that doing business online has increased the chances for it to grow.
In order to do business online, your website should reach the relevant audience and for that to happen SEO is very crucial and this the sole reason for which SEO has become popular among the businesses.
How does SEO help business? What kind of benefits does SEO give to businesses?
SEO for lead generation (Sales):
It is done to increase sales of the service or product provided by the business.
SEO for E-Commerce (Sales):
This type of SEO is done in E-commerce websites to show your product above others in an e-commerce site.
SEO for Education (Education to consumers):
These are blogs and articles written to educate the customers regarding the latest products or services provided by your business or businesses also giving the consumer thought of going with which brand. This kind of SEO is very crucial for internet literacy.
SEO for business and How to get started?
Search Engine Optimization is a skill that one has to update with every update in the search engine algorithm. SEO techniques have evolved and changed with the past few years, and the criteria of ranking changes with the change in algorithm.
Doing SEO in 2020 would be more complex than usual, it won’t be only keywords or building links, there would be many more things one will need to look at.
- Emerging trends (e.g., voice search).
- Algorithmic changes.
- Technological advancements (e.g., machine learning).
- Your audience (e.g., how they behave and what they want).
What goes into SEO and what does it cost to the business?
Time- SEO is not something that would happen in 1 day or 1 week it takes time for a web page to rank among the top searches. For a stable webpage and good ranking, it takes around a span of anything between 4 months to 12 months.
Resources- So talking about resources it does take a good amount of your resources to be invested in SEO, so it’s better you hire an agency to do the work otherwise it would eat up a good chunk of your manpower to do proper SEO.
Money People say that SEO is for free it doesn’t cause you much money, but the truth is it does, learning SEO is completely free, but the tools needed to complete the task of doing SEO requires an investment. But it is quite cheaper than the conventional marketing strategy of advertising your product through different platforms which are obviously more traditional.
Basic steps involved in order to do SEO-
Business Overview, Goals understanding: before doing SEO you must understand why you’re doing it, and in what ways it is going to help you in your venture, and accordingly, you have to set your goals.
Rough Service Cost Estimation: now after having your goals set, it is wise to set your budget since it is what you need to know in order to choose the correct path to do SEO i.e, to choose freelancers or agencies.
Service/product prioritization (when less on a budget): if your low on budget then you can go for service-specific or product-specific SEO, you need to prioritize which service that you provide to do SEO for or which product you sell to do SEO for.
Keyword Research: it’s always wise to know your keywords because it will be what that will keep you ahead from the crowd. Knowing your niche is important so do the perfect keywords for it.
Expectations & Timeline: according to your preferred time you can go for the type of SEO you need to do, if needed for a short amount blackhat is preferred if the domain is not needed later.
Service Quote: after putting all the things together the quotation or say the price has to be set.
Approval: after that, it needs approval for the execution of the task.
Project Execution: after all this project has to start and the required things have to be done by the person in charge of doing the SEO.
Reporting: after completion of the task and when the webpage is ready the client is reported for their feedback.
Improvement: if any improvement is needed it will be done.
Q) How much does it cost to do SEO?
ans) It depends on your requirement, whether to do SEO for a particular webpage or for all the pages in your domain, the time frame, all of this needs to be counted along with the competition in the niche, all this will sum up to your cost.
Q) Can I learn and do SEO?
ans) Yes of course you can learn and do SEO by yourself but it will cost you a lot of time, and hard work, if you are down with that then go for it.
Q) Is hiring an SEO agency a good idea?
ans) It is indeed a good idea if you can afford it, as hiring a reputed agency will keep you ahead than many who are doing their own as an agency knows the tricks along with all their experience keeps them a step ahead than the individuals doing SEO on their own.
Q) Is SEO dead?
ans) This question makes me laugh because it’s not gonna happen any soon, in this era when everyone is shifting to online business the need of SEO will be rising and won’t be going down any soon. Apart from optimization in Google, people have started optimizing for Youtube, Amazon, etc as well. So I don’t see it going anywhere any soon.
Is SEO really free?
The answer is no, honestly speaking it is not, there are people who will be claiming it to be free and try to sell their courses on SEO, by some clickbait photos and sentences, but the reality is it is not. Just like other industries purchasing software costs you money, just like that doing SEO costs you money for the tools required to do it. Whereas learning SEO can be free but doing so efficiently will cost you some bucks.
Is it possible to rank in 1 month?
The answer is not really, although it is possible if your niche is unique and you have done some good amount of black hat techniques to achieve it then you can rank within 1 month. But I feel that is a hypothetical scenario so it is not possible. It takes at least a time of 4 months to rank well depending upon the competition if the competition is good enough it might take a year too.
Why is it important to hire brand-centric and experienced people?
- Doesn’t get spammed
- Develops long term strategy
- No sudden low traffic issues
- No sudden brand disappearance
- Connects and executes whole digital marketing strategy
These are the reasons for which going with a brand-centric and experienced agency is important.
What may go wrong if DIY goes wrong?
-a lot of experiments isn’t good for SEO in the brand’s favor
-the brand may disappear from google if the SEO is not done properly
-manual penalty may be given by Google if caught not obeying Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
-deviate from your business (real major issue)
These are some points which tell us what things can go wrong if you do DIY, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it on your own, it’s just that you should look out for these mistakes.
Now you know what SEO is and How it’s done, What’s next!
- Start doing SEO: DIY SEO
- Build In House Team: if you think they can do your work go for it.
- Hire an Agency: If you want the best results for your website don’t hesitate in going with an agency to do the job.
- Discuss SEO costing: After selecting your preferred option talk with them do research on what should be done and discuss the costing.