SEO is a common phrase seen in discussions about websites and the internet in general. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Basically, search engine optimization is exactly what it sounds like, optimizing your website with keywords and phrases, to help generate traffic to your website as well as making your website friendly and accessible (easy to navigate/search for).
It is about increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website to increase exposure to your brand/topic/blog/whatever your website focuses on. Like anything in this modern technological world, search engine optimization has a lot of moving parts and the way to successful SEO is always changing.
With that said, there are still plenty of SEO Solutions out there to help you optimize your website for whatever search engine you are targeting. When you search for SEO or search engine optimization on Google, numerous articles come up with a myriad of information on how to successfully use SEO on your website.
There are many components that successfully make up a website that is optimized for search engines. Getting a website audit can help you find problems in your website so you can fix those and improve your rankings.
One of the first articles to pop up when you search “SEO” is Moz.com, which links to a beginner’s guide to search engine optimization. On this website, they relate SEO to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which demonstrates the foundational levels (essential to ratings) you need to develop SEO for your website as well as increasing levels to improve competitiveness as you go up to the top of the pyramid.
This beginner’s guide suggests following seven steps to achieve successful SEO. It is a bit meta of them, but their website is very optimized for search engines, as it is one of the first things to pop up when you google its topic, it has easy readability, and it answered every question I had about the basis of search engine optimization. The seven steps that Moz.com gives for a foundation of a good SEO are as follows: “
Good SEO are as follows:
- Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website
- Compelling content that answer’s the searcher’s questions
- Keyword optimized to attract searchers and engines
- Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX
- Share-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplification
- Title, URL, and description to draw high CTR in the rankings
- Snippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPs”
It is important to understand how search engines work in order to understand SEO. The important thing to understand about search engine optimization is that search engines exist to search, discover, and answer questions. This is done through crawling, indexing, and ranking.
Crawling is the discovery process in which search engines send out a team of robots (which are referred to as crawlers or spiders) to find new and updated content. Content can vary — it could be a webpage, an image, a video, a PDF, etc. — but regardless of the format, content is discovered by links.
The term “index” just refers to the space where search engines store the information they have processed. When someone performs a search, search engines scour their index for highly relevant content and then orders that content in the hopes of solving the searcher’s query.
This ordering of search results by relevance is known as ranking. In general, you can assume that the higher a website is ranked, the more relevant the search engine believes that site is to the query. This is the basics of SEO and what it is.