SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Basic Understanding Guide You Will Ever Need

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

In the last article, we learned what digital marketing is and the different methods of using it.

In this article, we will learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is the most important aspect of Online Marketing.

Let’s start with the definition: Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of optimizing the web page content to improve visibility, rank in first page top results, and generate quality web traffic for keyword queries on search engines.

Have a look at this deeper definition of SEO on Wikipedia.

Website owners don’t pay anything to search engine companies to rank higher in search results, and that’s why we call it “Organic Traffic.”

Let’s make it easier to understand this technical definition in simple language by breaking everything into small parts.

For example, You want to invest some money in mutual funds but don’t know what options are available.

In the past, the first thing we did was to ask someone in family or friends who were considered an expert in the subject matter. The Second thing to do was comparing the offers from different vendors to make the final decision.

Search Engines works in the same way but with a broader net of experts and information from across the world.

Google is synonymous with any search engine and the most popular so, I may use Google in place of search engine further for reference. There are other engines like Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, etc.

Here is some amazing search engine market share infographic by Mangools.

search-engines-market-share-mangools
Search Engine Market Share

So, you go to Google and will search for something like “invest money in mutual funds.”

As soon as you start typing and enter the whole search term, you will see something like the image below:

Keyword-Search-Google-BeingFounder
Google Screenshot for Keyword Search

The query which you typed is called “Keyword” in SEO, including the automated results, which you see as a drop-down list is called “Related Search Keywords.”

It is a Google AutoComplete feature that predicts related search phrases to do similar quick searches.

The keyword can be a single word or can be a sentence also. If you type in a phrase of a question, then it is known as a long-tail keyword.

When you hit Enter, you will see results like this:

Feature-and-Rich-Snippet-GoogleSearch-BeingFounder
Google Screenshot for Snippet Results

Depending on the keyword search in Google, the top results will show you the closest answer to your search with a highlighted box, which is called “Featured Snippets,” and the second result you see “People Also Ask” is called “Rich Snippets.”

We will cover technical things about snippets and how to add to the website in a separate article.

Just below these snippets, you will see the results from the different websites for your query. Setting up proper SEO for a webpage can help to achieve this first-page top results, including snippets.

GoogleSearch-Text-Results-BeingFounder
Google Search Results Screenshot

If you have been using Google for a long time, you may have seen different results like Maps, Images, Videos, News, FAQs, etc.

All the search results displayed according to keyword query on search engines know as Search Engine Page Results (SERP).

I hope now you understand what a keyword is, and how it plays a critical role in SEO to display different types of results seen on search engines.

To Summarize: When you input a keyword in the search engine, it displays the results of web pages, which are the most relevant, top quality, and user friendly.

Now, let’s understand some technical terms of the SEO used in the back-end of the webpage to help them appear in search engines.

Look at the search result below for the query “invest money in mutual funds.”

SEO-OnPage-Example-BeingFounder
On-Page SEO Elements

You will see these three elements for any search result:

  1. Site Title: Before reading any article, the first thing we look at is Headline. Site Title is Headline in SEO to give clarity on the topic of the webpage. Google shows up to 60 Characters of Site Title in search results.
  2. Meta Description: This is an abstract of the content on the webpage. It is a short description to tell users what type of content they would find on the page. Google shows up to 160 characters of Meta Description in search results.
  3. Keywords: Site Title, Meta Description and content includes keywords to help search engines find the webpage to show in results.

These three elements are essential as they give the first signal to search engines when to appear in search results.

To appear in top results, Websites/Bloggers focus on optimizing their content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is mix of both coding and content quality to match with keywords that people search for.

There are three ways to optimize a webpage for SEO:

  1. On-Page: We saw Site Title, Meta Description & Keywords above which is part of On-Page SEO. The webpage has to focus on the quality of content, keywords, and density, image alt attributes, Internal and Outbound links.
  2. Off-Page: This method is to get reference traffic from high authority websites. It is all about the promotion of the web page by building backlinks.
  3. Technical: This part focuses on improving the structure of the web pages. It includes page loading speed, mobile-friendliness, structured data & security.

As we discuss the basics of SEO, we will cover these techniques in detail in a separate article.

So, we did learn everything about how a web page appears in results by entering a keyword in a search engine, but the question remains how the search engine finds the webpage.

You might have visited a library in your city sometime. When you ask for a book, the librarian goes through the database to find the specific book you are looking for.

If the requested book is in the library database directory, it would appear in the search result.

The search engine follows the same procedure. Submitting the website in search engines is necessary for it to appear in search results.

The process of submitting a website to be read by the search engines is called “crawling,” and to make it appear in search results in knows as “indexing.”

In technical terms, the software application which works on its own to perform repetitive tasks automatically is called “bot.”

These crawling bots helps reading data of webpages used by Google and other search engines to understand the type of content and links on websites.

After crawling of website, it appears in the index of the search engines similarly as a library database example.

So, crawling and indexing helps search engines know the freshness & quality of content, types of links on pages, and keywords used to display results based on the relevancy of the search.

To submit the website in Google, you can use Google Search Console.

In this article, we learnt about the basics of SEO. We will learn each method of SEO in detail along with how it works in upcoming articles.

To summarise: SEO is implemented by any website to get indexed in search engines to receive more website traffic by increasing visibility of a website to generate unpaid search results(known as organic traffic) and achieving a higher rank in Search Engine Results Page(SERP).

SEO FAQ’s

  1. What is SEO?

    Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of optimizing the web page content to improve visibility, rank in first page top results, and generate quality web traffic for keyword queries on search engines.

  2. What is SERP?

    All the search results displayed according to keyword query on search engines know as Search Engine Page Results (SERP).

  3. What are types of SEO?

    There are three types of SEO:
    1. On-Page
    2. Off-Page
    3. Technical

  4. What is Indexing and Crawling?

    The process of submitting a website to be read by the search engines is called “crawling,” and to make it appear in search results in knows as “indexing.”

Leave a Reply