Search Engine OptimizationSEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. And the phrase improve your SEO strategy encompasses the actions taken to ensure your website can be found in a search engine's results page (SERP) when searching for words or phrases relevant to the content on your website.
Can you understand the above definition for What does SEO mean? Not getting it? Let me explain what is SEO marketing as if I am explaining to my 60 years old father who has not completed his graduation and want to start an Online Business.
Imagine you run a hotel in a busy street where there are two more hotels are present. You provide very quality food and your service is also good from start to end as a customer gets into the hotel. Now, how do you let others know, I mean, the (unknown) visitors who enter the street in which your hotel is located and drive them into your hotel? Practically, you will advertise your hotel in your surrounding area. They might not know whether you provide quality food or not, your service is up to their satisfaction or not. But, you just let them know that such a hotel is present. Moreover, If your quality and service is also good, then, your customers share to others about your hotel (words of mouth). Thereby, you will gain some authority and you get visitors coming up and also improve your business.
Now get back, come out of your imagination. The hotel, which is referred above is your business. You have very quality content or service. But how do your potential visitors know that such a website is present and provide service for the same? The answer is nothing but Optimizing your website as per the Search Engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.
Your visitors can mainly reach your business website from Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) only. When your visitors search for a keyword, say about a food item (imagine, you are running a hotel website) on Google, then SEO is nothing but showing your website on the very first position in the search engine results, or at least on the very first page of the Google search engine results.
What are the Qualities of a Good Search Engine Optimized Website? (or) How to make your site liked by the Search Engines?
We can broadly classify the SEO as two things. On page SEO and Off page SEO. Let me discuss those things with you.
On Page SEO
They are the factors which a website posses and if not up to the mark of satisfaction, can be improved easily. So here you go with the On Page SEO factors which affect a website's rank on a search result page.
Checklist for Content
- Quality Content. Your website must have a content, which should posses value to the users, who visit to your website. Without quality content, though you rank on top of Google results, within few days, you might slip from the first position and gradually move on to the next pages of the Google Results.
- Research. Have you researched the keywords people may use to find your content?
- Words. Do you use words and phrases you hope they will be found for?
- Freshness. Are the pages fresh and about "hot" topics? Do you update the old posts regularly?
- Media Content. Do the webpage posses any other media such as an image, a video, news etc, other than simple text content?
Checklist for Website Architecture
- Crawl. Can search engines easily crawl on your web pages?
- Duplicate. Does your website is able to manage duplicate contents?
- Mobile. Does your site work well for mobile devices and make use of app indexing?
- Speed. Does your website load quickly?
- URL's. Does your URL contain meaningful keywords related to the topic?
- HTTPS. Does your site use HTTPS to provide secure connection for your visitors?
Checklist for HTML
- Title. Do HTML title tag contain keywords relevant to page topics?
- Description. Do meta description tags describe what pages are about?
- Structure. Do pages use structured data to enhance listings?
- Headers. Do headlines and subheads use header tags with relevant keywords?
- Stuffing. Do you excessively use words you want to be found for?
- Hidden. Do colors or design "hide" words you want pages to be found for?
Off Page SEO
So if you are perfect with On page SEO, good! you have almost made your website a perfect one with neat and clean in the eyes of search engines. But, search engines also looks for off page factors which are listed below and discussed.
- Authority. Do links, shares and other factors make site a trusted authority?
- Engage. Do visitors spend time reading or "Bounce" away quickly?
- History. Has site or its domain been around a long time operating in same way?
- Identity. Does site use means to verify its identity and that of authors?
- Piracy. Has site been flagged for hosting pirated content?
- Ads. Is your content ad-heavy especially "above-the-fold"?
- Quality. Are links from trusted, quality or respected websites?
- Text. Do links pointed at pages use words you hope they'll be found for?
- Number. How many links point at your web pages?
- Paid. Have your purchased links in hopes of better rankings?
- Spam. Have you created links by spamming blogs, forums or other places?
- Country. What country is someone located in?
- Locality. What city or local area is someone located in?
- History. Has someone regularly visited your site or socially favored it?
- Social. Has someone or their friends socially favored the site?
- Reputation. Do those respected on social networks share your content?
- Shares. How many share your content on social networks?
So What does SEO mean cannot be answered in a single sentence or paragraph. All the above factors work together to make a webpage rank on search engine result pages. So be sure that your webpage fulfills all the checklist mentioned above. Read my other blog posts on SEO to know more on Search Engine Optimization. Comments are welcomed. Please let me know your doubts through comments.