What is SEO? A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Did you know there are over 1.3 billion websites in existence right now? So how exactly do you make sure that your prospective customers find you when they search on Google, Bing, Yahoo or Baidu?
That’s where SEO comes in. Search Engine Optimization is essentially a marketing practice that helps increase the number of targeted customers to your website. SEO is a system that incorporates various steps and strategies to rank higher on Google and direct organic traffic from search queries across various search engines.

For better understanding, consider your own online search habits. Say you are trying to find information on how to get rid of acne. Your first instinct is to use a search engine because you know it’s the fastest and easiest way to get that information. As you type in your search query and results are posted, you are far more likely to click on the links on the first page results because those will be most relevant to you. How often do you explore the search results on the second or third page? Exactly.

And that is the goal of SEO – to optimize your site so that the search engines (like Google) rank your website as high as possible. This helps you generate major quality traffic in an organic way and also builds an instant brand reputation as people really trust the organic search results displayed on the top.
How does SEO work?
Search engine optimization is a highly comprehensive strategy; there’s a lot that goes in building a solid SEO framework for your website and it’s different for each one. Just as every business is unique, a successful SEO strategy is one that’s been crafted after thoroughly studying and examining all the facets of a website.

As they say, Rome was not built in a day. There are no shortcuts to creating the perfect SEO strategy for your business and it can take weeks depending on your current website structure. But this is something you don’t want to ‘get it over with’; SEO has the power to transform a simple website into an authority presence online. It automatically takes the guesswork out of how to reach a new audience.
To get started, SEO practices are a combination of following elements:
Domain Authority (DA): DA refers to the trust and authority that your domain has built since conception via backlinks, age, and even name. For example, ChicShoes.com will be more likely to rank higher than Fashionista.com for “Shoes” related queries.

As for backlinks, the more websites and blogs that talk about yours, the higher YOUR domain authority. Also, it has been observed that shorter domain names generally outperform longer domains.
Keyword Research: A thorough research of your industry is done to determine the high performing keywords and phrases.
SEO Content: Your website content is optimized by using the above-mentioned keywords and phrases. When laced with the right keywords, your web copy and articles help you rank higher on search results.
Inbound and Outbound links: When highly popular and relevant websites post content with links to your website (inbound links), it helps your build an excellent DA and thus higher rankings. Same goes for outbound links aka relevant links your site is pointing to. The easiest way to achieve quality backlinks is to get featured on popular news sites like Mashable or Forbes.
These are the main aspects of an effective Search Engine Optimization strategy but of course, there are several more techniques that can be employed to rank higher on the search results.

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