SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results. Because organic search is the most prominent way for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.
SEO techniques are classified into two broad categories:
- White Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines recommend as part of a good design.
- Black Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines do not approve and attempt to minimize the effect of. These techniques are also known as spamdexing.
- White Hat SEO -
An SEO tactic is considered as White Hat if it has the following features:
- It conforms to the search engine's guidelines.
- It does not involve in any deception.
- It ensures that the content a search engine indexes, and subsequently ranks, is the same content a user will see.
- It ensures that a web page content should have been created for the users and not just for the search engines.
- It ensures good quality of the web pages.
- It ensures availability of useful content on the web pages.
- Black Hat or Spamdexin -
An SEO tactic, is considered as Black Hat or Spamdexing if it has the following features:
- Attempting ranking improvements that are disapproved by the search engines and/or involve deception.
- Redirecting users from a page that is built for search engines to one that is more human friendly.
- Redirecting users to a page that was different from the page the search engine ranked.
- Serving one version of a page to search engine spiders/bots and another version to human visitors. This is called Cloaking SEO tactic.
- Using hidden or invisible text or with the page background color, using a tiny font size or hiding them within the HTML code such as "no frame" sections.
- Repeating keywords in the metatags, and using keywords that are unrelated to the website content. This is called metatag stuffing.
- Calculated placement of keywords within a page to raise the keyword count, variety, and density of the page. This is called keyword stuffing.
- Creating low-quality web pages that contain very little content but are instead stuffed with very similar keywords and phrases. These pages are called Doorway or Gateway Pages.
- Mirror websites by hosting multiple websites - all with conceptually similar content but using different URLs.
- Creating a rogue copy of a popular website which shows contents similar to the original to a web crawler, but redirects web surfers to unrelated or malicious websites. This is called page hijacking.
To understand the value of SEO, let's break our definition into three parts:
- Organic search results: the unpaid listings on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that the search engine has determined are most relevant to the user’s query. Ads (in this context, PPC or pay-per-click ads) make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic search results are distinct from these ads in that they are positioned based on the search engine’s organic ranking algorithms rather than advertiser bids. You can’t pay for your page to rank higher in organic search results.
- Quality of organic traffic: how relevant the user and their search query are to the content that exists on your website. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they're coming to your site because Google tells them you're a resource for Apple computers when really, you're a farmer selling apples, those visitors are likely to leave your site without completing any conversions. High-quality traffic includes only visitors who are genuinely interested in the products, information, or other resources your site offers. High-quality SEO capitalizes on the search engine’s effort to match a user’s search intent to the web pages listed in the SERP.
- Quantity of organic traffic: the number of users who reach your site via organic search results. Users are far more likely to click on search results that appear near the top of the SERP, which is why it’s important to use your SEO strategy to rank relevant pages as highly as you can. The more high-quality visitors you attract to your site, the more likely you are to see an increase in valuable conversions.
Search engines like Google and Bing use crawlers, sometimes also called bots or spiders, to gather information about all the content they can find on the internet. The crawler starts from a known web page and follows internal links to pages within that site as well as external links to pages on other sites. The content on those pages, plus the context of the links it followed, help the crawler understand what each page is about and how it’s semantically connected to all of the other pages within the search engine’s massive database, called an index.
When a user types or speaks a query into the search box, the search engine uses complex algorithms to pull out what it believes to be the most accurate and useful list of results for that query. These organic results can include web pages full of text, news articles, images, videos, local business listings, and other more niche types of content.
SEOs use their understanding of these ranking factors to develop and implement search marketing strategies that include a balance of on-page, off-page, and technical best practices.
An organization that hopes to earn and maintain high SERP rankings and, as a result, lots of high-quality user traffic, should employ a strategy that prioritizes user experience, employs non-manipulative ranking tactics, and evolves alongside search engines’ and users’ changing behaviours.
It should be noted that while other digital marketing practices like conversion rate optimization (CRO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media management, email marketing, and community management are often closely related to SEO, these other tactics are generally outside the scope and definition of traditional search marketing. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these areas, the Moz Blog includes categories related to all of these topics and others, too.
Importance of SEO for marketing:
SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people conduct trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and complements other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your bottom line.
However, the search results have been evolving over the past few years to give users more direct answers and information that is more likely to keep users on the results page instead of driving them to other websites.
Also note, features like rich results and Knowledge Panels in the search results can increase visibility and provide users more information about your company directly in the results.
In sum, SEO is the foundation of a holistic marketing ecosystem. When you understand what your website users want, you can then implement that knowledge across your campaigns (paid and organic), across your website, across your social media properties, and more.
Some of SEO Blogs:
1. Ahrefs Blogs: From-US
Covers articles on keyword research, link building, SEO basics, website traffic, SEO tools, outreach and more. The Ahrefs Blog helps you get better at SEO and marketing with detailed tutorials, case studies and opinion pieces from marketing practitioners and industry experts alike. Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset, with free Learning materials and a passionate Community & support.Also in Marketing Blogs, Content Marketing Blogs, SAAS Blogs, Data-Driven Marketing Blogs.
2. Moz Blogs:From- Seattle, Washington, US
Covers blog posts on topics such as branding, competitive research, content marketing, email marketing, keyword research, SEO consulting, SEO tools, user experience and more. Moz was founded by Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig in 2004. The industry's top wizards, doctors, and other experts offer their best advice, research, how-tos, and insights - all in the name of helping you level-up your SEO and online marketing skills.
3. Search Engine Land:
From: Redding,,Connecticut,,US. Covers all aspects of digital marketing, advertising technology and the martech landscape. Daily news coverage includes breaking stories, industry trends, feature announcements and product changes at popular platforms used by search marketers to reach consumers online. It also features articles by subject matter experts filled with practical tips, tactics and strategies for running successful marketing programs.
4. Search Engine Journal:
From-Boca Raton, Florida, US Educating and empowering the SEO community by providing the freshest news and latest best practices via the industry's smartest practitioners. Launched in 2003, SEJ is unique in its community-based approach to search marketing content.
5. Yoast Blog:
From- Wijchen, Gelderland, Netherlands Your go-to resource for everything SEO. Find articles on SEO basics, complete SEO guides, technical SEO, SEO for beginners, WordPress and more. Yoast helps website owners get more traffic from the search engines. Yoast SEO also takes care of a lot of technical SEO stuff in the background.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long-term strategy, which should lead to a higher ranking on search results page and, subsequently, bring higher traffic to a website. Although the result of optimization is not guaranteed, the right mix of off-page and on-page optimization techniques is extremely vital.
Creating a unique and interesting website content is an absolute necessity. User-friendly URL structure, clear domain name, relevant titles, descriptive headings, and structured source code with quickly loading interface are other suggestions imperative to on-page SEO. Publishers cannot forget about the off-page aspect either and must focus on building quality links with relevant partners.