Search engines like Google are amongst the most popular websites on the internet. Hundreds of millions of internet users around the world use these search engines every day to search through the internet to find the information that they need. As such, for a website to be successful, it needs to be as search engine friendly as possible.
Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, is the art of making a website attractive in the eyes of the major search engines. By doing SEO on a website, it will rank higher in the search engine’s results pages leading to more internet users visiting the website. Good quality SEO is essential for a website to grow in popularity and become a success.
This article will cover the basics of SEO.
How search engines work
Search engines are incredibly complex computer algorithms. They crawl through the internet analysing websites to learn more about them.
One of the main elements the search engines analyse is the content found on a website. While analysing the content, they look for repeated words, words that are bolded, underlined or italicised, words that are used in headlines, and words used in links. They make note of these words and store them in their databases. These words are known as ‘keywords’.
When an internet user visits a search engine and enters a search term, the search engine tries to match the search term against the keywords stored in its database. Once it has located a relevant keyword, it displays the websites that it thinks are the best match for the keyword.
The matches are normally organised with the best matches at the top of the results pages and the worst at the bottom. Most internet users rarely click anything other than the top three results, meaning it’s important to reach those top three spots to get as much traffic as possible.
How SEO works
When analysing a website, the search engines carry out hundreds of checks to judge its quality. If the website passes a number of the search engine’s checks, it will be marked as a ‘high quality’ website and it will place higher in the search engine’s results pages.
Good quality SEO will help a website to pass these checks increasing the likelihood that the site will be marked as a ‘high quality’ website.
On page SEO and off page SEO
SEO is generally divided into two main areas: on page SEO and off page SEO.
On page SEO deals with factors that can be controlled on the website being analysed by the search engines while off page SEO deals with activity taking place on external websites related to the website being analysed.
On page SEO involves improving the quality of the content on a website, reducing the loading time of a website, adding meta tags and sitemaps, and more, while off page SEO involves handling social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and acquiring backlinks.
Both on page SEO and off page SEO are needed for a website to rank high in the search engine results pages. Generally, on page SEO should be done before off page SEO.
SEO is the art of making websites search engine friendly so that they rank highly in search engine results pages. Make sure to implement good quality SEO on your websites so that they get high rankings in the search engines.