Jill Whalen, a former Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) expert states, “Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change”.

That begs the question, what is Google SEO and how can websites benefit from it? Although there are millions of people who use the internet, this does not guarantee that everyone will view or visit your site. Website owners must concentrate on increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to their sites. So how can website owners do this? How can your website reach your target audience on search engines? The simple answer is SEO, but what is SEO and how does it work? It might just be the only thing standing between you and a successful website.

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What is SEO?

SEO is the process of increasing a website’s visibility and positioning in organic search results. When a company creates a website, the goal is to attract the right traffic and rank high for potential viewers, correct? It is, however, more than just creating a website and seeing how it goes.

Web pages that rank high on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) understand how search engine’s function. SEO is a free or organic online marketing tool that assists to increase the ranking and likelihood of your website being viewed on the first few pages of searching without cost. For example, if you run a lifestyle blog and the site ranks poorly in search results, it means there is a great opportunity to invest in SEO.

How Does Search Engine Optimisation Work?

How can specific SEO techniques help your website rank higher in search engines? The following practices can be used to aid in search engine marketing, however, be cautious as some may cause problems!

1. Black Hat SEO

When discussing digital marketing techniques, certain marketing rules must be followed. Black hat SEO, on the other hand, goes against Google’s service terms.
Some black hat SEO techniques include the following:

  • Sneaky redirects
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Creating pages and articles with duplicate content
  • Link manipulation

Following these SEO techniques may result in temporary attention and an increase in web page rankings for your site. Although this technique is legal, it may result in legal consequences. This violation may result in the suspension from affiliate sites and search engines, meaning your customers won’t see your web page, and thus a domino effect of extensive business losses.

2. White Hat SEO

This SEO strategy is the exact opposite of black hat SEO. It refers to strategies that comply with search engine terms and conditions. Sites using white hat SEO and follow the rules can achieve high rankings and quality traffic, which can translate to sales.
This is the most recommended SEO technique if you’re running a new site for your business. It improves site rankings on SERPs and upholds your sites integrity. Practices under white hat SEO include:

  • Creating mobile-friendly websites
  • App store optimisation
  • Creating original content
  • Use of relevant and adequate keywords

3. Grey Hat SEO

Ever heard of the term “grey area?”
Grey hat SEO combines these tactics that abide by Google’s service terms with those that do not. Overall, grey hat SEO is a hybrid of white and black hat SEO. A great example of grey hat SEO is paying someone to write original and interesting content for your site. Simultaneously, you hide keywords on the page by making the text colour similar to that of the background.

  • Tactics under grey hat SEO include:
  • SEO squatting
  • Paid links
  • Domain grabbing

Fortunately, grey hat SEO does not have the same negative consequences as black hat SEO. As a result, your site may not experience these damaging effects. Having said that, you must weigh the rewards versus the risks since it’s not guaranteed that this technique will yield positive results.

Pro Tip: To be successful at grey hat SEO, you must stay updated about Google’s service terms. That keeps you safe in case anything changes in the terms and conditions.

Types of SEO: What’s Best for Your Web Page?

Digital marketing involves knowing how SEO evolves, so you keep your web page, company, and brand relevant. Although there are slight changes to SEO, the principles (types) stay the same. Below are the four core types of SEO:

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is the optimisation of web page elements. You ensure the content is relevant and that the site gives users a good experience. The various aspects of on-page SEO include:

1. Keyword Research

Before writing content, you must identify the keywords you want the web page to rank for. That calls for intensive keyword research. From this research, you identify primary and secondary keywords, helping to build content and develop meta tags. These tags include a meta title and description. These are code snippets informing search engines of a web page’s content and how to display it in SERPs. All web pages have meta tags, but they show in HTML code.

Search volume, relevance, and competition are the three primary components of keyword research. Here’s why you must conduct keyword research:

  • It empowers SEO
  • It promotes great content creation
  • It promotes web page performance
  • It increases visitors’ understanding of content
  • It enhances a site’s value proposition
  • It promotes competition with other sites
  • It increases synchronicity across many channels

2. Internal Linking

You don’t want to bombard your audience with a continuous block of text. To avoid this, add internal links to connect web pages on the website. These links can be from topic-relevant pages, to provide readers with additional content on the topic. At the same time, internal linking spreads link equity, which promotes the passage of value (ranking for more keywords) from one website to another.

Implement internal linking using elements like:

  • Similar articles
  • Hit lists

Internal links show Google the most relevant website pages, based on their linking frequency. However, internal linking does more than just improve SEO. These links increase user-friendliness and help users navigate the website. As a result, page visitors navigate the site better, getting the information they need easily.

The upside with internal linking is that you’re free to add as many links as you deem fit. The more the better, but don’t overdo it. Internal links must meet the criteria below for Google to classify them as important:

  • Placement in a page’s main area
  • Visual highlighting using colours and underlining
  • Placement at the beginning of the text
  • Limited links on one page
  • Relevant for the page on which you set the link

3. Content

Whenever you go on Google’s search bar, you’re looking for content. Content refers to information about an issue, intending to find a solution. That’s why content comes in many forms, including text, blog posts, videos, product reviews, and business listings, among many more. With regards to SEO, content is what helps web pages gain search visibility. While creating content for your web pages you should do an in-depth content analysis to rank higher in search results.

So, the more websites produce and refresh content, the higher their visibility. Also, search engines use content to do the ranking. They determine the topic and use elements like page structure and length to rate the quality. Afterwards, search algorithms match a customer’s query with web pages looking the most relevant.

That said, there’s more to content than what meets the eye. Web pages must create optimised content that’s easy to read and understand for different site visitors.

4. Sitemap

Sitemaps improve a website’s organisation to help search engines and users understand the structure. The two forms of sitemaps include:

  • HTML sitemaps
  • XML sitemaps

HTML sitemaps are made for humans, while XML sitemaps are best for crawlers. In addition, HTML sitemaps ensure every subpage is a click away from the main page. In turn, the site becomes SEO-friendly due to its architecture.

5. Alt Texts

An alt text describes an image. It is also known as an alt description, or an alt tag and the original function was to help visually-impaired page visitors get good descriptions from screen readers. On top of that, alt texts inform search engine crawlers what an image is displaying. So, these search engines index images correctly.

Alt texts also come in handy when browsers don’t display images. If a browser experiences a page loading issue, the image takes time or fails to show. Unfortunately, without an alt text, readers don’t know what the image was about. On the flip side, an alt text describes an image, adding value to the content even though the image fails to show.

6. Headings

Always use headings to improve SEO. Using headings can make it easier and more interesting to read. If the text is good for users, it is good for SEO. Undoubtedly, page visitors that cannot find what they need quickly…leave the site. To avoid that, use headings in the content for easier site navigation.
Tip: Some page visitors scheme through your content. So, placing headings helps them get the information they need faster.

Technical SEO

When asking, “what is search engine marketing?” you must consider the technical aspects. Technical SEO is anything you do to improve SEO, making it easier for search engines to index and crawl. Although a technical SEO checklist mostly involves website optimisation for search engines, it also includes activities to improve User Experience (UX).

Practices under technical SEO include the following:

  • Improving website speed
  • Submitting sitemaps to search engines
  • Making web pages mobile-friendly
  • Identifying and fixing duplicate content issues

If pages load slowly, users get frustrated and leave the site. If your site’s bounce rate is high, it tells search engines there are issues with the website, so it ranks poorly.

Local SEO

Throughout the article, we’ve explored general ways to get a site ranked in SERPs. However, business owners running local businesses must use SEO locally to be in front of potential customers within their geographical area.

For instance, when a user needs stores with pet food nearest to them, they go on Google and enter the information they need. They then visit the store within 24 hours of the search. But is local SEO very different from SEO on a global scale?

Firstly, search engines position sites for specific localities. At the same time, search results look different. Here’s how:

  • Results contain information specific to relevant locations
  • Local results appear for queries with local intent, like “restaurants in Adelaide”
  • Results focus on delivering the information users can’t find anywhere else

Still, it’s important to note that these search results don’t link to the content. Instead, they list restaurants (if that’s what the users want), maps to these locations, and additional information about the establishments. At the same time, local SEO provides contact information, helping customers choose the most appropriate business to engage with.

Off-Page SEO

After handling on-site and technical SEO aspects, you still have more to handle with off-page SEO. This type of SEO involves all actions taken to improve web page ranking. However, these actions fall outside of the web page. Although content and site performance significantly determines the success of SEO, aspects like link building also support SEO efforts.

Below are some aspects of off-page SEO to pay attention to:

Backlinking

The process of acquiring new backlinks is known as link building. It takes creativity, strategic planning and patience to generate high-quality links. Besides, these links must pass strict criteria and should not be too obvious that sites have built these links intentionally. Strategies for link-building include the following:

  • Using links from sites that reference your content
  • Reaching out to companies by creating content and sending it for approval
  • Publishing articles on third-party sites (guest posting)

Importance of SEO

Digital marketing agencies in Adelaide, like Online Path, encourage companies and businesses to carry out SEO marketing. Here are some of the benefits of SEO:

  • SEO attracts organic search traffic to the site
  • It generates leads affordably
  • SEO increases brand awareness
  • SEO ensures sites are mobile-friendly
  • It builds customer trust

SEO: The Verdict

Starting a website to sell products or provide services is straightforward. However, you must do more to promote the website so it reaches the intended audience. Small and large businesses must take advantage of SEO marketing because it’s free and simple to attract potential customers to websites. SEO increases organic traffic to your site, for free.

Contact us today for the best SEO services so we can develop a good SEO plan for your business. Fortunately, it’s the most affordable marketing form. You don’t spend much yet you attract the right traffic to boost sales and brand awareness. Call us today for more information!

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