SEO 101: Understanding The World of SEO

Due to the low cost of entry, the internet is used by more and more business. After all, who wouldn’t want their business running 24/7 and be found by customers from all over the world?

Back in the old days, finding relevant content in the internet is an easy task to do. You only have a handful of websites to choose from.

This is not the case with today’s explosion of websites. You can find content in all kind of shapes and sizes. There are sites targeting different age group, backgrounds and geographic locations. There are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon… the list goes on and it will only get bigger.

In fact, the number of websites at the time of this writing is approximately 366,000,000. Yes, three hundred sixty six MILLION.

Would you sift through 366 Million of websites manually to find the content that you’re looking for? I surely don’t. I have better things to do (such as writing this post :)

This is the reason why search engines are created: to make our lives easier.

Search engines are simply no more than an online interface used to find relevant content online based on the keywords that are put by the users. Google is the most famous search engine as of now. They are sending close to 70% of all search traffic.

If you want to leverage the search traffic, then you need to optimize your site so search engine can find your content easily and rank them accordingly on their result page.

The method to design and optimize a website for better search engine ranking is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

The world of SEO is full of jargon and abbreviation which makes it hard for the average person to understand.

My aim in this post is to give you a general overview of the world of SEO so that you’ll have a solid foundation onwards.

Below are some of the important terminology that you need to know.

Organic listing. This is the search engine listing that is displayed without any kind of payment. SEO is applied to increase a site’s traffic (and therefore, profit) through higher organic rankings. The way to increase your ranking is by concentrating on a relevant keyword and creating a useful, rich content around it.

Pay-per-click advertising. This is simply the opposite of organic listing. You basically pay Google or other search engines to have your site show up on the search engine and pay based on how many clicks or impression your site gets. The most famous online program is the Google Adwords and Facebook Advertising.

Below are the screenshot that displays the organic listing and pay per click advertising placement.

In terms of SEO practice, not all people are using ethical methods, just like anything else in life. Hence, the practice of SEO can be grouped onto:

White hat SEO. This is the legitimate way to do SEO and the one that you should be using. This method focuses on improving the overall content of the site and getting links from other relevant websites to increase search engine rankings. Accurately promoting your business and supplying users with relevant content is the core of ethical SEO.

Black hat SEO. This method involves the use of unethical method to manipulate search engine rankings to deceive others. This can be found in the form of spam, keyword stuffing, hidden text and many more. This tactical approach is usually short lived as Google is continually updating their algorithm to prevent black hat SEO manipulation tactics. You should avoid using black hat SEO for your site.

Grey hat SEO. Not all things in life is black and white. The same goes in the SEO world. There are some SEO tactics that some people consider to be white hat, but others consider them black hat. The kind of tactics that fall into this category is called grey hat SEO. Choosing to implement grey hat SEO techniques can be tricky sometimes. You will need to rely on your guts and ask yourself “does this provide value to my users and the search engine?” before implementing any grey hat tactics.

So, what are some guidelines that you should follow when practicing white hat SEO? Below are 2 basic, simple guidelines that you should follow.

1. Create a clean website code.

A clean website code helps the search engine robots to find, crawl and index your site easily. This will also make it easier for the robots to put your site into the right category and show it to the users that are looking for the information.

2. Create a fat, juicy, helpful and relevant content.

Remember that you are not only serving the search engine, you are also serving your readers and customers. Many search engines will take into account the customer satisfaction metrics when deciding your organic rankings. Some metrics that they are looking at are content relevance, frequency of visits, average time on site and page viewed per visit.

The more quality your site has, the more likely your readers and customers will stay around, thereby increasing your search engine rankings.

At the end of the day, if you make your customer happy, you make the search engine happy. You’ll be rewarded with better and more consistent rankings overtime if you make your customer happy.

Note that SEO is only one way to generate traffic, it’s not the only way.

Most people who just started online seems to believe that SEO is the only way to get traffic.

There are numerous other ways to generate traffic online including pay per click advertising, banner advertisement, media buys, solo ads, social media and much much more.

Hope this post have given you a good basic introduction to the world of SEO and I’ll see you around!

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