If you run a website or blog, you are probably aware of the importance of your site’s ranking in web search results. The higher your site’s ranking, the more traffic you get and the better your site performs. You probably also have noticed that some websites or blogs always appear on the first page of search results, while you wonder why your site still appears on the sixth page. It is all because of the magic trick called SEO.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of traffic a website receives from organic (as opposed to paid) search results. The better the ranking of a website or blog, the more traffic it will get and that traffic can be converted into customers. A website is usually optimized by adding search engine-friendly elements into its pages, posts, and HTML code.
With the number of websites and online businesses increasing by leaps and bounds, it is getting more important than ever to perfect SEO and make your website rank higher in search results. If a site isn’t optimized, it will never show up in search results, and even if it does, it will be too far behind for anyone to see.
Different Types of SEO
There are a number of ways to optimize a site for better search engine ranking. But like with everything else, there is a good and bad side of SEO too. Some people work hard to make their site search engine friendly, while some people resort to unethical tricks to make a site rank higher. The former is called white hat SEO, and the latter is black hat SEO.
White Hat SEO: This is the most acceptable form of website optimization that involves ethical methods and doesn’t violate the guidelines laid down by search engines. White hat SEO does not produce quick results and requires time and effort to be successful. Despite the time and hard work it requires, there is no better kind of optimization than white hat SEO. It’s got a high wholesomeness level, and the results are long-lasting. Some of the methods of white hat SEO include high quality content, HTML optimization, high quality images, and backlinks.
Black Hat SEO: This type of optimization is usually chosen by those who want immediate results without any hard work. Blackhat SEO takes advantage of the loopholes in search engine algorithms to get high rankings. The methods usually include keyword stuffing, hidden links, spam links, and hidden text. Blackhat SEO violates search engine guidelines. Google has recently been cracking down on websites using unethical means to drive search engine rankings. Blackhat SEO produces quick, short-term results that do not last long.
How Challenging is SEO?
Most basic SEO techniques are easy enough to implement on your own. Unless you are a big fat organization with a lot of cash to spare, there is no need to hire an SEO expert for basic on-site optimization. Some of the easiest ways to optimize your website include:
Optimize Title Tags: There is a title tag for every page of a website, and how you optimize these title tags makes a big difference in your search engine ranking. Title tags are displayed on the top bar of the browser and are also the clickable headings of a page in search results. A title tag should be no more than 70 characters, be informative and compelling, and include the most important keywords related to the products or services.
Create Persuasive Meta Descriptions: Every page of a website also has a brief summary that should be optimized for better search engine rankings. These snippets are what we see under the clickable headline of a search result. They must not be more than 150 characters and include a target keyword.
Keyword-Rich Headlines: Search engines also put considerable weight on a page’s headlines, so it’s important to utilize the headlines on every page and post with target keywords related to the products and services. Keep the headlines short and crisp and catchy.
Add Alt-Tags To Images: Images also help you be found in search results, and optimizing them is necessary to increase rankings. Adding alt-tags to images with target keywords is a good way to show up in search engine results.
Create A Site Map: A sitemap is essentially a page listing links to all other pages on the website. This helps search engines better index the pages of a site and improve the rankings.
SEO achieves a lot of things. It helps a website improve search engine rankings, makes a site user-friendly and easy to navigate, it also helps promote a site by putting it ahead of the competition. No matter how many people sell the same thing, if you always rank higher than others in search results, you can stay ahead of the curve.