Did You Know:
“Marketers see SEO as becoming more effective, with 82% reporting effectiveness is on the rise, and 42% of this group stating effectiveness is increasing significantly.”
“61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.”
The above statistics show you how important SEO is and how it’s importance is increasing in the online world, but what is SEO? And how does doing SEO impacts your website?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, It’s a process of optimizing your website to help it rank first on the search engine results page for a particular query. All Search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo have algorithms which list websites when a user searches a specific query although a lot of marketers prefer to target Google as it accounts for over 79% of all global desktop search traffic.
Types Of SEO
There are two types of SEO;
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
What is On-Page optimization?
On-page optimization or on-page SEO refers to all the measures that can be taken within the website to help the website rank on the search engine.
Since you have control over everything in your site, this is the best way to improve your website’s rank on a search engine for the keyword terms you want. For example, steps like, including the keywords in the title, and having content on your website that is helpful to the users, helps in improving the website’s ranking.
Essential On-page SEO Factors
Website elements such as content, structure, and other technical components affect the ranking of the website. We will be looking at all of them, to give you a better understanding of how various factors affect how your site ranks and performs on the internet.
1. Technical Components
Components such as server speed, Quality Of Coding, and Ip Address make up the technical component.
- Server Speed: Having a good server speed helps your website load faster. Having a slow server would mean having a slow loading speed. Which would mean potential visitors not being able to reach your website and bouncing off your site because they did not want to wait for your website to load. This would also affect your ranking on Google.
- Quality Of Coding: It is crucial to make sure that you don’t stop your pages from getting crawled. This would lead to the search engines not knowing about the existence of your website and therefore affecting the ranking of your website or in this case, not showing up on the search engine at all.
- IP Address: Make sure that your website has a unique IP address. If you are using a shared hosting plan, make sure that the other websites under same host don’t contain any adult content, gambling content, etc. Sharing your websites IP Address with these kind of websites would affect your ranking posting or SERP.
You must have heard the phrase “content is king” a lot of times, and that phrase is accurate for your website. In fact, it is the most crucial element in SEO, you could try every technique SEO guides talk about, but if your content is not good enough, your website won’t rank.
Besides having content that is informative and helpful to the users, you also need to make sure that you have done some keyword research to check the keywords search volume and competition.
You could also add meta tags to your content that will allow you to show the title and description of your choice on the search engine when a user triggers the keywords you are targeting.
Using the header tags for your titles, headings and subheadings. In the end make sure that your content is easy to read and understandable.
Another essential component is the structure of the website. If your site is informative, it is important to categorize your article depending on the article’s niche. Make it easier for the user to navigate through the website.
If your website is an eCommerce website, you need to make sure that the user finishes buying the goods in 3-4 steps, this includes the user adding the product to the cart. This helps the user complete the purchase as soon as possible; having more steps might make him change his mind on the product that you are selling. In the end, User navigation plays a part in user experience and therefore affects the ranking of the website.
Note: If your website sells any product, make sure that the payment gateway is secured. Otherwise, that would affect the ranking of your website as well.
What Is Off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO is a technique a person can use to improve the website’s rank on a search engine results page (SERP); this technique does not involve the website and is not in your control. Off-page SEO can help your website rank even if the content isn’t the best in the world. Off-page majorly consist of link building.
Google considers a lot of factors in their ranking algorithm, backlinks being one of them. Backlinks are links to your website received from other websites; it is similar to a positive vote to your website. Depending on the quality of the website giving the link, the value of the backlinks differ.
A Website receives links from social bookmarking, comments on blogs, forums, and from the content of another website. Links that you receive from another website’s content has the highest authority compared to links you receive from other parts.
Backlinks can be diversified into quality based on authority. Authority links are links you receive from well-known websites. An authority website is a website that has great brand value, excellent backlinks and content for the user’s query. Websites such as The New York Times, The Guardian, etc. would be considered as authority websites.
Search engines keep trying to improve the algorithm to return the most relevant and useful websites to the user. A website with a lot of quality backlinks (votes) indicates that the site has good content and the content can be trusted. Both content and backlinks combine to be the most important ranking factor in SEO.
Benefits of Backlinks
- Backlinks help in improving the ranking of the website
- Increases site traffic
- Increases brand recognition.
1. Ranking Of The Website
As mentioned before, when your website gets links from authority sites, a part of that trust is passed on to your website. It shows Google that your website can be trusted and therefore helps in the ranking of the website.
2. Increases Site Traffic
Most authority pages get a lot of traffic or visitors; a percentage of those viewers will click on the backlinks, which will lead them to your website.
3. Improves Brand Recognition
When Your website keeps appearing on different authority websites, it improves brand recognition, and people start to remember your website. So the next time they think of something your site is related to, they will come directly to your website instead of searching it on search engines.
SEO vs SEM: Which one to Choose?
Before we get into the difference between SEO and SEM, let us understand what SEM is and what are the similarities between them.
SEM or Search Engine Marketing is a paid form of marketing in search engines. SEM either shows your website on the top of the page or the bottom of the page, depending on different factors. Google Ads is the most used platform in SEM; This is because Google is the most used Search Engine.
Similarities between SEM And SEO
- Helps brands appear in SERP’s.: Both SEO and SEM get your website to appear on the search engine results page.
- Drive More Traffic To Your Website: Since your website appears on the SERP, both of them help increase the traffic on the website.
- Doing Keyword research to find the most used search queries online: SEO and SEM both require us to do keyword research to get the best possible ROI ( in SEM) or results. ROI may wary depending on the country you are targeting due to user habits, for example; countries like India would have a lower ROI then countries such as the UK and Australia.
- Require testing and optimization: Without testing different tactics, you wouldn’t know which one works. SEM and SEO require some analysis, testing, and optimization to get the best results.
Differences between SEO And SEM
- The difference In the Location Of Search Results: SEM allows you to choose where you want to post your ads, SEO doesn’t let you decide where your website should appear.
- Cost: SEM has a low initial cost, but the cost keeps recurring. You would also need to keep paying for your ads as long as you campaign is running. SEO on the other has high initial cost because of backlinks, but in the long run, the cost SEO reduces and there may be a time when you wouldn’t need to focus a lot in SEO.
- Visibility: You can target your audience in SEM,Your ads will keep being visible as long as your campaign is running. SEO on the other hand depends on Google’s algorithm and your website won’t always rank for all the keywords.
- Results: Results are quick in SEM, while they are a lot slower in SEO, and the amount of time it takes depends on the competition of the keyword.
- Value Over Time: Though SEM provides quick results, they don’t offer value over time, as you need to keep paying to keep your campaign running. SEO provides you value over time.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): click-through rate is described as the number of people visiting your website divided by the number of impressions your website received. CTR is a lot higher in SEO than it is in SEM because of something we call ad blindness. In which the user does not notice the ads or completely ignores it.
How is SEO better?
Whether you choose SEO or SEM would depend on the objective you have for your website and the type of site you have, for example; if you have a page that is selling tickets to a one-time event, you would prefer to do SEM over SEO as it provides quick results. But what if that same event gets repeated throughout the year? In that case, you need to pay more attention to SEO than SEM. This is because it would turn out to be very costly to promote the same event every day compared to doing SEO and making sure that your website stays on top. Similarly lawyers would require to do SEO over SEM as they are their for the long term.
As you might have figured out in the similarities, you would need to at least a little bit of SEO to make your SEM campaign successful. You would need to make sure that your website is still user-friendly; you would need to make sure that you are targeting the keywords that can get you results by doing keyword research.
So why not go all the way and pay more attention to SEO as it provides more value over time compared to SEM. SEO is cheaper than SEM and provides better results over time compared to SEM.