Blogging Basics – Part 6 – SEO Basics

What is SEO? Why is it necessary? Why should YOU care?

I will separate this post into technical and non-technical part. For those of you who want technical knowledge of how things work in the SEO related stuff, you can go through both technical and non-technical know-how written below. For those who want to know only the non-technical part that they must know in order to begin bettering their website/blog, skip ahead to the non-technical part directly.

THE TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW:

What is Search Engine Optimization?

I)  You optimize the website in SEO specific areas.
II) The search engines use a software based crawler to index websites and rank web pages according to keywords and various other parameters.
III)  People search for content related to what that particular website contains.
IV) The website shows up in the search-engine based search.
V)  People click on the link and visit the website to see the content.

It is basically a way to improve your website in such a way that the search engines can recommend your website and your website’s content when someone searches for topics relevant to your website. Usually, using different algorithms, the search engines recommend content when a user searches for a particular query. The recommendation is based on various parameters. The most important ones are,

1. Content:

Text, title, descriptions, theme of the content, quality, etc., constitute the content part. Many sub-parameters such as description, title, meta tags, heading tags, links, images and the alt text used with images, etc., each play an important role in deciding the page rank of any given web page.

2. User Experience:

Navigation, ease of use, safety, look and feel of the website – all of this come under UX. Your website and every page in it should be easy for the user to use and navigate. Search engines, when ranking a website and its pages, give emphasis to the site-wide design. That is because, no matter how amazing the content is, if the user is going to experience difficulty in navigating around the website, he/she is going to close the site and move on to another.

3. Performance:

How fast is your site? Responsiveness, availability, loading time, etc., are all taken into consideration when it comes down to measuring the performance. The loading time, absence of broken links, up-time are some of the important things that the search engines consider in terms of performance. So, these performance factors are very important if you want to improve the overall rank of your website and also its individual web pages in the search engine.

4. Keywords:

Presence of the keywords relevant to that particular search query (that the user searches for), in the content of your website is a deal breaker. Search engines use their site crawler algorithm to check for keywords in the title, description, and the posts. Proper placement of keywords (focusing on the user first and the ranking next) could go a long way into improving your website’s position in the search engine results.

The search engines are very particular about recommending only quality websites and web pages relevant to the search query. So, it is imperative that you optimize your website as intelligently as you can.

THE NON-TECHNICAL PART:

1. What is SEO?

It is
– Making your website search engine friendly.
– Making your website better for people to view & navigate through.
– In short, making your website focused on users/readers first, everything else next.

2. Why does your website need SEO?

– Most of the traffic for websites come through search engines. Search Engines are the primary sources of traffic for most of the websites. So, optimizing your website for search engines essentially means that you are increasing your chances of driving more traffic to your website.

– If you do SEO properly, you will increase your website’s chances of getting indexed and recommended more by the search engines. If your SEO is poor, it may do more harm than good to your website.

– SEO is a marketing strategy with no/low cost. You get to target users who are searching for the content that you write about and market it to them with almost no cost.

– Almost everyone on the web is doing it and if you want to your content be one of the first few links to be clicked on, you are going to have to do it.

– It also leads to more sales of your products/content/services because of more visibility to a wide range of audience.

References:

1. SEO 101
2. Getting Good Search Engine Rankings
3. Grow Your Website To 100000 Visitors Per Month
4. The Best SEO Starter Guide

NOTE:

I will be doing a detailed series on SEO once I complete learning it in-depth.  Until then, the articles referenced above will give you enough knowledge about all that I have written above, to get you up to speed in terms of optimizing your website.

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