SEO stands for search engine optimization which is a digital marketing approach that concentrates on your website’s appearance in search results on search engines like Google. When you learn how SEO works, you can use different techniques to improve your visibility (or how high you rank) in search results.
You can categorize SEO techniques into two buckets:
- On-page SEO: All on-page SEO strategies happen on your website.
- Off-page SEO: All off-page SEO strategies occur off your website.
Both on-page and off-page SEO intend to make the website more pleasant, as well as accurate, to users and search engines. When search engine crawlers see how vital your website is to them and users, it improves the chances that your website will rank well for different searches.
For example, let’s assume you have two different websites: Website A and Website B.
Website A is not responsive, which shows users on Laptops or smartphones will have a hard time operating and using the website. Website B, however, is responsive, which means a pleasanter user experience for smartphone, and desktop users.
For search engines, it’s an easy decision which website is friendlier: Website A.
Of course, how search engines work is a bit complex than that. Today, search engines use more than 200 various factors to create search results, which means a lot of diverse elements influence your position in search results.
A technical explanation of how SEO works
Search engines have spiders, not the weird kind, but the automated robot kind.
These spiders collect all kinds of data about your website and the pages that make up your site. This allows them to immediately determine when to serve a searcher a page on your website. They accumulate things like page speed, title tags, social signals, internal linking, backlinks, and so on.
There are over 200 ranking factors used by Google in their algorithm, there are a lot of things to contemplate, and actions that can be taken to try to optimize a website. There are both on-page and off-page SEO ranking factors that conclude how well your site is optimized, and therefore how well it ranks.
The on-page factors are precisely what they sound like: Things that are actually on the page. This includes title tags, content, site speed, page URLs, image alt tags, internal linking, and more. Off-page factors, meanwhile, are almost entirely based on links to your site from other sites.
It’s essential to keep in mind that these bots are automated computer programs and not actual humans.
Combine and Experiment Through Trial-and-Error
SEO success is most often understood as coming from best practices plus some trial and error.
There is no universal SEO formula; only trial and error can help you understand which SEO methods work and which do not work for your particular website in your specific niche, at a specific moment in time.
The secret of SEO is simple:
We must put in efforts and learn how to combine and experiment with multiple methods, and then analyze the results, keeping in mind that all your effort may go to waste due to Google’s newest algorithm update or what your competitors are doing.