How SEO works for websites
If you’re trying to develop a digital marketing strategy to improve a website’s rankings and traffic, understanding how search engine optimization works is important to your success.
To make it easier to understand, we’ll start with an overview of how SEO works across Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Then we’ll move on to a step-by-step process you can follow to make your website more SEO-optimized.
How SEO works for websites
SEO works for websites by optimizing content so that search engines like Google rank it higher on search result pages for relevant keywords. Search engines scan and crawl websites to better understand what the content is about, which is why working on SEO for websites is important.
A Brief Illustration of How SEO Works For a Website
Consider a website that sells internet marketing services with no focus on any SEO work. The organic traffic to this site from Google, Yahoo, and Bing to each of the web pages is not very high because the search engine web crawlers are not getting the correct signals for the relevant keywords for which each page must rank on search engine results pages ( SERPs ).
Consider a scenario where the business employs an SEO expert to work on the website to increase each webpage’s relevancy to its intended search queries. This search engine optimization project consists of updating elements such as page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, title tags, internal links, and site navigation structure.
This type of SEO work on the website would increase the number of organic keywords the website ranks for on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, as well as the average ranking places in the SERPs, which increases visitors overall.
As you can see, SEO works to improve the search engine visibility and traffic of a website so that the business can get more quality leads, customers, and sales.
Explanation of the search engine optimization process
Search engine optimization works to improve your website’s position on search result pages. The search engine optimization process consists of improving on-page and off-page factors to increase keyword rankings and organic visibility on SERPs.
Today, search engines like Google use over 200 different ranking factors to evaluate content to rank it at the top position in the index. This means that there are many different elements that Google’s algorithm systems take into account when determining the placement of your site’s URLs on search result pages.
The two main categories for search engine optimization include On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO which are important factors relevant to a website such as page titles, meta descriptions, header tags, URL structure, image optimization, speed of the page, backlinks, brand mentions, etc; All of this is done to improve the crawl ability, indexing, and ranking of the content in Google’s search engine.
On-page SEO tactics are methods you may use on your website to raise its exposure and search engine rankings.
Key on-page SEO factors include:
- meta title tag
- Meta Description
- Page content (e.g. minimum word count for SEO)
- image optimization
- internal links
- Structured Data
- page speed
- Key Vitals of the Web
- mobile optimization
SEO Off Page
Off Page, SEO strategies are methods that work outside your website to increase the trust and authority of your content.
Common off-page SEO techniques include:
- brand mentions
- guest post
- link inserts
- local listings
- Disclosure of influencers
- Building broken links
- content marketing
- blog comments
- forum post
- Q&A websites
- Interviews with Backlinks
- social post
- social bookmarking
Now that you know about on-page and off-page SEO, remember that search engine optimization only works for organic search results and not for pay-per-click (or PPC) ads.
For every search query, Google, Yahoo, and Bing deliver a mix of organic results and PPC ads to the user. Therefore, you must do all the SEO work you can to increase your ranking positions in the SERPs for the most important organic keywords for your business so that you don’t have to pay for traffic.
How SEO works step by step
Step 1: Technical SEO Audit
The first step in doing search engine optimization work is to conduct a technical SEO audit. This process is done to check website and server optimizations to ensure that search engine web crawlers can efficiently scan and index your website.
The main factors of technical SEO include:
- page speed
- Optimized robots.txt file
- Crawlable XML sitemap
- site structure
- URL structure
- SEO-friendly web design
- Schema Markup
- proper redirects
Step 2: On-page SEO work
The next step is to work on on-page SEO factors in the HTML code and content of each web page. This search engine optimization strategy helps content rank higher on the search engine results page for specific keywords and relevant search queries.
Important on-page SEO variables include items like meta tags, headers, URLs, photos, internal links, etc., as was previously explained in this introduction to how SEO functions. send Google the right signals to help your web pages rank higher on the SERPs.
Step 3: Content SEO Updates
After fixing on-page SEO elements, the next step is to work on individual content to improve its SEO value. The quality of the material and how effectively it satisfies the searcher’s needs are two key components of content SEO, which is a subset of on-page SEO.
The most important aspect of improving content for SEO purposes is matching the user’s search intent. For example, this webpage is an educational guide that was written to answer questions like “How does SEO work for websites”. So you’ll learn all about how search engine optimization works for Google, Yahoo, and Bing, rather than getting a list of SEO books or tools to buy.
When working on your SEO content, focus on areas like:
- Publishing well-researched content.
- Including tables and graphs to support the data.
- Having all the right sections (i.e. SEO header tags) to improve topical relevancy.
- Crosslinking between relevant pages on the site.
Step 4: Off-page SEO analysis
The next step is to work on external SEO factors that increase your site’s exposure, trust, and authority. When a website has a large number of external quality signals that point to individual web pages on the website, this sends a signal to Google that other internet resources consider your content valuable enough to link to it in their content.
Search engines assume that a website with more of these backlinks has valuable content and should be ranked higher in the SERPs.
As mentioned earlier, you can improve off-page SEO for better search engine optimization by working to get links back to your content through guest posts, business profiles, review sites, and social media shares. etc.
Step 5: Mobile Optimization
This process is called mobile-first indexing. Therefore, you need to work on this step of search engine optimization to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly for maximum SEO search visibility.
When working on mobile SEO, you need to focus on:
- Have a mobile-friendly website (i.e. responsive design).
- A site that loads quickly on mobile devices (good page speed scores).
- No lazy loading of primary content after user interaction.
Step 6: Local and International SEO
If your website is appropriate, optimizing for local search results or global search engines is the final phase of SEO. Local SEO marketing is something you should focus on if your company relies on local clients to generate sales.
If you rely on your content ranking in multiple countries or specific languages, international SEO strategies will be a key area to add to your optimization workflow.
Step 7: Keep Things Fresh
According to HubSpot, “Blogging is important for SEO if you want to increase visits to your website. However, if you have already posted worthwhile information, it may be advantageous for you to revisit and update it, particularly if you decide to do so later. give certain posts a boost. Blog post traffic is compounded, which means it gets organic results over time. This is why updating the posts is important.”
In addition, Google’s algorithm is designed to provide you with the most up-to-date and recent search results. In 2010, Google released a new web indexing system called Caffeine, which provided 50% more up-to-date results for web searches.
Then, in 2011, the ranking algorithm was updated again to better determine when to provide searchers with the most up-to-date relevant results for varying degrees of freshness.
So the way search engine optimization works best today is to review and update your content on a routine schedule for accuracy, update old data with new statistics, fix broken links, and add more relevant information to show Google that your content still deserves to be ranked high in its index.
You also want to organize your site’s content in a way that makes it easier for search engines to crawl and for users to find the web pages they are looking for more easily. Check out this guide related to strategies on how to organize website content for better SEO and usability.
Summary of how SEO works
I hope you enjoyed this guide on how SEO works for websites.
As you’ve discovered, there are two main areas of how search engine optimization works to improve a website’s rankings and traffic: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. To further increase your website’s search exposure, you may optimize other aspects including technical SEO, content SEO, mobile SEO, local SEO, and global SEO techniques.