So, what is SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Optimizer. It is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
It is common practice for Internet users to not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic toward the site. The higher a website naturally ranks in organic results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user.
A successful search engine optimization campaign will have, as part of the improvements, carefully select, relevant, keywords which the on-page optimization will be designed to make prominent for search engine algorithms.
Search engine optimization is broken down into two basic areas: on-page, and off-page optimization. On-page optimization refers to website elements which comprise a web page, such as HTML code, textual content, and images. Off-page optimization refers, predominantly, to backlinks (links pointing to the site which is being optimized, from other relevant websites).
What Results Are Possible Through SEO?
There is often a misunderstanding in what a SEO campaign can realistically accomplish. Search engine optimization is not magic or is it an exact science where an action will have a specific and completely predictable reaction. Let’s see what SEO can reasonably accomplish, and what it can not.
Things SEO can accomplish :
- Improve the search engine friendliness of your website.
- Improve your website’s ranking for a well-researched group of keywords over a period of months or years.
- Improve your website’s rankings by utilizing a well planned and executed search engine optimization campaign, which will cost more than you would have guessed.
- Leverage well written, useful, helpful, entertaining, or otherwise interesting content to mount a successful link building campaign which will result in ranking improvements.
- Optimize your website’s textual content by incorporating a select number of keywords into the text, and utilizing the new text to develop an internal link structure which helps magnify the importance of those keywords for the search engines.
Things SEO can not accomplish :
- Make your website irresistible to search engines so that it will rank for any keyword you desire
- Improve your rankings for the most competitive keywords in your industry within a few weeks.
- Improve your website’s rankings by using run-of-the-mill services such as free directory .submissions, and “article writing”, and doing it while keeping the cost no higher than your monthly budget for your morning coffee.
- Leverage low-quality content that your someone “wrote”. For example copied and partially reworded Wikipedia articles.
- Optimize your website’s content by using a secret keyword density and help your site shoot up in search engine result pages for your most desirable keywords.
Types of SEO
As the colors of the types of search engine optimization suggest, there are stark differences in the approach and long-term results of white hat and black hat search engine optimization. Though both types of SEO have their proponents, most companies/websites with long-term, stable, and sustainable goals will tend to stay away from the dark-colored variety.
White Hat SEO
- White hat SEO utilizes techniques and methods to improve the search engine rankings of a website which don’t run afoul of search engine (mainly Google) guidelines.
- Has high wholesomeness level.
- Some white hat SEO techniques include high quality content development, website HTML optimization and restructuring, link acquisition campaigns supported by high quality content and manual research and outreach.
- White Hat Seo is steady, gradual, but lasting growth in rankings.
Black Hat SEO
- Black Hat SEO exploits weaknesses in the search engine algorithms to obtain high rankings for a website. Such techniques and methods are in direct conflict with search engine guidelines.
- Has very low (not wholesome at all if you ask those in charge of cleaning search engine result page spam).
- Some black hat SEO techniques include link spam, keyword stuffing, cloaking, hidden text, and hidden links.
- Quick, unpredictable, and short-lasting growth in rankings.
This infographic provides a simple explanation on what is SEO: