What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is the process of optimizing your website and its pages to get more organic traffic from search engines like Google and Bing.
Whether you’re starting a new web page, or trying to figure out how to improve your old ones; understanding how SEO works can make drastic changes to the traffic your web pages generate.
Why is it important?
There are almost 2 billion websites on the internet, meaning that there are even more web pages. Research shows that there are approximately 380 websites being created every minute. So how do you ensure that your single web page is seen and clicked on? Other studies even show that of these billions of pages, only 9% actually receive website traffic.
Regardless of how useful the content of your article may be, the competition among web pages today almost guarantees that you will generate little to no web traffic, and get lost among the other 91%. This is due to the complex algorithm with which search engines work.
How SEO works
When a user enters their query into the search bar, the Search Engine scans through all the web pages containing those keywords and phrases within their content, or anything that is closely related to it. What it finds is presented to the user as a series of pages; ranked according to their relevance. Your rank determines your exposure; which is why understanding the process of SEO is vital to generate more web traffic.
Besides that, search engines also often rank these pages according to how users regularly interact with them via the comment section, options to like it etc. For example, Google uses their new software called “Rank Brain”; which measures how users interact with your web page, and then decides whether your position on the rank should rise or fall.
This is also determined based on your “Bounce Rate”; the measure of how many people clicked on your web page, but then returned to the initial search results; showing dissatisfaction. The higher your bounce rate, the lower your ranking, and vice versa.
There are different types of links that affect your ranking on the search results; the first one being a back link.
Backlinks are created when a website links your site in one of its pages, thus directing their audience towards your post. By referring other users to you, your article becomes more popular, and is more likely to be searched for. The search engine gathers this information, and boosts your ranking.
Next, we have internal links. This is when you link other pages of yours to one specific page, redirecting the readers from each of them to one common place. Upon seeing these connections, the search engine gathers that this destination page is of some importance, and thus boosts its ranking.
The last type would be external links; these are the links that you use in your own page that direct the audience to a different domain. Research shows that pages that use external links outrank the ones that don’t.
This complex algorithm is what almost always ensures that we never have to go on to the second page of search results to find what we want. Thus, if you’re ranking is low, users are not going to be able to find your content- meaning that you won’t be able to generate any web traffic.
This is where SEO comes in. By understanding how search engines work, creators can format their content to increase their chances of getting a higher ranking, and thus improve the probability of people visiting their pages, and staying on it.