SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization is a process of growing website traffic through organic or free search engine results. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing show search results where pages are displayed and ranked for its relevance and authority based on user’s search keywords.
According to a study by BIA/Kelsey, 97% of people go online to research about products or services before buying them. For small businesses on a tight budget, SEO can be a cost-effective route to take if they want to increase visibility and acquire leads for their business.
Different Parts of SEO
SEO includes the technical and creative aspects of driving a website’s visibility, awareness and search rankings in search engines.
It encompasses more than just producing search-friendly content for online consumption. It ensures that your site is optimized in such a way that both search engines and real people understand.
An SEO strategy involves three main categories: on-page, off-page and technical SEO. While all of them are important to successfully carry out an SEO campaign, each one offers different features when it comes to improving a site’s search ranking.
Also known as on-site SEO, is a process that ensures a particular web page is optimized in a way that it gets found by search engines using certain search keywords or phrases.
It is something that you have complete control over because it can be edited within your website’s page editor. On-page SEO involves tweaking title tags, headings, URL structure, image alt text, pagespeed, focus keywords and internal linking.
Check out this article for more tips on how to effectively perform on-page SEO: Effective Tips for On-Page SEO Strategy in 2016.
Many thought of off-page SEO as only involving linkbuilding but it is more than that. It has more to do with promoting your content beyond your website to create more traffic and boost its searching engine rankings.
Simply put, it tells search engines what other sites think of your website. So if you have links pointing to your web pages, then search engines will think that you have a great content–one that offers value to users.
Some of the off-page SEO methods include link building, social media marketing and social bookmarking. A high quality website usually has more links from other websites. It gets shared, mentioned and linked to other interested users.
Is the term ‘technical’ making you somewhat uneasy? There’s absolutely nothing to worry about. A basic knowledge of technical SEO can be done by software such as those recommended in the infographic below.
Google provides webmasters tools like Search Console and Pagespeed Insights to help you audit your technical SEO efforts. These tools provide insights into your website and guidelines to ensure that your site remains a trusted provider of high quality and relevant content to users. This is in line with their mission to make the Internet a better place.
For example, when your site performs steps to improve its page load speed, this actually helps improve user experience and may convert visitors to customers. Also, with mobile penetration hitting a new high, mobile-friendly sites have also become a must in today’s world. In Singapore, 93% of people in the 45-54 years age group carry a smart device!
Part of technical SEO is auditing your site regularly for any broken links, duplicate content and other black SEO techniques as these are strongly discouraged and even penalized by Google.
Keeping the Internet Safe and Secure
To make online browsing safer and secure for users, Google expects all websites to have “https” in their site URL. Google even officially announced it as one of its page ranking factor.
To transform your website from HTTP to HTTPs, you need an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate from an SSL provider. It’s a software that encrypts data (cookies, passwords, credit card details, etc.) as it travels through the Internet to ensure that private information are not hacked or compromised.
These data goes through a safe server and network before it reaches its destination. It prevents cybercriminals from intercepting your visitors’ information within your website.
About the Author – Ted Chong
Ted runs Ice Cube Marketing, a digital marketing agency in Singapore that helps local businesses acquire leads through digital marketing platforms like Facebook and Google. Ted also provide resources on topics like technical SEO best practices and more.