There are over 1.5 billion websites on the internet. But do you ever wonder why only a few websites appear in the top results when you search for something? Hi everyone this is Digital Abhi, your Digital Marketing friend, and today I am going to share what is SEO, how SEO works, and why SEO is important.

Also, if you are a video person, you can skip directly to the end of this post where I have embedded a video on the same. Or if you are quite busy, you can just listen to this content in a podcast form. 

What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization?

As per the data of internetlivestats.com, there are over 1.5 billion websites in the world. But whenever you search for something there are always a few websites that show up at the top of search results. Did you ever wonder why does this happen? It is all because of three-lettered SEO. But what is it?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of optimizing your website or the webpage in such a way that it ranks higher and higher in the search results of a search engine. 

But that’s the technical definition. In simple terms, it is the process of creating your website and the content on it in such a way that whenever someone searches for a query in your niche or category, you show up in the top results. 

what is seo
Image Source: infographicworld.com

Driving Traffic to your Website/Blog

Let’s say you write an article or a post on a website or blog. Now you have three ways to drive visitors to your article or post:

  • Sharing on Social Media
  • Running Paid Ads
  • Search Engine Optimization

The first one is by sharing it on social media. Now if you have a huge social following you can drive tons of visitors to your post. But if you are not having a huge number of following then you are hardly going to get a few visitors to your blog.

The second method to drive traffic to your blog is by running ads. But again if you want to drive a good amount of traffic through ads, then you have to burn a good amount of your investment too.

You want a good amount of traffic but also don’t want to spend any money. So what’s the solution? The solution is the third method which is Search Engine Optimization where search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo send the traffic to your website.

But we are going to discuss about Google only. Why? Because it processes more than 3.5 billion searches every single day. And with 92% of the market share worldwide, Google dominates the search engine world.

percentage of google users

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<p align="center"><a href='https://digitalabhi.com/what-is-seo/'><img src='https://digitalabhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/perecntage-of-google-users.png' alt='percentage of Google Users' width='540' border='0' /></a><br/><strong>Search Engine Market Share Worldwide<br/>Image Source: digitalabhi.com</strong></p>

Now just imagine how much free traffic you can get to your website or blog if you can rank in the top results of Google. But with all this good stuff, there’s something which you should keep in mind.

Search Engine Optimization is a time taking process. With all this competition you cannot expect to rank in the top results within a few days. It can take weeks or months to pop at the top of the search results. For a highly competitive keyword, it can even take years. 

Search Engine Optimization is a very vast topic, so, it is not practically possible to cover everything in a single post. So, I will just share the important points about it. Starting with the first one…

How does SEO work?

Google has over 200 different factors to decide whether to rank or not a particular piece of content. You start off by submitting the sitemap of your website in Google Search Console, earlier known as Google Webmaster. Now, what is a sitemap?

Sitemap

Whenever you read a book, you will see that at the beginning or at the ending there’s an index. A sitemap is like an index for your website. Through these sitemaps, Google indexes your website in its database. And what is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console

It is a tool or a web service by Google which allows you to index your website in Google’s database. Through the Google Search Console, you are able to learn and understand why your website is doing good or bad in the organic results.

Similar to Google Search Console, Bing has Bing Webmaster and Yahoo has Yahoo Webmaster. After submitting the sitemap, Google starts collecting data about your website with the help of crawlers. And what are crawlers?

Crawlers

As the names suggest, these are the bots that crawl your website and collect the data about your website. And through this data, Google’s algorithm decides if your content should be on top or not. But the surprising thing is, no one knows exactly how does Google’s algorithm work. 

How does SEO work

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<p align="center"><a href='https://digitalabhi.com/what-is-seo/'><img src='https://digitalabhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/How-SEO-Works.png' alt='How does SEO work' width='540' border='0' /></a><br/><strong>How does SEO Work?<br/>Image Source: digitalabhi.com</strong></p>

According to moz.com, 3234 updates were made in Google’s Algorithm in 2018. That means on an average 9 updates every day. Some of these changes are very major while some are so small that people don’t even notice. 

For Google, users always come first. So, if your content is good enough to satisfy the queries and demands of the users, your rank will automatically start climbing up. But again, it’s a slow process and you need to be patient to see the results.

Different types of SEO

Now let’s see the different types of Search Engine Optimization. It can be categorized into three different types:

Again each of these them are a huge topic in itself. So, here we will just discuss each of them in short. 

On-Page Search Engine Optimization

In this, you optimize the content of your webpage or website to rank higher in search results. Basically, it contains the factors which you can control and change in order to rank higher. For example, optimizing the meta title, meta description, headings, URL, content on the page, and some other factors.

All of these are in your control. So, you take actions and optimize them. Actions like putting keywords in the meta tags and URL. All of this is done on the website or webpage that’s why it is called On-Page SEO.

Off-Page Search Engine Optimization

It includes the external factors and actions which affect your rankings in the search results. For example, the backlinks to your website or webpage. Or the social signals like how many people are sharing your content. Backlinks are a very important factor in this. 

But, you cannot control if someone wants to link back to your website or not. Similarly, you cannot control how many people will share your content. And since all these are the factors that are not in your control and are taken outside the website, it is called Off-Page SEO.

Technical Search Engine Optimization

As you have already guessed by the name, it contains all the technical parts of Search Engine Optimization. It includes factors like page speed, sitemaps, errors like broken links, etc. There are a lot of other factors in technical SEO that are beyond the scope of this post.

types of seo

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<p align="center"><a href='https://digitalabhi.com/what-is-seo/'><img src='https://digitalabhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/types-of-seo.png' alt='Types of SEO' width='540' border='0' /></a><br/><strong>Types of SEO<br/>Image Source: digitalabhi.com</strong></p>

There’s a lot to cover in SEO, so stay tuned to Digital Abhi so that you don’t miss out on any precious content. 

If we go through the approach and techniques, we can classify Search Engine Optimization into another 3 types which are:

  • White Hat SEO
  • Black Hat SEO
  • Gray Hat SEO

I am going to share a couple of lines about each of them.

White Hat SEO Techniques

If you don’t violate the rules and guidelines of the search engine in order to rank higher. Or if you practice all the ethical techniques and maintain the integrity of your website, then it is White Hat SEO. 

Black Hat SEO Techniques

And opposite to white hat, if you are breaking the rules of the search engines. Or if you are trying to please the algorithm by violating the terms and conditions, it is Black Hat SEO. In short, instead of focusing on the human audience, you are focusing on the algorithm.

Keyword stuffing is a famous example of Black Hat. I will never suggest you practice black hat techniques. Why? Because it’s going to hurt you in the long run. Sooner or later it will hurt your brand and business. Or you may even end up getting your website penalized.

Gray Hat SEO Techniques

It is something which is neither a white hat nor a black hat. For example, using Private Blogging Networks or doing link exchanges. You cannot surely say if these are going to violate the terms or not. But still, you should avoid practicing black hat and gray hat techniques of Search Engine Optimization. 

types of seo

We have come half way through the post. I think it would be great if we recap the content which we discussed here. So, as I promised earlier here’s a video to help you understand better.

Now, a big question still remains unanswered. Why SEO is important? What is its importance? Why you should use it as a strategy to drive traffic to your site?

Also Read: What is Digital Marketing? Types of Digital Marketing

Why SEO is Important?

With over 5 Billion daily searches online, SEO is one of the most important strategies which you need to consider if you want to grow your business on the internet.

1. Gives you Online Visibility

One of the most important points in this is that it helps your brand and business to get online visibility. The main reason we do SEO is to get online traction for our business.

And with its help, your website and webpages climb higher and higher in search engine rankings. The higher the search engine ranking, the more visibility your website gets.

2. Tons of Free Traffic

With SEO, you have the chance to get tons of free traffic. And this traffic is directly proportional to your rankings. How? It is obvious that the higher you are ranking, the higher are the chances that people visit your site.

This in turn boosts the traffic on your website. And not just any random traffic. But proper targeted and interested traffic which is our next point.

3. Higher intent traffic

Because the people who visit your website are ones with great intent and interest in your niche. And with a proper sales funnel or lead capturing methods you can convert them into leads or paying customers. 

4. Helps to build Trust and Credibility

To stay in the hearts of your audience, you need to build trust and credibility. And SEO helps you in doing that. How? If you are ranking in the top search results, it means that you are someone legit.

Search Engines are getting smarter every day. You cannot rank on the top by cheating them. Even if you do, you won’t last long. You will eventually see the negative effects of cheating search engines. And you may even get penalized. And we obviously don’t want that.

So, if you’re getting a good rank in the search engines, it creates a position of trust in the minds of your audience.

5. Search Engines keep on updating

The other reason for that is that SEO practices are always being updated. Search Engines keep updating their algorithms. This is done to provide the best experience to their users. So, the search engines will rank only those results which are credible, have some authority, and have legit content for their users. 

6. SEO brings new opportunities to light

This continuous updating of algorithms in turn brings new opportunities to light. How? It provides you a great opportunity to place yourself as a trustworthy identity in front of your audience.

As I mentioned earlier, if you’re ranking on the top results, it means that you’re someone credible. And what other opportunities does it bring for us?

7. Opportunity of great Growth

SEO gives us the opportunity for growth. It gives us the ability to grow our business. Again, how? The people who search for something related to your niche are already having great intent and interest. Now if you rank in the search results, you get a chance to convert them into a lead or a paying customer.

For example, let’s say I have an online footwear business. Now if a person searches ‘buy shoes online’, he or she already has an intent to buy a pair of shoes. That person is already a potential customer for my business.

Now if my business is ranking in the top results, this person may visit my online store and finally become a customer.

8. Boost your business with Local SEO

Search Engine Optimization also brings great growth opportunities for local businesses. With local SEO, businesses can boost the number of walk-ins to their offline store.

Let me share a real-life example to clarify this. Last week I was having great pain in my wisdom tooth. But I don’t know any good dentists. So, what I did was that I pulled up my phone and searched for dentists near me. Checked out the top results and their reviews. And finally visited the one which looked good to me.

Another example is that whenever I visit a new place and I want to find some good place to eat, I just simply search ‘places to eat near me’ or ‘restaurants near me’. And not only me, but I am sure most of you also do that. So, now you know how SEO provides growth opportunities for local businesses.

9. It impacts the buying cycle

The next and very important point is that SEO also impacts the buying cycle. This is the time where we actively use the internet. And before buying anything, we tend to check it online. The reviews, the specifications of the product and other stuff.

People do their own research. And if we see from the buyer’s perspective, it is really a great thing. But how can it benefit you? As I mentioned SEO helps you to make your business visible in front of your audience. And it also helps to prove yourself as a trustworthy option. So, this in turn helps the buyers make their buying decision. 

10. Get ahead of your competition with SEO

And not only that it also helps you to put yourself ahead of your competition. Again the same question, how? Here’s how.

If your SEO is better than your competitor, you will get more visibility. You will rank higher than your competition. And this will obviously help you to get more clicks. And if you have a good product/service, it will help you to beat your competition.

11. Relatively cheap and cost-effective

All this good stuff about SEO, so you must be thinking that it might be expensive. And that’s where my next point comes into the picture. Yes, I agree that it is not totally free. You may need to hire some expert or a Digital Marketing agency. Or you may need to purchase some SEO related tools.

But as compared to the paid ads or inorganic methods, Search Engine Optimization is relatively cheap. So, it is also cost-effective.

Checkout the services I provide to help you grow and skyrocket your business.

12. Great for Social Media Marketing

Other than that, it is also great for social promotion and social media marketing. It is observed that people who visit your business or brand through organic search are more likely to share content on social media.

Other than that, if someone checks out a product and doesn’t buy it, you can retarget them with the help of tools like Facebook Pixel. This will again help you to boost your revenue. 

13. It is a Long Term Strategy

And the last point which I would like to place in favor of SEO is that it is a long term strategy. Look, with search engine ads and social media ads or any other kind of paid ads, you will get results as long as you’re paying the platform.

But this is not the case with Search Engine Optimization. Here you get great results in the long run. 

As I told you earlier, SEO has a lot of benefits that can be reaped if you are patient enough. If you want to boost the revenue of your business, you can visit: Work With Me or you can shoot me an email on contact@digitalabhi.com.

Conclusion and General FAQ

I have tried to summarize and conclude the entire post in form of FAQ. I hope you like it.

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing the content of your website or webpage in such a way that it ranks higher and higher in the search results. SEO is a time taking process.

What are the different types of SEO?

The 3 different types of SEO are: On Page SEO, Off Page SEO and Technical SEO. Depending on the approach, SEO can be categorized into other 3 types: White Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO and Gray Hat SEO.

How does SEO work?

You start by submitting the sitemap of your website in the Google Search Console. Then, Google indexes your website in its database. The crawlers start collecting data about your website. And then Google starts ranking your content depending on its quality.

What are Crawlers?

As the names suggest, these are the bots that crawl your website and collect the data about your website. And through this data, Google’s algorithm decides if your content should be on top or not.

What is a sitemap?

Whenever you read a book, you will see that at the beginning or at the ending there’s an index. A sitemap is like an index for your website. Through these sitemaps, Google indexes your website in its database.

What is Google Search Console?

It is a tool or a web service by Google which allows you to index your website in Google’s database. Through the Google Search Console, you are able to learn and understand why your website is doing good or bad in the organic results.
Similar to Google Search Console, Bing has Bing Webmaster and Yahoo has Yahoo Webmaster.

Why should you use SEO?

Here are the reasons why you should use SEO:
1. Gives you Online Visibility
2. Tons of Free Traffic
3. Higher intent traffic
4. Helps to build Trust and Credibility
5. Search Engines keep on updating
6. SEO brings new opportunities to light
7. Opportunity of great Growth
8. Boost your business with Local SEO
9. It impacts the buying cycle
10. Get ahead of your competition with SEO
11. Relatively cheap and cost-effective
12. Great for Social Media Marketing
13. It is a Long Term Strategy

So, this was an introductory post on what is Search Engine Optimization, its different types, how does it work, and its importance.

Thanks a lot for taking out time to read this post. I hope you got some value from this and if you did do let me know in the comments. Also, if you have any doubts, questions, or queries, you can shoot it in the comments section below.

Other than that, you can connect with me on social media. And share your doubts directly there. I will be happy to help you. And stay tuned to Digital Abhi. Why? Because I am consistently putting valuable content for you.

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