What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization?

An introduction to SEO or Search Engine Optimization



The world in the 21st century is steadily moving into the digital realm and the virtual sector exercises tremendous influence in every aspect of life, including business & marketing. It’s the search engines over the World Wide Web that decide the fate of businesses today and here comes the importance of SEO.

The importance of SEO

SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization, refers to the process of acquiring traffic to your site from organic, free or natural search results over the search engines. SEO is an endeavor to enhance your site’s ranking online to get closer to your target audience. The search engines rank the pages on the basis of authority & relevance to searches and a good SEO practice will find you a high & dominant place over the search engines naturally. People have this innate tendency to choose their platform from the topmost search results and the higher your rankings are, the better are your chances to garner a larger traffic to your portal.

The benefits of SEO

Increase of targeted traffic

Majority of clicks are acquired by the top position holders (1, 2 and 3) of search results. So if your website ranks among the first three, expect a good inflow of your targeted visitors. For example if you are selling apples online, and you rank 2nd for "apple sellers", your website will get a good ratio of people who are looking to buy apples online. This means, you get business from free natural traffic.

Cost Effectiveness

SEO is a cost effective marketing strategy for small to mid sized businesses. Why? Because in the end you are receiving free traffic. There are no direct expenses involved to the volume of the traffic nor is there any Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Impression (CPM). Albeit the results of SEO takes time to show up and depends of a lot of factors. But, if done right and with patience, SEO provides the best ROI (Return on investment).

Increase of website authority

SEO involves periodical publishing of authoritative content related to your industry or business. For example if your website is about apples, your content should be related to the apple industry. Well researched and well written content gives your website an authority boost over other websites who are not updating relevant content in any way. This will ensure that your website will get preference from search engines over your competitors for ranking.

Brand establishment

If your website ranks in the first 3 results of search or just even in the first page of search results, you get free impressions which over the time will build your brand awareness. For example, if you rank in the first page for "Apple sellers" through out the year, people will know about your brand automatically. When they visit your website, they will already have a certain level of trust built in. SEO can do wonders if done right.

How SEO is done

On-page SEO

As the name suggests, the on-page SEO refers to the SEO activities that you carry out on the pages of your website. It refers to the internal activities within the website which are performed to equip it as a favored portal for the search engines. The most important on-page SEO tactics are optimized titles & descriptions, user-friendly navigation, appropriate URL structuring, premium fresh content, proper text formatting, image optimization and so on. On-page SEO is taken care of during the web design.

Title tag

It is one of the major aspects of SEO practices which come under On-Page SEO. You have to create title tags for every web page which will inform the basic gist about the page to search engines. It has to be within 70 characters & would have keywords pertinent to that page along with your brand name.

Meta description

It provides a tad more data on the web page than title tag. It would include main keywords of the page and should not be more than 25 words. This text is shown in the search results right below your website name.

Internal Linking and Tagging

The other major SEO elements to be incorporated into your web page are internal links, header tags, image name and ALT tags & bold text where needed. The most important thing, these should be done for usability of the website from a visitor's perspective and not for the sake of SEO itself.

Off page SEO

Off page SEO refers to the SEO tactics that are carried beyond the boundaries of your page or after your web design is completed and your website is live. It implies the external activities that are meant to promote your website as a credible and meaningful platform to the search engines & the target online audience. The three most off page SEO tactics are backlink building, social media marketing and adding fresh premium content periodically.

Backlink building

It refers to a practice where other websites would link to your site. Always make sure to have pertinent white hat links through guest posting at leading sites, posting contents at leading industry directories and creating local search profiles & social media pages.

Social media marketing

As Google is #1 search engine today, an account at its own social networking portal Google+ would help you to earn better rankings over the search engine giant. Create your profile there & recommend your site.

Fresh premium content

You have to fill up your website with fresh, premium content that can offer quality information to the visitors and is also pleasing to read. The content should be relevant to your business or industry and should be original in nature, not copied from any other website. Proper English and grammar is essential otherwise, your content will be treated as spam,

SEO Monitoring

Finally, you have to monitor your website at regular intervals with monitoring tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics, to check your SEO progress. This will help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you can take immediate measures. In most cases it is advised that you hire a good SEO agency or a Search Engine Optimization company like us to do the heavy lifting for you. SEO requires focus and dedication over a long period of time and can never be achieved through casual or half-hearted approach.

SEO Budget

The budget for SEO will depend on your industry and the existing competition. We have a website audit service where we can audit your existing your website, check relevant search terms that you may want to rank for and provide you a goal oriented monthly SEO budget.

Hexadesigns is a web design company in Kolkata. We design and develop websites, custom software, ecommerce, mobile apps and do search engine optimization. This is our own blog where we provide potential tips for the common people just from our experience. Check our search engine marketing services.

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