O Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that affects a website’s visibility and ranking in web search results. The objectives of SEO include achieving an increased volume of inbound traffic or number of visitors to a web page or site, promoting web page awareness among online users, and increasing its search engine rankings. SEO is not a sprint, but a marathon investment in your best converting, most profitable source of income: organic search.
Why is SEO important?
For decades, families gathered around the television night after night to watch their favorite shows. During commercial breaks, people were strategically introduced to businesses that met their needs and wants. Television has provided a channel for businesses to bring their products and services directly into our living rooms, creating a huge opportunity for return on investment. In 2018, the search engine provided an even greater opportunity for ROI. Rank high on the results page and you’ll see ROI in the four hundred percent range!
SEO affects the visibility and accessibility of a site to both search engine robots and online search users. SEO follows a marketing-to-marketing philosophy that allows visitors to be directed to your website based on search intent while respecting their online privacy.
Various SEO techniques help the search engine find “text” or a string of words on a page to match the query entered by the user. When the search engine finds the relevant site, the latter is included in the top results. The higher a site is placed in the SERP, the more chances it has to receive visitors. Our goal is to help you build and optimize your pages.
Increased volume of inbound traffic is always good for a website because it correlates with a higher potential to convert into sales or subscriptions.
Therefore, SEO plays a crucial role in internet marketing and – when implemented effectively – helps the website owner to promote the information, products or services presented on the website. This will help users read, share and ultimately buy your product, especially on mobile devices. This is especially useful for e-commerce stores because it is extremely important to attract targeted customers and increase sales. The primary goal of any website is to provide a seamless online experience that turns a casual visitor into a loyal customer.
How it works?
When users search for information on the Internet, they usually enter some “keywords” or phrases into a search engine such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing. Search engine spiders crawl billions of pages that may possibly contain the material a user needs. It then indexes these pages and returns a list of site addresses that appear on the search engine results page (SERP). The display “rank” of a particular page or site is influenced by certain factors such as the value, relevance and popularity of the information it provides. SEO experts apply various techniques designed to predict possible search “keywords” and structure the content of a web page in such a way that it will be ranked higher by a search engine algorithm. The hope is that the web page will appear at the top of the results list and gain more visitors as a result. Google determines ranking factors using the three tactics we’ll talk about next; Backlinks, Content and RankBrain.
In 2016, Google publicly shared that backlinks are now one of the first two validated ranking factors that the algorithm uses to judge a site’s authority. Google’s algorithm does this by evaluating the number of domains that refer to a site, as well as how authoritative those domains are in a given niche. Thus, not only the quantity of links pointing to a site, but also the quality of the links determines where it will rank organically. It is often useful to think of backlinks as popularity votes for a particular site. The more votes received from trusted voters, the more likely a site will gain visibility in Google searches. For this reason, link building is a critical component of Victorious’ overall SEO strategy.
The relationship between content and SEO
The most important page ranking factor confirmed in Google’s 2016 announcement is content. Because the “spiders” that Google uses to crawl and index sites can’t understand images and videos the way humans can, Google relies heavily on written content to determine the semantic relevance of a page and ultimately account it is authority. Google’s search engine aims to provide its users with the best possible solution to a given query, so it makes sense that a site’s content will play a large role in determining whether a particular page will serve up a useful, valuable result for users.
As you might expect, content-rich pages use targeted keywords naturally throughout their content and discuss topically related material that typically performs best organically. That’s why it’s essential to integrate checklist SEO with your content marketing strategy. For starters, webmasters or website owners should consider allocating resources to blog development as a means of expanding the site’s content footprint.
The third most important ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm is called RankBrain. Back in October 2015, Google informed the world that it had created RankBrain – an artificial intelligence machine learning system – to improve its search engine’s ability to better handle never-before-seen search queries. RankBrain does this by embedding vast amounts of content into mathematical objects called vectors that computers can grasp and use to understand other, previously unknown phrases. While there’s still a lot we don’t understand about the AI tool that influences rankings today, we do know that RankBrain has outperformed Google’s engineers in search-related tests and is making Google’s algorithm more accurate than ever.
Most SEO tactics fall into two very distinct categories: those that follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (white hat) and those that use them (black hat).
White hat techniques are those who adhere to search engine best practices and guidelines. These strategies are implemented with the end user as the ultimate consideration, not search engine algorithms. The methods focus on providing valuable and relevant content. These practices have been shown to provide longer lasting benefits and returns for a web page.
One of the biggest benefits of white hat SEO is how well it complements other digital marketing efforts, such as paid advertising and social media marketing. As you might expect, improving a website’s user experience for SEO purposes also results in increased performance for all visitors, regardless of source and medium. But the benefit of the white hat approach doesn’t stop there
there. As strategies that follow the Webmaster Guidelines are implemented and the experience of a site improves, site-wide metrics that serve as secondary and tertiary ranking factors also begin to improve. Because of this, it is common to see a site’s bounce rate decrease, page views increase, and conversion rate increase – all of which impact a site’s bottom line and further improve its search engine optimization.
Black hat techniques do not meet search engine standards. They are designed to improve a site’s ranking through the use of fraudulent methods that seek to circumvent algorithm rules. Such practices include the use of hidden or off-screen text, keyword stuffing, and pagination. Black hat SEO tactics are strongly discouraged. When detected, search engines will likely impose sanctions against the page in question, including a permanent ban on the site. However, webmasters looking for a quick financial return on a given page resort to these methods regardless of the risk.
Today, black hat SEO is less effective than ever. Recent algorithm updates cause most spam tactics to fail in terms of immediate growth
and results. Even worse, black hat SEO can get you an algorithmic penalty or a manual penalty from a member of Google’s web spam team. Google updates its search algorithm about 500 to 600 times a year to maintain a well-balanced search experience and avoid exploiting ranking signals (what black hat SEO tries to do), and if a site deals with low quality SEO, there’s a good chance it will be spotted during one of these updates!
Find your SEO experts
The ins and outs of SEO can seem intimidating to new website owners. Fortunately, a lot of online information, guides, and tools are readily available, free, and most people can easily navigate the basics. Note, however, that developing effective SEO techniques takes time, effort, practice, and commitment.
Depending on the site’s goals, needs, and target timelines, webmasters can always hire or consult with experts to help them develop a good SEO plan and implement it successfully. Regardless of the nature of the business or the goals of the website, SEO is essential to the continued presence and exposure of any website in the online community.
The bottom row? If you’re not yet visible on Google, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to attract, convert, close and delight new customers every day. But to understand how to increase your site’s visibility through organic search, you first need to understand how Google itself determines rankings. We are here to help, your success is our success!
Victorious is a team of true SEO partners working every day to improve organizations around the world. As the trusted “outsourced, in-house” SEO team for hundreds of businesses in the SaaS, e-commerce and service industry, our partner list spans 18 countries and 6 continents and is growing every day.