What is SEO? Understanding, Benefits, Until How It Works
Many people think that SEO is a way for a website to get top rankings on Google. In fact, the concept is just the skin, you know.
If you go deeper, it turns out that search engine optimization is not just about ranking. In fact, SEO can increase the quality and quantity of traffic coming to your website and blog.
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That means, visitors don’t just come to your website. But, it also helps launch you in achieving the website’s goals. Whether it’s increasing branding to boosting transaction numbers.
Surely, you are more and more interested in learning what SEO is, right? Without further ado, let’s settle your curiosity in this article!
What is SEO ?
SEO is short for “search engine optimization”. This technique is an attempt to optimize the website so that it gets a top ranking in Google search results.
With SEO, the site will be easy for people to find so that it has the potential to suck up more traffic.
The question is, of the many search engines (Yahoo!, Bing, Amazon, etc.), why should you prioritize Google SEO?
The answer is simple: Google is the favorite search engine for the majority of internet users.
The proof, every day there are about 3.5 billion searches through Google. Not surprisingly, Google controls 90% of the search engine market share (Statista).
Therefore, Google SEO is enough to determine the success of the web. With good search engine optimization, the website will attract more potential traffic.
In fact, 53% of website traffic comes from organic search (SEO). Organic search is the activity of finding information by entering certain keywords into Google.
And it’s not just traffic, your audience reach is also right, aka according to the purpose of the site (increasing branding, transacting, sources of information, etc.). Curious, why is that so?
So before discussing the benefits of SEO, you should first understand the difference between SEO and SEM.
Difference SEO vs SEM
Although it sounds similar, SEO is different from SEM (Search Engine Marketing). The difference between SEM vs SEO is the focus.
Google SEO focuses on improving website performance, while SEM focuses on capturing results (traffic to conversions) instantly. For complete information, let’s look at the following differences between SEM and SEO.
Although SEM is able to bring instant results, it does not mean that website SEO is not effective.
The proof, 70–80% of people ignore paid search results and prefer content that goes up organically. Because, many people are lazy to click on content that has ad frills.
5+ Benefits of SEO for Websites and Business
Maybe you are wondering, why do you still have to implement website SEO? Even though you can promote the site through other marketing channels. For example, installing a website link in the Instagram bio, using the swipe up feature, and so on.
Well, you need to know, most of the traffic — especially business websites — that comes from search engines. Whatever the industry: technology, fashion, health, and so on.
Of course, the amount of traffic affects the success of the website to achieve its goals. In full, here are the SEO benefits that you don’t want to miss:
1. Make it Easy for Audiences to Find Websites
SEO is a surefire strategy to make it easier for your target audience to find your website.
The reason, search engine optimization allows your site perched on the first page of Google . This position clearly affects the traffic. Remember, 75% of people are lazy scrolling to the second page and so on.
It’s like opening a refrigerator full of drink cans. Surely, you’d rather take the can in the front row than bother reaching the end of the shelf, right?
2. Capture the Right Target Audience
Not only does it help your audience find your website, Google SEO also allows you to reach the right target audience .
The reason is, you can target keywords according to the search intent or the purpose of the audience in searching for certain keywords.
For example, your website’s search intent is to educate your audience about certain information. As a skin care businessman who has researched, you know the target audience is curious about Niacinamide.
As a result, you create blog content about the benefits of Niacinamide, as well as informing that your brand contains this substance. By applying SEO techniques, this content has the potential to be found by your target audience through Google.
Plus the Google algorithm prioritizes a unique search experience.
This means that Google’s algorithm will determine the recommended content that appears on the search page taking into account the characteristics of the audience . Starting from the location, search history, and so on.
That is, by applying search engine optimization, your website content will have more potential to appear to your targeted audience. As a result, traffic and conversion opportunities also increase.
3. Build Brand Awareness
The simplest way that people can do to find the product they want is: search for info on Google.
In fact, according to ReviewTrackers, 63% of people prefer to search for products on Google over other review sites.
That means, Google is indeed a strategic place to introduce a product or build brand awareness.
Eh, my website content already appears on the first page of Google, but why is my brand still less popular?
Well, the benefits of SEO do not come instantly. Approximately, new potential customers believe and are interested in your brand after 3–5 times finding the content that you create.
So the more often your website appears on the first page of Google for relevant keywords, the greater brand awareness you will get.
4. As a Long-Term Investment
Search engine optimization is a long term investment. Because, Google SEO is able to increase business opportunities. Moreover, relevant search results can influence 39% of prospective buyers’ decisions.
By building traffic naturally, the site’s position on Google is stronger and can last for a long time.
It’s different with PPC, which if you stop paying, the traffic will fall directly to 0. The reason is, your site will soon be eliminated from the top rankings.
That’s why even though SEO and SEM both have the potential to cost money, we still recommend that you optimize your website’s SEO.
5. Increase Sales and Conversions
The next SEO benefit, increase sales and conversions.
In fact, 75% of entrepreneurs also think that SEO generates more customers than any other marketing trick. In fact, the conversion rate is up to 14.6% .
The reason, SEO is able to reach a wider target audience more effectively. Different from other marketing tricks. Social media, for example, is only able to target users of related apps (Instagram, YouTube, etc.).
Moreover, Google users far more than any other platform, which is about 4.39 billion internet users.
That means, the easier the website content is found on Google, the greater the chances of attracting traffic. Especially, if your content appears repeatedly when the audience enters various keywords.
And not just any audience, you can turn the traffic that comes into many things. What was previously new potential customers, to become real customers.
6. Build a Top-of-Mind Brand
A top-of-mind brand is a brand that customers first think of when they think of a product category. For example, when it comes to mineral water, most people will mention Aqua.
Well it turns out, you can build this top-of-mind brand through SEO, you know.
As you know, SEO is a long term investment. When your website has mastered the first page of Google, your site will have stronger roots so it won’t be easily displaced.
Because the credibility of the website has begun to be proven, your other website content is easier to get the trust of Google .
Moreover, you already have traffic and Google also likes to recommend back sites that the audience has visited before.
That way, the audience will not easily forget you. You see, your content continues to appear in their search results even with different keywords.
And if you manage to master the first page of Google, potential customers are lazy to glance at the neighboring store. In their minds, the good ones are the ones who get to the top on Google.
In addition, business websites that are ranked at the top usually provide complete information. No wonder, the audience thinks your business always provides information to the products they need. As a result, the audience’s top-of-mind awareness is increasingly formed.
Now, surely you are more and more interested in learning SEO. So before going further, you should first understand the types of SEO and choose which one you want to focus on first.
Types of SEO
There are three types of SEO optimization: on page, off page, and technical . Although both aim to skyrocket website rankings, the focus of these three types of SEO is different. The following is a complete explanation of the types of SEO:
1. On-Page SEO
Goal: optimize website content so that it is easy to find the target market
On-page SEO is an effort to optimize SEO on the front of the website. The aspects that are maximized are:
- Content title;
- Content structure;
- Content images;
- Distribution of keywords;
- Content quality;
- Internal links;
- SEO elements (meta description, tags, etc.);
With on-page SEO , your content will be easier to appear on Google. And the more relevant the content is with the keywords you are aiming for, the more the audience’s needs will be answered and Google will skyrocket your website ranking.
For the record, this type of SEO is the easiest to implement and you must master, you know. So if you are just starting to learn search engine optimization, please first hone your understanding of on page SEO.
2. Off-Page SEO
Purpose: to help Google understand how useful and relevant content is to others
Off-page SEO is an attempt to optimize off-site SEO. Here are aspects of off page SEO that you can improve:
- Link building (activity to get links from other websites aka backlinks);
- Increased DA (Domain Authority: score to predict the chances of website ranking on Google);
- Increased PA (Page Authority: a score that indicates the probability of a website page being in the top Google rankings);
- Promotion of content through social media and other marketing channels;
- Guest blog (activities to post your quality articles on other websites that contain backlinks to your site).
With strong off page SEO, Google will be more confident that your site is useful for others. As a result, the credibility of the site and the potential to increase its ranking also increases.
3. Technical SEO
Goal: optimize the structure of the website so that it performs optimally and is accepted by Google
Technical SEO is an attempt to optimize SEO on the inside of the website. Broadly speaking, these aspects are included in the technical SEO area:
- Website speed;
- Website structure;
- XML Sitemap;
- Site security (SSL);
- Responsive theme;
- Website layouts;
Applying technical SEO , your website will have a good structure and easy to read by search engines. As a result, Google’s chances of indexing your site are even greater.
Eh, what does indexing the site mean?
Relax, we have prepared an explanation in the section on How SEO and SERP Work below.
How SEO and SERPs Work
Of course, the way SEO works is not just choosing a website to occupy the top page of the SERP (search engine result page). There are certain techniques that Google uses to select sites.
By knowing these techniques, you will understand why there are many types of SEO and why it is important to optimize the inside, front and outside of a website. Let’s look at the following explanation.
1. How SEO Works
Google has a tool called a web crawler . This web crawler helps Google collect various content on the internet, save it to a database or search engine storage cabinet, to process it.
In short, this is how SEO works after you release a website or post new content on a blog.
- Crawling: the process of collecting and storing web pages that have just been released or that have just been updated;
- Indexing: the process by which Google studies the structure of the website, the quality and relevance of the content to the needs of the audience, and the credibility of each website page stored in its database;
- Pulling result (ranking): Google compiles a list of the best website pages to fill the highest ranking in search results (SERP).
Well, that was how SEO works in sorting website pages to be displayed to internet users. But, how is the journey of a content so that it can be found by the audience?
2. How SERP (Search Engine Result Page) Works
Now, you will see how the Google search engine brings certain web pages in front of the audience.
Roughly, this is how the SERP works to serve recommended content to the audience:
- The audience enters certain keywords into the Google search query box;
- Google analyzes these keywords (starting from spelling, and word synonyms) in order to provide the best search results;
- From all web pages in the database, Google looks for content that contains the keywords that the audience entered ;
- With Google’s algorithm, Google analyzes content and websites to ensure the information is relevant and reliable for the audience;
- Google considers the characteristics of the audience . Starting from location, search history, and after search (SafeSearch Filters: filters to provide safe content for the audience);
- Google SERP displays a list of the best content for the audience.
You need to know, SERP is enough to stick to Google’s algorithm. The Google algorithm is Google’s guide to assessing and displaying web pages according to the keywords that users enter.
Moving on to the next section, you will find out the main SEO indicators.
12+ Key SEO Indicators
SEO indicators are things that Google evaluates to determine whether or not a website page deserves to be ranked in the top SERP.
That means, SEO indicators are aspects that you need to work on when optimizing your website. Without further ado, here are the key SEO indicators:
1. Domain Factor
Domain is the address of a website. For example: www.codingyourlife.id. While domain factors are things related to the domain that have an impact on your SEO performance.
Indeed, what are the domain factors that are indicators of SEO? Here’s the answer:
- Spelling is clear and easy to type. With simple spelling, the domain name will be easier for the audience to type and reduce the possibility of typos;
- Domain size. Long domains will be too complex for both Google and the audience to understand. Such as www.tokoniaunikdanindahsekali.com ;
- Domain age. Actually, the age of the domain is not very influential for SEO. However, the more you optimize your website from the past, the better the SEO will be;
- Domain history. If you buy a domain that has been used and has a bad history (a lot of spam activity), it will have quite an effect on SEO performance.
In conclusion, the domain factor is an important SEO indicator that you pay attention to. To get a guaranteed domain, you can create a domain name at will on Exabytes with prices starting from Rp. 15 thousand only.
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2. Website Design and Structure
In the Technical SEO discussion, you already know at a glance the importance of website structure, namely: maximizing site performance and making it easier for Google to understand the context of the site.
As a reminder, website structure is the arrangement of the important pages on the website, including their elements . Such as content arrangement, navigation, links, and content layout, and so on.
Not just any order, the website structure must be SEO-friendly. That is, your website must:
- Easily accessible;
- Quickly accessed;
- Neat website structure;
- Clear navigation menu;
- Easily recognizable links;
- Unique content title and URL;
- Quality content;
- The right color combination;
- Consistent display in the browser;
- Call to Action is clear;
- Simple forms;
- Responsive / mobile-friendly.
By answering all the criteria for an SEO-friendly website , Google will consider your site to have a good user experience and deserve to be presented to the audience.
3. Website Security (SSL/TLS)
Since 2014, Google has prioritized sites that are safe for the audience. The way Google recognizes site security is to see if the site has SSL/TLS installed or not.
For info, SSL/TLS is a security protocol to protect all data flows on websites . Websites that install SSL/TLS must have a padlock sign in the URL in the address bar.
Then, how do you get your website to have SSL/TLS?
If you subscribe to Exabytes hosting, you will get free SSL which is valid forever. But if you want to try paid SSL which is compatible with various browsers, you can also use Comodo Positive SSL .
4. Website Speed
Since 2018, Google has set website loading speed (on desktop, mobile, tablet) as one of the main indicators of SEO.
At least, the best website speed according to Google is around two seconds . To clarify your imagining, something like this website speed range:
- Very fast: 1 second
- Fast: 2 seconds
- Normal: 2 to 3 seconds
- Slow: 3 to 4 seconds
- Very slow: above 4 seconds
Then, what are the consequences if the website speed is too slow?
In fact, the audience couldn’t wait. They will not hesitate to look for other websites than waiting too long for the website page to finish loading.
If you look at the graph, you can conclude that the faster the website page loads, the lower the bounce rate and the higher page views .
Note : Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who immediately leave the site without opening another page on the website. In contrast, page views are the number of pages opened by visitors on the same website.
Well, one way to skyrocket your website speed is to choose a hosting that uses the best server. LiteSpeed Web Server , for example. This is a web server that is 50% faster in performance than other servers.
Fortunately, Exabytes hosting already uses LiteSpeed to maximize its customers’ web performance. So, there is no need to be afraid that the website will often be slow.
5. Use of Keywords
Of course, you already know that keywords are a pretty basic SEO indicator. Because, entering keywords into Google is how the audience finds your website.
Usually, beginners or SEO experts choose keywords that have a large volume. Because the large volume reflects the large number of audiences who are looking for information with these keywords.
Unfortunately, high-volume keyword competition is quite difficult. Especially for websites that have just been released and lose to sites that already have traffic.
Therefore, the strategy of using keywords has shifted. You can target several keywords at once: LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) or Long tail keywords.
Not synonyms, LSI keywords are terms or words that are considered semantically relevant by search engines. By adding LSI, the content is even richer in information.
Next, long tail keywords . Long tail keywords are specific keywords that usually tend to be low in competition . But even if the volume is low, it’s not necessarily that no one is looking for it.
Therefore, long tail keywords allow you to beat Google’s competition while also answering audience-specific questions.
In conclusion, by shooting the right keywords, it will be easier for you later to strategize the content that your audience really needs . Google is also more likely to rank you according to target keywords.
6. Content Topic
The next SEO indicator, content topics. Even though it looks trivial, choosing the wrong content topic can be fatal.
You know, this is my website but can’t I choose the topic freely?
Well, you are free to choose any topic. Even so, try to make sure that the content topics you choose are related.
For example, you have a technology blog. Provide several main topics such as digital marketing, web development & design, etc. All of these topics are interrelated with the main topic of the blog, which is technology.
Why should it be like that? The reason is simple: the more content that is related to each other, the easier it is for search engines to understand the context of your website.
In addition, related content will make it easier for you when building internal links . This is because information from one content to other content supports each other so that it is easy to insert related links.
Apply a content marketing strategy , which is a marketing technique to create and distribute content that is relevant, important, and consistent for the audience.
7. Search Intent
Search intent is the user’s goal when searching for a search keyword.
For example, when the audience enters the keyword ‘website development services’ on Google. Most likely, they are looking for a website creation service.
So, the SERP will display recommendations for the most trusted website creation services.
Obviously, the results will be different if the audience types in the keyword ‘tips to open a website development service.’ They may be interested in opening a website creation service and figuring out how to get started.
Therefore, SERP also brings recommendations for tips on opening a website creation service.
That means, Google is trying to understand the intent of its users through the incoming keywords. In other words, the keywords with the content you create must be as relevant as possible to the audience’s search intent.
8. Content Structure
The next SEO indicator, content structure.
One of the ways Google can read your content is to see how it uses headings. Heading is the title of the article section that contains certain information.
The use of headings is not arbitrary . Although there are H1 (main title of content) to H6 (sub-heading), you must understand the hierarchy. The closer to H6, the more detailed the information you provide.
In addition to making it easier for Google to read the structure of the content, the heading format will make it easier for the audience to quickly catch the core of the content.
In addition, headings can help you get featured snippets (snippets column at the top of Google).
From the headings, Google and the audience can judge whether your content answers their search intent.
9. Image Optimization
One of the elements that people often underestimate even though it has quite an impact on website SEO, namely images. Be it cover content, supporting illustrations, videos, or other visual formats.
In fact, image SEO can boost the performance of your website . Both in terms of speed to ease of finding in search results. Because, Google’s algorithm is able to read the images you post.
Therefore, image optimization is an SEO indicator that you should pay attention to. How to optimize image seo is to make sure the file name is right, choose an image with the right size, and so on.
10. URL Structure
URL alias permalink is a link that will take the audience to certain content or website pages.
With a simple URL structure and clear keywords, it is easier for search engines to understand the topic of the web page.
Create a URL structure containing the domain name and article title or main keyword. Example: www.yourwebsite.com/jam-tangan-men
11. Meta Tags
Meta tags consist of title tags and meta descriptions . The title tag is the title of the article that appears in search results. While the meta description is a summary of your content under the meta tags.
Since meta tags are the first thing your audience sees before entering your content, their presence is quite important. With meta tags, the audience can judge whether the content matches their search intent or not.
It’s important you know, because space from Google is limited, the size of the meta tags must adjust . Title tags that are too long will be cut by Google, while the meta description is limited to 120 to 130 characters.
In the Off Page SEO section, you already know at a glance backlinks. Backlinks are links from neighboring websites that point to your website.
This SEO indicator is quite important, because it is a consideration for Google in assessing the credibility of the website . The reason is, when your content is used as a reference by other websites, it means that the content you create is indeed useful.
However, you can’t just get backlinks from any website or blog. Of course, the site that provides the backlink must be of high quality. This quality can be seen from the DA and PA scores. The higher the DA and PA scores, the chances of website pages appearing in the top rankings also increase.
13. Web Spam
Web spam is communication through the website in bulk and excessive. For example, bombarding one short article with hundreds of the same keywords. The goal, to win the SEO competition.
Usually, those who do web spam are those who don’t really understand how SEO works or people who want to conquer search pages instantly and fraudulently.
In fact, Google does not like a lot of spamming sites , you know. Because, web spam will damage the user experience of the audience and at the same time reduce the credibility of the website.
There are several types of web spam that people often do:
- Content based spam , i.e. spam activities carried out on content. Like doing keyword stuffing (insert keywords in excess);
- Comment spam , which is spam in the comments column of neighboring websites by entering your own website link;
- Link spam , is a spam activity by bombarding certain platforms with excessive backlinks. Be it in online forums, guest blogs, and so on.
So even though optimizing for website SEO is important, you must pay attention to the limits of fairness and not cheat.
Moreover, Google is getting smarter in assessing the spam level of a website so that it doesn’t hesitate to get rid of sites that do it.
What are SEO Ranking Factors?
From the previous discussion, you know that SEO indicators are metrics that Google assesses to assess the feasibility of a website and its content. Well, these indicators can actually be grouped into SEO ranking factors.
SEO ranking factors are criteria that Google sets to evaluate SEO indicators, including:
- Relevancy , namely the relationship between the needs of the audience with the information provided;
- Authority , namely the level of credibility of the website or content in presenting accurate and relevant information;
- Value , is the quality of the website to the content to provide benefits to the audience;
- User experience , namely the experience of the audience when they interact with the website and all the elements in it.
Then, which indicators are included in the Google Ranking factor ? Let’s look at the following table.
SEO FactorScopeRelevancyUsage of keywordContent topicURL structureMeta tagAuthorityDomain factorWebsite securityBacklinkWeb spamValueSearch intentUser experienceWebsite design and structure Website speed Image optimization
In addition to the SEO factors above, website rankings are also influenced by the Google algorithm . Google’s basis in assessing this website has a system that is continuously updated in order to provide the best search experience.
That means, Google’s algorithm exists to meet the needs of the audience. So, instead of just focusing on pursuing Google’s ever-changing algorithm, it’s better to focus on presenting websites and content that is useful to the audience.
Ready to Apply SEO Optimization?
Now, you understand better that SEO is a way of optimizing a website so that it sits on the top page of Google.
By implementing the right website SEO, you will be flooded with traffic and get abundant benefits. Starting from expanding awareness, encouraging transactions, to extending the life of the business.
But even though this article is finished, don’t think learning SEO just ends. As Aristotle (Greek philosopher) said, “ What we have to learn, we learn by doing .” So, the best way to understand SEO is by practice.
So, how do you practice search engine optimization?
Don’t worry, we have prepared the answer in this e-book on the most effective SEO optimization steps. Without further ado, let’s download and optimize your website’s SEO!
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