Complete beginner’s guide to SEO
If you are just getting started with online marketing, you may be overwhelmed with several acronyms like SEM, SERP, SMO etc. I was also crammed with them but I am now used to them.
But SEO is the most common acronym that most people ask for. It refers to Search Engine Optimization, one of the most important parts of online marketing.
We are going to explain all the possible aspects of SEO to help you get started with this post, such as basics of SEO, how SEO works, and factors affecting search results to improve your efforts.
If you have been using Google or any search engine to search for something online (like most of us), you probably already know many more things about SEO than you expect. See how it works. You use a keyword or phrase to search for anything on a search engine (we will talk about Google because it is widely used). It shows what you want from search results.
SEO means a lot for most companies as they can get a lot of visitors and traffic on the web and they can increase sales with them if people find them and what they are looking for through online search. If you are not found by the people in online search, you might miss a lot of opportunities and your competitor can easily snatch it from you. SEO is usually the part of digital marketing and it also combines other techniques like content marketing, social media marketing and so on.
Factors Affecting Online Search
When you type something in the search box, you cannot see but there is a lot that goes on in the background. Google considers over 200 factors to determine results for each query. Google considers over 200 various factors to choose the right result for each of your queries. All of those factors are still unknown but you may find a lot of theories. It means there are various ways for a top SEO Company. Here are some of the important factors that Google considers when it comes to search for anything –
- Search queries
Understanding the results for your query is the first thing that Google considers. It uses Knowledge Graph, its own technology to understand the type of your query in a better way, what you might want, and whether it can meet your needs with a map, a meaning, a list or any other thing. At the end of your search, you may have seen that it guesses when you type something and it even suggests the right spelling in case you’ve misspelled something.
Google also works hard in different ways to meet your needs whenever you search. For example, if you enter “timer 30 minutes” on a search engine, it will set a timer just from the results rather than making you click on an online timer. If you check flight status that you want to take when you log in to Google with your Gmail account, it will check out your mail and give you your flight’s status. Search engines are working well on better ways to predict what we want and what we need more accurately and quickly.
Along with considering the nature of the question, a search engine also takes into account your location. For example, when you enter something like “restaurant”, Google will instantly list some restaurants near you rather than a blog or Wikipedia post on the meaning of restaurant. If you are running an offline business, you need to work hard to improve your SEO efforts to improve your visibility locally. You can optimize your Google Places page.
- Verified authors
Google prefers those people who always come up with helpful content. Google Authorship is a way it can do the same. Verified authors through Google+ can get special attention from search engines. You can easily detect the verified author with their small picture along with their content when you look at search results.
- Social Search
Social network of each person is yet another factor search engines consider these days. You can easily find content through social search like blog posts, photos, and reviews that are created by your contacts and friends in social networks. Google pulls a result for you just because your friend has posted something you might like who is connected with you on Google+.
- How it is shared
Along with using the social network of individuals to serve personalized results, social sharing is also used by search engines as a sign to figure out the quality of content. Social actions like “+1s” on Google+ and Likes on Facebook may play a vital role in Google’s selection of results to show you. Social media is witnessing significant growth to find content and websites and it literally makes sense. From 2011 to 2012, there was a 7% rise in people using social media. So, social media has been used widely to search for websites as compared to using search engines directly, as reported by Forrester.
- Device used to search
At the end, the search engine should figure out what device you are using to search for anything. Are you using a tablet, computer, or smartphone? This way, it prepares well to give you results. User’s needs vary from device to device as well. For example, you might be searching for a blog post or news article to read at your own convenience if you are using a laptop. On the other side, you might want an address, email or phone number quickly, or just a quick comparison of a product or price, if you are searching over the phone.
So, mobile search calls for different result types to meet varied needs. When combining all such factors, search results might be different for a specific query. It might depend on factors like where you are, type of device you are using, and who you know.