What is SEO – A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Over the last few decades, marketing and advertising have evolved significantly due to digitisation and other technological advancement pushing brands to shift from traditional marketing to digital marketing.
Brands today are using digital marketing channels like pay-per-click (PPC), social media marketing (SMM), social media, and search engine optimisation (SEO) to promote their products and services, increase their digital presence, reach a broader target audience, and gain a competitive advantage.
In this article, we’ll majorly talk about SEO. Let’s begin with understanding definition of SEO and then delve deeper into its types (black and white hat SEO) and lucrative career opportunities.
Simply put, Search engine optimisation refers to optimising a website such that it appears in the top results on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), helping increase organic traffic to the website. For instance, you have started a blog about your services, but it does not rank high on SERPs. There could be different reasons behind it.
- Better content on your competitors’ websites
- Weaker keywords
- Poor link building practices
- Slow load time of webpage
- Lack of good user experience on your website
You’ll have to adopt different search engine optimisation techniques to improve your website’s ranking.
Why is SEO important?
- It generates passive traffic on the brand’s website month after month
- It gets more clicks and leads compared to other digital marketing channels
- Improves user experience and time spent on a website
What are the significant pillars of SEO?
Technical optimisation, on-page optimisation, and off-page optimisation are the three pillars of search engine optimisation that decide the success or failure of a digital marketing campaign. Let’s understand them (three pillars) closely:
- Technical optimisation
Completing activities to improve a website’s technical aspect is termed technical optimisation. Typically, they are not related to content but are SEO practices that enhance the user experience and interface, among others.
- On-page optimisation
It is an SEO practice that evaluates the quality of the website content, ensuring that the content is relevant and offers a great user experience.
- Off-page optimisation
It is the process of enhancing a site’s ranking on search engines through activities outside the site. For instance, backlinking is an off-page optimisation activity that builds the website’s reputation.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO is a practice that violates the terms of service of a search engine. While black hat SEO can help in increasing page ranking temporarily, in a longer time, it can lead to the website getting banned from search engines and affiliate sites due to violation of search engine terms of service. Some of the techniques and practices used in the black hat are:
- Stuffing of keywords
- Manipulation of links
- Creation of articles, pages, or landing pages with duplicate content
Black Hat SEO could get you short-term success with a temporary increase in ranking and traffic. However, in the long run, stringent penalties from Google will be levied on the website, which will have a huge aftereffect on the ranking and traffic.
What is White Hat SEO?
In this type of search engine optimisation, the terms and conditions of the search engine are met, majorly fearing the risk of penalties. It is the opposite of black hat SEO. Below are some of the techniques of white hat include:
- Creation of original content and services
- Creating a website that is mobile friendly
- Using clear and keyword-rich meta tags
White hat SEO is a surefire way to improve a website’s ranking on SERP and maintain it. It also helps maintain the integrity of a website.
Different SEO Techniques and Strategies
There are two common search engine optimisation strategies – on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Continue reading to learn about them in detail:
Of the two types of SEO strategies, on-page SEO deals with optimising website elements. For implementing on-page SEO, we must consider certain factors, such as:
- Keyword Research
Extensive keyword research will help secure a high rank on the search engine. Some components of keyword research include:
- Search volume
- Title Tag
A title tag is an HTML tag that specifies the title of your page. It appears as a clickable headline and is essential for user experience, search engine optimisation, and social sharing. It displays your summary on the search engine results page.
- Meta Description
It is a brief description of a web page’s content, displayed below the title on the search engine page results. The meta description can give a person a better understanding of the webpage they are looking for.
- URL Structure
This means uniform resource locator and SEO-friendly URLs can help understand a webpage better.
- Header Tags
They help in identifying headings and subheadings. Header tags also enable search engines to understand the content in a better manner.
- Internal Link
Internal links help users in navigating through the website and ensure link equity.
Now that we know the definition of SEO and different types of SEO let us look at off-page SEO. It is the process that helps improve a website’s ranking on the search engine results page and strengthens its credibility. This strategy takes actions outside the website to improve the rankings on SERPs.
Here are the benefits of off-page SEO optimisation:
- Increased traffic
- Better page ranking
- Brand awareness
How to learn the fundamentals of SEO?
You can take an online digital marketing course from a reputable and globally renowned institution to understand the basics of digital marketing strategies. Additionally, pursuing the best course in digital marketing will give you an idea about how to effectively use SEO best practices to improve the ranking of your website.
Emeritus India provides the best online courses in digital marketing for professionals who want to upskill themselves. We offer these programmes in association with reputed institutes like IIM, IIT, and ISB.
Are you ready to give your marketing career the kick it needs? Sign up for one of the top digital marketing courses today!