What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? A Beginners Guide to Get Started

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A guide on SEO (Search engine optimization) 2023 - Itzfizz

The world of SEO is changing rapidly, and it’s something that every company and brand will always need. SEO and digital marketing have become a part of every company’s marketing plan.

Almost every small and big business that has a website is now investing in SEO so they can rank well on Google SERP, but due to frequent changes in Googles’ search algorithm, the need for assistance from a professional in the SEO industry is a must if you want to improve your organic search rankings.

So, if you are an aspiring SEO professional or a business looking out for some SEO education.

Here is a step by step guide on search engine optimization which can help you get started.

So, Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

Fun Fact

Did You Know?

Around 50% of users begin their search on a mobile device and this percentage will only increase (business2community).

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO is the process through which online businesses increase the organic visibility of their websites on search engines such as Google, Bing etc. SEO is an important technique with the help of which a website can attain a position in SERP and business can drive organic search traffic to their websites which in return yields conversions. The higher a website ranks, the more internet users have access to a site. SEO can also be used to improve image search, local search, video search and more. The best part is SEO works not only on Google but any website with a search engine. Some of the popular search engines include Google, Amazon, Bing, YouTube and more.

How does SEO work?

How SEO Works

Now! That we have a basic idea of SEO, let’s take a step further and see how does it work.

The first step in ranking a website is optimizing the content on the pages which starts with keyword research with metrics such as search volume and difficulty. If you’re new to this, we’ve got it covered in the blog below.

So how do these major search engines work?

1. Crawling:

In Crawling search engines scans all types of content on the internet from regular pages, blog posts, ALT tags and others.

2. Indexing:

Once the website is crawled, the information then is indexed on Google Search

Through indexing, the search engines analyze, categorize, store and present it on SERPs.

3. Ranking:

When the end-user submits a search query, the search engine looks into the index and presents out the best results. The list of the results is called SERP (Search Engines Results Page).

Search engines look for four major elements while determining which website provides more high-quality & relevant content.

Accordingly, it decides which site to provide a higher rank in SERP.

The four main elements are:

1.Content:

This checks whether the content is relevant to what the user is searching for.

2.Performance:

This element checks whether the site loads fast and its performance

3.Authority:

Authority keeps a check on the content that is useful enough to link or not.

4.User experience:

User experience is a concept to check how aesthetically pleasing your site looks.

Additionally, you need to check the site you’re designing is user-friendly

Is the value prop being delivered in the first 10 seconds? If not it can increase the bounce rate

Note: Google and Bing constantly make updates and modifications in their ranking algorithm. There are many ranking factors that Google considers. So, to improve your search engine ranking you need to address both On-page SEO and Off-page SEO

What are the types of SEO?

There are three types of Search engine optimization:

1. On-page SEO:

On-Page SEO refers to optimizing all possible factors with regards to content curated.

These include blogs, pages, product & service pages to name a few. On page require a good set of content creators who can articulate human & google friendly content.

Creating content that is relevant to users helps in getting relevant traffic from search engines.

On-page takes both the content and HTML of the webpage into consideration.

On-page SEO Factors:

a. Keyword research:

Interesting and Relevant Keywords are crucial for on-page. There is no guarantee that keyword density will help you rank better, but you should consider maintaining a decent percentage of the main target keyword in your content. You can create a list of keywords and select the core keyword.

There are tools like Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest which you can conduct free Keyword Research and build the right set of keywords for your target audience.

b. Content optimization:

We all know “Content is King”, therefore content optimization becomes necessary. You can do content optimization by adding keywords, meta descriptions, and internal links if required. 

It is always preferred to keep paras extremely short (50-200 words of content). This would help in improving the readability of content for users.

Another way to look at this is if you’re a business you need to structure this content towards buying intent. This can help you drive in users who are interested in buying your products.

Example: Users searching for keywords like “buy shoes” would have a higher intent of purchasing the item rather than users searching for keyword “shoes”

This improves the probability of sales and conversions because users with a buying intention are coming via content through search (Google)

c. Title tag optimization:

The title of the web page is referred to as the Title tag. It is also the main heading you find in the SERP. Title tag optimization is one of the most important on-page SEO factor. Keep the title to 65 characters or less to grab the attention of visitors.

Additionally, you should consider the following:

  1. Always write unique titles for every page.
  2. Pay attention to the length, 55-65 characters is an ideal limit
  3. Use 1 Target keyword
  4. Make sure the 1 line signifies, what exactly the page is about
d. Meta Description:

A meta description is a short description that appears below the URL on a search engine results page.

It describes the content on the page and it’s written to help your web page stand out in the list of SERP results.

Keep the description limited to 155 characters to ensure your entire description is shown in search results.

2. Off-page SEO:

Off-page SEO is also called Off-site SEO. Off-page optimization refers to all the actions performed outside of the actual website to improve your website’s search ranking.

Off-page SEO primarily focuses on link building, posting on social media, cold email outreach, influence marketing, guest blogging, etc.

Link building is one of the important aspects of off-page SEO. Link building is the process where you acquire hyperlinks from other websites to your website.

It is an important ranking factor, as it helps build credibility and domain authority.

For instance, when your website or blog acquires a link from another relevant website or blog, your websites’ authority and trustworthiness will increase.

Benefits of Off-Page SEO:

1. A website or blog with good quality reference links ranks higher in search engine search results.

2. High-quality links (backlinks) from authority websites or blogs helps in increasing your website’s domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA).

3. A high number of social shares and mentions helps in ranking better and improve organic traffic.

3. Technical SEO:

Technical SEO is the process wherein the technical aspects of a website are improved to increase the websites’ organic ranking. Technical aspects include crawling, indexing, rendering, and website architecture.

Technical SEO takes into consideration the following key factors to ensure that your website meets the expectation of Search engine algorithms:

1. Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly:

This refers to designing a mobile-friendly website means that the website should be ‘responsive’ so that it can be navigated and read easily on any device. As of 2017 Google search is very popular on mobile devices (also termed as mobile search) thus Google emphasizes having a responsive site.

2. Speeding up your website:

As Users, many of us prefer websites that load quickly. Page speed is also considered an important ranking factor in SERP.

Fun fact: Average load time of a good website is considered to be a max of 3 seconds. (source: thinkwithgoogle)

3. Creating an XML sitemap:

An XML sitemap is a file that helps search engines to understand your websites’ content better. It acts as a roadmap that tells search engines what content is available and how to reach it. It even contains useful information about each page on your website.

4. Register your website with Google search console:

Google search console is a free tool that allows you to submit your website to search engines for indexing. Doing so, allows you to keep a track of the general performance of your website from SERPs’ perspective.

5. Structured data markup:

Structured data markup, also called schema markup, is added to your website to help search engines understand the content easily. This data can help Google and Bing index your site more effectively and provide more relevant results.

Why is SEO important?

SEO can be a game-changer for any website that wants to rank higher on SERP results. Search engine optimization helps you in improving your websites’ rank in search engine results in the following ways:

1. Quality traffic:

SEO is an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is customer-centric marketing. It involves creating and making relevant information easily accessible to users for better user interaction.

When you focus on attracting users who are constantly looking for relevant content that is related to your industry, products, and services, you’ll be effective in reaching your target market.

2. Free of Cost:

SEO doesn’t require you to pay for your ads to show directly, although you need to invest a lot of time and effort to produce high-quality content. You contribute to google by adding relevant answers to people’s search queries, this eventually helps you rank better.

3. SEO helps in maintaining public relations:

SEO and PR are both different digital marketing strategies but when applied together they can help you in maximizing the results. The main connection between the two is link building.

Earning links from reputable websites is an important component in SEO strategy and PR strategy is about getting notable publications and influencers to talk about your company.

4. Move ahead of your competition:

Creating a website using SEO tactics is considered a prominent requirement for all marketing strategies. Having an SEO strategy will help you provide quality content to your users and will help your business augment its visibility on the Internet.

SEO as a career opportunity

Presently when online businesses are booming, there is an evident increase in the demand for search engine optimization services. An SEO specialist is required in every organization.

Whether you are from Arts, Science or Commerce background you can always learn SEO and enhance your CV.

Today, there are many courses available online on Digital Marketing and there are plenty of options to get SEO training and become certified.

Here are some of the advantages of working in the SEO industry:

  • You can start your business as a freelancer or an SEO agency.
  • You can set your working hours.
    It’s a great opportunity to meet people from all around the World.
  • You can also work as an SEO in an agency.
  • As online businesses are growing, the need for all companies to hire an SEO will always be in demand.

This gives you the opportunities for several positions – Digital Marketer, SEO Specialist, SEO Consultant, SEO Content Writer, Technical SEO specialist, and so on.

Working with SEO tools

Using the right SEO tools can make the process of ranking your website on SERP an easy task, provided that you know how to use them correctly.

Being familiar with the Google search console and Google analytics tool is essential. You also need to learn how to use other SEO tools such as:

1. Keyword Planner

2. Answer The Public

3. Backlink Analysis tool

4. Link explorer

To know in detail about these tools and various other SEO tools you can check out our blog on free SEO tools.

Truths about SEO

  1. SEO takes time – it’s not a quick fix or overnight solution.
  2. SEO requires ongoing effort and maintenance.
  3. SEO is constantly evolving and changing – you need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.
  4. SEO is not a one-size-fits-all solution – it depends on your industry, target audience, and business goals.
  5. SEO is not just about rankings – it’s also about user experience and conversions.
  6. SEO requires a holistic approach – you need to optimize both on-page and off-page factors.
  7. SEO is not just for large businesses – small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from SEO too

Scope of SEO in India & Globally

The scope of SEO in India is immense. With the rise of digital marketingand the increasing importance of online visibility for businesses, SEO has become a crucial part of every digital marketing strategy. India has a large and growing online population, and more and more businesses are recognizing the importance of SEO in reaching their target audience.

In fact, according to a report by Statista, the search engine marketing industry in India is expected to reach a value of 64 billion Indian rupees by 2025. This represents a huge opportunity for businesses to leverage the power of SEO to increase their online visibility and drive more organic traffic to their website.

The scope of SEO is not limited to India alone, as it is a crucial aspect of digital marketing worldwide. In fact, according to a report by Search Engine Journal, SEO is projected to be a $80 billion industry by 2020 & more than $200 million by 2025

SEO for Small & Medium Business

You might be thinking that SEO is only for big companies with big budgets, but actually, SEO can help businesses of all sizes!

By using long-tail keywords that are more specific to your products or services, you can attract more qualified leads to your website. And don’t forget about local SEO – optimizing your website for local search queries and creating local business listings can help you show up in local search results and bring in nearby customers.

But wait, there’s more! Building high-quality backlinks is also key to improving your search engine rankings. By creating valuable content that other websites want to link to, you can boost your authority and credibility with search engines.

So don’t let your size hold you back – with SEO, small and medium-sized businesses can compete with the big guys and get noticed online. Plus, it’s a cost-effective way to increase your visibility and attract more customers.  Itzfizz is one such agency which helps SMBs to scale online with effective On page & Off page SEO strategies to scale online organically.

Conclusion

If you have a website or blog for your agency or company SEO can help your business grow and meet the business objectives. SEO will help you find the target audiences, showcase your products and services efficiently, generate high revenue, and increase your credibility!

Also, there are alternatives fields like Search engine marketing & Social Media Marketing as well if you want to get started with digital marketing.

Here is a link to our guide on digital marketing as well

If you have a strong SEO skill set, there will be many opportunities both now and in the future.

One such opportunity lies with us at itzfizz if you want to learn SEO or grow your business or are looking for any marketing solution such as Web Development, branding, SEO & Social Media Marketing you can contact us by clicking here.

Additionally, if you have any questions below or want to add anything we missed out mention in the comments section below I will be open to discuss the same.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

What is the importance of SEO?

SEO consists of multiple strategies, actions, and best practices, with the end goal of improving your website’s position on the search engine. The successful implementation of on- and off-page SEO factors can optimize your website for better rankings in search engines.

Like I said earlier, the vast majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, and nearly 75% of searchers start their searches on Google; Combine that with the fact that the first five results on Google get 67% of all clicks, and you get an idea of why search engine optimization is so important.

What is website analysis in SEO?

Website analysis is the process of testing and analyzing a websites' performance in relation to SEO, speed, traffic and competition. Performing website analysis will help you in improving your website and rank better on search engines.

How do I find SEO keywords?

SEO keywords are the keywords in your website's content that makes it possible for people to find your site via search engines. You can find the relevant keywords with good search volume to add to your content using SEO keyword research tools such as:

1. Keyword Explorer

2. Keyword Planner

What factors in link building matters?

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. The factors that matter in link building are:

1. Authority of the linking page.

2. Authority of the linking website.

3. Relevancy of the website.

4.Link's position on the page.

What is black hat & white hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO focuses on optimizing your content only for the search engine, not considering humans at all. White hat SEO, on the other hand, is the way to build a sustainable online business.

What are the factors that make up great content?

Here are the factors that make up great content in Google's eyes: Quality – While the times where just delivering the best-quality content would make you stand out from the crowd are long gone, it is still the starting point for any successful SEO effort (and any online business, really).

What is authority?

Authority – Google determines the overall authority of your site by a mix of two kinds of authority that you can build:

1. Domain authority, which has to do with how widespread your domain name is.

2. Page Authority: which primarily focuses on a number of backlinks pointing at that particular page

What is a search engine?

You might think of a search engine as a website you visit to type (or speak) a question into a box and Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or whatever search engine you're using magically replies with a long list of links to webpages that could potentially answer your question.

What is the role of SEO in Digital Marketing?

SEO plays a crucial role in digital marketing, as it helps businesses increase their online visibility and reach their target audience. By optimizing their website's content and structure, businesses can improve their search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic to their website.

How does Google work?

Here's how it works: Google (or any search engine you're using) has a crawler that goes out and gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet.

Can I do SEO myself?

Yes, you can do SEO yourself. However, it requires a lot of time, effort, and expertise. If you're new to SEO, it's recommended to start by learning the basics and gradually building your knowledge and skills.

How do I start learning SEO?

You can start learning SEO by reading blogs and articles, watching video tutorials, and taking online courses. There are many free and paid resources available online that can help you learn the basics of SEO.

Is SEO paid or free?

While SEO itself is free, it requires a lot of time, effort, and expertise. However, businesses can also opt for paid SEO services, such as hiring an SEO agency or using paid SEO tools.

About Author

Anuradha is a passionate content intern at itzfizz digital. An avid learner with a dynamic portfolio of managing content for clients across multiple domains and nationalities. Set out to make a career in digital marketing, because hey, pizza costs real money.

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