What is SEO ? That question is often asked by people who are just starting to create a website or blog. The reason, by implementing a number of SEO optimization steps, websites or blogs more easily get a high ranking in Google search results .
Is that assumption correct?
Yup, simply, that’s the benefit of implementing SEO on your website or blog. However, that is only a small part of the SEO concept. Well, in this article we will discuss in full what SEO is. From the understanding of SEO, how it works, the main indicators of SEO, to why SEO is important for your website.
Understanding What Is SEO
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an effort to optimize a website to get top ranking in search results. By getting a high ranking in the search results, your organic traffic potential also increases.
In addition to generating high organic traffic, SEO will also help you get the right traffic. So you not only focus on high traffic, but also the right traffic according to the main purpose of your website.
To be able to get high traffic right on target, you need to follow the rules set by the search engine, in this case Google. You need to understand how SEO works, Google’s algorithm, and key indicators of SEO. You will learn everything in the following chapters below.
What Is SEO And How It Works
Search engines use certain algorithms to determine which content is worthy of ranking in the top search results. This applies to all search engines be it Google, Yahoo !, Bing, or Duckduckgo.
We will not discuss the algorithm in every search engine. Here we only discuss Google’s algorithm. Why? Because Google controls more than 90 percent of the search engine market share worldwide. So when discussing how SEO works, Google’s algori becomes the benchmark.
Google is always updating its algorithm to provide search results that are more relevant and solution for its users. From 2011 until now, there have been at least eight major updates for the Google algorithm.
So you should always update about Google’s algorithm. Because the optimization steps based on Google’s old algorithm will not have any effect. For example, one of the old tactics used was keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing is the practice of entering as many focus keywords as possible in an article. This tactic used to be quite effective, even if your content is short and not relevant at all to the keywords you enter.
However, with the renewal of Google’s algorithm, this tactic is no longer effective. You could even get a penalty if caught practicing it. Your content can be considered spammy if you repeat too many focus keywords.
If so, what kind of SEO optimization steps are in accordance with the latest Google algorithm? There are at least eight SEO indicators based on the latest Google algorithm, from URL structure to website speed.
What Is SEO 8 Main Indicators
The main indicators of SEO always change periodically. Changes to this indicator depend on Google’s algorithm. If Google updates its algorithm, the SEO indicator changes.
What Is SEO URL Structure
The simple URL structure makes it easy for search engines to recognize your website and the main topics that you are discussing. It’s a good idea to create a simple URL structure, just containing the domain name and article title. Here is an example of an ideal URL structure:
https://www.your websitename.com/content title
Use of SSL / TLS
Since 2014, Google began to prioritize websites that use SSL / TLS. Because websites with SSL / TLS encrypt all data transfers that occur on the website. So the security of user data is safer.
In addition, Google Chrome has marked websites without SSL / TLS as not secure. If your website domain is not yet using SSL / TLS, now is the right time to activate it.
How to find out if your website already uses SSL / TLS or not is to see the website address in the browser. If it still starts with HTTP, it means your website doesn’t use SSL / TLS. For websites that have SSL / TLS enabled, their website addresses begin with HTTPS.
What is SEO Content Topics
You must have several main topics that are interconnected to build a good website structure. After determining a few main topics, you need to create content about these topics.
For example, you have a traveling blog. At least there are some main topics such as sightseeing, culinary, and lodging. These three topics are interrelated with the main blog, which is traveling.
The more content that addresses topics that are interconnected, the more likely your website will appear on the first page of search results for that topic. Because websites with related topics are more easily recognized by search engines.
One keyword can be meant for two or more different things. Search intent is what most searchers want for a particular keyword .
For example, when entering the keyword “motogp” on Google, its top search results will display various motogp news portals like this:
Why can’t websites that discuss the meaning of motogp, types of motogp, or anything about motogp cannot win this keyword? Because the majority of users who search for the keyword “motogp” intend to search for news on the motogp, not the understanding of the motogp and its types. So Google prioritizes content that matches the search intent of most users.
In addition to adjusting content with search intent, you must also make content that is easy to understand. Make it easy for readers to find answers in your content with a clear and neat structure.
The way is easy, using headings and subheading for the most important points in the content. You can also add photos, illustrations, infographics or even videos to help readers understand your content.
Meta tags consist of the title tag and meta description. Its function is to help Google to understand the overall content on a web page. First, the title tag is the title of your article that appears in search results. The title of the article cannot be too long because Google will cut it according to applicable standards.
Second, meta description is text that summarizes your content in search results. This text is located just below the article title and URL. Meta description usually consists of 120 to 130 characters.
Backlinks are still one of the main factors of SEO. The more backlinks to your website, Google will assume your website has high credibility. However, the backlink must also come from quality websites or blogs, not low quality blogs or websites.
Website loading speed plays an important role in your SEO. Since 2018, Google has determined website loading speed (on desktops and mobile devices) as one of the main indicators of SEO. The faster the website loads, the more likely it is to get higher ranking in Google’s search results.
Types of SEO
There are two types of SEO, called on page SEO and off page SEO. Both are equally important and interrelated. So you have to apply both of them to the optimal SEO practices on your website.
On Page SEO
What is on page SEO? On page SEO is SEO optimization steps that are carried out on your website. Some SEO optimization steps on page include: permalink, content title, content structure, use of headings, website speed, responsive themes , to internal linking.
You can read more in the article on How To Optimize SEO On Page.
Different from on page SEO, off page SEO is a number of SEO optimization steps that are performed outside of your website. So optimizing your content and website is not enough. There are many factors outside the website that can affect the quality of your SEO.
One factor outside the website that is enough to affect the quality of SEO is backlinks or inbound links. Backlinks are an indicator that your content is referred to by other websites. The more quality websites that refer to your content, the better. Google rates your website as a credible website and increases your chances of ranking up.
Besides backlinks, there are still several other important factors for off page SEO. You can get more information in the article How to Optimize the Off Page SEO.
Why is SEO Important for a Website?
SEO is not an option anymore, but rather an obligation for all websites. Why is this optimization step so important? What are the benefits for your website?
Search Engines are a Source of Information
Now people can get information with just one click, namely with the search engine. In Indonesia alone, 75 percent of internet users are accustomed to using search engines such as Google to search various kinds of information, from price information, news, health information , to political information.
Traffic Dominated by Content on the First Page
Appearing in Google search results isn’t enough. If your content only appears on the second, third, or even above page, it is less likely to get traffic. Your content should at least appear on the first page!
According to Infront Webworks, 91.5 percent of traffic is dominated by websites that appear on the first page of Google search results. In more detail, 91.5 percent of the traffic is dominated by the top three positions. In order, the first, second, and third positions each received traffic of 29.6 percent, 13.1 percent and 9.2 percent.
Your Website Is Found Through Various Keywords
By implementing SEO optimization steps, your website will be more easily found from various keywords. You can reach more audiences using a variety of keywords that are related to your main topic.
For example, the main topic of your website / blog is sports. There are lots of keywords related to sports that you can target. You can discuss football, basketball, volleyball, badminton, and other topics that are still related to sports.
Brand Awareness and Increased Credibility
As many as 88 percent of consumers do online research before making a purchase. This situation requires business owners to be able to have good brand awareness so that it can always be found in cyberspace. One of the best ways to build brand awareness in the digital age is to improve the quality of SEO.
The easier your website is found in Google’s search results, the more people will know your website. That way people will become more familiar with your business and your brand of online reness will increase.
Organic Traffic Easier to Convert
One of the reasons SEO is so important for businesses is the ease of conversion. Visitors who come organically tend to be more easily converted into leads or customers. Based on SimilarWeb data, organic traffic is 10 times easier to convert than traffic from social media.
Are You Ready to Implement SEO Optimization? Do you Understand What Is SEO Now?
That is an explanation of what SEO is and how it works, indicators, and benefits. Hopefully by reading this article you can understand the basics of SEO, from understanding SEO to the main factors that influence it.