Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important tools if you own or operate a website. It has become one of the most essential assets for website owners to earn traffic and views. SEO is a set of standards applied to make your website optimized for search engine rankings. In layman’s terms, it means that complicated algorithms are applied to make sure your website pops up in the top search results of search engines like Yahoo!, Google, Bing, etc. This method of improving your ranking in search engine results is called Search Engine Optimization.
When you search for something on Google, you see websites displayed and you might have thought it is in random order or by the order of latest posts. But the order in which these websites are displayed is more complex then you thought. These search results are based on search engine ranking algorithms that include many factors about a website that provides a basis for its ranking in the results. Optimizing your website means you will apply the set of rules and processes to make sure your site ranks high and is displayed in the top.
Main Stages of SEO
SEO is one of the best ways to improve your website and make it high-quality, with a user-friendly and easy interface. However, SEO is not just a process rather a framework of processes and rules. It can be further broken down into three main stages of processes such as Technical, On-site, and Off-site SEO. These stages are described more elaborately below:
- Technical SEO
This is the first step in SEO and one of the most important. It does not have anything to do with the content of your website rather it deals with its configuration. Technical SEO is the process of setting up and configuring your site so that search engine crawlers can index and crawl your site easily. If you encounter issues with indexing or crawling, then it can affect your search engine ranking. That is why you have to make sure to do it correctly the first time around. Once you have perfected it, you would not need to do it again.
- On-Site SEO
This is the second step in the SEO process which refers to the content and elements of your site. This includes a set of rules to be applied to make your site and content of it more search engine friendly. Since search engines do not read the content of your website, what matters is the context and how you represent it to them. This is where tools and techniques like keywords, image SEO, website structure, title optimizations, structured data markup, headings, internal links, and others come in. The more that you send right signals to the search engines, the more the credibility and ranking of your website will improve.
- Off-Site SEO
The third and last process is off-site SEO which refers to link building and other techniques of optimizing your site so it can rank high in search engine results. Off-Site SEO makes sure that your site is the prime candidate for when a user enters a search query in a search engine. When you try to search for something, the search engine tries looking for the website that fits your needs accurately. One of the things that can help your website rank higher in the results is the backlinks used in your site. What impacts your rank in the search engine results ranking is the number and quality of the backlinks that you have used. If your links are from legitimate and reputable sites, then it would greatly improve your ranking for search engines. However, if you have used link farms, paid links or links from article directories then it could not only negatively affect your ranking but go against Google’s guidelines.
That is why off-site SEO is necessary, so you can make sure the links you have produced are not going to affect your ranking in the search engine results. What you can do to improve it is to have good quality content on your site as it will automatically generate natural links which would result in higher ranking and more traffic. Links that are bought or generated using unethical means will only give you high rankings temporarily.