SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a process of optimizing a website or page to improve the quality of its traffic from search engine results. When you understand how this works, you’ll come up with different strategies to increase your visibility in search results.
How do search engines work?
When you search for something in a search engine, it will look through all the pages in its index and tries to deliver the relevant results by using an algorithm. In order to give you the most useful information, search algorithms look at several elements: words from the query, the relevance of the pages, usability, location, settings, and expertise of sources.
How does Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work?
To make it simple, SEO works by making your content the best result available for the topic. This is because search engines aim to show the best and the most relevant results to the users.
But, how you’re going to do this depends on the search engine you’re planning to optimize for. If your goal is to gain more organic traffic, you’ll need to go after Google’s algorithm. However, if you want more views for your videos, you’ll need to understand YouTube’s algorithm. For the moment, let’s focus on the biggest search engine today: Google.
Google excellently uses more than 200 ranking factors. Nobody has an idea what all these factors are, but we have studied the relations between various factors and Google rankings. Some of these are:
Mobile-friendliness. In 2018, Google shifted to mobile-first indexing which means they now use the mobile version of your webpage for indexing and ranking. Google wants to maintain user satisfaction. Web pages that aren’t optimized for mobiles lead to dissatisfaction.
Crawlability. Google uses a computer program called spiders. These spiders collect information about your website as a way of indexing the internet. The smoother the process, the higher your website will rank.
Quality of Content. Google consistently ranks the most useful and reliable results. So, if your content has the best available answer to a query, Google will help you climb the search results.
Authority. Generally speaking, backlinks from high-authority pages are much stronger than backlinks from low-authority pages. For that reason, building backlinks from strong pages over weak ones should be prioritized in building backlinks to your content.
Search Intent. Being knowledgeable in user’s search intent is essential in creating pages that drive organic traffic. You can increase your traffic by reshaping your SEO content strategy to be more aligned with search intent.
Page Speed. Page speed shows how fast your pages load. It’s a ranking factor for both desktop and mobile. Google wants to satisfy its users by providing a page that loads fast.
Backlinks. Backlinks are important if you want to rank for anything worthwhile. You should aim to build links to your best information content such as blog posts or free tools.
Google also considers factors like location, search history, and search settings to tailor the results to what is most relevant for a user.
Knowing how a search engine works is very crucial when trying to create content that ranks. Search engine algorithms change all the time. And that being said, you should stay consistent over time.
You might find website optimization a bit challenging, but, you can reach out to a web strategist for help anytime. It is highly suggested to get in touch with an SEO expert to discuss how you can optimize your website.