What Is SEO? A Breakdown Of Search Engine Optimization

By Salt

In a nutshell, SEO is improving your website in order to increase your visibility on organic results of search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. The higher you rank on the search engine result pages, the more traffic your website receives. With SEO, you want to increase both the quantity and the quality of the traffic, ultimately growing the conversions for your business. Let’s look into what search engine optimization entails.

Google’s Goal

An internet user makes a search on Google. The platform’s goal is to return the most relevant result to the user.

Your Goal

Show the search engine that your content is the most relevant, and get a top rank on the result pages for the user to click through to your website.

Why the emphasis on Google? It holds over 90% of the global search engine market share, outdoing its competitors across desktop, tablet and mobile searches. In order to get more organic traffic to your website, then the SEO needs to be in line with Google’s best practices. For more videos, then the SEO should be in tune with YouTube’s algorithm. The ranking algorithms are different from one search engine to the next.

The Crawling Process

So how do search engines work? Their bots crawl webpages, gathering information about them and indexing it. The program carrying this out is called a “spider”. Remember your school library, and how the librarian used to pull up a book to help you find what you were looking for? It’s a similar case, but on a global level, with trillions of searches being made every year. Here, the search engine knows what is in every book (webpage) and can point you to the exact source with the information you desire.

The algorithm used by the search engines is not public information – but Google has provided information about factors used in their ranking system, like words used in the query, relevance and usability of webpages, all through to the location of the user. 

SEO Optimizing For Google

First, note that Google ranks the individual webpages themselves – not the website in its entirety. So, the SEO is done for the different pages, each with tie topics and keywords. What does the process entail?


● Is the content crawlable?


Step 1: Let Google know that your content exists. The search engine’s web crawlers follow links on pages that it already has in its index to find new pages. For instance, if Website X that’s on Google’s index has a link to your site’s homage, then when the spiders crawl the site, they follow the link from X to your site, and add it to the index.

The spider will in turn crawl the links that are on your homepage to discover more pages on your site. The search engine uses internal links for this process, so pages without them typically won’t be crawled. Issues like poor internal linking will interfere with this. The crawlers are also blocked on noindexed pages, and when internal links have nofollow tags. We can carry out an SEO audit for your website to determine if there are such issues affecting it.


Mobile-friendly content


Mobile devices alone (excluding tablets) account for 54.8% of global website traffic according to Statista. If the desktop version of your website loads on the user’s mobile, chances are that they will leave. 80% of consumers will actually stop engaging with content if it doesn’t display well on their device. Are your webpages mobile friendly?

Google is taking this seriously as well. With the shift to mobile-first indexing, Google will use the mobile version of webpages for the indexing and ranking. In fact, this is the default for all new sites from July 2019. If you already have a responsive site, then this won’t really be an issue. However, if you have a desktop version, then this will be to your disadvantage going forward. It will also be problematic for those running the old m‑dot sites (like m.websiteX.com) since the content that is on the desktop version may be what the internet user needs compared to that on the mobile version, yet it is the later that gets indexed. The m-dot sites may also experience bugs. While the plan was to have 100% mobile-first indexing by September 2020, this was pushed to March 2021 due to coronavirus delays, and technical issues encountered in the shift.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Other factors that need to be looked into include:

Page loading speed

Keywords and search intent

Link building

Page authority

EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)

With professional SEO services from the SaltMarketing team, you will be in  position to grow your online presence organically and scale your business. Get in touch today to discuss your particular needs.

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