SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engines (like google, bing) continuously try to optimize their ranking algorithms to show the most relevant results for their users. Optimizing your webpage by these guidelines to appear high in their rankings is referred to as SEO. The traffic from this process is also called organic, free, natural traffic.
SEO helps to increase high-quality traffic as the intent of the audience is high when looking for information on search engines. It also pushes up the quantity of traffic as search is the most common discovery mechanism for most users. Ultimately, what matters is your content is high quality, highly relevant to the target audience.
How does SEO work
Daily over 2 million blogs get published. Add videos and websites, and images, etc. All this new content comes to these search engines every day. Google, Bing, Duck Duck go, Yahoo, etc do the hard job of ranking these pages and showing us the most relevant results. Your website/content is also one of them.
The search engines will scan, crawl and try to understand (user-friendliness, content quality, ease of navigation, etc) all the new websites. Based on its parameters, it tries to identify high quality and high relevance websites across search queries and rank them accordingly. The process of optimizing your website to rank higher in their search results is called search engine optimization.
What are the factors that Impact SEO?
These are factors that you control and hence can show faster results. Authority and usefulness are the top things search engines look for based on following -
The quality of content on your website is one of the biggest factors in deciding your website rank. Search engines look at the content quality and depth, font size, images, interactive elements, video, ordered lists, readability, etc to determine your content quality.
UX - Design / navigation
Another time extremely important to google is how the users are experiencing and liking your website. Search engines look at tIme on site, bounce, click-through rate, etc to estimate if your website is user-friendly. Hence it becomes critical what to show first, how to show it, how to make users interact with your content etc.
Technical / Tags
Finally, the technical factors like performance, https, Title tag, meta description, Heading and Subheadings, internal links, Alt tags, etc are crucial to tell search engines how to crawl and understand your website. Without this, it is extremely hard for them to rank your website even if you have everything else right.
These are factors that you have very little control over and hence may take time to build.
Trust is an extremely crucial dimension on which search engine ranks websites. One of the most critical factors for determining trust is how many high-quality websites refer to you. This process of other websites linking to you is called building backlinks. Search engine rankings are very sensitive to backlinks from high-quality websites. Building high-quality content and relationships with influencers/fans are the best way to get backlinks.
Another way to build trust is by having quality shares from influencers. Social signals like likes, shares, comments, etc influence your page rankings.
What is SEO software?
SEO software helps you get free traffic by giving you tools like keyword research, link builder, SEO audits, rank tracking, content optimization, etc to rank at the top of the search results.
These tools together help you build your domain authority, page authority and performance in the eyes of search engines. They help you optimize the keywords on which you should win and strategize which search terms to go after. Overall, their main job is to help your website build trust so that you can rank higher for your target audience.
Who uses SEO software?
Seo software is mainly used by digital marketers. The top two profiles of people who use SEO software include
The analyst is the person who uses the tool thoroughly to leverage its capabilities to the fullest. They are responsible for keyword research, link building, rank tracking, etc. SEO analysts work alongside the technical teams (or something they are adept with front end technologies) to implement the SEO audit changes. They may also work marketing teams to come up with user research, content ideas, and market analytics.
Managers are responsible for driving the company’s SEO strategy. This involves regularly monitoring the KPIs and metrics the team is responsible for and staying up to date with the latest changes in SEO. They mainly use SEO tools for reporting, analytics and dashboards to be on top of team deliverables. Occasionally they do some keyword research to understand the user but regularly use it to understand the market needs and trends. They are also responsible for most of the heavy lifting on the off-site SEO strategy around link building - building relationships and getting backlinks.
Content marketers’ primary KPI is to produce content (blogs, videos, images, etc) to drive traffic to the website. And for content to drive traffic it has to win on search engines and hence SEO becomes a key part of their strategy. These tools help them plan their content better and analyze their performance as well.