CommPRO Editorial Staff
If you operate any sort of website, then you will be fully aware of just how important it is that your website is found on the first page of Google. Unless people are going to be able to find your site when searching Google, you won’t be attracting many visitors.
The purpose for most websites, besides hobby or fan sites, is to make money. Whether the website is one for your business or service, or for an affiliate site that you have developed, without any visitors, you are going to struggle to earn anything from it.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is the process in which a website is optimized to rank better in the search engines for the desired keywords and search phrases.
Each website is different and therefore the type of SEO that is applied to it will depend on a number of factors. The first thing to do is to examine the website and make sure that the content is unique, with proper headings and subheadings in place. The next is to take a look to see what, if any, websites are already linking back to the website, and then prepare an SEO strategy based on these audits.
The Two Types of SEO
Though SEO can be performed through a variety of methods, there are two distinct types of SEO that everything will fall under. These are on-page and off-page SEO. If you are curious as to what is SEO, have a look below, where we will take a closer look.
As the name suggests, this is SEO that is performed on the pages of a website. On-page refers to everything related to the website. Content, images, page speed, meta titles and descriptions are just some of the factors that are looked at when performing on-page SEO.
The first thing an SEO expert would do before starting SEO on a project would be to perform an audit of the website. They will look at various elements of the site such as the keywords each page is targeting, whether there is sufficient content on the pages, what titles and heading are being used and how quickly the page loads.
Once a thorough audit has been carried out, then the SEO expert can start working on various on-page aspects of the website. The on-page SEO side of things is something that is carried out once, whereas off-page SEO is an ongoing proves.
Important elements for on-page SEO
There are a number of important factors when it comes to on-page SEO. First and foremost is the content on your website. In many cases, a website will have very poorly written or ineffective content. Some websites may only have a couple of pages of content while their competitors may have dozens. Good, well written and unique content is vital to every website.
Another important element of on-page SEO is your site speed. Google has recently started placing a lot of emphasis on the importance of page speed. Simply put, if your website is slow, it will give your visitors a poor experience, so Google will rank fast websites ahead of yours. There are a number of things that you can do to improve your page speed, but some of these are very technical, so you might need to employ the help of an SEO professional to fix any such problems.
This is the side of SEO that relates to everything apart from the website, hence the off-page name. This includes everything from backlinks, keyword research, social media and much more.
The most important factor in SEO are the backlinks to your website. Google has made a lot of effort to try and diminish the importance of backlinks, but they are still the more important ranking signal.
A backlink is simply a link back to your own website from another. Not all backlinks are equal, and some are a lot more powerful than others. In fact, if you have the wrong type of backlinks to your site, you could actually be causing your website a lot of problems.
As with on-page SEO, the SEO expert will undertake a backlink audit to determine who is currently linking back to your website. Once this has been performed, they will then start looking at the backlink profiles of some of your competitors in order to get a better idea of the type of backlinks your site is going to need.
Getting Good Backlinks
You will want your website to have backlinks from powerful authority websites, rather than from spammy single page websites that have no value whatsoever, or from link farms that simply link out to thousands of completely unrelated websites.
There are a couple of methods that SEOs will use to create quality backlinks to your website. These include outreach, where various websites are contacted on your behalf with a request to include a link back to your site. In such instances, the SEO has identified relevant content on other websites, and is then contacting them to see if they would be willing to include your website as a resource link.
The other more popular method is guest posts. This is when you purchase a guest post on another website, which will include a backlink to your site. There are a number of guest post services online who have connections with hundreds of authority websites that allow guesposts. You’ll simply make a one-off payment for a lifelong backlink from those sites.
Some final thoughts
SEO isn’t a science, but it is a rather complex entity with many moving parts. There are so many different aspects of SEO that at times, you might be overwhelmed with what you have to do.
Though SEO has a basic process which needs to be followed, not all websites are going to need the exact same things applied to them. It really depends on the specific website. Some sites may have excellent content and great on-page but simply lack quality backlinks. Others may have total garbage as content on their sites, that it is simply not worth performing any off-page SEO until the on-page has been corrected.
If your time is limited, then the best option would be to speak to an SEO agency. They will be able to offer you a breakdown of what your website needs, and how they can help. Remember that without proper SEO you might have a beautiful looking website, but no one is going to be able to find it. SEO is the fuel that keeps your website running and visible to potential visitors.