If you’re reading this article then it’s probably the case that you have heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) before and that you already have a vague idea of what it is, however things may still be unclear for you. We will therefore review the various notions that define SEO as well as the issues that it represents in the marketing strategy of any online advertiser. This article is an introduction to SEO; various/specific SEO methods will be detailed in other articles whose links will be displayed towards the end of this article so as to deepen your overall understanding of what exactly SEO is.
The Wikipedia definition
Search engine optimization is a set of techniques designed to promote search engine understanding of all the themes and content of one or all pages of a website. These techniques are therefore aimed at providing maximum information about the content of a web page to search engine crawlers.
There you go! Have fun getting started with this definition! 😐
The definition in English (≠ in Wikipedian)
SEO is a set of techniques (so far we agree) allowing search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.) to display your website in search results based on user queries.
Example: You sell tennis gear on your website. SEO will allow you to appear in search results for people who want to buy online tennis gear (“buy tennis racket”, “cheap tennis shoes” etc.).
So SEO is a kind of language that will allow you to communicate with search engines by telling them “this is my site, it deals with the following subject(s), that’s how I organized it, such and such pages are important and there is no point in referencing this or that one.”
Why do we need SEO?
As you already know (at least I hope), there are millions of websites accessible via search engines. Unless you have decided to create a website that traces the evolution of the hairpin through the centuries (to each their own I guess…), there is a good chance that you are not the only one to propose your genre of content. As a result, it is necessary to define rules in order to allow search engines to understand the theme(s) of your site and to display the content that best meets the expectations of Internet users. The purpose of SEO is to guide search engines to understand if your site’s data matches the search for Internet users. The challenge for you is of course to appear in a sufficiently good position on search results so that users looking for you can find you and click on your link.
A poor SEO strategy or even the lack of an SEO strategy can have increasingly negative impacts. Indeed, with more than 29,000 gigabytes of data published every second around the world, it becomes necessary to be able to “get yourself seen.”
SEO will therefore give us guidelines to facilitate the work of the search engines. We will explain in the following point the two types of SEO that exists: The internal SEO and the external SEO.
The different types of SEO
a) Internal SEO
Internal SEO consists of the set of rules applied “inside” your website. It allows search engines to understand your content and how you have arranged it. If your website has multiple pages, robots need to understand the usefulness of each page and the importance of the content they contain. This set of rules will facilitate the work of search engines but it will also help you organize your site consistently for your visitors.
b) External SEO
If you have read the definition of internal SEO, you’ve probably guessed that external SEO is the set of techniques to apply outside of your website. Indeed, organizing your content is not enough to guarantee you a good position in the search results (it would be too easy). In order for users to quickly find the content they are looking for, Google (to name but a few) will favour websites that already have a good reputation.
So there’s a set of practices that let people know about your site, which can show Google that you’re a recognized expert in your field. Google gives you a rating (PageRank) and improves your position in the search engines by comparing this rating with that of your “competitors”. For more information about PageRank, click HERE.
To learn more
Now that you have a clearer idea of SEO, you’re surly dying to read our other articles devoted to this topic. Here is a set of links that will give you more information regarding the various aspects of SEO:
- Adopt a long-term SEO strategy to resist Google changes
- Control your reputation on the web
- Improve your SEO performance by making your site easier to navigate
- Improve your SEO by optimizing meta descriptions, titles and URLs
- Improve your SEO by using the right keywords