What is SEO? Understanding SEO and How it Works
So, what is SEO?
In short, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the act or practice of optimizing a website so that it appears on the first page of search engines. This optimization allows search engines or search engines to assess whether a website deserves to be displayed in the top position of search results or not.
In this article, we will discuss the meaning of SEO, how SEO works, and the relationship between SEO and website speed.
One thing you must understand, SEO is not a job that is done in one go. SEO is a never-ending process, which means you have to constantly optimize your website.
To do this, you must understand how search engines work in ranking websites based on certain qualifications or requirements.
SEO Traffic Type
A website with good content but minimal visitors is meaningless. You must be able to attract the attention of visitors and keep them at home for long on the website.
There are many things you can do to generate and manage traffic.
First of all, know where the traffic is coming from. There are three types of SEO traffic:
For business websites, the more site visitors who change status to buyers, the better the quality of traffic they have.
Conversion rate can be used as a reference in determining the quality of website traffic. Although the conversion rate depends on the type and purpose of the business, a value of 5% can already meet the conversion quality.
Visitors who access the website and find out what products are offered also help create good traffic. For example, if the products being sold are iPhone and Android smartphones, the traffic that comes is not traffic to buy laptops and computers.
Quantity of Traffic
Traffic quantity is no less important than traffic quality.
Generally the amount of traffic is calculated based on the number of visitors who enter and access the site. However, there are still many things that need to be considered and monitored, namely: site visitors, page views, and duration of visits.
All the things mentioned earlier do not need to be calculated by manual methods. You can use tools, such as Google Analytics or StatCounter, to analyze website traffic.
Organic Traffic (Unpaid)
The type of traffic that is preferred by most website owners is organic traffic or organic traffic. Apart from being free, organic traffic can also bring in more website visitors and increase conversions.
For example, some internet users type certain keywords or keywords in the browser search field. After that, they click on the link displayed in the search results. Visits through these links are referred to as organic traffic.
Although it looks easy, the competition for organic traffic is fierce. Therefore, you must implement good SEO practices to get satisfactory results.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO optimizes websites so that people can find them using certain keywords.
Here are some of the benefits that this optimization method offers:
- Provide relevant information
- Make search engines a reliable source
- Bring in more organic traffic
Although search results can appear right away, the process that occurs in search engines is not as simple as imagined. Even search engines work before you type anything in the search field and hit the Enter key.
Well, after discussing what SEO is and its benefits, after this we will explain how search engines work to help you learn SEO.
There are three main tasks in how search engines work for each query or search that is submitted:
- Crawling. This process occurs at an early stage. Crawling will collect information from all over the website – from one page to another, from one link to another.
- Indexing. After collecting the information, the web crawler will store it in the entry list: index.
- Ranking. The ranking results will be displayed in order, based on the most suitable search.
Search Engine Algorithm
To ensure the quality of searches, search engines use a set of rules or rules called algorithms.
Search engine algorithms ensure internet users get relevant information from trusted sources or sources.
As a popular and widely used search engine, Google has a dedicated team that focuses entirely on algorithms. This team is responsible for improving the quality of user experience (internet user experience and satisfaction) when using Google.
Sometimes, Google calls its algorithm by a special name. For example, Panda is an algorithm that deals with filtering, penalizing, and rewarding content activities. Then, there is Penguin which is an algorithm to prevent spamdexing. Finally, there is Hummingbird which will improve the quality of both algorithms.
So, it is clear that website content is also a very important point for Google.
Have you ever heard of page authority?
Page authority is a scoring system developed by Moz, ranging from 1 to 100, to predict a website’s ranking in search engines. This system will help you understand what qualifications search engines use to determine the best search results.
You can use link explorer to check page authority. Enter the URL you want to check for analysis results. The information obtained from the link analysis will be very useful for you to improve the quality of the website.
In addition to understanding what SEO is and how SEO works, you also have to understand how to apply it.
Once again we remind you that SEO optimization is a process that cannot be done just once. Search engines are always updating their algorithms to provide the best search results.
Use the latest approach so that SEO optimization can work as much as possible. Otherwise, it will only have a bad effect on the website’s ranking in search engine search results.
There are two categories of SEO: onsite SEO and offsite SEO.
As the name suggests, onsite SEO is a way to optimize a website from the ‘inside’.
This optimization deals with the adjustment or arrangement of existing elements on the website. Later search engines can crawl the information easily. As an example:
- Well formatted URL
- No keyword stuffing or attempts to manipulate web rankings in Google search engines
- Image Alt Text
- Proper headings (H1, H2, etc.)
So, what are the things that need to be done when optimizing onsite SEO?
Keyword Search (Keyword Research/Keyword Gathering)
Choose the right keywords to bring in organic traffic from the content you post.
Keywords are topics or specific words that are typed by internet users in search engines.
So, you could say that keyword search is very important. This will help you understand what keywords people are using to access the website. Make sure the target keyword is in the title, heading, and body of the content.
To make it easier for the web crawler to work, do the following:
- Manage sitemap
- Immediately replace or update broken links (broken links) found on the website
- Avoid redirect errors
- Fix URL error
Make sure your website has:
- Good structure
- Ease of navigation
- Relevant content
The three things above are very important. A good structure will inform search engines about the most important web pages. Meanwhile, ease of navigation will make site visitors more comfortable and willing to linger on your website. Lastly, relevant content will bring in more quality traffic.
‘Serve’ site visitors well when they visit your website.
If they want to find out more about the products on the website, offer them products that are relevant or according to their needs.
You can create categories for easy product search.
Also add detailed information on each product displayed on the website, including relevant images.
If you are a blogger by profession, categories related to content will provide easy navigation for site visitors.
Do not forget to set the layout or layout. An attractive website display will bring in new visitors and make them last longer.
Above all, there is one thing that matters the most, namely website performance. Make sure your website has a good loading speed.
Whatever the content, make it easy for users to find and explore your website.
Offsite SEO is less technical when compared to Onsite SEO. However, that does not mean offsite SEO is not important.
Generally offsite SEO is used to promote your website. This way, people will know that your website is worth visiting.
Here are some ways to do offsite SEO:
Content Marketing (Content Marketing)
Content is very important for a website, and because of that, content marketing is increasingly being used these days.
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase a website’s ranking in search engine search results. If you have a good and structured content marketing strategy in place, you can:
- Bringing in new site visitors
- Influencing people to buy products
- Improve business reputation
- Save cost
If the website has got a lot of subscribers or followers, the next step is to focus on creating good content. However, if the website is still empty of visitors, you need to do promotions.
By doing promotions, your website can bring in more visitors. In addition, promotion will also make your website superior to competitors. The more creative and interesting the promotion is, the easier it will be for your brand to be remembered. For more competitive niches, this strategy will provide significant results.
Public relations will make your business more known.
Although you will incur some costs, Public Relations is still important to:
- Build brand awareness
- Provide additional information
- Set authority
- Improve community relationships
Relationship between SEO and Website Speed
By now, you have learned what SEO is and how it works. Now, you may want to know what is the relationship between SEO and website speed?
So, it has been a long time since Google announced that loading speed is a determining factor in the ranking of a website in search engines that are accessed via desktop devices. In 2018, the company expanded its application to mobile devices. No wonder many SEO practitioners and other internet users are talking about this latest info in the first half of 2018.
Website Speed for SEO, SERP, and User Experience
Google ‘forces’ websites to load faster so that the user experience is better. If the speed drops, the Google search system will penalize it. The position of the website page will also decrease and the traffic obtained will also decrease.
If you don’t believe me, check it yourself. Type any keyword in the browser search field. Websites that appear in the top positions must have a better loading speed than those that are ranked on the first 10 pages of search engines or the second, or even third pages. You can use a tool like GTmetrix to check the time it takes for a website to load.
The description of website loading speed is not as simple as the concept above. Web performance is closely related to user behavior (site visitor behavior) and SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
Website speed isn’t just about the numbers that Google’s search algorithm uses to calculate page rank. There are many things that affect SEO in terms of loading time.
Google’s Functions and Purpose
What, the hell, is the goal of Google? What do these search engines look for and want? And what can we do to achieve it?
Actually, understanding how Google works is simple. You type one or a combination of keywords in the search field, and a few moments later Google will show you the most relevant search results.
The main purpose of the search algorithm is to display search results that not only match the keywords typed, but also answer the needs of the audience. Usually, what appears in the top search results is the website with the best user experience. While websites that cannot guarantee user comfort and satisfaction will be penalized by Google.
The position and ranking of a website on Google has to do with speed and loading time. Every website owner and manager should understand this.
If the website tends to be slow, visitors will give a negative response and the bounce rate will increase. Google will also continue to analyze other aspects that lead to a website being penalized, such as poor quality content and design and navigation that actually triggers visitor dissatisfaction.
A high bounce rate indicates something is wrong on your website. Often visitors press the Exit button or exit in a short period of time as if telling Google that your website is not worthy of being in search results.
Then, what is bounce/bounce?
The picture looks like this: Google displays a number of pages related to the searched keyword. You then click the link, but a moment later immediately ‘go’ without interacting further. Well, a situation like this is called a ‘bounce’. Bounces occur because visitors are dissatisfied with the intended website or the website does not have the content they are looking for.
By default, the bounce percentage on each website is almost the same. Even on large sites the bounce rate is between 25% and 40%.
You really can’t ‘force’ visitors to linger on the website. But at least you know what makes the bounce rate so high and people don’t engage in any kind of interaction.
If the website takes from one second to three seconds to load properly, the bounce rate will hit 32%. Then from three seconds to six seconds, the bounce rate becomes 106% or even higher. In conclusion, the longer it is, the higher the percentage.
Even though it contains quality content and attractive layouts, websites with slow loading will only worsen the bounce rate by up to 90%.
From here, you can get an idea of how the website appears in Google’s ranking system. Search engines don’t know the exact reason behind site visitors who just leave, causing a bounce rate of 90%. However, search engines know that web pages don’t meet their expectations or don’t answer their needs. This further strengthens the factor of dissatisfied visitors when ‘visiting’ on your website.
The same applies to the duration of the visit. If a visitor doesn’t find any content that catches his attention, he just looks around or maybe immediately leaves the website. For Google, this activity shows that the website falls into the category of poor search. In the end, this search engine will give you a penalty.
Rand Fishkin of Moz tried to do this experiment on Twitter. It manipulates the web pages that appear in search results. The trick, he asks his followers to ‘bounce’ from one page to another and stay there for some time.
As a result, website speed has an impact on the duration of visits and page views per visitor.
If the loading time is only two seconds, the website will have an average of 8.9 page visits per user. However, page views will decrease to 3.3 if the website takes up to 8 seconds to load properly.
In addition to providing satisfaction to visitors, a fast website will also get more traffic and conversions.
Search results are said to be good if internet users click on the site link displayed by the search engine.
Usually users don’t click on just one site link. They tend to scroll through search results while opening several links. So, if there is one web page that gets more clicks than other web pages, that page will be placed in the top position. Other websites that get fewer clicks will be at the bottom.
This was also confirmed by Udi Manber as the former Chief of Search Quality Google. Check Google patents and there you will find an interesting fact. This search engine uses data that contains information on how the user interacts with the search results displayed. This data will then encourage Google to modify search results in the future.
Although not very visible in the data in Google patents, loading speed still plays a role in shaping SEO and visitor interaction and satisfaction.
As many as 75% of internet users will never re-access a website whose loading time is more than 4 seconds. Although the number is relatively small, four seconds is more than enough to make visitors reluctant to interact. In the future, if your site appears in the keywords they are looking for, they will not hesitate to miss it.
This situation not only ‘hurts’ website rankings, but also SEO.
A poll shows that as many as 52% of customers will continue to return to an ecommerce site or online store that takes less time to load. This percentage can be obtained if loading is fast and the ranking of the website soars up.
One other thing that determines the SEO of a website, namely the experience that is told by word of mouth. Whether it’s negative or positive.
Usually, internet users who wait a long time for the website to fully load will tell other users about their unpleasant experiences. As a result, these users and their friends will no longer open the same website for the second time. This is the consequence of websites with slow loading.
Now you have learned a lot about what SEO is in this article.
SEO is a very important tool to increase the visibility of your website. If you are currently struggling in the business world, SEO will bring in more traffic and that means there will be more customers or buyers.
To be able to create high traffic, you must run onsite SEO methods and also offsite SEO methods.
Before implementing SEO, you must know one of the most important things about a website, namely traffic. Here’s a summary of traffic types:
- Quantity of traffic. The number of visitors who come to the website.
- Quality of traffic. Target visitors who are relevant to the website.
- Organic traffic (unpaid). The traffic that a website gets from search engines.
Now you know why SEO is very important for website growth and development. Remember that SEO is a never-ending and ongoing process. To know the meaning of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how to apply it, you can read various articles and online tutorials.