Ever since I started working on digital marketing
nearly a decade ago, the majority of my daily vocabulary is filled with acronyms like PPC,
CPC, CPM, KPI and hundreds more. These acronyms come and go, but if there is one acronym that
has maintained its relevancy for over two decades and is still very much relevant today,
then it’s this – SEO aka Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO is still relevant in 2019, and it doesn’t seem to go anywhere, irrespective of the fast-paced
changes occurring in the world of digital marketing.
Do you feel that SEO is hard and getting results requires waiting for eons??
You’re WRONG on both counts. SEO is not that complicated, and you can get instant
results if you know what you’re doing. Eager to know the secret sauce of SEO?
I’ve created this crash course for absolute beginners, providing you with clear-cut actions
that you can take to see instant results in your search engine rankings. In this first
instalment of this course, we’ll focus on the basics – the what’s and why’s of
SEO. Do you prefer watching videos rather than
reading pages of text? Then check out this video.
Let’s get started without further ado. What is SEO?
Raise your hands if you have ever searched for something online. I guess it would be
difficult to find someone who hasn’t gone on to the internet to look up something.
Congratulations! You know more about SEO than you think.
Yes, online searches are the crux of SEO. Let’s look into it: when you type a word
or phrase on Google like movies releasing this weekend, the search engine (Google, Bing,
etc.) displays a bunch of results. All searches have different agendas:
• In this case, you are interested in booking a movie ticket for the latest movie.
• And, theatres near you want to capture your attention, by appearing on the top of
search results. The role of SEO is to ensure that your website
appears in the top of search results so that your target audience is more likely to click
on it. Let me ask you a question, how many times
over the past week have you used Google? And in all those instances, how many times have
you gone down the search results to page 2 or further?
Rarely ever right! See, now you can understand the power of SEO. SEO helps your website rank
higher in the search results page. When your page ranks higher, your audience is likely
to click on it, discover your products, make purchases, thereby boosting your revenues.
Thus, the main objective of SEO is to boost your page ranking. Ok, now that you’ve understood
what SEO is, let’s take a look at another important question,
Why Search Engine Optimization? Let’s say, you run a café in Gurgaon. People
who are looking for cafes in the city are likely to check Google for suggestions. Let’s
assume that you have a top-notch café with a stellar menu. But, you don’t do SEO, but
your direct competitor does. When a prospective customer searches for “best cafes to visit
with friends in Gurgaon,” your website ranks somewhere on page 3 of search results, while
your competitor’s site ranks on page 1. Where do you think your customers are likely
to go? That’s right! Without SEO, people cannot find your business in a web search,
making you miss out on key business opportunities. Now, what does SEO do?
All SEO strategies have one common goal – to boost search engine rankings. But, the way
to get there differs. Here, are some of the common techniques and
practices that you will come across once you start working on SEO for your website.
• SEO Optimizes your Website The starting point for a good SEO strategy
is to focus on the technical aspects of your website. Since Google provides searchers with
relevant information by crawling your website. Your SEO techniques make sure that your site
is easy for Google to find relevant information. What does site optimization include? That
includes plenty of things like – including a sitemap on your site, adding image tags,
optimizing the meta titles and descriptions, ensuring that the site loads quickly across
all devices, analyzing the site’s design and architecture making sure it’s easy for
users to find relevant information and more. • SEO Researches Keywords
Keywords are nothing but the phrases people enter into Google to find what they are looking
for. Going back to our café in Gurgaon example, relevant keywords maybe, “coffee shops in
Gurgaon,” “best cafes for dates in Gurgaon,” and more.
SEO helps you do keyword the research finding out which keywords are the most suited for
your business. Then you have to include these keywords at relevant places in your website.
This process is known as keyword optimization. • SEO builds Links
Links are a crucial component of SEO. Google uses sophisticated algorithms to determine
which site should be ranked higher. One factor Google considers is – links.
Ok, let me explain links in simple terms. Let’s say, your site waves a “hi” to
another reputed high-ranking site. The high-ranking site waves a “hello” back at you. When
this happens with several high-quality sites, Google gets the idea that your site is also
high-quality and trusted, thereby boosting your ranking.
In SEO parlance, this is called as link building. There are plenty of techniques to get high-quality
links like guest posting, directory submissions, internal link optimization, digital PR, press
releases, blogger reviews, and more. • SEO Builds your Authority with Great Content
Part of SEO is in creating great content for your website – an informative blog post,
cool video, providing tools for your readers, an infographic or other great content, that
people are likely to read, watch and share. That’s it folks for today. You now know
what SEO is, why SEO, and what it does. Still, have questions? Shoot me your comments below,
and we’ll get talking. And, stay tuned for more ideas and actionable tips on how to get
your business all the traffic it deserves.