SEO stands for search engine optimization, a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and ranking of web pages in organic search results. In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business on Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better the visibility of your pages in search results, the more likely you are to attract attention and attract potential and current customers to your business. When you search for something on Google (or any other search engine), an algorithm works in real time to give you what that search engine considers to be the “best result”.
Specifically, Google scans its index of “hundreds of billions of pages” to find a set of results that best matches your search. How does Google determine the “best result”? It takes into account the authority, relevance of that query, speed of loading, and more. Organic search results (sometimes referred to as “natural results”) are natural results that are ranked based on 100% merit. Content is an important factor in SEO.
According to BuzzSumo's “Content Trend Report”, accredited research and reference content continue to gain links. Visual content such as infographics can also be effective in SEO. You can also create videos, flowcharts, screenshots and more. Combinations of different types of visual content, such as “Instructography” can also be effective.
Link building is another important factor in SEO. The goal is to get other websites to mention (and link to) your website. This is also known as “off-page SEO”. You don't want to go overboard and use your keyword 100 times on every page - this is a black hat SEO strategy called “keyword stuffing”, which can cause your site to be penalized.
Mobile optimization has gone from being “pleasant” to “an absolute necessity” as Google's algorithm now prioritizes mobile devices. You can use Google's “Mobile Friendly Test” test tool to check if your website is optimized for mobile devices. Organizing your pages into categories is also important for SEO. This is known as creating an organized structure (also known as a “hierarchy”).
Search intent (also sometimes called “User Intent”) is another important factor in SEO - understanding why someone performs a search can help you optimize your website for those searches. Structured data is also important for SEO - it allows you to create rich results such as review stars which can help your website stand out in the SERPs. E-A-T (short for “Expertise, Authority and Truthiness”) is something that Google has placed increasing emphasis on in recent years - make sure your website has these qualities if you want it to rank well on Google. Overall, SEO is a complex process that requires knowledge and experience in order to be successful.
It involves understanding how Google works, creating great content, link building, mobile optimization, organizing pages into categories, understanding user intent, and using structured data. If done correctly, SEO can help you get more traffic and customers for your business.