What is SEO and Why is It Important in 2019 (Updated)
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the techniques and strategies applied altogether in order to improve the visibility (as well as ranking) of webpages on search engines like Google or Bing. SEO helps website owners to get site visitors/traffic directly from the search engine result page (SERP). This is all about how internet users discover your website and all the content and stuff inside it via a search engine. It’s organic (unpaid) in nature, because all search engines offer the services of indexing and ranking webpages across the internet for free.
In the highly competitive scenario of internet marketing today, SEO is a very crucial aspect that all website owners, webmasters and digital marketers should keep it as the primary task. Before telling in detail about the importance of digital marketing, let me dig deep into what is SEO in proper sense and how it works.
Understanding Search Engines
In order to understand SEO properly, we need to understand search engines.
In the context of World Wide Web (WWW), a search engine is a complex software system (tool) that collects, stores, classifies, ranks the content available on the internet to serve the purpose of providing the same in accordance to the relevance to a query asked by a search user. There are many search engines in the world, but Google is most powerful search engine with more than 92% market share. Other prominent search engines are Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex and DockDockGo.
How Search Engines Work?
A typical web search engine performs four primary tasks as follow:
In order to ensure that all important pages of your website will be regularly crawled by search spider, you need to create proper XML site map, submit the same to search engines, eliminate crawling errors and optimize your pages. You may also instruct search spider not to crawl some pages. However, it doesn’t mean that your website won’t be crawled, if you don’t submit sitemap to search engine. Search engines crawl the webpages even if those are not submitted to them.
After crawling an optimized webpage, the crawlers stores and manage the content of the page in association with HTML based fields and the specific URL to the huge public database of the search engine. It is known as web indexing. The purpose of indexing is to optimize speed and performance of search processes.
The process of web rendering starts when a user of a search engine search for some information or content from the web by putting one or more words in the search box and hitting ‘Enter/Search’ (or alternatively speaking to the mike of an audible search tool). This process is known as a ‘search query’. The words entered or spoken for a search query are known as ‘keywords’. Responding to the query, search engine renders adequate amount of results in the form of webpages, images, video, PDF etc. in numbers of pages. The pages on which search results are displayed are known as ‘Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
It’s important to note that while rendering results for a certain search query, search engines don’t randomly or arbitrarily display the results on a SERP, rather all search engines follow a set of well programmed policies of creating relevant sequences of displaying the results available on the web. Such policies are directed by the complex algorithms of search engines. Making the systematic sequence of search result is refereed as ‘search ranking’.
Search ranking follows a numbers of parameters and relates the parameters to the keywords of the search query and caches. Relevance to the keywords in query, originality, uniqueness, authority, trustworthiness, domain age, web security, easy accessibility, page speed, content optimization, responsiveness, user experience, social signals are few out of hundred important criteria for page ranking that almost all search engines follow.
Relevance of the content to the keywords in search, though primarily relates to the words in the query and their presence in the content, but that’s not all about it. Out of hundred criteria, I’m noting very few important ones, as instances:
- Semantic match: not always the exact wording, but normally synonymy and nearby match with high preference to natural language meaning in diverse context.
- Purpose match: How the purpose of the search and the webpage match to each other. for example – searching a product on an eCommerce store or an piece of information from a blog or a scholarly article from a academic website without clearly mentioning the type.
- Quality and amount of content: How much the quality and quantity of the content is in a webpage to highly satisfy the need of the search users.
- Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT): How much the website and content creators simultaneously master the subject through in depth knowledge, win faith from the users as evidenced by user experience (UE) index and have high authority as proved through external citations and link building.
- Quality of the landing page: How much the page with the specific content is technically sound in terms of structured data, rich elements, speed, optimization, security and privacy protection
Important Aspects of SEO
Beside understanding how search engines crawl and index valid pages of a website for smart rendering in accordance to the logical and semantic relevance, being a learner of SEO, you should know the three most crucial aspects of SEO that you have to perform during your practical assignments and career growth.
- The technical aspects of SEO that you should be careful from the begging;
- The strategies you need to learn and apply properly to be an SEO experts;
- The criteria on which a webpage is ranked high.
Technical aspects in your SEO endeavor refers to all your attempt to keep your website technically sound. It has nothing to do with your content and back-link generation, but to ensure that your site work above average in terms of speed, optimization, media snoozing, code distribution, proper redirection or improper direction elimination, elimination of rendering path blockage and other technical compatibility in building a user friendly website. Since almost all search engines including Google take the technical issues seriously, you should be careful enough to ensure that your website has no technical issue.
Strategic SEO is all about the strength of your content and distribution of the same through external and internal links. The thumb rule is that ‘content is the king’ and how much the king has strength to influence the king makers. You and your team need a lot of hard work in creating unique content and distributing the same within the Internet’s powerful kingdoms.
Coping with Ranking Factors
As I’ve already made it clear that ranking factors of a webpage to be positioned in response to a search query is not straight forward. In order to get favorable position on an SERP you should be careful about as much as ranking criteria possible. Google alone has more than 200 ranking factors – however, not all ranking factors are known to us, even to the developers of search algorithm. As a policy matter of fair representation, most of the aspects how search engines proceed inside the black box are latent. This is the reason why should you develop content of your website for the real requirement of real human beings. In other words, despite the many versions of search engine ranking factors, human experiences about a website is the best criteria to be in the good book of search engine.
Besides, along with all of the declared ranking factors, you need to cope with any unknown ranking factor through your own experience and observation by our team.
Why is SEO So Important in 2019?
During the last 25 years of their origin, the techniques of SEO have been playing their crucial role in helping webmasters to market their web content to the most potential audiences with less or about no financial investment. However, during last three years, SEO has become more difficult topic due the ever growing online presence of businesses and naturally growing competition to be ranked higher on trustworthy public platforms like Google. Search engines are becoming more technically sound and stricter to be best representative in accordance to the changes. Starting from mid 2019, SEO has been demanding more and more attentions from website owners, webmasters and digital marketers. Professionals those were unwilling to accept the strength of SEO few years ago are now wholeheartedly ready to embrace SEO as their primary strategy of marketing. Importance of SEO is increasing and will grow for next five to six years before reaching saturation. This is why SEO is the most crucial digital marketing technique in 2019 and 2020 with far reaching and ever lasting effects.It has already become the most essential part of digital marketing as well as of website designing. This is all about how people will discover your website and the content therein, such as, products, services etc.
Let me describe a situation as follows.
You might have a highly decorated website with many visual effects like eye catching parallel scrolling, amazing slide shows, hovering effects and many more. But there might be a difficult situation – no one or very few people are visiting your site. Since you’ve low visitors to your site, it’s hardly serving any purpose. So, it’s good for nothing! This is not an uncommon situation. Many businesses suffer of it.
In order to overcome the above difficulty, you have many options.
- You may advertise on many online platform such as Facebook or Google. In the advertisement you can place the link of your website so that anyone clicking on the ad will be redirected to your website. Since it’s a paid form of marketing, you need to pay the publisher of your add.
- You may do SEO for your website. For SEO, you need to follow a lot of criteria by search engines like Google or Bing. SEO is free.
- You may do nothing except waiting for a magic. But be sure – no magic really works.
In the case of paid form of marketing, you’ll get visitor to your site as long as you are willing or able to pay. But for any reason, one day, you are going to pay nothing. And from the next moment, you’ll find no or inconsiderable numbers of visitors. What can save you from such an unwanted situation. It’s definitely the SEO.
When you are in 2019, you are not unaware that majority of people search everything on the internet. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other few are the facilitators those help people in finding their desired need. For example, it may be a ‘parlor near me’, or the ‘best school for my child’, or ‘tax rate for the financial year’ or any other requirement.
People search for answers and to act in accordance on the search engines. Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. are the search engines those provide result to search queries. All the results come from websites. Your website could get chances to be appeared in the search result if any of the search engine find it qualified for the query. In order to be qualified for search queries by any search engine, your website must be optimized for the search engine, say, Google.
Hey, found something boring or lengthy in finding a simple answer. Please bear with me. You might be advanced, but I’m writing for all beginners. However be assured, the next sections are not so lengthy.
Whenever you enter a query in a search engine such as Google or Bing or Yahoo and hit ‘enter’, within few seconds you’ll get a list of web results that contain that query term within few seconds. Normally you may tend to visit websites that are at the top of list in the first search engine result page (SERP) as they perceive those to be more relevant to the query. You may click on any of the results those appear on the top of the SERP or you could scroll down to find out more results or you may go for the next pages. But as a general indication, most of the users of search engines, click on any one of the first few results that seem to be more relevant for his/her search terms or implied requirements. May be the user satisfied with the information or news services or products available in a single search result or he/she might search for another website depending upon his/her requirements and satisfaction. Out of more than 4.47 billion web pages, there might be many thousand or even millions results for a particular search term.
The web pages those are not visible at the top of the particular search result or are found in the second, third or fourth pages of the same search result or is not at all available on any of the search results may have the equal relevance for the user in action. The underlying fact is the technique and art of SEO. The websites or web pages those are visible at the top of any SERP rarely happen as an autonomous process. Rather, the web master of a website need to optimize his/her website with well defined techniques and skill to increase visibility on SE. Google or any other SE while display the result one after another, a complex mathematical algorithm of indexing works. In compliance to the algorithm, SE decides which web page or its content is more relevant to the search query entered. The spider based crawl technology makes an instant ranking in harmony to the relevance and index it accordingly.
Search engine indexing is less autonomous and more deliberate. The chances that your website is indexed automatically without your own endeavor is less though the search engine crawlers attempt their best to crawl each URL available on the internet. It’s best advisable that you need to optimize your website for the search engine at the earliest.
Why is SEO Important in Digital Marketing Strategy?
Now you’re well aware about the strength of SEO and its crucial role of digital marketing. You’re aware that SEO is not only important, but an integral part of all your business and marketing activities that can ensure consistent sustainability, speedy growth and ROI.
Along with the above strengths of SEO, you aware of the following well established facts about SEO.
1. SEO is Absolutely Free
Crawling, discovering, indexing, ranking and suggesting for better ranking all together are free services by world’s leading search engines like Google and Bing. Search engines have never asked for any payment for the services they give you to place your webpages in their database and ultimately in search results. Hopefully they will never. You are not going to spend a single penny for SEO unless you are going to appoint an SEO expert for your business. All the search engines including the major Google or minor Yahoo and Bing or less important other will not demand any payment for the most helpful services they provide to you.
Although SEO is a regular part of your marketing effort for your business, it’s definitely the only marketing method that can run without spending. But kindly note – if you are hiring an SEO agency or appointing SEO experts as an in-house employees, you should pay them high for their invaluable contribution toward your business growth.
2. It’s Highly Reliable
People hate ads. We are always aware about not paying any attention to message that advertise a brand or products.
Search engine result pages (SERPs)display both paid results (advertisements) and unpaid results (generic web content by virtue of quality). People know the fact that one can be placed position one by adequately paying the publishers, but getting a rank by not paying is the real strength that defines quality. Hence people tends towards the generic results on an SERP. When the internet users find a result without a tag of Ad (that is advertising), they pay more faith on the second. This is normal human behavior of selecting one that don’t choose to be advertised. This is why SEO is highly reliable.
3. It Drive More Traffic
The ultimate goal of your website is to drive more traffic for your content on your website in order to convert them into real customers. According to a survey released by June 2019, an average of 52% traffic to a website comes through the referral by search engines in their SERPs. Rest 48% visit webpages through other referrals that count to about a dozen and mostly paid. At an average each other marketing approaches counts for about 5% of quality traffic while SEO fulfill it by ten times.
4. SEO Builds Real Brand Reputation
Appearance of your web-pages at the top of a search engine result page (SERP) with out an ‘Ad’ tag, creates an impression that you are one of the top brand. Getting attracted toward a top brand is human in nature.
5. SEO Helps You Go Ahead of Competition
I’ve already told and told repeatedly that as natural tendency people love to click on a search result that have a generic (unpaid) position on a search engine. If you’re good at SEO, you can go ahead of competition of other those are investing heavy on internet marketing including paid search engine marketing (SEM) rather improving quality through unpaid SEO activities.
6. It’s Convenient for Big Website
It’s highly difficult and not cost effective for large websites to bring each of its pages visible for the internet users. It’s practically not inconvenient to present each page of a website through paid advertising. Since SEO is not page concentric, but sitemap (complete view of the website in a tree format) based, it’s easy to present the pages dynamically and changeably for which the search engine user is really looking for.
7. It’s Highly Automatic
While all other forms of digital marketing require more or less manual management, SEO is highly automatic. After connecting your website with Google Search console or Bing Webmaster through submitting the sitemaps, it’ll be the functions of search engines to decide how to present your website and web-pages for those who need. You don’t need to worried much about the presentation.
So, why shouldn’t you thrive for the top most marketing approach for your website and ultimately for your business? Why should you ignore such a powerful tool in your hand? It’s not only essential, for many practical reasons, it’s a mandatory marketing requirement in 20219 and for next many years.
This is the first chapter to help you in your journey to be an SEO expert. You should also go through the most comprehensive and complete to Google Search Console and our SEO glossary – the largest glossary on SEO terms and definitions. If you’re looking more posts on SEO, you can find all in SEO category. We can also help you by high performing professional SEO services for your website to get more traffic and new customers.