SEO how does it work?
SEO optimization tries to adapt a website to meet the requirements (algorithms) of search engines as much as possible. After successful SEO optimization, the search engines rank a website in a top position as highly relevant to the query.
To understand how SEO works and how to proceed with optimization, it is necessary to explain how search engines work and what their algorithms consist of.
Search engine has several phases of working. In the first phase, the search engine navigates through its automated program called a spider (sometimes a robot or crawler). The spider visits one web page at a time, using hyperlinks to navigate via the Internet. The spider writes down the URL of each visited page. After a while, the robot returns to the page, crawls all the hyperlinks again, and records their changes. The spider is constantly adding new websites to its database.
The next phase for the search engine is to create its own database of words with the URLs of their occurrence. The search engine indexes the page at the given URL and uses special algorithms to calculate its relevance for a certain keyword. If the user later enters this keyword into a search engine, it will return the results in the order of the previously calculated relevance.
Knowing the individual components of the algorithm is crucial for SEO optimization. Currently, search engines use modern algorithms, the exact structure of which, for obvious reasons, is carefully concealed. However, it is well known that the relevance of websites is determined by the so-called on-page and off-page factors, and their weight is subject to secrecy.
On-page and off-page factors
On-page factors are directly related to a given website, especially its code and content. On-page factors can therefore be directly influenced by SEO optimization. These include in particular:
- Quantity, quality and uniqueness of texts.
- Location of keywords, their number (density) and placement in headlines.
- Placing keywords in meta tags (title, description).
- URLs. These should be easy to remember and contain keywords, not clusters of letters and numbers.
- Linking texts on the web via hyperlinks.
- Valid source code. The source code should meet the criteria of the W3C consortium and other generally accepted standards.
Off-page factors, unlike on-page factors, are harder to influence and therefore search engines give them more weight. The most important off-page factors include:
- The number of backlinks leading to the page.
- Quality (page rank) of backlinks and their relevance.
SEO optimization process
At the beginning of this section, it is necessary to emphasize that SEO optimization of a newly emerging website and optimization of already existing websites are two completely different things.
SEO for new websites
If new websites are created in cooperation with an SEO specialist who oversees the fulfillment of all on-page factors, the website owner avoids many mistakes in the future, which would then have to be difficult to correct.
An SEO specialist should provide qualified advice on how to choose a domain and URL address, how to structure the website, how to write attractive texts for users and search engines, how to use hyperlinks or what to avoid. The validity of newly created pages has now become the standard, but if the code contains errors, the SEO expert will point them out.
SEO for existing website
SEO optimization is more complex for existing websites. First, you need to perform a technical SEO analysis that will determine what errors the website contains. The biggest problem may be the situation when SEO analysis reveals invalid website source code. It is also problematic if metatags are improperly filled in the code or inappropriate URLs are used and the website does not have developers' support to change them. In these cases, the intervention of a programmer is necessary. Of course, not all programmers are willing to fix foreign source code.
Fixing errors in other on-page factors requires some effort, but if the website is connected to a functioning content management system, this should not be a major problem. For example, for misspelled text, it is a good idea to perform a keyword analysis in order to identify words that are relevant to your website. It is enough to pass this assignment to a good copywriter, who will rewrite the texts into an SEO-optimized form. Likewise, it is not a problem to increase the number of hyperlinks within the internal site navigation.
SEO analysis is not only focused on on-page factors, it also pays attention to off-page factors. Therefore, the analysis determines the number of backlinks and their quality given by Page rank (evaluation of pages by Google search engine). We use specific digital marketing tools to provide an effective link-building strategy.
Linking websites to Google Analytics is also very beneficial for SEO analysis. This analytics tool provides a wide range of information about website accesses and usage by real visitors and can help uncover hidden website errors. However, Google Analytics is not only used for SEO analysis, this tool is useful throughout the life of the website, as it also provides information on the number of transactions, financial criteria and much more.
For existing websites, the output may be a recommendation to recreate the website completely, as it will be cheaper than fixing any errors on the existing website. This situation can occur especially with badly written source code, lack of content management system and poor menu structure of the website.
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Search engine marketing is based on search engines on the Internet and has two main pillars: improving the visibility of the website or/and paying to advertise (with Google Ads).