Even though it’s relatively easy to get a website going these days, there is still an overwhelming element called search engine optimization (SEO). Without it a website is pretty much useless, because there is no traffic. So what is SEO? Can anybody do it and what does it consist of? This article will aim to answer these basic questions, and hopefully help newbie webmasters to get some perspective.
What Is SEO?
Without getting too technical, SEO is a mixture of tactics that are used to give a website more visibility. In other words, it helps the site to rank higher on search engines. Search engines run on algorithms that are constantly changing with the aim to improve user experience. All the latest updates have been made to ensure sites with low quality content end up at the back of the line.
What Are SEO Tactics?
Just like any other action in the world, there is a good and a bad way of doing something. One of the biggest reasons for more intelligent algorithms is due to the black hat tricks webmasters used to get higher ranking. Now it’s all about following the straight and narrow, starting with the content on the site.
It might not sound like a tactic, but posting useful information that is original automatically places the site in good standing. Unfortunately this isn’t enough to compete with millions of other sites. This is why it’s important to find a good niche and delve as deep into it as possible. Research show that niche sites with in-depth coverage typically enjoy better rankings. Using the right keywords, or phrases, is essential, so do the necessary research where they are involved.
However, content is just one of the aspects that need to be considered. There’s also the website structure and coding, which will influence how easily users are going to find it. The theme that is used, the speed with which the site loads, the amount of third party ads and even the navigation come into play.
All of the above mentioned aspects fall into the on-site SEO category. They are things that can be tweaked on the site itself. Off-site SEO is when the site is promoted through other platforms. Social media has become a very popular way of reaching traffic. This is done by creating various profiles and posting links back to the site.
There’s also the link building option, which is where links are posted on other sites within the same niche. When a link is posted on a site with a good ranking it will be regarded as an endorsement by search engines.
Can Anybody Master SEO?
There are no rules that state SEO can’t be done by everyone. For some individuals it’s a skill that can quickly be developed, but for others it’s just plain tedious. Thanks to the constant changes in algorithms and the amount of time decent SEO tactics require, it’s not surprising that professionals are hired. SEO isn’t a top secret practice, but it will require discipline.