When searching for information on the internet, most people are more likely to stop at the first page of search engines results. The reason is that most people hardly ever go to the next page of search results even though we have hundreds of them.
As a result, many site owners struggle to appear on the first page of Google, which has made SEO an essential topic, as you can see from the picture below.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it is a practice of optimizing your web pages to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP).
Its popularity is also based on the fact that it is the cheapest and the most reliable way to drive traffic to a website.
Types of SEO
- On-page SEO – focuses on content-related elements on your web pages, including image-alt, title tag, and meta description.
- Off-page SEO – involves activities outside of your websites, such as link building, outreach marketing, and guest posting.
- Technical SEO – includes SEO technical aspects to optimize your website’s speed, compatibility, security, and ease of use.
- Local SEO – SEO strategies to boost your website visibility on local searches and gain more local traffic.
Why Should You Care About SEO?
Studies show that 75% of Internet users never scroll past the first search engine result page. Another way of saying this is that websites on the first page of search results receive the most clicks.
So, if you’re interested in getting to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), then SEO is worth your consideration.
How Does SEO Work?
Consider this analogy. Let’s imagine you have a website that sells T-Shirts online in Kigali. Then someone searches “buy T-Shirts online Kigali” on Google; the search engine will scan several websites and bring out the best websites with related content to the search query.
You’ll need to optimize your website’s contents for the related search term for your website to show in the search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s that simple!
Why is SEO important to your website?
SEO is significant because it makes your website more visible, which means more traffic and more opportunities to convert visitors into customers. And, according to Bright Edge Research, 53% of traffic to websites comes from SEO efforts.
Search Engine Ranking Factors
The following factors, amongst others, determine how your website will rank on search engines.
- Page speed: It defines the amount of time it takes for a web page to load. A fast-loading page can help your site rank higher in search results.
- Mobile-friendliness: A responsive design automatically adjusts website elements to fit different screen sizes, providing an optimal experience for visitors across devices. Pages from responsive, mobile-friendly sites will appear higher on the search results.
- High-quality content: Work hard to provide relevant and factual information to answer specific queries. This point is important in SEO. In fact, If you want to attract more visitors and increase your site’s visibility, always create unique and original content.
- Backlinks: Also known as inbound links, those are links to your website placed on other sites, serving as an indicator of your site’s authority. When a website includes your link in their content, they mark your site as a relevant source. Pages with high-quality backlinks from credible sites can rank higher on search engine results pages.
- User experience: Google measures user experience through multiple signals, including bounce rate and dwell time. When visitors land on a site and leave soon after, Google will consider the site irrelevant. Consequently, if visitors stick around for a while, that signals that the site provides valuable information.
- Site security: This involves all actions to protect a website and its visitors from cyberattacks. Hence, Google prioritises websites that communicate with its users over an HTTPS connection. An HTTPS connection has SSL certificate attached to it. Meanwhile, a site without one is marked as not secure and will most likely drive visitors away. Do you remember visiting a site without the green padlock? What was your reaction? Like me, you’ll become sceptical and possibly leave. This indicates the importance of an SSL certificate.
Where to Learn More About SEO?
Learning about SEO from scratch requires a lot of time and effort. To help you get started, I have listed some of the best SEO learning resources available. I am sure you’ll like them. See them below:
- Yoast Academy: A very important free resource & software to learn and build SEO on your WordPress site
- Backlinko: This is a popular marketing blog run by an SEO expert to help grow online businesses. The content revolves around SEO advice, tips, techniques, and case studies.
- MOZ: In addition to offering SEO tools and software, Moz has a comprehensive blog and learning centre. It provides everything from expert SEO advice to recent market data and insights to level up your marketing skills.
- Ahrefs: The Ahrefs blog provides a wide selection of guides and articles surrounding SEO and marketing. It presents fresh and relevant content written by SEO experts and marketing practitioners.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the first things you need to concentrate on after building your website. Because no matter how much you pay to generate traffic nothing matches the organic traffic from SEO.