- By Luis Espinoza
- October 22, 2021
By following the given points, you will be able to answer: ” What Is SEO and its pros and cons?”
When you explore aspects of managing websites, in addition to web design and user experience patterns, you come across the concept of search engine optimization ( SEO ): the science of improving a website’s visibility across results from various search engines. If a website is not prominently visible in search results, it defeats the purpose of having a website in the first place.
Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that your website is easy for search engines to access. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing help users find the content they are looking for. So, your website must be visible on the search engine results page (SERP).
For example, if you have a plumbing business offering Toronto services, your site should rank high in the search engine rankings when users search for plumbers in Toronto on Google or any other search engine. Studies related to SEO suggest that more traffic usually results in more sales; therefore, traffic is one of the key components determining revenue. In addition to increasing revenue, it can help with other goals, such as reaching out to a larger audience or helping people access crucial information for the greater good. Before delving into the methodology, you need to have a basic understanding of the following topics:
SEO is a methodology used to gain traffic by making your website visible in search engine results via organic or paid techniques. The term organic means using natural ways to enhance website visibility without using a pay-per-click service. There are many ways to implement SEO, such as using relevant keywords, quality content, and optimal multimedia content on your web pages.
In the past, people implemented underhand techniques (black-hat) to gain website visibility. Google Search, Bing, and Yahoo! Search are the most prominent search engines used to locate information on the Web. With these search engines getting smarter by the day, you must use legitimate tactics to achieve natural visibility. Therefore, it can also be defined as the art or science affecting website visibility in search results, ruling out using manipulative ways to trick the search engine. Google has laid out guidelines that must be adhered to to ensure that site owners use appropriate tactics to implement SEO.
SEO is not a cost but an investment that imparts results in the long term. You cannot expect a miracle to happen overnight—it takes weeks or even months to reach the top-of-the-results chart. There is no fixed way to accomplish this; however, a combination of several methods can help you achieve higher rankings in a calculative (and not manipulative) way.
The following are several advantages of implementing SEO in your web design projects:
SEO is organic, and as your site goes up the rankings, you get more traffic. Studies related to various SEO factors (link building, user-engaging content, and so on) indicate that sites visible in the first few pages of search engine results garner more traffic than the rest.
For example, if a user wants to buy sneakers online, they usually click site links that appear on the first or second SERP without bothering to scroll through the rest; they do not want to spend too much of their valuable time and are looking for a quick resolution. Not only will traffic increase as a result of SEO, but the recommendations of users visiting your website will help you get more hits and attract new customers (a lot depends on the content or what’s on offer— you learn about that in subsequent chapters).
When you use a pay-per-click approach, your site appears at the top of the SERP; however, the moment you stop paying for ads, the site will no longer be visible. On the other hand, SEO results are not dependent on ads, and with efficient maintenance, your site will appear at the top of the charts without having to advertise. You do not pay Google or advertising vendors to achieve the top spot on the SERP.
In earlier days, marketing consultants advocated using brochures, ads, and television to advertise products. The amount of money spent on advertising was huge. Today, creating and hosting a website is not expensive. Hiring a digital marketing expert or using a professional SEO organization’s services can be a viable option, depending on your line of business or niche. In the long run, you can stabilize your site’s position among the search results with minimum upkeep, resulting in a huge return on your investment for SEO implementation.
Earlier, data was used for monthly, annual, and sales reports by the organization’s top brass. However, data is used as a resourceful alternative with the advent of data science. Data helps you gain insight into customer preferences, marketing trends, and much more. You can get detailed analytics that helps you determine game-changing factors for your business. For example, Google Analytics and Google Search Console let you gather data that can help you understand key aspects and drawbacks related to your site’s visibility.
You can also see conversions and bounce rates for the users visiting your website. For example, you can better judge the number of users actually buying something on your website vs. those who visited but didn’t make anything transaction.
A plethora of free and commercial enterprise-grade tools (for example, Google Analytics and Google Search Console) lets you see results and reports not only for your website but also for sites owned by your competitors. Therefore, you can compare your results with your competition. You receive statistics about various aspects of your competitors’ business, such as using certain keywords, localization factors, and analytics. Thus, you can gain a better understanding of important competitive factors and steer clear of your competition.
The future of SEO leans toward creating an enhanced user experience. For example, internal links on your website that point to relevant pages and content help search engines crawl your site and result in easy navigation. Ultimately, SEO implementation should focus not on search engines but the user’s requirements and intent. Keeping this broad picture in mind, attracting users with engaging content and design is a recommended SEO trait that, in turn, aims at creating an awesome user experience.
For example, Google advocates for mobile-friendly sites and ranks those sites higher because mobile has become the de-facto platform for business compared to desktop- or laptop-based sites.
Users tend to surf websites that are found among higher-ranked search results. Google encourages adherence to semantics and clean planning as opposed to underhanded techniques used by spammy websites. Therefore, if your page is among the top-ranked search results, it reflects a certain trust and credibility. Also, the “content is king” paradigm encourages fresh content and engaging users, resulting in conversion optimization.
As traffic increases, so will the credibility of your website. Therefore, you can ensure that the branding of your site’s products is apt, leading to better sales. This is why small- and medium-sized enterprises are more focused on SEO implementation (compared to large-scale organizations, which have the funds to advertise through several channels) using localization and other techniques that result in brand awareness.
I hope with the brief introduction to SEO, you have made your concept quite clear. But that doesn’t end here because you may face some challenges in Search engine optimization for website ranking. So, to overcome these challenges stay tuned with us to the next chapter.
Challenges in SEO (Next Article)