What is SEO and How it Works? SEO for Beginners

What is SEO and how it works

Where does the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) come from?

The first search engines emerged in the early 90s. Until Google appeared in 1996 many were created, including Yahoo. The Web boom began. People realized that you could really make money with them. So they came to the conclusion that they needed to attract traffic. What was the best method of attracting traffic? The search engines. At that time the owners of the webs began to think how they could reach the first positions … The SEO was born!

SEO focuses on organic search results, that is, what is not paid:
Anyway, let’s go to what matters and the reason why (I think) you are reading this chapter:

1. What is SEO?

Search engine optimization improves the visibility of a website in the organic results of the different search engines. It is also common to name it by its English title, SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

SEO WIKIPEDIA

SEO is one of the “disciplines” that has changed the most in recent years. We have to look at many updates that have been Penguin and Panda and how they have given a 180-degree turn to what was understood by SEO until recently.

Although there are thousands of factors in which a search engine is based to position one page or another, one could say that there are two basic factors: authority and relevance.

The authority is the popularity of a website. The more popular the information, the more valuable it is. This factor is what a search engine considers since it is based on the user’s own experience. The more content is shared, the more users have found it helpful.

Relevance is the relationship a page has with a given search. This is not simply that a page contains many times the term sought (in the beginning, it was like that), but a search engine is based on hundreds of on-site factors to determine this.

SEO can be divided into two large groups:

On-Site (On-Page SEO):

SEO on-site worries about relevance. It ensures that the Web is optimized so that the search engine understands the main thing, which is the content of it. Within SEO On-site, we would include keyword optimization, loading time, user experience, code optimization, and format of URLs.

Off-Site: ( Off-Page SEO)

SEO off-site is the part of SEO work that focuses on factors external to the website where we work. The most critical factors in off-site SEO are the number and quality of the links, social networks, mentions in local media, brand authority, and performance in the search results. 

That is, the CTR that our products in a search engine. Sure, you think that all this is very good and exciting but that you are here to know why you need SEO on your website and what benefits you will get if you integrate it into your online strategy.

Once we know what SEO is, we must differentiate whether or not we follow the “recommendations” of the search engine. Black Hat SEO or White Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO:

Black hat attempts to improve the search engine positioning of a web page using unethical techniques or contradict the search engine’s guidelines. Some examples of Black Hat SEO are Cloaking, Spinning, SPAM in forums and blog comments, or Keyword Stuffing. The black hat can provide benefits in the short term, but it is generally a risky strategy without continuity in a long time, and that does not add value.

White Hat SEO:

It consists of all ethically correct actions that meet search engines’ guidelines to position a web page and search results. Since search engines give greater importance to the pages that best respond to a user search, White Hat understands the techniques that seek to make a search engine page more relevant by providing value to its users.

2. Why is SEO important?

The most important reason why SEO is necessary is that it makes your website more useful for both users and search engines. Although these can not yet see a web page as a human does. SEO is necessary to help search engines understand what each page is about and whether it is helpful.

The most important reason why SEO is necessary is that it makes your website more useful for both users and search engines. Although these can not yet see a web page as a human does. SEO is necessary to help search engines understand what each page is about and whether it is helpful.

Now let’s give an example to see the most transparent things:

We have electronic commerce dedicated to the sale of children’s books. Well, for the term “coloring pages,” there are about 673,000 searches per month. 

We have electronic commerce dedicated to the sale of children’s books. Well, for the term “coloring pages,” there are about 673,000 searches per month. Assuming that the first result appears after doing a Google search gets 22% of clicks (CTR = 22%), we would get about 148,000 visits per month.

Now, how much are those 148,000 visits worth? Well, if for this term the average cost per click is € 0.20, we are talking about more than $ 29,000 / month. If we have a business-oriented to several countries, every hour 1.4 billion searches are done in the world. Of those searches, 70% of clicks are on organic results, and 75% of users do not reach the second page. If we consider all this, we see many clicks per month for the first result.

SEO is the best way for your users to find you through searches in which your website is relevant. These users look for what you offer them. The best way to reach them is through a search engine.

3. How do search engines work?

The operation of a search engine can be summarized in two steps: tracking and indexing.

Tracking

A search engine crawls the Web crawling with what are called bots. These scroll through all the pages through the links. Hence the importance of a good link structure. As any user would do when browsing the content of the Web, they pass from one link to another and collect data about those web pages that they provide to their servers.

The crawling process begins with a list of web addresses of previous crawls and sitemaps provided by other web pages. Once they access these webs, the bots look for links to other pages to visit them. The bots are especially attracted to new sites and changes in existing webs.

The bots themselves decide which pages to visit, how often, and how long they will crawl that Web; that’s why it’s crucial to have an optimal loading time and updated content.

Commonly, you need to restrict the tracking of some pages or specific content to avoid that they appear in the search results on a web page. For this, you can tell search engine bots not to crawl certain pages through the “robots.txt” file.

Indexing

Once a bot has crawled a web and collected the necessary information, these pages are included in an index. There they are ordered according to their content, their authority, and their relevance. In this way, when we make a query to the search engine, it will be much easier to show us the more related results.

At first, the search engines were based on the number of times a word was repeated. When searching, they tracked those terms in their index to find which pages they had in their texts, positioning better the one that more times had it repeated. Currently, they are more sophisticated and base their indexes on hundreds of different aspects. If they contain images, videos or animations, microformats, etc., the publication date is some of those aspects. Now they give more priority to the quality of the content.

Once the pages are tracked and indexed, the time comes when the algorithm acts: algorithms are the computer processes that decide which pages appear before or after the search results. Once the search is done, the algorithms check the indexes. They will know which are the most relevant pages taking into account the hundreds of positioning factors. And all this happens in a matter of milliseconds.

How can I optimize my website or blog?

To know what to “touch,” first there is what to know what Google will set when positioning your website or blog.

Here are some of the keys:

Check if your website works. Logical, right? I advise you to choose the best hosting because depending on who you hire it with, this may not be as logical, and your website may not work for long… (and if you do not see the complaints of many customers of 1and1, for example).

The loading speed of your website. As a general rule, the websites that upload the most are the most visited, and Google will focus on that.

Suppose your content is shared a lot. If your content is of quality and unique and gets a lot of sharing, you will receive more visits, so Google will understand what people like and position it better.
The behavior of the user in your Web or blog. Google also knows if the user has found your site from the search engine and has served for what he was looking for … 😊

In addition to these tips, there are some basic notions that many “gurus” take for granted and, in the end, up not being taken into account. But these simple aspects are the foundations of SEO on your website and the most expensive and beautiful Web you’ve seen.

Do I tell you? Well, here they are:

“Friendly” URLs

The URLs of your website or blog must be “friendly,” that is, they must be simple and suggest the page’s content.

For example, these two links lead to the same article but, what do you think is more accessible for Google and users to know what it is about? 😉

So you know, it does not matter if you decide to create a blog on your own, in Blogger, WordPress, Joomla, or any other platform; Do not forget to make your URLs “friendly.”

Title

The titles of your pages and articles are significant because it is one of the first things that Google will look at to know if your content has to do with what the user is looking for.

It will also be the first thing you see in the search results, so:
Be clear and direct; choose a title that defines the content of the page well.

Create unique titles for the different pages that your website or blog has.
Write a title that does not exceed 70 characters. Otherwise, Google will cut it off in search results.

Try to write the most important and descriptive word at the beginning of the title.

If you are going to separate phrases or concrete words, use symbols such as the “-” script or the “|” bar.

Here I also leave this piece of the post if you want to know how to optimize the title to attract your readers because it is an art.

Descriptions

Like titles, it is essential to put descriptions on all the pages and articles of your website or blog.

All the recommendations that I have commented on for the title are also valid for the description. In this case, the limit of the characters displayed in Google results may change depending on the user’s search.

Usually, the limit for descriptions was up to 156 characters.

Different lengths in the SEO descriptions in Google results

My advice is that you make a description of 1 or 2 short and clear sentences from the title itself. Over time you check if Google shows them or puts another description, and with Search Console, you analyze if people click on your result or If you think you can better adapt the description to the search for the one that suits you best.

Header tags

Google not only looks at your links, titles, and descriptions; also looks for the header tags that contain your pages and articles.

It is about the titles and subtitles you use when writing to organize your content and that in HTML, you will recognize with the tags. 

H1, H2, H3, H4,H5,H6

Your keyword is “SEO Guide For Beginners” you can use this keyword like below

<h1>SEO Guide For Beginners</h1>

<h2>Best SEO Guide For Beginners</h2>

<h3>Easy SEO Guide For Beginners</h3>

and so on

My advice is that you do not abuse the most important labels. Organize your text with logic and common sense:

h1: use it as if it were the title of your content, so putting it once is more than enough.

h2: keep in mind to divide your page or article into the most critical sections. Surely you do not need more than 4 or 5.

h3: If each unit’s content is pervasive, try to divide it into sub-sections with this label. If this is your case, I do not think you need to use it more than ten times.

h4,h5, and h6:Unless you are writing a doctoral thesis or a book, I believe that reaching this level of organization can be counterproductive. You can use it sometimes in particular cases, but honestly, if your content is not very extensive, I do not think you need them.

Keywords

The “keywords” or keywords are those you want the user to find your content when searching on Google. For this, you have to choose the ones that best suit the subject you are writing about, find others related to this same topic that may be of interest, and use them head-first in your content.

It is also 100% recommended that you use them in the sections that I have explained before (URLs, titles, descriptions, headlines …) so that Google finds it better. In this way, when someone searches on that topic and uses one of those keywords, Google will take into account whether your website has them or not.

For example, if you write an article to recommend the best hosting for WordPress, good advice may be to use the keywords “best” and “hosting.”

And it is logical to think that people look for “the best hosting for WordPress,” “which is the best hosting,” “hosting for WordPress,” etc.

My advice is that you do not obsess over keywords. There are analyzers, tools, density meters, word counters … The truth is that I think it is much simpler than all that.

You have to use keywords and related concepts so that Google knows what your content is about, but is it not logical that you end up using all these keywords when you write about a specific topic?

The best thing you can do is write your content naturally, without thinking about keywords.

My advice is that you do not abuse the most important labels. Organize your text with logic and common sense:

h1: use it as if it were the title of your content, so putting it once is more than enough.

h2: keep in mind to divide your page or article into the most critical sections. Surely you do not need more than 4 or 5.

h3: If each unit’s content is pervasive, try to divide it into sub-sections with this label. If this is your case, I do not think you need to use it more than ten times.

h4,h5, and h6:Unless you are writing a doctoral thesis or a book, I believe that reaching this level of organization can be counterproductive. You can use it sometimes in particular cases, but honestly, if your content is not very extensive, I do not think you need them.

Keywords

The “keywords” or keywords are those you want the user to find your content when searching on Google. For this, you have to choose the ones that best suit the subject you are writing about, find others related to this same topic that may be of interest, and use them head-first in your content.

It is also 100% recommended that you use them in the sections that I have explained before (URLs, titles, descriptions, headlines …) so that Google finds it better. In this way, when someone searches on that topic and uses one of those keywords, Google will take into account whether your website has them or not.

For example, if you write an article to recommend the best hosting for WordPress, good advice may be to use the keywords “best” and “hosting.”

And it is logical to think that people look for “the best hosting for WordPress,” “which is the best hosting,” “hosting for WordPress,” etc.

My advice is that you do not obsess over keywords. There are analyzers, tools, density meters, word counters … The truth is that I think it is much simpler than all that.

You have to use keywords and related concepts so that Google knows what your content is about, but is it not logical that you end up using all these keywords when you write about a specific topic?

The best thing you can do is write your content naturally, without thinking about keywords.

Check it when you have finished it, and then yes, you can analyze what they are. When you have them, you can substitute a word or phrase with your keywords or even with those used by your competition, but be careful, make sure that the words or paragraph does not lose the meaning you wanted to give it.

Other Important Details

To finish, I will tell you four very simple details that may be the same or more important than the previous ones if you want to carry out a good SEO:

Use images:

Images improve your web positioning and attract many more visits to your website. Do not forget something as simple as giving your images a good name or putting an alternative text (attribute “alt”).

Write unique and quality content:

It can be the key to improve your web positioning. All this sounds very beautiful, but it is a truth like a temple. Google loves that the content is useful, original, and, if possible, extensive.

Choose a good design:

That attracts visitors that allow you to see your website from tablets and smartphones, facilitating navigation through your website. Try that the user is “at ease” and wants to stay.

Promote Your Content:

Share your pages and articles in social networks, make link building to link your website from others, create a list of subscribers, and participate in communities related to your website. Make them know you!

In truth, there is no more secret than having all these things in mind.

When you get used to writing on your website or blog using the details that I have explained, you will see that your web positioning will improve considerably. Then you will realize that many times we believe that SEO is complicated and complex when in truth, it is common sense to make you want and spend time. 

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