What is SEO And How it Works? (Updated 2023)

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Do you ask yourself what is SEO and how it works?

SEO ‘‘Search Engine Optimization‘‘ is a set of techniques and tools used to optimize both web pages and landing pages, so that search engines, such as Google, can read them more easily and quickly.

What is SEO And How it Works?

SEO is utilised by users in addition to search engines. You want to be aware of your search intent and the kind of content that help you satisfy your needs.

There are different types of queries: informative, academic, transactional, among others.

To be able to answer them, it is essential that each page is relevant to the content, which must also be characterized by being clear and concrete.

Nowadays, Google prioritizes those websites where content relevant to users, new and updated, is uploaded. We generally talk about optimizing content for Google.

But more than optimizing it, what should be done is to highlight the important parts of it: what is the topic we are talking about and what are those topics related to the content being discussed.

In this way, the information will be correctly ordered so that a robot, which cannot think, can understand what is being talked about and what is the important part of the content that we have just written.

The History Of SEO

Although today it seems totally essential to us, the reality is that its appearance took place just 26 years ago.

At the beginning of the 90s the first search engines emerged, but Google only came to light in 1996 and even in the XXI century there are countries where it is not very famous.

With all the buzz generated by the Web, people realized that there was an opportunity in front of this novelty, but success was only achieved by attracting traffic.

So the question was: What is the best method to achieve it? Google is a constantly evolving algorithm. Let us remember that at the beginning of history, repeating a keyword countless times assured us a privileged position.

However, Google has had thousands of updates, many of which we are not even aware of. Here are more details:

Google Algorithm Updates

  • Google Panda:

In 2011 the first major algorithm update arrived. Websites began to be evaluated according to the quality of their content. Original and valuable content was rewarded over duplicate content.

  • Google Penguin:

After a year, this update came to fulfill the function of monitoring the health of website link building.

In simple words, Google Penguin checks that the external links that are sent to the pages are natural and of quality.

  • Google Hummingbird:

In 2013, content began to be classified according to semantic and user interest factors.

The way to interpret the content expands to variations of the keywords or related keywords.

  • Google Pigeon:

In 2014 a new variable began to be used to organize search results: the geographical location of the users. From here, the role of local SEO is on the rise.

  • Google Mobilegeddon:

With the boom of mobile devices in 2015, Google seeks to adapt. Now in more, Google rewards sites that are mobile-friendly.

That is, those sites that have a responsive design and that optimize their loading speeds.

  • Google RankBrain:

That same year also saw one of the most radical changes in the algorithm.

With this new update, Google shows the most relevant content to the user according to their search intention.

Read more: SEO Vs Google Ads.

Is There A Single SEO?

The answer is no. SEO can be divided into two large groups: SEO on-page and SEO off-page.

The first puts its focus on relevance. In other words, it ensures that the website is sufficiently optimized so that the search engine understands the main thing, which is its content.

For its part, off-page SEO is one that focuses on factors external to the web page on which we work.

Let's take a closer look at this:

1) SEO on-page: The image of your website to the world

As mentioned above, on-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, refers to what the website administrator can optimize on their own pages to improve the user experience and make the site easier for Google to read.

How do I improve my on-page SEO Positioning?

Among others, these would be some of the tips that we believe are basic to achieve a correct positioning of a web page.

  • Know user intent:

What people want to find is what SEO is all about, not what they search for. This implies that the aim of the user's search should be the main emphasis of the sites.

This is why the challenge of an SEO On Page and Content Marketing strategy is to understand these intentions to give users what they want.

  • Use keywords:

The search engine algorithm indexes content with the intention of finding clues about the type of information present on a website.

A good search and subsequent analysis of keywords is one of the central issues for a good On Page optimization.

  • Titles and subtitles with H1 and H2 tags:

These tags help make the hierarchy and outline of the content clear to the algorithm and it knows how your text is organized.

A clear organization also provides essential clues about the information on your site, making it easier for the search engine.

  • Size of the content and its quality:

This is a factor that could influence the positioning, it is too naive to assume that Google is going to position us by the number of words that our content includes.

It is different to realize that the articles positioned in the first positions use a certain number of words to explain the subject in question.

That is why we ask you: If your competition uses 800 words to explain a topic and you want to explain it in 200, is it possible that both contents have the same value?

Everything would make us think not, but there will be certain exceptions. As our good friend John Mueller would say, “it all depends”.

  • Outbound links and internal links:

Linking is the key opportunity to tell Google how the material on your website is related within the digital ecosystem. Linking external sources are called outgoing links.

For its part, internal links help to link the content of your own website. If you are touching on a general topic and there is content that provides more detail, linking to it internally will benefit you.

  • Friendly and easy-to-understand structure of the URL:

Creating a URL that includes important keywords will offer more information about the topic of a page, bringing benefits to the user experience, since they will know what the topic is. is making "click" and will also provide advantages to SEO.

  • Descriptions:

Add and improve meta descriptions or meta tags, short descriptions that are placed below the URL and the title of the page in search results, will offer more information about the content of your page. One of the best tools you have at hand to improve the CTR of your page.

  • Page title:

Many will argue that this is one of the most important factors related to the positioning of your page. And it is that this will be your best opportunity to explain to search engines what you are going to talk about in it.

Image optimization: Including images that reflect the content of your page will make users respond with more interactions.

However, you should keep in mind the following: the images must load quickly so the size and format of the file must be taken into account, quality alt tags must be created, so that Google can classify them as valuable pieces of content on your site ; and alternative titles are key to the visually impaired experience.

MD Tip: Never forget that “Google Iimages” has 20% of Google's total traffic. Here you have an opportunity that you should not waste.

  • EAT:

These acronyms stand for Expertise (experience and knowledge of the author for this topic), Authoritativeness (authority of the author for this particular topic and identically for the website) and Trustworthiness (reliability of the author of the content, the content itself and the site website).

These words come from the quality standard manual that Google gives to those who manually evaluate web pages (Google is not only an algorithm, but also performs manual quality evaluations).

In this manual, Google explains to its evaluators how to discern the standards of reliability and authority that those who have generated the content hold.

There are ways and strategies to show these qualities and make them more easily interpreted by Google.

  • Loading speed of our web page:

Who spends more than 5 seconds waiting for a page to load? It is another of the positioning factors, since Google or any user penalizes pages with very slow loading times.

  • Semantic structure:

Order the content so that Google understands what we are talking about at all times. This includes the titles and subtitles mentioned above.

But, to achieve an adequate semantic structure, we must consistently add the titles, subtitles and the content that is included below them.

2) Off-page SEO: Techniques External To Your Website

Now it's time to talk about the other side of the coin of a website. Unlike on-page SEO, in off-page SEO the decision to backlink your site and mention or search for you directly rests with a third party.

What does depend on us is an SEO strategy that increases the chances of the above happening.

How do we achieve this? The importance of inbound links is crucial to understanding the basics of how Google's algorithm was initially structured.

Let us remember that the Page Rank (primary metric contemplated by the algorithm to rank a page), was 100% related to the incoming links to a page along with their quality and relative weight.

What is local SEO?

As noted above, Google is constantly updating its algorithm regarding search results and search engines.

In 2014, Google Pigeon arrives where a new variable began to be used to organize search results: the geographical location of users. From here, the role of local SEO is on the rise.

But what is local SEO? It is an essential tool for businesses that have physical stores , since from user searches they allow us to direct them to them.

For example, if a person searches for “Italian restaurant”, Google will suggest nearby restaurants for them to visit.

In these searches, Google activates the local search algorithm, prioritizing results in the region in which the user is located.

The local SEO positioning strategy focuses mainly on these aspects:

1. Keywords:

Keyword research for the local SEO strategy must take into account search intentions with the following variations: user location at the time of the search or the region typed in the search, terms that identify your business , industry term modifiers, geographic modifiers.

2. Google My Business:

The main ranking factor in local SEO is Google My Business. What is this? A Local Pack, with three main results for the user, whose information is extracted directly from Google My Business.

This is where you have to appear, so it is essential to register your company in Google My Business.

3. Ranking factors:

Google uses three main ranking factors for local searches: relevance (the match between the search keyword and the product or service offered by the business), proximity (the distance of the business in relation to the location of the user or geographic terms placed in the search) and prominence (the popularity of the business in its region, based on online and offline factors).

What benefits do I get from implementing an SEO strategy?

A good SEO implementation brings with it great results and benefits for your website:

  • Multiply your visibility and differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Improve your website: Not only does your website improve for search engines, but also for the users themselves and their experience on it.
  • A long-term investment: Although optimizing your website initially entails certain costs, if you manage to position it among the top positions, the source of quality traffic at no cost will be extraordinary. As if that were not enough, if you manage to position several keywords or launch yourself into international SEO, the benefits will multiply.
  • Increase your impact on social networks: Web positioning manages to coordinate with social media, since the network links use those titles and descriptions that you optimized in your SEO strategy.

What is SEO and how it works? I think you have the whole idea in your hands now.

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