fbpx
What is SEO by pexels

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained by an African | Nnechi Digital

People often ask me, “What is your job?”  I tell them I am an SEO. Their curiosity is piqued at this answer, and they will either say or ask; SEO! But what does it mean? Or what do SEOs do? I’m unfamiliar with the term.

Then I explain that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Optimizer, and ah-ha! In describing what SEO means, I have merely made matters worse since it seems I have only aggravated the issue by explaining what SEO stands for. 
 

I usually get surprised when people tell me they either haven’t heard the term SEO or don’t know what it means, even though SEO has been in use since the 1990s. 

In a world where more businesses use the internet to connect with their target audiences and navigate new markets, it’s only natural for them to become more knowledgeable about industry jargon. Hence, the need for this article. 
 

SEO: The Power of Search 

Prior to the rise of the internet, we spent hours in the college/university library studying or collecting information during our college years. However, now that we can do so in the comfort of our homes or hotels, we have access to books comparable to what we could find in our school’s modest libraries. We could even attend courses online, stream music and movies, and do many other things. 

When you look up information on the internet, you would usually scout for such information through your browser- Chrome, Firefox, Opera Mini, Microsoft Edge, etc. If you have ever looked up information via this app/software, you have had a first-hand experience with SEO. 

Aren’t you delighted each time the search engines provide you with the right results? – the correct information based on your search terms. You can refer to the page containing the results on your screen as the Search Engine Results Page Although there are other pages besides the first page, statistics show that it gets 71% of all clicks on google search goes to the first page 

Search Engine Results Page- Nnechi Digital

The very relevant information that presents itself to you on the first page of the SERP, offering you the correct answer and leaving you satisfied, is there because of SEO. Search Engine Optimization is responsible for helping websites, YouTube channels, and social media pages that appear on SERPs (usually on the first page). 
 

There is a relationship between search engines like Google, Bing, and Yandex and businesses in SEO. Content creators & businesses create valuable information, and Google indexes and present it to potential customers and searchers. They work together to achieve the same goal of “the right information at the right time.”  

The search engine has become a potent tool for marketing, hence SEO’s relevance. As a result, if businesses must appear on the first page of SERP organically, such webpages must be well SEO optimized. 
 

Why is SEO Important? 

Our fast-growing world demands consciously improved techniques to provide answers to people’s hanging questions. Statistics show that on Google alone, approximately 694,000 searches are conducted every second. This, in a way, reveals the extent to which search engines are resorted to for results and knowledge creation generally.  

Now, the singular fact that “all” websites and contents cannot be displayed or accessed at a go makes search engine optimization a necessity. 

 

Is SEO an Art or a Science?

SEO is an art because it requires skills and creativity. It’s also a science because it’s a systematically organized body of knowledge that involves data, testing, and measurement (i.e., tracking). 

Put differently, SEO is the art of ranking pages and the science of website optimization. 
 

But come to think of it, we’re optimizing and ranking webpages, not search engines, so ‘website optimization’ would have been a better name, right? I guess that would be a discussion for another day. 

SEO: What does it really mean?  

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to strategic techniques that help one’s website rank higher in organic search results. SEO is the step-by-step process taken to help a website or piece of content gain better visibility on search engines to make such website or content available to the right audience. 

SEO is an integral part of digital marketing, a broader topic on its own, embracing all internet marketing strategies. The better your SEO, the more visible you become, and this visibility plays a vital role in increasing potential client visits and revenue. 

In search engines, paid ads often appear at the top and are recommended as part of the first-page listing, but this does not necessarily mean that paid ads hold more significant potential.  

The “regular” results follow the paid results, which are regarded as organic search results, providing a variety of content but with an element of “orderliness” that has to do with “relevance” and “popularity.”  

Search engines are answer-providing technologies. When a user searches, the engine automatically combs through countless web documents and determines two things: it reaches back to the user with relevant results based on what they have entered.  

Search engines then rank those provided results based on the relevance and popularity of the websites providing those answers. Thus, the primary aim of SEO is to influence relevance and popularity. 

 

The SEO Elements: On-page, Off-Page & Technical 

As there are other distinct SEO elements, the focus of this content is on these three, which are known as “the three pillars of SEO.”  

Just as we can break down anything into basic functional units, these elements can be considered the fundamental “fill” of SEOs, which, when employed, expand the scope of the original intent.  

It is essential to point out that these factors do not operate in isolation but rather interact with one another to provide more visibility and connectivity in the long run. Let’s examine each one individually; 

SEO elements - Nnechi Digital

1. On-Page SEO: The hallmark of on-page SEO is “creativity,” as it involves relevant and keyword-rich content, clever ideas, eye-catching captions, great designs, articulate diction, and other strategic techniques to “stand tall” amongst numerous competing content available on the web. 

Therefore, on-page SEO is a means of optimizing individual web pages or contents in a deliberate attempt to trigger greater visibility and, invariably, broader traffic or visits by searchers. 

SEO has already been defined as an “art” earlier; on-page SEO embraces the following; 

  • Title tag and meta description 
  • keyword research & search intent 
  • appropriate use of header tags (H1, H2, H3,….H6) 
  • Short & descriptive URLs 
  • Links: outbound and Internal 
  • unique, relevant, & keyword-optimized content. 
  • well optimize images- use alt tags & compress image size 
  • write readable text 
  • structured data (Schema markup) 
  • featured snippet 

These on-page elements not only enable search engines to access webpages easily but would also attract the right audience (customers). We will discuss these features in more detail in a future article. 

 2. Off-Page SEO: It has been common to associate off-page SEO with “link building” (usually gained by sharing content by users), but it goes beyond that to further facilitate promotion methods such as social bookmarking, press releases, PR & guest blogging, reviews, citations, and even online events. 

Off-page SEO is any little or great effort made “outside” one’s website to improve visibility and traffic. Although many content creators hold on-page SEO in high esteem, it has been estimated that a well-structured off-page SEO plan could make up for over 50% of Google’s Search Engine ranking factors.  

Therefore, the Optimisation here happens outside the shores of one’s website and often lays a foundational base for interactions (between users and Search engines now), which are likely to boost higher ranking and visits altogether. 

 3. Technical SEO: This component of SEO is concerned with features that help search engines crawl and index your website and improve user experience on your website.  

Technical SEO relates to the following elements; 

  • responsiveness of a website 
  • faster-loading speed 
  • secured connection  
  • eliminating duplicate content 
  • crawling & indexing (robots.txt, XML sitemaps, Google search console, Bing webmaster)  
  • enabling AMP 
  • adding structured data, and as well as  
  • the design and architecture of the website 

Marketers can effectively tell search engines what their website is about and why it should rank well by implementing technical, on-page, and off-page SEO tactics. 

How Does SEO Works?  

A search engine’s goal is to provide users with nothing but the best results; the results displayed have to be high quality and relevant to the search queries. 

Search engines “scan” or “crawl” different pages to better understand the sites to perform this noble task. These web crawlers are known as search engine spiders or bots. This interaction would, in turn, help the search engine put forth relevant results. 

Through SEO, sites are scrutinized by engine robots, then taking accessibility into account. The search engines will usually rank sites with the most user-friendly design, increasing their visibility or customer base.  

With the enormous searches conducted daily, content creators should take advantage of SEO techniques as failure to do so would suggest a missing out on the far-flung opportunities available for customers to visit their website, access their content, and become potential customers. 

  
Therefore, SEO basics are fundamental and, when combined with other advanced techniques, can significantly influence higher ranking in the search engines, broaden visibility, and thus, increase revenue for businesses. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.