What is SEO?

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SEO ( search engine optimization). The purpose of SEO is to rank as high as possible in the search results. With better rankings on Google, you can then generate more traffic (organic traffic) to the site.

When we discuss SEO, the talk often revolves around how to be seen on Google, because it is definitely the largest search engine. Still, we should not forget that there are other search engines as well, such as Yahoo, Bing, Youtube, and so on.

What is SEO?
There are several ways to search engine optimize your website. As I said, Google has over 200 signals that they use to determine the website’s relevance and value in search results.

All these signals can be distinguished into two main groups, namely on-page and off-page signals. Then the analysis part itself is also a big part of the work when you create your SEO strategy. It is the one that creates the basis for all the optimization you do.

With that said, to answer the question of what SEO is, I usually think of the following three sub-areas:

Keyword analysis
On-page optimization
Off-page optimization
Search Engine Lands Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors (pictured below) presents a clear distinction between on- and off-page factors.

Source: Search Engine Land

  1. Keyword analysis
    Search engine optimization usually begins with keyword analysis, ie. the analysis where you examine which search terms are used to find your product or service. In this analysis, you create an understanding of the search behavior, as well as what terms you should be visible for on Google. It is also good to start with this if you are doing an SEO analysis on your website.

Choose your primary keywords carefully so that it becomes clear what your website is about and that you drive as relevant traffic as possible.

Once you have identified your most important keywords, the goal is to rank high in the search results with related keywords and phrases.

Keyword analysis and SEO market research
Also, keep in mind that search behavior and keywords can vary greatly between different people. There are often several phrases used to find the same information.

Tip: Also check out what your top-ranked competitors are doing. This is perhaps the most effective way to get inspiration and create a keyword strategy.

  1. On-page optimization
    When the keyword analysis is complete, it is important to focus on the website’s on-page SEO. It includes everything you can influence directly by optimizing your website. This is often done by optimizing your SEO texts (posts) and more technically oriented factors on your website.

SEO texts
Your posts and landing pages should optimally generate as much organic traffic as possible. To do this, the content must be good and easy to understand for both search engines and visitors.

Good SEO texts usually meet the following criteria, among others:

SEO-optimized headline structure (h1, h2, h3, etc.).
Primary keywords appear in the page title and subheadings.
Optimized meta text ( title and description ).
SEO-optimized images (Alt text, size, file name, location).
The length of the text and the density of the keyword is optimal (depends on keywords, but 1-3% is usually ok).
Related keywords (LSI keywords).
Internal and external links.
Point lists (possibly tables).
Optimized for selected snippets.
Technical SEO
technical SEO and on-page
Technical SEO (technical SEO) is the part of SEO that can be difficult to handle, especially for the less technically savvy.

Some tips on how to improve the technical part of your website are:

Create logical link structure, navigation, and design with an emphasis on keywords.
The URL structure is logical and clean, preferably not too long.
Reduce loading times through caching, lighter web pages, image optimization, etc.
Make sure you have clean HTML code (avoid unnecessary code, etc.).
The pages are indexed by search engines.
The page’s resources are loaded chronologically from top to bottom.
Get rid of redirect chains.
Add structured data if relevant.
Any irrelevant pages have the index tag.

  1. Off-page optimization
    Off-page SEO is basically a way of link building (link building) and factors that occur outside one’s own domain. Links from other websites transfer so-called link value to the domain, which increases the website’s domain value.

When striving to get links from other sites, keep in mind that not all links are equally valuable.

The link value can, among other things, be affected by:

Link relevance (subject and keywords).
The Domain Authority (DA) of the linking website, which is affected by both the content of the website and the link tree.
Trust flow of linked domains.
Keywords in the anchor texts.
Perhaps a little more indirectly, the website’s off-page SEO can also be affected by factors such as:

Reputation and the number of shares on social media.
The search engine searches on your brand/brand directly, or in combination with relevant keywords.
Negative SEO (spam)
Off-page SEO and inbound links from other domains are some of the most important ranking signals Google has.

link value and off-page SEO
Google basically sees links as trust-building signals (trustbilders). If someone mentions you or refers (links) to any content on your website, it means that your website has valuable content.

But it can not be that simple…

No, of course not. Inbound links can also be harmful if they come from irrelevant and bad domains. But as long as the links are relevant and natural, they are actually very valuable.

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