SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Almost every webmaster has come across this phrase. It basically means attracting more quantity and better quality traffic by taking advantage of search engine results. It involves making a website more visible to search engines which make it appear in a higher position in search engine results pages (SERPs), making it more likely that people doing a search relevant to the website, will click on the link and visit the site. A search engine optimization company does this at a deeper level than the ordinary webmaster would in his usual admin tasks.

Search Engine algorithms

SEO tactics align a website’s elements with what search engines identify when crawling the net. Although these algorithms are closely guarded, search engine companies, like Google, usually release guidelines on what their search engines consider when ranking websites.

Kinds of SEO

There is good SEO also called Whitehat SEO, and bad SEO also called Blackhat SEO.  Whitehat SEO includes all the tactics that are approved by search engine companies. This includes having good quality content, good links, relevant keywords, good website navigation and so on.

Blackhat SEO involves tricking search engine algorithms for quicker rankings. These tactics include keyword stuffing, plagiarizing content, hidden text, link spamming and other tricks considered underhand. These tactics are highly discouraged and as search engines become smarter they are able to identify and penalize Blackhat SEO techniques.

SEO factors

Search engine companies rely on two types of SEO factors when indexing and ranking websites:

Onsite SEO

These are factors that involve crafting the website around relevant keywords that will attract higher rankings of the website for those keywords.  This includes having relevant URL, good relevant keyword density, proper meta tags, meta descriptions, image and video tags. These are factors that can be influenced by the webmaster directly.

Offsite SEO

These are factors that are largely out of the hands of the webmaster, but a in the hands of a good SEO company. These factors  suggest to search engine crawlers that the site has authority on the kind of content it offers. This includes inbound links from well-ranked websites, mentions in social media and reviews in forums relevant to the website’s industry.

Does SEO work?

SEO works very well depending on the effort of the search engine optimization company he contracts to do it for him.  There are billions of websites competing for visibility on search engines. This means that SEO has to be a continuous effort.

Who is it for?

Any business owner that is yearning to attract more traffic to his/her website organically (non-paid ads) can use SEO. It is especially useful for people selling products and services on the web as more traffic translates to more sales and revenue.