WHAT IS SEO?

It cannot be otherwise than that you have heard something about SEO, but what is SEO actually?

what is seo
What is Search Engine Optimization / SEO Meaning

Search engine optimization is basically everything you do to ensure that your website is shown as high as possible in the organic search results  (also called free) of the search engines. In the Netherlands we are talking about Google in about 95% of the cases, but there are also search engines such as Bing and DuckDuckGo.

These organic search results can be found on the search results pages (in jargon SERP : Search Engine Result Page) under the paid search results (advertisements eg Google AdWords or Bing Ads).

Why is SEO so important?

The search for a product or company starts in a search engine. To get to the attention of your target group and generate leads, you simply have to be at the top of the search engines. Even if people end up making the purchase offline. Search engine optimization / SEO marketing is therefore essential for lead generation .

So what does SEO mean in practice?

According to our industry there are about 200 ranking factors, but let's be honest, only at Google itself are a few people who know exactly how many there are. What we do know is that all these factors fall into 3 main categories:

  • Technic
  • content
  • authority

Technique and content should mainly be geared to the visitor of your website. If your visitor is satisfied and finds what he or she is looking for, then in theory the authority should increase by itself over time.

Technic

Your website must be technically sound. Things to keep in mind include:

  • the structure of your website
  • the correct use of headers
  • user-friendly urls
  • fast loading time
  • use of an SSL certificate
  • use of sitemaps

Unfortunately, not every web builder knows how to take this technical SEO basis into account for a website that is easy to find.

Content

Google's users are / your target audience is looking for something. To contact details, a product, information …, in other words, content. The better your website meets that content need, the more users of your website will appreciate it and send signals to Google that your website is 'brilliant'. Think of those signs:

  • visiting multiple pages on your website
  • do not immediately drop out of your website and return to Google ( bounce rate and pogosticking )
  • sharing your content on social media
  • or the SEO's 'holy grail' of appreciation: posting a link to your content / website

Despite the fact that there are people who claim that Google is so smart these days that they can map your content to the information needs of your target group, you absolutely cannot ignore keywords. So there are 3 steps to arrive at the ideal content:

  1. Analyzing the content needs of your target audience. You do this in the content strategy
  2. Linking that content need to a keyword research
  3. Processing those keywords in a web text that is tempting for the reader .

Authority

Where Google used to have its own indicator for authority (namely PageRank ) we now use Domain and Page Authority or Domain Rating . This authority is largely determined by external inbound links.

Ideally , the visitors of your website find the content on that website so beautiful and your website so user-friendly that they voluntarily link to your website. In practice , everyone knows how important links are for your ranking in Google and almost everyone is asking money for them these days. Something that Google struggles with enormously, because for the time being they cannot determine the authority of a website other than through links, but this is of course relatively easy to manipulate.

In our view there is nothing wrong with that, because all media is manipulated and PR agencies have been providing paid exposure for their clients for many years.

Hence  link building is still an important part of search engine optimization. Because a bit of organization also knows how to find a web builder who can deliver a technically excellent website and optimizing content is no longer rocket science ...., so how does Google know which website best matches the search query?

Make sure you have everything in order

Don't focus on technology, content or authority as something that stands alone. Make sure that you continue to serve your target group as well as possible through your website and also ensure that your website is listed on as many other relevant websites as possible. Call it link earning, content marketing , link building or PR, but you need those links.

Also, do not have the illusion that SEO is a one-time project or that it is easy. SEO is something you have to continuously work on, just like with your target group 😉

SEO starts with keywords

Google is still focused on keywords. Every serious content plan should therefore include a keyword analysis .

After you have mapped out the information needs of the target group, you match it with the right keywords. Then you write good web texts around that information and keywords, so that your information is actually found and appreciated.

In fact, Google is not very smart in other languages . A good example of the limited knowledge of a language is the fact that a page in Urdu, may be at #1 in Google for the search term 'SEO meaning' with the 'crooked' sentence below highlighted as a snippet.

“The literal SEO meaning is Search Engine Optimization.”

So the real language purists have to turn a blind eye every now and then if they want to reach the top positions.

A concrete SEO plan

The SEO strategy must of course lead to a concrete SEO plan. So that everyone involved knows what needs to be done to beat the competition in Google. The SEO plan should include which keywords the focus will be on and how this will be achieved.

For example, is a landing page necessary with good content, does content need to be created or optimized or does the link profile need to be improved?

SEO marketing in practice

In practice, the technical aspect of SEO is usually addressed first. Is everything correct in terms of indexing, speed and encryption?

Then it is checked whether there is (sufficiently) good content on the website around the keywords. And then the domain and the underlying pages are strengthened in authority via internal and external links.


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