If you have worked even close to a website or online business in the last two decades, there's a good chance that you'll have heard something about SEO. Seemingly overnight, SEO appeared as a segment of web management and quickly became one of the most important aspects of building any commerce-based site. Even if you don't directly handle a website, knowing what SEO is and the basic ideas behind it is incredibly valuable.
The Basic Goals of SEO
In the simplest possible terms, SEO is about making sure your site appears as high in search results as possible. Whether that's Google or another engine, being at the top of the search results means a traffic boost over and above your competitors. It requires a well-rounded site with a laundry list of key features to tick off. If you look at a site like Betfair's, their primary focus is helping players discover the latest slots and games. But if you explore the site beyond its games and game descriptions, you'll find they also include elements like blog posts, carefully planned site structures, optimized images and more, which all cater to the SEO side.
Before we look at more specific SEO practices, it is important to know that nothing in SEO is an exact science. Apart from never knowing precisely what you're doing right or wrong, search engine companies like Google often update their search ranking criteria and rarely pass on that information to businesses. For that reason, SEO results can never be guaranteed.
On-site SEO includes any alterations and adjustments you can make to your own website to improve your rankings. As mentioned before, the exact details are never clear but there are certain standards that a website should adhere to if it wants Google to recognise it. The first and foremost is unique, authentic content; you need to have a good amount of text that is not either copied or obviously automatically generated.
Behind the scenes, the site should also have its code in order with the HTML properly organized, labeled, and structured. One overlooked part of this is ensuring that the site is optimized for accessibility with things like image tags and text recognizable by a screen reader for blind users, for example.
Anything that affects your search rankings from outside your site is covered by off-site SEO. Google puts a lot of stock in how the rest of the Internet sees your site. If you have multiple other sites referring back to yours with links, for instance, then Google will recognize your site as having some kind of authority on the subject. If those sites are also in high regard then the effect is even better.
This kind of SEO is the hardest to work with as it needs to be earned over time as you build recognition. Having a speciality site covering a specific country or region helps to build authority but it will always be a drawn-out process. This is only a very brief look at SEO as it's a topic that runs incredibly deep, although hopefully it gives you an idea of the main aims and what kinds of things you can keep an eye out for.