Introduction to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Bringing value on the Internet through quality content to make yourself known to your prospects and to grow your brand image. However, if your content cannot be found on the web and you are not positioned correctly on various search engines like Google, your content will never be read!
Therefore, Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important step to consider when you want to promote yourself on the Internet.
In this SEO introductory article, we will find out:
- What is SEO and what is its role?
- How do search engines work?
- What criteria will impact your SEO
What is SEO and what is its role?
SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”, also known as “SEO” or “SEO”. More concretely, it is a set of techniques whose objective is to improve the visibility and traffic of a site on the Internet and to place it as high as possible in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo...
But then, is SEO really important?
To answer this question, let's take a look at a concrete example below:
You run a sports clothing store and have just created a modern and attractive website. You've written comprehensive product listings, quality blog posts to guide your customers, and you're selling your products at great prices! The only problem? You have no visitors...
Even with your competitive advantages, without visitors, your website is of no use to you.
In theory, you should have your chances of getting higher in Google searches, because SEO (natural referencing) is a process based on the content and the overall quality of a website.
In practice, you will find it difficult to gain visibility without SEO, which is to optimize your website (on-site) and outside of it (off-site).
You will have understood it:
The visibility of a website no longer depends only on its content, but on the efforts invested in SEO.
How do search engines work?
To understand how SEO works, let's first look at search engines.
The Internet is incredibly dense, counting several billion indexed pages, and growing steadily day by day. Without search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo…), it would be impossible to find the information that interests us.
These platforms operating thanks to complex algorithms (set of calculations) have set up a directory, called index, to classify sites according to defined criteria. Thanks to these search engines, it is then possible to display the web page which will correspond the most to my request.
However, the Internet is a moving entity that needs to be constantly updated (additions or deletions of pages, new sites or mobile applications, etc.). To keep their records up to date, search engines, therefore, use "robots" (software) to visit websites (we call this "crawler") and indicate the changes observed.
Here's how these bots work to create search results:
- Discovery: The robot will find your site (thanks to a link from another site, or yours directly).
- Indexing: The content of this page (texts, photos, videos, etc.) will be analyzed and listed in the search engine index.
- Result: When you carry out a search on a search engine, this one will seek in its index the page which will answer the most to your request.
This site classification must of course meet a set of established rules (algorithm), and it is, therefore, essential to understanding them to improve the referencing of your site. This is where all the challenges of SEO lie!
What criteria will impact your SEO?
Apart from Google itself (or the other search engines), nobody knows perfectly all the criteria that will influence your referencing, as there are many (+200 criteria). However, we have a “general idea” of how their algorithms work, which moreover continues to evolve and become more complex.
When we talk about search engine optimization, we, therefore, consider two important points:
- “ON-SITE” optimization, ie on the website itself.
- The “OFF-SITE” optimization, ie on everything that is outside the site.
This brings together a set of techniques to be implemented on a website to facilitate the work of search engines (robots), improve the user experience and the overall clarity of the content. Here is a non-exhaustive list of areas for improvement:
- The ergonomics of the website (easy navigation, responsive site, etc.)
- The page load speed
- The architecture and structure of the site
- The clarity of URLs and Meta descriptions
- Etc ...
We talk about “off-site” optimization when we implement a strategy to boost our referencing by relying on external sources. Indeed, on the same principle as word of mouth, when a website refers its internet user to your web page, he expresses the idea that he has confidence in you and that you bring added value.
Obtaining many quality links, from reliable sources (popular sites), will be a huge lever on your SEO. Social networks will also help you enormously to gain popularity!