What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and this is a process of making sure that Search Engine Bots can read your website content and understand what is important on the page. Search Engines use crawlers which can read the HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) on your page and they understand what is marked as important on the content by checking how you have placed the content in your HTML Tags.
What can search Engines Read?
What is Hidden from Search Engines?
These crawlers use GET requests which means they cannot search on your website which is usually done by filling up the search terms on your search box, they cannot fill up a form or select anything from a drop down with form controls, they cannot login to forms and cannot select a location automatically or by filling in an address like you see on most shopping apps that show you local shops. Any content that you have on page with display:none property or visibility:hidden is also available to search engines.
How does Search Engine Know what’s Important on this page?
For deciding what is important on this page and what this page content is about, the Search Engine uses analysis on how you have placed the words on this page. Some of the important pieces on every page are Title, Headings and anything that is marked as Bold or Strong which means you want to have some emphasis on this part. HTML has 6 different Heading level defined which are H1 through H6. Anything that is most important on the page shall be placed in H1 tags followed by sub-headings which shall be placed as H2 elements on the page and so on. Anything that is H4 onwards rarely get any importance from search engines so ideally you shall be using H1, H2 and H3 which is suitable for most articles available online as these can cover Headings, Sub Headings and Sub Sub Headings on the page. Ideally, H1 shall be used once but you can also use this multiple times on the same page as long as they are related to the main topic that is mentioned in “Title” of the page.
Links to Pages and Backlinks
Links on every page can be classified into two primary categories and two secondary classifications. Let’s review the first classification as dofollow and nofollow links. This classification is based purely on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) point of view and has no different in terms of behavior of the links. Any user visiting the website will not have any different experience and both types of links behave the same way. The difference is only for SEO purposes where dofollow is default and not really specified on tags. Any link is a dofollow link unless it is specified as a nofollow link by specifically declaring a “rel” attribute on the anchor tag. We will be covering the second type of classification later on this article.
Why do we need backlinks?
Every link to a page can be considered as a vote in favor of the page it is linking to where any link coming from outside is called Backlink and is considered more important as compared to a link coming from the same website. Even if it is from an external website but the external website is hosted on the same IP address, the search engine crawlers are smart to flag a possible manipulation. Any links which are from reputed news websites or educational website and government websites are considered more important. Naturally, an important website linking to you means an important person voting in your favor which brings a lot of value and the same happens online in SEO world. Now this means that if you are an investment company, any link coming in from MarketWatch or CNBC or Motley Fool means a lot to you in terms of SEO score and your ranks on SERPs.
Do we need nofollow links?
Why would search engines share their recipe on how they rank websites on SERPs? They will not and that is how SEO Companies will stay in business. No proven results on this but most SEO companies worldwide believe that search engines realized this long ago that it is not natural for a website to have only dofollow links and no links that have nofollow specified. Since the initial algorithm was only counting number of links, it was abused by Black Hat SEO Companies and Search Engines know how to outsmart the Black Hat Tricks. Anyone spamming or flooding forums and blogs was able to build links to his Viagra or Casino website and make it rank ahead of the competition but with the specifications adding nofollow and webmasters adopting to the specification, this challenge was addressed. Now when you comment on some website, the link to your website that appears is usually a nofollow link. Are these needed? Yes to look natural. Are these adding any value to improve your position on SERPs? Possibly No but they are still required.
What else contributes on SEO?
Let’s step back a little, we all know that by Search Engines, we only mean one Search Engine which has more than 90% marketshare and rules this space. A lot of effort has already gone into securing this number one position and gaining this marketshare and search engine(s) can only retain this position when they can continue to keep up the quality of Search Results and help users find what they are looking for. Besides the HTML on your website, the other important factors are that the traffic they send to your website engages with your content. When the users click browser back button and click on some other link, the search engines understand that the experience on the initial click was not good. The factors that affect users experience can be
- Slow loading website
- A website with poor aesthetics or color scheme that’s not usual
- Navigation at some unusual place which user could not find
- Relevant content in a hidden element which was not clearly visible
- A lot of advertising on the page
- Irritating popups asking for newsletter signup or registration
- Content placed behind a paywall for users
- Location permissions or Notification permissions
- Many other factors
This user clicking back button has not informed “The Search Engine” that the website he clicked on does not offer a good user experience and shall not appear in search results. When there are substantial number of such reports, the page continues to be pushed down on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) regardless of how clean HTML was served and how many links this page had pointing as votes vouching this page as the best resource on the topic.
Getting Started on SEO
How to get started on SEO for your website? Look for a Professional SEO Company or an Agency that has proved SEO Portfolio. Does not matter if the SEO Company is based in India or in America because the results will be delivered online and live on your website. It does help if you can hire an SEO Agency that works in your time zone and offers you advice on UI and UX besides handling only Technical SEO.
SEO Companies in Dubai
Warning – Shameless Self Promotion Ahead
InstaNorth Marketing Services is based in Dubai and offers SEO Services for Small and Medium businesses here in United Arab Emirates and we do have clients in other parts of the world including India, Singapore, Australia and United States. We are available for SEO Services for assignments from any parts of the world.