Organic Search Engine Optimization Basics

Organic search engine optimization is an important part of a business search engine marketing strategy. The ultimate goal for undertaking search engine optimization is to drive qualified traffic to your website. Qualified traffic can be defined as users who will undertake a specific action on your website that is valuable to your business.

Some SEO professionals and some agencies are of the notion that it’s all about being number one on the search engine results page. However for most businesses it’s all about acquiring customers who will ultimately buy or purchase their products and services as this should be the ultimate goal for undertaking organic search engine optimization.

In our previous article getting started with seo we gave an introduction to search engine optimization.Just to recap organic seo mainly revolves around three things :creating valuable content, Website linking and technical seo attributes. 

Creating Valuable Content 

The primary purpose and goal of users searching online is that they are looking for valuable information to answer the questions they might have.On the other hand a website has to have information related to what the user is actively searching for that is concise and detailed to fulfill the need of the search query.

Valuable content is informative, insightful and provides answers in relation to a user’s search query. The common thread between a user search query and a webpage /website is a set of keywords. Therefore in creating great content the foundation is mainly on the role of keywords,however great quality content goes a great way in ensuring that a webpage ranks.

Role of Keywords

All searches conducted on the internet are triggered by a set of search terms that are inputted into search engine browsers. These search terms are known as keywords as these are triggers that enable a particular webpage to be displayed in relation to a search query.

Seeing that  keywords are important in serps Google has updated its algorithms in order to combat keyword stuffing .Web pages that are stuffed by keywords are penalized and the result is that they wont from ranking in serps. There are tools on the internet that check for keyword density that will give you an indication of  how you are using your keywords in relation to the content.

Quality Content

here are various schools of thought out there that try to determine what quality content is, however this is very subjective as there are many factors that will need to be looked at. In its basic form quality content is not measured by the length or number of words that are on a webpage.

A prospective user should be able to derive value from consuming content online and it should be able to provide sufficient information in relation to a user’s initial search query. One way of measuring the quality content will be related to specific actions that a user will undertake after consuming content.The most easiest way of tracking quality content is to be able to attribute it either to a sale or an activity that is important to business such as signing up for a newsletter ,creating an account on a website or reaching out to the sales department.

Website Links

Website links are often referred to as the interlinks of the internet which connect websites to each other. There are three types of links in relation to a website namely inbound, internal and outbound links.

Inbound Links
There are the incoming links from another website of which when a user clicks on them they are redirected to your website or webpage.These are also known as backlinks as they in a number of ways mainly :

  • Drive traffic to your site
  • Increase brand awareness 
  • Boost the chance of ranking high on search engine queries 

However it must be noted that not all backlinks or inbound links have the same weighting in relation to SEO. There are toxic backlinks that will ruin a website’s ranking capabilities and these will require for the webmaster to disavow these links in the search console. 

 Internal Links

These are links that point from one webpage to a different webpage on the same domain.These are mainly used for navigational purposes on the website however they serve the following purposes :

  • Enable users to navigate the website 
  • Used to establish website hierarchy 
  • Spread link equity ( help with crawlers in accessing and making sense of your entire site)

Internal links assist web crawlers to navigate your site and provide users with more valuable content.

Technical SEO Attributes
A combination of the content and link attributes and some lines of code all make up the technical attributes of seo. The basic elements for technical SEO attributes can be summarised as following :

  • XML Sitemap
  • Meta Tags
  • HTTP Status codes
  • Security: HTTP Vs HTTPS
  • Technical SEO Audits 

XML Sitemaps
In its simplest explanation a site map is the road map for the website which tells search engines what content is available and where it can be found.The xml sitemap is used to give an indication to the search engines of which urls on your website are important. However it must be noted that having a site map increases the chances of your website to be crawled which will enable your website to rank.

Meta Tags
These are HMTL elements that are used to describe information about the page mainly to your search engine and users.The components include:

Meta Title though it’s not visible on the page the title gets to be displayed in the search results page as this gives more information to the search about the contents of the page.

Meta Description : It’s an attribute that gives a summary of the web page that gets to be displayed on the search engine results and this helps in increasing clickthrough rates.

Image Alt Tag these are used to describe what the image is all about.

Canonical” link tag these give information to the search engines which webpage represent the master copy of the page

Meta Robot Tag are pieces of code which give information to the crawlers on how to index a page content . The common use of this tag is to prevent pages from showing in search results  

HTTP Status Codes
Hypertext Transfer Protocol ( HTTP) status codes response which are 3 -digit integer issued by a server in response to a client’s request. The responses can be grouped into five categories :

  • Informational responses ( 100-199)
  • Successful responses (200-299)
  • Redirects (300-399)
  • Client Errors ( 400-499)
  • Server Errors ( 500-599)

The error response codes need to be investigated and resolved as soon as possible as these will impact any site negatively. We are going to be covering these errors in great detail in the upcoming article.

Security: HTTP Vs HTTPS
Data encryption is one of the key security measures that a website can implement to protect users browsing data.There are in essence two methods of transferring data across the internet through Hypertext Transfer Protocol  (HTTP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). The HTTPS method of data transfer has an added extra layer of security as it uses a secure socket layer (SSL ) and transport layer security for encryption of data being transferred. On Google , websites that are only making use of HTTP are flagged as unsecure when a user tries to access any webpage , thereby prohibiting users from accessing the site.

Technical SEO Audit
This is the process of assessing the technical aspects of a website that could be hindering your search performance. Depending on the site of the website , undertaking a technical audit on a website can either take days or even weeks to complete . A technical seo audit logs will reveal areas on your website that will need to be resolved so that your website can rank higher in serps. To undertake a technical seo audit you will need to perform a  website crawl , using software like Semrush , Ahrefs , Screaming frog and Beam us Up.

Results from the website crawl will give a basis on the technical aspects of the website that will require urgent attention. We are going to be covering the technical  seo audit in detail in an upcoming guide.

As previously highlighted earlier on creating valuable content, ensuring that the Website is properly linked and resolving technical seo attributes will enable a website to rank higher in serps. Ultimately for all businesses ranking number 1 is a good notch on the belt , however gaining customers is far much better. We can help you to acquire customers  through implementing various  SEO tactics , get in touch with us and we can craft a solution for your website