SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
The benefits of search engine optimization are obvious: free, passive traffic to your website, month after month.
But how do you do search engine optimization, and what “ranking factors” actually matter?
All major search engines such as Google and Bing have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos, images or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.
Search engines are like libraries for the digital age. Instead of storing copies of books, they store copies of web pages.
When you type a query into a search engine, it looks through all the pages in its index and tries to return the most relevant results. To do this, it uses a computer program called an algorithm. Nobody knows exactly how these algorithms work, but we do have clues, at least from Google.
Speaking of Google, this is the search engine most of us use—at least for web searches. That’s because it has the most reliable algorithm by far.
That said, there are tons of other search engines you can optimize for.
How SEO works?
In simple terms, SEO works by demonstrating to search engines that your content is the best result for the topic at hand. This is because all search engines have the same goal: To show the best, most relevant results to their users.
Precisely how you do this depends on the search engine you’re optimizing for. If you want more organic traffic to your web pages, then you need to understand and cater to Google’s algorithm. If you want more video views, then it’s all about YouTube’s algorithm.
Significance of mobile-friendliness for search engine optimization.
63% of Google searches come from mobile devices, and that number is growing every year. Given that statistic, it probably comes as no surprise that in 2016, Google announced a ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites in its mobile search results.
Google also shifted to mobile-first indexing in 2018, meaning that they now use the mobile version of your page for indexing and ranking.
But here’s an even more critical statistic from Adobe: Nearly 8 in 10 of consumers would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device
In other words, most people will likely hit the back button when a desktop version of a site loads on mobile.
That’s important because Google wants to keep its users satisfied. Pages that aren’t optimized for mobile lead to dissatisfaction. And even if you do rank and win the click, most people won’t stick around to consume your content.
You can check if your web pages are mobile-friendly with Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.
Why pagespeed matters for SEO?
Pagespeed is how fast your page loads. It’s a ranking factor on desktop and mobile.
Why? Once again, Google wants to keep its users satisfied. If their users are clicking on search results that take too long to load, that leads to dissatisfaction.
To check the speed of your web pages, use Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool.