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What is SEO/Search Engine Optimization?

SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization". Simply put, it's the process of improving your website to increase your visibility when people search for products or services related to your business on Google, Bing, and other search engines. The higher your pages' visibility in search results, the more likely you are to attract attention and attract potential and existing customers to your business.

How does SEO work? 

Search engines like Google and Bing use robots to find pages on the web, go from site to site, gather information about those sites, and add them to the index. Think of the index as a massive library where a librarian can pull up a book (or web page) to help you find exactly what you're looking for.

The algorithms then analyze the pages in the index using hundreds of factors, or ranking signals, to determine the order in which the pages should appear in search results for a particular query. In our library analogy, the librarian has read all the books in the library and can tell you exactly which ones contain the answers to your questions.

Our SEO success factors can be viewed as proxies for user experience aspects. This is how search robots assess exactly how well a page or website can provide what the searcher is looking for. 

Unlike paid search ads, search engines can't pay to rank higher in organic search, which means SEO professionals have to work hard. This is where we come in.

Our periodic table of SEO factors sorts factors into six main categories and weights each according to their overall importance to SEO. For example, content quality and keyword research are key factors in content optimization, while content search and speed are important factors in website architecture.

The newly updated SEO Periodic Table also includes a list of poisons that deter SEO best practices. These are shortcuts or tricks that may have been enough to secure high rankings in a time when engine methods were much less sophisticated. And now you can even work for a short time - at least until you get caught.

We also have a brand new niche section that takes a deep dive into the SEL success factors behind three key niches: Local SEO, News/Publications, and Ecommerce SEO. While our general SEO periodic table will help you with best practices, knowing the nuances of SEO for each of these niches can help you thrive in search results for your small business, recipe blog, and/or online store.

Search algorithms are designed to show relevant and genuine pages and provide users with an efficient reading experience. Optimizing your website and its content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in search results.

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Why is SEO important for marketing?

SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing as people perform millions of searches every year, often for commercial purposes, to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands, complementing other marketing channels. Better visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competitors can have a significant impact on your score.

However, search results have evolved in recent years to provide users with more direct answers and information that is more likely to keep users on the results page rather than redirecting them to other websites.

Also note that features like advanced results and the knowledge panel in search results increase visibility and can provide users with more information about your business directly in the results.

In short, SEO is the foundation of a complete marketing ecosystem. Once you understand what your website users want, you can apply that knowledge to your campaigns (paid and unpaid), website, social media properties, and more.

How can I learn SEO?

Tip: Keep an eye out for our updated 2021 SEO Periodic Table to be unveiled at SMX Advanced on June 15!

For a useful introduction to SEO, our Periodic Table of SEO Factors gives you all the key concepts you need to know, including the elements of successful on-page and off-page SEO and the "poisons" or tactics that can hurt. . your ranking.

The chart and accompanying report also cover three research niches:

Local SEO

Publications/News SEO Ecommerce

SEO

The Periodic Table of SEO Factors serves as the basis for this SEO guide. Together, these resources will help you learn more about SEO and underpin your strategy for success.

Search

Engine Land Search Engine Land's SEO guide compliments our periodic table of SEO factors, walking you through the basics of search optimization so you can develop a solid strategy to drive traffic to your site organically.

In the guide below, we explain these factors in more detail and highlight tactical tips from SEO experts to help your website get more traffic from organic search.

Chapter 1: Types of Search Engine Success Factors: These are the on-page and off-page factors that can affect your page rank. We'll also look at vertical SEO niches and toxic SEO tactics to avoid.

Chapter 2: Content and Search Engine Success Factors: Consider these factors to create quality content that will appeal to search engines and your audience.

Chapter 3: Website Architecture and Search Engine Success Factors Let's go behind the scenes and examine the aspects of your website that make it easier for search engines to improve and influence the user experience.

Chapter 4: Success factors for HTML code and search engines: HTML tags and structured data help organize information on your website and help search engines understand your content.

Chapter 5: Trust, Authority, Expertise, and PageRank: How your users interact with your site, as well as their reputation and authority, help search engines determine if it's worth showing up for users.

Chapter 6: Link Building and Search Engine Ranking: Why links still matter and what they tell search engines about your content.

Chapter 7: Personalization and Search Engine Ranking: These are user-specific elements such as location and intent that can affect the results users see.

Chapter 8: Search Engine Spam Poisons and Penalties: Beware of SEO Shortcuts. Getting caught using this tactic can result in manual action or even removal of your site from the search index.

Chapter 9: New Industries in Search: Voice, local, image, and video search present new opportunities for users to search for what they are looking for. While each offers nuanced opportunities for brands, they're still grounded in the fundamentals of SEO.

Daily IT news and tips from SEO experts

In addition to the daily news from our editorial team, Land of Search Engines publishes daily articles by specialist colleagues who primarily deal with SEO issues based on the current situation.  

Browse the SEO channel for the latest SEO news and expert articles. Sign up to receive Search Engine Land's daily e-newsletter, featuring an overview of search engine marketing news and exclusive analysis and insights.

Search Engine Land SEO Library

As well as covering SEO in general, Search Engine Land also offers Search Engine Optimization sections specific to the major search engines:

Google SEO

Google Algorithm Updates

Google Search Console

Bing SEO

News and IF Tips in your inbox Your

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