SEO is an acronym for search engine optimisation. It is essentially the practice of boosting both the quantity and quality of web traffic to improve website ranking. It is also an effective tool used for branding exposure, through "organic" or non-paid search engine results.

Organic Search Results

Organic search results are those results that are not paid for; they are not adverts. They are resulting that can be influenced through effective SEO. Nowadays, SERPs, which is the acronym for search engine results pages, are loaded with more advertising and an increased quantity of dynamic organic results formats than ever before.

These are known as SERP features and examples of these include image carousels, featured answer boxes or snippets and People Also Ask boxes. SERP features emerge on a continuous basis and this is largely driven by what individuals are seeking.

SERP

This page is basically the one showcased by a web search engine as a response to a query made by a searcher. The primary part of the SERP is the results listing that the search engine returns to respond to a keyword query. However, the page could also contain adverts and other results.

Basics of Search Engine

Search engines are basically answer machines. They are responsible for scouring billions of content pieces and evaluating thousands of issues to figure out the content that will best answer the query of the searcher. All of this is done by finding and cataloguing all available content on the Internet through a process referred to as "crawling and indexing." The content used by the search engine includes images, web pages, videos and PDFs.

Influencers

There are several ranking dynamics that influence whether or not a website ranks higher on the SERP. These factors include the quality of backlinks directing users to the page and how relevant the content is to the search term. However, it takes dedication, resourcefulness, creativity and persistence to rank high on the SERPs. This is particularly true because the nature of Google's algorithm is constantly changing.

There is no magic formula involved in getting top ranking for your website. However, there are steps that can be taken to help with climbing to the top of a SERP. These include:

Publishing Relevant Content

There is absolutely no substitute for remarkable content. In fact, publishing quality content is the most significant driver of your search engine position. Create quality content for your intended user and this will help to boost site traffic, which enhances the authority and relevance of your site.

When it comes to content creation, a great marketing strategy is to find and target a keyword phrase for every page. Consider how the user may search for your specific page; for example, "professional photographer in London" or "best photographer in London." This phrase should then be repeated several times throughout the page - one or two times in both the opening and closing paragraphs and between 2 and 4 more times in the remaining content.

It is important to use heading tags, italics, bold and other emphasis tags to showcase these keyword phrases but this should not be overdone. Your writing style and language should read naturally, good writing should never be sacrificed for SEO. For best results, write your pages for users and not for the search engine.

Regularly Update Your Content

Search engines feel very strongly about content. Regularly updating your content is among the best indicators of the relevancy of a website and as such, you should ensure it is kept fresh.

Metadata

When your website is being designed, a space is left on every page between the tags for the insertion of metadata, which is basically details about the page content. For some sites, this data would have been pre-populated for you by the web team:

Title Metadata

This is responsible for the titles of the page displayed as the headline in search engine results and on top of the browser window. This is the most essential metadata on your page. For some websites, the web team develops an automated system that creates the Meta title for every page.

Description Metadata

This is essentially the textual description that will be used by a browser in your page search results. It can be viewed as the window display of your website and is an appealing and concise description of the content, with the aim to encourage individuals to enter. Typically, an effective Meta description will have two full sentences.

Keyword Metadata

This is hardly, if ever, used for tabulating search engine rankings. However, since your keyword phrases are already known, there is no harm in adding them into your keyword metadata. A variety of phrases should be included. Generally, this should be kept to approximately 6 to 8 phrases. Each phrase should contain between 1 and 4 words. A great example would be "mass communication degree."

Create a Link-worthy Website

Having relevant links in the text is important. Rather than having "click here" links, writing the name of the location would be better. There is no search engine value to "click here" beyond the attached URL. However, "London photography programme" is keyword rich and will boost your search engine rankings and also the page ranking of the one you are linking to.

Use Alt Tags

Alt tags or other text descriptions should be used for your video and visual media. They enable search engines to find your page and this is crucial, particularly for individuals who use screen readers or text-only browsers.

These are just some of the techniques that can be used to boost your search engine ranking. Using direct marketing, digital-marketing and mastering other aspects of the marketing-mix can also be used to enhance your website ranking.

Essentially, SEO is about understanding what individuals are searching for online, the responses they are looking for, the words that are being used and the kind of content they are interested in consuming. By leveraging this data, you will be able to provide valuable, high-quality content for your visitors.