All You Need To Know About Google SEO by Top Digital Marketing Agency, Absolute Digital
Updated: Oct 20
What is SEO? How do I rank my website on Google? What is the difference between white hat and black hat SEO? Today, we will answer all of these burning questions and share with you all you need to know about Google's SEO!
The abbreviation SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In short, SEO ranks websites based on the relevancy of the keywords searched on Google. If you're searching for something online, you're probably going to use Google. Google has the supermajority market share of the search engines in the world and is currently ahead with well over 75% of market share.
Why you type a keyword in Google, this is what happens:
Based on a unique and proprietary algorithm, the search engine giant will determine which resources (websites or other listings) to bring up according to the relevancy to that keyword. A typical Google Search layout would look something like this
This is the keyword a user will key in when he or she is searching for something. Google will match the results based on the relevancy of this keyword. In essence, the more specific a keyword is, or what we call a long-tail keyword, the fewer results will appear but the higher the relevancy it will be to what you are searching for. The shorter the keywords are, or in other words a short-tail keyword, the more generic results will appear which also tends to be more competitive.
In this case, our example of "What is SEO" is a very generic keyword, and there were about 638 million results... so how does Google determine the most relevant ones? They will categorize the results in the following manner:
Google Business Listing
1. Paid Advertisements typically take up the first 3 to 4 listings, as well as the last 3. Also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Google Search Engine Marketing (SEM), these listings provide an avenue for businesses to get priority listing on Google's most competitive keywords. SEM allows companies to promote their listing with a monthly budget set by themselves. Say if your monthly budget is $500, and you choose to target a long-tailed keyword. Because the nature of a short-tailed keyword is more competitive and therefore the PPC cost would be higher, with a smaller budget we tend to strategize with more specific, long-tailed keywords. So $500 spread across the month would get you roughly $16/day. If each time someone clicks on your Google SEM listing, you pay Google 50 cents, your budget will run out after 32 clicks that day, and your listing would not appear until the next day. Professional Digital Marketing Agencies like Absolute Digital will optimize your budget and stretch your dollar by restricting the time your ads will show on Google based on the peak period people are searching for you. That way, you get to maximize the potential of your Ads without spending unnecessary budget during non-peaked periods which has a lousier conversion rate. The efficiency and effectiveness of the Digital Marketing Agency depend on their experience, knowledge, and responsiveness to your campaign. This will mean a world of difference for top spenders on Google who are spending upwards of $40 million (by eBay in 2011).
2. Featured Snippets and People Also Asked are commonly the first results that Google determined as the most relevant. Sometimes, this can appear below SEM, but when there are no SEM listing, this would appear as the first results.
Google's featured snippets will find the most relevant answer to your questions (keyword) so that you will not have to scroll through the entire results page for your answer. And the fact that Google is the most popular search engine for years running, I would like to say this feature has served them well and the matching results are at least decent.
3. Google Business Listing is an online directory of businesses that Google provides without charging a fee. This listing allows business owners to claim their listing by simply setting up a Google Business Account and verifying their business details. Once done, a business owner can add information such as website link, contact number, address, and operating hours. This listing is also tied to Google Maps so when a user is searching for your business, the location would aid Google Maps users in finding your place of business as well.
This avenue also provides your customers with an opportunity to rate your business on Google Reviews so potential customers can find a reliable business partner to work with easily.
Typically, Google will show businesses nearest to your current location and most relevant to the business service or product offered to offer the most accurate results. They will also show businesses with similar names so it is important to enter the most accurate information when you claim your Google Business Listing and update your details frequently.
4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is where the next 10 most relevant listings will appear. Because these websites did not advertise, these results are being shown organically, and here is what you need to know about how Google ranks websites on their search engine.
When someone wants to rank their website on Google, they have to play by the rules of Google's Algorithm. To increase your probability of ranking higher on Google, you have to increase the Domain Authority (DA) of your website. The DA is how Google's Algorithms determine the credibility of your website. And how to increase your DA would require optimization of a myriad of factors.
On-Page SEO is everything that happens within your website. It includes things like the number of website traffic, choosing the right platform to develop your website on, meta-tagging, posting content through blogging, creating backlinks to other relevant and credible websites, converting your website to a mobile-friendly version, linking your social accounts to your website, and many more...
The right agency will evaluate your existing DA and determine the steps to take to achieve the desired results and execute them for optimal results. It is important to note that SEO ranking takes time (months) and you should not expect overnight results. Should you prefer immediate results, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) would be a better alternative.
Off-Page SEO is whatever that happens outside of your website. Optimizing for off-site ranking factors involves improving search engine and user perception of a site's popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority. This is accomplished by other reputable places on the Internet (pages, sites, people, etc.) linking to or promoting your website, and effectively "vouching" for the quality of your content.
To optimize your off-page SEO, you need to consider the factors Google takes into account when ranking your website, the DA of the other websites you build your backlinks to and the relevancy of keywords you are targeting to appear on Google.
SEO is not simple and takes time and effort to manifest. There are shortcuts like Black Hat SEO Methods which are frowned upon because whilst they get fast results, these unethical tactics don’t solve for the searcher and often end in a penalty from search engines. Google may ban your website if once they realized you are using Black Hat techniques. These include keyword stuffing, cloaking, and using private link networks.
5. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) will also appear at the last 3 listings of Google's results page right before it leads you to the next pages. These SEM listings work exactly the same as those appearing on the top of the page. Smart digital marketing agencies will not only choose the right timing for your ad to appear to maximize your budget, but they will also choose the right position for your listing to appear. The common misconception is that you always have to be #1 listing. However, this might exhaust your budget very quickly, and when that happens your SEM listing would disappear.
So by strategizing when is the best time to appear and at which position, the right digital marketing agency will know how to bid for each keyword you want to rank on Google and how best to get the optimal results. These will not only rely on the knowledge and experience of the agency, but also takes into consideration of the understanding of your business and it's competitors.
As we go along this journey to understand Digital Marketing and Google better, do share with us if we can help you answer some of your questions regarding Google SEO or digital marketing in general. Feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment down below.
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