Chapter 1 – What is SEO?
Welcome to the first chapter of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. When we start learning something we have the various question in mind. So lets start with two common questions.
- What is SEO?
- What are prerequisites to learn SEO?
- Let’s start with the first question. What is SEO?
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results” (Courtsey: www.wikipedia.org)
Above is the best and shortest definition which I found on the web. I did not want to define it in my own words as I know there are a lot of good definition on the web which solve the purpose.
Definitions may not be clear enough to explain that what SEO is. Let me show it to you visually. For this I will take an example of a search result which I preformed on google.
Look at the screenshot above, this is an example of a page which comes up when you type your search term in google page and hit enter. This page gives you the search result for your search query. This page contains links and snippet of websites which may contain the information which you are looking for. This search result page has got two parts. Lets us discuss each part in detail.
The portion highlighted with a red border are advertisement which googles shows. These are mostly related to search term or words which you have entered in google search box and this is also clearly labeled as AD by google. You can identify google ads by looking at the word “AD” written at the beginning of the search result. Below is an example screenshot of Google AD.
Normally ads are placed on the top of the page and right hand side of the page. Top of the page because this is where the user attention goes first when users start searching for a search result, but this position has got a cost because these ads, which google shows are paid. These ads are also known as “Pay per click ads” because google charges you every time someone clicks your ads. Charges per click vary depending upon how much completion is there in the market for which you want to advertise. It could be anything from a couple of bucks to more than hundred bucks.
These paid ads are highly influenced by Google more you pay for your ad more likely are the chances your ads will stay on top of page Less you pay your ads are going to be buried deep on right hand side of the page. Thus, you can see, although Google Ads bring your ad on top of the page, but that is a costly affair.
You can also show your AD of your website or your business on google for this you need to sign up for a Google Adword account and pay google for showing your ads on search result. For people who want to learn how to do Ads on Google and manage your ads in the most efficient way so that you can get maximum result out of your every penny. Don’t worry my next tutorial will be on Google Adwords.
Lets discuss about the second part, this is what is important for us. The result which is highlighted in green border is known as organic result or you can say it is free result google does not charge for these results.
Yes, you can get your website to feature on near the top of the first page of Google search result without paying google.
How does this happen? This happens through Search engine optimization of your websites. This is what SEO is about. It is the process and technique which you follow to bring your website on top of other search result for certain search terms or words.
In SEO we will learn about these tricks and techniques to bring your website as close as possible to the top of the first page of search result on Search engine. Although it is free, but it requires hard work and time, so keep this in mind.
- Now let’s come to the second question. What are prerequisites to learn SEO?
You should have some basic knowledge about HTML, XHTML, Style Sheet, etc. That’s what you will find on most of SEO tutorials on the web. They have these scary words in the beginning of chapters to scare you away and tell you shoo.. It is not your cup of tea it is meant for elite club only.
Honestly guys there are no prerequisites to learn SEO. The only prerequisite is your willingness to learn and unlearn. Unlearn! Yes, I said it right. Unlearn because SEO is dynamic it has changed and will change. What you are learning now may not be relevant tomorrow, so you should be willing to learn new things and unlearn what you have learnt in the past.
So why does most of the website say that you need to know coding because there are some SEO techniques involved in SEO which will require you to make changes to codes of your website. This should not bother you because nowadays there are a lot of tools available to make a non coder life easy. Even if at some point you need to make some changes in codes you can always hire someone to make that change, but you should know what changes has to be made so that you can tell them what they need to do. So you can save your time on doing what you are best at, that is SEO and leave the rest for others.
The only necessary prerequisite is that you should have a website so that you can apply what you have learnt. So SEO not only about theory, but to apply it practically on your websites. It is as interesting as science you can experiment new tricks and trades and apply it.
Now you will say wait a minute, you said I don’t need to know coding to learn SEO and now you are saying I need a website to learn SEO. Yes, I would say again that you don’t need to know coding. Who said only coders can create a website nowadays creating a website is kids play. You have various website offering you to create free blogs. For example Blogger, wordpress.com, Tumblr, Quora, etc. There are a number of them. Go ahead and SignUp and create your own blog.
Free blog is great, but the only disadvantage is that you do not have much flexibility and it is not your own domain. They will give you domain something like yourblogname.quora.com which really does not build your brand and if you have done hard work on it you may not get much benefit which you get when hosting your website with your own domain name. If you really have a learning curve, then I would suggest using WordPress, it is not wordpress.com but it is a content management software which you can download from wordpress.org and host it on your hosting provider and create your own custom website with your own domain name. Trust me guys, it is quite easy and you don’t need to know any coding. I will help you by putting up a small WordPress tutorial which will have some basic information about how to install a WordPress, how to manage it and preform SEO on it.
This brings us to the end of Chapter 1 before we move on there is a request you to please ask questions if you have doubts. Please use the form below or use the forum. I would also encourage that if you know the answers to questions which have been put in the forum please answer it. This how we will learn. Remember sharing knowledge is a golden rule to learn more.