What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), is a technique for improving the ranking of a website (webpage ranking) in the search engines results (Google, Bing, etc.) when someone searches for relevant content to the topic that your website deals with.
There are many search engines on the Internet, but the most popular is Google, so the way in which the rules of SEO are formed is basically given by Google's requirements and how it evaluates and ranks websites in the search results.
Why SEO is so important?
The traffic sources that a website can have reflects the need and importance of SEO. Someone can visit your website in several ways:
By typing your website's address into their browser.
To do this someone must know the address of your website in advance and this is only possible if you or someone else has shared the address..
By searching on the Internet.
Searching on the Internet is an act that performed through search engines. In turn, search engines provide results (search results) to users based on ranking criteria suitable in each search. These criteria are studied by the science of SEO and configure the SEO rules (seo guidelines).
Because to find a website through a search engine is the only spontaneous traffic source (organic as it is called), meaning that the user itself looks for something in the search engines without having any previous contact with the website owner, this is why the suitability to the requirements of SEO is so important. So the user finds himself your website through search engines and this is a big business advantage. This is also the power of the internet, the ability to find himself easily what he needs.
The friendliness of a website to the SEO rules (seo friendly), helps the website to achieve a higher position in search results and thus easier find-ability by the users of the search engines and therefore more organic traffic.
All users now on the internet use the search engines extensively to find the information that interests them. A website with bad SEO will not be able to be shown on the first results and will therefore absorb little or no organic search.
How Google evaluates your website?
Although the evaluation criteria often change, there are some elements on your website which will be used by Google to rank you in a good place in the results, or possibly not include you at all on these.
The relevancy of the domain.
If your domain name is relevant to the topic on which you want to achieve high Ranking in the search engines, then you have a good chance to achieve your goal. If for example you have a lab that produces stainless steel medical tools, and your domain is on the form of stainlesssteelmedicaltools.gr, then you have several chances to be first on searches for stainless steel medical tools.
Even if you have partial relevance there are many chances for a good ranking, eg. searches for stainless steel tools.
The relevancy of the content.
As is often said in the field of SEO "content is king", ie the content is very important. This is the reality as the approach of search engines and Google in particular, is to develop algorithms that will return as much as possible relative to the content results. Even if you have keywords in your website that clearly identify entries that users are looking for, you will not have much luck in the search results if your content is also not relevant.
A safe SEO technique is to create content for humans rather than search engines. Forming substance and satisfactory information for the average person, search engines will find many important information to associate your website with them, so you get many of the advantages of effective SEO.
Instead the creation of content exclusively for search engines will be indifferent to humans, so you will miss on critical metrics such as the residence time of a visitor to your site or the return of the same visitor to your website later. Search engines aim to be more human in their way of thinking they deliver techniques that target humans.
References / links from other websites
A particularly important SEO metric (ranking factor), are links from other websites to yours. The existence of links to your website in search engines shows that there are pages that they find your website valuable in terms of content. This is good for the evaluation of your website as it is normal for someone who likes your content, to refer their visitors to you.
Upon this metric there are link building mechanisms that promise to improve the ranking of your website through controversial techniques. Google explicitly prohibits these approaches so recommended not to take such actions.
Important metrics for your ranking in search engine results is the appearance of your website on social media. As people communicate, share, follow and and recommend pages of your site, the more frequent is the appearance of your website in social media. Next is to get traffic from social media with increasing your popularity and this has a significant effect on your ranking in search results related entries.
Measuring website performance
Your website's performance measurement on specific evaluation metrics (ranking factors), can be achieved through many tools you can find on the internet. Google has a range of services that help in this direction. Famous such services are Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics.
Google Webmaster Tools will allow you to see the evolution of your ranking in time to see your number of impressions, the number of clicks to your page and the clicks / impressions rate. You can also see how many pages of your website have been indexed in the Google index, if it has detected a problem in accessing your website with the google bot etc.
Google Analytics can show you information such as the origin of the users, what they do when they visit your website, the keywords through which they found you, how many people are online live and in which pages etc.