10 January 2024

What Is SEO – Search Engine Optimization?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which translates into Thai as search engine optimization. Simply put, SEO refers to the process of improving your website to increase its visibility in search engines such as Google, Microsoft Bing, Facebook, and the search engine on any website when someone searches according to words (Keyword) such as the following words.

The services you provide
The products you sell
Information on topics where you showcase expertise and professionalism

Remember, the more your page features prominently in search results, the better. Achieving a high ranking not only boosts visibility but also increases the likelihood of customers clicking through to your site. Ultimately, the goal of SEO is to draw in website visitors who can potentially become customers or an engaged audience interested in your content. This, in turn, paves the way for successful conversions.

What you will find in this article includes:

Understanding SEO, SEM and PPC

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, commonly known as Search Marketing. It is a type of digital marketing that combines SEO and PPC strategies with the aim of increasing traffic through a mix of organic and paid search. Simply put, search marketing is the process of attracting visitors and visibility from search engines using both paid (ads) and non-paid (free) strategies.

The differences between SEO and SEM are technically not significant. In other words, half of SEO is usually part of SEM—

SEO = Driving natural, paid traffic from search engines;
SEM = Driving natural, paid traffic from search engines.

You might be a little confused because many businesses use SEM interchangeably with PPC. Think of SEM as the front of the coin, and PPC is the back of the coin.

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, which is the principle of charging advertising fees every time a click is made on an advertisement piece.

Basically, advertisers bid on keywords, which are specific words or phrases they want their ads to appear in search engine results. When users search for a particular keyword or phrase, advertisers’ ads appear in the top results of that search engine.

Importance of SEO to Business

SEO is the most crucial online marketing channel, as organic search traffic accounts for 53% of all website traffic on average., as organic search traffic accounts for 53% of all website traffic on average.

Globally, SEO companies are projected to reach a value of US$122.11 billion by 2028, playing a pivotal role in driving business outcomes for brands, businesses, and organizations of all sizes whenever individuals seek information or aim to accomplish something. Typically, people or customer groups initiate their search for information, specifications, reviews, or product/service comparisons when looking to make a purchase.

This process often begins with manual searches on smart search engines like Google, primarily to avoid concealed advertisements within general online product trading platforms (E-Commerce). However, the landscape of people’s searches has become increasingly fragmented across platforms. Users may search for information on traditional web search engines (e.g., Google, Microsoft Bing), social platforms (e.g., YouTube, TikTok), or retailer websites (e.g., Shopee, Lazada), among others.

With trillions of searches conducted every year, search is often the primary source of website traffic. This makes it imperative for businesses to be “Search Engine Friendly” or compatible with search engines, regardless of the platform. When you achieve success, SEO can lead to increased visibility for your business, significantly impacting profits and sales. SEO is highly competitive on search engine rankings (SERPs), which categorize search pages into various types based on the displayed results according to the Search Engine algorithm.

This classification does not exclude competitors using PPC advertising. It includes Knowledge panels, Featured snippets (recommended information), Maps, Carousels, Images, Videos, News, and People Also Ask (Recommended Questions).

Knowledge panels
Featured snippets
Carousels Images
People Also Ask 

Another reason why SEO is crucial for brands and businesses is that effective SEO efforts differ from other advertising and marketing channels. In terms of sustainability, when a paid advertising campaign concludes, the visits come to an end as well. Traffic generated through social media advertising is consequently less profitable and less reliable, at best. In the present era, depending solely on social media advertising campaigns for launching a business poses a long-term challenge.

Types of SEO

There are three types of SEO:

1. Technical SEO: Involves optimizing search performance through advanced web engineering techniques.
2. On-site SEO: Focuses on elevating website content to cater to both users and search engines.
3. Off-site SEO: Involves enhancing the website’s credibility by integrating elements such as the team’s history, past work, values, vision, slogan, colors, corporate identity (CI), and business information. This ultimately boosts brand awareness and reach, influencing website visitors to make crucial decisions like hiring services or making purchases.

While you have complete control over the content and technical aspects of your business website, external factors beyond your control come into play. For instance, managing backlinks from other websites becomes challenging if the linking platform undergoes changes, shuts down, or alters its posting strategy. This dynamic is a critical aspect of professional SEO.

It’s beneficial to conceptualize SEO as a sports team, where a robust offense and defense are essential for winning the game. Consider your audience as passionate fans; they play a vital role in supporting the team. Similarly, increasing technical efficiency (Technical SEO) acts as a protective strategy, content optimization (On-site SEO) serves as an offensive strategy, and off-site optimization (Off-site SEO) becomes a method for attracting, engaging, and retaining fans for your club. Understanding these components provides a clearer perspective on the dynamic world of SEO.

SEO Technical optimization

Firstly, start with organizing your website so that search engines can easily understand and find all your pages. This makes sure that your website is friendly to search engines.

Next, think about your visitors. Make sure your website loads quickly and gives a good experience. This is important for search engines like Google. They like websites that are easy and enjoyable for people to use. Some things to consider are how your website works on mobile phones, using a secure connection (HTTPS), and not having annoying ads that pop up.

Also, make sure your website doesn’t have any pages that disrupt your visitors’ experience. Keep it smooth and user-friendly.

Lastly, use structured code (schema) to help search engines understand your content better. It’s like giving them a little guide to what your website is about. Things like where your website is hosted, the system you use to manage content, and how you secure your website also matter for good SEO.

Structured code (schema) is another important technical enhancement that can assist search engines in better understanding your content and improve the presentation of your content in search results pages. Web hosting services, Content Management Systems (CMS), and website security systems each play a necessary role in technical SEO.

Remember, these simple steps will make your website more likable to both people and search engines!

SEO Content optimization

When it comes to on-site SEO, it’s all about adding content to your website that appeals to two key groups: 1. your visitors and 2. search engines. In simpler terms, you want your content to be not only engaging for your audience but also easy for search engines to understand and retrieve information.

The main aim of your content is to share valuable and top-notch material. This is like a VIP pass for Search Engine Algorithms when they decide how to rank websites. Your website should give a clear picture of the product or business it represents in search results pages.

Here are our top recommendations for optimizing your content:

  • Cover relevant topics based on your experience or expertise.
  • Incorporate keywords that people commonly use when searching for content.
  • Ensure your content is unique and original.
  • Say goodbye to grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Provide up-to-date and accurate information.
  • Include multimedia elements like pictures and videos.
  • Make your content comprehensive and better than your competitors on the SERP.
  • Ensure your content is easily readable for your audience. Structure it in a way that makes the information easy to grasp (for example, use subheadings, maintain appropriate paragraph lengths, etc.). Take advantage of formatting options such as bold/italic text, sorted/unordered lists, and more.

For search engines, some key content elements to optimize for are:

Attach a title tag (Title Tag).
Include an introduction (Meta description)
Tag header sections appropriately (H1-H6)
Add alt text to images (Alt Tag)
Incorporate specifications for social cards (Meta Box Social).

SEO Off-site optimization

When delving into Off-site SEO, certain external factors in off-site operations may not seem directly linked to website optimization. However, content and techniques that align with this content can indirectly contribute to the success of SEO.

For instance, building links (Link Building) plays a crucial role in Off-site SEO. When your content ranks as one of the best products or services, it can attract traffic from highly ranked content on external websites, resulting in valuable links to your website. Think of it as a mutual certification process. The more trustworthy a website is, the higher the quality of its links. This emphasizes that link quality surpasses link quantity. The goal for successful SEO marketing is to attain a substantial number of high-quality links.

So, how do you get these links? Here’s a guide on adding links to our recommended websites:

Brand Business Identity: Develop a visual identity to boost your business’s awareness and reputation, letting link building happen organically.
Website PR Services: Engage PR services to secure links from news websites or articles related to your business.
Create Trending Content: Produce popular content formats like videos, ebooks, research studies, podcast clips (or participate as a guest on podcasts), and utilize Guest Blogging or Guest Posts with business-related content on your website.
Social Media Posts: Share content or articles from your website on popular social media channels.
Open Rating and Review System: Gather feedback and ratings from both internal and external visitors discussing your business.

Everything your business does contributes to its long-term impact. Ensuring your business and brand are discoverable wherever people search is crucial. However, be wary of businesses that try to optimize for search engines by adapting their business name to align with common search queries, such as “KFC near me,” “Bangkok restaurants near me,” etc.

SEO specialties

Within the realm of SEO search optimization, there are five specialized categories, each featuring unique systems that set them apart from the general format. These subcategories possess specific attributes that call for distinctive strategies and confront diverse challenges.

Let’s explore the five SEO specialties:

  1. Ecommerce SEO demands thorough on-site optimization. This involves tasks like enhancing category pages, product display pages, product specifications options pages, internal linking structures, product images, product reviews, unique schema, and more.
  2. Enterprise SEO is considered the high-level VIP of SEO. It involves a system for managing multiple websites or sub-brands, each with over 1 million website pages (Sub-Pages). This is particularly crucial for large organizations, typically those generating millions or billions in revenue per year.
  3. International SEO is essential for global-scale international business websites. This entails optimizing websites with multiple regions or languages to cater to international search engines such as Baidu or Bing.
  4. Local SEO focuses on optimizing a website’s visibility in local search engine results based on the searcher’s location. This is achieved by creating reviews and incorporating essential longtail keywords.
  5. News SEO is all about speed. It’s crucial to get into Google’s index as quickly as possible and appear in prominent places like Google Discover, Google’s Top Stories, and Google News. Understanding best practices for paywalls, section pages, news-specific structured data, and more is key in this specialty.

How does SEO work?

If you stumbled upon this page through a Google search, chances are you entered terms like [what is SEO] or [SEO].

This SEO guide is brought to you by Sixtygram, a reputable online marketing company specializing in SEO topics. We’ve been diligently tracking all SEO changes, both significant and subtle, since 2006. The information we gather enhances the guide’s credibility with search engines, ensuring its continued top-ranking status on search pages.

Our marketing company has consistently maintained a positive reputation, rightfully earning a prominent position when people search for related topics. In a comprehensive view of SEO, it’s a blend of the following variables:

Team: Comprising the creator or the team responsible for strategic SEO and marketing, accountable for completing the tasks.
Process: Involves implementing the right processes to optimize efficiency.
Technology: Encompasses the platforms and tools utilized for analyzing search data.
Results: Represents a comprehensive summary of the work, presented in concrete, statistical, or a clear SEO report. These are the collective factors that contribute to its success.
Successful SEO: Stems from accumulated knowledge and experience in executing high-level SEO practices.

When these crucial factors are considered collectively, the 6 working principles of SEO will yield optimal results.

1.  Understanding How Search Engines Work

The explanation is crystal clear. To ensure people can easily find your business through searches on any platform, it’s crucial to grasp the technical processes behind search engines and ensure you provide all the “correct factors” required by search engines.

When discussing traditional web search engines like Google, there are four distinct stages of search:

  • Collecting Information (Crawling): Search engines employ a crawler program to explore web pages by navigating the entire link structure within the discovered website while also reading the sitemaps you’ve created.
  • Rendering: Search engines generate an understandable version of your web page using the HTML, JavaScript, and CSS that you’ve composed in a database of published websites.
  • Starting Indexing: Search engines analyze the content and SEO information, such as Title and Meta Description, of discovered pages and add them to their main database. Although there’s no guarantee that every page on a website will be indexed, specific indexing can be requested.
  • Ranking: The complex and secret algorithm of search engines evaluates various SEO factors to determine whether a page is relevant and of high enough quality to appear in any ranking when a searcher enters a search query.

However, Google’s SEO search optimization significantly differs from keyword search optimization on other platforms, including Facebook, TikTok, Twitter (X), or YouTube.

On Facebook, recognized as the most popular social media globally, search results are presented based on user engagement factors (User). This involves prioritizing results based on actions such as “Like,” “Share,” or “Comment,” rather than ranking search results solely on content and related keywords, as is done by the Google Search Engine.

2. Data Analysis / Researching

Data analysis is a cornerstone in the world of SEO, involving a meticulous examination of data based on the following crucial factors. This strategic approach not only facilitates precise SEO implementation but also provides invaluable insights into the results.

  • Who is the audience? Understanding your target audience or market is paramount for your business. Know who they are (demographics and psychographic questionnaires), their needs, and what questions you can address to a broad audience through your website.
  • What words will be searched for? Keyword analysis is essential for collecting relevant keywords crucial for your business. Identifying the words people use when they encounter your web page is key. Importantly, robust keywords offer insights into the level of competition in your industry, aiding in the creation of an accurate SEO plan.
  • Who are your competitors? Knowing your business competitors and understanding their campaigns and goals is vital. Discover and analyze their strengths and weaknesses, starting by observing the content they publish on their websites.
  • Eliminate Weaknesses? An SEO health audit can unveil both opportunities and challenges on your website affecting its success in search rankings. Thoroughly examine and analyze your technical SEO, content quality, and external links, always preparing the website to meet the standards of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).
  • Analyze business SERPs accurately? Understand the purpose of creating searchable content for terms valuable to your business. Determine whether your keyword SERP search page is commercial, informational, or navigational. Craft content that is likely to rank well and achieve accurate exposure. This ensures your content aligns with the intent of the searcher.

3. Strategic Planning

Your SEO strategy is the compass guiding your long-term marketing action plan. Setting clear goals is crucial. As you dive into the planning phase to achieve these goals, envision your SEO strategy as a roadmap for the journey ahead. While the path may adapt and evolve over time, the destination should remain clear and unchanged.

Your SEO plan may include the following elements:

  • Utilize helpful tools like OKRs and SMART to meticulously plan your marketing strategy. It’s akin to having a roadmap that outlines where you want to go.
  • Keep a close eye on your performance using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It’s like checking to ensure you’re on the right track.
  • Strategize how you want to communicate your business message—whether through conventional methods, ads, or a blend of both.
  • Collaborate closely with your team and other stakeholders in your business. It’s about ensuring everyone is on the same page.
  • Choose tools and technology that are straightforward and user-friendly. It’s like finding tools that simplify your tasks.
  • Initiate the hiring, training, and organization of the team dedicated to SEO. It’s like assembling a group of people who will embark on this journey with you.
  • Determine the financial aspects—how much money you need, the time required, and your desired achievements. It’s akin to planning the finances for your journey.
  • Document everything, providing a clear guide for your strategies and processes. It’s like having a manual that outlines the steps for your journey.

4. Creating The Project

Once all the groundwork is laid, it’s time to bring your ideas to life. Here’s what this phase involves:

  • Creating New Content: Kickstart the process of generating fresh content. Consult and assign tasks to your content team based on the content you aim to develop.
  • Improving Existing Website Pages: Provide recommendations for enhancing current website pages, including updates and improvements to the content. Incorporate links following On-Site SEO principles.
  • Removing Outdated Content: Eliminate old, outdated, or low-quality content. Analyze the topics of underperforming content and generate new content that drives traffic, conversions, or aids in achieving your SEO goals.

5. Monitor and Sustain Rankings

You need to be aware when something goes awry or breaks on your website. Monitoring is crucial.

Keep an eye on whether user traffic is declining. 
Examine traffic statistics for critical web pages, including those that load slowly, are unresponsive, or lack proper organization. Monitor indexing to ensure all website pages are operational, identifying and addressing issues like broken links, articles with declining rankings, or other technical problems that may arise. Utilizing website health assistant tools and installing necessary plugins can assist in this process.

6. Analyzing and Report Performance Results

A common mistake made by many websites is neglecting to measure SEO results, posing a significant challenge as it hinders the improvement of the website in the right areas. In the decision-making process that involves data (SEO Data Analytics), you’ll need to utilize:

  • Tools for Measuring Website Statistics: Set up and use popular tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Bing Webmaster Tools to gather performance data.
  • Performance Measurement Tools for SEO: We recommend employing specialized SEO platforms or suites like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Ubersuggest to monitor website rankings. Alternatively, you can develop internal tools for your specific needs.

After collecting both statistics and rankings, it’s necessary to summarize the results and present a campaign progress report. Reports can be created using Google Data Studio (recommended) or a simple Excel Sheet.

Performance reporting should encompass content that narrates the story, outlines plans, addresses problems, and highlights actions taken over a specified period. In general, SEO results reports should compare rankings and traffic statistics before and after SEO, typically on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on the type of website and other business plans that were part of the project.

Fact about SEO

One aspect that few people openly acknowledge about SEO is its continuous evolution. Search engines, user behavior, and your competitors’ websites are in constant flux. Websites undergo alterations, upgrades, and occasionally face challenges over time. The internal systems and content of your website will naturally age. Therefore, your SEO plan should adapt and enhance, ensuring it becomes more effective with each passing day.

Learning SEO

Now that you grasp the essence of SEO and effective practices, it’s crucial to consistently engage with the latest SEO news, case studies, and more. Incorporating best practices and staying updated on technical SEO advancements should be an integral part of your daily routine, avoiding stagnation.

Consider investing your time in attending at least one or two web seminars each year. As searcher behavior continually evolves and changes, algorithms will adapt based on user patterns. Given the continuous evolution, especially with the integration of new technologies like ChatGPT AI, it becomes imperative for SEO professionals to consistently enhance their skills and knowledge.

Here are some resources and techniques we want to share to help you grow as an SEO professional.

SEO Resources from Sixtygram:

Sixtygram, your go-to online marketing agency offering top-notch SEO services until 2024, presents a curated collection of stories. Crafted by a team of over 20 vetted editors, these articles showcase insights from a diverse group of experts, providing invaluable SEO tips, strategies, trends, and analyses. The content is meticulously organized into categories for seamless reading and in-depth study, covering:

  • Naming SEO Topics
  • Correct SEO Content
  • Retail Website SEO
  • Enterprise SEO
  • Google Algorithm
  • Google Search Console
  • Creating Correct Links
  • SEO News
  • SEO Techniques

SEO Resources from Google:

Dive into the fundamentals of optimizing for search with the comprehensive offerings from SEO Resources from Google. Equip yourself with the knowledge to develop a robust strategy and drive organic traffic to your website.

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