What is SEO? Guide 2024

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SEO is an abbreviation of the English term Search Engine Optimization. In Swedish, SEO is called search engine optimization, but the English abbreviation is also used in Swedish contexts.

Just to give you an idea, every month more than 100 billion searches are done on Google alone. In other words: a good positioning in search engines can make the difference between success and failure for your digital strategies. The purpose of optimizing a website for search engines is to create the conditions to rank as high as possible on Google and in other search engines such as Bing or DuckDuckGo. The SEO contributes to improving the brand in the company’s digital investments.

But how do you rank well in the search results? Don’t panic! In this article you will understand the most important basics and learn what SEO is and how it works!

SEO is not an area that you can work on once and then leave. Google is constantly updating its algorithms and competitors are working on their websites. Therefore, you must constantly follow developments and work on implementing updates that follow Google best practices – the guidelines from Google.

Search engine optimization is not about manipulating the search engine

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In everyday life, as soon as a question comes up, it is quite common that our first activity is a Google search. The same is true for millions of people around the world, who use the search engine to even find products and services – making Google a gold mine for businesses that know how to take advantage of this opportunity.

A common misunderstanding is that SEO is about manipulating the search engines so that a certain page is displayed as high as possible. That is not the case. To understand what the purpose of search engines is, it is best to think about the companies that run the search engines situation. They want to present the best possible search result for each search intent.

If they fail to do that, they get unhappy customers who switch search engines. Therefore, the best SEO is about creating the best possible experience for both the human visitor and the search engine robots.

The purpose of search engine optimization is thus:

  • Create good content on the website that contains the information the user is looking for (depending on intention or intent)
  • Using technical aids – HTML code, CSS and more – to create opportunities for Google and other search engines to index the site.

This is how keyword analysis works in SEO

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An important part of SEO is understanding what the users’ intentions are when they search. It is crucial that the results displayed are relevant to each search.

By carrying out a keyword analysis, also called keyword research, you can create insights into what the people who perform the searches are looking for. It helps to determine which keywords are most important for your business.

A common approach is to explore which keywords a business’s competitors rank highly for. Based on them, you can then find longer search phrases, so-called long-tail keywords, and related questions that can be answered on the website. These keywords are usually business-critical. The reason for that is that they help your business appear in the search results for the search terms that potential customers are looking for.

Why is SEO used?

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There are several reasons for using search engine optimization to increase visibility online and strengthen your digital existence. In short, you can say that there are two ways to drive traffic to a website.

  • Paid traffic via advertising
  • Organic traffic from search engines
  • Unlike paid traffic, organic traffic is free. That is, you do not pay Google to appear in the search results, but it is in their interest to show the best result there.

Therefore, it is very important to invest in SEO to drive organic traffic to the website and thereby strengthen customer awareness of the brand and increase sales. It is a very large part of digital marketing because most traffic today comes through search engines.

Some common techniques used in search engine optimization to improve online visibility are:

  • Design and improve the website so that it is attractive and user-friendly, both for the user and for search engine robots
  • Identify the right keywords using keyword analysis to increase relevant traffic to the website
  • Work with digital PR to strengthen the website’s reputation and contribute to brand exposure

What is technical SEO?

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The first of the three areas is called Technical SEO. The search engines rank websites based on several different factors and the technical structure of the website is part of these so that the site is indexed in an optimal way.

Within technical SEO, you work actively to optimize the website’s structure. It helps to increase the loading speed, which is an important signal to Google while also improving the user experience, especially on mobile.

Other things that are included in technical search engine optimization are ensuring that links on the website work and that there are no errors and that you use structured data. In addition, security is an important technical aspect, something that an SEO agency works a lot with. For example, by ensuring that data transmission is encrypted and uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS.

The importance of page experience in search engine optimization

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The page experience is something that is measured by Google in several different ways. It is a way for the search engine’s algorithms to understand how user-friendly the website is in a larger perspective than the information offered. Some factors that are crucial to the page experience and that are valued by Google are:

  • Mobile adaptation
  • Visual stability
  • Loading speed and that the page is fast
  • How accessible the content is

In short, you can say that the technical part of SEO is the on-page optimization that takes place without the user directly seeing it. The other part of the work on the website, that which is visible to the visitor, is called on-page SEO.