What is SEO? An easy-to-understand explanation of the basics


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What is SEO? An abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization, which means “search engine optimization”.
Specifically, optimizing your company’s (your own) website so that search engines such as Google can easily understand it is called “SEO”.

SEO measures are important in this SEO.
What are SEO measures? It is a measure to index your company’s (your own) website in the search results of search engines such as Google to increase exposure, or to increase search inflow by displaying it at the top.
With this SEO measure, you can deliver the information of the website to the user properly.

On the other hand, if you ignore SEO, the content of your website will be difficult to recognize.
More to the point, if you don’t know SEO, you don’t know how search engines work and search algorithms.
In this case, you end up creating and publishing a poor-quality website.
Such sites are difficult for search engines such as Google to understand, so they are not indexed or displayed at the top.
As a result, the chances of being displayed in the search results are reduced, and the information on the website is not properly delivered to the user.
To avoid such a bad situation, let’s hold down the basics of SEO and promote measures.

Based on this point, this time, I would like to explain the basic points in an easy-to-understand manner for beginners, focusing on the definition and measures of SEO.

What is SEO?

What is SEO, An abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization, which means “search engine optimization”.
Specifically, optimizing your company’s (your own) website so that search engines such as Google can easily understand it is called “SEO”.

For example, after launching a website, suppose you post blog articles in a diary format every day.
The title name and content of this blog post are the events and impressions of my day.
Events and impressions are self-centered, so they do not understand the needs of search users (what search users want to know).
In other words, it’s a blog post that’s hard to understand for search engines like Google, which take into account the needs of searchers when displaying search results.
Optimizing these blog posts for search engines to understand is “SEO”.

There are two main types of SEO: black hat SEO and white hat SEO.
On the other hand, from a broader perspective, SEO is a type of SEM and a method of web marketing. This web marketing is part of digital marketing, and digital marketing is part of content marketing.

What are SEO measures?

SEO measures are important in SEO.
What are SEO measures? It is a measure to index your company’s (your own) website in the search results of search engines such as Google to increase exposure, or to increase search inflow by displaying it at the top.

For example, “SEO” is to optimize a website so that search engines such as Google can easily understand it.
In this SEO, there are mainly measures such as internal measures, external measures, content production, and page experience optimization.
For internal measures, we will take measures such as optimizing HTML tags, setting keywords, and implementing structured markup.
This measure is an SEO measure.

SEO measures will make it easier to be evaluated by Google, so it will be indexed in search results and exposure will increase, and it will be easier to increase search inflow by being displayed at the top.
As a result, it becomes easier for users to reach information on the website.

Benefits of SEO

There are several benefits of SEO.

Increase search traffic

The benefit of SEO is to increase search inflow (inflow from organic search).

For example, create content that incorporates user search intent.
Increase that content and improve the quality of your site.
That way, you will be evaluated by Google and the search ranking of your keywords will increase, or you will be indexed by more keywords and increase your exposure in search results.
They can also appear in featured snippets, improve click-through rates, and be more likely to appear on Google Discover.
As a result, search traffic will increase.

In this way, the point that search inflow increases are the advantage of SEO.

If search inflows increase, Web attraction ( homepage attraction and blog attraction ) will accelerate. You can attract potential users to your site by accelerating customer attraction.
Directing prospective users to an effective LPO landing page will likely lead to higher conversions (higher conversion rate [CVR] ) and therefore higher sales.

By the way, since it is difficult to increase search traffic on EC sites, consider SEO measures for EC sites.

can be branded

The benefits of SEO areIt is possible to do branding.

For example, we will carry out SEO measures for our blog “SEO Lab”, which is our owned media.
In this case, it will be easier for you to increase your exposure in search.
If that happens, there will be more chances for users to see the site name in search results, and more search users will actually flow into the SEO Lab web page.
In addition, the number of named searches (directly searched by site name) will also increase.
As a result, the awareness of the site itself will increase.
In other words, branding is possible.

In this way, branding is an advantage of SEO.

By the way, you can promote branding by using subdomains and subdirectories properly, expanding overseas SEO with a view to overseas business development, and video SEO using video content such as YouTube to increase search exposure. increase.

become an asset

The benefits of SEO are to become an asset.

For example, let’s say you manage a high-quality website by steadily increasing quality content.
We will continue to maintain this site well.
That way, you can keep a high-quality website at hand, and it will become a lifetime asset.
In other words, it becomes an asset.

In this way, the point of becoming an asset is the merit of SEO.

By the way, if you want to take SEO measures with WordPress, which is one of the recommended blog creation services, take a backup of the target website itself in consideration of CMS problems. By doing so, even if the data is lost, the SEO content will remain at hand and can be secured as an asset.

Can also be Voice Search Optimization (VSO)

The benefits of SEO can also be voice search optimization (VSO).

For example, the trend of voice search results is that content that is displayed at the top of PC searches and sites that are displayed in emphasized snippets are more likely to be adopted.
In addition, HTTPS sites, sites with high authority, and popular content on social media are more likely to be adopted.
In addition, page speed plays a big role.
Since these trends are similar to those of regular search results, we can assume that the voice search and regular search algorithms are similar.
From this assumption, if you do SEO for normal search, it will be easier to be evaluated in voice search (it will also be SEO for voice search).
In other words, it also becomes voice search optimization (VSO).

Thus, the advantage of SEO is that it also becomes voice search optimization (VSO).

Disadvantages of SEO

There are some disadvantages of SEO.

Takes time to take effect

take time

The disadvantages of SEO are it takes time to take effect.
This effect means an increase/decrease in the search ranking of the site and an increase/decrease in search inflow.

For example, publish a new site (a site with a low domain age ) that has been newly acquired and assigned a domain.
We also publish new web pages on existing sites, rewrite and publish blog articles, and renew sites.
In this case, it basically takes time for the crawler to recognize those sites and pages (articles).
In other words, it takes a certain amount of time to get the effect of SEO.
In addition, it will take a certain amount of time to get the SEO effect of SSL (HTTPS), the SEO effect of URL, and the SEO effect of SNS.

Google has an official statement regarding this.

Remember that it takes time to see results. It usually takes him four months to a year from the time the change is initiated until the benefits are seen.
*Quoted from: Cases where SEO is necessary – Search Console Help

The disadvantage of SEO is that it takes time to see results.

By the way, there are some dedicated tools to measure the effectiveness of SEO.
Also, in order to get a good SEO effect, it is a major premise to build a site in compliance with Google guidelines (guidelines for webmasters), search quality evaluation guidelines, and search engine optimization starter guides.

may fail

The disadvantage of SEO is It is possible that it will fail.

For example, they write articles with extremely low content volume, focusing only on update frequency, or write articles that unnecessarily cram co-occurring words into the content because they care too much about the correlation between SEO and word count. In this case, it is easy to write a blog article that ignores the user’s perspective. Also, you misspell or misplace the markup in your HTML tags. In this case, it is easy to write HTML that is difficult for crawlers to understand. Such blog articles (web pages) will be of low quality because search intent will be misaligned and crawl ability will decrease. As a result, it is easy to be judged as an unreliable site by Google. Specifically, Google core updates ( Penguin updates, Panda updates, and Google updates that incorporate AI-based search algorithms such as RankBrain and BERT ) will lower search rankings and reduce search inflows. In other words, SEO fails.

The downside of SEO is that it can fail.

Also, if you build a site that violates webmaster guidelines (quality guidelines), you will receive a Google penalty (SEO penalty), which will lead to SEO failure.
In order to reduce SEO failures, it is also possible to ask an SEO countermeasure company (SEO company). When making a request, consider carefully as SEO costs will be incurred.
In order to increase cost-effectiveness, I would like to improve the accuracy of in-house SEO.

How SEO Determines Search Ranking

How SEO determines search rankings“Crawl and index” and “search algorithm” are deeply involved.

For example, a crawler such as Googlebot reads the content of a published web page and registers the read content in the index of the Google search engine (stores it in a huge database). ( The site will be registered with Google )
The vast amount of information stored in the database and the search algorithm will be collated and evaluated, and the most relevant and useful answers (web pages) will be displayed (ranked) in the search results. increase.
The flow up to this ranking is the mechanism that determines the search ranking.

The determination of search ranking is basically based on the information content of the content written on the mobile page. ( mobile first index )

By the way, Yahoo’s search engine uses Google’s search algorithm, so the search rankings (search results) of Yahoo and Google are almost the same.
In other words, Yahoo’s SEO can be covered by Google’s SEO.
On the other hand, search engines such as Bing and Rakuten Ichiba use their own search algorithms to determine search rankings. So you need to do ” SEO for Bing ” or ” SEO for Rakuten “.

SEO = Getting closer to Google thinking

SEO is important to get closer to Google’s way of thinking (ideal image).
Here are a few points to keep in mind with this approach.

10 facts about Google

Of particular importance to Google’s thinking is that“10 Facts from Google”

  1. Focus on the user and everything else will follow.
  2. Doing one thing really well is the best.
  3. It’s better to be fast than slow.
  4. Democracy on the web works.
  5. It’s not just when you’re in front of your computer that you want to look for information.
  6. You can make money without doing bad things.
  7. The world is still full of information.
  8. Information needs to cross all borders.
  9. You can work seriously without a suit.
  10. “Awesome” isn’t enough.

Source: About Google | 10 facts about Google – About Google

Of these ideas, the first four are particularly important.
If you break it down into four items, you can think of (1) making the content useful for users, (2) improving the quality of the content, (3) making it easy to reach the target content, and (4) making the content easy to gather links. . In other words, it is important to think about how to operate a highly convenient site by considering
links between pages of your own site (internal links) and links between your site and external sites ( external links ).
Getting closer to these ideas is important in SEO.


Of particular importance to Google’s thinking is that is “EAT”.

3.2 Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Credibility (EAT)
For all other pages with a useful purpose, the amount of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Credibility (EAT) is very important.
*Source: General Guidelines

In this way, EAT defines the concept of increasing the expertise, authority, and reliability of a website (web page). Reliability also requires consideration of uniqueness ( original content ).
The idea of ​​EAT is also particularly emphasized on YMYL (websites dealing with life and money-related topics such as finance and medicine).
Getting closer to this way of thinking is important in SEO.

By the way, there are slanderous sites that try to undermine your credibility.
The spread of negative information by these sites can lead to the lack of EAT. There are options such as reverse SEO
to deter this .

Types of SEO measures

There are several types of SEO strategies.
The person in charge will also change depending on the content of the measure.

Internal measuresOptimizing HTML tags and setting keywordsImplementing structured markupWeb marketerweb engineer
External measuresPromoting the acquisition of backlinks and citations through web page PRWeb marketer
content productionKeyword selection and site design content creation considering search intent and reliabilityWeb marketer
Page experience optimizationImproving page speed mobile friendlyWeb marketerweb engineer

Internal measures

As an SEO measure, There are internal measures (internal measures).

For example, web pages are built in a language called HTML, and we optimize this HTML.

  • Setting the title tag
  • Setting meta tags such as meta descriptions
  • Setting keywords and alt attributes (alternative text)
  • h tags (heading tags) and structured data markup
  • Appropriate markup according to the purpose of HTML ( HTML Living Standard, which has become a standard specification with the abolition of HTML5 ), such as div tags, span tags, strong tags and b tags, em tags, iframes (inline frames), white space, etc.

These make the content of the web page more understandable for search engines and users.

It also facilitates the crawling of web pages to more reliably show up in search results.

  • Submit a sitemap (XML sitemap) in Search Console to request crawling from Google
  • Optimization of internal link structure
  • URL canonicalization ( URLs without www or trailing slashes at the end of URLs are processed with 301 redirects without meta refresh, markup canonical, and alternate tags for separate URLs do)

In addition to these, especially on large sites, we also leverage robots.txt to control crawling.
In other words, internal measures.

These internal measures are SEO measures.

External measures

As an SEO measure, There are external measures (external measures).

For example, Google uses links ( backlinks ) from other sites as criteria to determine the importance of a web page.

Google Search works because it relies on millions of people linking to your website to determine which site’s content is important.
* Source: About Google | 10 Facts Listed by Google – About Google

That’s why it’s important to get links. Promote your content through external services such as social media, advertising ( PPC
), press releases, etc. to gain links . It also improves the quality of your content to increase search visibility and drive branding. Furthermore, if the site is operated for a long time, suspicious links (spam links) from cloaking sites and overseas link collection sites will increase. This spam link has almost no negative impact, but you should also disavow the link accordingly. In other words, external measures.

These external measures are one SEO measure.

content production

As an SEO measure, There is content production ( content SEO ).

For example, the Search Quality Rating Guidelines provided by Google define Needs Met and EAT.

13.0 Rating using the NeedsMet Scale The
NeedsMet rating task focuses on the needs of mobile users and asks them to consider how helpful or satisfying the results are to them.
*Source: General Guidelines

For this reason, it is important to create content that considers the needs (search intent) and EAT of mobile search users.

In order to create this content, we use the 
keyword map to classify 
keywords related to the main keyword ( 
long tail keywords , etc.) and 
design the site. 
We will perform web writing considering 
categorization and 
SEO writing based on the site design . 
Also, insert high-quality images that are related to the text (images that 
are effective for SEO ), and use paragraphs and line breaks ( 
p tags and br tags ) to make the text easier to read. 
Increase the quality of this content and improve the quality of your site. 
In other words, create content.

content creation is one of the measures of SEO.

Page experience optimization

As an SEO measure, There is page experience optimization.

For example, Google introduces page experience as a search ranking factor.

Page experience ranking signals are now enabled for mobile devices in August 2021. Beginning in February 2022, we will begin using page experiences as part of our desktop ranking system. Implementation is expected to be completed by the end of March 2022. The release of this ranking is based on the same page experience signals that were released for mobile in August 2021.
* Source: About Google Page Experience | Google Search Central | Documents | Google Developers

For this reason, optimizing the page experience is important.

  • Improve page speed by applying AMP etc.
  • Set the viewport and adopt a responsive design (responsive web design) (make it mobile friendly and support smartphones )
  • Handle interstitial ads appropriately

Such page experience optimization is one of the measures of SEO.

By the way, although it is not a page experience signal, I would like to consider improving usability and user experience ( UX ) by implementing pagination, in-site search, and adding a table of contents to blog articles.

Preparations before starting SEO

There are a few things to prepare before starting your SEO strategy.

Introduce tools to prepare the environment for analysis

Before starting SEOIntroduce tools and prepare the environment for analysis.
Tools introduce things that can check the SEO situation. There are many SEO
check tools such as simple ones such as SEO check and heat maps, but first, let’s introduce two, “Google Search Console” and “Google Analytics” that can analyze access.

  1. Google search console
  2. Google Analytics

Google search console

Introduce Google Search Console and prepare the environment for analysis.

For example, first, get a Google account and log in to Search Console. That way, you can analyze search keyword data such as the search queries
of users who flowed into your site, the number of impressions in searches, the search ranking ( average ranking ), and the click-through rate in searches. In particular, by analyzing search queries, you can clarify what is not provided in Google Analytics. In addition, you can check the index status of web pages (display/hide in search results), and receive alert message notifications when there is a problem with the site.

in this way, Introducing a search console and preparing an environment for analysis is preparation before starting SEO measures.

Google Analytics

Introduce Google Analytics and prepare the environment for analysis.

For example, first, get a Google account and log in to Analytics. That way, you can analyze the inflow status from
not only natural search but also other websites, SNS, paid search, e-mail magazines, etc.
In addition, you can check the number of visitors for each channel and the total number of visitors, visitor data (time spent, bounce rate, exit rate, PV (page view), number of sessions, number of pages viewed, referrers, unique users (UU), etc.) increase.

in this way, Introducing analytics and preparing the environment for analysis is the preparation before starting SEO measures.

By the way, the latest version of Google Analytics is GA4 (Google Analytics 4 Property).

Grasp the current situation and recognize the problem

To understand the current situation and identify problems, Check the data of the introduced Search Console and Google Analytics.

For example, after logging into Search Console, click Search Performance from the menu.
And then click Pages in the bottom tab.

Then you can check the list of page URLs displayed in Google search results.
Page URLs not in this list may not be displayed (indexed) in search results.
In this case, do a Google search for the domain with the command “site: (site colon)” like site:seolaboratory.jp, and see if your site is recognized by the search engine. Make sure.
If the page URL is displayed in Google search results, there is no problem. On the other hand, if the page URL is not displayed in Google search results, it is necessary to take SEO measures.

In this way, understanding the current situation and recognizing the problems is the preparation before starting SEO measures.

8 basic SEO measures [SEO measures]

There are 8 basic SEO strategies.

Decide on target keywords [content creation]

Basic SEO measures determining target keywords.

For example, let’s say you run an SEO-themed site like this blog “SEO Lab”.
In this case, use keyword planner, keyword finder, sea otter keyword, suggestion function, search for other people here, Google Trends, etc. to identify SEO-related keywords. Pick up only the words with the number of searches (search volume)
from the related keywords. Choose one keyword from the picked-up words. In other words, you decide on your target keywords.

Determining target keywords is the basic strategy of SEO

Set the title [Internal measures]

Basic SEO measures to set the title.

For example, let’s say your target keyword is “SEO”.
In this case, check the title name of the top competitor site displayed by searching Google with the keyword SEO.
On the top competitive sites, you can see many pages that describe measures that even SEO beginners can do.
Therefore, the title tag should include keywords such as “SEO” as the target keyword and “beginners” and “measures” based on the tendency of the top competing sites.
At this time, consider the relationship between SEO and the number of keywords, and set a concise content of about 40 characters while including keywords as much as possible.

That way, you can improve search queries and relevance.
In addition, important words and phrases are displayed without omission in the search results, which leads to an improvement in the click-through rate in searches.

In this way, setting the title is a basic measure of SEO.

By the way, if you set the meta description along with the title tag, it will lead to an improvement in the click-through rate in further searches.

Create pages that meet search needs [content creation]

Basic SEO measures creating a page that meets your search needs.

For example, let’s say your target keyword is “SEO”.
In this case, check the trends in the title names and content of the top competitor sites (sites ranked within the top 10 competitors) displayed by searching Google with the keyword “SEO”.
If you check it, you can see a lot of title names about “SEO basics and SEO measures for beginners”.

  • The meaning of SEO, the advantages and disadvantages of SEO, and how search ranking is determined
  • Preparations before starting SEO
  • Important Steps for SEO Beginners
  • Things to avoid in SEO

These contents tend to be seen in the content of the top competitors’ sites.
Incorporate these tendencies into your content.
By doing so, you can create a web page that satisfies the information (search intent) sought by search users.
This means that you can create pages that meet your search needs.

In this way, creating a page that meets search needs is a basic measure of SEO.

Optimize internal link structure [internal measures]

Basic SEO measure optimizing your internal link structure.

For example, SEO and title tags are related because title tags are displayed in SEO-suggested keywords.
Relevance increases the value of internal linking.
In this case, considering the search intent, create separate pages for the keywords “SEO” and “title tag” and link them to each other.
When linking, consider the context before and after, and set the anchor text including the keyword of the link destination so that it fits in the context.
This means setting relevant links and optimizing your internal link structure.

  • Post the latest information (newly published web pages) on the top page and side columns
  • Prepare a category list page that can be followed to each page on the site and a tag list page with tags (with tag cloud etc.)
  • set breadcrumbs

Optimizing these internal link structures makes it easier for users to find the information they want.
Not only users but also search engines can easily recognize the information on the web pages within the site as well.

Thus, optimizing the internal link structure is a basic measure of SEO.

Clarify the reliability of content [content creation]

Basic SEO measures demonstrate the authenticity of the content.

For example, let’s say you have content with the theme of “SEO Basics”.
In this context, I write about Google’s way of thinking.
In this case, write Google’s way of thinking based on your own knowledge, and at the same time add a citation link to the official website where Google’s way of thinking is written.

  • Official websites of companies, websites of public institutions, the information mentioned by famous websites and people that everyone knows
  • Specifically researched proprietary or external data
  • Site management information (company profile)

By quoting or specifying these, you can increase the credibility of the information and make the user feel more at ease and persuasive.
In other words, it is possible to demonstrate the authenticity of the content.

In this way, clearly demonstrating the credibility of content is a basic measure of SEO.

On the other hand, if the citation link to the official site is broken, a 404 not found (404 error) will occur, and users and crawlers will not be able to recognize the content of the web page to which they are citing.
If so, the authenticity of the content cannot be demonstrated.

By the way, the fact that the reliability of content is important is mentioned in the aforementioned ” EAT “.

Acquire a good reputation and links [external measures]

Basic SEO measures it’s about getting a good reputation and links (backlinks).

For example, advertise your company’s OGP -set content on SNS such as Twitter and Facebook.

  • SNS
  • press release
  • e-mail magazine
  • Flyer

Leverage these to promote your PR activities and attract more users.
As a result, the opportunities for positive mentions (citations) and references, and links on external sites will increase.
This means that you can get a good reputation and links.

In this way, acquiring a good reputation and links is a basic measure of SEO.

By the way, the importance of getting links is mentioned in “4. Democracy on the web works” in ” 10 facts about Google ” mentioned above. So, let’s visualize
the performance of backlinks in advance with alternative indicators of page rank such as DR and DA. How many links should I get? This is a guideline.

Improve page speed [page experience optimization]

Basic SEO measures improving page speed.

For example, after logging into Search Console, click Key Web Metrics from the menu.
Then you can see “bad URLs”, “URLs that need improvement” and “good URLs”.

If you have a “bad URL” or “URL that needs improvement”, enter it in PageSpeed ​​Insights or Test My Site and analyze it.
As a result of the analysis, if the page speed performance (score) is low, take countermeasures according to the displayed improvement suggestions.
In other words, it improves page speed.

Improving page speed is a basic SEO strategy.

By the way, page speed is a page experience signal called “the web’s leading metric”.

Smartphone compatible [page experience optimization]

Basic SEO measures are compatible with smartphones.

For example, let’s say you check your site URL in the mobile-friendly test and it fails.
In this case, it means that it is not compatible with smartphones.
To improve your site by following the advice given after checking the mobile-friendly test.
If you check again and fail, repeat the improvement and pass.
In other words, it is compatible with smartphones.

In this way, smartphone compatibility is a basic measure for SEO.

Things to avoid in SEO

Things to avoid in SEO Violating the webmaster guidelines (quality guidelines).

For example, in the Webmaster Guidelines (Quality Guidelines), “participation in link programs (e.g., malicious reciprocal links and purchase of banner advertising space from public institutions ),” “unauthorized reproduction of the content,” and ” hidden text and hidden Deception and cheating ( SEO spam ) such as linking, and stuffing pages with keywords unrelated to the content ( e.g., writing a lot of meta keywords ) are defined. Suppose you do these things. If you do so, Google will impose manual measures (penalties) on the site that performed the act. As a result, the search ranking will drop on Google, and the index will be removed ( not indexed ) from Google search results.

As you can see, violating webmaster guidelines (quality guidelines) is something you want to avoid in SEO.

By the way, the content of your own site can be plagiarized. Plagiarized sites will be deindexed for violating webmaster guidelines. However, if the stolen site has strong domain authority, it may be evaluated adversely and the evaluation of your own site may be lowered.
This is an unfair evaluation, so in this case, consider filing a DMCA application.

Also, you need to pay attention to the penalty due to the site operation of the old domain.

Summary: Beginners of SEO should hold the basics and promote measures

Beginners of SEO hold down the basics, Promote action.
To do that, it’s especially important to understand how Google thinks.
This idea of ​​Google remains basically the same, but on a search algorithm basis, it changes regularly.
There are search algorithm trends published by Google and unpublished ones, and there are SEO experts who study the unpublished parts and provide their own information. It is important to understand Google’s thinking, including
the opinions of these experts, trends in search algorithms, and SEO information such as SEO books.

On the other hand, if you ignore Google’s way of thinking, you will lack user first (considering user convenience as the top priority).
Specifically, it goes against what I said in ” 10 Facts from Google “, “1. Focus on the user and everything else will follow.”
If that happens, you will end up creating and publishing low-quality content.

  • Content without user-requested information
    • Content that does not allow you to quickly reach the target item
  • Slow page load content
  • Content that is difficult to use and view on smartphones (mobile devices)
  • Duplicate content (similar content)
  • Sparse content, etc…

This low-quality content is often found on sites run by SEO novices.
These sites are not helpful to users.
As a result, the user experience does not improve, so it becomes difficult to be evaluated by the Google search engine.

In order to avoid such a bad situation, SEO beginners should hold down the basics and promote measures.