The topic to be covered in this article is "Search Engine Optimization (SEO)" which belongs to MaTech's "Contents & Experience" category. People use the portal site's search function to solve questions, such as visiting restaurants or tourist attractions. There are many contents along with advertisements on the search results page, and behind them, marketers' efforts to make the content visible in the gaps of advertisements, SEO, are hidden. This time and next time, we are going to dig into SEO in detail in two episodes.
(In SEO part 1, we will look at the concept and necessity of optimizing search engines, and in part 2, we will look at the top exposure strategies for each website.)
SEO(Search Engine Optimization)란?
SEO refers to the work of placing its website or content at the top of the search results. There are two ways to expose the homepage and content on the search result page: advertisement and SEO. Summarizing each feature, advertisements have the advantage of being exposed very fast and being able to be placed at the top of the search results, but have the disadvantage of high unit prices and high maintenance costs. On the other hand, SEO has the advantage of continuous exposure without cost, although it takes time to raise the exposure ranking.
If you have a large investment budget, it will not be difficult to execute advertisements, but even in this case, there is a limit to capturing consumers who want to find reliable content. On the search results page, consumers who don't want to be fooled by false or exaggerated advertisements do not click on the advertisement and look for content with accurate information. In order to actively appeal to these consumers, it is essential to increase the exposure ranking of content through SEO work.
As mentioned earlier, SEO is to make it easier for consumers to find their (company) homepage or content. Before looking into the specific ways of SEO, the basic understanding you need is about the search engine. A search engine is a database management system that collects and organizes various information scattered on the Internet in advance and allows search users to search for related information from time to time. Typically, Naver and Google have search engines. The search engine categorizes information through "crawling (the process of importing website-related data through web crawlers)" and "indexing (the process of storing information obtained through crawling in a search index).
Each search engine selects information to be shown first among the numerous categorized information when a user acts as a "search" by its own evaluation algorithm. Therefore, marketers need to establish a content exposure strategy based on their understanding of the algorithms of each search engine.
SEO to be considered in establishing a content exposure strategy can be divided into "technical SEO" that optimizes the site and "content SEO" that optimizes the content itself depending on the object of work. Then, let's talk about what's different between these two SEOs and what concepts we need to know to understand them.
Technical SEO (Technical SEO)
Technical SEO is the work of laying the foundation for technology so that pages on its website can be easily exposed to search engines. In other words, the web crawler of the search engine makes it easy to find its web page. If a crawler easily finds and indexes a web page, it is more likely that the web page will appear in the search results of the search engine user. The elements of Technical SEO often require coding or professional computer knowledge, which can be very difficult for marketers, so it is common to collaborate with website developers. There are many technical SEO tasks according to the evaluation algorithm of the search engine, but this time, we will learn about Domain Management, Site Map, and Robot.txt.
Domain management of the website.
Domain management refers to a method of managing a single domain by dividing it into multiple website addresses, and there are 'subdomain' and 'subfolder' methods. In the sub-domain method, web pages are set and managed as independent domains, and in the sub-folder method, web pages are expanded and managed as sub-domains.
Google scores the domain by evaluating various factors such as the content that makes up the web page, the quality of the link, and the time of visit to the page. Higher domain scores can expose you to the top of the search results. As shown in the image above, the sub-domain method must manage the domain scores of each of the four independent web pages. On the other hand, the sub-folder method is relatively more efficient to manage domain scores because the scores of each upper page are reflected in the scores of the lower pages.
2. Submit a site map.
"Site Map" refers to a file in the form of "xml" that shows all pages of the website like a table of contents. By submitting a site map file, pages that were not found in the general crawling process can be crawled and indexed without any problems. Site maps have a set form around the world, and creating and managing site maps according to those forms will greatly help SEO work. If it is difficult to create a site map, using a site that creates a site map for free is one way.
The 'robot.txt' file guides the web crawlers (search robots) of the search engine to the location of the site map and blocks certain web crawlers from collecting information on web pages. The reason why SEO, which should expose web pages to as many search results as possible, should block the collection of specific web pages is that if crawlers collect web pages of overlapping content without restriction, it can negatively affect the evaluation of search engines. In particular, Google has penalties for duplicate content, so it is necessary to appropriately restrict the collection of information on crawlers through robot.txt more info files. The robot.txt file is created as a plain text file and can be set by placing it in the site's root directory.
Contents SEO (Contents SEO)
Search users get information on related products through content. If Technical SEO is the work of laying the technical foundation for content exposure, Content SEO can be said to be the work of increasing the likelihood of exposure with elements in the content.
The most important thing in content SEO is 'keyword management'. This is because the location and number of specific keywords included in the content are important parts of the evaluation algorithm of the search engine. When creating content, it is necessary to select keywords that people can search for and insert them appropriately into the title and body. Then, specifically, what keyword should I put in to expose it to the top of the search results?
First, you have to use data-based keywords. Keywords with a lot of people's searches are likely to be used by so many competitors. You should find keywords that are mainly used by search users and are relatively less competitive with competitors. One of the concepts to be aware of for this is the "long-tail keyword." The long tail keyword refers to a combination of three or more words in which the search intention is specifically expressed. Although the search volume is relatively small compared to general keywords, competitors are more likely to use them well, so if they use long-tail keywords well, they can have a great exposure effect.
It is also necessary to discover new keywords according to trends. Marketers should be sensitive to people's changing thoughts to do this. This is because the popularity of keywords that people have been looking for may cool down over time, and the keywords that people pay attention to may change due to new trends. One well-discovered keyword based on time and effort can bring high exposure effects!
Along with managing keywords for content, marketers should never neglect to improve the quality of the content itself. Even if you have increased the likelihood of exposure through technical SEO work and content keyword management work, what effect can you get if the content consumed by the user is poor as a result? Therefore, we should spare no effort to produce high-quality content that is beneficial to users and is good enough to promote ourselves.
The expected effect of SEO.
How can companies benefit from SEO like this? You can get three effects.
First, brand awareness increases. Through SEO work, more consumers learn about brands or related products by looking at the contents exposed at the top of the search results. Familiar content that consumers often see from a consumer's point of view naturally becomes trusted, and the likelihood of viewing content other than the search results increases.
Second, the purchase conversion rate increases. If awareness and reliability of the brand builds up, the possibility of purchasing related products increases. Wise consumers buy the products they need by comparing various factors such as price and quality, but if there is no significant difference, they are likely to purchase products from familiar and familiar brands.
Third, Return On Investment (ROI) is reduced. Unlike advertisements, SEO is a work that does not pay. However, the optimized content located just below the advertisement can have the same effect as the advertisement. The rise in the aforementioned 'purchase conversion rate' is related to a decrease in ROI. If the purchase conversion rate increases without the advertising cost spent, it would be a natural result for the ROI to decrease.