The internet is presently one of the most reliable sources of income for lots of individuals, including businesses and organizations. It is therefore very important for them to have an online presence in our digital world.

However, even if you know how to make your own website, that is not enough. Having a website for your business does not automatically guarantee immediate turnover and financial success. There are issues such as ranking and traffic to address. It is also very important to make your website mobile responsive, because Google is not likely to send a lot of traffic to your site if it is not. And for one simple reason: more people browse on their phones than their PCs.

That is where SEO comes in. Granted, SEO is a popular acronym in the online world, and most people know something about it. But, nevertheless, there are many important facts about it that you probably don't. I will attempt to discuss four basics here in very simple language and to describe how they affect your business.

1. On-site optimization.

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While SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a popular term, a lot of people do not know what on-site optimization means. This is the process of ensuring that your website achieves acceptance by both viewers and search engines alike.

This can be achieved by putting the right keywords, key phrases, and tags on your site’s pages. This is what helps Google determine how to rank your website. In fact, according to this business buyer's guide to SEO, “Google needs to know the subject matter of a site in order to categorize it properly, so it looks at what’s actually on the pages to determine the topics that are covered.”

Related: How Mobile-Friendly Is Your Website? If You Don't Know, You're Missing Out on Sales.

2. Off-site optimization.

This refers to the process of trying to achieve a high rank for your website using external methods. This process is not done on your website the way on-site optimization is.

In this process, Google tries to make the sites it considers the “most authoritative” or “most important” to rank highest when a particular term is searched. Most times, a site’s perceived authority or importance is determined by how many other sites are linking to it.

So, having links to your site appear on large platforms and popular blogs helps your website rank higher with Google.

Related: Use App Indexing to Boost Your Google Ranking

3. White-hat SEO.

This term refers to the application of different, legal optimization techniques to drive greater traffic to a website, in order to achieve high rank on search engines. The intended traffic here is human traffic.

Some of the these techniques are back linking, keyword analysis, and link building. The objective is to increase the popularity of the site through writing good content that other sites can link to, thereby increasing your site’s rank.

Related: These 9 SEO Tips Are All You'll Ever Need to Rank in Google

4. Black-hat SEO.

This SEO technique involves the use of illegal techniques to achieve the same objective, high ranking. Those who practice black-hat SEO break Google's rules to achieve raise their website's rank. It is the direct opposite of white-hat SEO practices.

Some of these techniques are:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • The use of invisible text
  • Creating fake pages to get the desired back links
  • Using doorway pages
  • Page swapping

This method, while seeing increased use, is still illegal and is not the best way to grow your online business. Black-hat SEO can get your online platform banned from the ranks of search engine results, frequently just after you have raised your site's visibility. It may seem to bear faster results but the disadvantages are too many.

How these techniques affect your business.

  1. You need both on-site optimization and off-site optimization for your site to be considered for a place on the first page of Google. The absence of these techniques is a sure sign that you aren’t really looking to get noticed, and this naturally impacts on how much patronage you get from online channels.
  2. If you use black-hat SEO technique to rank high, the result will be temporary. You may get the desired result, but Google will most likely find out and penalize you.
  3. The white-hat SEO techniques are slower in terms of getting you well-ranked, however, the result is permanent. Google will have determined that you abide by its rules and regulations, and leave you alone.
  4. Black-hat SEO techniques are cheaper to get, but the result is not worth it. White-hat SEO techniques, on the other hand, are more expensive to use, but promise uninterrupted, long-term financial benefit.
  5. Online patronage is determined by your visibility. Your visibility is determined by your popularity and ranking, and your popularity by how well you use SEO.

The decision you make now may determine the success or failure of your business. It can help you to avoid the pitfalls many frequently fall into. If you employ the right techniques, have confidence that your business will receive a massive boost. The result will be more customer traffic and frequent visits to the bank, with a genuine smile upon your face.