What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?

SEO is something that most businesses are utilising in the modern day, and it can really help you to achieve the growth for your company that you really want. After all, your ranking on certain search engines can make or break your business, and being on one of the first pages really puts you on show to your potential customers. So, what is SEO, and how can it help you to up your client base? We’ve put together a short guide to everything that you need to know about the world of SEO, and how it could benefit you.

What is SEO

What is SEO?

As a business owner, it is imperative to understand what SEO is. Let’s start from the beginning: SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a way to get your business website to appear in the first few pages of the relevant Google searches. Why does this matter, anyway? Surely people are going to find you somehow, and it’s not like your business is failing, is it? However, think about your previous Google searches, and your behaviours when you’re looking to find something on the web. 

For instance, if you’re looking for new trainers, the first thing that you probably do is type this into Google, to see how much they are, and where you can get them for the best price. Think about how many pages you look through before you make the choice about what to buy. It’s usually the first page, or the second at a push. You rarely make it to page ten, do you? So, if your potential customers don’t see your website on Google, how can they purchase your products? 

SEO is all about increasing traffic to your website, and an increase in traffic leads to an increase in sales. The further that you can grow your reach, the better, and SEO is a tool that can be used to do this. And let’s be honest, are there any business owners out there who wouldn’t want to be the first result when their product names are put into a search engine? OK, so this is all well and good, but how do you actually do it?

What is SEO

Whatever type of website that you have, the likelihood is that you have at least some content on there. The words that you use on your site are highly important; the more relevant words you have on any given page, the more likely you are to rank for that search. So, if you’re trying to rank for the word ‘trainers’, then you need to incorporate blog posts, website pages, and other sources of content that use the right keywords. 

So, it sounds pretty easy, right? Well, not quite. The content needs to be original, and it can’t just be spam, or repetitions of words. Back in the day, people would just create web pages that said ‘trainers’ over and over again a million times, but nowadays Google are pretty hot on this stuff, and they won’t let your page rank without original (and normal) content. This is one trap that you need to make sure that you don’t fall into. 

So, you’ve written your article or website content, and you’re all good to go, right? Well, there are some other things that you need to check out before you carry on. One of them is that you’re using the right keywords, which you can find out by using a keyword planner online. Once you’ve found out the right keywords, you need to do a bit of research, and see whether varying your content slightly could help you to rank a little higher.

What is SEO

How can I rank?

There are a few ways to make sure that you rank, and it isn’t all about tailoring your content to get recognised by a search engine. In fact, there are many small things that can really make a difference, such as your meta description, headings and subheadings, so make sure that you think about these things too. You could have all of the necessary content, but you could be missing out on a trick by not formulating it properly, and you don’t want to do this. 

Another way to make sure that you rank is including links in your content. For example, you could have links between one page and another, or a ‘backlink’ to one of your previous posts. The more times that your links are mentioned somewhere, the more likely it is that you’ll rank higher on search engines. Because of this, it’s beneficial to get involved in things like guest posts, and giving out your products sometimes for reviews from bloggers is also a good idea. 

You also need to make sure that you have a lot of content. The more that you have the better, so even if you’re a regular company with a normal site, it’s a good idea to have a ‘blog’ page, and to post regularly here using the recommended keywords. You can employ content writers for this if you’re too busy to write out blog posts, but make sure that you really focus on getting more content onto your site, and generating more traffic (and selling more products) as a result.

What is SEO

Areas of SEO

  • SEO Signals: Google is not smart enough to actually determine the quality of website page content (at least not yet!) Instead, Google has an algorithm that measures how people engage with content to determine the quality. Google have over 200 signals to measure the quality of content. Google rank brain for example, is a machine learning signal that measures “dwell time” factors like average session duration, bounce rate, and return visitors. So Google do not decide the quality of content, they use organic/natural signals to rank websites. 
  • Content Marketing/ Blogging: Content is king. One of the oldest cliches in the SEO industry. A blog that can answer informational searches in their industry can establish themselves as a topical expert in Google/Bing etc. Informational searches include queries such as How to , Guide, Tips, What is etc, etc. Content marketing takes time and effort, but it is essential for SEO. 
  • Feeds
  • Site Architecture
  • Keyword Targeting & Meta Tags (On-Page): Page titles,  descriptions, headings, images and body copy should contain the target keywords, synonyms and related terms. 
  • HTML Code
  • Trust, Authority, Identity
  • Link Building
  • Personalization
  • Social Media
  • Crawling and Robots
  • Domains & URLs
  • Duplicate Content
  • Flash
  • Image Search 
  • Video Search
  • Local SEO: This is showing in your town or city. Showing in Google Maps, Google My Business and in default search. Local SEO is the best starting point for a company, as it is less competitive than nationwide or even international search. 
  • Mobile SEO
  • Page Speed
  • Redirects & Moving Sites
  • Sitemaps
  • Spam Penalties & Violations
  • Spamming
  • Cloaking & Doorway Pages

Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster)

The Google search console give you insight into how the Google Bots see your website. To learn more check out our post, Google Search Conole Guide.

 

 

In short

SEO is a really useful tool for any business, but you need to get it right. Using copied – or spam filled – content won’t get you very far at all, and you need to know what the right words to use are. SEO is also pretty much trial and error, so you should move your content around, change it up, and have a few pages that you can use to test these things out, so that you can see what the most effective tactics are for your particular website (and the products and services that you’re offering). 

If you’re in any doubt about SEO, or you don’t want to go through all of the hard work involved in learning about it for yourself, then you should get in touch with an agency that can give you a hand, as it is super important that you utilise SEO in order to increase your website traffic. However you decide to go about it, make sure that you do all that you can to make the most of SEO, and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.

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