What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to the process of raising your website’s organic (non-paid) search visibility to increase brand awareness and website traffic.
SEO is about introducing measures that help your content rank more highly on search engines like Google. Unlike paid advertising, it is about increasing organic (non-paid) traffic. This organic traffic may come from many different searches, including video and image searches.
When you implement SEO, you are making a piece of online content as “search-friendly” as possible (“optimising” it) so that it comes up at the top of the search engine results when someone looks for a topic in that area. The stronger visibility your website has in search results, the likelier you are to attract high-quality leads to your content.
What are the advantages of SEO?
While it’s easy to focus on making your website as attractive as possible, what matters far more than that is who knows about your website and the volume and quality of traffic it attracts. Think of it in the same way that you would a physical store: it can be the prettiest physical store in the world, but if nobody knows it’s there or visits it, do its looks really matter?
One of the main ways people find what they’re looking for is through search engines. SEO traffic is five times higher than PPC and ten times higher than social media. Google is the most visited website globally and processes over 8.5 billion searches every single day. The higher up on that list your website can get, the more traffic it is likely to get.
Usually, the top search result will get 40 to 60 per cent of the total traffic for that query. The number two and three results will get much less traffic. And only 2-3 per cent of users click further than the first page of search results. This means that even minor improvements on your piece of content can result in significantly more leads (and business).
How does SEO work?
A search engine like Google will use an algorithm to decide which websites it will show for a specific query. These are complicated algorithms that have thousands of considerations to decide the rankings. There are approximately 200 ranking factors, with some of the most important ones being how fast a website loads. But what matters more is content quality, and three key factors determine this:
- How the website is structured – Since websites are created in HTML, the HTML code structure itself can influence a search engine’s judgment of a website. It’s essential to include relevant keywords in the website’s title, URL, and website headers to make sure that a site ranks highly.
- The quality of the content – Search engines analyse a website’s content to see if it would be relevant for the search query that a user types in. Creating targeted content means using the same keywords that search engine users are typing.
- How many other websites link to it – This is crucial as a backlink can be seen as a vote of confidence from other websites, especially those with significant traffic. When sites have links from other websites, they increase their authority, boosting their ranking.
What are some SEO techniques?
There are various techniques you can use to boost your website’s ranking – here are several of the most popular steps that you can take as a starting point:
- Do some keyword research – This means investigating what keywords a site already ranks for what other keywords potential customers are typing in when they search both for this website and similar ones from competitors. This can tell you what existing content is converting and the direction that new content should take.
- Produce some content – Content marketing that is high quality and satisfies the search terms that users type in has a higher chance of ranking highly in Google results. This content also has a better chance of being shared through social media and having more website link back to it.
Build links – Since links from other websites are a crucial factor in major search engines, high-quality backlinks are a core part of optimising your website. Reaching out to other websites, making sure your website is part of web directories, and attracting press coverage to have backlinks from authoritative sites will improve your website’s authority ranking.