SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is the practice of tailoring content on your website in order to drive traffic through search engines. Numerous studies have shown that appearing on the first page of a google search means up to 95% more click through as opposed to the second page with significant reduction thus further. And even with those on the first page of a google search, there is significant improvements in click through figures higher up the search page you appear.
What we are most interested in when we talk about SEO is what we call natural, free or organic search results i.e. those that appear below google paid advertisements. And of course, nowadays we are not just interested in traditional search results, Google also provides map listings, images, videos and much more.
How do search engines work?
Although Google is by far the web’s dominant search engine it isn’t the only search engine available. In the early days of the web, there was a multitude of these search engines, it is true that most people use Google most of the time however some use Microsoft Bing or Yahoo. Given this most SEO strategies tend to focus on Google.
Search engines try to ensure that the results they provide are relevant to user queries. They look at pages crawled in a site index to examine authority as well as site traffic and a multitude of other factors. Google uses hundreds of signals in its algorithm to rank search results. SEO involves utilising knowledge of these signals to improve search engine ranking.
The additional side benefit of SEO is that it involves making a site more accessible, that it ensures that your site is technically sound and that the vocabulary used on the site is what people search for. This makes sense when you think about it. Search engines want to direct users to sites that are relevant to their needs and in optimising your site for search engines you are in effect tailoring it to what customers want.
Google also now has a feedback mechanism where a team of Google engineers feedback ratings for various searches back into the google search algorithm. And the rating guidelines that google uses are now publicly available. This provides a wealth of information and detailed examples of what Google consider to be high and low-quality content.
Google and in fact most other search engines use hyperlinks or backlinks to evaluate a site’s authority. If a site has a lot of links from other sites with very strong reputations it is ranked much higher. To an extent, this emulates real life. Relevant and reputable sites linking to you is a strong signal you can be trusted and therefore any SEO strategy must work on getting these backlinks.
Effective SEO Strategy
There are two main elements of an effective SEO strategy. Onsite SEO i.e. the things you do on your website do drive improvements in ranking and offsite SEO i.e. the auxiliary activities that you do away from your website such as link building and content creation.
Onsite SEO encompasses optimising your site for organic search engine visibility. There are a number of elements to it. Number one is keyword placement. This involves placing in your site keywords that users will search for when looking for products and services related to your business or content on your site. Secondly is the technical auditing of your site, ensuring your website can be crawled and indexed, Google provides tools to help with this. Thirdly there is general site optimisation i.e. ensuring your website structure is top-notch and making sure content is relevant. Lastly, there is user experience optimisation, making sure your site is easy to use, is fast and demonstrates authority.
Offsite SEO includes the auxiliary activities that you do away from the website itself. It includes a couple of activities the most important of which in the long run is link building. As mentioned above link building is ensuring that your site is linked to established and well-respected websites. If your business gets a mention by the BBC for example you will likely see an influx of traffic and an improvement in results, of course, these are time-limited so, you will need your site to continuously encourage backlinking. The important aspect of offsite SEO is PR. An effective digital PR strategy will provide reasons for other sites to link to you, it includes writing for other sites, in other publications, doing interviews and in general building authority.
SEO is an important aspect of any business with an online presence these days. If you arent thinking about SEO then what are you doing! The impact that getting up those Google rankings can have on your business is profound. Are you looking to move your business up the Google rankings? Then why not check out of SEO services page or request a free website review for a free no-obligation review of your SEO today!
If you are wondering how to turn all of the free traffic from Google into customers, then why not check out our 9-Step Guide to Boosting your Websites Conversions?