SEO. Three letters. Much confusion – to anyone that doesn’t work in digital marketing. What do these three letters stand for?
What is SEO?
According to Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz – the world’s most popular provider of SEO software and a global community with more than a million marketing professionals, SEO is ‘the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic that you earn through the organic results of search engines.’
Let us simplify
SEO (or search engine optimisation) is an umbrella term. SEO is a marketing discipline with one goal – to make your website more attractive to search engine indexes and website browsers.
Why you need SEO
Online ranking competition is fierce. According to Clive Thompson of Wired magazine, ‘Google isn’t a search engine, Google is a reputation management system.’
Why do you need SEO? To put your brand in front of consumers. Think about it like this: If you were opening a high street shop, you wouldn’t choose a location miles from civilisation. You’d choose a location in the centre of a bustling town or metropolis. Why? People can find you.
Basic SEO explained
Any website with the intention of generating revenue MUST have SEO. Think of SEO as laying a trail of breadcrumbs – telling people where you are.
The content of a web page will determine how it’s indexed. Good content must have two attributes: it must have a purpose, and it must be linkable. On-page SEO is all the visible work completed that encourages and enhances user experience.
Any work completed outside the homepage and any subpages to direct visitors to your site is off-page SEO. Such activities will not directly alter the landscape of your website – they will tell search engines and browsers to come and visit your website.
Can I optimise my own site?
DIY SEO isn’t recommended – unless you have considerable technical acumen and experience. Google uses sophisticated algorithms to index pages. Without knowledge of how pages are indexed and what the 170 ranking factors are, successful SEO is best left to the professionals.
How Google works
Online search is an art form. A science. Something that is exceedingly difficult to define with any clarity in a few short paragraphs.
In very simple terms, every single time a search is performed, Google will connect the keywords input in the search field with relevant, ranking content from across the Internet. Listen to what Matt Cutts, an SEO guru, has to say about how search works:
What results should I expect?
SEO will reap rewards. This is without question. The amount of traffic directed to your website will be dependent on the amount of quality SEO completed.
Oh, one final thing……remember that SEO alone is not enough. Your website must inspire, educate and sell your products or services. Why go to all the trouble of laying a trail of breadcrumbs to a place where people don’t want to be?