What is SEO?

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SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. It’s the practice of optimising websites to make them reach a high position in search engine results. SEO focuses on rankings in the organic (non-paid) search results. These search results appear directly below the top pay-per click adverts in Google. Interestingly, research shows that those websites that appear on the first page receive 95% of the clicks.

How does SEO work?

Google score their search results based on relevancy and authority of  your page. SEO involves making sure a website is easily accessible, technically sound and uses the words that people type into the search engine. Google uses an algorithm to calculate popularity and authority of a page. SEO can include activities that will improve the number of links to your website from other sites. Consequently, having relevant and reputable websites linking to your site will show Google that your site may be of interest to its users. As a result, Google will then trust your website to appear in their search results.

How do you do SEO?

You’ll need to understand Google’s algorithm. In order for your web page to appear in a higher position in search results, SEO attempts to make your website conform to these algorithms. The algorithm can be divided into two main categories, which together determine the ranking of your website.
Search Engine Land have created a Periodic Table of SEO success factors: Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. This has been updated, and sees factors related to mobile, direct answers and site speed increase in importance.

Onsite SEO

First of all, let’s look at onsite SEO factors. These are the factors that you can influence from within your actual website. It could be the structure of your website, site speed and content of your site.

Here are some activities that can optimise your website:

  • Keyword Research – analyse the types of words and frequency used by potential customers to find your brands services or products.
  • Onsite Optimisation – Improve your website structure, internal navigation, on-page alignment and content relevancy will help prioritise key areas and target search phrases.
  • User Experience – Ensure your content shows expertise, authority and trust. It should be simple to use, fast and ultimately provide the best possible experience to users against the competition.

Offsite SEO

These offsite SEO factors are far more difficult to influence. They are the offsite factors that point towards your site. The more relevant sites that link to your website, the higher your position in Google will be. The following are the most noteworthy activities of offsite SEO:

  • Firstly, you need to look at content marketing. These are reputable website links to exceptional content. By creating amazing content, it will help attract links. This might include a how to guide, a story, a visualisation or infographic with compelling data. 
  • Another aspect you can have a look at digital PR. This provides reasons for other websites to talk and link to your website. Look at internal news flow or writing for external publications. , original research or studies, expert interviews, quotes, product placement and much more.
  • Finally, focus on outreach and promotion. This involves communicating with key journalists, bloggers and influencers about your brand in order to earn coverage and ultimately earn links to a website.

More useful tips

  1. Conduct an audit of your website content.
  2. Use keyword research tool to identify the keywords with which people are finding you.
  3. Target new keywords you’d like to rank for.
  4. Develop new content and optimize existing content.
  5. Monitor your website’s performance.
  6. Purchase inbound marketing or SEO software.
  7. Examine the web pages that are performing well.
  8. Look for opportunities to earn inbound links from similar websites.
  9. Monitor your change in rankings and traffic.
In conclusion, SEO is an important aspect in making your website easy for both users and search engines to understand. SEO is an imperative for small business owners to understand when trying to build and develop their website.

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