SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. It is the process of increasing a website’s organic visibility on Google, by showing on the first page of Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page). When a website ranks on the first page of the SERP’s for valuable and relevant keywords it considerably improves its chances of gaining high-quality traffic that converts. SEO is a significant digital marketing strategy, because it makes a website more visible to customers searching relevant keywords for your business.
We know that there are at least 200 ranking factors when it comes to Google’s algorithm and how it ranks websites on the SERP’s. Part of SEO is to experiment and test things that you think may help to improve rankings, benchmark your rankings and traffic before and after making changes. You may also want to see how Google’s ranking factors perform on other search engines like Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo. Google does however own over 70% of the market share, so we’ll be focusing on what SEO is in regards to Google, but it’s useful to know that these rankings may differ for different search engines.
Google is constantly optimizing its algorithm in order to show the best and most relevant content on the SERPs for any search term or keyword. This means lots of news and updates around SEO, make sure to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry the best you can, as there are regular updates and features being released. One of our favourite websites to keep up to date on SEO news is Search Engine Land.
Google’s ranking algorithm is complex, but to put it simply, it is looking for quality content and relevant information to serve the user. Relevance and quality are determined by Google crawling web pages and content, and then comparing results (algorithmically). To determine quality Google takes into account several factors, such as how the users interact with your site, the page’s loading speed, and how much original content your site has compared to other sites.
SEO can help you dominate other competitors if used correctly. However, the right SEO takes time, effort, and a good understanding of business. It is almost impossible to identify search intent without proper knowledge of the niche, business and target customer.
Search engine optimization is a never-ending process, but if done correctly and the SEO work is up to date with algorithm changes, SEO is often the primary source of digital traffic for many successful brands. SEO complements other marketing channels by helping to build brand awareness through increasing organic visibility.
One of the best things about SEO is that anyone can start doing it, there are no specific qualifications to achieve, but there are certain things to know that will help your SEO work and in turn, results.
- Research and implement SEO best practices, to begin with, and think outside the box when you have the fundamentals down.
- Develop your speaking and writing ability. This may not be so relevant to those working on their own website, but if you’re going to be working on client websites then you will need to distil complex ideas and concepts into simple explanations that non-SEO people can easily understand and make decisions with.
- Technical and programming skills. Knowledge of coding can open various new domains of SEO for you, particularly within technical SEO.
- Analytical skills, being able to read data and understand how to strategize and capitalize on untapped opportunities for organic growth.
- The ability to have empathy for consumers and to understand them as a marketer can go a long way with SEO and understanding how to better target the right type of traffic that will convert on a website. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and thinking like them can help you identify searcher intent. It can even help you understand the needs of the client better.
So now that you better understand exactly SEO and why it is an important marketing channel for online businesses you can begin to assess whether it is the right investment for you. Some industries need SEO more than others but overall, if your website is on the first page of Google for valuable keywords, that can only be a good thing.
If you’re still not sure where to start with your SEO strategy, or you’d like to speak with a specialist in order to save time and better understand how to improve your website’s organic traffic, there are many online services to help you reach your SEO goals.
Speaking with an SEO consultant is one of the most cost and time-efficient ways to learn about SEO. You can speak with a highly skilled professional, gain years of knowledge instantly, and learn how to improve your SEO results all within one simple consultation call.