If you’re running a business in 2017, you’ve almost certainly heard about SEO. You’re also probably aware that it stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and has something to do with getting your site to the top of the Google listings…
In this first in a series of posts, we get back to basics with our beginner’s guide to SEO, examining what it is, looking at some different kinds of SEO activity, and explaining why your business needs an effective SEO programme if it’s going to perform to its potential online.
What is SEO?
According to world-leading SEO experts, MOZ:
“SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.”
In simple, practical terms, SEO is the name given to the process of improving search engine rankings for your website, so your web pages appear when people search for key terms relating to your business, products or services.
It’s about understanding how the search engines work, and ensuring that your web pages appear to be relevant, authoritative and popular to the search engines – so your web pages rank higher for the terms you want to be found for.
What does an SEO programme entail?
SEO is an ever-evolving process. As the search engines have become more advanced and developed more complex search algorithms, the types of SEO activity that impact on search rankings have changed over time.
Broadly, SEO activity can be split into two main categories:
- On-page – activities which are done to a website to make it more search engine friendly
- Off-page – activities which are done outside of the website to help raise its rankings in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Examples of On-page SEO activities:
- Keyword research and placement – choosing and targeting the right keywords, and ensuring that these are included in your content in all the right places (known as optimising your content)
- Improving user experience – ensuring that your website is responsive (so it works on all devices) and that all the links work.
- Quality content – making sure that the content on each page is relevant, interesting, well written and properly structured. Adding fresh, relevant content (e.g. through blogging) to your site can also help to boost rankings.
- Page structure – laying out, structuring and linking together the pages on your site in the right way.
- Metadata and structuring – creating search engine friendly URLs, and ensuring that your metadata is relevant and structured correctly.
Examples of Off-page SEO activities:
- Building links – generating high quality, natural back-links to your pages from relevant, reputable sources (these act a bit like votes when it comes to ranking your web pages).
- Content marketing – creating, sharing and promoting high-quality content, like blogs, videos, infographics and images on outside sites, to drive traffic to your site and encourage backlinks.
- Generating social proof - getting ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ through social media platforms, to generate quality backlinks, drive traffic and build social proof that your content is worth ranking.
Why do I need SEO?
In 2017, every business that wants to be found online can benefit from effective SEO in terms of:
- Traffic – the higher you rank for your key terms, the more visitors you will get to your site, and the more potential customers you have. 60% of clicks go to the top result on Google!
- Authority – people put a lot of trust in the search engines, and ranking highly for your key terms helps to pass on that trust to your business
- Conversions – when potential customers find your site through organic search (rather than paid search), they are more than twice as likely to convert into a sale
- Competitive advantage – outrank your competitors on Google, and they are more likely to come to you
- Sustainable results – ranking highly in the search engines and staying there provides lasting, long-term results
Expert support with SEO from Eyeweb
Could your website perform better online? Do you want to climb the SERPS and outrank your competition?
At Eyeweb, our digital marketing experts have an excellent track record in delivering SEO support to businesses across a wide range of industries. Using proven methodologies and the latest white-hat techniques, we will help to improve your business rankings in the search engines – helping you to attract higher volumes of relevant traffic for the benefit of your business.