You’ve probably heard the term ‘SEO’ many times before, but many of us don’t actually grasp what it is, and why it is such a hot topic in the world of digital marketing. That’s why we have put together this guide to help you understand the basics of SEO, and why it is a crucial element of digital marketing for all businesses.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation, the goal of which is to expand a company’s visibility within organic search results e.g. on Google. As a result, these efforts drive more traffic to the company website, increasing their chances for more conversions which leads to more customers and more revenue.
How does SEO work?
SEO works by optimising the content on websites for the keywords your customers use to find the products or services you are selling and using inbound links to increase the content ranking and the site visibility, however, it is about more than just cramming your content with keywords. SEO requires you to understand your audience and what they are searching for and create content that satisfies these needs.
When you understand what your audience is searching for, and where they are searching, you can match your content with the same language your customers use when they are searching, and optimise it for search engines. This helps to provide customers with a better user experience as they move from the search engine to the piece of content on your website.
This refers to the position on the page Google (or other search engines) place a particular web page in the search engines result page (SERP). As time passes, web page rankings may change due to age, competition in the SERP, or algorithm changes within the search engine itself. The exact algorithm used is known only to the search engines, but we know that factors such as landing page relevance, site health, mobile experience, external & internal links and on page optimisation are all contributing factors in determining where in the rankings your website appears.
What is relevancy?
Search engines have the goal of providing users with the most relevant answers or information to their questions or query. Each time you use a search engine the algorithm chooses pages that are most relevant to the question or query entered. To deliver the correct answer to users, search engines analyse relevancy between the search query and the content on the pages being displayed – a search engine will assess this by using factors such as topics and keywords. Search engines will also analyse the authority of the page – they will assume if a page is popular, that it has valuable content to its users.
What is domain authority?
The domain authority is a way that search engine software platforms score websites based on their interconnectivity with other websites. It can be a good tool to use to give an indication as to how likely your site is to rank well. Sites with high numbers of external links pointing to them usually have a high domain authority e.g. wikipedia.com, as well as information sites such as government, media and educational institutions e.g. bbc.co.uk, gov.uk etc. It is important not to view your domain authority in isolation as it is only really relevant when compared to other competitors in your particular marketplace.
Visibility describes how prominent a domain is within the search engine results. Lower search visibility occurs when a domain isn’t visible for relevant search queries, whereas high visibility occurs when it is visible for many relevant search queries.
Rankings and visibility are both responsible for delivering the main SEO objective – website traffic. A carefully designed SEO strategy helps your content rank, and become more visible, climbing higher on SERPs to drive more qualified traffic to your content.
Why do we use SEO?
Whilst paid advertising, social media and other tools can generate traffic to your website, the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines. Organic search results cover more digital real estate, appear more credible and often receive more clicks than paid advertisements. The users who click on organic results are often further along in their buying journey are well and so more likely to convert. Moreover, where you appear in organic searches is crucially important as the lion’s share of traffic goes to those not only on page 1 of search engines, but in the top 3 results.
If you’re not utilising SEO, chances are your website isn’t as high up the rankings as it could be. When you leverage SEO as a key factor in your marketing strategy, your website will climb in both keyword and SERP rankings, ensuring your content reaches the intended audiences.
The importance of SEO begins with making sure your website is discoverable by search engines. An SEO-optimised page takes users and search engines into account to drive organic traffic by providing the relevant content that meets the needs of those who are searching for it. But SEO goes much further than that – appearing on top of search engine results also builds credibility for your content, and can also shorten the customer journey – leading to increased revenue and greater ROI.
Following E-A-T guidelines
SEO isn’t just about how the backend of your website is built or how things have been laid out – the content on the page is a crucial component and should always speak to what your audience is searching for.
Search engines will prioritise pages with high-quality content over those that don’t provide valuable information. Google looks for content that follows E-A-T guidelines – Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness – so it is important that any content you upload takes this into account.
Is SEO important to every business type?
SEO can drive growth and results for just about any type of business and niche – and we have the SEO case studies to prove it. From innovative start-ups to global leaders, SEO can be extremely beneficial for all industries, sizes and audiences.
Do you want to start integrating SEO into your strategy? Or are you looking to take your current SEO strategy to the next level? Contact our expert team today to see how we can improve your website rankings.