What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

If you ask the question what is search engine optimisation to a room full of seo consultants, you are likely to get multiple answers.  The majority however, will respond with something along the line of:

Search engine optimisation or SEO for short is the process of making a website more relevant to search engines. The desired result of SEO is to get your page to appear higher up the organic search rankings. The higher a website or a page ranks in the search engines, the greater the chances of that website being visited by users.

what is search engine optimisation

If you look at a standard Google Search Engine Results Page, down the left-hand side of the page you will see what are known as the natural or organic listings. These are the search results that the search engine, thinks are the most relevant to the search term that you typed, in descending order of importance.

These listings are free and if your website is deemed relevant and of high enough quality your business website too could appear naturally in the search results when a potential customer enters their search criteria into the search bar.

Why is it Important to Rank Higher in the Search Engines?

It makes sense to appear as close to the top of the organic search results as possible as statistics show that;

  • 34% of all Google users click on the top organic listing in Google while 66.7% of all users click on one of the top three links.
  • 93% of all online activity starts with search.

Imagine your website appearing at the top of the search engines for a major keyword relevant to your industry – that is the Holy Grail of SEO and why seo is so important. Through understanding and incorporating search engine optimisation strategies into your online activity, over time your business could benefit from a larger number of visitors to your website, more leads and increased profitability for your business.

How does a Business Get Started with SEO?

Before you jump in you need to realise that Search Engine Optimisation is a subject that is littered with misinformation, confusion and controversy – Google makes changes to their ranking algorithm nearly every day and this can result in pages moving higher or lower.

If you have invested any time researching SEO then you probably already know how much of a minefield it really is. The purpose of working with an SEO Company  is to help you cut through the chaos and give you a clear set of things that you and/or your web development team can do to improve your search engine rankings starting!

5 Things to Check off Before Starting an Search Engine Optimisation Campaign

what is search engine optimisation

1 Understand where you rank right now!

There is absolutely no point embarking on any SEO campaign until you understand exactly where you are right now. By that I mean:

  • where does your website rank now for relevant keywords?
  • How many times is your website showing up in the SERP’s for those keywords?
  • How many times are searches clicking through from the SERP’s?
  • What are those visitors doing then?

2 Align your Search Engine Optimisation Strategy with your business goals.

The main reasons that businesses engage search engine optimisation companies are to improve their online reputation and increase sales. Understand what your goal is before embarking on a SEO campaign so that you can marry the two together.

3. Choose Relevant keywords

If  internally you refer to a product or a solution as ‘x’ then that is fine. But that does not mean that your potential customers know it as ‘x’ they might call it ‘y’

Make sure that you are investing in optimising your website for what the client is looking for not what you think they are looking for.

As a secondary note there is no point optimising for something that is not being searched on. It will be a complete waste of time and money, so do your keyword research first and know exactly where you stand.

4. Understand your ideal customer

Is your product or service specifically related to men under the age of thirty or is your ideal client a forty year old housewife? There will be a big difference between the terminologies used by both audiences resulting in you ranking for something that is not relevant to the target audience.

5. Review the competition

By understanding exactly where the competition stand with regards to their SEO strategy it can help influence how you approach yours. If for example your largest competitor ranks highly for a certain keyword this doesn’t mean that this is the correct keyword to target straight away. The reason being that in order to compete you will have to do a lot of work in order to be seen as the most relevant

These are by no means the only SEO tips that you have to take into consideration when optimising your website however these are a start and by sharing them with you I hope to impress upon you that search engine optimisation is not as simple as throwing up a website, sitting back and watching the traffic, leads and sales, role in.

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About James

James Debono is the co-founder of internet company Big Thinking Online that provide SEO consulting, web optimisation strategies and reputation marketing services that help business leverage the internet to find and retain key clients.
James is Welsh, but can't speak it. He like, licorice, rugby, technology and football!

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