An overiew on what SEO is, why you need it and how it works
A question we get asked all too often is “What is search engine optimisation?”. Search Engine Optimisation, also known as SEO, is a vital element of your online marketing activities. Without it your website and online campaigns are worthless and will not deliver the results you are after. Search Engine Optimisation is, in essence, a practice whereby you aim to improve the visibility, credibility, and ranking of your website and online content in an organic (un-paid) way by including and updating elements on your website that meet search engine requirements.
SEO is not a once-off activity and you need to be concerned if you have been told that you have SEO implemented and it doesn’t need to be maintained. All the major search engines regularly update their search algorithm to improve search results and user experiences. For this reason Search Engine Optimisation is dynamic and requires attention to detail and updates to make it work.
What do search engines look for in SEO?
To provide their users with search results that are relevant and specific to search queries, search engines look for certain components that they use to rank websites and high quality SEO content. There are two main types of search engine optimisation practices that need to be adhered to and constantly updated, namely on-page search engine optimisation and off-page search engine optimisation.
Internal enhancements with on-page SEO
On-page Search Engine Optimisation is probably the most important search engine optimisation element. It deals with items such as your websites content (quality and relevancy), user experience, title tags, heading tags, optimised images, meta descriptions, page load speed, social sharing and interactions, and URL structures. All of these items combine to give search engines the best possible idea of what your website or page is about and will rank it according to the quality of each.
External website factors with off-page SEO
Off-page Search Engine Optimisation, on the other hand, deals with the amount of inbound links your website has and the quality of those thinks. Inbound links can come in the form of press portals, referral or partner websites, and most recently social media. It is extremely important to build a natural link structure and not purchase links. Buying links is seen as something called ‘black hat SEO’ and can get your website into a lot of trouble with search engines.
Search Engine Optimisation can be an extremely daunting task take on without experience and knowledge. It can also be one of the most rewarding online marketing activities you can do, so it is important that you know what SEO is, how it works, and how it can benefit your business.
If you have any questions about SEO, or would like to add any more insights, then please feel free to leave a comment.