If you’ve ever had a question for Google, then you’re already familiar with Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of web traffic you receive and exposing more people to your brand; by increasing your “rank” on search engines such as Google or Bing.
Read on for an easy-to-understand guide on the key terms of SEO.
Search engines & organic results
Search engines nowadays are what we use to find out anything online…
“Who won the rugby on the weekend?”
“What are the winning lotto numbers?”
“Why does my dog always come running when I open the fridge?”
Search engines take billions of content that is available on the web and catalogue it in folders, this process is called “crawling and indexing”.
Then, it is ordered based on what is most likely going to best answer your question. This is called “ranking”.
Why is SEO important?
Before we discuss paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms to generate traffic. Most traffic is going to come through search engines.
Statistics show that a maximum of 3% of people clicks on paid advertisements!
Below is the Click-through-rate percentage based on the Google Result Page ranking.
Image is taken from digital information world: www.digitalinformationworld.com/2020/07/new-study-reveals-that-the-first-organic-result-in-google-search-has-an-average-ctr-of-28-percent.html
To put it into perspective, if your site ranked number one on Google, over 30% of the people who are looking for the “best café near me” on a Sunday morning, could be showing up at the door very soon!
If your website is providing quality content that ranks for your target keywords (we’ll cover this soon). Then your traffic will snowball dramatically!
SEO seems a bit complicated, should I just hire someone to do it?
SEO is like the Titanic, at face value, it’s just an iceberg sticking out of the water…
When in reality, a lot is going on under the water, and the iceberg stems as far as the eye can see!
If your competitors are paying someone to do their SEO, and you’re sticking with the basics, they’re more than likely going to come out on top.
The biggest decision you have to make is whether you want to have a presence online in your niche, or whether you want to compete in the marketplace, and fight for that top spot.
Then it’s a matter of how far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go to maintain that presence.
Image taken from www.advancedmarketing.co.nz
So I decided to do it myself, Are there any rules I need to follow?
Yes, absolutely! There are a variety of good (and bad) practices for SEO.
Good practices are known as White Hat SEO, which are techniques and strategies that focus on the value that you provide to people.
Black Hat SEO is not so good, this includes spamming, and other tricks to try and fool search engines to rank highly.
Using Black Hat SEO runs the risk of being penalised or removed from search results completely!
Google provides some guidelines you can use to best optimise your SEO. Here’s a quick peek:
Your pages need to focus on the users, not the search engines.
Don’t trick the users!
Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. Think of the old saying “would your grandmother be happy if you told her what you did?”
What makes your website unique, or valuable to others? Emphasize those points!
Things to avoid:
Automatically generated content (boring!)
Participating in backlink building schemes (we’ll get to this)
Paraphrasing may have worked in Uni but it’s not going to work here, don’t copy others!
Cloaking – showing crawlers one thing and showing visitors another.
Hidden text and links
Doorway pages – pages that are optimised to rank well just to funnel traffic to your site.
For the full list, check out the Google Webmaster Guidelines
Wow… Even reading that content sounds dodgy!
Okay, that sounds good, so what’s next?
Your job is to provide users with the content that they are looking for.
This is where you need to select Key Words that are relevant to your business, and not going to attract the wrong group of people.
For example, if you searched “sport” on Google, you would likely get sports news, upcoming events, and various sporting organisations. If someone was looking for “rugby clubs near me” then you’re getting closer to helping this user find a team they can join.
Some of the most common user intent types:
Informational: Searching for information, which could be “what time is the game on this weekend?”
Navigational: Searching for something specific, such as “Apple, Nike or us here at Rove”
Transactional: Searching to buy something, like “Best deals on running shoes”
All the above-mentioned terms are specific keywords, based on specific searches. If your platform includes high-value content that is focused on your product/service offering. Then your site will rank higher and build trust with your audience!
Credit to Reader's Digest
But all sites are different? What do I need to focus on?
That’s right, as a business owner it’s up to you to decide what the objective for your website is.
This makes it easier to decide on which areas of SEO will be your best practice. You need to define, what the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) will be to measure your return on investment with SEO.
If you’re a retailer, you’ll likely focus on sales through your store.
If you’re with an agency, you might be focusing on gaining leads, by receiving email sign-ups.
So why is it important for my business goals to be defined?
Because you need to build trust with your viewers and show them that you can solve their problems. There’s no point in being number one on Google if no one trusts you can deliver!
All of this is just scratching the surface of SEO, we’ve only some of the basic terms.
Which can give you a more clearly defined direction to head in.
Thanks for reading 😊.