Have you ever wondered what happens when you type a phrase or question into Google?
How does it decide which websites appear in its search results?
And most importantly, how can you get your website to be the first thing that appears when a potential customer searches for the product or service you provide?
This post aims to give the answers you need by providing a firm understanding of how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works and how you can get your website to the top of Google's search results page.
To do this we'll cover key beginner concepts like:
Let's get cracking!
Introduction to SEO:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website for Google Search.
It aims to improve the visibility of a website in search results and in doing so earn a website higher traffic levels.
Unlike paid ads, SEO strategies are designed to get a website to the top of a search engine for a particular keyword or phrase organically.
Organically is a clever way to say free!
In contrast, paid visitors are those that come to your website through pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google.
SEO and PPC campaigns can be combined to form a strategy called search engine marketing, or SEM.
There are two main types of SEO: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to all the optimization strategies you can control from within your website.
This includes things like optimizing your website's title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text with relevant keywords.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to all the optimization strategies you can control from outside your website.
This includes things like link-building, content marketing and social media engagement.
How Google Search Works:
To be successful with SEO, you also need to understand how Google Search works.
When someone enters a query into Google, the search engine uses algorithms to determine which websites should show up in the results page.
These algorithms take many factors into account, including things like the quality of your website's content and whether your site is mobile-friendly.
Another important ranking factor that Google considers is keywords.
Keywords are words or phrases that describe what your website is about.
When choosing keywords, it's important to think about the words and phrases people are likely to use to find your website, products, and services.
You can then use these keywords when creating content or optimizing your website.
Another important factor is backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites that link back to yours.
Having a lot of quality backlinks will help improve your visibility and increase the ranking of your website in Google search results.
SEO also involves making sure that your website is user-friendly, as this can affect its visibility and rankings.
User-friendly websites have a clear navigation structure and fast loading times, among other things.
Finally, SEO requires ongoing maintenance and monitoring to ensure that you stay ahead of the competition and keep up with any changes to Google's algorithms.
Benefits of SEO:
There are many benefits of SEO.
Perhaps the most important benefit is that it can help you to achieve higher search engine rankings.
When your website appears at the top of the search results, it will gain visibility and traffic, which leads to more sales and conversions.
SEO can also help to improve the user experience on your website.
When visitors find it easy to use and navigate your site, it results in more repeat visits and customers.
Another benefit of SEO is that it can help you to build brand awareness.
If people see your website appearing in the top search results, they will start to recognise your brand.
Recognition and recall of your business generates repeat custom, word-of-mouth marketing and, ultimately, more leads and sales over time.
Finally, SEO can help you save money on advertising.
PPC campaigns through Google Ads can sometimes drive fast results, but they are costly.
But if you rank highly for relevant keywords, you'll get free organic traffic from the search engines.
Types of SEO Strategies:
There are three core types of SEO strategies: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing all the content on your website (text, headings, images, etc.) to make it easier for Google to find and rank your site.
This can be done by optimizing the website's structure, design, and content according to search engine guidelines.
Off-page SEO is the practice of building links to your site from other websites to earn higher web traffic levels and improve the site's visibility.