With so much information floating around about SEO, it can be challenging to understand what it really does. So what is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimisation.” The idea is that when you “SEO'” your website properly, Google will favour you and send you the valuable traffic needed to convert sales or bring you new clients.
The number one aim is to have your website displayed in the “organic searches” as opposed to the paid searches (search engines earn their money through advertising). So primarily, SEO is all about trying to get your site on page 1 of the search results without having to pay for it.
What is a Search Engine?
One of the first things to understand is the role of the search engine, and why they are so important.
A search engine is a massive website directory that indexes millions of pages from websites across the internet. They send out ‘spiders’ to crawl websites so they can offer the best results to the humans that are using their search functions. In short, a search engine is a website you can search for things on, it will give you the answers to all of the questions 🙂 .
From the beginning, our mission has been to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Today, people around the world turn to Search to find information, learn about topics of interest, and make important decisions. We consider it a privilege to be able to help. As technology continues to evolve, our commitment will always be the same: helping everyone find the information they need. ~ Google Mission
The three most important search engines on the internet are Google, Bing, and Yahoo . The most popular, with over 65% of searches carried out is Google. Increasingly, however, more people are searching other ‘irregular’ search engines like Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter so any search engine optimisation has to take account of these too.
On-Page and Off-Page SEO
There are two primary components of search engine optimisation that will impact where your website will appear in the SERP’s ( Search Engine Results Pages). These are called ‘On-Page’ SEO and ‘Off-Page SEO’
The job of ‘On-Page’ SEO is to make sure your webpages tells the search engine spiders what your website is all about.
When a search engine crawls your website your on-page SEO will indicate to search engines what the subject of the website is about.
Keywords are essential for on-page SEO. The search engine crawler or spider will be looking for keywords on your webpages to see if these match the search query.
They will look at the titles on your page, the description tag, meta tags, and descriptions.
An optimal on-page SEO will include:
- keywords in the file name
- Keywords in the titles
- The description meta tags
- Page headings
- Keywords in the body of the content
Be careful not to overuse keywords; make sure they appear naturally in your content.
Off Page and Back Links
To complement ‘On-Page’ SEO, you need a certain amount of ‘Off Page’ SEO factors to appear in search results.
Every website needs some links pointing to it from other websites. If possible, those links need to include the keywords you are trying to rank for.
Google uses a Page Rank algorithm to put value on your page. The more links you have from credible and compatible websites the higher your page rank is likely to be. Google will also index your website more quickly if it can see that these other authoritative websites are also linking to you, offering you some ‘street-cred’
And that’s not all… Soon I’ll be sharing my post explaining On-Page and Off-Page SEO in more detail.