Understanding SEO

Let’s take a look at what Search Engine Optimization is

December 4, 2017

SEO, or search engine optimization, has been around for almost as long as the Internet itself. I’ve always been a fan of this form of digital marketing, because, unlike many other forms, it’s achievable on the most modest of budgets, and more importantly, it allows you to attract only the most targeted audience traffic to your site.

Pour yourself a coffee and let’s begin by looking at what SEO actually is. The term refers to when people browsing the internet type in a specific phrase into a search engine such as Google: Google then uses certain criteria to decide which results it should display in response to the users’ search term. These results are in the form of websites or social media pages.

To ensure that Google displays the correct search results, it uses specific algorithms to work out which web pages are the most relevant to the users’ initial search. When you type in a question which can be answered with a simple factual reply, such as “Is Jupiter a planet or star?”, Google will let you know that Jupiter is indeed a planet. However, and here’s the interesting part; what happens when an internet user types in a question where the answer may be a little bit more subjective?

Let’s say a young couple are staying at a hotel in your area. You own a restaurant nearby, and the couple type in “Restaurants in [Your City]”. Google will display a list of the restaurants available nearby, but in which order would Google decide to rank them? To get your business listed as close to the top spot of Google’s search results as possible, you need to adhere to a few simple principles Google implements to decide on which results to display.

Although Google’s algorithms do change on a frequent basis to ensure its service is as effective as possible, the primary principles do remain. These range from ensuring that your website is set up to work on smartphone and tablet devices, through to ensuring that your site has a stream of up-to-date and relevant content. As mentioned, working on optimizing your web pages for search engines can be achieved on a modest budget. Really, it doesn’t cost you anything to do this, if you are willing to try it yourself. You just need to remain focused, patient and remember that SEO is a long-term strategy.

There are many resources available online to learn SEO practices, and we’ll be sharing lots of ideas and tips in future articles here. It’s also worth remembering that you don’t have to tackle all of the SEO work yourself; you can hand over small or large parts of it to the experts, or even speak with a consultant who will be able to understand your needs and offer a bespoke strategy you can follow yourself. When done properly, following good SEO practices can bring in the most targeted of audience traffic and be one of the most lucrative forms of marketing your business can benefit from.