What is SEO?
Firstly, what is SEO? SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation and it refers to the process of increasing both the quantity and quality of traffic coming to your site through the search engine results page (a.k.a. SERP). The search engine results page displays sites into 3 main components. These are organic results, ads, and queries. SEO focuses on optimising your site to improve its ranking within the organic search results.
What’s the difference between organic results and ads?
Let’s start with ads. When you search for something on google most of the time, the top of the results page will have a few ads that relate to what you’re searching for (see image on the left). These ads are paid for by the website to boost its ranking to the top of the page to try and get more customers to click on their site. These companies will ‘pay per click (PPC) for each click they get onto their site from the ad, due to a potential customer visiting their site and purchasing a product/service. These ads will have an auction-like process in which websites will increase their PPC to rank higher in the ads, therefore a company willing to pay £1 per click will appear above the 2nd highest paying company that pays 60p for example.
Now the difference between paid ads (PPC) and organic results is that organic results appear just below the ads, (see image on the right), and you don’t have to pay for your website to be there, and often, these websites will be better suited to the search phrase/word as well. However, the tricky part with having your site appear at the top of the organic results is that you need to have good SEO to compete against other organic websites.
How can I improve my SEO?
So now you know you need a good SEO to rank highly on the SERP, how can you improve it? For starters, you need to get researching. Research specific keywords and phrases that people will search for in relation to your website. Try not to be too general as this will likely have many people using the same keywords/ phrases. You want to try and use keywords/phrases others aren’t to stand out and fit people’s needs specifically for example, if your website sells vegan-based, gluten-free ice cream in Oxford, rather than make your keywords ‘ice cream’ you would go for ‘gluten-free ice cream Oxford’ or vegan based ice cream Oxford’. When doing the research, you’d need to consider:
– What types of ice cream are people searching for?
– Who is searching for these terms
– When are people searching for these terms? (seasonal)
– What words will people use?
– What questions would they ask?
– How many people search for this keyword/phrase?
Thankfully there are many tools out there to help with researching keywords and phrases to use for your site. These include sites like:
Once you’ve done your research on keywords and phrases, you need to then embed them into your site. You can do this by using them in page content, meta-description, your site title, focus key phrase and more.
Finally, once embedded into your site, when people search for those keywords and phrases the search engine (e.g., Google) will scan through millions of sites and try to find content that is most relevant to the search.
This is just a fraction of SEO’s importance and what you can do to improve your site’s SEO. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading this and you’re able to take away something from our blog, maybe it will encourage you to go into more depth and research some more because there is a lot out there! Be sure to keep an eye out for our future blogs, maybe we’ll do another SEO one!