Do you want to improve your website’s performance? Then you’ve probably heard about SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. Like many businesses, if you have already invested in web design and social media, having to consider yet another strategy for increasing traffic to your site could leave you thinking, “What is SEO, and do I really need to bother with it?”
The short answer is yes. SEO is a must if you want your website to be found by as many potential customers as possible. In a nutshell, it’s the process of enhancing your website to receive more traffic from organic (not paid for) search results from search engines. The more popular your site is, the speed of your site, and the longer people spend there, the better your search engine ranking will be.
Furthermore, a good search engine ranking means that when someone types the service or product you’re offering into Google, your website will be one of the first on the results page. Making it more likely the prospective customer will choose you.
How does SEO work?
Your ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are determined by complex algorithms that select what the search engine believes is the most accurate and valuable list of results for that specific search. Search engines use crawlers or bots to gather this information from websites and assess its relevance and quality.
You will need to make changes to the coding, design and content of your site to ensure it ranks highly on search engine results pages. SEO best practice are frequently changing depending on shifting algorithms. But some key strategies will always be beneficial:
– Having a fully responsive site – which is works equally well on different devices.
– Creating quality content your audience will find interesting.
– Having a fast loading site.
– Using relevant keywords.
– In and outbound links.
– Having a well-designed and secure website.
Why is SEO important to marketing?
Research shows that most customers begin their online experience by going to a search engine. However, most search engine users don’t get as far as the second page of search results. So, your website must rank highly for success.
Having your website ranked higher in search results lets the searcher know your brand is highly relevant to them and promotes trust in you and your website.
Search Engine Optimisation is crucial for building brand awareness, connecting with prospective clients, and establishing your product or service as the go-to, trusted destination that customers want.
If you can work out what is SEO and prioritise it in all aspects of your website, you’ll improve your site and brand visibility – the cornerstone of any marketing strategy.
What is the difference between On-Page and Off-Page SEO?
To fully understand exactly ‘What is SEO?’ it’s important to realise there are two categories that search engines look at when comparing your site to other ones: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-Page SEO meaning explained:
On-page SEO is all about determining what your website is about and making this clear to search engines. It’s focused on optimising parts of your website that you control. You can employ techniques such as keywords, tailored content, page loading speed, and title tags to improve it.
Off-Page SEO meaning explained:
Off-page search engine optimisation is about how authoritative and popular search engines think your site is. You can improve your domain authority and ranking by getting links from other websites.
How can I measure SEO performance?
Start by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and try searching for your service or product. Where do you currently rank? Did you make that all-important first page, first three links of results?
It’s wise to run an SEO check on your existing website to identify which areas you could improve. Prophecy offers a free audit here; click through to find out where you stand.
In addition, you can use MOZ, SEM Rush, and SE ranking tools to check your current website health and domain authority. They will provide you with a score based on metrics that look at the trustworthiness and authority of your site. This will help you understand if you need to work on Off-page SEO, On-page SEO, or both.
How can I improve my website SEO?
Remember that enhancing your website’s SEO isn’t a project you can complete overnight. Multiple techniques are usually required to reach the search ranking you want for your business, and it can take some time to see results.
You also need to invest in SEO for the long haul. Search Engine Optimisation is not something you look at once a year; it’s a constant process. Google and other search engines are always changing their algorithms and how they assess and rank content. This means that websites need to be updated regularly to stay ahead of the curve.
Keen to get started? You’ve worked out ‘What is SEO?’, so use that learning to make sure you’ve got these SEO essentials covered on your website:
How quickly your page loads is a primary ranking factor. 53% of mobile users will leave a page if it doesn’t load in less than three seconds.
Make sure your page descriptions are as detailed as possible. More descriptive = better SEO results.
Ensure your content is must-have knowledge that people want to share. The more high-quality backlinks you get from high-authority websites, the higher Google will rank you.
Including relevant keywords that your potential clients are likely to be searching for is a must. Read our blog on keywords to find out more.
Make it easier for search engine web crawlers to navigate your content smoothly. A highly ‘crawlable’ site means an improved ranking.
64% of web searches happen on mobile phones. Your website’s functionality and design must be scalable to rank well.
Implementing an SEO Strategy
Now that you understand ‘what is SEO?’, how to measure it, and how to improve it, you can create a plan tailored to your brand.
Don’t forget that your first step should be to assess your website’s current SEO status. You can run a free SEO check on your site here using our audit tool.
If you don’t know where to start, collaborating with an experienced agency can help you pinpoint your SEO goals and how to achieve them.