What Is SEO and How It Works?
SEO is an acronym for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. It is the practice of tailoring your marketing tactics to improve your ranking on search engines, such as Google, in order to increase ‘organic’ traffic to your website.
The aim of all search engines is to provide users with the most relevant and helpful answers to queries. In order to define what is ‘relevant’ to a particular query, search engines use ‘algorithms’ to filter and rank the results they present.
This is different to SEM, which stands for ‘Search Engine Marketing’. SEM is the paid advertising you often see at the top of the results on Google.
SEO can be broken down into two main categories: Traditional and Local SEO. Local SEO focuses on the nearby area (for us, it’s SEO Sussex), which is often where your business is based. Today, search engines are sophisticated enough to locate where you are when searching. For example, if you searched for ‘Restaurants Near Me’, it’d bring up a list of restaurants based within a few miles of your location. These businesses would have focused on Local rather than traditional SEO because their customers will all be searching for them within the local area.
If you’ve ever spoken to an SEO professional, you may have heard the terms ‘Black Hat’ and ‘White Hat’ before. Black Hat refers to SEO techniques that search engines dislike because they are considered poor practice. This can include keyword-stuffing, link spam and hidden text. We won’t be looking at these, but will instead discuss the White Hat techniques. These are the techniques that search engines will reward your website for. But what are some of these White Hat methods?
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1. Relevant, Well-Written Content
Remembering that the main aim of search engines is to provide people with the most relevant and useful answers to their queries, your website content should consider this. Information should be easy to find and your writing style should be conversational. Ask yourself if your content would be easy for any person to read, not if it’s perfected for the search engine.
2. Link Building
A search engine, such as Google, finds you through other websites linking to yours. This could simply be on a social media page for your business, or a Google My Business listing. However, websites posting a link pointing to your own is much more than that. In fact, it is one of the biggest things Google looks for when judging how high you should rank on their results pages. Other websites posting links to your own is an endorsement, and if Google judges the website giving this endorsement to be trustworthy, then that will tell Google you are trustworthy as well.
3. Regular Updates of Your Website
The best proof that your business is alive is by having a regularly updated website. You need to do this because if you are running a restaurant and your website hasn’t been updated for years, you are less likely to show up for the ‘Restaurants Near Me’ search query we mentioned earlier. This is because Google doesn’t want to show restaurants that may not exist anymore. The easiest ways to regularly update your website is by regularly posting blog articles and case studies. These also make for great sales tools!
4. Videos on Your Website
As discussed in a blog article by Bright Light Film, entitled Why Should I Use Video Marketing, including videos on your website can help to improve your rankings on the search engines. This is because video is an easier way for people to take in information, especially when compared to written text. Your videos can include product demonstrations or descriptions, snippets of information, or just a little introduction to your company.
People are becoming more and more reliant on using search engines to provide answers to their queries. This means it’s becoming more and more necessary for businesses to improve their SEO practices. What we mentioned above is just a start. There are many ways you can improve your search ranking on Google, but it can be difficult to find the time to do them all.
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