What is search engine optimisation?
Search engine optimisation, commonly abbreviated to SEO, is promoting a website on search engines so the website displays as high up in the search results as possible.
The different types of SEO
SEO can be broadly divided into three types:
- Organic SEO – also sometimes called natural or earned SEO.
This is when a website has coding (for want of a better word) applied to it to give it the best possible chance to appear high on search results. This could include the following but this is not a definitive list by far:
- HTML tags such as title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags.
- Adding informative text to the site divided amongst the pages on the site.
- Coding the navigation in text and not as images.
- Adding google Analytics to the site.
- Creating a site map and indexing it to Google.
- Ensuring the site code is clean.
- And lots more.
- Sponsored links
This is when the website owners have paid to have their website display in the search results for selected keywords. This is most commonly achieved through using AdWords. In Google these will display in the search results with Ad at the beginning of the result spy u know they are sponsored links.
There is some debate as to whether users click on sponsored links or not. The argument against them is people know the website has paid to display high on the search results so how good can the site really be. This attitude may well be a hangover from the early days when search engines were less sophisticated and at times sponsored links did not accurately relate tot the search words entered. However, search engine algorithms have come a long way and they will match the keywords bought to see if the site is really suited to that search. If not they will penalise the site. SEO people know this so would not use a sponsored key word program in this way.
- Digital marketing SEO
There is a raft of SEO techniques digital marketers can apply to a business’s online footprint to promote them on the Internet.
The business will typically pay a digital marketer to manage their campaign and also pay the social media channels and Google for promotional services.
These can include:
- Retargeting or remarketing – this works by tagging online users with a cookie in the user’s browser. The advertiser is then able to display ads to that user when visiting subsequent websites.
- Social media posting and promotion of posts
- Social media business page and business website promotion
- Social media advertising
- And much more
Why is search engine optimisation important?
Too many businesses believe if they build a website, customers will magically find the site and come to them and do business.
Depending on whose statistics you want to believe we passed 1 billion websites in the world in 2014 with anything up to 4 times that number today. Even if these statistics are not accurate we can be sure there are many other sites you have to compete with and the number is growing every day.
To be found you need to have someone check your website SEO and make sure you display well for your major keywords. Increasingly organic SEO is not enough and your competition is turning to a digital marketing agency so perhaps you need to as well.
But does SEO work?
In short yes, SEO can work, should work but it doesn’t always.
Just with anything it will depend on the skill of the marketer applying the SEO techniques for your company. Generally speaking it is not a quick fix but you should see results from day one if you engage in sponsored SEO activities which you may have to. The proof is in the reporting so make sure you have direct access to your Google analytics and social media platform reporting stats. This way you can login and see the results.
At first the results will be modest but you can use the statistics to help fine tune your approach. Don’t jump ship too early. Keep your eye on your results but give it time.
SEO is constantly changing
The major platforms (search engines and social media channels) frequently change their offerings and their algorithms. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be constantly changing your SEO approach as not all developments will suit your business demographic but your digital marketer should be across the latest so they can advise you if there is something new that would help promote your business on the Internet.
Changes made could also affect your businesses current SEO ranking. Unfortunately, neither you nor your digital marketer has any control over this. If it happens you just need to take it on the chin and change your digital marketing campaign to reflect the changes.