What is SEO?
And Why Should You Care?
What is SEO? I’ll try and answer that complex question here…
What is SEO? The Basics…
So what is SEO? Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
What does that actualy mean?
Let’s say you are on Google and you fancy a night out at a comedy club in London. So, you type in “comedy club London” into Google you will instantly get a search result listing what Google thinks are the best matches for your query. This is known as the Search Engine Results Page (or SERPs).
The page is broken into sections. At the top and bottom are the adverts. They are visible as adverts due to the box with “AD” next to the listing.
And after that you have the “organic” search results. Results that Google thinks best match your search request that have NOT been paid for. At it’s most basic form, the art of SEO (and it is an art) is getting your business as close to the top of the page as possible without paying for Google to advertise it.
Now, you might like to think of a search engine as a website you visit to type a question into a box. Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or whatever search engine you’re using magically replies with a long list of links to web pages that could answer your question, find your comedy club or whatever other service you are after. Well that is what it does. And Google does it well and does it within a fraction of a second, which is why it is so popular. But have you ever stopped to wonder what’s behind those magical lists of links to websites that answer your question?
Here’s what happens: Google, Bing etc. has a crawler (a kind of digital robot) that goes out and gathers information about the content of all the websites they can find on the Internet. The digital robots bring all that digital information back to Google (or whatever search engine you are using) to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with your question or search term. And that Algorithm is key.
So that, at it’s most basic, is the SE (Search Engine) part of SEO, in our “what is SEO?” question.
The O part, OPTIMISATION, is the tricky bit.
Why Should I Care About SEO?
Research suggests that 81% of all purchases start online. That’s a massive amount to be missing out on. That does not necessarily mean that all of those purchases will be made online, quite often it will be the research bit that happens.
How often have you looked up a restaurant or pub in your home town? But then ended up paying for your meal or drinks when you are there? But what lead you to choose that particular restaurant or pub where you spent your money? Your online research of course, and I bet you used Google. So, if the restaurant or pub you picked was not visible to google, you wouldn’t have been able to select it.
People all over the world generally start off by looking for an answer to a question they have. “How do I waterproof my shed” is at the start of a buying process. If you answer that question, and sell the goods to do it, and that answer is visible online, the sale is yours.
And that brings us on to O, for Optimisation.
O is for Optimisation
The O part of SEO—optimization—is all about content. Those digital robots are scampering around websites trying to work out a number of things…
- What is this website about?
- Is it important, or “authoritative”?
- Does it answer the question Google has been asked?
- Is the website safe?
- Is the website (killer word coming up) RELEVANT to the searcher?
- Who links to this website, and where does this website link to?
- Is the website easy to read and understand?
- Does the website work equally as well on a mobile phone, tablet etc.
And that is just scratching the surface. Optimising your website is, at it’s most basic level, all about making it as clear as possible to google (or Bing etc.) what it is that you do, why you do it, where you do it, are you good at doing it and how people can access what you do.
Optimisation can take many forms. It’s everything from making sure the title tags and meta descriptions are both informative and the right length to pointing internal links at pages you’re proud of. It involves key phrases and relevant (that word) again text is at the forefront of your website. It’s all about doing the right things right and avoiding the bad things. It is also a lot of work.
Our approach is to work with our clients, get to know their industry and move hand-in-hand towards our clients goals.
Ask an SEO expert “What is SEO” and you can be non the wiser two hours later, after he or she has baffled you with terms and jargon that makes no or little sense. I have tried to make this as plain and simple as I can without using too much in-speak or techy phrases. But I really have only just scratched the surface.
If you have any questions about this, or would like talk about how any of this is relevant to you, please do get in touch.
What Our Clients Say
“Hertfordshire SEO obviously know what they are talking about and the results prove it. They moved us quickly up the google ranking, and turned site visits into leads and sales.”
Matt, Bespoke Sign Solutions
"They really listen"
“Mike took the time to really listen, and learned how my industry worked and what he could do for me. It was all jargon free and the results were outstanding. He has quadrupled my client base in six months.”
Lucy, Lip Nurse Aesthetics
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