What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the practice of optimising your site to perform for search engines to increase your organic traffic. Let’s break that down a little.
By search engines, we mostly mean Google. They’re by far the biggest search engine, with more than 75 percent of the market. That isn’t to say ignore the others entirely – Bing and Baidu both have a decent share of the search engine market worldwide.
Your organic traffic is any traffic that comes in via a search engine. This means they’ve put in a query, also known as keywords, into a search engine, and your site has been displayed among the results. Organic refers to the fact that it wasn’t an advert, which also appears on search engine result pages.
We all use search engines as part of our day to day life. Can you remember a day when you didn’t Google something to find an answer?
Most of us don’t give much thought to how or why Google displays certain results. Search Engine Optimisation is all about improving how Google views our website, so it will be more likely to appear in results.
Google uses a bot called a crawler which goes out and gathers information about websites, this includes the content of specific pages. The crawler then takes that information back and adds it to an index. When someone then enters a query, Google uses a clever algorithm to match that query to what it deems to be the best answer within its index.
The best answer isn’t as simple as just the content on the page – though that’s certainly part of it. Google has overall ranking factors which help it figure out which result would be the best. That’s where SEO comes in.
How Does Search Engine Optimisation Work?
There are 4 basic categories of SEO:
All of these categories have multiple facets within each of them to consider, but we’ll keep it simple.
1. Technical SEO is how ‘healthy’ your website is in Google’s eyes. That means Google can crawl it and make sense of it. It also takes into consideration how easy it is for your customers to use. This includes things like mobile-friendliness, how quickly it loads and how secure your website is. There are a lot more technical factors to consider which should all be part of your web design and development.
2. On-page SEO is just what it sounds like. This is the content on pages. Optimising this content includes having good, relevant headers and keywords which will match up with search queries on Google.
3. Off-page SEO is your site’s reputation online. Google mostly figures this out by finding links to your website from other sites. If you have lots of links from other trustworthy websites, Google will be more likely to include your site higher in search results as it deems your site trustworthy too.
4. Local SEO is your local presence. Optimising your local SEO through your Google My Business listing will help your local customers find you faster.
Why is Search Engine Optimisation Important?
Optimising the four factors above can help increase your organic traffic significantly because you’ll move higher up in Google’s results pages. Organic traffic tends to be how the majority of customers find a website. Being higher up in results is important because of how people use search engines. The top three Google search results get more than 75 percent of all clicks. That means if you’re not up there, you’re missing out on customers to other websites.
This is why SEO is so important to your marketing strategy. Without it you’re missing out on the main route customers will use to find your website, and losing out on customers if you’re not appearing higher up in the results pages. Zulu Digital Marketing helps small to medium businesses build, implement and manage successful digital marketing campaigns. We offer a broad range of digital marketing services, including search engine optimisation to help you grow your business faster.