What is SEO?

by Grace O'Shea

Every month we ask ourselves, an average of 2500 times on various search engines and websites, what is SEO?

In short, SEO refers to search engine optimisation. This may sound like a collection of internet buzzword-nonsense, but it has an integral role in digital marketing.

Search Engine Optimisation actually refers to the process of increasing meaningful traffic to your website through organic, non-payed, means.

what is seo

The goal is to have your website on Google’s first page when the relevant terms are searched; when your audience is searching for your brand, your products or your services, they can find them easily. The goal is to make your website front and centre in the minds of your audience as they’re in the research phase.

This can not only lead to a stream of new visitors to the website but importantly visitors who have a genuine interest in your product or service.

So how can you get on the first page?

By understanding the search bots’ used by Google, and other search engines, and catering your content to their literacy.

Developing web content isn’t as simple as producing something your audience will find palatable, you also have to create something that can be understood by the gatekeepers of the internet: the search engines that put the ‘SE’ in ‘SEO’.

How does it work? Firstly they use ‘crawlers’ which, once a search has been made, scan the internet reviewing different websites code and content to decipher what best meets the searchers needs. Then each seeming relevant site is organised into an index and later ranked from most to least relevant; which is how they appear in your search results. The goal is to have your page discovered by crawlers and added to the index when someone searches your field or market.

Crawlers will find your site through links from external websites, but it also helps to make sure your sites code is accessible and easily navigated. There are a bunch of resources you can use to evaluate your website’s SEO, including searching ‘site:yourdomainname.com’ and looking at how many search results Google produces, and if any of them are you! For a more detailed evaluation, take a look at Google’s Search Console.

Here are a few simple ways to improve your websites accessibility to crawlers

Do!

  • Label your content well so that it can be found by users (and Bots!)
  • Have a relevant and appropriate title that’s likely to match user’s searches
  • Utilise Sitemaps

Don’t!

  • Avoid text hidden in non-text format (images, videos & GIFs)
  • Don’t organise everything behind user log-in pages, this content will be hidden from crawlers
  • Steer clear of relying on search forms, contrary to popular opinion they cannot be seen by crawlers
  • Make sure that all of your sites URLs are active and properly linked without typos

What can SEO do for your digital marketing?

Done properly SEO should get your site to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), which will give you increased exposure to potential clients sans advertising costs.

As discussed earlier SEO isn’t just about increasing traffic, but increasing relevant traffic; meaning that there are more people on your site who want your product or service.

Ultimately this should lead to more sales and more revenue for you and your business.