What is SEO?

In short SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of making your website visible in search engines.

There are many different elements that make up SEO and these elements are set by the search engine operators. But, sadly, they don’t issue an operating manual telling you what you need to do to make your website rank highly for relevant keywords to your business in their search engine.

And, just to make things even more difficult, they regularly change the elements to keep you on your toes. So, it’s down to SEO professionals to monitor these changes and figure out what works and what doesn’t. SEO companies such as MOZ spend a lot of time doing this. Just a quick look at this article will show you how often Google makes changes to its algorithms.

Gone are the days when simply having a website puts you ahead of your competition. Now you have to be smarter than your rivals and get ahead using SEO. Your website needs to feature in search engines otherwise how are potential clients going to find you?

The list of elements that make up SEO is exhaustive and some of them carry more weight than others. Here is a quick overview of some of the higher weighted elements for SEO that will give you a headstart:

Keyword usage. Over the years search engines have become really clever but to make sure they are listing you for search terms (keywords) that are relevant to your business you need to tell them what you want to rank for. Using the right keywords in the right way within your website tells the search engines what your website is about. For example if you have an estate agency business in Brighton then you probably want to rank in search engines for the keyword phrase ‘estate agents in Brighton’. To make sure you do this you need to include this keyword in the copy on a page of your website several times, as well as in the headline of the page, and something in the industry known as meta data. Meta data is the information displayed in Google search results and also on the tab of each page of your website. There's a knack to writing it (and a whole other blog post is planned to help with this!).

Crawl-a-bility. You need to make sure your website is easy for search engines to 'crawl' around and easy for users to use. This is something that you should quiz any potential web developer about to make sure they understand the importance of this.

Social media. They jury is out on how much social media actually affects search engine rankings. But, what we do know is that using social media and interacting with your followers is a good thing. It shows that people are talking about your brand and can send a lot of traffic to your website.

Domain Age. Again, the jury is out on this one, but generally the longer your domain has been registered, the more established your website is and the more trusted it will be. A lot of spammers register and then drop domains frequently so having an establish domain shows that you are serious.

Quality content. When we talk about content we mean the words and pictures that are on your website. There’s no point in getting people to your website if once they arrive on it there’s no content that compels them to take up your services. The content on your website should be easy to read and connect with the reader, making them want to use your company over your competitor. Quality content also makes it easier for search engines to understand what your website it about and what keywords you should be ranking for. This article on how to write copy for your website should help get you started.

Quality inbound links. The number of quality links from other websites to your website shows search engines how popular your website it and how relevant it is to other people. For example a blogger might link to your website if they were happy with a service or product you recently provided to them. It is not the number of links that is important but the quality of those links. A link from the BBC website to your website is worth a lot more than a link from a spam directory website. The best way to build links is through producing quality content and services that people want to tell others about.

If you want to find out more about SEO and what can be done to improve search engine rankings of your website then feel free to contact us for a chat.