Search engine optimisation is the process of making a website rank higher in organic search results. The major search engines, including Google and Bing, use complex mathematical algorithms to determine how relevant content is for a user’s search, rank and serve these results in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Inbound links are one of the most important factors in website ranking today. These are often referred to as backlinks. Typically, a website with more inbound links will be ranked higher in web searches than a website with only a few inbound links. Although the process and analysis of backlinks by search engines is much more complex today, than 20 years ago. Backlinks must also link from sources relevant to the target website. The links ideally should be from good quality written content, acting as a kind of referral from the linking website.
Keywords for SEO
A key element in search engine optimisation is identifying what keywords people are searching for and using those terms to improve your ranking. In many cases, this starts with keyword research. By researching the terms that potential customers use to search for the product or service, you can make your content more relevant to these searches. This will increase the chances that potential customers will see it and be more likely to convert.
Taking this a step further, search intent is a big factor today, and needs to be considered when researching and deciding on keywords to target. Search intent is what a user expects to find, based on what they type in for the web search. For example, if a user types in ‘apple’, they may be searching for the well known computer company, or the fruit. It isn’t clear from this keyword what the user expects to find. However, if the search term is ‘types of apple’, it is clearly related to the fruit. If they search for ‘apple accessories’, they are undoubtedly looking for computer accessories.
Keywords or phrases can range from questions, to local business searches, to products for purchase through an ecommerce website. The business needs to establish the right search terms or keywords, before developing their search engine optimisation strategy further; focusing on the keywords that are capable of driving regular traffic, while not having a huge competition with more established websites and competitors.
While social media is not directly related to SEO, it is important to be active on social media sites. By joining forums, participating in online communities and building relationships, you can increase your visibility in search results. This can in time lead to guest posting and link building opportunities.
Benefits of SEO
The main benefits of SEO are clear. Ranking high in organic searches drives traffic, enquires and sales. Once a high organic position is gained, the cost to maintain this is usually minimal Moreover, it is a proven strategy to get your website listed in top search results. The search engine results pages can be an important part of a website’s marketing strategy. It is an important source of traffic for your business, and SEO can help you stay competitive. It can also help your online presence by being visible to potential customers.
Search engine optimisation is usually a long term strategy. It takes a solid strategy and patience to gain significant improvements in organic search result positions. Google’s algorithms are designed to reward established businesses that demonstrate good quality, useful and frequently updated information. While some companies carry out basic SEO or search engine optimisation themselves, it’s often a good idea to enlist the help of professional SEO Services. These companies are up to date with the latest ranking algorithm changes and can create bespoke strategies based on the individual business.
Search engine optimisation requires commitment. You can expect your website to be indexed within a few hours, days or weeks of implementing changes. But it’s important to keep in mind that end results in the search engine results pages can take time. It’s reasonable to allow 6 months to see significant changes in search engine presence.