SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic results. In essence it is the process of getting certain pages of your website to the top of results pages for certain search terms. If you can get this right then you will be the number one result for some terms.
Google wants to give users the best results to its users that it possibly can. That is the service they provide after all. Using their algorithm they can determine what results are the best to show to users for what they have searched. It does this by “indexing” content on your website using bots. These bots feed the content back to the algorithm to then determine what is the best thing to show. There lots of factors that go into this ranking, each with varying degrees of importance. These factors can be grouped into three elements; on page SEO, links and technical SEO.
On Page SEO
This refers to the content of the page itself. From the quality/relevance of the written aspects to the images used and HTML tags.
Off Page SEO
This refers to links directing to your page from external sources with good authority and relevance to your website. Essentially a reputable website that vouches for you.
Focuses on the “engine” of your website. This concerns the speed of your page and the way you direct bots around your site.
To break this down into even simpler terms I like to think of SEO as a group of people you know.
- On page SEO would be what you say about yourself.
- Off page SEO is what others say about you.
- Technical SEO is how you present yourself to the world.
How do I make use of SEO?
To make use of SEO you must first understand all of the above aspects and what the algorithm thinks is good. Then you can start optimising your website to feed the algorithm. Certain areas will have different rules for SEO depending on how competitive it is. The best option for you to figure out what works is to look at the top results in your competing areas and see what they have. Some areas can work with spammy links, others need quality. It’s a mixed bag depending on where you are.
It is a slow and cumbersome process that can give you massive results if done correctly. It can also give you massive headaches if you try and con the algorithm and get penalties. To be successful you have to keep working on it. SEO is a race with no clear finish line. It’s not a case of doing it once and being done with it. It requires a lot of maintenance and checking. Checking both your own site and your competitors so you don’t miss out on something that they have done to get ahead.