What is SEO marketing?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website by improving ranking in the algorithmic search engine results.

Before we break this down, let’s firstly assess why traffic from the search engine so valuable?

There are three reasons why:

  1. The people that have landed on your site have arrived looking for a solution
  2. They are very actively looking for a solution to a very specific problem, as opposed to casually browsing for a nondescript product or service
  3. They are looking for that solution now

This contrasts with the behaviour of a Facebook user casually using the social media platform, not specifically looking for something, who, when presented with an opportunity to buy a product there and then, might not be in the right mind frame to carry through with the purchase at that point.

By improving your SEO, you increase your …

  • Quality of traffic.

You can attract thousands and thousands of visitors if Google tells them that you’re a supplier of hardware nails when really you’re a nail salon – that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to draw in customers who have a genuine interest in the products or services that you offer.

  • Quantity of traffic

When you have refined the quality of people clicking through from the search engine results pages (SERPs), the more traffic the better.

  • Organic results.

Ads that have been paid for make up a significant percentage of many search engine results pages (SERPs). Organic search traffic is specifically any unpaid traffic that comes from SERPs, it is natural.

How do search engines work?

There are 2 key factors that Google (and Bing, which also power Yahoo search results) take into consideration when scoring the search results of certain pages: relevance and authority.

Google, or any search engine you might be using, has what’s called a crawler which gathers information on all the relevant content they can find on the internet in relation to your search. They collate that data and bring it back to the search engine to build an index. This index is passed through an algorithm which attempts to match your question with the most appropriate websites.

Google uses over 200 signals in scoring their search results and SEO encompasses technical and creative activities to influence and improve some of those known signals.

SEO involves ensuring that a website is

  • easily accessible
  • technically sound
  • uses keywords that people put into search engines
  • offers a fantastic user experience
  • contains content that is helpful, high quality, informative and ultimately answers the question of the user.

Google has a large team of search quality raters that assess the quality of search results; their guidelines which stress a desire to reward sites that visibly show their expertise, authority and trust (EAT).

The way Google measures the authority and popularity of a site is becoming ever more sophisticated, but PageRank, the hyperlink-based algorithm, is still a fundamental signal in ranking. Therefore, SEO can include activity to help increase the quantity and quality of ‘inbound links’ to a website from other websites. Traditionally this activity has been known as ‘link building’. An increased amount of links or references to your site is a good measure of authority because it affirms that other people recognise your website as a good source of information for a specific topic, which encourages search engines to rank you higher in the results.

What is Google Organic Click Through Rates?

Click through rates refer to the percentage of people who search for a term and click through to the first result compared to the fifth for example.

Research has shown that websites that appear on the first page of Google receive nearly 95% of clicks, and results that appear higher up the page receive an increased click-through rate (CTR), and more traffic. Roughly 70% of users click on the first 10 results, which is where you should be aiming to be.

Optimisation

The optimisation part of SEO involves practices that are often grouped into ‘Onsite SEO’ and ‘Offsite SEO’. This terminology is somewhat dated, but it provides a useful framework for understanding the basics of SEO technical and creative activities that can be carried out both on the website and away from it.

These techniques demand a wide variety of skills and expertise from individuals with different abilities in a number of fields. This can be learnt, or indeed you can hire a professional marketing agency to provide the necessary assistance.

Onsite SEO

Maximise the organic visibility of a website and refine the content by improving the accessibility, relevancy, and experience for users. Ultimately, optimising the content that lives on your website involves ensuring that search engines understand what they are seeing and the users that land on the page will like what they see.

This requires:

  • Keyword research – assessing the kinds of words frequently used by prospective customers to discover brands, services, or products. This helps to form an understanding of the intent and expectation of a user from their search.
  • Technical Auditing – making sure your website is geo-targeted, can be easily crawled and indexed, technologically sound, and free of errors that could compromise user experience.
  • Onsite Optimisation – perfect the structure of your website, improve internal navigation, on-page alignment, and the relevancy of your content which focuses on key topics and targets relevant search terms.
  • User Experience – make sure that content shows ‘EAT’, is quick and simple to use, and provides a superior experience to that of your competition.

This provides only a brief overview of the activities involved in Onsite SEO.

Offsite Marketing

This refers to methods of optimisation that occur outside of the website to promote organic visibility, which can also be referred to as link building. The objective is to increase the number of reputable links from other websites, because search engines regard them as a vote of trust and take them into consideration when scoring you.

The more links you have from trusted, popular and relevant sites, the more valued you will become, as opposed to being a weak, faulty website that isn’t trusted by the search engines. The quality of the link is the most important signifier.

Some common methods include:

  • Content Marketing – respected and trustworthy websites link to brilliant content. The better your content, the more links you will attract. This might involve writing compelling blog content, interesting case studies with insightful data, or up-to-date research and so on.
  • Digital PR – PR gives reasons for other websites to talk about and link to a website. This may include regular internal announcements, writing for external, local publications, press releases, product announcements, interviews, newsletters or original research or studies.
  • Outreach & Promotion – Communication with prominent bloggers, key journalists, influencers regarding your brand, resource, content or PR to bolster coverage and generate links to your site.

Once again this is by no means an exhaustive list, rather just a brief overview to give you an insight. Remember that buying links, exchanging links excessively, or low-quality directories and articles that attempt to manipulate rankings go against Google guidelines which can earn you penalties. The best and most sustainable method of improving the inbound links to a website is earning them by producing genuine and enticing reasons for websites to cite and link your content, brand and website.

Need help with your SEO?

If you found this article helpful and want to learn more about SEO then feel free to get in touch! We craft successful SEO campaigns using a variety of technical and creative expertise and our team would be more than happy to discuss with you how SEO marketing might be able to help your business.

Email: millie@daviesscothorn.com

Or give the office a call on 01283 532780.

Alternatively, come in for a chat and a coffee, our address is:  192 Horninglow St, Anson Court, Burton-on-Trent, United Kingdom, DE14 1NG

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