What is SEO?

What is SEO
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Written by Simon

Last Updated 15/12/2023

SEO is the art and science of persuading search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem.

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What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. This boils down to three main aspects:

  1. Search engines must understand what your website is and its content
  2. The content you are offering is credible 
  3. You can reliably deliver this content

How well you do in these key areas will give your website a respective score for each search engine. The content you write is graded and compared to your competition. The higher you score, the higher you will rank.

Search engines, like most businesses, are customer-driven. With search engines, it’s quality over quantity. They aim to provide their customers with the highest quality and most reliable answers to any questions, ensuring customers return with additional queries.

Understanding Your Content

Search engines crawl on your website – it’s as if they’re reading your website. Just like a book, search engines can browse your title, the author, headers and content to help them categorise your website so they can retrieve it when their customers need it. Google have website crawlers and these are named GoogleBots.

The more effectively you can convey your web page purpose, the better the score you’ll get. So if your website is a builder’s merchant, you’ll want to communicate that by using key phrases in your content. More of these ‘markers’ you can leave throughout your website will reinforce what your site is about to search engines. 

However, search engines have become highly advanced and can detect web page content containing an excess of identical keywords, as this fails to deliver a rich reading experience for the user. The act of overloading your content with the same keyword is termed Keyword Stuffing, and it adversely affects your SEO score.

“Our builder’s merchant is the best builders merchant out of all builders merchants. If you’re a builder and need a builder’s merchant we have the building supplies you’ll need.” 

As you can see, keyword stuffing doesn’t offer a great user experience or provide rich meaningful content. Simply rewording this sentence to use synonyms as well as including images or videos, begins to create something more appealing and your score will go up. 

REMEMBER: A good user experience = a good SEO score!

Credible Content

This is one of the most important elements for SEO ranking. A great way content can be accredited is to use backlinks

As you write a blog post or web page, including links in your text to other articles with similar information reassures search engines that your website is about the respective topic. The best way to boost your SEO score is to get a high-ranking website to backlink to your website. This tells search engines that your website must be credible because another credible website wishes to reference you.

Another way of defining credible content is to use images and videos that are your own. Search engines will give more points to unique photos you’ve taken over stock images. So dust off your camera and start snapping! 

The more frequently you can deliver high-quality content, the higher you will score.

Finally your “bounce rate” falls into this category and it’s a big factor. What a person does when visiting your website determines your bounce rate. Upon receiving a search referral, a timer initiates. If the individual quickly leaves, search engines may perceive your website as not answering their question, resulting in a deduction of points.

Conversely, if a user delves deeper into your website, the search engine considers the referral accurate, increasing the likelihood of future referrals for that question and boosting your points. This is why the top portion of your home page is THE most important part of your website.

Reliably Delivering Content

Search engines want to know your website is safe and secure for their customers. 

If your website is referred and their customers keep getting viruses, customers will stop using that search engine. An SSL Certificate can help with this process. Also, any illegal or fraudulent content may affect your ratings. Finally, if they feel your website has been hacked or contains malware you may even be blacklisted, which means you could be removed from search engines entirely. 

Recommended Reading: SSL Certification

Why is SEO so Important?

This is a simple one to answer. According to Forbes, there are approximately 1.13 billion websites in the world. Without a good SEO score, how are new or existing customers going to find you through all that noise?

The stats speak for themselves. The first page of Google captures 71% of all search traffic on the web. The second page only captures 6%. So as we can see, if you’re not hitting that first page, you’re not going to get the leads.

Source: forbes.com

So which of all the search engine giants should you pander to? They each have their own unique way of ranking. 

It’s a no brainer really, Google hands down has the most web traffic but with this comes the higher competition from your competitors. 

88% of desktop searches are on Google. 96% of mobile searches are…you guessed it: Google!

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Below is a graph showing you how the other searches are distributed:

Source: semrush.com

Desktop Search Engine Market Share Worldwide from 2018-2019

How Google Works

We are organising the content of the web

Google

Google has six cornerstone mission statements. 

  1. Deliver the most relevant and reliable information available
  2. Maximise access to information
  3. Present information in the most useful way
  4. Protect your privacy
  5. Sell ads, nothing more
  6. Help creators succeed online

These can all be found in more detail on their website.

Link source: google.com

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