A basic definition of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) would be the actions that lead to increased and improved levels of free traffic that a website receives from search engine results.
Now if all you want is a definition, then there is no need to read on; however, if you’d like to discover why and how that increased and improved traffic comes to a website through SEO, then stay with us for a few minutes, and we’ll explain it as simply as we can.
Let’s start with search engines and the biggest of them all, Google. While Google does not account for every search that takes place online, they do have around 89% per cent of them, so it is safe to say if you want to rank on a search engine, it is Google that you should focus on.
Whenever someone types in a search to Google’s search box, almost instantly, a page of results appears. To be exact, page 1 will generally display ten results. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will see numbers, where you can click through to pages 2 to 10.
One important statistic is the per cent of people who search and click beyond page 1 is a mere 5%. Even if you had a website that was on page 1, websites in the bottom seven positions from #4 to #10 have less than a third of the traffic between them, whereas positions #1, #2 and #3 get to enjoy 33%, 18% and 12 % respectively.
Hopefully, you will have concluded that ranking on Google anywhere other than page 1 will hardly bring you a flood of traffic, and even if you are on page one, you need to be in one of the top 3 positions. If you want your website to be in one of those top 3 positions on Google, then the only way you will get there is through SEO.
It would be great if Google gave us a blueprint for its algorithm and let us know what they look at when assessing a website, how much weight they place upon each specific factor, and how they calculate a ranking. Unfortunately, they haven’t. However, the knowledge does exist due to the sheer volume of testing, data, research and the real-life experience of SEO companies trying to rank websites for their clients.
When we say, it does, not even the biggest SEO agency in the world could say they know what Google’s algorithm is line by line. Still, they and other SEO companies have repeatedly proved that they know what SEO needs to be implemented to improve the ranking of websites.
The implementation of SEO is very much a process rather than a one-off event. It will start with detailed research about a business, its website, its current SEO, and the competitive market in which it exists. This is called an SEO audit, and the information contained in it is used to devise and agree on a strategy for the SEO services the SEO company will provide.
Hundreds of individual SEO actions can take place as part of an SEO plan, and most of them can be grouped under core SEO services. These include keyword research, content creation, backlink building, online reputation management, website optimisation, and conversion optimisation. As these services are implemented, a great deal of testing and reporting takes place, the result of which can be adjustments and tweaks to some of the SEO taking place.
This should alert you that SEO is not static; it is done once, results happen, and then everyone packs up and goes home. For a start, the competition might up their SEO game and now outrank you, or Google may change its algorithm, as they often do, and it hurts your ranking. Besides, any business that wants to prosper must never stop wanting to grow, which means thriving to achieve more traffic through effective SEO.