SEO — or Search Engine Optimisation — is the process of optimising your online content so that search engines will want to show it on their search results.
When you practice SEO, search engines, like Google, are more likely to include your website content in the top results when people search for a related keyword. This boosts your website traffic and maximises your brand’s exposure.
Jump to topics below to learn more:
- How Do Search Engines Work
- What Are Organic Search Results
- How Important Is SEO
- How to Do SEO
- Do I Need an SEO Expert
How Do Search Engines Work
People use search engines to find relevant content. Search engines provide the answers by scouring, understanding, and organising all content available on the internet — showing only the most relevant results to the searchers. All relevant content will show up in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Search engines have (3) three main functions:
- Crawl — to scour the internet for content like webpages, PDF files, videos, images, and more.
- Index — to keep and organise all content crawled, and make it available once searched.
- Rank — to offer the pieces of content that best answers the searcher’s query according to relevance.
If search engines can’t find your site, your website won’t show up and rank in the SERP.
To know how you can rank your website in search engines, refer to these guides:
What Are Organic Search Results
When you type in a query on a search engine, SERPs will show two types of results: organic and paid.
Organic search results are listings that closely match your search query based on relevance. The goal of SEO is to rank your website high in organic search results.
Paid results, on the other hand, are basically advertisements. In this case, site owners pay to have their content displayed in SERPs for certain keywords. These are also called Pay-Per-Click (PPC) results.
Today, SERPs show paid and more dynamic organic results formats — which are called SERP features. Examples of SERP features include answer boxes, image carousels, and People Also Ask boxes, among others. Some of these features are organic — this means that they can be influenced by SEO.
How Important Is SEO
Your website is of no use without visitors. Search engines drive the majority of your online traffic. Particularly, organic search results receive more clicks than PPC — as they offer more online coverage and appear more credible to searchers.
If you produce a quality piece of content that ranks in search engines, it can drive traffic to your website indefinitely. In advertising, you need continuous funding to do so.
How to Do SEO
SEO involves different activities that are categorised into Onsite SEO and Offsite SEO.
Onsite SEO are activities done within a website to maximise organic visibility. Some Onsite SEO activities include:
- Keyword Research — analysing the types of words or phrases that searchers use and understanding their intent.
- Onsite Optimisation — improving a website’s structure and content relevancy.
Note: One way to optimise your content is to use alt text — or alt tags — within images. Refer to this guide:
- Technical Auditing — making sure the website can be crawled and indexed.
- User Experience — ensuring you have quality authoritative content that gives users the best experience possible.
Offsite SEO are activities done outside of a website to maximise organic visibility. It is also called “link building” — the practice of increasing the number of reliable links from other websites. Search engines will consider your website credible based on these links.
Some Offsite SEO activities include:
- Content Marketing — creating exceptional content will help attract reputable websites.
- Digital PR — PR (Public Relations) is a good reason for other websites to link to your website.
- Promotion — sharing resources with journalists or bloggers to earn links to your website.
Do I Need an SEO Expert
First off, determine your need for an SEO expert and your budget. Your decision may depend on your availability and willingness to learn and how much you are willing and able to spend on SEO. The complexity of your website can also be a factor.
If you decide to take on SEO yourself, you will need to use some marketing tools to help you get started. Refer to the following guides:
If you decide to hire an SEO expert, make sure to choose a reputable SEO service provider.
Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to get started with SEO. Learn more about how you can get started with your own website here.