Understanding search engine optimisation

Understanding SEO

Understanding SEO is key to making your business successful online.

SEO can extend your outreach to other websites and allow you to increase traffic.

By doing this, you also build your brand and establish authority in the industry. Additionally, it allows you to optimise your website in a way that attracts the most users at minimal costs. Every digital marketing strategy must include SEO optimisation as it is vital to the efficiency and effectiveness of the campaign.

SEO is a term used a lot in modern business practices in every industry today. But what exactly does it mean? In this article we discuss its meaning and its importance.

What is SEO?

“SEO” is a term that means “Search Engine Optimisation.” According to Google, it is “the process of maximising the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring it appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.” This is employed by many websites because sites that are on the first page receive almost 95% of the clicks and receive higher traffic and “click through rate” (CTR).

How does SEO work?

SEO works based on the scores of search engines such as: Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This score is based on the relevancy and authority of the websites it includes in its web index.

SEO rankings take into account several factors:

  • Accessibility
  • User Experience
  • Technical Content
  • Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT)
  • Links

Additionally, Google’s team of search quality raters evaluate the search result quality and feed the data into a machine learning algorithm called “PageRank.” One of the main features of PageRank’s algorithm is that it improves the quality of “inbound links” by “link building.”

Link building gets other websites to link to your site. When a search engine crawls the web, it crawls between the links on the pages on a website and between websites to determine if they are high quality. This algorithm rewards websites that show quality and demonstrate excellence in the factors mentioned above.

Link building is a crucial aspect of off-site SEO, but first it makes sense to optimise your own website (on-site SEO). With SEO on the rise in digital marketing campaigns, it is important to understand the different methods out there that you can use.

What is on-site SEO?

On-Site SEO is a type of Search Engine Optimisation that optimises a website’s content to improve its accessibility, experience, and relevancy for users. There are several activities that you can engage in to achieve this.

User Experience

You can maximise your site’s user experience. By ensuring your site shows expertise, authority, and trust (EAT), users will be able to have the greatest possible experience on their visit. This means making sure it is easy to use. Employing responsive design and appealing visuals will help you achieve this.

You should also develop your site in a way that minimises the perceived loading time. Users want to accomplish their goal quickly on your site, and any feelings of “slowness” can inhibit and limit your web traffic.

A mobile interface should also be considered when developing your website as a lot of what is compatible on PC doesn’t necessarily work on a Smartphone. For instance, avoid several elements you would use on PC such as: double tapping, small buttons, and laggy animations.

Keyword Research

By analysing the frequency of words and phrases searched by users, you can optimise what type of content is displayed on your website. This will help you understand user intent to maximise your traffic and UX.

Onsite Optimisation

This category includes several simple tasks. When on your site, you should improve your internal navigation so that it includes descriptive titles and specific keywords.

Additionally, use pictures, videos and other multimedia to promote your content, maximise user engagement and time spent on the website.

You can also improve the internal structure of your site. Link building is effective by deploying high quality backlinks and internal links. Finally, improving the website structure through the HTML code by using header and alt tags give you an opportunity to emphasise keywords.

Technical Auditing

Conducting technical audits to your site will ensure it is free from UX barriers is essential to getting your site indexed and ranked highly. Some activities you can do include: testing your site speed, checking HTTPS content, removing duplicate content, providing URL parameters, and making your content up to date are all great ways to do this.

What is off-site SEO?

One of them includes “off-site SEO.” This method is vital to making your website searchable and building your brand out in the digital sphere.

Off-site SEO, (also known as “Off-page SEO”) is a type of search engine optimisation that refers to efforts taken outside of your own site to impact your search engine rankings. This type of optimisation improves a search engine and user’s perception of a site’s authority, popularity, relevance, and trustworthiness. This is done mainly through backlinks.

How does off-site SEO work?

Off-site SEO works by taking into account search algorithms and ranking factors and optimizing a site’s popularity outside of it using backlinks. Backlinks are indicators of a site’s quality of content, and sites that have high numbers of backlinks will rank better than a site with less backlinks.

There are three types of links: natural, manually built, and self-created links.

Natural links are given without any action from the page owner. Manually built links are created through link-building activities such as getting people to visit your website or working with media influencers to promote your webpage. Self-created links are created by adding backlinks in other websites, such as: online forums, blog comments, press release sites, and more.

These backlinks then contribute to SEO and determine where your site ranks.

How important are backlinks?

Backlinks are crucial to off-page SEO. Websites with high value backlinks will always rank higher on a search engine that websites with fewer and low value backlinks. The “value” of a backlink is referred to as its “equity.” Link equity is a search engine’s ranking factor based on the concept that some links pass value and authority between different pages. Link equity is determined through several factors including: relevancy, authority of site, crawlability, location, quantity of links, HTTPs status of links, and if the link is followed.

Relevancy: If the link is relevant, it will provide a great amount of authority and value to its link equity.

Authority of Link’s Site: A link from a trusted site will always have more link equity than newly created websites.

Link Crawlability: Uncrawlable links that block crawlers via the robots.txt file are ignored.
Location of Link: Links that are not in the body of a page’s content are usually given less value and authority. These include links in the comments section, sidebar, or footer of a page.

Quantity of Links: If there are hundreds of links on the page, then the link equity will be given less valuable. Links should be accessible and easy to find on the website.

HTTP status: Pages that resolve 301 redirects will retain link equity. However, the equity varies between search engines.

Non-Link-Related Off-Site SEO

There are many other ways to improve your search ranking position. Some methods include:

  • Guest blogging
  • Influencer marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Linked and unlinked brand mentions
  • Social Media Marketing

There are many more ways to improve your ranking and increase the amount of visitors to your website.