What is SEO?

What is SEO? Is it something you need to implement? Learn about the various SEO methods you can use to generate traffic to your site.

One of the key online challenges that small businesses face is becoming visible to their target audience and showing up in relevant search results. It’s not long before the term ‘SEO’ or ‘search engine optimisation’ crops up as it is the central concept underpinning all online visibility strategies.

What is SEO?

In a nutshell, SEO is the practice or implementation of strategies used to increase the quality and quantity of traffic generated to your website via organic search results.

There are, however, various components which make up SEO. These components may be tasked separately, however they work together in synchronicity to deliver results.

We’ll explain what these are below.

On-page SEO.

‘On-page SEO’ (also known as on-site SEO) relates to the content, features and structures directly within your website. From your web pages to your blog, everything on your website can be optimised for search engine optimisation. Here are some of the key areas you should be looking at:

Keyword research.

Search engines such as Google find websites and any online content by sending out ‘crawlers’ which search the whole internet to gather information and then index it accordingly. One of the ways this information is found or highlighted is through keywords.

Keywords are integral for all content-based SEO as it helps search engines to understand and categorise your website and content. For example, if you’re a small restaurant talking about motorsport, it’s going to confuse things.

To stay relevant, keyword research is necessary. Thankfully, there are tools online such as the Google Keyword Planner which helps to narrow down the search and also helps to come up with new keyword ideas.

The trick when using keywords is to use them as naturally as possible. If you start overusing or hiding keywords within your text, search engines can pick up on this and potentially penalise you for this black hat style SEO. Instead, use them to write relevant and informative content for your audience.

Content optimization.

Content comes in many forms – it’s not just the writing on the page! Any content from videos, images, slideshows, infographics and more will need to be optimised for SEO.

Having a diverse array of content is recommended as it is more exciting and engaging for any potential customers viewing your website. These items will have titles, tags, captions, file names and so on, all of which can be optimised using keywords.

Site structure.

It’s not just about the words and images on a webpage, but the structure of your entire site. This is how your content on your website is organised and presented. Site structure is vital as it shows search engines which pages of your site are the most important.

The structure can and will affect which pages, posts and articles rank higher on Google so it’s essential to get it right.

User experience.

User experience is so integral it has been abbreviated down to ‘UX’ i.e. ‘User eXperience’. This means designing your website and content for people; users, audience, potential customers.

While it might be tempting to optimise your content that suits search engine algorithms, it would only be counter-intuitive and won’t work. This is because it’s the people that drive the algorithms; what appeals to your potential customers is what will appeal to Google.

Therefore, your entire site needs to be designed, optimised and updated to ensure the best possible user experience. We’ve outlined 7 Ways to Improve Your On-Page SEO if you’re looking to take it to the next level.

The structure can and will affect which pages, posts and articles rank higher on Google so it’s essential to get it right.

What are the benefits of great SEO?

Organic results.

SEO is everything when it comes to organic results and will be integral to increasing the traffic to your website. With a higher volume of visitors, there stands a much higher chance of attracting potential customers to your buyer funnel and generating more sales.

Increased credibility and brand awareness.

It takes a lot to be trusted online, and without SEO it’s almost impossible. Great SEO strategies take time but the returns are invaluable. Search engine optimization is essential to increasing credibility and brand awareness.

This then creates a positive and long-lasting complimentary cycle. Great SEO improves credibility, credibility increases traffic, the more traffic you have, the higher your rankings – and the cycle continues!

Off-page SEO.

Your off-page SEO is equally as important as your on-page SEO. It’s like your website is your primary platform, and everything else branches off. The more you branch off and expand your content, the more visible you will be. This means more potential customers driven to your website and improved rankings.

Social media.

Social media is an excellent way of increasing your visibility online and linking it back to your website. This is great not just for potential customers, but for Google as it shows an increase in people engaging with your content.

This tells Google that you are a useful resource for people, can be trusted and so should be ranked higher.

Utilise Google.

Google My Business is an outstanding tool for businesses everywhere. It’s especially excellent for those with fixed local premises as it makes you searchable locally to those needing your services.

Google My Business also has a ‘reviews’ section, where customers can leave their thoughts and give a ranking. This can majorly boost credibility and improve SEO. For a more detailed look, here’s How To Optimise Your Google My Business Listing.

Backlinks and collaborations.

A backlink is a link originating from another website and pointing to yours. Collaborations can be a mutually beneficial way of increasing relevant and credible links. These links increase your visibility across the internet and show search engines that you are an authoritative voice within your field.

Technical SEO.

Technical SEO is just as it sounds – technical. This involves getting into the matrix of your website and ensuring it has been optimised accordingly. This includes assessing and improving the crawlability of your site, auditing sitemaps, robots.txt files and so on.

Technical SEO isn’t quite as straightforward as the other aspects, so we would recommend finding a professional to help with this part.

Start your SEO!

When you’re running a business, you have so much to consider that it’s not always obvious where you should be focusing your efforts. Implementing SEO strategies should be top of your list when it comes to your website, content, credibility and overall online presentation.

Great SEO combined with a great website and high-quality content is a tried and tested way of increasing traffic, generating leads and making more sales!

A Fresh approach to SEO.

FreshOnline believes in the holistic approach to SEO, covering all aspects we can take care of everything. Whatever you need from SEO start-up packages to long-term SEO management, you can leave the work to us. For more information, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!