Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to ensure that your website and your products/services show up on a search engine results pages (SERPs) such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. SEO refers to the unpaid search results which are also known as natural, organic or earned results.
Many companies invest in a professional looking website but then fail to make the appropriate modifications to parts of their website so that it can be ‘found’. As there are over 4 billion websites on the world wide web, effective SEO is essential if you are to see a return on your website investment and benefit from digital marketing activities.
SEO is achieved not only through website modifications but through a combination of different activities that use; social media, video and written content, as well as imagery.
These activities are linked to the phrases that you want to be ‘found’ by, to ensure that you are ranked as highly as possible on search engine results. It’s important to think about the keywords that your customers might use to find you. Users who know a lot about a particular topic or know exactly what product or service that they’re looking for might use different keywords than someone who is new customer. Anticipating the difference in search behaviour, and then accounting for it when writing your online content can produce a positive result.
However, you should base your SEO decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors to your website. They’re the main consumers of your content and the ones that are using search engines to find you! Therefore, focusing too hard on modifications and activities to gain ranking in the organic results of search engines, may not deliver the desired results.
Creating an interesting and compelling website with useful content is more likely to influence the SEO of your website more than other factors. Users know good engaging content when they see it and will be more likely direct other users towards it. This could be through the sharing of blog posts, ‘liking and sharing’ of social media posts, participating in forums and word-of-mouth recommendations that build your websites reputation. This will not happen without quality content, such as an original piece of research, exciting, interesting or funny newsworthy item and communication and interaction with social media users.
SEO is about putting your best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines; but ultimately consumers are your website users, not search engines.