Find out exactly what is SEO and how you can use optimisation techniques to boost your Search Engine visibility.
So what is SEO exactly? If you have just launched your website or you are new to Search Engine Marketing (SEM), you may heard this term thrown around but you might not know exactly what it means and the implications for your website. SEO falls under the umbrella of SEM along with pay-per-click advertising, paid inclusion and rich media and helps to improve your website’s Search Engine visibility through natural or organic means – find out more.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation or Search Engine Optimization as it might be spelt in other regions of the world. It is sometimes referred to as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ search results. It is the process of optimising your website to increase Search Engine visibility for keywords relevant to your website. If you are operating a luxury hotel in Sydney for example, you may want to rank for terms such as ‘Sydney luxury hotel’.
Google, one of the major Search Engines in the world has produced a document on how Google crawls, indexes and serves the web and can help define what is SEO for webmasters.
What are Search Engines?
The most popular Search Engine used in westernised countries is undoubtedly Google but other countries like China for instance; the most popular Search Engine is Baidu. You can index your website on Search Engines for free but you must abide by their guidelines. The techniques that fall within these guidelines are called white hat SEO techniques and those that work against the guidelines are commonly known as black hat SEO techniques. These include:
- keyword stuffing – a high keyword to text ratio with a long list of keywords not closely connected with your copy
- cloaking – a website designed for Search Engines which redirects to another website for humans (closely associated with doorway pages, see below)
- doorway pages – pages designed for Search Engines to promote higher Search Engine visibility, providing no value for readers
- auto-generated pages: using a script or software program to create thousands of keyword-stuffed pages with content of no value to human readers
- link farms: the practice of buying links or paying websites to link back to your website in the hope of increasing your Search Engine ranking.
There are harsh penalties applied if a Search Engine finds that you have tried to artificially boost your rankings by using these black hat SEO strategies. This can result in your rankings dropping or even your website being banned.
How Search Engines work?
Search Engines ‘send’ out little programs called ‘spiders’ that find a website and then follow all links to other websites and continue doing so every second of the day. Spiders only can follow links from one page to another and from one site to another. This is one of the main reasons why inbound links are important so that they can follow links and index them. These spiders index pages they have found – then this information is then stored on Google servers.
When you type in a keyword or keyword phrase on a Search Engine, the Search Engine will serve you a list of pages that it thinks best matches your keywords. This is based on Search Engine’s algorithms – the software program that calculates the value of each page based on several factors, such as page relevance to the search query, then deciding which pages to show you. This happens in less than a second.
You can then have a look at the page title and the description of the results to see if the websites fulfil your search criteria. Research shows that people especially when using mobile devices rarely look beyond the first two pages of Search Engines Results Pages (SERPS). This is why companies hire an SEO company to try and optimise their website to boost their rankings for relevant keywords. It is free to index your website on a Search Engine.
Matt Cutts is a Google’s Anti Web Spam Engineer. Watch his video below where he explains in detail how Search Engines work in relation to natural or organic search results.
Why does an SEO company do?
An SEO company can help you rank higher on Search Engines. This will lead to a boost in traffic and revenues. Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new customers online. It should be seen as part of your profit, not as your costs as a campaign may pay itself in terms of increased revenue. An SEO company can help you optimise your website and provide useful services for website owners, including:
- review of your site content or structure
- technical advice on website design and development
- SEO web design
- SEO strategies
- keyword research
- SEO copywriting
- link building
You can optimise your own website if you have the time, money and resources but an SEO company allows you to focus on your core business. At SEO Works, it’s an SEO consultant’s job to keep abreast of any changes in the industry and communicate these changes to their clients. They can help explain demystify the world of search and explain exactly what is SEO in plain and simple terms – contact SEO Works today if you are looking for an SEO company.