SEO, SMO, CTA, SEM… IDK?! Crikey, it seems like there’s a new acronym popping up around every bend in the digital sphere. But by far the buzziest word on every digital marketer’s lips is ‘SEO’. Namely because it has the power to make or break your company’s online visibility.
So, what is SEO? Short for Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is the practice of structuring the content on your site to organically increase its visibility in search results. Search engines such as Google (and those other less prolific search engines – sorry, Bing) work by combing through websites to find the most relevant content to display on their results pages. We’ll get to exactly how this works later. The key takeaway is that the better your SEO is, the more discoverable you are by both prospective and existing customers.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO is a complex process to understand. Let’s begin by exploring how search engines determine which content to display first. We’re going to throw another acronym in the mix and then we promise we’re done with the alphabet soup strewn about this blog. SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page, which is where we’ll be honing our attention.
Search engines are comprised of bots who trawl through the billions of webpages online, gathering information on their contents into an index. When a search term is punched into say, Google, a very complex series of algorithms sort through the indexed data to determine relevancy. The more relevant your content is considered, the higher it will appear on Google’s SERPs.
Factor That Affect Search Rankings
It can be difficult to summarise how these algorithms work. Firstly, because they are insanely complex and multi-faceted. But secondly because these algorithms are constantly evolving, with search engines doing their best to keep their best-practices under wraps.
Here’s what we do know.
There are on-page and off-page factors which play into your search engine ranking. On-page SEO incorporates all of the practices you’re putting into place on your website to increase your ranking. These are the attributes you have full control over, such as keyword loaded content, site speed, and HTML tags.
Off-page SEO covers all of the activity that happens outside your website that eventually ties back to your site. For example, backlinking, domain authority, and social media mentions and shares.
Of course, there are hundreds of speculated ranking factors that algorithms favour, but these are some that we at Wordly consider to be most valuable:
- Authority of referring domains
- Organic click-through-rate
- Mobile usability
- Dwell time
- Your own domain authority
- Backlinks (strength and quantity)
- Content quality
- On-page SEO
How to Practice SEO
Still with us? Great. Now for the part you’re really hear for – how to do SEO. Let’s break this back down to our on-page and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO practices
On-page SEO is going to be your most important starting point in establishing a strong SEO. You can start working on your search engine ranking almost immediately by adding relevant content to your website. We even have a comprehensive guide on how to write SEO copy that will kick you off to a flying start. Welcome to the blogosphere!
Remember – they key here is not to saturate your page in keywords you want to hit. Instead, you want to tick as many of those boxes at once. The higher quality your content is, the higher your dwell time is likely to be, and the lower your bounce rate. A search engine bot is going to lap that up far more than some keyword stuffed snooze-fest article.
Off-page SEO practices
While this is less controllable than your on-page SEO, there are still practices you can implement yourself to boost off-page SEO.
The simplest technique you can readily adopt is to establish back links to your site from relevant sources. Try establishing listings on local search directories, appearing as a guest blog on industry sites or even channelling traffic through social media.
Be warned though, there are some dodgy SEO practices that some archaic SEO companies flounce which can actually do substantial harm to your rankings. You can suss out these for yourself in our handy SEO Copywriting Blacklist.
Why Should You Care About Your SEO?
Evidently there is a lot that goes into optimising your online content for search engines, so why bother? Well, 81% of people will search online for a product or service to purchase. Therefore, having a strong online presence is going to be crucial if your company is hoping to hold any market share.
If you can secure a top three position on the SERP, you’re positioned to wrangle over 50% of the click throughs. On the flip side, 75% of people won’t bother looking beyond the first SERP.
TLDR; if you’re not ranking highly on search engines for at least some of your desired keywords – you’re basically allowing yourself to be shoved to the side by your competitors who charge forth into the waiting arms of customers.
It just so happens that we know a team of brilliant SEO experts. They are well versed in gearing your content so that search engines sweep it up in a loving embrace and hoist it up their results pages. Want to hear more? Get in touch with the Wordly search-engine-sweet-talkers today.