Search Engine Optimisation. When you hear that word, do you find yourself nodding with a vague idea of what it means, or do you zone out at the mere mention of anything ‘jargonish’ when it comes to online marketing?
Some swear that SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, as it is officially called, is far simpler than it sounds. And, we have to say it, but those people would be right, too. While the term may seem complex and the concept may sometimes sound technical and confusing, the idea behind SEO is in fact straight-forward.
Essentially, SEO is a term that applies to online marketing efforts that help websites get found on search engines such as Google. Every time that anyone enters a search phrase into Google, hundreds upon thousands of web pages are displayed. SEO is the term for strategies that help users find your website in amongst all of those other pages.
According to Google, some 93% of online interaction begins in a search engine. About 68% of all searches done are done through Google. The first five results in any search get 67% of all clicks. When you look at it like that, you may start to see why SEO is such a big deal.
Today, we break down the concepts of SEO to show you just how simple it can be once you take away the jargon, strategies and hype.
The Basic Rules of Search Engine Optimisation
Much can be said about search marketing and various other strategies. On our blog, we have plenty of useful tips and tricks on how to make the most out of search. But for starters, let us take a look at two vital aspects of optimisation that will pretty much determine every strategy and campaign that is put into place.
SEO is broken down into two distinct categories: on-site and off-site. While each of these is different, with its own strategies and components, they are both equally important.
You could think of all SEO like a cake. You have the beautifully decorated, super delicious looking icing, topping and decorations that make you want to cut a slice of sweet goodness. You also have the centre, which is baked to perfection and made from the best quality ingredients. If you scrimp on the outside of the cake, no one will want to bother giving it a taste – even if it has a triple death by chocolate centre that is to die for. If, on the other hand, you go all out on the icing but flop the cake inside, someone will get a nasty shock after taking a bite and it will be quickly spat out.
What you need therefore is a beautifully decorated cake that looks good and tastes just as good. On-site and off-site optimisation are just the same… you can’t really get anywhere without ensuring that both are on track.
- On-site SEO focuses on all of the things that you can do to increase the page’s success. There are many, many things that determine how well a certain page will rank in the search engines. Content plays a huge part – especially when content is written well, delivered consistently and optimised carefully. Keywords also play a big part. These need to be researched and used wisely throughout your content as well as in your links, descriptions, titles and headers. The overall design and ease of use of your site is also important. Sites that are easy to navigate, designed well, fast loading and generally user-friendly typically fare better than those that are slow, cumbersome and hard for visitors to use.
- Off-site SEO focuses on all of the other factors that could influence your success – whether in your hands or not. Google looks at many things, from who links to your website, what you are doing on your social channels, what your PageRank is, how much authority (or how little) you have, how long visitors stay on your site and many other things, too. Link building, reputation building, social marketing and other strategies help you with the off-site side of things.
For the time being, understanding those two aspects of optimisation will help you get a better idea of how to get your site search ready. As you can see, Search Engine Optimisation really is as simple as a chocolate cake – its easy if you know how, and impossible if you don’t!