Search Engine Optimisation or SEO: Your Comprehensive Guide


October 27, 2022

Business Continuity, Marketing, SEO 5 min read

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO: Your Comprehensive Guide

With 53% of website traffic coming from organic searches, search engine optimisation (SEO) plays a critical role in defining business success. However, accomplishing great SEO requires consistent efforts and a well-executed SEO strategy.  

This SEO essentials guide will take you through the key concepts of search engine optimisation, including why you need SEO and how SEO works, as well as discuss top SEO essentials to help you optimise your website and boost website traffic. 

What is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO refers to optimising your website to improve its rankings in search engine results and get more organic traffic. Simply put, SEO covers a range of things you perform with the aim of improving your rankings in organic or non-paid search engine results.  

What is SEO

These activities can be carried out under the following sub-categories: 

  • Technical SEO – Technical SEO aims to ensure that search engine bots or spiders can crawl and index your website content. 
  • On-Page SEO – On-page SEO focuses mainly on the text or content for each webpage. 
  • Off-Page SEO – Off-page SEO focuses on marketing efforts other than the website to further improve search rankings. 

Why do you need SEO? 

SEO is an excellent way to bring more traffic, customers, leads, and revenue to your business. In fact, users click on Google and Bing organic search results over paid results by a margin of 94% to 6%. It’s important to note that SEO is an ongoing process that takes time and effort. Once your website ranks for a set of keywords, your rankings remain stable over time.  

Overall, SEO has several advantages for a business. These include: 

  • Driving targeted traffic to your website from visitors interested in your product or service. 
  • Ensuring that your brand is visible to searches. 
  • Increased organic revenue to give you a distinct competitive advantage.

How does SEO work? 

SEO works primarily by optimising a website's content, conducting thorough keyword research, and earning high-quality inbound links to increase the content's search engine rankings and website visibility.  

How does SEO work

For SEO to work, search engines perform the following tasks: 

Crawling and indexing 

This step is where search engines use specific software programs known as spiders that crawl the web. As soon as they find a new page, the same is added to their index. 

The process keeps repeating for every page, creating a giant web of related web pages. 

Picking and displaying the search results 

Search engines now have to work on deciding the pages they’ll show in the search results from a massive index. They typically segregate the results depending on what is useful to a website visitor's query based on the relevance and usefulness of the content. 

While it is difficult to identify the essential ranking factors and how the Google algorithms work, a few of the most significant ones are as follows: 

  • Quality and relevance of the web content  
  • Strength and usefulness of incoming links  
  • Loading speed and mobile usability of the website  
  • Various engagement metrics such as CTR (click-through rate) 

White Hat, Black Hat, and Grey Hat SEO 

As a beginner to SEO, here's all you need to know about SEO hats: 

White Hat SEO

This is any practice that helps improve search performance on Search Engine Page Results or SERPs while following all the search engine’s policies completely.

Examples include link building, keyword usage, back-linking, and writing relevant content. 

Black Hat SEO 

This is a disapproved SEO practice that increases page rankings on SERPs by not following the terms of service of search engines.

Examples include keyword stuffing, page swapping, and using unrelated keywords and redirects. 

Grey Hat SEO

This is an SEO practice that is neither ethical nor unethical by published search engine guidelines. 

Examples include using clickbait, a process where an eye-catching link or content is posted to encourage a reader to click and read more, creating dummy social media accounts, and poorly written content

SEO Essentials: Setting Up for SEO Success  

Achieving good SEO is much easier when your website is properly set up for SEO success.  

Setting Up for SEO Success  

Here are some SEO essentials to help you do that: 

Get a good domain 

The two essential elements of a good domain are: 

  • Domain name- Make sure to go with something short and memorable.  
  • Top-level Domain (TLD)- While the choice of TLD makes no difference to SEO as such, .com is best for most people, as it’s the most recognisable and trusted domain.  

Use a website platform 

Website platforms allow you to create and manage a website easily. There are two types: 

  • Hosted Platforms- As the name suggests, hosted platforms allow you to add and edit content without knowing the code. 
  • Self-hosted platforms- These also allow you to add and edit content without code. The only difference is that you have to host and install them yourself. 

Do proper keyword research and use relevant terms 

Keywords play an extremely important role in SEO. A keyword indicates the main topic of your content and makes it possible for servers to find your article once they conduct an online search. 

Place keywords throughout the page 

Ideally, the keywords you choose should be placed throughout the page, including in: 

  • The title 
  • The URL 
  • The first and last paragraph 
  • The tags of images used   

Hyperlink your existing content 

If your website content is related in any way to another you’ve already published on the website, it is best to link to it. This will lead to an enhanced user experience as it helps readers find and use related content to go to other web pages easily. Furthermore, it allows spiders/bots to index and contextualise your webpage. 

Optimise web images 

Images improve website readability. They not only help readers visualise the content but also make it comprehensible to them. Plus, they play a huge role in SEO, as they enable your website to be crawled based on image descriptions.  

Boost web page speed 

The speed of your webpage is critical for its ranking in search results. A fast-loading web page helps ensure a better user experience and eliminates instances where visitors have to wait for too long, which can result in a higher bounce rate.

Partner with a reliable SEO service provider 

SEO is a complex marketing strategy that requires consistent effort to be performed in the right way. Since it includes a range of factors, business owners can’t conduct search engine optimisation by themselves.  

To get the maximum out of your SEO strategy, it is, therefore, best to hire reliable SEO services for business. They help you optimise your SEO efforts so that your website can appear on top of the SERPs when searched for by a user. Talk with our team today to know what plan works best for you. 

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