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What is SEO? - Search Engine Optimisation Basics

For our first article covering the topic of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), we thought we'd start off with the basics.

SEO is the process of improving the quantity and quality of visitors to a website through the use of search engines.

SEO terms to be aware of:

Below are a series of terms you may hear quite often when discussing or learning about SEO, given a brief and highly summarised description. We will go onto explaining them further in this article.

  1. SEO = Search Engine Optimisation
  2. Keywords/Key phrases = simple words or phrases that summarise what you want your page or website to rank for
  3. Traffic = the volume of visitors to a website
  4. Backlinks = when another website links to yours
  5. Crawling = how search engines discover your website/content
  6. Indexing = how a search engine inputs and categorises your web site or web page
  7. Algorithm = a complex series of equations which in this context helps calculate website rankings
  8. Organic = a natural approach

Why SEO is Important

While social media, email marketing, and other online platforms can generate traffic to websites, the majority is driven by search engines.

SEO is also one of the only online marketing channels that, when set up correctly, can continue to pay dividends over time. If you provide a solid piece of content that deserves to rank for the right keywords, your traffic can snowball over time, whereas advertising needs continuous funding to send traffic to your site.

Types of SEO

Organic SEO

Organic SEO is a marketing strategy that is aimed at ranking highly in search results without directly paying for them (the natural, non-sponsored listings).

This is an incredibly desired and effective type of SEO to go for due to the amount of trust visitors have in these results, as they are ranked unbiasedly on merit and authority by Google, Bing, etc, instead of existing/ranking there due to having a bigger budget and paying more than their competitors.

They also show when people have ad-blockers installed, as they are natural listings, rather than sponsored adverts.

Paid Search (PPC)

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising is an attractive marketing channel for many businesses as it is instant, measurable and controllable.

Unlike organic SEO, paid search will allow your website to appear on page 1, position 1 for search engine results almost instantaneously, provided you have a high enough budget, good/relevant content and a competitive edge (such a better keyword targeting or matching).

The beauty of the pay-per-click model is that you can set a maximum budget per day and you only pay when someone clicks on your advert, which gives you great control over your spend. Conversion tracking will also help provide you with return on investment (ROI) data.

Note: SEO vs PPC

For a more in-depth description and comparison of organic and paid SEO strategies, please take a look at our SEO vs PPC article.

Great Resources to Learn More About SEO

  1. Google's SEO Starter Guide
  2. Beginners Guide to SEO by MOZ
  3. Google Search Central Blog
  4. Search Engine Roundtable


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