Keep hearing the term SEO but you don’t actually know what search engine optimisation is and what it means to your business? By the end of this blog post we aim to get your SEO basics locked in by answering common SEO FAQs while also giving you a brief description of some of the most popular SEO terms.
Let’s get started with the foremost question ‘what is search engine optimisation?’.
1. What Is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation or more commonly SEO is a way to improve the quality of your site, ultimately making it easier for search engine’s, like Google, to understand it. When search engine’s can crawl through your site easily and understand what your site offers then they will put your website higher up in their search results page for particular keywords that are relevant to your website and business.
To optimise your site you need to ensure that it loads quickly, is easy to navigate, is mobile friendly, features your relevant keywords in quality content and a host of other important SEO techniques.
Not only does Google look at your site however, but it also looks at what other websites are saying about your site. If other high ranking websites link back to your site often and for similar reasons ie. using similar keywords in their link text, then Google will see your site as an authority site, therefore ranking it even higher for those search terms.
There’s no need to explain that the higher you are in the organic (none-paid) search results, the more traffic your website will see, and the more profit your business will incur. We delve into why SEO matters in our ‘what does SEO stand for’ blog post.
2. Which Is Better SEO Or PPC?
Both SEO and PPC (pay-per-click marketing) work best in conjunction with one another. This is because both these forms of marketing target different users in the buyer’s journey.
Paid search works best for users with the intent of buying, therefore their keywords will show this intent clearly ie. price, buy, discount or other direct keywords relevant to your offering. Knowing these ‘buying intent’ keywords ensures that you’re not wasting your budget on keywords that may never get the sale.
SEO targets users that are in the information gathering, comparison or research phase of the buyer’s journey. Therefore, you will target these kinds of keywords, which will normally be long-tail question keywords, in a very specific and relevant blog topic.
Choosing SEO over PPC or vice versa is making sure that you cut out a very important part of your target market.
For more insight we look into this topic more in our PPC vs SEO blog post.
3. How Can I Find The Right Keywords To Target?
SEO is built on the solid foundation of the keywords you choose to target. If these keywords are too broad, too competitive or too narrow, your SEO efforts will all be in vain.
So how do you pinpoint what people are searching for on search engines, like Google, to find businesses like yours? It’s as simple as using Google’s keyword planner tool and knowing who your competitors are.
Using the keyword planner tool you can input keywords that are relevant to your business and the tool will come up with popular search terms similar to that keyword. The tool will also tell you the search volume for that keyword so you can find the most popular ones to target.
If you input the URL of a competitor’s website the research tool will also show some of the keywords that their website is targeting and may be ranking for. This can help give you more ideas of different keywords to target.
4. What Are Google’s Most Important Ranking Factors?
This is an ever-changing list of important factors that change according to new algorithm changes with Google, but here are some of the most common factors that influence rank:
- Time spent on site
- Number of referring domains
- Quality of follow links (backlinks)
- Content length
- Relevance of content
5. What Parts Of SEO Should I Prioritise?
Starting an SEO to-do list can be overwhelming as there are many different components to SEO which all need to be functioning to better optimise your site. Not all SEO tasks are made equal however, and here are some that should definitely be prioritised ASAP!
- Creating content that matches your users’ intent
- Creating valuable and quality content
- Creating high-quality backlinks and removing any low-quality incoming links
- Optimise your site for mobile
- Improve your site speed
- Improve user experience
- Make use of canonical tags for duplicated content that direct all link juice to one designated ‘master copy’ page
- Update your sitemap continuously on Google Search Console
6. Commonly Used SEO Terms And Meanings
- SERP – Search Engine Results Page.
- Organic search – These are visitors that landed on your site from unpaid sources.
- Backlinking – A link from one website to another, also called inbound or incoming links.
- Title tags – An HTML element that specifies the title of a webpage. This will feature in the SERP.
- Meta description – This is a short description or blurb of a webpage that features in the SERP.
- Alt tags – An HTML element that describes what an image or its contents is to search engines.
- Anchor text – The visible, clickable text that hyperlinks display.
- H1 tags – Used to define HTML headings. The H1 tag is the Header Tag which defines the most important heading in a webpage.
- Keyword research – Finding search terms that users use to find what they are looking for.
- Black hat SEO – Tactics that violate search engine guidelines that help rank websites quickly.
- Search intent – The purpose of an online search ie. navigational, informational, commercial or transactional.
- Traffic – The amount of users to a particular website.
- Conversions – When a user completes an action on a website that you deem a goal fulfilled ie. purchases something, signs up, calls etc.
- PageRank – One of Google’s algorithms that ranks websites in their SERP.
- Sitemap – A sitemap lists a website’s important pages for search engines to crawl and understand.
- Guest blogging – When someone from outside your organisation is invited to write a blog that will feature on your website. This blog will link back to the writer’s own website.
- Follow and no follow links – Follow links tell Google that you want to link to this site and give them ‘link juice’ and boost their SEO. No follow links don’t help SEO.
Now that you have more insight into what search engine optimisation is all about and common FAQs it’s time to start improving your website’s SEO! At The Weblab, we are SEO professionals with years of experience in the SEO world, where we keep up to date with the latest changes and new trends. For more information visit our SEO services page or book a free strategy call to find out how SEO can make your business a success!