SEO stands for search engine optimization and is likely a buzzword you have heard thrown around digital marketing circles or in business insider journals. As the name implies, SEO is all about optimizing your businesses’ web presence so that it is indexed favourably by the top search engines like Google.
Having mentioned Google, it’s appropriate to point out that the vast majority of SEO is targeted at this platform. This is because Google soaks up such a huge amount of the internet’s total search traffic that their next closest competitors, Yahoo and Bing, are often totally ignored when planning a premium SEO marketing campaign.
In many ways, it might be more accurate to describe search engine optimisation as Google optimisation because so much strategy is informed by this platform’s market dominance. This market dominance is explained by the fact that Google simply has the most advanced and powerful search engine algorithm that is constantly improving in a never ender quest for perfection.
Ultimately Google’s ongoing goal, at least with regards to its search engine, is to remain #1 by providing users the highest quality search results in the shortest amount of time. Understanding the way Google evaluates quality is one of the biggest factors in implementing an effective SEO strategy and is what sets white hat practitioners apart from black hat ones.
SEO, like any discipline within marketing, is filled with its fair share of unscrupulous agents who will happily sacrifice business ethics at the altar of quick profit. Google recognizes this and has worked hard to develop an algorithmic system that can assess the quality of a website and its content much in the same way a human reader would.
Googles uses signals such as word count, the presence of key words and phrases as well as the general formatting and linguistic sophistication of a webpage in determining its quality to a user. This helps to push low quality, spammy content to the bottom of Google’s search results while rewarding sincere, high quality content with a higher ranking.
Higher ranking = higher visibility and subsequently more prospective business coming your way. This is how Google encourages websites not to engage in black-hat optimisation tactics (such as keyword stuffing or cloaking) and to instead produce content that their target audience will sincerely find valuable.
Let’s take a look at one of the most common and effective SEO tactics used by today’s practitioners: keyword optimisation.
First and foremost, SEO begins with keyword optimization. Keywords are the most basic signals that search engines use to navigate through the massive and constantly expanding ocean of digital content.
Keywords are important because they are what users, consciously or not, type (or speak) in order to prompt a search for what they want. For example, someone who wants to buy a new lawnmower might use the search phrase “lawnmower sale” or even “landscaping equipment store”.
So, why does your business need SEO?
In today’s always online world, SEO is effectively your gateway to making sure your business is discoverable by the maximum possible online audience. Without some kind of SEO your business, no matter how great your employees, products, facilities, services or bonuses are, won’t be as highly discoverable as it could be.
However, while SEO can be easy to understand conceptually it can be much harder to implement effectively if you have no experience. This is why so many businesses choose to engage the consultancy of a professional digital marketing agency that specialises in SEO.
Using a third party consultancy to handle SEO campaigns is both efficient and proven in its effectiveness. Any business that’s lacking an SEO strategy should immediately look for a digital marketing agency to assist them.