What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a marketing method that focuses on growing your website’s visibility in the Organic (non-paid) search engine results pages. SEO incorporates both creative and technical elements that combined, improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase the overall awareness of your website/brand in search engines.
There are many SEO ranking factors that determine the SEO-friendliness of a website. There are over 200 ranking factors that Google considers when displaying search results. The basics start from the words on your page to the way other sites link to you on the internet. To put it lightly, SEO is a way of making search engines understand your site, what it’s about and how authoritative it is.
Do you need SEO?
Search Engine Marketing is increasingly becoming businesses choice marketing tool. Social media and other platforms can generate valuable traffic to your website, but currently search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. 21 million South Africans are active internet users. The number of internet users in SA have continued to grow. This is true whether your site provides content, services, products, information, or just about anything else.
Search engines are unique in that they provide targeted traffic—people looking for what you offer. Search engines are the roadways that make this happen. If search engines cannot find your site, or add your content to their databases, you miss out on incredible opportunities to drive traffic to your site.
Search queries—the words that users type into the search box—carry extraordinary value. Experience has shown that search engine traffic can make (or break) an organisation’s success. Targeted traffic to a website can provide publicity, revenue, and exposure like no other channel of marketing. Investing in SEO can have an exceptional rate of return compared to other types of marketing and promotion.
Search engines are smart, but they still need help. The major engines are always working to improve their technology to crawl the web more deeply and return better results to users. However, there is a limit to how search engines can operate. Whereas the right SEO can net you thousands of visitors and increased attention, the wrong moves can hide or bury your site deep in the search results where visibility is minimal.
In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO also helps boost rankings so that content will be placed where searchers will more readily find it. The Internet is becoming increasingly competitive, and those companies who perform SEO will have a decided advantage in visitors and customers.
The world of SEO is complex, but most people can easily understand the basics. Even a small amount of knowledge can make a big difference. Free SEO education is widely available on the web, including in guides found in my Digital Marketing Blog. Combine this new found knowledge with practice and you are well on your way to becoming a guru.
Depending on your time commitment, your willingness to learn, and the complexity of your website(s), you may decide you need an expert to handle things for you. Things can go pear-shaped. Firms that practice SEO can vary; some have a highly specialized focus, while others take a broader and more general approach.
In any case, it’s good to have a firm grasp of the core concepts.
Learn About SEO With These Short Videos: