Beginner’s guide to SEO – Part 1: What is SEO?
Hello, my name is Ayo and I am the Marketing Project Coordinator for Now Communications. In my first few weeks with the company, I’ve learned about various SEO tools and techniques. This series will teach you about what SEO is and what tools you can use to improve your website’s search visibility.
What is SEO?
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of improving a site to increase visibility when people search for a product or service related to your business on Google, Bing, or many other search engines. The more visible you are in search results, the bigger the chance you will gain attention and attract potential customers to your website.
How does SEO work?
The way SEO works is that search engines such as Google will use bots to crawl pages on the World Wide Web, moving from one site to another and collecting information about each page before putting it into what is known as an index. To make things simple, imagine the index is a large library where the librarian can pull up a book (or in this case a web page) to help you find exactly what you are looking for at that time.
After that, algorithms will analyse pages in the index and take into account hundreds of ranking factors such as keywords and relevance. These factors will determine the order in which pages will appear in the search results for a particular query.
In the library context, the librarians (bots) have now read every single book in the library and can tell you which one will be most likely to have the answer to your question.
Why is SEO important?
SEO is an integral part of digital marketing because people all over the world conduct billions of searches every day, usually with the intent to find information and products and services.
Search is quite often the primary source of digital traffic for brands. Obtaining a higher ranking and visibility in search results than your competitors can have a great impact on your website.
However, search engines have evolved over the past few years to give users more search-specific results. This means it is important that you don’t overload your website or page with many conflicting keywords, instead, try using what are known as ‘long tail keywords’. This is essentially a phrase that contains three to five words. Since these keywords are more specific than basic terms, they allow the writer to target smaller demographics. For example, the phrase “Bike shops near me” would be a long tail keyword. The “near me” part is what makes it a long tail keyword rather than just a keyword.
To summarise, SEO is the pillar of the marketing ecosystem. When you understand what your website users want you can then implement changes using that knowledge across your website, social media properties, and campaigns.