I think as an industry we’re guilty of assuming everyone understands the basics of SEO, which can often lead to some muddled and confusing conversations. With that in mind here are some straightforward answers to some straightforward SEO questions, which will hopefully serve people well.
What does SEO stand for?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.
What does SEO mean?
In broad terms, SEO means improving your website so it gets seen more in Google’s results.
This is often confused with PPC or Pay-Per-Click marketing using Google Ads, whereby you simply pay Google to appear on their results pages, but this is not SEO, it’s just another way to get seen on Google.
What do SEO experts do?
A search engine optimisation professional will carry out a broad range of tasks to help a business achieve greater visibility on Google. This includes but isn’t limited to…
- Strategy and keyword research – helping identify the best phrases to target and how to pursue them.
- Content creation – helping to create new pages that may be required in order to compete for all the target phrases.
- Content optimisation – configuring technical aspects of important pages to ensure they include the target phrases e.g. page titles, page headings, URLs, image alt text, etc.
- External website promotion – marketing the website so it receives mentions and backlinks from other websites, which is essential for SEO success, particularly in competitive markets.
- Analysing data & reporting – demonstrating the visibility of the website on Google over time and reporting the success/failure of initiatives.
What is SEO writing?
SEO writing means writing content for a website that’s influenced by data about how people search.
For example, if you were writing content for a shop that sold doughnuts you might research the popular phrases people use to find doughnuts online and include those within your copy to give you a greater chance of being matched to a relevant search.
What is an SEO audit?
The contents of an SEO audit vary from one SEO company to the next but should include:
- a review of a website’s current performance in Google’s organic (or non-paid) results.
- a summary of whether the website meets various technical requirements and any identified errors.
- a list of improvements that should be made to improve the performance of the website in organic search engine results.
What kind of SEO works?
These are some of the tactics I believe improve search engine performance every single time when done correctly.
- Keyword research to understand all the different ways people search for your products and services. Armed with this information you’re able to identify the content requirements of your website, carry out on-page optimisation accordingly and ensure you will at least be included within Google’s results for those target searches.
- Technical improvements such as making the website more accessible to mobile users or speeding up the load times of pages will also increase your chances of being placed prominently within the results.
- Quality content will usually rise to the top. Look at what competitors are doing and try to offer richer, deeper information. On a similar note, analyse the results pages for your target searches to see which types of pages/websites Google is currently ranking prominently and whether your content is suitable for that particular search.
There are plenty more tactics that work (and just as many that don’t), but this would end up being a very long article.
If you have any questions regarding SEO that haven’t been answered here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.