What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is a set of requirements which, when met, help websites improve their search engine ranking in organic search results. Following these requirements helps increase traffic to websites, blogs or online store by making them more visible to users in search results to fulfill your business purpose.
A “search engine” is a tool for finding information on the internet. It works by searching a specific word or phrases and returning a list of relevant websites where the keywords where found. The term is commonly used to specifically describe systems like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and more! “Optimisation” or “to optimise” means making the best or most effective use of something. So we could say, SEO is the best or most effective way to find information on the Internet.
Why is SEO important?
With over 1 billion websites available, it’s easy for yours to go unnoticed. Great content and usability are not enough; you also need to pay attention to how to get attention. This is where SEO comes in.
To select the most relevant results, search engines use something called an ‘algorithm’ which filters through all the information on the internet to make the most appropriate recommendations based on several factors which include keywords and page titles but most especially a website’s quality, trust and authority.
What does SEO consider?
Quality - Your website should offer content that users find valuable, distinctive and interesting. How useful is your website and how engaging is your content to today’s audience? For instance, if you own a taxi company, your website should do more than just show routes and fares. Incorporating other features could help you engage an audience larger than your customer base. For instance, reliable traffic updates and alternative options may be used by non-users of your taxi service, city sights and sounds, as well as things to do for residents and visitors alike, would give you greater engagement and relevance to a much larger audience. This causes you to have good engagement and would also increase your links and recommendations.
Trust – A lot of sharing happens on the Internet and how often your content is linked to and from other websites determines how trusted your website is. This is validation from other qualitative websites that you are credible. For instance, the taxi company could partner with a celebrity, legacy store in a city or newspaper and subsequently get qualitative links from these trusted sources. Good customer reviews are also a great way to increase trust rankings.
Authority – The most popular sites would get higher search engine rankings. How do you make your website popular? Maximize the effects of your quality and trust to build a community of users who would become your fan base and consistently engage with you and share content linked to you. For instance, the taxi company’s fan base could start sharing in-ride pictures on their social networks or do a testimonial campaign to gather positive reviews of the service.
You may notice that they all tie in. Having a qualitative and engaging website will cause you to gain trust and authority among your primary (customers and social network) and secondary audiences (general public).
SEO is more than rankings
SEO clearly helps improve online experiences and does more than increase website rankings on search engines as websites must create and maintain better online experiences for customers through increased quality of content, improved user experiences and engage social audiences.