What is SEO – An Introduction To Search Engine Optimisation

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It’s the process of optimising your web pages so that you can rank higher in Google.

In order to do that, first, you need to decide what keywords you want to rank for

A keyword is what someone types in Google, when they are trying to find out something about your product or your service.

For example, you may have found this blog post by searching for something like “what is SEO”, or something related.

How do you know what specific keywords your audience is searching for?

Keyword Research

This is what we usually call keyword research. Keyword research is the process of using data tools to find out what words your audience is using to ask questions about your products or your services.

There are tools you can use to do that.

One of the tools you can use is Google’s very own Google Keyword Planner.

In order to do that, you will need a Google Ads account, because a Google Keyword Planner is meant to be used for advertising through Google ads. However, you can also use it as an indication of what people are searching for and therefore part of your SEO strategy.

Another tool you can use is Ahrefs. This is a great tool and very accurate, and it’s a good investment to make in your SEO Marketing.

Sometimes as a business owner, we are too involved in our products and services in our very own processes, and we don’t really understand the way someone who knows nothing about our business, talks about our product or service.

This is where keyword research can be very useful because you can find out exactly the way people are searching for what they’re looking for.

When you’re working on your SEO, one of the main jobs to accomplish is to understand your audience’s behavior online and find out how they search for you and for your competition.

That concludes step one, step two is technical optimization. This is the process of optimizing your web pages so that Google bots can visit them and understand what they are about.

On-Page Technical Optimisation

There are specific ways your webpage’ code should be written so that Google has no trouble understanding your content.

This sounds very technical, and it can get very technical, but there are ways to keep it simple.

For example, if you’re using WordPress and a few plugins, you will automatically cover about 80% of the technical optimisation that you need for your on-page SEO.

If you are using another content management system, it can get a little bit more complicated, and you might need to make sure that your developer understands your SEO requirements.

The main factors of good technical on-page optimisation are the following:

  • You need your keyword or a variation in your title.
  • You need your keyword or a variation in your main heading.
  • And you also need your keyword or a variation in your body text.
  • It’s also recommended that you include images and videos in your web pages, and then you include related phrases in your content as well.

Now, when you are done with your technical content optimization, you need to move on to your content. You need great content on your website you might have heard this, but what does it mean well, we already covered a part of this, meaning you need contextually relevant words in your main content.

Content for SEO

Google is very good at understanding contextual semantics. So you need to understand what keywords are semantically contextual to the main keyword that you are targeting.

For example, if you are targeting restaurants in Auckland. It might or might not make sense to also write about related services, like take away services.

Google is smart enough to understand that some words are related to another.

Conversely, it would make no sense at all to include a paragraph discussing the benefits of insulating your home in the same web page because it has nothing to do with restaurants.

Also in the last few years, Google has favoured long-form content, which means pages with 300 words or fewer are less likely to rank when they are competing with web pages with 1,000, 2,000 words or more.

Generally speaking the higher the competition, the more in-depth you are going to have to be with your content.

It’s also important to make sure that you write for your users and not for the search engine spiders.

If you are simply pasting keywords on a page, Google will see through that and not reward you with high rankings.

You should always keep your users in mind. And Google has ways of knowing if your users are appreciating, or not appreciating your page by using click metric data from google chrome, google analytics, and even click metrics they can get from the search results themselves.

So your content should be relevant and useful.

It should answer all the questions that your users are making. And once you’re happy with it, you can move on to the next phase of SEO which is boosting the authority of your web page, and your overall website so that you can rank higher.

Link Authority Building

Generally speaking, the best way to do this is by building links pointing to your web pages in your website.

How to do this, is a topic for another article.

Some of these ways are approved by Google, and most of them are not.

Google would like you to simply create really good high-quality content and expect people to organically link to it.

This approach works, but it can take a long time and a sizeable investment in content.

If you have the objective of ranking within a few months, you are going to have to bend the rules.

By outreaching to other webmasters via email and social media you can increase the chances of getting high-quality backlinks.

Avoid buying links on PBNs. “PBN” stands for private blog networks, and these are websites, specifically built for linking out to other websites. So you could also say they are “link farms”.

This link farms can be very effective if you know what you’re doing and you can build your own. But it’s a very risky business and only recommended for high level, advanced SEO professionals. Who are fully aware of the risks that they’re taking.

For most business owners, however, you should stay away from that because they can get your website in trouble.

The safest way to build links to your website is by publishing really high-quality content that attracts the attention of the bloggers in your niche and building relationships with them by email outreach, and social media outreach.

Some of them will link to your website and over time and you will accumulate enough authority to rank for your target keywords.

Is Your Niche Not Exciting?

Sometimes if can be challenging to think of exciting topics to write about your business.

If this is the case, we recommend that you look for a related angle.

Let’s say you are a plumber, and you want to build organic links to your website. You could create a section on your website with a blog about DIY techniques. Teaching people how to do different projects in their homes.

DIY is a hige blogging niche and can attract a lot of links.

If you don’t think you can come up with exciting blog post ideas related to your business, I encourage you to try again because there’s always something related to your business that bloggers can get excited about.

So make sure you do your keyword research and find out what other bloggers are publishing related to your content.

Then use that as a reference for the content that you could be publishing through your website.

Conclusion

SEO is the process of ranking your website higher in Google for the keywords related to your business to your niche to your audience.

First you need to decide what keywords you are going to want to rank for.

Then, build technically optimized web pages to allow Google to crawl through them.

Third, create great content that satisfies the query of your users.

And fourth, build backlinks to your website so that you accumulate enough authority to convince Google that you are the best source of information for a particular keyword.