In a nutshell, SEO encompasses a range of activities centred around making your website more visible when someone uses a search engine to look for content such as that contained on your website.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is essential as it is highly unlikely a website will rank favorably on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) without SEO effort. A tailored SEO strategy that is effective and well executed encompasses a wide range of different activities and skill sets. SEO practitioners often specialise in a certain field within the greater SEO and digital marketing genre, ranging from the ‘creative types’ like graphic designers and copywriters who create content for the target audience, to the ‘technical’ programmers who are responsible for onsite optimisation.

SEO is constantly evolving as technology advances and the way we search for content is changing – and the search engines are always changing their algorithms and moving the goalposts!

There is a lot of out of date and misinformation about SEO, and many web users do not fully understand how search engine optimisation works. To discover more about the basics of SEO services, read on…..

SEO – The Overview

Search Engine Optimisation comprises the methods, strategies, and activities that SEO practitioners use to boost traffic to their own or their client’s websites. However, most web users do not bother to hunt through pages and pages of search results and, from figures presented by the Search Engine Journal (SEJ), three-quarters of web users only check out the first page of search results. So even if your site is on page 2, the chances of users going to your website are very slim. A study of Cornell University students, as quoted in Search Engine Land, showed that they were heavily influenced by the order in which the results were presented on a Google Search Results page. Therefore, SEO is vital in improving a website’s online visibility and credibility, resulting in an improved click through rate (CTR).

White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO, often referred to as Organic SEO, describes the processes involved in obtaining a natural placement on SERPs. SEO practitioners use a mixture of techniques to achieve this objective: competitor research, targeted keywords, quality link-building, engaging and relevant content creation, responsive website design, and fast webpage loading speeds, to name but a few. The downside of SEO is it can take some time for White Hat SEO to convert into higher rankings and more business leads; typically, one to six months depending on the level of competition – but the results are extremely powerful, and they are maintained as people start talking about your brand online.

We ALWAYS use White Hat SEO techniques – which are Google-compliant.

Black Hat SEO

Some website owners may not want to wait months for their White Hat SEO strategies to produce results and they may choose to use aggressive, dodgy, and possibly illegal SEO methods to try to obtain a quick rise to the top of search engine result rankings. The target of Black Hat SEO is the algorithms the search engines use in determining a website’s search result ranking. However, search engines usually penalize websites which engage in unscrupulous SEO practices. Some of the practices deployed in Black Hat SEO include setting up doorway pages, link farming, inserting invisible text, and keyword stuffing.

We NEVER use Black HAT SEO techniques – we like our results to stick!!

How White Hat SEO works

This section lists some methods SEO practitioners use to ensure a website achieves a high ranking on SERPs.

COPYWRITING & CONTENT CREATION
SEO copywriting involves creating interesting, informative, relevant, and unique web content, possibly including reviews, articles, and blog posts. To be successful these must also contain carefully researched and selected keywords and phrases. There are dangers, however, as poor SEO copywriting – like keyword stuffing and duplicate content – will almost certainly adversely affect the site’s credibility and ranking, as well as likely providing a poor user experience for site visitors.

KEYWORD RESEARCH
The first step in keyword research is to carry out an investigation into keywords already in use in that market sector, including a careful look at competitors’ websites, and a detailed analysis of return on investment (ROI) for each prospective keyword should be conducted before a shortlist is prepared.

QUALITY LINK-BUILDING
This is the practice of creating relevant, high-quality links to a website with the aim of increasing traffic to that website. The quality of links to a website is one of the elements search engines’ algorithms use to assess whether a website may be spamming web users with irrelevant and low grade information.

SEO – Why it makes a difference

According to Forrester Research, 93% of all web visits start with a search engine and 89% of customers start their buying process by using a search engine (FleishmanHillard). Any website owner or business with an online presence cannot ignore the benefits of a tailored, well-executed and on-going approach to SEO. It makes a huge difference to the success of a website and results in increased sales and greater profitability.

Want to find out more about SEO?

Check out our blog post Why is SEO important, and find the answers to some frequently asked questions about SEO.

Our SEO and digital marketing team are equipped with the resources and expertise to devise and implement a tailored SEO and marketing strategy for all brands and businesses. Browse our SEO and marketing packages or contact our SEO and Marketing team for more information.