08 Oct Back to Basics: What Is SEO?
Every business and website owner wants to rank well on major search engines like Google in order to reach more customers. With competition increasing by the day, it is tough to reach the first page of Google without correctly playing the SEO game. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and doing it right is like a science. Doing SEO all on your own for your website can be difficult, but not impossible, when it comes to covering some of the basics. However, we do recommend choosing an experienced SEO specialist to help you out on the more technical side.
Regardless of who is working on your SEO, it is crucial to understand the basics. Understanding the basics of SEO ensures that you are able to develop an effective SEO strategy for your website and your business.
Therefore, let us take you through what is SEO and why it matters, some SEO terms you need to know and how to choose an SEO expert.
What Does SEO Mean, and Why Does It Matter?
To start with the SEO basics, we first have to answer the question: What does SEO mean?
The technical definition of search engine optimization — the process used to increase the visibility of a website or a page in a search engine’s organic results — might confuse those who are trying to understand the basics of SEO. Essentially, SEO is everything that can be done to make your website show up higher on the list of a search engine results page (SERP).
So, why does SEO matter? You can use SEO not only to rank higher on Google, but also to bring more relevant traffic to your website, grow leads, increase sales and boost your revenue. When done right, SEO has a high ROI.
People are constantly searching for products, services and information through search engines. The potential web traffic can greatly benefit your business — but only if your SEO is targeted to bring in a specific audience with high search intent. Commercial search intent means that customers are searching for the products or services you offer with the goal of making a purchase.
Investing in an SEO strategy for your website has the potential to help your business grow exponentially by increasing your visibility to customers who are likely to discover your brand, make a purchase and develop a loyal following.
SEO Terms to Know
If you want to have an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to know a few things about SEO. No matter whether you do your SEO yourself or hire an SEO specialist, it’s important to understand some of the most common SEO terms and what they mean, for the benefit of your website’s online success.
Here are five important SEO terms to know:
- Keywords — Keywords are any words and phrases most relevant to your website and its content. These are the words and phrases that people use to search for your content through search engines, and they can be both short or long. You can boost your website’s visibility by including keywords in appropriate amounts throughout your website. There are many elements to developing a keyword strategy, but it’s important to remember that your keywords should be specific, match your content and reflect what your target audience is actually searching for online.
- Link building — Link building is the process of earning links back to your website from other websites online. The better authority of the other website, according to search engine algorithms, the greater boost it is to your website. While often overlooked, link building is one of the top elements to SEO. When it comes to gaining links to your website from other quality sites, you need to create high-quality content, put in persistent marketing efforts and use your connections well.
- SERP — SERP stands for the search engine results page. This page appears after a user searches for something in the search bar. One of the main goals of SEO is to rank highly or, even better, at the top of SERPs for your target keywords.
- Crawling — “Crawling” is the term for what search engine algorithms do to scan and analyze every page of a website, searching for elements like keywords and other technical SEO elements. This information is then used to assign your website’s ranking on SERPs. Search engines use programs called “bots,” sometimes known as “spiders,” to crawl your pages.
- Indexing — Indexing is the next step after crawling. This is when search engines store your website’s data so that it can display it in the results page for future user searches. No one knows exactly how often websites are indexed, but it’s important to make sure you are updating your website at least once a month with fresh content. This is so that search engine algorithms will have to display a fresh index on a regular basis, thus noting that your website provides relevant content to users and improving your SERP rankings.
There are many important terms to know when it comes to SEO, but these five are a great starting point. If these terms alone sound like a foreign language to you, then that might be just another reason to consider getting the help of an SEO expert.
Choosing an SEO Expert
SEO is a vast field, and unless you are a pro yourself, it’s best to have an expert on your side. An SEO specialist can take care of all the technical aspects of SEO that you may be unaware of, and they can help develop a targeted, effective SEO strategy to bring in real results.
Selecting an SEO expert or an SEO agency is a crucial decision to make, and you should do it carefully. While seeing results from an SEO strategy takes time and patience, you can implement a strategy both for the launch of a website or to boost your current website.
It’s important to make sure your SEO specialist in mind is qualified for the position, has a strong understanding of SEO and digital marketing practices, and does not engage in unethical or “black hat” SEO methods.
- Ask to see samples of their previous work and success stories.
- Make sure they follow Google Webmaster Guidelines.
- Set clear expectations for communication.
- Ask them to discuss their most valued SEO techniques.
- Learn about their history and their experience with your industry or region.
- Get in touch with their references.
- Request a technical and search audit of your website.
It’s also important that your prospective SEO expert or agency shows a clear interest in your business and in helping you succeed. They should ask questions about the value your business provides, what your audience is like, who your competitors are, what other advertising methods you may be using and other similar questions. After all, how can they build an SEO strategy unless they understand your business and its objectives?
Getting Started with SEO
If you want your website to do well on the search engines and are looking for a professional SEO agency in the UK, look no further than Virtual Stacks Systems UK. As a full-service digital marketing company, our digital marketing experts know what it takes to improve your site’s ranking on Google with our SEO services. Start reaching more customers today with a targeted SEO strategy! Contact us to discuss your website’s needs today.