SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is essentially the process of increasing website traffic through organic search results, via search engines like Google. As you may have already read on our content writing page, SEO is about more than just search engines and is just as important to the end-user.
SEO seeks to understand what people are searching for and the answers they expect to receive. When a user performs a search, they are doing it with intent. This is known as user intent. Knowing the answers to the questions a user asks will enable you to be able to provide the relevant information and connect with people online.
Why SEO is important
Up to 80% of searchers ignore paid adverts, focusing only on organic search results. Whilst other channels and social media can drive traffic to websites, most of the traffic comes from search engines. In fact, search engines drive around 93% of all website traffic.
Organic search results tend to be favoured by more tech and search-savvy users. They recognise organic results to be more credible which is shown through the fact SEO gains 20 times more traffic opportunity compared to PPC across mobile and desktop.
Once your SEO has been set up, and done correctly, it can continue to offer value over time. For example, if you create a unique piece of content that’s relevant and valuable, ranking for the correct keywords, your website traffic can continue to grow from the same source. Advertising and PPC, on the other hand, needs continuous review and funding in order to achieve results.
Google’s SEO Guidelines
Google Webmaster has produced some general SEO guidelines. Of course, they’re never going to reveal their entire algorithm and nor will other search engines. However, we’ve extracted some of their guidelines to give you a better overview of what they are:
- HTTPS: If you want your website visitors and Google to recognise your website as safe and secure, you’ll need something called an SSL certificate. When you look at the address bar in a browser, you will notice the padlock symbol which indicates your site is secure.
- Simple URL Structure: Website URL structures should be simple and easy for a human to read and understand. For example, www.mywebsite.com/about-us – this is much better than www.mywebsite.com/a976dfgnihg0asrndf. Google recommends that you use hyphens instead of underscores in your URLs.
- Child-directed: If you believe your website is specifically intended for children, you should visit the Tag for Child Directed Treatment page.
- Browser Compatibility: Much like devices, a website should be compatible with as many browsers as possible. Browsers interpret website code differently, so the way your website appears may differ too.
- Duplicate Content: Duplicate content refers to when your website and another website have matching content. In some cases, this may be intended, if you’re quoting something that’s not deceptive. However, duplicate content or multiple pages on your website having the same content is considered detrimental.
- Crawlable Links: Any links on your website should be crawlable using an <a> tag with a href attribute. Other formats will not be picked up by Google’s crawlers.
If you are interested in increasing your website’s SEO, head on over to our Search Engine Optimisation services page to find out more about what we offer, and how we can help you.