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What is SEO?

Luke Marthinusen | March 27 2020

We have written in depth about SEO and why SEO is important for your website. But to keep things easy for those new to SEO and digital marketing, we thought we'd write a quick guide on what SEO is. Embedded in the guide we also provide links to other blogs on our site, and resources around the web that might help. Enjoy.

The definition of SEO

Our working definition for search engine optimisation comes from the popular SEO site Moz.

"SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results."

What makes up SEO?

SEO is about the quality of traffic, the quantity of traffic and organic rankings on search engine results. The main aim is to increase the ranking of your website and website pages. You do so by optimising your content with keywords and the user experience in mind.

Why is great SEO so sought after?

Organic rankings deliver by far the highest quality of traffic over other channels such at Google Ads, Google Display Ads, Social Media and Social Media Ads. Organic traffic stays on your site longer, and converts into leads at a much higher rate than these other channels.

So how do you do great SEO?

The focus here is to provide your target audience with relevant and high-quality content. So, you need to conduct research, identify keywords you wish to rank for and then attract users who fall into your target demographic. For those not in the know, organic search traffic is any unpaid traffic that comes from search engine results.

The inner workings of SEO

The basics of how search engines like Google work, is that these search engines make use of crawlers that go out on the internet and gather data from all the content they can find online. These crawlers, known as spiders, bring back the data they collected to search engines data warehouses and build an index.

This index is basically a blueprint of the entire internet. It maps out where content is located, and then Google uses an algorithm to rank pieces of content against other pieces of content. 

This collected data is then used to match your Google search queries you type into the search engine.

These are the factors that go into a search engine’s algorithm, courtesy of MOZ.

So how do you rank your content?

In terms of optimisation, it typically consists of making sure that your content is written with keywords you wish to rank for in mind.

  • You do not want to overstuff your content with keywords.
  • Your content must read naturally as search engines will rank your content according to its relevance, language, quality and location when it comes to keywords.
  • You need to make sure that include your focus keywords in the title tags, meta descriptions and body content.
  • You should also using internal links to other relevant resources within your website.

When trying to rank your website, you will be faced with competition from big brands for popular keywords and it can be challenging to get your website high on search engine rankings. If you are looking for some helpful tips to get your website ranking higher, we suggest checking out this blog post we wrote. Alternatively, you can check out our awesome resource below for more insights.

Keep following us for a more detailed look into the vast depths that is search engine optimisation. In the next few blog posts in this series, we will explore on-page, off-page and technical SEO.

You might find this interesting: Are SEO Agencies in South Africa Wasting your Money?

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