What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and how does it work?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a term that you will find frequently when looking for ways to promote your website and increase site traffic, but what exactly is it?
“SEO is the process of optimising your website to allow search engines to find your site and rank it.”
When you type a search on Google have you ever stopped to think about where the result comes from or how Google chooses the order that they appear?
This is something that usually doesn’t even get considered until you are trying to look for ways to boost your own website to the top of Google’s ranking.
What is a Search Engine?
So, Google is a search engine, it is its job to deliver you the websites that you are looking for. It is Google’s ability to evaluate what websites will best answer your question that has made it so successful.
Due to the number of websites on the internet and the number of searches being conducted at any given time, it would be impossible for a human to control the result of every Google search. So, the engineers at Google turned to software to make this possible.
When you type your question into Google and hit search their software sends a query to Google’s database. The software then runs around collecting data from every website in the database looking for the best results for your search.
The information in this database is obtained from Google sending out a small program called a “Crawler”. A crawler’s job is to hunt around every website on the internet and collect data about it for the main database.
How Does Google Know the Best Search Result?
The “best search result” or top-ranking website is determined based on an algorithm developed by Google’s engineers to give you the best possible answer to your questions.
As a website owner, there are specific edits that you can make to your site to make the process of being found easier for these crawlers. This process is known as SEO.
What Factors do Google’s Crawlers Look For?
This is another word you will hear a lot of in the digital marketing world.
Keywords are effectively the search term that a consumer uses in Google to find the website they are looking for.
The first thing that Google looks for is all of the websites in their database that contain the exact search term (or Keyword) that you have entered into the search box.
For example, if you were to search for “apple” in Google the crawlers would immediately go around looking for every webpage on their database that contains the word “apple”.
As I am sure you can imagine there are millions of websites containing the word “apple” so how does Google break down the results to give a more accurate result?
After looking for all the websites featuring the Keyword, Google then moves on to look at other key factors to narrow its search result.
Domain authority is a phrase that was created to describe the ‘score’ Google gives your website, determined by an extremely complex algorithm that changes constantly.
If you imagine your domain authority to be like your website’s credit score. Whilst the DA (Domain Authority) is nothing to do with financials, it is all about showing Google how trustworthy your website is.
Domain Authority is based on a scale – 1-100 (100 being the best and 1 being the worst).
You score is generated by looking at these factors:
- Domain Age – How long your domain name has been registered for and how long until the renewal date. Is your site brand new or has it been around for a long time?
- Link Trust – A major factor that affects your Domain Authority is backlinking. This is where people link back to your website or mention your site on other websites. With links, it is more about quality over quantity. The higher “trust” or Domain Authority the links are coming from the better.
An example of this would be if you had 100 links coming to your website from domains with little to no domain authority. 1 link from a site with high authority will have more of an impact on your domain authority than all 100 low authority backlinks.
This is due to Google having to constantly change its algorithm as people try to abuse the process by mass buying 1,000’s of links on websites set up only for this purpose.
Quality of Content
In a digital world where “Content is King,” it is all about quality over quantity. Search engines are always looking for the best results for their consumers and that means the highest quality content that they can find.
Gone are the days where you could fill up a page with keywords to trick Google into thinking your page was the “go-to” resource for a particular search.
Nowadays Google is looking for well researched, easy to read and most importantly, unique content.
Onsite performance factors come into play with Google’s decision making when ranking sites.
Slow loading websites lower the user experience and therefore effect the search result from Google.
Mobile Usability is Also a Key Factor
Around 50% of interest search traffic is now done on mobile devices. If your website is not mobile compatible, it will affect your ranking with Google.
So, the bottom line is that SEO is the process of limiting factors that will discourage Google from sending people to your site whilst doing as much as possible to increase the authority of your site.
SEO Marketing is an art and takes time to see the results. However, it is still the most effective way to generate free traffic to your website that will passively grow and expand your reach.
The best thing about traffic from search engines is that it is relevant and targeted. People are finding your website because you fit the criteria that they are looking for.
Our Great Website Philosophy
In most cases, people look to SEO to improve overall website performance. So it shouldn’t just be the technical factors that are considered. A great design, engaging content, high quality imagery, video content, clear user journey’s and calls to action are just some of the elements that need to be considered. So pumping all of your budget into ‘getting to the top’ of Google is not always the most effective method to getting results.
If you are interested in SEO Marketing or ways to improve your website’s performance, our team is here to help.
We help businesses increase their organic traffic from Google and other search engines, helping increase brand awareness and inbound sales. Our methods are proven and built to last. Investing in effective SEO strategies gives you a predictable way to attract potential buyers to your website, products and services.
Get in touch today.