SEO basics

Ok so, you have created your dream website and it’s now live- what next? Many people overlook the importance of SEO; without this implemented, sadly you will be hard pushed to get the results you want from your website. Do not invest in a website if you do not intend to implement SEO- trust us when we say this. In today’s competitive market, SEO marketing is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users per day looking for answers to their questions or for solutions to their problems. We want you to get the best results from your website and for your business.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimisation or SEO in short, is a set of rules for optimising your website for search engines and improve your search engine rankings. You want to appear high on search pages and in order to get these top marks, SEO has to be involved.
In addition, it is a great way to increase the quality of your website by making it user- friendly, faster and easier to navigate.

But why is it so important?
Search engine optimisation is important because:

The majority of search engine users are more likely to click on one of the top 5 suggestions in the results pages (SERPS). To take advantage of this and gain visitors to your web site or customers to your online store, your website needs to appear in one of the top positions.

SEO is not only about search engines but good SEO practices improve the user experience and usability of a web site.
Users trust search engines and having a presence in the top positions for the keywords the user is searching, increases the web site’s trust.

SEO is good for the social promotion of your web site. People who find your website by searching Google or Yahoo are more likely to promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social media channels.

SEO is important for the smooth running of a big web site. Websites with more than one author can benefit from SEO in both a direct and indirect way. Their direct benefit is increase in search engine traffic and their indirect benefit is having a common framework (checklists) to use before publishing content on the site.

SEO can put you ahead of the competition. If two web sites are selling the same thing, the search engine optimised website is more likely to have more customers and make more sales.

How SEO is broken down:

SEO is not a static process but rather a framework with rules and processes.

For simplicity though, SEO can be broken down into 3 main stages:
1. Technical SEO: With technical SEO you can ensure that search engines can crawl and index your website without any issues.
This is the first stage in the SEO process. As the name implies, technical SEO has nothing to do with the actual content of a website or with website promotion methods. It has to do with settings you need to configure to make the job of search engine crawlers easier. Usually, once you get your technical SEO correct, you may not have to deal with it again. On the other hand, if you have problems with crawling and indexing, it can negatively impact on your rankings.

2. On-site SEO: Rules to apply on your site and content to make it search engine friendly. Unlike technical and off-page SEO, the main focus of on-page SEO is to provide search engine crawlers enough signals so that they can understand the meaning and context of your content. Remember, search engines don’t read a page like a human, so they are looking for signals to figure out what a page is all about. It is at this stage that you will deal with website structure, keywords, title optimisations, headings, internal links, image SEO, structured data markup and other techniques that can send the right signals to search engines.

If followed correctly, on-page SEO will also improve the usability and credibility of a website or blog.

3. Off-site SEO: Ways to promote your website or blog so that it can rank higher in search results.
The third stage is Off-Page SEO. Besides the changes you can do to your website (on-site SEO) so that it ranks higher in the SERPs, the other way to improve your website’s ranking position is by using off-site SEO techniques. Off-site SEO is generally known as link building but I prefer to use the term ‘website promotion’ since a proper way to promote a website involves much more methods and techniques than building links.

We will cover more on SEO soon but first, let’s get to grips with the basics. #happyseo

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