You’ve probably heard of SEO. Even if you have no idea what it is or why people are talking about it, it’s become a pretty popular talking point in the digital world!
If you have a website or online business it’s definitely time you understand more.
What is SEO
SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’, but what is search engine optimization and how can you use it?
According to Wikipedia…Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.
Essentially It’s all about, Getting Google to show your site, services, products and information to the biggest possible audience.
So, for example, if you have a website that offers “Coding challenges” your target audience will be searching for phrases such as “python programming challenge”, “PHP coding challenges” or “java coding challenge”. Of course, you want your website to be showing up in these results, and good SEO can help that happen, making sure you’re one of (if not the) first websites your audience will see. This will mean more leads!
But why Google?
Google isn’t the only search engine is it? What about Bing or DuckDuckGo…… or maybe you even remember the classics like AltaVista or Ask Jeeves.
Google is where most of the people are ……… in fact according to “statista” Google has an 82.85% Market share as of July 2018, Google has a total monopoly.
Ok so now we know it’s all about Google…… All we need to do is work out what Google wants?
Now I’m not saying Google is pure evil but as with most things in life Google and the Google shareholders want to get paid £££££££.
Glossy world changing, live-saving mission statements aside it’s all about the money…
So let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
According to Google’s 2015 annual report submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Google had revenues of $75bn.
But It’s core service “Search” is FREE, So how do Google* make all of that money?
$67.4bn of Google’s $75bn revenue in 2015 came from selling advertising, that’s a whopping 89.87 % from ads.
So with over 80% of searchers using Google and 90% of their revenues coming from advertising, they must be doing something right… right?
Google say they answer one billion questions from people around the globe in 181 countries and 146 languages every day.
Why do so many people use Google to search?
It’s because it works and it works well, it provides much better search results than any of its competitors
“It wasn’t until early 2010 that Bing even became competitive and provided search results of similar quality. but by then too little too late – Google was already an established powerhouse, people associate Search with Google and Bing still hasn’t managed to gain any significant search share….sorry bing”
What makes Google’s results so Good?
Most people think highly complex, top-secret formulas only understood by Google’s Geekiest genius’.
But it’s actually not as complicated as you might think, the key is to take a common sense approach.
To quote Google “You want the answer, not billions of web pages” Google’s ranking systems sort through the hundreds of billions of web pages in there Search index to give you useful and relevant results in a fraction of a second.
How SEO works
These ranking systems are made up of a series of algorithms that analyse what it is you are looking for and what information to return to you.
Google claim they use over 200 different ranking factors in their algorithm
Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a “”major”” algorithmic update that can have a significant effect on the search results.
Often officially released and named for example…Medic, Payday Loan, Pirate, Phantom, Venice, Caffeine, Big Daddy, RankBrain. They seem to also love Animal names…Penguin, Possum, Panda, Pigeon, Hummingbird.
Putting all of the evil manipulation and hundreds of ranking factors to one side, let’s try to take a common sense approach to understand exactly what Google wants.
They make their money from having lots of people using their search engine to find results.
Google capitalise on this by serving searchers ads, But ultimately it’s the quality of the Organic results in Google that Drive this huge volume of people that Google has been able to monetise using paid ads.
How does search engine optimization work?
There are three main areas of Organic Search: strategy, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization.
A good plan is always the key to successful SEO, so it’s always important to take the time to prepare your strategy before you start implementing.
There are several key area’s to focus on, starting with what your potential customers are going to be searching for, and in turn what your website needs to be optimized for. Understanding what keywords or search terms your target audience is already typing into Google is essential to your success, so make sure you pinpoint these!
Once you’ve got this covered, you can move on to making sure your website is showing that you’re a great potential result for these terms. Basically, Google needs to love your website! You can do this by optimizing your site using your newly discovered keywords (amongst other things).
Finally, you should focus on your off-page optimization. This is when Google uses factors that aren’t actually on your website to rank you, mainly in the form of backlinks (links from other sites to your own, or links from your own site to others), but also traffic and how that can be used to judge your popularity, trustworthiness, and authority in your area.
Directory listing / Citations
Knowing Your Keywords
Now you have a better idea of SEO and realize that it’s pretty essential for a successful website, it’s time to get started! First things first, you need to find your keywords. You can do this through a number of techniques, Good luck!