What is SEO

SEO- Search Engine Optimisation. Over the last ten years SE’s (Search Engines) have become an ever increasing important factor in business promotion. The four major SE’s generate in excess of 700 million search queries a day, an outstanding fact that really emphasises the importance of utilising the potential reach of the Search Engine.

Over 75% of people now use the internet when looking to buy a product or service. Websites in the top 3 pages of the major search engines gain 90% of search engine traffic. Basically, if you have a website you need to be on the first few pages of the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) to get the traffic.so how do you do this?………. Its not quite as simple as many people believe. I am constantly being asked ” I have just had a website built but do not appear on Google.” Well firstly type in the URL (web address) of your website, if you still do not come up then your site has not been indexed. If your website does appear then previously when you said “I do not appear in Google” what you meant is- you typed in a keyword (a word related to your product/service) and your website did not appear in the top few pages. To be honest, this is very unlikely to happen. Unless you are selling a very unique product with very little competition then your website is likely to be on page 23 or worse!

Everybody with a website would love to be #1 on google for their main keyword, but it takes time and effort. You need to optimise your website for the best chances of achieving this.

After crawling the internet using robots called “spiders”, the SE’s use a complex mathematical formula to “rank” websites on importance and relevance to certain keywords. These formulas are known as “algorithms”. SEO describes the techniques that use a knowledge of how SE’s rank websites, to make alterations to a site so that it better “adheres” to the “algorithms”.

There are to main phases to the optimisation process- “on page” and “off page”. On page is the alterations that are made to the physical content of a website and the code that makes up each webpage. This includes intergrating keywords into areas of the site that the SE’s deem important. Off page optimisation is the process of building links to a website…… what this means is getting as many websites to have a link somewhere on their site to the site you are optimising. This is very important because a major part of SE’s “algorithms” is link popularity- the more websites that link to another, the more important it is considered by the SE’s and the higher up it appears in the SERP’s.

Of course there are many more technical issues involved with Search Engine Optimisation but i wont discuss these in this article.. One thing that you should remeber though when thinking about SEO is that it certainly is not instant. Due to the way search engines work it may be several months before the friuts of your labour are seen, in the form of higher rankings.Google currently indexes over 8 billion web pages and the ever increasing size of the internet means that the SE’s certainly have their work cut out.

Many companies manage their own SEO in house, this can work fine but be willing to put in the time to learn the technicalities. The “nity gritty” of it can be slighly overwhelming as it is quite a specialist, technical field.

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