What is SEO and why do you need to do it?

Search Engine Optimisation – An Introduction

By Rhian Harris

So you’ve read a lot about it over the years, but what exactly is this SEO thing all about?

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’ and is the practice of improving and promoting a website to increase the number of times the site is found in search engine results (SERPs), and in doing so, increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines.

NB We are talking about natural (also called organic) search results seen in the middle of the search results, rather than the sponsored adverts you might see highlighted at the top or side, which is called ‘PPC’ or pay per click advertising.

There are a number of aspects to SEO, from the way in which the page is constructed to the actual words on your page, to the way other sites link to your website.

As a very simplified definition, SEO is:

“Ensuring your website is structured in such a manner that search engines understand it and are satisfied it answers the need of a user when they look for something via a search engine”

But we need to remember that search engine optimisation isn’t only for the benefit of the likes of Google or Bing, it’s all about making a website better for the users too. In other words, there is a technical aspect that needs to be covered off, but a clear focus should also be kept on ensuring it makes sense to customers too.

So why is it so important to get inbound marketing via natural search right?

In short, it’s the most cost effective and long-term means of driving traffic to your website. If done properly, it can also be responsible for generating the most visitors to your site with corresponding revenue to boot.

So now that makes sense, let’s go about setting a framework out and paying proper attention to SEO planning

Jump to:

What is SEO and why do you need to do it?
Setting the framework and understanding your objectives
The basics of onsite search engine optimisation
The basics of offsite inbound marketing
Good practices in link building
Not forgetting the role of social media in SEO