What is SEO and what does SEO stand for?
If you are relatively new to the field of digital marketing, you may have come across the term SEO and wondered what it means.
This post looks at what SEO stands for, what it involves and how business owners can use basic SEO principles to benefit their company. We also touch on Local SEO, a relatively recent offshoot of standard SEO.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. This stands for a combination of on-site and off-site marketing strategies which work together to lift a business’s website up through the pages of search engine results.
What does SEO involve?
A well-optimised website should reach Page 1 of Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) for target keywords or phrases. The best of all will sit in one of the lucrative top three spots on that page and might even trigger the prominent Google ‘Knowledge Graph’ which is displayed on the top right-hand side of the SERPs.
SEO is an umbrella term for a wide range of tactics and strategies all geared towards increasing a website’s visibility and ultimately converting visitors into paying customers. The more visible the website is, the more visitors will arrive; the more relevant the content is, the better conversion rate you will have.
On-site SEO refers to adjustments that can be made on the website itself. It includes ensuring blog content and webpages contain keywords related to the products, services or information the site contains. It also refers to ‘back-end’ optimisation such as ensuring keywords appear in the title tags and meta description fields.
Off-site SEO is all about helping to increase the reputation of a website through third-party means. This includes sourcing high quality inbound links from reputable websites; shares from social media platforms and citations and reviews from directories.
5 strategies and tips to make SEO work for you
Here are some useful SEO strategies you can use straight away to improve your website’s visibility.
• Post regular content on social media platforms. Find out what attracts engagement (shares, likes, comments, etc.) and post more of the same.
• Build unique content around keywords that relate to your business. Add the keywords into title tags, meta descriptions and image alt tags.
• Write guest posts for reputable third party websites and ask them to link the posts to your website.
• Make sure your website’s menus, functions and design are user-friendly for desktop and mobile users..
• Consider bringing an SEO expert on board to bring in their experience, knowhow and industry-standard tools.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a specialist branch of SEO which is focused on driving local traffic and footfall to businesses. Local SEO experts aim to have their clients’ websites rank well for geographically-specific keywords and to appear in the Google Local Pack for nearby searches.
5 strategies and tips to make Local SEO work for you
Here are some useful Local SEO strategies you can use straight away to improve your website’s local visibility.
• Claim your free Google My Business listing.
• Make sure your business name, address and telephone details are identical in all local directories you are listed in.
• Ask customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing.
• Include town, city and region-specific keywords in your content.
• Consider bringing a Local SEO expert on board to bring in their experience, knowhow and industry-standard tools.
What does SEO stand for? The slow road to success
One thing that all business owners should understand is that SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. It may take a number of months before a website begins to climb up the search engine rankings but the foundation is built to last. It is possible to buy a favourable position through pay-per-click advertising but as soon as you stop paying, you are back to square one.