Search Engine Optimisation
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results.
What is SEO?
To better understand SEO, we can break down the definition into its three key parts:
- Quality of Traffic – Even if you attract all the visitors in the world, if they come to your site because Google tells them that you sell Apple Computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Alternatively, you want to attract visitors who have a genuine interest in the products that you are selling.
- Quantity of Traffic – Once you have the right people who click through from the search engine results page (SERPs), more traffic is better.
- Organic Results – Ads make up a large portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.
How SEO Works
You may think of a search engine as a website you visit to type (or speak) a question into a box and Google, Yahoo, Bing, or whatever search engine you’re using magically searches and replies with a long list of links to webpages that could potentially answer your question.
That is true, however, have you ever actually stopped and thought what’s behind that magical list of links?
Here is how it works: Google (or whichever search engine you’re using) has what’s called a crawler that goes and gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet. The crawlers bring all the 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. The index is then fed through an algorithm that attempts to match all that data with your query.
There are numerous factors that go into a search engine’s algorithm, the picture to the right is how a group of experts ranked their importance.
That’s all the SE (Search Engine) of SEO.
The O part of SEO – Optimisation – is where the people who write all the content and put it on their sites are preparing the content and those sites so search engines will be able to understand what they’re seeing, and the users who arrive via search will like what they see.
Optimisation can take various forms. It includes everything from making sure the title tags and meta descriptions are both informative and the correct length to pointing internal links of pages you’re proud of.