What is SEO and How Does it Work?

Nov 18, 2022

Google isn’t the only search engine out there, but Google has become so prevalent that the company name has also become a verb. Many of us use search engines every day but how many times do you go beyond the first few results – and certainly the first page of results – to get to the information or destination you need?

Search engines can be a massive source of online traffic for any business or organisation, but only if you appear high up in the search engine results pages (SERPs). You can pay for the privilege with clearly marked ads that temporarily put you at the top of the page, or you can get there organically and stay there with SEO services.


What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and refers to the overall process of getting your website or pages to appear high up the search results pages of Google and other search engines when people look for a relevant keyword. It’s a simple concept but it can be quite a complex process. This is because search engines use hundreds of indicators known as ‘ranking factors’ to decide which pages to list and in what order for any given keyword or search term.

It’s also worth noting that, while they do provide some guidance, the big search engines don’t provide exact details of how they assess content on the web. Experience counts for a lot but the search landscape can and does change quickly.

This means that SEO experts must constantly monitor trends and announcements, tweaking campaigns and techniques to get the best results. There are some things that anyone can do to improve their SEO but there is a lot of competition for traffic out there and maintaining your SEO can be a lot of hard work.


Top 3 SEO Techniques to Help Websites Rank

There are many different things you can do to boost your SEO. It will generally involve tasks and activities such as identifying keywords, creating and sharing content, ensuring your site is well-designed and building links. These are some of the fine details but in general terms, there are three main types of SEO.

These are:

  • On-page optimisation

This involves looking at the content on your website, ensuring it is relevant and provides a great user experience. Using the right keywords and ensuring you have fresh content are great ways to boost your on-page SEO. It also needs to be presented in a way that is accessible both to human visitors and the search engine bots that crawl every web page, so ensuring that it is easily navigable and that you use elements like title tags correctly is also important.

  • Technical optimisation

While this also involves your website, it is less about the content and more about performance. This means making sure you have good loading speeds, a secure site, a mobile-friendly or responsive design and a functional structure. It’s obviously best if these elements are built into your site from the ground up but they can be retrofitted by experienced web designers like Maxweb. A well-designed and optimised website will look great and offer a fantastic user experience, as well as provide all the things that search engines look for when ranking pages.

  • Off-page optimisation

Off-page SEO is about all the things that happen away from your website to improve your search rankings and ultimately drive traffic there. This generally involves things like link building, SEO content marketing and improving local SEO such as Google Business Profile.

While these three elements of SEO are very distinct, they all interconnect, sometimes overlap and generally complement each other. It’s important to work on all the different parts of an SEO strategy rather than focusing on just one to the detriment of the others.


How website optimisation works

Website optimisation should have two elements. It should make the experience of visiting the site easy and engaging, helping your visitors to find the information they want and ultimately driving engagement and conversions. It should also make the website attractive to Google, Bing and other search engines, so that it appears high up on the search engine results pages.

There are a number of ways to do this, from ensuring that you have relevant content that uses appropriate keywords to structuring your pages with internal links and headings. Our SEO experts can quickly assess an existing website for potential improvements, or help you to design an optimised one from scratch.


What is SEO marketing?

The content on your website is very important but off-page optimisation such as external content marketing can also boost your SEO and reach new people directly. Providing guest blogs that link back to your site, articles that are shared on social media and content that is cited on other authoritative sites can all be effective ways to improve your SEO.


How SEO improves business

Businesses of all shapes and sizes need a website in the modern era. Many offer sales, goods or services directly from their website while others use theirs as a virtual shop window. E-commerce businesses obviously live or die by their online presence but even traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ stores or small businesses offering services can use their website to reach new customers, strengthen relationships with existing ones and gain an edge over their competition.

Even if you rely largely on social media for your web presence your website can serve as a vital central hub for your other assets.

There’s no point in having a wonderfully eye-catching and engaging website if no one ever sees it, however. Social media marketing and paid ads such as pay per click (PPC) campaigns can be good ways of getting people to your pages, but search engines remain a huge source of traffic.

If you’re looking to improve your SEO in Wirral, Liverpool, Chester or on a national level, get in contact today to find out how we can help.

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