What is SEO and how do I begin?
The words every marketeer loves and everyone else finds a little baffling - Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). What is it? How do we achieve this holy grail of digital marketing? How do we begin to tackle it strategically? All great questions and ones I find myself answering a lot as more and more businesses become familiar with the term SEO. So, here's a breakdown of the basics and some guidance on how to get started...
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In a nutshell, it is the practice of getting the right people, and more of those people, to visit your website when they type something into a search engine.
When someone types (or asks) a search engine something, the search engine responds with a list of possible websites to visit to get the answer. You can pay to be at the top of the list by advertising, but if you optimise your website well, you can organically appear at the top of the list.
When you optimise your website for search engines, the quality of your visitors is higher. You will be seen by the right people (i.e. if you sell art work, you will be seen by people wanting to buy artwork). Once you are getting the right visitors, you can work on quantity - getting more people visiting who want to buy artwork.
How does it work?
Search engines (like Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo) are like spiders...they have a web that reaches across the whole of the internet. When they find a fly, they pull it in and present it to the searcher.
I also really like the description from Moz - check out their website to read more about how SEO works and how to rank higher.
How to get started
My first piece of advice is to speak to an expert. An SEO expert will be able to audit your existing website, highlight any technical issues and outline actions you can take to optimise your website. I am able to recommend someone if you're looking to do this, just get in touch.
If you cannot afford an expert, this handy SEO checklist from Backlinko is a useful guide to the basics.
I would also recommend looking at the free SEO tools available from Moz, which includes a keyword explorer, free domain analysis and looks at link building opportunities for your business. They also have a Beginners Guide to SEO which is very interesting!
The most important bit
To me, the most important piece of advice I can offer is to begin creating compelling content. I believe the technical aspects of SEO are vital for success, but without amazing, original content all the keyword cramming and duplicate pages in the world will not help you. Provide your website visitors with what they want - and if you don't know what that is, ask your visitors! Your website is not a static place where leads end up - it is a powerful marketing tool that can be used to engage and support your clients every single day.
If you would like any support with storytelling or content planning, just get in touch. And good luck!