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Demystifying Search Engine Optimisation

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Search Engine Optimisation is definitely a mouthful. However, it is also an extremely valuable tool that can help you improve your web traffic and reach a wider user base. While SEO is no longer in the technical domain that it used to be, it can still be fairly complicated for the average Joe to fully comprehend. So, with marketing and promotion related websites chock full of articles about what SEO is and how it is something you should implement immediately, we thought we would take a while to explain some of the technical terminology related to SEO so that you can have a better understanding of what it is you are doing. Here we go!

What does SEO do?

Irrespective of whether you are doing it on your own or if you have hired one of the local search engine optimisation companies to do your work for you, SEO has a pretty simple endgame: make your website appear higher in the search results. A homemade SEO strategy differs from a professional one only in its scope and complexity. You can go about optimising your website any way you like to any extent you like, but understand that SEO is not a marketing tool. It will not “attract” people to your website but it would increase your visibility.

What are keywords?

The term itself is pretty self-explanatory: keywords are important terms that people are likely to search for on internet search engines. Virtually any word can be used as keywords but the trick in “optimising” lies in choosing what words qualify to be keywords. Pick terms that are too general and you lose relevancy. Pick terms that are extremely niche and you drastically reduce your visibility. The sweet spot lies somewhere in the middle, and finding it takes a ton of research and effort.

How else can we “do” SEO?

Keyword is the term thrown around most often in relation to SEO but there is a lot more to the process than just that. Inbound links to your website, presence of related keywords, and even the performance and responsiveness of your website plays a part in determining how high you are ranked by search engines. Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly what factors search engines use to generate these rankings, so it is always a guessing game. However, empirical data shows that these markers are the most effective predictors of your rank.

Why do SEO services cost money?

Apart from the cost of convenience that you pay for offloading this responsibility to another party, the actual reason in SEO services costing money is the fact that SEO is a continuous process. You cannot just configure the best settings and leave it at that; for the best performance, you must continuously refine your strategy. Additionally, finding out what keywords offer the best performance takes time and resources. Analysing market trends and predicting future occurrences do not come easy. Or cheap.

So, that was a basic primer on what SEO is and does. If you are interested in optimising your website for search engines, you have to do your fair amount of research. SEO remains a highly effective outreach tool; whether it is the right choice for you is the subject of a different article.

 

Clare Louise

The author Clare Louise