What is SEO? A beginner's guide
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What is SEO? A beginner's guide

What is SEO and why should your business be doing it? Discover more about the different elements of SEO with our handy beginner's guide.

If you’ve worked in the marketing sector for more than five minutes, you’ve probably heard the term SEO mentioned a couple of thousand times. But exactly what is SEO? We’ve created this handy guide to get you up to speed!

Defining SEO

In its simplest of terms, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to a website, in order to increase visibility on search engines like Google. SEO is a direct result of marketing improvements and traffic coming from free (organic) sources, rather than gaining traffic through those paid ads you often see on Google and social media sites.

So now you know what SEO stands for, it’s time to understand the different sectors within SEO and how your business can achieve and adopt these best practices.

Mastering your content optimisation

It’s easy to think of SEO and content marketing as separate sectors when in reality you shouldn’t be doing one without the other. While they are distinguishable from one another, a successful content marketing strategy requires you to have optimised pages and that can only be achieved through SEO best practices.

Content marketing requires in-depth research and knowledge of your business sector. That’s where keyword research comes in. To have the best chance of ranking high in search engine results pages (SERPs), you’ll first need to conduct some keyword research. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush and Keyword Planner can help with this.

The key thing to remember when creating any content is to make sure it’s providing value to visitors. Keyword research helps you to understand terms users are searching for that relate to your industry, as well as potential pain points your business has the ability to answer or solve.

Implement keywords strategically throughout your page content, only ever where it naturally makes sense to include them. Don’t use keywords for keyword sake!

Conducting outreach to increase link building

An essential part of SEO is conducting outreach. This refers to the process of creating valuable relationships with other businesses in order to get them to link to your website or page content. How do you go about this? First, you need to research who you’d like to partner with.

You need to consider which websites will help to improve your credibility and strengthen brand awareness. Earning links from low-quality or spam websites will actually hurt your ranking. Common ways of outreaching businesses are through email. This is where the negotiating phase begins. You can simply reach out for advertorial purposes or a more effective way of gaining links and reaching new audiences is to suggest writing a guest post for their website.

Outreach helps to increase organic visibility because when other websites link back to your pages, Google views this as a vote of confidence and helps to increase ranking in SERPs, as you’ll be attracting a new audience.

Understanding technical SEO

Simply put, technical SEO is the process of optimising your website to increase ranking. To do this, you need to understand how websites and search engines work, as well as how users interact with websites.

Common methodologies for technical SEO are to optimise through on-page SEO and off-page SEO. With on-page SEO, it’s important to make sure everything a person sees on a page is user-friendly and optimised with keywords. Off-page SEO tactics can include anything that isn’t directly seen on your page, for example ensuring page speed is as fast as possible, making sure your website has little to no dead links and redirecting 404 errors.

Now you understand what SEO is and how it can help your business, you might be interested to discover how you can become an SEO expert in just 12 simple steps. Download our handy guide to find out!


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