What is search engine optimisation (SEO) in 2021?
SEO is a broad term and covers all the methods you can use to increase your visibility and presence in search engines.
A Search engine spans much further than the 10 listing on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that we remember from the early 2000’s. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expands on SEO and includes things such as Pay Per Click (PPC) and display advertising.
What are the types of Search Engine Optimisation?
Depending how deep you want to go, there are many forms of SEO. But for the purpose of this article, we are going to categorise SEO down to two: on-page and off-page.
What’s the difference between on-page and off-page SEO?
On-page SEO relates to all methods you can use to optimise your website and it’s content with relevant keywords to bring organic search traffic to your site. These are things like adding meta title, meta description and optimising keywords on blog posts, optimising images with alt text, page loading times and site speed, internal links between pages and website structure. When you get a bit more technical, you can use Schema Markup to enhance your posts and products further.
Off-page SEO relates to any method that is used to drive and refer traffic to your site from an external source. These factors play a big part of building your online reputation and trust score. One of the most talked about and effective methods is backlinks (links from an external website to your website). These backlinks can come from guest posts on another website or an external blog, citations with online directories and social media posts – all of these should be built around a strategy to grow your websites trust and reviewed periodically.
More about building backlinks below.
Above are just the basics – a search engine’s algorithm will take into account hundreds of factors when assessing your webpage.
How does SEO help to optimise content to improve your online presence?
Content that is correctly optimised for search engines will generally rank higher because it helps Googlebots to crawl your website, identify key information and index your page(s) based on their search engine algorithms in a shorter amount of time than a competitor’s page that hasn’t been optimised.
Google and other search engines are built to bring their users the right information clearly and as quickly as possible – so you will be rewarded if you have identified keywords and search terms of their users and can offer the information as efficiently as possible.
Can I do SEO myself?
The short answer is YES – anyone can do SEO. What do you need? Even if you don’t have a lot of knowledge about search engine optimisation, you can easily understand the basics, and even a small amount can make a big difference. You will also need time to learn and create content.
An SEO’s job becomes easier with data-driven tools – but these tend to be expensive for a single website. You can get a lot of information for free if you make sure you set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics correctly.
How should I plan my backlinks?
When mapping out your backlinks SEO strategy you should only look for genuine and quality links that are relevant to your content. Links coming from a high authority site are great – but if it isn’t high-quality content that is relevant to your website, it may count against you in the search results.
The main focus is on the quality and value of your content. You need to give people a reason to link to your website.
Be aware: approach all backlinks with caution and do your due-diligence – when a website links to your site it tells Google that your website is linked to the web page that link is coming from.
Want to improve your blog optimising?
To help with your blog wirting, you can download our free ‘The SEO Behind a Blog Post‘ helpsheet.