A Beginner's Guide to SEO

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A Beginner's Guide to SEO

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. To focus on SEO is to improve the quality of your website and raise its ranking organically in search engine results.

Organic rankings lead to more traffic (which you may have used PPC to generate previously), therefore it’s something that anyone with a website should look into. That's why we've worked with our friends over at Audience to bring you this full guide. 

Although SEO has been relevant since the emergence of search engines in the 90s, recently, more and more business owners have begun to home in on this unpaid strategy, leading to decreased spending on PPC.

This is important for your business…

It doesn’t matter what service or product your business provides... internet users are constantly searching, and you want the answer to be on your website in order to be ranked higher than your competitors – meaning more free traffic for your business.

Essentially, SEO is any action you take on your site to make search engines know that your website is high quality and provides the solution the user is seeking.

Technical SEO vs. Off-page SEO

These are terms which you may have heard of – but what do they mean?

On-page SEO (or technical SEO) refers to everything which you can amend and control such as using keywords, improving content quality, internal linking, and page performance.

It’s worthwhile investing time into this as these things and high rankings go hand-in-hand.

Off-page SEO is anything which can aid the optimisation of your website externally, such as gaining backlinks from reputable websites. Backlinks prove the credibility and authority of your website and flags to search engines how helpful your website is.

Think of it like a shout out, the greater the reputation of the backlink-er, the more credibility the shout out has, and therefore the more impact it has on your website’s search engine ranking score.

For example, here’s a backlink to our Instagram.  

What Makes Good SEO?

SEO can be complicated, but there are 3 important areas to consider: technical, website content, and backlinks.

  • The technical aspect of your website (aka on-page SEO) is the way your website has been constructed, without considering SEO from a technical angle, it is difficult for other techniques to be effective
  • Content is obviously another key area, as, without high-quality content, search engines will not rank you highly. Generally, helpful and high-quality content means higher ranking and therefore, more organic traffic
  • Having quality backlinks (an external site linking to a page on your site) also raises credibility when it comes to search engine ranking

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

These are some other terms you should get to know to be an SEO pro.

The white hat approach refers to the ‘goodies’ who follow SEO guidelines, whereas the black hat approach is used to describe those who don’t, the ‘baddies’.

White hat SEO is all the regular SEO techniques which follow the guidelines and rules. This is the recommended approach to follow, as it leads to long-term high ranking. This ranking is a result of the website containing quality content and having the user in mind.

On the other hand, black hat SEO is generally seen as unethical with a website built upon spammy practices where the website owner usually only has search engine rankings in mind and not the user. 

This bad practice is eventually flagged up by the search engine and can result in penalties or even getting banned.  

How Can I Get Started with SEO?

You don’t need anything to start looking at SEO for your website, you can check through pages yourself. But there are loads of helpful online tools to analyse your site and manage data.

We recommend: Google Search Console, Google Analytics for traffic analysis, Google Keyword Planner to find recommended keywords, and a backlink analysis tool to see which websites are mentioning yours – Ahrefs.com provides a simple to use one.

So what are you waiting for? Start saving money on PPC and get your website ranked highly with all our top tips. If you need some more help with your SEO, you don't have to do it alone. Why not contact Audience at hello@getaudience.co.uk

For more helpful guides check out our Knowledge Hub.

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