Ever find yourself asking what is SEO and why do I need it? This post will help you figure it out.
In simple terms, search engine optimisation is about making your content right. It’s about making the right content discoverable to the right target audience, at the right time.
Do I Need SEO?
Search engine optimisation is the process in which brands and website owners can increase their visibility to search engines. If you want to build a website that your target audience is able to find and can derive value from, you don’t just need SEO, you need it now!
Picture the scenario.
You’ve written great website content that outlines your brand’s value proposition, the benefits of your product / service, and why you should be the first choice for your target audience.
You post it on your website and wait for the traffic to roll in and the conversions to click over. And you wait. And wait. So, what’s gone wrong?
Just two decades ago, pushing out your message via your website may have been enough. Websites were just becoming known to marketers as a marketing tool, competition for traffic was relatively limited, and you may have achieved your goals by direct traffic alone.
Fast forward 20 years and you’re now looking at a vastly different landscape. At 31 December, Google trends indicated that Australians made between 250,000 and 300,000 Google searches per day. Globally, that figure is closer to 18.5 billion.
Why Do I Need SEO? How to Get a Piece of the Search Action
Marketers everywhere have realised that’s a lot of potential exposure. But it’s also a lot of potential competition. Top ranking websites on any given topic do not get their by chance. They get there through a combination of tools, both paid (advertising and PPC) and organic (SEO) that feed into a wider equation to get people on to your website and converting.
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is one of those techniques. Here’s how it works.
How do Search Engines Work?
Search engines have three primary functions to deliver the most relevant and helpful content to searchers. These are:
- Crawl – search engines comb the internet looking at content and code to determine the most relevant url for any given search.
- Index – search engines will then index the results of the crawl, making it available for relevant search inquiries.
- Rank – search engines then rank content in order of relevance and display it on the search engine results page (SERP) in response to a given inquiry.
With this in mind, it is critical that developers create websites that can be crawled, indexed and ranked.
Let Data Drive Your Decisions
SEO specialists use a combination of techniques both on and off the website to ensure that websites can be crawled, indexed, and ranked. Data drives almost of these of these decisions.
Data tells SEOs about the coding, content, and technical information driving the website, whether it can be crawled, indexed, and ranked and to what effect. It also allows them to diagnose problems with coding and content and provide remedies to get the site back on the search engine track.
As well as allowing website owners to benchmark performance and establish goals for traffic, conversions, and sales, insights-driven data can take the variability out of website content and coding decisions.
But it’s more than that. Search data can give website owners insights into their target audience, their search behaviour, and where they are in the purchasing cycle. For example, the search query of someone who is in the research phase is likely to be vastly different to the search query of a motivated buyer. Search data can even tell brands and website owners when they should be focusing their marketing activities.
Getting the Search / Content Mix Right
Getting the technical and coding aspects of search engine optimisation right is critical. But the content you put on the page is equally, if not more, important. In fact, with the helpful content and core algorithm updates Google rolled out in September, well written content that responds to users’ needs, is king.
So, how do you achieve this balance? SEO experts use data to identify keywords and phrases that target audiences are searching for, naturally incorporating them into content. Knowing what your audience is searching for helps you have a conversation that builds trust with them.
You Are What You E.A.T
When it comes to content, you truly are what you E.A.T. Remember than Google algorithms deliver unique content strong on expertise, authority, and that users can trust. There are a number of techniques that SEO experts can use to build E.A.T with algorithms and the target audience. Well chosen and expertly applied keywords are just the start.