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SEO 101 – An Introduction

Do you want to learn about SEO? Hired someone to do the work for you and not sure what it is?

First, you need to understand what SEO is, how it works and why it is important.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is the process of improving the visibility of your website for relevant searches. When your website can rank better on search engines, the more likely you will be able to gain relevant customers to your website and therefore increase profits.

It is important to note that this traffic is considered organic – in other words, not advertising. When you search a term on search engines, you will notice that paid ads appear first, and then the page will have your search engine results, otherwise known as SERPs. You cannot pay search engines to ensure your organic results appear higher. Instead, you have to undertake relevant SEO to help improve your search engine results.

How does SEO work?

Man using google speed test on MacBook Air

Search engines use bots which crawl sites to collect information about the website. This collected information is then analysed by an algorithm, which determines which position the web page will have in the search engine results.

The more relevant the information is to the search term, the better the experience the user has and the higher the authority of the page, the higher the chance is of the website appearing first in the search results.

Do I need to do SEO?

SEO can be a lot of work and does not generate results overnight. Advertising on Google or various social media channels can often seem like a quicker solution. As a result of this, businesses can often wonder whether or not it is worth doing SEO.

There is no denying that paid advertising will generate a large amount of traffic towards a website and is a successful way to boost sales. However, if you have a limited budget and want to ensure you’re beating the competition, you will need to undertake SEO activities.

If you decide not to do SEO, it is more likely that your competitor’s websites will display above yours and you will risk losing business. To avoid this happening, you need to properly implement an SEO strategy.

Search engine guidelines

 

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It is important to ensure that you have an understanding of SEO before you decide to make changes to your website. Search engines have certain guidelines; for Google, this is known as the Google Webmaster Guidelines. These guidelines outline what techniques you should follow to properly optimise your website.

If you do not follow these guidelines, search engines may penalise your website. Penalties occur when you try to trick the search engine, rather than focusing on providing the user with a good experience. Techniques used to trick search engines are often referred to as ‘black-hat SEO’. To avoid a penalty, it is best to follow SEO best practices and techniques, otherwise known as ‘white-hat SEO’.

A penalty can result in your website having lower rankings, or being removed from the search engine rankings altogether.

Being banned from a search engine can potentially have severe financial consequences for your business. Getting your website reinstated on search engines involves manually reversing the action you took to receive the penalty. Recovering from a penalty can often take weeks or months, and in some cases can result in websites needing a completely new domain.

Having an understanding of the basics of SEO can help you to improve your rankings on search engines and ultimately increase the number of people who visit your website and purchase your product or service.

Need an agency to do your SEO? Patch Agency is a Brisbane based digital marketing agency who can help your business with your SEO needs. Contact us today.

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