When you’re just starting out in the world of SEO or search engine optimisation, the alphabet soup of terms and costs and research can seem overwhelming. Where do you even begin? Let our beginner’s guide to SEO in 2023 help you better understand what SEO is, how it works and how you can get started using it for your own website.
What is SEO?
Every day, billions of searches happen on the internet. In order to ensure that one website gets noticed over its competitors, an entire industry was born devoted to search engine optimisation, or optimising pages to be ranked higher in the search engines. In existence since the 1990s, search engine optimisation has come a long way since its humble beginnings.
In the early days of the internet, the goal was simply to outrank your competition by optimising better than they did. Today, however, the field of SEO has grown to encompass not just organic or natural-ranking strategies but also paid advertising, a way to guarantee that your website and business get seen by your ideal customer.
How Does it Work?
SEO is the art and science of optimising the keywords, content, links and other factors of a website to not only rank well in the search engines, but also be enticing to visitors and shoppers. Although you can update your website and publish the changes instantly, some SEO strategies can take weeks or even months to be visible in the search engines. That’s because the search engines, like Google and Bing, are cataloguing an incredible amount of information and changes, so it can be some time until you see the return on investment for your time spent in learning and optimising your pages for the search engines.
What is Ranking?
Search engines use ranking as a criterion for determining where, among all of the results, a given webpage should go. A website that ranks at the top of the search engines naturally denotes a page that ranks very well for its given search term.
Over time, updates made to your website that are designed to optimise it for the search engine, as well as algorithm changes within the search engine itself, can cause your page’s rank to go up or down for a given keyword. You can rank naturally or you can pay to ensure that your page shows up at the top of the search results. There are pros and cons to both of these strategies and it’s important to work with a knowledgeable and experienced SEO company in order to better understand which options are better for your business.
Why Does SEO Matter?
Despite its gargantuan size, Google really only has one goal: to match users with the best possible site that answers their question or helps them in some way. Every time you or any user searches for something on Google and other search engines, their algorithms leap into action, determining which sites or pages best fulfil the user’s request. This all happens in a fraction of a second. Google doesn’t just look at who is paying for ranking and who isn’t, but it also looks at the popularity of a given page.
For example, if a user lands on a page and it does a very in-depth and thorough job of answering their question or concern, they’ll stay longer on that page than if it only began to scratch the surface of their inquiry. As a result, more people visiting the in-depth page tells Google “this page is popular, rank it higher than the other.” Google is consistently honing its algorithms in order to become better and better at this process, and as the number of websites grows exponentially, it has to continue to be able to think fast and deliver the best possible results at all times.
How Do I Create an SEO Strategy?
As you might expect, being able to accurately predict and optimise for different changes across Google and other search engines is both an art and science in and of itself. For this reason, many experienced companies develop different SEO strategies in order to approach the optimisation process and deliver the best possible return on investment for their customers.
At its core, an SEO strategy involves various technical aspects, including the ability for the search engine to find and index your pages (include them in its search engine results pages). It also must be able to understand the keywords you want to rank for as well as how well your content does the job of explaining or otherwise answering the user’s question with regard to those keywords.
Then there is the question of how your pages are linked together. Can someone who has a question about a given topic easily navigate your site to learn more if they wanted to? What other pages point to your site as an authority? Does the site load quickly and is the content helpful? Does it read well to the user and can they easily find what they’re looking for? All of these things feed into your site’s optimisation and as a result, determine its organic ranking in the search engines.
Working with a Knowledgeable SEO Firm
Companies that specialise in search engine optimisation, like CLIQ MC are here to help you make sense of the world of SEO. Our decades of experience optimising websites for all types of businesses has given us unparalleled insights into how search engines rank them and as such, we’re dedicated to helping businesses maximise their return on investment through proper paid and organic optimisation. To learn more and to put us to work for you in optimising your own website, reach out today to speak with one of our qualified SEO specialists.
We’ll take the time to answer any questions you may have as well as help you take your next steps into the world of SEO with greater confidence and clarity, making 2023 your best year ever!