The question; what is SEO on a website, must have crossed your mind at least more than once when as a business decision maker, you receive offers from all over the world for this service.
Since SEO is always a component of our Web Development proposals we would be making this post to outline simply what it is for both clients and prospects.
When you need to find a place or look for anything on the Internet, you use a search engine, Duck Duck Go, Bing, Google, etc.
This search engine, which is a website that regularly scans the entire internet for new content and saves links to this content compares what you searched for to what it has saved and then presents you with the most relevant results which you can go through page y page.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as the name implies is the process of ensuring that pages from your website are in the first page of results produced by these search engines when people look for different things on them.
For instance a firm sells doors and sets up a website where it lists these doors.
The business might write a post, “How to chose the best door for a kitchen” and someone looking to buy a kitchen door would search for “How to choose the best door for a kitchen” on any search engine.
If the searcher clicks on this post (which would have links to doors for sale for the different kinds of doors listed), they are likely to buy a kitchen door from that business everything else being equal.
Next we would be going through an overview of how SEO works.
None of this post would be overly technical as its not meant to turn you into an SEO professional but just to let you understand, what SEO is on a website and speak knowledgeably when discussions on it come up.
Every search engine (Duck Duck go, Bing, Google, etc.) regularly scans the internet for new webpages and also for changes in existing webpages. They do this using automated software called bots/spiders.
After the pages have been scanned (crawled), they are now sorted using a sorting criterion (algorithm) which ranks them on a search engine results page (SERP), putting the more useful pages (according to the algorithm) at the top and the less useful lower.
Different search engines use different criteria to determine where crawled pages are fixed and the entire essence of SEO is figuring out those criteria and making sure every published page meets them in order to increase the likelihood of being selected after a web search.
There are two broad groups of factors which matter in the search engine ranking and positioning of any webpage and these factors are the on-page and off-page SEO factors.
On-page factors are those things which are done on the webpage itself to ensure it ranks well such as ensuring the title, headers and keywords are relevant to the topic which is to be ranked for.
Off-page factors are factors external to the website which affect its ranking. After a web page has been optimized, there are other factors which determine how well it would rank which include links to the page from other websites, mentions in the news, social media or blogs as well as reviews. These are the off page factors for good SEO ranking.
If you’ve discussed what is SEO on a website long enough you’d have heard the terms above.
To ensure the best results all the time and make sure there is fairness in the ranking of pages, different search engines have rules that must be observed by those publishing web pages.
Whitehat SEO is simply optimizing your websites to rank well in the search engines while observing the laid down rules while Blackhat SEO is trying to rank websites while circumventing these rules.
Search engines usually penalize/ban sites which circumvent their rules when caught.
When we build websites, we build them to be profitable to the client and bring in more than they cost to keep every year.
While we don’t currently offer SEO as a standalone service, when we send out web development or redesign quotes to clients we usually add SEO as one of the line items and this is because during and after building each website, we ensure every rule is followed to ensure they rank high.
Your business needs SEO because it is a reliable and long term source of qualified prospects who can be converted to clients as those who land on your website via search engines are already searching for what you offer.
The short answer is yes!
If you study SEO techniques and keep abreast with the changes that happen (& there are a lot.), you would be able to ensure that your published web pages all get ranked decently in search engines.
If your primary service offering isn’t SEO though, it would be a distraction to you and it would be advisable to focus on offering the service the business was set up for and outsourcing everything else to professionals.
Hopefully, we’ve been able to simply touch on the topic of SEO and raise your understanding of it.
SEO is vital and is the difference between owning a website you only remember when you get a renewal invoice and one which keeps feeding you new clients all day, all week and all year.