What is search engine optimisation?

Posted by Abby Mitchinson on 04/10/17 15:05
Abby Mitchinson

What is search engine optimisation (SEO), and why is it so integral to the success of your B2B marketing strategy? We've shared our expertise as a top search engine optimisation agency throughout this blog! Read on to learn more...

Many businesses know the importance of implementing SEO solutions these days.

SEO plays a particularly important role in the inbound marketing methodology, and is one of the main ways that you will help your prospects discover your website.

However, if you’re starting from scratch, it’s understandable that you might not know the importance of SEO for your brand’s marketing success – or, indeed, what it even is!

If this is you, be sure to read on for our guide to what SEO is, why it’s so important to your overall marketing strategy, and how to get started...

SEO = search engine optimisation

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, which essentially means optimising your website to appear higher in search engine page results (or “SERPs”).

Traffic generated by the search engines is often called “organic” or "free,” as opposed to pay per click (or “PPC”) advertising. The goal of implementing SEO solutions is to get more of this free traffic from the search engines.

This traffic should ideally be highly targeted – i.e., consisting of people who are searching for the solutions you provide. More targeted traffic translates into more leads, queries and sales.

It all starts with an internet search...

These days, we have become accustomed to visiting search engines for information. No matter what you want, search engines are typically the first place you look:

  • Researching how to build a shed? Search for the instructions.
  • Thinking about buying a new TV? Search for some reviews.
  • Ready to buy a new bed? Search for the best deal.

Mostly, internet research happens in Google – especially in the UK, where it has a big share of the market (over 80% at the time of writing). However, other search engines like Microsoft's Bing still play a role.

They all show results almost instantly when you type in a query (or, increasingly, speak directly into your phone) by presenting a list of web pages, videos, images, social media results and more. When someone searches for something related to your business, you essentially want one of your web pages to show up.

The higher you rank in search (I.e., the further up the search engine results pages your webpages appear), the more of your prospects will find you and discover your products and services – and hopefully become your customers.

But to do this, you need to know about how the search engines work so you can ensure you're doing everything right to rank.

A search engine optimisation agency employee conducting an SEO audit on SEMrush on their laptop.

How does SEO work?

To know how to implement effective SEO solutions, you need to know the basics about algorithms.

Search engines use these to automatically work out which pages they should rank for their users based on their query. And because there are billions of web pages and an almost infinite amount of possible search queries, algorithms are constantly being updated to provide the best user experience.

Google's algorithm is complex, but Google helps us by clearly stating the factors that it takes into account when ranking websites. Some would argue that Google has over 200 ranking factors, which include:

  • domain authority
  • on-page SEO
  • content length
  • page load speed

Having a basic SEO strategy involves knowing what these different factors are, then amending your current website pages (I.e., optimising them) to incorporate them.

You might also be interested in knowing how the search engines evaluate your website, and this comes down to the use of crawlers.

Essentially, they crawl all over the internet, discover content and take the information back to index. The index is fed through the algorithm, which then matches your website to a search query. (You can find out more about this process here.)

How can you get started with SEO?

So, now you know what SEO is and how it works... how can you incorporate it into your B2B marketing strategy?

1. Run an SEO audit of your website

According to SEMrush, an SEO audit is “the process of identifying problems or errors that can prevent your site from ranking on Google and other search engines […]. In short, auditing your site can reveal problems that may be costing you traffic and sales.”

There are a number of tools you can use to complete the audit, such as SEMrush’s Site Audit Tool, Google Analytics and Search Console (as a search engine optimisation agency, we can do this for you as part of a free consultation if you’re not keen on doing it yourself).

2. Conduct keyword research

Keywords – otherwise known as “key terms” or “search phrases” – are what your prospective customers are typing into Google or other search engines in order to find your products and services.

For example, if you’re a recruitment agency based in Cheltenham, you might want your clients to type the phrase “recruitment agency Cheltenham” into Google in order to find you.

Keyword research, therefore, is all about establishing what phrases you want your website pages to show up for when prospective customers search them in Google. Our blog on how to approach keyword research for inbound marketing goes into this in more detail!

Alt text A search engine optimisation agency analysing the success of an SEO strategy.

3. See where you stand next to your competitors

By doing research into your main competitors, you can see where they are performing better and/or worse in terms of SEO, and how you can get one step ahead! This includes exploring their domain authority, rankings for relevant keywords and more (if you take on an inbound marketing Growth Plan with us at Angelfish, a competitor analysis is something we can also do for you)!

4. Devise a topic cluster and content strategy

Content is king in the world of inbound marketing – and, as shared in our content optimisation best practices blog, SEO is queen! Devising a powerful topic cluster and content strategy that incorporates your chosen keywords and solves problems for your prospective customers is a sure-fire way to climb up SERP rankings.

Our blogs on how to strike the right balance between SEO and content and how to use topic clusters to ignite your SEO will tell you everything you need to know in more detail.

As you might have gathered, SEO is a big topic...

...and putting powerful SEO solutions into practice is not always easy. As an expert search engine optimisation agency, we’re here and very happy to help!

It all starts with booking in a free consultation with us, where we’ll not only (as we mentioned above) complete an SEO audit of your website for you, but review your overall website effectiveness, your content, social media activity and much more.

Sound good? Follow the link below to get started!

Free report 

Topics: SEO

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