The basics of search engine optimisation

Search engine optimization

The Basics of Search Engine Optimisation

If you were to spend any time researching common marketing techniques today, the term search engine optimisation (SEO) is sure to pop up. SEO is one of the most powerful forms of marketing today, helping businesses to improve their search engine ranking position. In this quick guide, we will break down the basics of SEO so you know what you are dealing with.

What is SEO?

As mentioned above, SEO is a marketing process in which the aim is to improve the search engine ranking position of a website. Through various methods, a website can be optimised and improved to be better understood by the search engines. This can result in moving up the search engine rankings for various search terms (known as keywords).

When you carry out a query on a search engine, the results you see are determined by what you search for. The websites which appear highest on the search engine results pages are the websites best optimised for the keywords you entered in your search.

What search engines are most used in the world?

The most obvious search engine is Google, which is comfortably the largest search engine in the world. In fact, no other competitor can get close to Google in terms of its sheer enormity and size. The other most popular search engines include Bing, the Microsoft-run equivalent, and also DuckDuckGo. The latter provides arguably the most transparent search experience in terms of privacy and protection, but it lacks the same search volumes as the other two mentioned.

Other major search engines include the likes of Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, and Ecosia.

The keys to good SEO

SEO typically revolves around making some adjustments to your website. Good search engine optimisation often revolves around key changes to your website in the back-end. Some of the most common points of interest to an SEO campaign include:

Title used
the title of the website; this is important, and should be both relevant to the search and include the primary keyword
Meta description
This is the small line of text, around 160 characters, that appears under the website title in a search description
Heading tags
These tags are used to help provide a key specific search terms that are related to the topic at hand, helping search engines to place your content in the right place
Keywords
Keywords are the primary (and secondary) search terms which will be associated with the website; these keywords should be used somewhere within the content

There are many other aspects that come into SEO, but the above are among the most important. Other factors include clean back-end coding, easy accessibility and readability for users and search engine crawlers, and fast loading times.

Tools to assist you in optimising your website

The best place to start in any SEO campaign would include using the Google Keyword Tool or the free keyword tool from seosite. This allows you to easily find the best keywords related to your topic and industry. Keywords are still an essential part of SEO, so you need to utilise tools such as the keyword finder to know where to begin your optimisation. There are many tools that one could use to help boost SEO, but the most important factor should include dealing with finding the right keywords.

The cost of SEO

You can always hire a professional to carry out SEO for your website, though. The cost of SEO depends on several factors, including the length of the campaign, the difficulty of ranking your website relative to the competition, and the level of optimisation that you wish to have carried out in the first place. Typically, though, even the smallest SEO campaigns could cost anything from €500 to €2,000 per month and beyond.

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