I’m sure you’ve entered a query into a search engine at some point only for it to return pages of content relative to your question. But have you ever thought about how it got there and more importantly, what makes the number one result different from those on say page ten or eleven?
The answer… search engine optimization or SEO for short.
But what is search engine optimisation and why is it important?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of designing, coding, scripting and programming a website so that it achieves better search engine rankings. Exactly how search engines like Google or Bing rank web-based content is complex. Incorporating a series of algorithms and structured ranking factors they work together to retrieve data from its search index when a user enters a query or search term.
These results are then listed on its search engine rankings pages (SERP’s) in order of the most relevant match.
So why is it important to get your content as high up the search engine rankings as you can?
Here are some interesting facts:
- 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine query
- Of that, 93% of all global traffic comes from the largest search engine – Google
- 53% of web traffic comes from organic searches
- 90% of all website visitors find the information they need on the first page of the SERPs; and
- Only 0.78% of searchers will click on search engine results lower than page 2
So what does this tell us?
Getting your content on the first page of the search engine rankings is key because pretty much all website visitor interaction is conducted here. Therefore businesses who manage to establish their content in the number one position on the first page of Google, have a huge advantage over those that appear lower in the rankings,
This is the whole reason why search engine optimization (SEO) exists!
With this in mind, the goal for any business with an online presence should be to reach a significant position in the web browsers to gain an increase in qualified web traffic.
So now you know the answer to the question “what is search engine optimisation” and why it’s important, it pays to know how SEO works.
Let’s take a closer look…
Search engines operate using what’s known as a crawler. This is a cleverly designed program deployed to go out and find internet data. When a crawler visits your website, it picks over the content and stores it in a huge data bank.
The ‘optimisation’ part of search engine optimization occurs when a person puts in a query – let’s say… ‘how to make money online’. The search engine will then match the most relevant data with your query, using a complex algorithm.
Just to put this into perspective… The term ‘how to make money online’ gets around 246,000 search queries per month on average. So you can imagine that being in that coveted #1 position in the search engine results for this search term has a huge advantage.
Of course, that’s just an example but the principle applies to any business or industry. Say you’re a Sydney-based dentist with a special interest in dental implants. It would be hugely beneficial to rank for the search term ‘implant dentist Sydney.’
Alternatively, if you’re a Melbourne-based chiropractor offering affordable care, you would probably benefit from ranking for the search term ‘affordable chiropractor in Melbourne.’
But getting back to search engine optimization, a key part of understanding what search engine optimisation is, is to have knowledge of the ranking factors and their influence on search engine rankings. So let’s take a look…
Key search engine ranking factors include:
- Domain level link authority – the number of quality links from trusted and relevant sites leading back to your website plus the amount of time your domain has been live
- Page-level keyword features – The quality and type of relevant keywords and semantically related key phrases contained within a piece of content
- Content features – content length, content uniqueness, readability, load speed, posting regularity etc
- Traffic query data – how significant the user indication emanating from browsers, toolbars and clickstreams is.
- Social metrics – the quantity and quality of Facebook shares, retweeted links etc
- Domain level keyword use – is your domain name relevant to what you do?
So now you have a better idea of what search engines are looking for, the next question is…
How do you optimise your website to achieve better search engine rankings?
Think of optimisation as legal manipulation. Your typical SEO friendly website, for example, contains keyword-rich, informative and relevant content, has quality inbound links from trusted sources and internal links to other relevant pages within your site.
Your site should also be optimised in terms of title tags, meta descriptions and keyword-rich alternative attributes in any visual content that you have.
So is SEO complicated?
Yes and no!
Not once you know what you’re doing, but it does take a lot of patience and time. Typically, search engine algorithms get updated and change every month although crawlers often scan websites daily for changes. So you may find a new blog post or page appearing in the search engine rankings within 24-48 hours.
That’s the easy part…
The hard part is getting it to appear on the first page and in position #1. This can take several months or more and a lot of hard and continued work, depending on how competitive your niche or industry is.
What is search engine optimisation (SEO)? Talk to the team at Mediboost
If you feel that you need assistance with search engine optimization or want to find out more about how SEO can help improve the visibility of your business, then talk to our experienced team at Mediboost.
We’re Australia’s #1 patient growth marketing agency for dental and medical practices and pride ourselves on our success in leveraging the latest SEO practices to help medical clients to grow their customer base.
Why not book a free strategy call with one of our consultants today and see for yourself. Alternatively, you can call us on 1300 163 058.