What does SEO mean? A jargon-free guide.

It’s time to bust the jargon and find out what exactly SEO means.

SEO is one of the biggest buzzwords in digital marketing, but for business owners who aren’t in the know, it’s another jargon terms with a hard-to-find definition…

If you search for information on SEO, you may find rather complicated articles explaining how to improve your backlinks or how to fix your 301 redirects. For those who are frustrated with the lack of information available on SEO for beginners, we’ve compiled an answer sheet that properly explains what SEO means and why it matters.

Time to bust the jargon once and for all!

search engine optimisation

What does SEO stand for?

Search Engine Optimisation.

What does “Search Engine Optimisation” mean?

To best explain this, imagine going onto Google and searching for a local restaurant.

You type in the keywords into Google’s search bar, for example “restaurants near me”. You click Search or press your Enter key, and you look through the results. You’re probably not going to click further than the first 3 pages of results, at an absolute maximum…

The restaurants who understand SEO have already anticipated this. In fact, they may have accurately predicted the keywords you used to find a restaurant!

So, in a nutshell, ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ is what you do to get to Page 1 on Google. It is the process of moving your business higher up in the search results of the most relevant searches made by your ideal customers. The higher up the search results you are, the better optimised your business is.

Why does SEO matter?

If a tree falls in the woods, and no-one’s around to hear it, did it even make a sound?

Likewise, if a business has a website, but no-one is able to search for it, does it really exist?

The power Google has over the accessibility of your business online cannot be underestimated. If the internet is the “information highway”, Google are the patrol, with their search engine being the #1- ranked website in the world, according to Alexa.

The vast majority of internet users will perform searches on Google every day for every kind of task, to get millions of answers to any kind of question in a matter of milliseconds. The convenience of the internet means not optimising your business for Google and other search engines alike can severely stunt your business’s growth, and could even be make-or-break for you if you sell products or take bookings online.

So, is it worth investing time, money and effort into getting your business online if it generates no visits? No.

People looking at whiteboard

How can I achieve better SEO?

To achieve better SEO, you need to make sure the information that’s available about your business on the internet can be found through a search engine.

Google only knows what people allow it to know. You have to make it easy for Google to interpret your information and show it to the right people in the right searches.

On a basic level, make sure your business’s industry category, address, contact details and opening times are up to date on your website and registered on a Google My Business listing.

These are usually the details of a business that Google uses to give the best recommendations.

SEO doesn’t solely depend on your website. Other elements of your online presence that you need to consider include:

  • Any local directories or online listings you may be registered with, such as Yell, Freeindex or TripAdvisor. The better your reviews are, or the more detailed your profiles, the more optimised you will be.
  • Any news websites or blogs that reference you. If your business is shown to be present on other websites, particularly popular ones, the higher you will move up the rankings. If you don’t have a blog, consider starting one, and write about hot topics in your industry that users might be searching for information on.
  • Any social media accounts you have. The more active you are on social media, and the larger your following, the more likely you will be recommended.
  • Any videos or images you use should have relevant titles and descriptions, as these will be used on Google Images searches and also improve your chances of being searched for.

We hope this gives you a comprehensive overview of what SEO actually is, and that you have some ideas to implement in your business to start improving its online visibility. If you’d like some more tips on SEO, here are some more in-depth takes on SEO and how it fits into digital marketing:

  • How to Reach A Local Audience Online
  • Local SEO and You
  • How Can I Get My Website Higher on Google?
  • Why Can’t I Find My Website on Google?
  • Top 10 Online Visibility Tips for Businesses

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