Otherwise known as ‘search engine optimisation’, SEO is the process of improving your website and posts’ rankings organically, and for free, whenever a web search is carried out.
Time for a history lesson
Cast your mind back to the early days of the internet. A vast library of information was being created on an hourly basis so webmasters toyed with ways to catalogue and search what was there. These digital librarians, by the late 1990s, had search engine “spiders” that crawled over web pages and returned indexed results based on data links and search terms (keywords).
While the rudimentary search criteria helped to assemble some order to the evolving chaos, it was also easily exploited. That is until two clever clogs (Page and Brin) came up with a mathematical algorithm that assessed a website or web page’s relevance, popularity and usefulness over other index criteria.
Based on this algorithm, Page and Brin founded Google in 1998. It was a search engine that ranked factors such as hyperlink analysis, keyword frequency, meta tags, headings, site structure, internal as well as external links. And it proved popular. Very much so.
Today no matter which search engine you use, when you type a word or a phrase, the results will be based not only on what closely fits what you have typed but also the site’s popularity aka ‘authority ranking’. That means the results are ranked on how many people have read and shared the content because of its usefulness or entertaining nature.
SEO for business
So to use SEO as a marketing strategy (after all what’s the point in creating a website unless it boosts the chances of your business being seen and used?) you will need to:
consider what people are most likely to search for in relation to your product or service (25 per cent of the terms typed into search engines are new so research is vital) and ensure these keywords are used throughout your site or page and in supporting meta data; ensure interlinks between pages of information on your site; ensure content and blog posts are regularly updated and include keywords and links to other frequently searched platforms such as other web pages, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+; normalise the URLs and make sure all redirects count towards your page’s link popularity score… Phew.
Or you could of course just ask the experts at 24fingers to do it all for you.