Understanding SEO – everything you need to get started

Every small business owner, blogger and website developer understands that SEO is essential to creating a successful online business. We talk you through the basics, so you understand what you need – and what to avoid!

What is SEO?

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization’. Search engines (including Google, Bing and Yahoo) use automated software to index and categorize all the webpages they can find so they can return relevant results when someone starts a search. Each search engine has to choose what order to display pages in, and this is automated too. SEO is a way for an individual website (like this one) to improve its ranking in the search results.

Why is SEO so important?

Getting SEO right can dramatically increase the number of hits and sales you get on your site. Typically, 34-53% of clicks go to the first result listed by a search engine, and 75-94% of clicks are on the first page of results. So if you’re not in the top 10, you’re not even seen.

How does SEO work?

A good website provides useful content to users and makes it easy for search engines to find what they’re looking for, so the search engines show the page to people looking for what’s on it. As an example, if you search for ‘box chilli web design’ you don’t want to see ‘box of chillis for cooking’ and vice versa. SEO focuses on the second part. It’s partly best practise, things all websites should do as a matter of course, with a few sneaky tricks thrown in.

Can I use these SEO short cuts I’ve read about?

Short cuts, tricks and hacks can damage your ranking rather than improve it. Each search engine wants to return the best possible match for its user, so they’re always changing the way they rank pages. Short cuts try to game the system, and the search engine programmers are quick to close these loopholes. After Google’s Penguin update, some websites lost 70% of their traffic overnight thanks to relying on short cuts that had worked for several years. In some cases, the owners of the sites had paid significant sums for this advice.

If you use a hack that’s more than a year old, you’ll probably get stung straight away. If you use a new one, you might get stung in a month or two. For long term growth, it’s better to play by the rules.

 What are the rules of SEO?

The key is to provide useful information, goods or services, to talk about them and to get others to talk about them. Search engines value words and links, so they prefer sites that have been linked to by other respected sites, and sites that provide them with information in a way they can understand.

If you’d like more information about SEO and how to use it for your business, contact boxChilli digital today. We work with organisations large and small to draw traffic and create sustainable growth, we have a special offer running at present, give us the code ‘campervan’ to get a 20% discount of any of our SEO packages (new business only)

if you like to find out more how we can help you with social media & digital marketing visit our pages or to find more about our web design and digital marketing team

Anders Bohea – boxChilli Digital

Back to blog list

About the Author