What you need to know about search engine optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation, better known by its initialism SEO, is the name given to the process of improving a website so that it appears as high up as possible in the results of search engines like Google. SEO has become an increasingly important part of almost all online marketing campaigns as more and more internet users turn to Google and other search engines in order to find what they’re looking for online. For this reason, a site’s Google ranking is vitally important and any fall can cost major websites millions of dollars in a few short weeks.

The process of SEO is generally split into on-site and off-site optimization. In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of both of them.

On-site optimisation

This is the name given to the process of improving the technical setup of your site and its content in order to boost rankings. Many years ago, some SEO consultants would do this by repeating a keyword as many times as possible in a text in order to make Google think that the site was highly relevant to a user searching for that term. Some black hat SEO agencies would do this using hidden content or other underhand methods to fool Google into thinking the content of the website was more relevant than it actually was. In 2012, Google started to take action against websites that had used these techniques through its Panda and Penguin updates, which penalized websites that used underhand online marketing techniques. Since then, the quality of content on a website has become far more important and many websites turn to professional writers in order to produce their content.

Off-site optimisation

Off-site optimization is the process of building a site’s profile and increasing the number of links to a website, a signal that Google uses to determine a website’s authority. Again, there are underhand ways of doing this through buying links, which can cause Google to impose a penalty on a website that drops it down the search engine result rankings. Nowadays, most SEO companies use a PR led approach to build links, creating content and press releases that should appeal to other website owners and that will encourage them to link back to genuinely useful content on their own website.

Any website that Google discovers to be offering cash in return for links can receive a serious penalty which can sometimes result in a website being removed from the Google results altogether.

The way that Google ranks websites is constantly changing and new updates are rolled out all the time – this means that there’s always a new challenge for SEO companies to tackle, keeping them at the forefront of marketing innovation.

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