An Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is one of the main marketing methods a business can use to improve their chances of being found on the first page of Google, Bing, and other search engines.

SEO can improve your chances of driving users to your website and allows you to present users with a better experience overall.

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search Engine Optimisation refers to the process of undertaking various tasks that enable web pages to become more visible online and improve search engine ranking.

Jargon busting

To someone new to the world of digital marketing, there are a number of terms and phrases that can seem quite confusing. Below are a few examples common SEO terms and their meaning:

  • Ad words: Pay per click advertising offered by Search Engines.
  • Affiliate: Refers to a website that advertises and sells products from another business for commission or a fee.
  • Alt text: Text used to describe a graphic that in most instances users cannot see.
  • Anchor text: Text that users can see for links to other web pages.
  • Backlinks: Links from other web pages such as directories or social media posts leading users back to a specific website or page.
  • Black Hat: Inappropriate conduct or search engine optimisation tactics, designed to circumvent Google best practice and guidelines.
  • Bot: An automated software programme, designed to find and add web pages to their index.
  • Bounce Rate: The level of visitors to a website that navigate away almost instantly, without viewing other pages.
  • Content: Images and text displayed on a website designed to attract and be of interest to visitors.
  • Conversion Rate: The level of visitors to a website that become paying customers i.e. covert to sales.
  • Crawler: A software programme that searches the worldwide web gathering data about websites.
  • Exit Rate: The level of traffic that leaves a website after visiting two or more pages after a period.
  • Inbound Link: Links created to a specific webpage from another site or related page.
  • Keywords: A word of phrase entered into a Search Engine to find a specific website, product or piece of information.
  • Keyword density: Refers to measurement or proportionality of keywords used on a website or webpage.  
  • Long tail keywords: Refers to longer more specific search terms used to find a specific website, product or piece of information.
  • Meta tag: Specific, descriptive and targeted information placed in the HEAD of a HTML webpage to enhance search results. Whilst this is not always visible to users, it is likely to be the description that visitors see on the Search Engine Ranking Page.
  • Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP): Refers to a Search Engine Result Page.
  • Stickiness: Changes made to a website or page that encourages visitors to stay longer.


Getting started…

Before attempting SEO there are a few basic things you can do to get started. Google have a range of tools available to assist with improving business performance on the web.

If you are looking to build your own website and create your own copy, Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for finding popular keywords frequently searched for online.

Upon creating the first draft of web content, there are various plagiarism checkers online, that check content for plagiarism, grammar checkers, content re: writing and keyword density checking tools that can help with designing, proof reading and editing effective content.

Once content is finalised and the website is ready to go live, it is important to register with Google Search Console for business. This is where the website creator informs Google about the website so that it can be ranked in their Search Engine. You can also do the same with Bing and Yahoo Search Engines.

There are various websites providing lists of internet search engines and directories, such as, Search Engines of the World. Carry out some research to identify those that are relevant to your type of business or the region that it operates in, and create listings.

It is also important to register with Google Analytics or that your web host / platform produces analytic reports. This will enable you to monitor the level of traffic visiting the site and identify those areas requiring improvements or adjustment.

Using SEO

From the list shown above, there are many ways to optimise a website. All of which are intrinsically linked to the nature and design of content, how easily it can be interpreted by software designed to rank websites, and links created from other sites.

For those confident enough to get started on SEO for their website, a great start is to ensure the content is right, all images described with the correct Alt text and register the website with various Search Engines and directories.

Small SEO Tools provide access to a wide range of free SEO tools for business. You can also consider paid for Ad Words to enhance ranking and SERP results however, before doing so carry out research and use the tools readily available, to identify the most effective ad words to purchase.

SEO, is also linked to the level of content contained in a website, by creating links and feeds from social media platforms, news aggregators and blog posts you can also help to boost ranking and results.

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