What is Search Engine Optimisation?

A google search results page with a magnifying glass that has SEO in the middle, highlighting the importance of SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has been defined as; the practice of ‘ranking for keywords’ relevant to your business, making sure your business appears on the google search engine results page (SERP), and even the optimisation of a businesses website to be better understood by Google. However, this is not, what SEO is truly all about.

Nevertheless, these are important elements of SEO and will be covered in the ‘How to do SEO’ section of this website.

We have worked on defining SEO for our clients over the years and what we found was that the sooner our clients understood what SEO was, the quicker they got results. Instead of clouding their perspective with a list of metrics that provided little context to the essence of this marketing technique, we put it simply.

When embarking on an SEO journey I make sure to consider these t1o rules:

  1. Identifying the questions people have that your business has the answers to.
  2. Sharing the answers in a way that can be easily understood by your audience.

This may seem like an oversimplification of the mystical practice that is SEO, sure, according to many other SEO professionals, it is. But, like magic, once you know how it’s performed it loses some of its sparks.

At Findzy, we are not interested in keeping you on the edge of your seat, if you are the type of business that’s providing something that will make someone’s life better then you’ve come to the right place.

What we’ve done is given an overview of what SEO is, great. Let’s take it one step further and break it down.

SEO is broken into 3 sections; Off-site SEO, On-site SEO, and Technical SEO.

Off-site SEO is covering the first element of what we defined SEO to be: Identifying the questions people have… 

It explores what’s happening in the digital world around your service, what’s happening in the market, how are other businesses growing, and with what type of content. The metrics that become important for these areas are commonly associated with backlinking.

Backlinking is when one website links to another website. This is an important part of SEO as it tells Google that the page you are referring (linking) to in your content is relevant and important, however, the value is only transferred one way. Like paying someone a compliment, it’s ‘selfless’. It’s only when someone pays you a compliment, that you receive the benefits of being identified as relevant and important. More on this topic is found under backlinking strategies.

A word of caution when investing in backlinking. There have been issues in the past where websites would pay for backlinks from other websites, this is commonly referred to as blackhat SEO practice, and if Google catches you ‘breaking the rules’ it can punish you by removing your website from their results page (SERP), in other words, removing you from the internet and leaving left without a paddle, so to say.

5 Metrics that matter:

  • Number of sites linking to your domain 
  • SERP ranking 
  • Ranking keywords
  • Search volume for keywords 
  • Impressions

On-site SEO refers to the practice of answering the questions people are asking. 

When explaining this to business developers and entrepreneurs, they quickly jump to explaining their solution, how it works and what it does. However, start by answering at a higher level. Taking this article, for example, we are trying to explain SEO from a (somewhat) subjective point of view, answering the question of ‘what is SEO’. Only after we have given the reader something that helps you grasp the concept can we begin to build trust. 

5 metrics that matter: 

  • Organic traffic
  • Bounce rate 
  • Click through rate 
  • Pages per session
  • Time on site 

And finally, Technically SEO, this is how your site performs. 

Google uses these ‘vitals’ as an indication to support its categorization of all the websites in its directory. Below is a list of metrics to reflect this. This is taken into consideration along with backlinking sites that are pointing to you and content that you have shared on your site. Google has said that site speed is one of the main indicators affecting this section of SEO. How long does your site take to load? Google continues to develop the SERP and with that, we must find the content that fits best to those new sections in the SERP. Notice in your search, that on occasion you see a section that answers your question directly, without having to click on a link or anything, this is done with the help of schema markup. Google can format your content but it is wise to make it as easy as possible for Google to do so. This is done with schema mark-up

5 metrics that matter:

  • Site speed
  • Anchor texts 
  • Site navigation 
  • Alt text for images 
  • Schema markup 

To conclude, we recommend starting with identifying your uniqueness in your market. What makes you different? 

Then, research what people are asking for. What’s the question people need help with? 

And finally, answering it in the best way possible, giving selflessly, sharing the secrets, pulling back the curtain, and supporting your audience in their pursuit of clarity.