SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO helps google analyse your website and decide where to place it on search results pages, or SERPS. Google does this at many levels, such as looking at how your website is built and what content your website has.
A little history and the birth of SEO
Think back to November 2003. Got it? That was when Google released the first update in a long history of updates. And the reason they did this is simple. Relevance. A key factor to how they rank sites today.
Google made its mark in 1993 when it became the first company to successfully list sites according to their relevance to keywords. So, if you typed in to Google’s search the phrase ‘rock music’ (these are the keywords), viola, sites about rock music would be listed first instead of sitting on page 3 of the results. However, clever web developers realised that they could beat the system and started stuffing keywords everywhere (this practice was not surprisingly called keyword stuffing). It got to the point that a keyword would bring up results that had absolutely nothing to do with what you were searching for. Google stepped in and changed the game to keep their stature as the most relevant search engine on the market. Today, however, ranking is far more complicated.
Why is it important for websites to rank?
A business pays for a website for one reason, and that is to be visible to potential clients who are searching online for a product or a service they offer. However, to be visible one needs to rank (no one looks on page 4 or even page 2 of a Google search page anymore). If a competitor’s website ranks higher than yours, they will be seen first. For this reason, SEO has become a competitive industry and companies will pay big bucks for the service.
What you need to know about SEO
The first thing you should know about how Google ranks sites is that it changes. It is therefore important that you hire professionals who stay in the loop.
The next thing you need to know is that there are hundreds of factors to ranking. These include things like the age of a domain, how many social mentions a brand has, site speed, mobile site speed and friendliness, readability (we will talk about this in-depth in a later post), how secure the site is, and the list goes on and on. Most of these factors are technical and not relevant to the art of copywriting. For this reason, we will not get into how developers and SEO experts achieve good rankings. What you do need to know, however, is that content matters. And it matters a lot.
Join us next week for an in-depth discussion about your online copy and why hiring a professional copywriter is crucial to your overall SEO strategy.