SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of trying to get a website higher up on Google. Based on our understanding of what Google looks for when decide which websites should appear high up.
SEO can be broken down into two parts. Onsite SEO which is things you do to your own site:
- so that is appears relevant to the terms you want to show for;
- so that it appears to be a good quality site;
- and so Google can understand the site properly.
Offsite SEO which is getting other relevant credible sites to link to your site. Google looks at offsite SEO as a way of establishing your sites popularity / authority / credibility.
There is a third part that is becoming more important, Google’s latest updated are better at working out how engaging your site is and if it does a good job of providing what the users are looking for. So this falls under onsite optimisation.
In Google’s ideal world no one would know anything about offsite SEO optimisation. It is better for Google if people don’t know how to cheat the system. So information Google provide on SEO will often be about onsite SEO. At times people have said their advice on offsite SEO is intentionally misleading.
The first part of SEO is keyword research to choose what terms you want to appear for. There is usually a very wide range of keywords. For instance for SEO there will be traffic for SEO, SEO Services, SEO Agency, SEO Consultant, SEO Advice, SEO Freelances… then there will be alternative terms like Internet Marketing Services, Digital Marketing Services, and informational searches “best onsite seo techniques”.
Each keyword will have different amounts of competition, different search volume and different searcher intent. For searcher intent, someone that types in a term like “plumbing services” is more likely buy from you than someone that types in a term like just “plumbing”. The term “plumbing” is likely to get used more often but is also likely to have more competition.
A good SEO strategy will look at a range of terms as most traffic comes from a wide range of low volume terms. This is known as the “long tail”. Because if you plot keywords on a graph you will get a couple of popular terms and then hundreds of low volume terms giving the graph a long tail.
Once you have your target terms you can begin your onsite SEO to make your site relevant to those terms and then you move on to offsite SEO where you try and get other webpages that are relevant to those terms to link to you.