What Is SEO?
Short for search engine optimisation, seo is the process used by businesses to increase their visibility by climbing the search rankings on major platforms like Google or Bing.
The use of algorithms and bots by services like Google allow search engines to crawl through your website quickly and effectively and give you an invisible rating based on the quality of your content, the keywords you use, and the other optimisation activities you’ve carried out.
The measures that search engine algorithms look for are designed to improve user experience, which provides their searchers with the best possible service when they are looking for a particular product or piece of information.
Unlike PPC advertising, SEO is an organic process – that means it can’t be rushed to inflate your rankings instantly.
Instead, clever practices and methods are needed to rise through the rankings and connect with the right visitors.
For example, someone searching for a ride-on lawnmower to buy would get more value from a website, that appears on the first search engine results page, that sells the right kind of lawnmower and has detailed information about how to use the mower, as opposed to a site that offers lawnmowing services in the area.
The job of search engine algorithms is to pair the correct information with the right person, achieving the best possible outcome in the least amount of time.
On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO
On-page and off-page SEO are two sides of the same coin, with the same end goal. On-page SEO refers to optimisation that is solely on the website you own.
On-page SEO could include creating content, optimising your site architecture, or adding relevant keywords in suitable places on your website to help your audience find you. By contrast, off-page SEO is everything you do outside your website to improve your rankings.
Off-page SEO includes link-building, which is a valuable way for businesses to gain credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of the algorithm and search engine users.
If your business is linked with reliable and trustworthy sources, this, in turn, acts as a way to ‘vouch’ for how legit your business is.
Black Hat Vs. White Hat
If you’ve ever researched SEO, you may have heard the terms ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’.
White hat SEO refers to the ethical and ‘above board’ processes many specialists, like our team at IGNYTSEO, use to help your business climb those rankings organically. White hat SEO follows all the rules and guidelines defined by Google and similar search engines and focuses on providing a positive user experience to your specific audience.
White hat SEO does things the ‘right way’ and provides results over time that are consistent and reliable. On the other hand, Black hat SEO can be seen as a way to ‘hack’ your search engine rankings.
Many black hat services will claim fast results, but the practices used violate Google’s guidelines and rely on manipulating algorithms to achieve rankings without considering user experience.
While black hat may seem like a great, speedy solution, it can have serious consequences – including your business being blacklisted from Google’s rankings altogether.
Why is SEO important for marketing?
SEO is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy.
With hundreds of thousands of searches carried out on search engine platforms regularly, if you aren’t investing in optimisation, you may be missing out on a chance to connect with your audience – leaving your competition or other businesses in your niche to bring in that extra custom. As a way to climb organic search results, SEO is a digital marketing activity that is also perceived as authentic and trustworthy by your customer base.
If they search for a product or service you offer and you are ranked first, they will be far more likely to trust your brand and click through. Other digital marketing activities, such as PPC advertising or social media, doesn’t have this same level of trust, which is invaluable in bringing in new customers.
SEO is a tool used to increase traffic to your website specifically. This process benefits your business in two ways – both by increasing organic traffic quality and organic traffic quantity. When potential customers find you through accurate searches, they are already partially qualified, making them more likely to buy from your business than the average person. The higher your rankings, the higher your visibility, which increases the number of people interested in what you have to offer visiting your website.
When carried out to a high standard, it can be a vital component in growing your business and reaching your target audience. Have plans to change your business focus or offer products to a new niche?
Search engine optimisation can be a valuable asset in reaching out to new customers and achieving authenticity and credibility in new niches. By putting time and effort into search upfront, you can benefit from the results in the long term.
How does SEO work?
SEO works by looking at the guidelines and requirements set by search engines like Google and Bing, which is then used to complete optimisation processes on your website to improve your brand’s ranking.
There is a range of different types of SEO, but their ultimate goal is to hit all the right notes for Google’s bots, allowing you to climb the rankings and offer the best experience possible to your visitors at the same time.
SEO ranking factors are the critical ways that search engine algorithms and bots measure how high your website’s rankings should be.
A range of ranking factors is used in combination to decide on the top spots, including how secure your website is, how fast it is, whether your platform is mobile-friendly, and your content.
Specific proxies measure user experience through an AI called RankBrain and Google’s MUM, and technical elements like your HTML and site architecture are also considered.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Search engines provide a service to their users by crawling millions to billions of pages across the internet, allowing them to create an index.
This index is utilised when a user searches for a specific keyword or question and is combined with an algorithm to rank the relevant results and provide the most helpful information for the individual searcher.
Search engines are incredibly complex, and the Google we use today is very different to the one used ten years ago.
When you search for a term, anything from your location to your language to your past search history will be considered.
Allowing the search engine to deliver a result that’s as accurate as possible every time.
SEO Basics to Understand
Content is key in SEO.
High-quality, long-form content is extremely valuable in improving the credibility of your business and the value to potential visitors.
In combination with keyword research, well-written content can help to improve your rankings organically.
For example, creating long, comprehensive guides to products can effectively include keywords organically and provide a helpful resource to visitors.
In summary, in search, it is vitally important to be able to write content that is valuable to a user.
Keyword Research and Selection
Keywords are a fundamental part of SEO.
Keyword research allows you to identify which terms will connect you to the right audience.
At the same time, selection and implementation provide ways for search engine bots to understand the product or service you’re offering.
For example, if you are a local café in Sydney, you may include ‘local café Sydney’ in your keywords.
Google’s bots use HTML to ‘read’ your content.
As an under-the-hood form of optimisation, the use of title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags and headers can all be effective in improving your visibility and suitability.
For example, having a content writer, write a meta description that details what a page covers, and includes a specific keyword, can help Google know what you have to offer.
The structure of your website is just as crucial to optimisation as everything that visitors see.
The more optimised your site architecture, the easier it is for bots to move quickly through your website.
For example, easy navigation from your home page to product pages and specific guides can be invaluable to both your visitors and search engine bots.
While trust may be a factor that’s slightly harder to measure, it’s still a vital SEO factor.
Google uses on-page and off-page SEO to determine how credible and trustworthy your platform is for its users.
Considerations include click through rate and bounce rate of a website.
Link-building is an integral part of SEO and can yield excellent results when used appropriately.
Both building links on your site and off-site with reputable brands and websites can help raise your ranking.
For example, if you create a guide to how to clean a hard drive and receive backlinks from five reputable tech blogs, this would be an effective way to improve your SEO.
Social SEO utilises your other online platforms and presence to improve your rankings on platforms like Google.
Social media linking and interactions can play a role in link-building and enhancing the legitimacy of your platform.
For example, if you have an Instagram page, ensuring plenty of content with descriptions and information can help raise your credibility and support your SEO activities.
Google's EAT Guidelines
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness are the three components of EAT.
As part of Google’s Quality Rater guidelines, EAT aims to provide their searchers with accurate, truthful results for their searches.
For example, if you are an expert dietician creating a website about healthy eating, your expertise, the authority of your content, and the trustworthiness of your website would be considered for rankings.
There are plenty of resources available to learn SEO online or through guides like ours.
Understanding SEO is the first step towards learning how it can benefit your business.
As a start be sure to checkout SEO examples online, of a good campaign which includes the development of site architecture, keyword research, copywriting, HTML Heading and Meta descriptions and examples of links both internal and external.
If you are considering learning search engine optimisation, understanding the goals and process is an excellent place to start.
It is also covered in many digital marketing courses and similar training materials available through colleges, universities, and independent tutors if you’re interested in formal training.
For many business owners, especially small business owners, there aren’t enough hours in the day to both learn and implement SEO alongside your other responsibilities.
That’s when it makes sense to outsource it to a dedicated, trained team that understands SEO inside and out.
While it’s valuable learning SEO for your understanding of the subject, if you find yourself pulled thin with other tasks, there’s no reason why you can’t rely on expert help to make SEO work for you.
What types of SEO strategies do you use for
If you want to know more about what does an SEO company do specifically, asking about the types of strategies they offer can be an excellent place to start.
This question can give you a strong understanding of what to expect from an SEO agency.
Whether you’re personally knowledgeable or you’re brand new to the world of SEO, any SEO company should be able to give you a detailed breakdown of exactly what they can do for your business.
At IGNYTSEO, we provide tailored solutions for SEO based on your circumstances and goals.
Our bespoke approach means we use SEO strategy to create a plan specifically for the needs of your business, helping to bring in additional visitors and increase your sales.
Our team are here to talk you through all of the SEO strategies we use to provide peace of mind for the SEO process.
Will this work for me? (and how do you know?)
SEO is a continually moving and shifting field, and as Google’s algorithms and guidelines change, SEO agencies will need to keep up.
One red flag for SEO companies is if they are using the same strategies today as they were several years ago.
Ideally, the company you work with will be confident in the solution they offer and will constantly be using the latest research and information to continue to deliver results for you.
What deliverables can I expect each month?
One of the difficulties many businesses have when encountering SEO for the first time is not knowing what to expect from an SEO agency.
Deliverables are crucial to seeing your progress and continuing to improve optimisation.
Some of the typical deliverables you should expect would be directory and citation submissions, on-page SEO and keyword research and setting up your Business Profile page.
Beyond that, a good SEO agency will provide regular analytics, reports from monitoring and tracking and deliver high-quality content as well.
Will I be able to compete with [Competitor Name]?
If you have strong competition in your particular niche or field, you’re likely wondering what do SEO companies do to help you close that gap.
SEO agencies, like our team at IGNYTSEO, are well-versed in providing SEO in highly competitive fields.
Can your choice of SEO company offer a clear strategy to directly face up against your main competition through quality content, keyword research and competitive analysis?
That’s a clear sign that they are an excellent choice to help you measure up to the existing competition in your field.
How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns?
SEO may be a slow burn form of digital marketing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see tangible results for the work an SEO agency puts in.
You’ll want to know how the success of specific campaigns and strategies are measured, enabling you to see the return on your investment.
Examples of standard metrics include impressions, click-through rates, visitors, and the positioning of your website pages on search engine rankings.
As skilled SEO professionals, our team at IGNYTSEO knows that it isn’t enough to get your business to that number one spot.
We put in the work and research behind the scenes to achieve quantifiable, reliable results that translate into real return on investment.
What SEO tools do you use?
SEO agencies use a wide range of different tools for their work.
If you want to know what do SEO agencies do for specific strategies and processes, you can ask directly to find out.
Transparency is vital in processes like SEO.
Our team of seo consultants will always provide you with information about the specific tools and technology we use to capture metrics, track keywords, and create reports.
Anything necessary to do the best job for your business.
Can I see the results from some of your other clients?
The best way to understand if a service is right for you is to look at the work they’ve achieved in the past.
While some agencies will talk about results and success without providing any form of evidence, others will be able to provide social proof of their past achievements.
These usually come in the form of testimonials or case studies gathered from existing clients to show you what that SEO agency can do for you.
Our team at IGNYTSEO has extensive experience in SEO, and we’re always happy to talk through our past successes and challenges to give you an idea of the work we could do for you.
What pricing model do you use?
One of the first questions you likely have is ‘how much do SEO agencies charge?’.
Whether you have a tight budget to stick to or just want a ballpark figure, you shouldn’t be afraid to talk numbers.
SEO isn’t a one-and-done price, and it requires ongoing work and maintenance to be successful.
What you pay for seo could be different to a similar business depending on where you are at that point in your business lifecycle.
Pricing should be transparent and easy to understand, with no hidden costs or fine print that could lead to extra charges at the end of the day.
Monthly retainers and deliverable-based payments are standard options for payment for many agencies and outsourced companies.
IGNYTSEO works differently with this and focuses on outcomes rather then the “retainer” amount.
Once we understand the outcomes we can advise what services you require from us and we will provide a price range based on that so you can truly weigh up the cost of seo for your business.
One thing is for sure, we do not engage in cheap seo black hat tactics.
What is the difference between Local SEO and SEO?
While both local SEO and traditional SEO focus on improving your website rankings for a set of predetermined keywords. Local SEO focuses on optimising web pages for keywords with local intent, while traditional SEO optimizes for non-localised keywords.
Search engine specialists use the same basic techniques for both local SEO and traditional SEO. However, there are some key differences between the two which mean local SEO and traditional SEO campaigns should be managed separately.
A typical local campaign will involve claiming your Google My Business page, managing online reviews, adding your location to page titles and other metadata and optimising your Google My Business and Google Maps listings.
Specific backlinking strategies should also be implemented for local campaigns. Backlinks should be sought from reputable local businesses and directories to help emphasize both your location and reputation.Looking for effective local SEO services near me? The local SEO company at IGNYTSEO can help. Complete the contact form here to arrange a FREE SEO audit. We will then use this information to put together a comprehensive plan to improve your local search rankings to drive more traffic.
How will I be involved in the process?
Choosing to work with a professional SEO agency is the ideal way to take a hands-off approach to part of your digital marketing strategy.
Leaving your optimisation in safe hands is a good idea, but open collaboration is even better to improve the quality of output from SEO work.
Whether you prefer to let your SEO company get on with it or you like to be kept in the loop at all times, communicate that clearly for the best results.
Who will I be in contact with, and how will you keep me updated?
A point of contact is invaluable when working with agencies, allowing you to get insight into how things are going.
Ideally, your contract should be someone working directly on your strategy, with the knowledge and understanding to be able to answer questions and queries as they arise.
When you work with IGNYTSEO, we keep you in contact with our team and make you a top priority, ensuring you can get in touch with us whenever you need to.
How will I know progress is being made for my site?
SEO isn’t the kind of digital marketing where you’ll see an immediate return on investment – and if you go in expecting that, you’re likely to be disappointed in the results, no matter how well-managed your optimisation is.
Progress can take time with SEO, but you should be able to have an open dialogue with your agency about what to expect from an SEO agency and when you’re likely to see metrics coming back that reflect the work put in.
Milestones, roadmaps and KPIs are all ways a good quality SEO agency will indicate progress for you.
What happens if I choose to terminate our contract?
Not every partnership works out, and that’s okay.
If your time with an agency is coming to an end or you’re just not happy with the results so far, choosing to go elsewhere doesn’t have to be stressful.
At IGNYTSEO, we understand the need for the right people for the job.
That’s why we go the extra mile to deliver a bespoke, transparent SEO service that works for you.
If you’re planning to move from your current SEO agency, we can start by looking at where they left off to deliver a service that’s as seamless and practical as possible.
Should I hire an SEO company?
If you’d like to leave your SEO in the hands of the experts, working with an outsourced SEO company is the ideal choice for you.
At IGNYTSEO, our team of professional SEO experts works with you to help you climb the rankings organically with high-quality, tailored optimisation that suits your specific niche, customer base and business priorities.
Get in touch with our team directly today for more information about what to expect from an SEO agency like IGNYTSEO.