Let’s run through a quick example to set the scene. Imagine you own a shoe shop and you want to increase the number of sales you make online. The natural next step is to be found for shoe-related keywords such as “black shoes for men” “school shoes for girls”, and “what is the best shoe for runners?”
The shoe shop would then – either in-house or by hiring an external search marketing agency – optimise their website in a variety of ways to ensure that they are found on page one of Google for the shoe-related keywords that matter to them.
That, in the broadest, most top-level sense, is what SEO is: Getting your website in front of people that are going to engage with your website, blogs, or pages.
Now, there’s a huge caveat here, and that is that the practice of enhancing your search engine rankings requires months of commitment, hard work, and holistic approaches that complement each other.
Working on one aspect, e.g. link building, is not enough. That investment in links needs to be complemented by including relevant keywords throughout the website, ensuring your site’s Core Web Vitals are good, and a clear SEO strategy that defines what you intend to do over a period of time.
Given Google’s secrecy, there are no guarantees when it comes to ranking, it’s more about following (a lot) of best practices. These practices are relatively little in isolation but when added together they have a transformational quality – provided people have enough patience in the process.
To borrow a quote from Sir Dave Brailsford, the man behind Team GB’s Olympic cycling success, optimising your site for leading search engines is about “Incremental marginal gains”, all of which add up.
It might seem like a daunting thing to try and achieve but internet users type literally trillions of key terms every day. This qualified traffic which is, as you read this, going to your competitors if you’re not at least attempting to rank on page one for 80-90% of the keywords that matter to you, has a variety of different intentions behind them. These intentions, which we’ll touch on in more detail soon, are varied but almost always come from a user wanting to buy or learn about a product or service.
Add to this the fact that content in search results is constantly changing to provide the most seamless user experience possible, and the need to invest in internet marketing strategies is just emphasised further. Think about it, when was the last time you searched for a question on Gooale and didn’t have to click on a page to get your answer. Google’s page 0 answers (those which don’t require you to click anywhere are just one of many features that are all skewed to make the user’s life more enjoyable.