What Is SEO & Why Is It Important?

Search Engine Optimisation can be a confusing concept to get to grips with, but as a marketer, you know that SEO is a must-have in your marketing toolbelt. Many businesses put SEO aside through a lack of understanding of the practice and how it can really support business growth. Gaining even just a basic understanding of what the processes are and why they are important can make all the difference to the work that you do and the results you generate.

google search mobile

What Is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of expanding your business’s visibility by ranking higher for organic results in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). To put it short, the higher your website sits in SERPs the higher the click-through rate will be, increasing the opportunity to capture conversions. Your website’s ranking position will determine where your website sits in SERPs for specific keywords or search queries. Whereas your visibility will be reflected by how many keywords your domain shows up for in search results. SEO is a widely used marketing tactic, leveraged to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your website by providing solutions to your user’s problems.

More so today, SEO is about striking the optimal balance between satisfying the search engine (SE) like Google, as well as satisfying the end-user, your prospective customers. To be successful with modern-day SEO, you’ll need to gain a strong understanding of your target market and the personas within that market, getting to grips with what your prospects are actually searching for, the keywords being used as well as their preferred content types. Achieving the right formula that ticks all the boxes will enable you to connect with searchers online and direct them to the solutions your business offers.

SEO is a much tougher task due to the overcrowding and extremely saturated marketplaces online, for example, a local small business going up against a global giant like Amazon is unlikely to pay off easily, if ever. However, this difficulty isn’t necessarily a bad thing, back in the day it was easier to manipulate search results so that the biggest sites or the ones with the most links, achieved through ethical or non-ethical means, would win every time. Thankfully it’s increasingly harder for people to manipulate SEs, the websites that sit on the top of SERPs today do so because they’ve earned their position there, through gaining trust and providing value to users.

How Does SEO Work? The Three Elements of SEO

SEO compiles a vast range of strategies, actions, and best practices, which all have the exact same end goal of improving a website’s position within search engines. To break things down into digestible chunks, SEO is commonly split into three different elements that all work together.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO looks more under the hood of your website and its web pages, a basic understanding of coding and website vitals will serve you well here. When all of your website elements are configured correctly and optimised for SEO they’ll begin to build up your authority and trust, and in turn, your website’s visibility. You want to ensure that your site can be accessed, crawled and indexed easily by search engines.

On-Page SEO

This process ensures that search engines can understand and interpret the content on your web pages. We’re not just catering for the search engines here though, you’ll need to ensure that your content also matches the expectation of the user and provides value to your visitors. On-Page SEO looks at elements such as Title Tags, URLs, Images, Links and of course Content.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO, as you can imagine, refers to the actions taken outside of your website that aim to improve your rankings in SERPs. Whilst a full exploration into search algorithms has not been done, and unlikely will be (damn you Google), we know from research, patterns, trends, and other data, what is and isn’t likely to impact your SEO and ranking in SERPs. It’s been suggested that off-page SEO can influence more than 50% of the ranking factors. Some factors to consider are your backlinks, social media and guest content.

Why is SEO Important?

The majority of online experiences, 68% to be exact, begin with a search engine. In terms of preferred search engines, it’s no surprise that Google holds the largest share, with 92.96% of all global traffic coming from Google Search, Images and Maps. To depict how crucial it is to achieve visibility on the first page in search results, the first five results on Google receive a 67% of all clicks. If your website is sitting down on the second page of Google, it’s unlikely many people are going to be aware of your business let alone visit your website. There’s a running joke in the SEO world that the best place to hide a dead body would be on page two of Google, we can’t say that we’ve tested this theory but you get the link.

In today’s overcrowded marketplaces, brands and businesses are constantly competing to win over prospects in the market for their products or services. SEO is not only crucial to increasing those who visit your website, but good SEO practices also involve creating a good user experience and seamless usability on all of our smart devices.

SEO has become more of a critical component in the wider marketing mix throughout the years and is now considered one of the key drivers behind online success for many businesses. It’s likely you’re implementing some optimisation tactics already, that’s because there’s a huge crossover between SEO and wider marketing strategies.

Optimising for search is one of the key tactics that when correctly set up, grows stronger over time. If you can successfully rank for your desired keywords this traction can accumulate over time, compared to paid search tactics like PPC, in which you’ll be required to consistently top-up your spending to ensure a consistent and sustainable flow of traffic to your website.

search engine mockup

Do You Need SEO?

At one point or another, you may have contemplated whether you really need SEO, the answer for almost all businesses is that you do. Unless you’re in a very unique position in the market with little to no competition for your services or products, safe to say that today that’s unlikely. SEO is ultimately the lowest costs tactic you can implement into your long-term marketing strategy, businesses of all varieties across all sectors can benefit from effective SEO.

SEO at Loop Digital

SEO can be a complicated process to implement yourself with many moving parts in play at any one time, some elements with search optimisation can also be volatile if not implemented correctly, leading to Google penalties and other sanctions. SEO can also take time to yield positive results and is unlikely to deliver quick wins, those that say that it can are not being honest with you.

At Loop Digital, we leverage the latest techniques to increase visibility and ultimately deliver growth for our client partners. With access to a host of industry-leading tools and years of experience in the world of SEO, our team are more than equipped to support your business and provide real, tangible results. If you’re interested in building your business’s visibility online and start to grow a steady stream of leads and customers, get in touch with our team today.

Fraser Kerns

Fraser joined the Loop Digital team as an SEO Executive. He’s responsible for identifying and implementing different strategies, techniques and tactics to achieve and exceed our client-partner’s objectives. Whether it be to increase traffic, lead generation or conversions, Fraser plays an important role in the marketing and delivery team.

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