In a nutshell, search engine optimisation – SEO for short – is the process of creating web content in a way that helps it rank as highly as possible in search engine results. It pretty much does what it says on the tin but can still be hard to apply. 
When implemented properly, SEO will pay sweet dividends in the form of constant, organic web visitors who are actively looking for your type of content. The nature of this traffic means it’s more likely to convert and is far more consistent than social media or email traffic. 
Organic search usually accounts for much larger volumes of web traffic than all other sources combined, so SEO presents a unique opportunity to enhance your marketing strategy significantly. Let’s get into how you might go about implementing it. 

Do your keyword research 

First things first, you need to know which terms your buyer personas are actually searching. Start by conjuring up a small list of keywords related to your business. You can then turn to one of the many great keyword research tools out there like Ahrefs, Ubersuggest or Google Trends to track down popular search terms closely linked to those words. 
Longer phrases that aren’t searched for quite as much are known as long tail keywords, and it will be far easier to rank highly by producing content that targets them. They won’t bring the same quantity of visitors but the quality of them in terms of relevance will ensure a strong return on investment. 
Just like that, you’ve got all the intel you need to start producing content based exactly on what your ideal customers are searching for. 

Put those keywords to work 

Your page header should include a primary keyword or two, as should the first sentence of the opening paragraph. Keywords need to also be peppered throughout the body text, which should be split up by several headings that again feature keywords, clearly informing both reader and search engine alike what the content is about. 
Even the page URL needs to be keyword focused. The title tag and meta description that appear on the search engine results page should again – you guessed it – include these keywords. If you haven't figured it out already, we really can’t stress enough the importance of properly utilising your keywords. Get ‘em in there! 

User experience really matters 

Search engines want to serve up content to their users that provides a positive experience. So, to ensure you rank highly, your site needs to be well optimised for both desktop and mobile users. This includes pages that load as fast as possible and easy navigation throughout the wider site. 
If an all-seeing search engine can’t find a page, how on earth will a human? 

Don’t forget about off-page optimisation 

Search rankings are also affected by external factors, especially backlinks, which are any links to your site from elsewhere. These links might be from social media, influencers, guest blogs on other sites, PR coverage on news websites, you name it. 
The number of backlinks you have, not to mention the authority and quality of their source, makes a big difference to what old Mr Google thinks about you. Imagine every backlink as a vote for your website. 

Still searching for more? 

Search engines can be difficult beasts but we’ve spent more than our fair share of time battling them, so go ahead and get in touch if you’re still stuck and fancy a natter about climbing those rankings. 
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