What is SEO and how do Search Engines work?

6 min read

What is SEO all about?

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of ensuring that your website is relevantly optimised and targeted to your audience, and that it can be read, indexed and delivered to users by search engines such as Google and Bing.

It is an intrinsic part of a successful website and online business.

It includes everything from making sure your website and content has the right keywords and phrases that your customers will be searching for, through to the technical structure, speed, and performance of your website.

Factors such as links to your website and even social media can play an important role in sending the right signals to search engines about your website.

We'll look at this in a little more detail further on, but first, a little background.


Why is SEO important?

Major search engines such as Google and Bing deal with literally over 100 Billion search queries on a daily basis.  This is all generated by potential users, clients, and customers who are looking for services, answers, products, and ideas by way of internet search queries.

Basically, people searching Google and looking for something they need.

Your website will be 1 of many that are all fighting for the top position in the results when customers do these searches. So the point of optimising your website, is to tell Google, you are the one that should be positioned the highest.

This is the key purpose of SEO.


About Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS)

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) are generated when a search query is performed via a Search Engine. When someone types their term in Google and clicks to search.

In these results pages we will find website pages, local listings, reviews, videos and images all based on their relevance to the search we have performed.

Based on the phenomenal number of search queries alone, it is understandable why it is a necessity for you to have an online presence.  However, with this in mind, there is inevitably going to be a barrage of competition in getting yourself seen when these searches are performed.



So surely I want to be at the top of these....SERPS?

Absolutely! We cannot stress how important being at the top of these SERPS, just to put it into perspective, 70% of clicks within the SERPS pages are on the top 3 organic listing results, leaving the remaining 30% of clicks for sponsored or PPC adverts and descending results from position 3.

Even going from position 1 to 2 can, in extreme cases, have a dramatic detrimental effect on the productivity of the site and could potentially put you at risk beneath your competitors.

Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of ensuring that your website is primed, promoted and presented in such a way that it will rank highly in Search Engine Results Pages.

To do this, it is crucial that we indicate to search engines that our website or content is relevant and useful for particular search terms and that we are able to genuinely meet the needs and requirements of the end user.

In short, to rank highly in the results page listings we have to earn our positions.  Search Engine Optimisation is the process applied to gaining these higher rankings in the free, natural results known as organic listings as opposed to paid for listings or sponsored ads.


2 reasons why SEO is a vital component to any digital marketing campaign

Good SEO generates positive results, and positive results feed good SEO. So jump on that wheel as soon as possible, with strong planning and execution.

1) Getting found

The ability to be found, ideally on the first page of Google, is imperative for businesses because this is where users generally find what they are looking for. 

Search engine rankings have proved time and time again to be a deciding factor in the success of a business and with the increasing shift of the market to the virtual online world it is understandable why we need to be considering our performance in search engines.

2) Feeding the cycle

Converting a user once on your website or at the very least ensuring they find what they are looking for is crucial.  Your on-site optimisation will determine your user experience and subsequently indicate back to search engines that your relevance for that search was useful.  This process of onsite user activity will either reinforce or question your position in search engines so we can see that this second dimension to optimisation includes having a well constructed and considered website design and layout.


Can I do SEO myself?

You can absolutely manage SEO yourself. With the right knowledge, research, planning, time, tools and resources, you can see fantastic results from properly optimising your website and engaging in ongoing content marketing activities.

From web design and development through to content marketing and social media, even right down to domain registration, at every step, you should be mindful of the SEO implications.

Your website will require the right set of SEO Tools for you to manage your technical and on-page optimisation.

Our aim is to provide you with the tools you need to fully optimise your website for search engines and to assist unravel any mystery surrounding the process for you.

We provide training and support resources, with our main focus being imparting that knowledge and skill set to you in the process. We want you to feel comfortable and confident enough to run or oversee your own SEO, building and maintaining your rankings yourself.

Our SEO Blog and Web Rocket are full of useful resources you will need to expand your knowledge and execute effective SEO.


How do I do SEO?

Keeping things simple, there are 5 Key Factors to SEO. Within each of these sections there are a number of tasks and factors that require work and attention. Some aspects will tie into your content marketing strategy as part of a wider digital marketing capaign.

5 Key Factors in SEO

  • This includes understanding what SEO is, how search engines work, setting up diagnostic and reporting tools such as Google Analytics.

  • Understanding what your customers are searching for in relation to your products and services. This will be the core focus of this section as you plan the keywords that will be most beneficial to include in your website content and structure.

  • Ensure that your website is well-structured, clean-coded, accessible to search engines, mobile friendly and optimised to load quickly. This should be a key discussion point with your web developer.

  • Writing informative, descriptive and interesting content that engages the user and is easy to read. This process is relevant to everything on your website, from your home page copy, blog articles, product and service descriptions. Your content is key to reaching your customers for a wider selection of key terms and phrases related to your offering.

  • Crafting each page on your website to include information that search engines will read to index, rank and deliver your content.

  • Getting relevant, high quality links from other websites that indicate to search engines a connection between your content and the source website. These types of links can indicate that your content is useful, beneficial, and authoritative.

You can find a more detailed breakdown of the components of SEO in our article here;

What are the key factors in SEO? >>


Important to remember

The wrong type of activity surrounding your brand and domain, such as poor or aggressive back linking techniques, duplicate content and article submissions and even spammy social media tactics can have a detrimental effect and often cause lasting damage to your rankings. 

Our approach is to provide you with all of the relevant information you need to start your campaign, understand everything that is involved and to furnish you with a full suite of SEO tools within your website allowing you to implement your strategy and on-site SEO.

We also work with trusted SEO Professionals that can provide you with campaign assistance and take off some of the load with certain aspects of the campaign.

Your input and involvement is essential, as a successful campaign hinges your knowledge and passion for your business.  Combine with that our understanding and application of the most effective, current and ethical optimisation techniques and we will achieve the desired results. 

More importantly, these results will be lasting, maintainable and in line with Googles guidelines, ensuring a solid ranking foundation at all times.

Whether you are looking for an SEO and Website Audit or to discuss your SEO Campaign and start improving those rankings we have a range of SEO resources, so please take a look around the SEO blog for help, ideas and advice.

When it comes to SEO there is no “One size fits all approach”.

Understanding all of the options, getting the right advice, choosing the right SEO Strategy and even knowing what SEO services that you might need can be a daunting task and a potential minefield.


Developing your website with a powerful SEO core

All of our websites are build on our bespoke EOS Content Management system. We are continually developing the suite of SEO Features and tools to ensure you have everything you need to easily manage your website Search Engine Optimisation. This includes everything from individual page SEO Overrides, Seach Engine Verification and Analytics integration, a comprehensive Meta Template Manager and sitemap management.

For more information on the tools and resources available in your EOS content management system, you can check out the complete SEO Features List.

EOS SEO Features >>


Kieran Watman

Kieran Watman

Director at Watman & Worth Web

At Watman & Worth Web Ltd, we are constantly researching and learning more about the digital marketing world.

I love putting together all of this information to help the businesses we work with to use the full potential of the online landscape to make their website thrive.


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