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What is SEO and How Does It Work?

Date Friday, 11 March 2022 Matt Davey , In: Digital Marketing

What is SEO and How Does It Work?

SEO can be a highly technical area of digital marketing, with plenty of specialist jargon that can make the whole thing feel a bit confusing! To help you get started on understanding the wide world of SEO, we're going to run through SEO in simple terms including the types of SEO, the skills required to optimise a website, and why it is a crucial long term strategy key to the long term success of your business.

 

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic directed to your website from search engines by improving rankings and visibility. SEO targets unpaid traffic, known as organic traffic; rather than direct traffic, paid social or referral traffic.

SEO is a medium to long-term strategy and is comprised of many different elements that all work toward delivering a positive user experience. This is achieved through an ongoing commitment to improve your website for your audience and search engines.

 

Types of SEO

There are 3 main types of SEO that contribute to a well-rounded SEO strategy, and there are no shortcuts. In order to see the best results from your SEO work, time should be equally distributed across the following 3 areas:

 What is SEO: The Three SEO Types

 

On-Page SEO:

As you might be able to guess, this refers to optimising on-page content across your website.

Before you begin on-page SEO, you should conduct thorough keyword research. This is the technique of inputting seed keywords into a tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner, or other keyword research tools, to generate a list of search terms that you may want to target. Once you have a list of keywords you wish to target, you can begin altering and adding new content in order to improve your rankings for them.

The first form of on-page SEO is content creation. This involves creating high quality content around a relevant topic to target specific keywords. Common forms of content creation include blogs, case studies and FAQ’s. They are particularly good for targeting appearances in Google’s rich results or for improving rankings for long-tail keywords.

Another is keyword optimisation. This involves making changes to existing elements and sections of your website to better suit your target keywords. This may include the meta description, meta title, header tags, anchor text or other existing page copy.

 

Off-Page SEO:

Helps improve trust, influence and connections with other relevant websites in your industry, primarily by link building strengthening your backlink profile.

Getting high-authority and relevant links to your site passes link and trust value. This makes your website look more trustworthy in the eyes of Google and will help you to achieve better rankings.

A link building strategy involves finding a range of opportunities including guest blogs, directories, sponsorships and broken links.

As well as looking for new opportunities, referring domains also need to be constantly monitored to make sure no low-quality websites are linking to you.

 

Technical SEO:

Finally, Technical SEO focuses on improving all non-content elements of your site.

Technical SEO specialists can use auditing tools such as Screaming Frog to find and fix errors with broken links, images, site speed, and structured data. This improves the site’s readability which makes it easier to crawl and better for users to navigate.

Since July 2021’s Core Web Vitals update, site speed, mobile-friendliness and user experience have become an increasingly important ranking factor. These elements can be monitored in Google Search Console and require the collaboration of technical SEO specialists and web developers to make sure no issues are encountered.

 

Why is SEO important?

With organic search responsible for 53% of all site traffic according to Search Engine Land, neglecting it can easily lead to your business being left behind. The average SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is much more competitive than it was 10-15 years ago, marketers are constantly trying to be the first to react to the latest trends.

  • Traffic: sites that feature on the first page of Google receive 95% of the traffic 1 for that search term. It is therefore vital your website gets a piece of the pie, a proper SEO strategy helps you to do this.
  • Conversions: depending on the industry, businesses can experience a ROI of 300-1000% over the course of a year 2 from SEO. This is due to SEO helping to drive more relevant and targeted traffic to your site whilst also making it easier for traffic to convert.
  • Brand Awareness: Increasing your rankings and visibility allows your brand to be seen more. Users will become more familiar with your site if they see it often in the SERP and may be more likely to convert in the future.
  • User Experience (UX): Improving technical elements of your site to comply with core web vitals has a positive impact on both users and search engine rankings. For users, a website that is responsive, loads fast and is easy to navigate will improve their experience, reduce bounce rate and will encourage them to spend longer on your site. Do this right, and you will experience better rankings as a bonus.

 

What Skills You Need To Implement an SEO Strategy

In order to create a strong SEO strategy, you require the collaboration of different marketers, designers and developers within your business.

Alternatively, SEO services can be outsourced to a specialist SEO team that is versatile and adaptable to help implement an SEO plan across multiple channels. Some of the key skill sets you need are:

  • SEO Specialist: this is someone to manage general account optimisations, while looking at on and off-page SEO as well as some technical SEO tasks.
  • Content Writer: this person can support the SEO specialist by providing them with content to publish in blogs, case studies or FAQ sections. This content may then be optimised by the SEO specialist in order to target specific keywords.
  • Designers and Developers: what is the point of driving people to a website that isn’t well built? Designers and developers can help create a beautiful, interactive and easy to use website which should help convert the extra traffic you are receiving. In addition to this, developers and designers can help SEO specialists with a range of technical SEO issues such as CWV errors, page speed and URL errors.
  • Other Channel Support: finally, SEO practices need to be combined with other channels such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC), email and social media. This means you can capture audiences from a range of sources and it’ll be much easier and quicker to build site traffic.

 

Measuring the Success of SEO Campaigns

 Measuring Successful SEO Campaigns: What is SEO

 

We measure the success of an SEO campaign by monitoring the number of website visitors. In particular, those visiting the site through organic search (unpaid search results).

To understand the quality of these visitors to your website, we use user metrics such as; the number of pages per session, the average session duration and bounce rate, to understand how users engage with the content hosted on your website.

 

Tracking Conversions

We track on-site user interactions you deem of value, known as goals and events. These are commonly in the form of contact form submissions, telephone and email clicks, sign-ups, etc. We’re able to measure the number of goal completions and the goal conversion rate to understand how the campaign is performing.

Understanding the quality of the leads you receive requires feedback from your Internal Communications team. We will often request feedback on the quality of the leads and review this in conjunction with the keywords your website ranks for in SERPs.

We monitor keywords that are relevant to your industry and organisation. We conducted in-depth keyword research and competitor keyword research at the start of our SEO campaign, to gain visibility and insights into the keywords users search for when acquiring your services. There is a positive correlation between how well keywords rank in search (i.e. in the top 10 search results), to the number of website visitors and goal completions.

 

Types of SEO Services

Digital marketing agencies offer a wide range of SEO services to cover your specific needs. Here at Blue Frontier, we offer an array of digital marketing services covering all aspects of SEO, content writing and design:

  • Technical SEO Audits: we use technical SEO software to conduct regular crawls of your site and fix errors that are un-optimal for Google. We also monitor your Google Search Console account and fix any errors related to CWV, site speed, mobile usability or indexation.
  • Content Writing: we have members of our team who are great at producing bespoke content tailored to a specific industry or trend. We can then publish this to your blog section, or alternatively to another website and include a backlink to your site.
  • Keyword Research & Optimisation: we can use tools such as Google’s keyword planner to find the best terms to target. We can then make adjustments to on page copy, metadata and alt text to improve rankings.
  • Off-Page SEO Work: reviewing competitors’ backlink profiles and conducting advanced Google searches to find the best places to list your site and pass link juice. We can also set up and optimise Google My Business, Bing Places and Social Media profiles to increase awareness.

Implementing a strong SEO strategy is vital to growing your business and reaching new audiences. And even if you reach the top, you should never stop optimising your website or else you risk being left behind by trend or algorithm changes.

For this reason, investing in SEO skills, be it in-house or via an agency, is never a bad idea. At Blue Frontier, we combine all of the above services into one big SEO package. If you wish to further discuss the importance of SEO, or if you want to know what we can do to increase organic traffic for your business, reach out to our friendly Digital Marketing Team today for a chat!

 

Digital Synopsis. 2022. Why Page 2 Of Google Search Results Is The Best Place To Hide A Dead Body. [online] Available at: <https://digitalsynopsis.com/tools/google-serp-design/> [Accessed 21 February 2022].

First Page Sage. 2022. SEO ROI Statistics 2022 - First Page Sage. [online] Available at: <https://firstpagesage.com/seo-blog/seo-roi-statistics-fc/> [Accessed 21 February 2022].

Matt Davey

Matt Davey

Digital Marketing Executive

Matt joined the Blue Frontier digital team in 2021 as a digital marketing executive. He specialises in SEO and PPC having previously worked at an eCommerce company working primarily on email marketing, PPC and marketplace management. Matt manages SEO and PPC projects for a variety of our clients, working closely with them to understand their needs and creating tailored strategies to fit their goals. He is a proactive worker who never shies away from a challenge. He very much enjoys learning new skills within digital marketing as well as polishing up old ones.

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