Intro to search engine optimisation (SEO)


Welcome to our introduction to search engine optimisation, also known as SEO.

In this video we’ll explain what SEO is, how search engines understand your website, and what they value most. Because when search engines understand your content, it will be shown to many more potential customers.

Every day, millions of people search online, for everything from airline tickets to zoos. That means there are millions of opportunities for businesses to appear in front of potential customers. Let’s say you own a small farm and want to expand by selling your produce online. SEO helps search engines understand better what you have to offer. That means, when someone searches using a word or phrase related to your business, like, say, heirloom tomatoes, you’re more likely to appear in their results. When a search engine returns results some of them are paid advertisements. The rest are unpaid results that the search engines believe are relevant to the phrase entered into the search box. These are referred to as “organic results.”

Search engines have formulas, or algorithms, that help them order the list of results. The search engines constantly scour the web for new content and try to make sense of it.

Where your website appears in these results is affected by the words you use on your site (fresh farm produce, for example) as well as other factors—such as how many websites link to yours. Does this seem confusing? How’s this: Think of a search engine like a matchmaker. The goal? To find the searcher exactly what she is looking for on the web.

But how does this work?

To present the best possible results, the engines look for as much information as possible about websites.

They might look at how popular sites are, or what other people or sites are saying about them. They might consider words on web pages or keywords in the code of a page to better understand the topic.

Each of these components will help search engines find the best match for your search. Search engines can now also consider the searcher’s geographic location. A search from the UK will display a localised set of search results.

Chances are, the same search originating from France will show different results. And, with the explosion of mobile usage, search engines now consider the devices people use when they perform a search. But just like a matchmaker who’s been in business for years gets better and better, search formulas evolve and add more and more information along the way.

Are you wondering what you can do to make your site attractive to search engines? We’ll touch more on this in other videos, but here’s a good starting point.

What search engines value most is unique, engaging, relevant content because their job is to find and show the most useful stuff. So there we have it. Search is a simple thing to use, and many of us use it every day. But what’s happening behind the scenes is constantly changing. To effectively promote your website online, you’ve got to keep tabs on what search engines value most—and make sure your website gives it to them.

As we move along, we’ll tell you more about how search engines work and help you create a strategy for improving SEO in order to achieve your business goals.