If you own a blog, a business, or a personal website, you naturally want to be found online. Maybe you’ve already heard that something called SEO should help. But what is it all about?
For many website owners, SEO remains an incomprehensible and almost magical topic. This confusion often stems from the abundance of half-truths and outdated information circulating online. In this series of articles, we would like to explain how exactly SEO can help your website and show you its various applications. But first, let’s take a look at the meaning behind the term SEO and how much of your time it will require.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be defined as a marketing strategy or a set of methods intended to improve the visibility of your website in organic (unpaid) search results.
It is a process made up of a number of elements, by calling it a process we mean you will have to work on it continuously. SEO is not the result of a one-time action. For example, you can’t expect to reach a good position in the search results just because you filled out the titles and descriptions of your pages. We are talking about a long-term committed effort aiming to improve the visibility of your website in search engines thus attracting more relevant visitors rather than just users who leave your website as soon as they enter it.
What is not SEO?
SEO is not about building and optimizing your website for search engines (e.g., by randomly inserting a group of keywords on your website). It can’t be activated with just one click and you can’t pay for your website to be on the first position in organic search results. You can pay people to do the SEO for you, but you will be paying them for their work rather than the actual placement of a website in the search results.
SEO is also not a form of advertisement and it’s hard, if not downright impossible, to guarantee your website a good position. At least at the beginning.
There are forms of advertisement, such as PPC, which influence the placement of a website in paid search results. However, that’s an entirely different topic and we’re not going to cover it in these articles.
How much time will SEO require?
As we already mentioned, SEO is a long-term process and can’t be set with a mere click of your mouse. But a well thought out strategy will make the process of reaching the first position much easier.
Every business and online presentation has its own specifics, so SEO has to be done individually for each website and requires time, a lot of attention and patience.
There are also other factors that need to be taken into account:
- Google doesn’t respond immediately – changes made on your website will be indexed in Google’s database with some delay and the quality of your website will be judged afterward.
- Authority and credibility of your website play an important role – sites displaying high-quality content over several years have a distinctive advantage so, beware of your competitors.
- The rules of this game are not clear – Google’s algorithms, deciding which pages should be displayed in search results and in which order, are not publicly available. All the suggestions for improvement are recommended because they were tested across different websites and are therefore considered relevant and effective.
- SEO is constantly evolving – not only does Google change the rules, but the expectations of its users are changing as well. We are using the internet in different ways than before (e.g., on mobile phones) so we can’t keep using the same old techniques as we did years ago.
- SEO needs to be done continuously – you can’t expect to pay your SEO agency for performing an analysis, making a few changes here and there on your website and be done with it. A single action like this can have a positive short-term impact but won’t do the trick in the long-term. It’s necessary to work on your website consistently and avoid neglecting it for longer periods of time.
- Content strategy – if you choose to embark on a journey of content marketing, you have to dedicate a lot of time and effort to create a thorough plan for months ahead. Don’t rush it.
- Organic space is getting smaller – the times when you could see a few ads and ten organic websites in your search results are long gone. Google displays additional information such as maps, weather reports, lyrics, mathematical solutions and so much more. All of this takes up space and a lot of websites are therefore being pushed to the second page of search results. And as we all know, the second page and the websites there basically don’t exist.
- Strong competition – if you happen to work in a field with strong competitors, it will be harder for you to push through. Especially if you don’t have your own USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or a lot of money you could invest in marketing.
To sum up…
As you can see, it’s not just about setting up something on your website. You have to think SEO through and work on it gradually while always keeping in mind your long-term plan.
Our website editor will provide you with a good foundation. The template you’ll choose will have a predefined content based on the selected type of the website (e.g., a hairdresser, yoga studio, electrician…). The goal is to show you what kind of content you could put on your website. As you grow more confident, you can, and should, change and update everything to fit your needs.
Want to know more?
If you’re ready to learn more and tackle the SEO of your website, the next articles of this series will shed some light on:
- Basic principles and recommendations
- Where to begin? (content, target group, competitors, own domain)
- SEO settings in the Webnode website builder
- Links on your website
- Submitting your site to search engines
- SEO and social media
- Data Analysis (study your visitors)
- Mobile first indexing
Are you familiar with SEO practices? Did this article help? Let us know in the comments below!