Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is now an essential aspect of all organisations’ digital marketing strategy. In a world where online search and online shopping is a big part of the consumer’s everyday life, SEO marketing has become a tool for all major companies.
But what exactly is SEO, how was SEO first created and how has it developed over the years?
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Put simply, search engine optimisation is the process of updating a website to make it easier to find, relevant to the target audience and highly ranked in the most relevant search engine results. Companies aim to be top of search engines in order to give as much exposure to their products and services and be a priority to consumers.
For example, online gaming companies may use search engine techniques to rank highly for phrases such as poker no deposit bonus to not only attract users to their platforms but to help accumulate better rankings and positive associations with their link numbers. Part of the SEO process can include updating a website’s written content, its technical configuration and its link popularity.
When we talk about search engines, we tend to think mostly of Google. This is unsurprising given that Google is the dominant engine and possesses around 92 percent of the global search engine market.
However, other search engines including Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Baidu and Ask to exist and organisation may wish to consider these in their SEO strategy development.
What is the history of SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation actually pre-dates Google and the term began to be used by content marketing and website agencies in the mid to late nineteen nineties. At that time, simple techniques including inbound and outbound links and references to the right keywords were enough to put your site ahead of the game.
It wasn’t until the year 2003 that SEO was given its own page on Wikipedia and it was then that consultants and SEO Experts began to succeed in selling their services on a larger scale. SEO has become far more complex over the years and there are now more than 200 factors that determine a website’s rankings on the search engines.
There have been many updates to search engine algorithms over the years and brands have to stay on top of these to remain competitive, many site SEO updates are scheduled around the time of the latest Google Core Updates.
As technology such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning continue to develop, the use of natural language processing will improve search results for consumers and brands will continue to adapt their strategies to keep their rankings high.
What are the benefits of companies using SEO?
There are many benefits of companies using SEO techniques to ensure their webpages are high ranking, both for the business and the consumer. Effective SEO will ensure your business’ web pages appear at the top of the search engine for relevant results and with better visibility, site traffic will naturally increase.
Customers benefit from SEO too. For example, for customers on the search for a particular product or service, it improves the user experience by making it easier for them to find what it is they are looking for.
For businesses, good SEO can give them perceived high brand credibility as the brands that appear at the very top of search engine results seem to be the best and most trustworthy site to the consumer.
Furthermore, it is often a very cost effective marketing technique. With good SEO, you are likely to be less reliant on other more expensive types of advertising such as paid ads. If good SEO is in place then you are likely to receive web traffic that is organic and therefore free. Of course, SEO can cost if utilising paid tools and consultants so this spend should be factored into your marketing budget.
The future of SEO
There are a number of technical developments that will shape the future of search engine optimization. One is the increased use of voice search with the rise of voice assistants like Siri and the popularity of smart speakers. SEO will need to be adapted as voice queries tend to be longer and have a more conversational tone.
Visual search is also on the rise and as more users search using images rather than text, SEO will need to evolve to meet this need. Mobile first indexing will also feature more prominently and so mobile versions of websites will get the priority in search engine results.