SEO is one of the most commonly used terms in digital marketing and it is still not entirely clear what it means.
In this blog post, we take a deep dive into the term and how to work with SEO successfully in 2023.
Let's start with a common question; what does SEO stand for? SEO stands for search engine optimization.
The short explanation is that SEO means the work that affects your results in a search engine's search, i.e. the position of your website when you use the search engine Google and google your company name, for example.
If you want to learn even more about SEO then you should download our SEO guide which you can find below:
Why is SEO important for your digital marketing?
SEO makes your website appear higher in the search results for the keywords you want to rank high for. If you want visitors to find your website or business on Google, it is therefore extremely important that you rank as high as possible on the keywords that you want visitors to find you through. For example, if you run a hair salon in Stockholm, keywords such as "Hairdresser in Stockholm" can be a relevant search term to use.
Looking at the statistics, more than 70,000 searches are made on Google every second and those that are in first place in organic search results get 44.64% of all clicks. In other words, it is extremely important to think about SEO when developing both a website but also content.
SEO brings organic traffic
SEO provides organic traffic. In website traffic measurements, organic traffic is when a visitor has come to your website through an internet search, e.g. through Google. A distinction is made between organic traffic and paid traffic. Paid traffic acts like ads and costs money, usually per click, while organic traffic is free. The only investment is the time to create content. So, SEO means work and optimization that affects your website's visibility in a search engine search, i.e. the position of your website in the results of the various search engines. Working with paid traffic and advertising through search engines is called SEM and stands for search engine marketing.
How do you see the difference between organic results and paid results?
If you look at the image below where we have done a search for glasses online, you can see which part is organic results (green part) and which part is paid results (red part).
The work you put into SEO is represented by the green, organic part.
How to get to the top of search engine results through SEO?
Working on SEO is time consuming and there is no exact doctrine on how to get to the top of e.g. Google or even on the first page of search results. The goal of search engines is to present the most relevant information possible to the user. They do this by using secret algorithms to rank different pages.
Algorithms also change on a regular basis, so unfortunately there's no guarantee you'll end up on the first page. Those who claim that this is possible are simply not serious operators and should be avoided. It is only the algorithms of the search engines that determine which pages are ranked where. These algorithms are constantly evolving and it is extremely secret exactly how they are set up and what they look at. What can be said is that they want to provide a good customer experience which in turn you can learn from when working on SEO in 2020.
For a search engine, it is important that when someone searches for "glasses online", relevant pages are displayed to help them find what they are looking for. This means that there will be results about glasses and not about how to build a greenhouse at home.
The results will also come from providers that the search engine considers serious and relevant and that solve the issue the person has. All so that you, the searcher, feel that you have found the right place and got value out of your search.
How does a search engine work?
In other words, a search engine displays the websites that it thinks are most relevant to the search being made. It is the algorithms that determine how relevant different websites are. This is determined by continuously scanning all the websites in the world. They interpret text, audio, video, graphics, etc. to get the best possible idea of what a particular page is about.
Take this page, for example, if you got here by first doing a search in a search engine, it was probably about SEO or search engines as this text is about those topics.
As new content is constantly being produced and posted on different websites, the results that are displayed also change. It also depends, for example, on the geographical location of your search, what you have searched for previously and the language setting on your computer or mobile. For example, if you are in Malmö and searching for glasses, you want tips on eyewear shops in Malmö, not Umeå. You also don't want to get results for, say, Portuguese e-retailers who don't have a website in either Swedish or English, and who can't ship to Malmö.
That way, search engines tailor what they show to what they think is most relevant to you. So different people get different results, and those results change depending on, among other things, your search patterns and what is relevant. That's why it's important to focus on producing content that is relevant and engaging on an ongoing basis. Easier said than done - we know. Here are some tips on how to do this successfully. 5 tips for creating content that engages
How to work with SEO in 2023 and what is it?
When it comes to ranking high on search engine results, it's all about having some kind of content that a search engine can interpret and find relevant to a particular search.
Start from what problem you are going to solve for the customer, what kind of content is your customer looking for the solution for when you want them to find your website. Could it be your contact details and/or information about your products then take the opportunity to write about just that on your website. If you own a bakery and bake sourdough bread then write about how you bake the bread and the search engine will understand that you sell sourdough bread. In turn, the search engine will rate your website as relevant when a potential customer searches for information about sourdough bread and thus display your website high up in the search results.
The easiest thing is to write really good and relevant texts. Search engines will pick that up and index it.
You can write texts in the form of blog posts, news, articles, information on a subpage of your website, etc. Of course, it helps to include videos, audio clips as well as images or other graphics with alt text.
If you want to get started with your SEO work today then I think you should check out how we help our clients with SEO here! SEO Services
SEO for texts
Although search engines are good at interpreting information as it is, there are a few things you can do to help search engines interpret your text better.Search engines don't see a web page the way we do, they only see the underlying text, the so-called code.This is what you see
This is what a search engine sees
SEO with meta tags
"" is a meta tag and helps the search engines to interpret the right information and present the right information in the search results.is the information that appears as the title when you are listed in the search results.SE imageIs the description that appears below the title.These can be customised so that you make it as relevant as possible to someone searching on e.g. "inbound marketing".
SEO with headlines
Headings are also a factor in being as relevant as possible to a search engine.When writing a text, you should use heading tags to show the search engines what the paragraph you are writing is about.A heading tag looks like this
and "XXX" is the heading that is visible to the reader.You put a number after the "h" (heading) to define the type of heading to use. For example, it is relevant to have an h1 heading at the top and then use a subheading using h2 or h3 tags.
When writing text, it's important to think about the keywords you want people to see when they search using a search engine.The keywords you want people to use to find your site should be included in the text and headings, as well as in the meta title and meta description of your website.Search engines always want to try to match a search with the most relevant results possible and if you have used that word frequently and relevantly then search engines will consider that your page should be high up in the search results.However, beware of using the keyword too much so that it is no longer considered relevant text. This is called key word stuffing and is penalised by search engines. You can read more about this in our blog post on white hat and black hat SEO.
Length of texts
When it comes to SEO and content writing, the length of the text you write is important.If you only write a few sentences about a topic, there is likely to be a lot more information left about the topic that you haven't shared, and search engines understand this.It is often said that longer is always better, but this is not entirely true. Writing 1000 words is better than writing 500 words. But writing 50,000 instead of 30,000 is unlikely to add much value.The average length to be ranked at the top of the organic results on Google is about 2,000 words. So if you want to be really relevant, you should go for a length that is in that range. But there are still no guarantees. That said, SEO is basically about being as relevant as possible; if you write 50,000 words but it's not relevant, it absolutely doesn't matter.
SEO with graphics
Search engines are not yet very good at interpreting images, relying instead on the image title and alt text associated with the image. In other words, the search engine will not see that there is a cute dog in the picture, but you need to create a title and an alt text for the picture, such as "cute dog".Therefore, it is important that you think through the title of the picture and that you add alt texts to each picture. Alt texts can be edited in most CMSs and the code looks like this:
Another important aspect of solid SEO work is inbound links, i.e. when other websites link to you. It is part of the search engine algorithms and the logic is that if many other people link to your website then your page contains relevant and interesting information.However, it should be said that link building in the form of spam where you paste your website address on various websites that are not relevant and do not provide any value is strictly forbidden.We often say that links come automatically if what you write is so good that other people appreciate what you are writing about.
Sound and video
Search engines have become so good at interpreting content that they have also started to interpret video and audio recordings. They interpret what is said in a video and audio recording and index it as well.It is possible to help search engines in this work by adding subtitles, transcription etc. which is recommended but even if this is not done, parts of the video and audio recordings will be interpreted by search engines.
Other elements of solid SEO work
Search engines also determine how relevant your text is by measuring how long visitors stay on your page. The search engine also notices if people who click on a result in a search have to go back to the results and go to another link to find the information they were looking for.
SEO is optimization for organic search results in search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.When working with SEO, the most important thing to think about is relevance. There is nothing like providing great value to the person who searches a search engine and then clicks on your link.Think of SEO as the way to answer a question someone asks when they do a search in a search engine and you will get a long way.Want more tips on how to work with SEO and how you can succeed in your digital marketing efforts?Contact one of us at Contitude. We'd be happy to set up a meeting with you and offer a free consultation on how you work with digital marketing and what elements you can develop.