What is SEO? A beginners guide to SEO.

Most website owners have heard of SEO. You know that it is something you should strive for on your website. But what exactly is SEO? Why should you have SEO on your website? How do you optimise your website yourself?

In this blog I will focus on a beginners guide to SEO.

My background in SEO

Many (many) years ago I was tasked with researching SEO for work. The Local Authority website had two areas:

The Internet, which is the website the public saw. This was largely built on some Content Management Software (CMS) by a company called Tridion, and co-ordinated by the Web Team. Basically all the pages had a standard format, and each directorate was responsible for publishing their own content. At that point, it was mostly contact information, some narrative, FAQ, and some forms which could be downloaded; and

The Intranet, which was the Staff area, with back office systems, and internal only information.

As you can imagine, most of those who actually uploaded the content, did so reluctantly, and just did what they had to. They would have run for the hills or would have offered to do filing instead of getting into the complexities of SEO.

What Is SEO?

When websites were first searched it was essentially based on the frequency of the search word on the page, and pages were displayed (ranked) in descending order, so the pages where the word (now referred to as a KEYWORD) appeared the most were listed first. This was called PageRank

At the time I was doing my research, (I think around 2006?) Search engine Optimisation (SEO) as a term was being used more, and it was all about referential relevance ranking (basically links to pages or images etc. within that site, and the more links there were the better – or so we were told. So lots of click here links, and go to top links were encouraged).

Within the Council the goal was to have a prestigious Google Yellow Box/Search console) The idea was that the search console would sit in our very impressive machine room constantly crawling (basically spying on) all of our sites, which would help to speed up the search results for the public on our website. If you ever indexed a site in the old days you will remember how painfully slow it was waiting for the indexing to finish.

In my next blog, I will explain more about how SEO has evolved.

This post was written for day 6 of Vicki Jakes’ 30 days of blogging challenge. It’s not too late if you want to join in. You can find her over here on her website, or in her free Facebook Group Online Marketing For Busy Website Owners.