How SEO works in 2022
Updated: Mar 11
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has changed a lot in the past few years, never mind the past 10 years or so. A lot of what most people know about SEO has actually changed drastically so that it’s either no longer true or effective practice to increase site activity. Technological advancements like these are extremely common nowadays and, if you're doing all your marketing yourself, they can be difficult to keep track of. Luckily, I (Jack) have been keeping up with them and I'm here to tell you today, how you can use SEO to get more website visits in 2022!
What's the purpose of SEO?
The outcome you typically want to aim for by working on your website's SEO is to rank high on Google search. Google search is the world's most used search engine and being able to rank on the first page of search results can make your website's traffic skyrocket. Google, nowadays, generally does three things in order to give your website an SEO score:
Crawling - Google uses bots to search the web for new and updated pages. In order for Google to find the page, it must first have a link pointing to it. The more links that a site has pointing to it, the easier it is for these bots to find it.
Indexing - After Crawling, the bots will then begin Indexing the website. This means they look at the content on the page (copy, images, alt-text, and other media) and make a decision about what the page is about. After this, it is then stored on Google's Index (database).
Serving - Once a user searches for a certain term, Google will assess its database and look for the URLs that are most relevant to the user's search terms. The most relevant results are then organised in terms of their relevance to the search terms and served to the user on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
Of course, this answers the question of "how" Google rates your website, but how exactly do you make it rank higher? The answer isn't easily said as one answer. Instead there are multiple things you can do to help your website rank higher in search results.
While you should be serving your audience high-quality content regardless of your SEO strategy, it is definitely a key part of getting your website rated highly on Google search. If the quality of your website content is not there it will hold back the effectiveness of your SEO strategy as a whole. If you find yourself in this position, focus on upping the quality of your content before jumping head-first into the more focused activities involved in SEO!
On page SEO
Sound a bit fluffy and unspecific? That's because this term kind of refers to a whole bunch of different tasks associated with optimising your webpage for search engines. These can include:
Keywords - Chances are you've heard of this one more often than anything else I'll mention on this page. In case you're not familiar, these are the words that people who are searching for businesses like yours will be searching. You want to have these keywords on your page so that they might answer a question someone has, highlight a service that they're looking for, or a specific type of business within a specific area. For example: Glasgow Marketing Automation Agency. This search term encompasses the location, niche of the business and the type of business itself. These ARE the terms you're looking for!
Page Speed - This one is pretty obvious; it's how fast your web page loads when searched for. Faster loading sites will appear higher up Google's ranking system simply due to how quickly their content loads. They will also help keep your users on your web page as it won't test their patience waiting for it to load. This can be done relatively easily if you host your site on somewhere like WordPress where you get full control over the coding of your site. Hosting platforms such as Squarespace and Wix, however, are not as easy to optimise since they limit how much access to different sets of code and scripts you have. You can still optimise images by converting them to different web friendly formats regardless of the hosting platform you're using.
Internal Linking - Again, a pretty simple one. This is just how many links on your page point toward another part of your site. This helps boost user experience and, as a result, boosts your SEO score on Google too.
Meta Titles and Descriptions - Your meta titles and descriptions are what is shown in Google search results and heavily influences how high up your website is shown in results, if at all. Make sure to include good quality titles and descriptions that are relevant to what is actually on the page. Once you've done that, see how you can work in keywords while still keeping them relevant.
Keeping your site secure is a non-negotiable task nowadays. Not only does it keep your interests secure, but it also keeps your potential customers' interests secure too. If your website doesn't have a security certificate ("https" at the start of your domain) then it will rank lower on Google search results.
Backlink strategies are a way of getting more links available for Google to analyse in its "Crawling" phase. This helps back up that your site is legit as other sites, not connected to your own, display your site. Having a few backlinks in your SEO strategy is essential for ranking high among the search results that come up on Google. Be aware, however, that this does not apply to social media. Posting your links across social media, whether in a post or in bios, will not count as backlinks and Google will not increase your score based on that alone. If your site is popular on Facebook (gets a lot of click throughs from Facebook), only then will it contribute to your SEO score.
The Small Print...
SEO, while simple at its highest level, contains a whole array of different tasks and small optimisations that really make a huge difference overall. This is why it can take so long to get your website ranking among the highest-ranking current websites on Google. However, once you do this, the returns are obvious. It's for this reason that it can make up an entire job all on its own and still be profitable for businesses who provide such a service. Speaking of which...
If you think doing your own SEO will take up too much of your time researching, developing, and testing your website to make it stand out in an ever more competitive market, why not hire Autus to do it for you? As experts in all things Digital Marketing, we specialise in getting your business seen and helping it along its growth journey. If you truly want to grow your business to the same size as the big leagues out there, get in touch and book a discovery call with us today 👇