What exactly is SEO?

17 May 2017

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and refers to the practice of getting a website to rank well on search engines like Google and Bing.

SEO is normally broken down into two parts – on-page SEO and off-page SEO:

What is on-page SEO?

This takes place directly on your website – such as improving your content, fixing broken links and speeding up page load times. These efforts to improve the user experience of your website are viewed favourably by the search engines.

What is SEO Thomson Local

What is off-page SEO?

This refers to work undertaken outside of your website – such as publishing informative blog posts on websites that refer back to your website as the source.

For example, if you are a photographer, you could write a short article about the best cameras on the market for an online photography magazine, then cite your photography website as proof of your photography knowledge.

Remember, search engines are trying to provide the best possible answer to whatever the user types into the search box. So getting your website to rank number one means positioning yourself as the best source for those answers.

Why is local SEO especially important for local businesses?

Each day local businesses are competing with each other for customers. Those that perform well tend to offer customers something of value and possess a solid local reputation as a result.

Often, if a local business excels at what they do they can even outperform national businesses by sheer reputation and customer loyalty alone.

Doing business on the internet is no different, it just takes place on a much larger scale – meaning much greater competition to beat. To counter this, search engines place a greater focus on delivering local results to searchers.

This means that someone standing in Leeds placing a search on their phone for a plumber will nearly always see the details of local plumbers before they see national results.

Any business that tries to compete nationally without first conquering local will find it very difficult to get the results that they want.

What is SEO for local business?

How long does SEO take to get results?

This is a common question that most SEO people try to avoid answering.

This isn’t because they are avoiding the question, it’s because there are so many variables involved that make it difficult – but not impossible – to answer.

What we can tell you for sure is that SEO takes time and commitment. It isn’t something that you just fix once and reap ongoing rewards from.

SEO is a long term process that requires continuous investment of time and effort, so bear that in mind before you leap.

Right now the best answer to the question ‘How long does SEO take to get results?’ can be found in a case study by ahrefs.

They concluded that 95% of new pages on the internet won’t make it into the top 10 results of Google within their first year.

This doesn’t mean that SEO isn’t worth investing in – you absolutely should invest in SEO!

It just means that SEO isn’t a quick fix for calls and clicks and that given enough time and patience SEO will reward you handsomely with stable long term traffic.

Avoid the snake oil salesman

In the meantime, anyone that promises to get you to number 1 on Google within X amount of time is not being honest with you.

It’s best to bear that in mind before parting with your hard earned cash.

Tagged with:

  • Local SEO
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • SEO
Author -
SEO Manager Thomson Local

Rob has a decade of experience in SEO, Copywriting and Digital Marketing. He enjoys creative writing having previously written a humorous short book about life in retail as well as several film scripts. Like any self-respecting blogger he has a love of cats and enjoys a nice cup of tea. You can find out more about Rob via his LinkedIn and Writing Portfolio.

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