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Digital marketing, Search engine optimisation, Growth hacking

What The Hell Is SEO Exactly?

Jude Law

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is a process to improve your website's visibility to your target audience.

Imagine you are a local coffee shop owner. You want to promote your coffee brand through the Internet. You started a blog and want to share tips on making good coffee. 

You need to stand out from all the other websites so that when people search on Google, “How to make good coffee?”, they come to your website's content.

SEO is the process of making your website and your content stand out on Google.

How does SEO work? 

There are almost an infinite number of websites on the Internet. Google creates a little program (spiders) to crawl and understand almost all the websites on the Internet. After crawling different websites, Google will index and rank all the websites and webpages according to keywords, intent, page speed, etc.

Using the coffee shop example, a webpage that will rank well when people Google “How to make good coffee?” is probably a comprehensive guide including:

  • How to make the right coffee beans
  • A guide on different coffee roast levels
  • The steps on making good coffee
  • How to enjoy it
  • A call-to-action that encourages people to purchase from you

Not to mention the web page should contain supplementary images with reasonable loading speed so Google’s spider and potential customers can access it easily.

Why should you care?

Social media, SEO and email are considered the 3 pillars of digital marketing (of course, there are many more). SEO has been around for over a decade and with more and more people using Google to find answers to their questions, there’s no doubt that it will still be a valuable skill in the future.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, marketer, designer or engineer, you should at least have some SEO knowledge to help you excel in the marketing world.

More importantly, once you master the skill, SEO can bring you free and passive traffic from Google on a regular basis. What can be better?

What does SEO mean to you?

Marketer:

Experts are saying that you should become a “T-shaped” marketer. This means that you have expertise in one field of marketing whilst still having knowledge in many other areas. Regardless of whether SEO is your focus, you should still be informed and be the go-to person in the company when it comes to SEO questions.

Designer:

Designers sometimes don’t like, or even hate SEO. Yet what we’ve found is that usually, the designer doesn’t like the SEO marketer, and not SEO itself. A UI/UX designer’s job is to solve customer pain points through designing seamless user experiences, but this does not have to go against the main principles of SEO! Both have an aim of serving and providing value to customers. There could be negotiations and trade-offs on the look and feel of a website, but the main aim should be to create a website that is easy to understand by both humans and Google’s spiders.

Engineer:

Engineers aren’t the biggest fans of SEO, either. Engineers often need to manage the system, deliver and handle requests from different departments. Yet, SEO is becoming more technical than ever before and the demand for capable engineers is growing. So by learning SEO, not only are you building trust and authority in your company, but it’s a great skill for your career development.

Entrepreneur:

You probably are the person who understands the power of SEO the most. I mean, who doesn’t like traffic and leads for free on a regular basis? Yet your priority can always be trumped by other emergencies and may have little time to learn and invest in SEO. One downside is that SEO might need more time to see a positive return on investment, but there’s no doubt that with the right business model, SEO will always be a key growth lever in your business.

How to get started with SEO

So you might be wondering how to get started with your SEO journey. One of the first steps is to conduct keyword research to find relevant keywords that relate to your business, products and services that people are searching for on Google. There are a bunch of free tools at your disposal to use, however it can often be an arduous and time-consuming process. Luckily, experienced agencies like us can help fast-track that process. If you’re interested to learn how we can help, contact us today for a free quotation

This article was written by Jude Law, a Hong Kong-based growth expert and founder of marketing consultancy Technalect. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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