SEO – or search engine optimisation to give it its full name – is a crucial part of web design in the modern age. Ever since its conception in the early 1990s, SEO has been constantly changing and moulding into the beast that we understand it as today. In this blog we aim to give readers a better understanding of what SEO actually is, where it came from, why it’s here to stay and most importantly why you should care about it.
What is SEO?
SEO takes advantage of search engine algorithms, the backbone of Google, Yahoo and Bing etc. By tailoring your website to what the search engines are looking for, you can appear higher in the search results and drive more organic traffic to your website.
Organic traffic refers to traffic coming from users that land on your website via a search engine. They will have searched for something using specific keyword terms, which triggered your site to appear as a Google – Yahoo or Bing etc. – listing. Organic traffic isn’t paid for, but you can pay for traffic by using tools like Google Ads or PPC (pay per click).
Where did SEO come from?
SEO was conceived in the early 1990s, around the time the world’s first website was created. When SEO was first in action, it really wasn’t very sharp. Marketers and hackers found easy ways of spamming their websites with keywords and links to take advantage of the loose rules, sending them to the top of the SERP (search engine results page) even though their content was poor.
It wasn’t until 1996 when the SEO we know today came to fruition. Backrub was introduced to the digital world in 1996, although it became Google in 1997, this is when SEO made big steps in the right direction. Google began creating an algorithm that would actually base their SERP rankings on the quality of content each website was producing, and not just on the spam of keywords and links, helping users actually find what they want.
Why does SEO exist?
In short: SEO exists to make sure users find what they want and to keep the search engine results fair.
By having SEO algorithms in place, it means that search engines are actually delivering good results for its users. Gone are the days of spam filled websites being the top result, users are now finding quality content based on what they search for.
SEO also means the SERP doesn’t get monopolised by the big companies ploughing money into their website or paying for Google Ads to appear at the top. SEO operates on only organic traffic, giving the smaller companies an opportunity to attract customers to their website.
Why you should care about SEO!
Firstly, SEO allows you to drive traffic to your website and showcase your company to customers and prospects. As SEO works on organic traffic, the cost per lead is very low.
Secondly, SEO gives users peace of mind as to how reliable your company is, as your website has gone through a search engine’s fine-tuned algorithm, and your company’s website is the one that came up first.
SEO is constantly changing, one week you can be sitting on the top spot for all your keyword search queries, the next you can drop off the front page altogether. SEO has to be constantly monitored as Google and other search engines are continuously changing and fine tuning their algorithms.
With more companies going online than ever before after the Covid-19 pandemic, having good SEO can move you ahead of the already over-saturated competition.
If you need help with SEO or website development, please do get in touch with us and a member of our expert team will get back to you.