What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of improving a website for search engines so it ranks higher in search results. The higher a page is in ranking the more visible it becomes to potential visitors.

Approximately 30% of all visitors click the first result, 15% click the second and 10% the third link. So to attract more visitors, it helps to get a higher page ranking.

Check out how Google explains their search engine

So what does it mean in practice?

When you create your website, keep in mind the following guidelines:

Create good content
Give your site a logical structure
Have other sites link to yours
Make your site mobile friendly

Create good content

High-quality content is the single most important thing to make your site search engine friendly, according to Google. So what qualifies as good content?

Good content describes what your site is about in an interesting and attractive way. It is informative, useful text that includes the keywords that you want associated with your site. It also has a nice layout, with titles and headlines to make it pleasant to read and includes some images.

Rule of thumb: Keep in mind that you are writing for your visitors, not for search engines.

Learn about the quality guidelines Google recommends
Example: You have a webshop and are selling a special edition of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Start with adding a good description about the trilogy, including images. To attract more traffic, consider adding a blog post, for example with background information about the author.

Give your site a logical structure

Search engines need to be able to navigate your site and recognize what it is about, that's why it matters how your site is organized. Make sure all your pages are linked together and have a descriptive URL, title and meta description.

If you use images on your site, include an alternative text. This "ALT text" is a short description of what the image is about. Also remove any links that stopped working.

Read what Google has to say about a simple URL structure
Example: If the product page for your books is called page-2.html, it could contain anything. However if you call your page "lord-rings-trilogy-special-edition.html" it is immediately clear what you are trying to sell. It becomes even better if you include a descriptive title and short meta description.

Have other sites link to yours

If other people link to pages on your site, this is an indication for search engines that the information on your page is important or interesting. This will result in higher ranking. Links also generate more traffic, because you can get visitors via other ways than search engines.

Google distinguishes between natural and unnatural links. Natural links develop over time because other people like content on your site. Unnatural links are created with the intention to manipulate search engines and should be avoided.

Learn more about what is considered unnatural linking
Example: A fan site of "Lord of the Rings" has placed a link to your blog article with background information about the author. Visitors of the fan site, might click the link to read your article and then discover that you are selling a special edition.

Make your site mobile friendly

More than half of all searches Google gets are done from mobile devices, so it has become very important that your site looks good on a smart phone or tablet. Search engines rank mobile friendly sites higher than sites that are not optimized for mobile devices, even if the person searching is using a desktop.

Do the mobile friendly test by Google
Example: A potential customer is looking for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy on his mobile phone. If your website isn't mobile friendly, this visitor will most likely leave very quickly.

Need help?

There is a lot of documentation on the internet with tips, guides and research on how to make your site more search engine friendly. In this guide we have explained the basics. Try one of the links below for more in-depth information.

Search engine optimization starter guide by Google
The beginners guide to SEO by MOZ

If all this seems a bit daunting and you don't know where to start, you might want to try MarketGoo.

MarketGoo is an online SEO tool that analyzes your website and gives easy-to-implement tips on how you can improve it. Your pages are submitted to search engines, you can track your keywords and get tips to help you improve your ranking.

MarketGoo is available as an add-on product when ordering a new domain.

Related articles:

Get started with MarketGoo
How do I manage my keywords in MarketGoo?
What is the benefit of adding a meta description?