what is search engine optimisation?

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in Digital Marketing?

In today’s digital landscape, digital marketing is vital to business success, and one essential component is Search Engine Optimisation or more commonly known – SEO. If you’re reading from across the Atlantic Ocean, it’ll be Search Engine Optimization. Today, we’ll explore the world of SEO and its significance in the broader digital marketing mix, helping you understand how it can drive targeted traffic, help improve your brand awareness and, ultimately, your visibility online.

Understanding What Search Engine Optimisation Is

Google, the world’s biggest search engine, has 89.3 billion visitors every month, and, according to Oberlo, Google is home to over 90% of the world’s searches. So it stands to reason that there’s a big chance that in your customers’ journey from being aware of your product to converting, they spend some time on Google. 

SEO work adds value by ensuring you’re in the right place (Google) at the right time (when the user searches). What we mean by that logistically is that SEO is the practice of improving or “optimising” your website and its content to help ensure your site appears for the most relevant search terms. It involves various strategies to enhance your website’s relevance and authority to drive organic traffic and improve search results.

Through the use of SEO tools, content marketing and many other SEO techniques, agencies can help businesses rank higher in the search results, ultimately leading to a more favoured site by Google’s search engine algorithms. What they are is anybody’s guess, but, you’ll see steady growth with good SEO.

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How Search Engines Work

To grasp the importance of SEO, it’s essential to understand how search engines operate. Here’s how to know how search engines work in 8 simple points.

  1. Imagine search engines as intelligent machines that help us find online information.
  2. They have unique robots called crawlers that explore websites and collect information.
  3. The information they collect is stored in a giant database, like a massive library for the internet.
  4. Search engines use complex rules to decide which websites are the most helpful for our searches.
  5. They look at the words on the webpage and how other websites link to it.
  6. These rules help the search engine decide which websites should appear first in the search results.
  7. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is about improving websites to appear higher in the search results.
  8. This means using the right words on the website, creating valuable and engaging content, and making the website easy to use.

Following these points can make websites more popular and attract more people looking for information. In reality, it’s far more complex than this, but hopefully, that gives you a simple understanding of search engines.

Search Engine Marketing: SEO vs. Paid Search (PPC)

When it comes to getting noticed on search engines, there are two main approaches: SEO and paid search, also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. Understanding their differences and how they can work together to create a successful marketing strategy is important.

When you search on Google or any search engine, for that matter, you’ll usually see some ads and then some listings – these are called the SERPS (search engine results pages). They’re pages that aren’t paying to be at the top through paid advertising (PPC) and are where you want to be if you’re to generate some organic traffic (that’s traffic that you don’t pay for, by the way). 

search engine results page

As discussed, SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation focuses on improving a website’s visibility in organic search results. This means that when someone searches for something on a search engine like Google, the website appears in the regular search listings without paying for each click.

SEO involves techniques such as selecting relevant keywords, optimising website content, and building high-quality backlinks. The goal is to make the website more attractive to search engines so it ranks higher in the organic search results.

On the other hand, paid search or PPC advertising involves paying search engines to display ads for specific keywords or search terms. These ads usually appear at the top or side of the search results page and are labelled “sponsored” or “ad.” With PPC, advertisers bid on keywords and pay the search engine only when someone clicks on their ad. This allows businesses to have immediate visibility and control over their ad campaigns, as they can set a budget, target specific audiences, and track the performance of their ads.

Both SEO and paid search have their advantages. SEO provides long-term benefits by improving a website’s overall visibility and credibility. It helps generate organic traffic, build trust with users, and can result in sustainable rankings in search results. On the other hand, paid search offers immediate visibility and can instantly drive targeted traffic to a website. It benefits businesses that want quick results, have specific promotions or time-sensitive offers, or want to target particular demographics.

It’s often beneficial to combine SEO and paid search to create a powerful marketing strategy. By leveraging both approaches, businesses can maximise their visibility and increase the chances of attracting relevant traffic. SEO helps build a strong foundation by optimising the website for organic search, while paid search provides additional exposure and immediate results. Together, they complement each other and can drive higher conversions and return on investment (ROI).

Key Components of a Successful SEO Strategy

On-Page optimisation

On-page optimisation involves optimising various elements of your website to make it more search engine-friendly. Proper keyword research and incorporation play a significant role in on-page SEO. Of all the types of SEO for On-page optimisation, here are our top three priorities to help grow your organic search traffic with some basic tips.

1. Keyword Research

  • Identify relevant keywords and phrases related to your content and target audience.
  • Utilise keyword research tools to find high-traffic and low-competition keywords.

2. Title Tags, Headings and Meta Descriptions

  • Use unique, descriptive, and compelling title tags
  • Include the primary keyword near the beginning of the title tag.
  • Make sure headings provide a clear structure and hierarchy to the content.

3. Internal Linking

  • Interlink relevant pages within your website to improve navigation and user experience.
  • Use anchor text that accurately describes the linked page’s content.
  • Ensure a logical linking structure that helps search engines understand your site’s architecture

Off-Page optimisation

Off-page SEO focuses on activities outside your website. The idea here is that high-quality backlinks from other sites help establish credibility online and in the eyes of Google. If Google sees you as an authority, it’ll likely reward you with a higher ranking position. Here, we outline three of the most important factors to consider;

1. Backlink Building

  • Acquire high-quality, relevant backlinks from authoritative and trustworthy websites.
  • Focus on earning natural backlinks through compelling content and outreach efforts.
  • Avoid spammy link-building practices that could lead to penalties.

2. Claim Your Google Business Profile

  • Essential for small businesses – grow local search by claiming and optimising your Google My Business listing.
  • Get listed in local directories and ensure consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information.

3. Encourage customers to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, and other review platforms

  • Positive reviews can improve your online reputation and not to mention support your business’s credibility.
  • Remember that off-page SEO is about building a robust online presence, establishing credibility, and gaining recognition from other reputable websites and online communities.
  • A diverse and natural link profile, along with a positive reputation across the web, can ultimately impact your search engine rankings.

Technical optimisation

Technical optimisation ensures that your website is technically sound and easily accessible to search engine crawlers. This part is way more techy but helps to make sure when a Google spider comes and crawls your site (yes, it’s a thing), they’ll quickly and easily find all the important information about your site. Here are three important parts and some simple tips:

1. Create a logical and well-structured website hierarchy.

  • Not only will this help users, but it’ll also help crawlers too.
  • Use breadcrumbs to show users the site’s structure and improve navigation.

2. XML Sitemap:

  • Generate and submit an XML sitemap to search engines to tell them that you exist and let them know what pages you want them to crawl.
  • Keep it updated to help search engines crawl and index your site efficiently.

3. Structured Data Markup:

  • Implement structured data (schema markup) to provide context to search engines.
  • This helps in generating rich snippets and improving visibility in search results.

Speak with our team by booking a free consultation.

Benefits of Gaining Visibility in Organic Search Rankings

Without getting too technical, there are three huge benefits of gaining visibility through Google;

  1. Increased Organic Traffic and Visibility: Higher search engine rankings mean more visibility. More visibility leads to more organic traffic, and more organic traffic lead to more conversions. 
  2. Enhanced User Experience: SEO practices contribute to a positive user experience by optimising website speed, navigation, and valuable content.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness and Long-Term Results: SEO offers long-term benefits and cost-effectiveness compared to paid advertising campaigns.

Why Choose Us for Your SEO Needs

We understand the complexities of SEO and its impact on your business. Our team of experts consists of seasoned professionals who have honed their skills in the ever-changing digital marketing landscape and have a track record to prove it. When you partner with us, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge and experience that can elevate your SEO strategies to new heights. View our recent results by viewing our Work.

Featured Case Study

Gadget GoGo

Thanks to the combination of our data-driven insights and our teams’ knowledge across channels, Gadget GoGo increased their online revenue by more than 75%.


Increased Visitors


Increase in orders

Our Approach

Customised Strategies

We take the time to understand your business, target audience, and goals to create bespoke SEO strategies tailored to your specific needs. No cookie-cutter solutions here—we believe in the power of personalisation.

Data-Driven Insights

With our strong focus on data, we leverage advanced analytics tools to uncover valuable insights about your website performance, user behaviour, and market trends. These insights drive our decision-making process and enable us to make data-backed optimisations.

White-Hat Techniques

Ethical practices are at the core of our approach. We follow industry best practices and adhere to search engine guidelines, ensuring that your website’s SEO is built on a solid foundation of integrity and sustainability.

Continuous optimisation

SEO is an ongoing process, and we stay on top of the latest trends and algorithm updates to keep your website ahead of the curve. We monitor performance, make data-driven adjustments, and provide regular reports to keep you informed about the progress of your SEO efforts.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help with your online visibility, book a consultation.

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    Contact the author
    Jodie Darnell
    Account Executive

    I have a passion for small businesses. I believe every business has the potential to succeed online, and I’m dedicated to helping owners and startups leverage digital marketing to grow their businesses.

    Specialises in: Social Media, PPC and Content

    Jodie Darnell
    Account Executive

    I have a passion for small businesses. I believe every business has the potential to succeed online, and I’m dedicated to helping owners and startups leverage digital marketing to grow their businesses.

    Specialises in: Social Media, PPC and Content

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