SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. This is a process that confuses many online marketers and it is ever changing, so it is imperative to get it right and keep getting it right according to the guidelines and information search engines set out to help you rank well. This article will run through the overall premise of SEO in more detail so you can gain a firmer understanding of what it is, and how to best implement it.

It's worth noting that SEO isn't an exact science and it is ever evolving, so it's worth covering the bases before trying to attempt to master the more intricate parts of this highly successful marketing strategy.

You have probably used search engines to find the answer to a query you may have had, and if you have used some of the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, or ask (to name a few) then you've already been exposed to search engine optimisation without necessarily realising it. After typing your query and hitting return (or clicking search), you're presented with a list of links to various websites relevant to the query you have made (most commonly, people use the search engine Google, but SEO applies to all search engines across the web).

You are presented with a list of results and you chose the one that seems most relevant to your search.

Many people ask why SEO is important to their website and why they should even consider implementing any Search strategies.

The answer is simple; as users find you through a search engine mechanic they are searching for a service or product you are providing that is relevant to what they were initially searching for. It's plausible that they will become a new customer, and what's more you will generate more new visitors from that search term. If you aren't found through search engines then you're not going to be found by these searchers - meaning you're missing out on the opportunity of generating substantial new business.

More importantly, you're missing out on generating business from people who are searching for your products and services directly and they may instead be presented with your competitors and generate them with custom.

SEO incorporates many other online marketing strategies such as online advertising, social media marketing and online PR, but fundamentally, Search Engine Optimisation is the leading marketing strategy.

Google have hundreds of factors they take into consideration when ranking the results for a particular query. Only the search engines know each and all of the factors they look for, but there are many that have been released to the general public by the search engines to help you on your ranking journey. Essentially this means that there are many ways to rank effectively on the search engines and there is no definitive path you must take in order to rank well, as it is entirely subjective.

Google themselves provide many insights as to how you can rank well, and they have an inside search page that breaks SEO down into three key factors, crawling to index, algorithms and fighting spam.

Fundamentally, the first process any search engine tries to establish is the meaning behind your search.

It uses many technologies to best assess this such as knowledge graph which helps devise the purpose behind your search. You have probably already been exposed to this by the way Google pre-empts your search by providing you with a list of suggestions under what you are searching.

Search engines are working continuously on finding more effect ways to predict what you may be searching for in order to find you the information/results you require more accurately.

Search engines also take into consideration the device you are using to present you with the most relevant results. Desktop devices can access entire sites, and mobile devices have to access mobile versions of the sites so search engines are able to provide you with more relevant results based on the device you are using, as desktop sites don't function well on mobile devices and mobile sites don't function well on desktop devices.

Search engine optimisation essentially aims to provide work behind your site to get you within the first few results on the search engines for the searches you are hoping to put your website in front of. This work includes optimising your site through site structure and architecture, keyword research, link building, unique content, anchor text and site quality.

Fundamentally, SEO is the process behind websites in order to get them to rank well in the organic (non-paid for) results on search engines once a search term is queried.

SEO work can involve many processes but more commonly than not, prior to looking to optimise your site, several things will need to be done in order to ensure you can rank.

You'll probably need a website report covering the entire and overall structure of your site, and indeed your content. You may also be required to do keyword research and undergo SEO training in order to rank well. Keyword research is an intricate process that can seem daunting, but is very much worthwhile to succeeding online.

It's worth noting that the results displayed on Google are both organic and paid. Paid results (from PPC) will have no effect on your website's organic Search Engine Ranking Positions (SERPs). SEO from search engine's points of view is free. They rank you according to relevance, how natural your site looks and by popularity.

SEO is a legitimate practice that helps websites to generate higher rankings on search engine results, however there are many illegitimate companies claiming to be trustworthy SEO agencies that have given the industry a bad reputation by providing aggressive tactics and attempting to get one over on the search engines ultimately resulting in damaging the website they are representing.

Google are aware of the scam practices that are out there which is why they implement various updates and algorithms on a regular basis to try and eradicate the bad sites from the good.

Other search engines aren't as brutal in their strictness and algorithm and update implementation as Google, but it's worth bearing in mind that Google has the largest search demographic and as most people use Google, it's refreshing to see that they value the websites that they index and try to support them accordingly with the various updates and algorithms they release, to penalise those sites manipulating the system to try and cheat at ranking.

SEO is the best way to generate online revenue and traffic.

As a lot of enquiries and/or purchases are made online, it's imperative now more than ever to ensure you have a visible ranking within the Search Engines in order to tap into the online market and ultimately generate more business. You'll not be able to grow online without this.